Grand Pacific Cruise Part 1

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Until We Meet Again!

Well, I guess this is “toodles” for about a month– I’ll be flying out to Australia over the course of approximately 22 hours as of tomorrow night, from which point I’ll hop on a cruise ship and sail my way up to San Francisco over the course of 28 days πŸ˜€
Time zones are going to be interesting: the 21st happens twice on the trip πŸ˜›
And yes, I’m bringing a sketchbook and plenty of art materials (and pencils, which hopefully the customs people won’t declare as ‘sharp, pointy dangerous weapons’). We’ll be visiting Auckland (NZ), Fiji, Samoa, Rarotonga (Cook Islands), have a few stops in French Polynesia, and a few stops in Hawaii. YAY! Going to be a fuuuuun trip πŸ™‚ I’ll blog whenever I can of whatever adventures happen and whatever art happens to seep into my sketchbook πŸ˜› Speaking of which… read on for a bunch of new drawings πŸ˜€

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Stylin’ Suitcases!

In less than a week, I’m leaving on a 28-day-long cruise that starts in Australia and ends up in San Francisco. With all that time away, one certainly must pack appropriately. And with all the air travel, you really don’t want to mess up and grab someone else’s luggage, where you may end up with someone’s life-long cherished coin collection when what you were really after was some shampoo.
In order to prevent such horrors (and also as an extra measure that the luggage NOT be lost), I painted up my suitcases like no one else’s. Meticulous detail and hours of laborious work follow….. AND PLEASE!!!! If you see me running around with one (or two, or three or all four, given I sprout a few extra arms) SAY HELLO! Never know who you’ll run into at the airport! πŸ˜€
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Suction-Footed Tweep

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Hawaii Update 3

Been a while since I’ve done an update on the cruise so far, so I’ll wrap up all the islandy adventures now– we’re on day 13 of the cruise, meaning in 3 days we’ll be disembarking.
Last you heard was of the awesome helicopter ride in Kauai! That was day 3 of the islands– day 4 was in Honolulu, with tremendously tall hotels and really fancy stores (Burbury, Fendi, etc.) The biggest goal that day was to get to Waikiki Beach and float around in the water. But… the water was cold! Laying on the beach and walking around was what I resorted to– and the weather did get nice and toasty around 4 or so. So a minimal tan has been achieved on this trip πŸ˜€
Stop 5 was Maui– saw the banyan tree, walked all the way up and down Front Street, visited quite a few art galleries (really nice ones too– and fell in love with Todd White’s work), then saw the old guy on the street yelling all sorts of stuff to passersby, his Bible quite saggy and his guitar leaning against a fire hydrant (last year I couldn’t figure out where he kept it, now I know). No huge purchases were made, it was a day for browsing… and on Front Street, the store system goes like so: jewelry shop, ABC store, jewelry shop, art gallery, jewelry shop, Whaler store, jewelry shop, clothes, clothes, jewelry, ABC, jewelry, art, jewelry . . . and so on and so forth. Even with all the repetition, it was a nice stop to tie up the islands with.
The entertainment has been pretty good so far– the dancers are amazing, and the performers that they bring on have been really well (singers, even the famous ventriloquist Willie, with Lester). Last night’s show was the crew talent show, which was kicked off in an interesting way….
Walking to a seat in the theatre can be a bit of a challenge because sometimes you’ll come across a person or two who have fallen alseep in their seats and won’t move to let you pass. Last night, however, the social staff threw balloons into the crowd, then passed around empty balloons for everyone to blow up– and soon the air was filled with colorful orbs flying every which way! (elderly-friendly fun) There was a guy who hogged all the balloons and then tied them together (not as much fun as watching 5 bazillion balloons float about independently of each other), and then there was the grinch with the sharp pencil that popped all the balloons that came near him. And that was better than the actual show πŸ˜›

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HELICOPTER RIDE!!

Today’s stop was at Nawiliwili, Kauai. The last time I was here, the visual that was most memorable was that of… what I think was a defunked cannery. As I stepped off the boat and onto the dock, I finally recognized my surroundings: a large parking lot with a few slots for trolleys, tour buses and shopping shuttles to file into to pick up passengers. The joke about this stop is that not only were there the shuttles to Hilo Hattie’s and Wal*Mart, but a bonus as well: K-Mart! (Imagine, coming over two thouand miles just to go to Wal*Mart, etc…. which isn’t to say that those shuttles are avoided; everyone takes the trips anyway. Who can resist)? Anyway, we already had our fill of shopping at Hilo and didn’t feel much like hitting the stores; we were interested in visiting the Fern Grotto, and upon asking a taxi driver we found that it would cost $21 just to get to someplace nearby the Grotto, and that it might not even be open– but if it was, it would maybe cost $15 to get in (and then another $21 to drive back). Didn’t sound like the best deal, so we headed back toward the ship.
Then we saw a new bus in one of the bus slots: Air Kauai.
Air? Like flying in say…. a heeeeellllliiicopptterrrr??!
Snatching up a brochure from the driver, we immediately called to make reservations. After a few calls to really make sure our voice was heard, they let us have a couple of slots!!!

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