Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Honolulu 2

We boarded the ship on Thursday and spent most of the afternoon unpacking and finding our way around. There was a delay getting on because the gangway had jammed and couldn't be used. We had front row seats to the drama. Lots of crew hanging around but nobody doing anything, then this beaten up VW Kombie van pulls up and a man gets out. We think here is the mechanic. He walks onto the gangway, opens a panel, presses a button and the gangway levels out. Apparently he was the only guy allowed to press the button! He got a loud cheers from everyone waiting.

Friday we went to visit the Hawaiian Quilt Guild's Exhibition. It was quite small, but well worth seeing. It was across the road from the Honolulu Museum of Art so we thought that would be worth a visit. We were very pleasantly surprised. It is not very big but had a great collection of Japanese, Chinese and Islamic Art as well as a small but impressive collection of European art. We saw a Monet and Van Gogh.


As the ship was sailing out of Honolulu we tried to recreate the photo we took 4 years ago.





Saturday, May 7, 2016

Honolulu

We are sailing away from Honolulu at the moment. We had a lovely few days there. It started well with the flight from Sydney. It wasn't full so we were able to move around a bit. Then our lovely hotel had a room ready for us at 8.00am so we were able to get a few hours sleep. We went for a bit of a walk, had an early tea, then got a good nights sleep.

It was going to be a hot day so we thought we would do a bit of walking in the morning before it got too hot. We walked down to Kahanamoku Beach not far from our hotel, then made our way up the beach towards Waikiki.


Looking towards Diamond Head and Waikiki Beach.

We had heard that the Waikiki Aquarium was small but worth a visit so we headed there next. It had some very interesting displays and we spent a pleasant hour or so. They are involved in a lot of reef conservation work, including recovery from a massive molasses spill a couple of years ago. We hear about oil spills quite regularly, but the molasses spill had devastating effects.

Giant Clam.

We walked back through Waikiki, looking for where we had stayed last time. We almost missed it because of the amount of redevelopment going on around it. Almost every block seems to have a new building going up on it. We decide not to go back into Waikiki in the evening as we had found a good place to eat near our hotel. It was good to do a lot of walking again.


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Puppies

We'll miss these little ladies when we travel.


Test

2016 coming soon

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Grand Canyon

Woops. The last blog was accidently published before we had finished it. We have found it helps to get the photos in place, then write about them. Someone (who will remain nameless) hit the publish button.

After hearing about the 6 hours bus trip each way we decided the best way to go to the Grand Canyon was to fly there. How right we were. We have heard a lot of people using the word “awesome” on this trip, but the Grand Canyon truly is and the flight over it gave us a fantastic opportunity to get some idea of its size and grandeur. The part that can be seen from the South Rim is just a fraction of the whole.

We flew over the Hoover Dam on the way. Lake Mead, behind the dam, extends for over a hundred miles. We managed to get a shot of the Skywalk as we flew over the West Rim.

Our tour guide at the canyon gave us an interesting photography lesson. He explained how to take photos using edges to give some idea of the perspective and depth of what we were photographing.

It was a fantastic way to spend Peter’s birthday. One he will remember for a long time.

The Grand Canyon

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Las Vegas

We had the morning in Visalia before our flight. Claire had spotted a store called Beverly’s Fabrics and wanted to investigate. She hit the jackpot, fabric she wanted and the prices were so cheap in comparison to Australia. We now have a weight problem with our luggage for the trip back home even though we brought some carry-on luggage as well.

The only airline operating out of Visalia was Great Lakes Airlines. Of all the people we encountered in our travels nobody had heard of them, which was a little worrying (though Claire reckoned they would have heard of them if they had crashed). The plane was a very small old twin engine propeller job. That’s the pilots instrument panel you can see at the end of the corridor.Las Vegas Peter 13-6-12 015

The flight over the mountains to Las Vegas was not smooth but interesting. Claire’s colour at the end of the flight did contain a hint of green. On the eastern side of the mountains we encountered a barren desert landscape but every now and then these strange circles of some crop. Somehow they had found water to irrigate these circles of something.

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We landed in Vegas, made our way to the hotel and went in search of the Grand Canyon tour we wanted to do. I turned out if we wanted to do the tour the next day we would have to get moving at 4.00am. So we booked for a reasonable time the following day, giving us the rest of the evening and one full day to explore Vegas.

What a town, full of all sorts of people, some weird and the super weird. Enormous casinos themed in all sorts of ways. The first night we didn’t stray too far but made up for it by staying out all of the next day. It was incredibly hot so that we found ourselves exploring a number of casinos from the inside working our way along the strip only ducking out into the sun for short periods. The following pictures are a small selection of what we found.

Inside the Venetian.

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The Palazzo.

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Inside Caesars Palace.

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The Fountains at the Bellagio.

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Excalibur

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We did gamble, well Peter mainly. He won a little on the first night and then while we were visiting some of the venues the next day tried his luck on a few of the craps tables for $20-40  each. On one occasion turning $20 into $300. Over the next few days giving it back slowly. We ended up under a hundred dollars down for the full visit. Not bad.

Certainly an interesting place, but not one we feel the need to visit again.