Friday, October 30, 2015

A Trip to the Chihuly Museum in Seattle -- Part 1

One of my Bridge buddies on the ship suggested that we visit the Chihuly Glass Workshop in Tampa.  My son in law suggested that we visit the Chihuly Museum and Gardens in downtown Seattle instead as it was easier to get to.  I love Chihuly glass and welcomed the chance.  I will just post pictures from the inside of the museum in this post and the gardens tomorrow.  I think I took pictures of every piece in the museum -- they encouraged picture taking and even flash photography although I didn't use flash at all as the lighting was wonderful.  All these pictures were taken with my little Canon point and shoot!

Part of the seascape exhibit.

 These were all views of this room containing the sea objects.  It filled the whole room.  The last picture in the series was taken from the furthest back,

View from the end of the exhibit.  

 These next few were all chandeliers.

You can see the shadow of a person above to give you some perspective on the sizes.

 These two boats were filled with glass works!

I loved all the balls!  And the reflections!  These two boats filled a room!

There was a room filled with nothing but these bowls in all different colors.  Chihuly wanted to use every color available to him.  It was called the Macchia Forest.

I loved that the insides of the bowls in many cases were different from the outside.

Another of the bowls.

A ceiling between the rooms.
 A closeup of the ceiling.

Another closeup.

This was the ceiling heading outside to the gardens.  Suzanne rightfully wondered what would happen when there was a serious earthquake...

Thursday, October 29, 2015

 This is my youngest daughter Suzanne with her new haircut which I loved!!  She and her husband moved from DC to Seattle about eight years ago now.

This is my granddaughter Amelia playing dressup.  She tried on many outfits and wanted pictures of each one.  Here she is with her stuffed kitty.  Her daddy brought home another one later that day so she had two kitties!

She has on her tiger mask here in preparation for Halloween.  She is wearing one of the dresses I bought for her in Hawaii!

She was a chef in this picture and had to have all the accessories.

This is Roxy and she isn't happy unless all her people are gathered around her.  Her "parents" describe her as their second quite demanding child!!

They also have a kitty named Abby but she was quite camera shy!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Oahu and Kauai

The city of Honolulu is on the island of Oahu and this was the first stop on our bus tour -- downtown Honolulu and the King Kamehameha Palace.

This is the statue of the king that sits in front of the palace.  He was a very big man.

I was very interested in visiting Honolulu as my father had a post-doc sabbatical there on a Cook fellowship from Yale and worked at the Bishop Museum in the mid 30's.  One of his best known monographs was on the snails of this region.

As children, we had occasional visits from a colleague (Dr. Yoshi Kondo) whom he had met while there.  His wife, Kay, always demonstrated the hula at the shell meetings we used to attend.  Their son ended up going to college in the Philadelphia area (where I am originally from), I suspect that is why they stayed with us.
The next stop was a visit to the Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor.  This memorial sits on top of the sunken ship and is very moving.  The short movie that is shown prior to taking the boat out to the memorial gave me a lot more of the context.  We never quite got to WWII in American History when I was in school.  My parents were married two weeks after Pearl Harbor and my father was afraid that he would be drafted again as he had served in WWI and was in the Reserves until the mid 30s.  

There is still an oil slick at the ship's site.

This is a bird's eye view of Honolulu from the Pali outlook.

These beautiful flowering trees were all over Honolulu and our guide said they were an import from the Far East.  They were in beautiful pinks and whites along the streets.  All of the state of Hawaii had beautiful flowers with tons of Birds of Paradise -- one of my very favorites.

A view from the Pali outlook with the city of Honolulu and the ocean in the distance.

We stopped along the way to gaze out at the windward side of Oahu and the rough surf.  At the Pali outlook, the winds had to be 40 mph -- I could barely hold the camera still.

Just another view of the surf,

Still another view.

There were a lot of these Zebra Doves wandering around at Pearl Harbor.  Also there were a lot of white pigeons.

Had to put in a picture of my favorite Bird of Paradise flowers.

The next day we headed to Kauai and the Fern Grotto which used to be the site of many weddings but is now closed to that,

Just another view of the grotto.  We took a river trip to get here (the name of the river escapes me now).  I am afraid I developed a distinct aversion to off key Hawaiian music during this tour!!!

Ginger flowers (not the kind that produces the spice) were everywhere in all different colors.  I especially liked the pink ones,

We also visited Opaakai Falls.  I had a terrible time with the spelling and pronunciation of the Hawaiian names!!  Hopefully there aren't too many spelling errors!

After visiting the four islands, we headed for our return trip to Vancouver BC.  By this time, a large number of people (myself included) had developed a nasty cold which left me with little appetite and a nasty cough.  This was probably a good thing as I managed to lose weight on the cruise and I am sure if I had continued eating like I did the first week, I would have gained ten pounds!!  At least I didn't get the dreaded norovirus athough it was on the ship.  We were not allowed to even touch salt and pepper shakers.  Our silverware and plates were handed to us and food was scooped for us at the buffet lines.  They continuously were scrubbing down everything,  Overall, it was great fun and I got to get a small sample of Hawaii and where I would spend more time (Kauai which is the oldest and I thought the prettiest off the islands).  I really enjoyed the lazy days on the ship reading and playing Bridge with Mary Ellen, Marj and Vicki!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Islands of Hawaii and Maui

 The first island we went to was Hawaii which is home to still active volcanoes -- Mauna Loa and Kilauea.  This was the view looking over one of the active parts of Kilauea although we couldn't see the lava from the land.  Those who took the helicopter ride could.  The landscape was very rugged lava rock.  When approaching Volcanoes National Park, we could see steaming fields and there was steam coming out of the volcano at the top  There were fields covered with orchids growing wild -- it is the biggest of the Hawaiian Islands and  the most recently formed.  Its nickname is the Orchid Island.  We stopped at a Macadamia nut factory on the way up -- and who knew how much I liked this nut!!  I bought a couple of bags of dark chocolate covered nuts to bring home!!
Here you can see the steam from the lava coming up.

This red flower is one of the first that comes up in this volcanic area.  It is called  'Ohi'a lehua.               .

This was the volcanic rock which covered the area where we stopped.  I loved the contrast with the bright colored ferns that were growing.  

This was the steam coming out of a field on our way through the park.  It is a very active island from a volcanic standpoint and probably won't be the most southern most island in a few millenia according to our geologist!  
Our second day was an excursion on Maui to Haliakala -- another volcanic area.  The scenery on Maui looked very different to me than that on Hawaii.  Many more rolling hills and beautiful beaches.  These pictures were taken from the bus window.  It was a curvy ride as well reminiscent of New Zealand.

 Another view from the bus.  
 These were flowers on a cactus plant on Hawaii.  They were huge flowers.

These were Maui Alauahio (I believe) , which I saw on Maui at my lunch stop.
 Unfortunately, Haleakala was totally fogged in at the top, 50 degrees and 30 mph winds with rain and fog.  However, it was just fine down at lower elevations.  We stopped for lunch and sitting out in the parking lot, I spotted several birds.  The above bird is a Spotted Dove and I saw many of these in what the bus driver told me was an Umbrella tree on Maui,  The birds evidently loved these berries.

This was the other dove that I saw frequently on several of the islands.  It is a Zebra Dove.  They were as common as pigeons,  The pigeons I saw were frequently almost all white but definitely pigeons!!

This is a somewhat blurry picture taken from a great distance at Kilauea of a White Tailed Tropicbird with its graceful long tail.  They can be found near cliffs and there were a few of them I spotted by the volcano.  

This is one of the wild orchids that you could see fields of on Hawaii,

This is a Mynah bird which we saw in Fiji as well.  Very noisy bird!!

This was the view at Haleakala.  At least I didn't destroy a camera here!!  It is supposed to be a beautiful view but elusive!