The Spring in Spring Lake includes 20 degree weather. Not the plan. So that provided time to collect a whole bunch of photos from the recent trip to Maui, where it was considerably warmer. They are displayed below. You can go to the light box display and roll a slide show by clicking on one of the photos below. The slide show will start automatically with the slides changing every 5 seconds. The slideshow can be frozen, stopped and restarted by using the navigation icons over the light box.
We are back in Spring Lake after a 21 hour trip–but not before stopping at the Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge in Maui on the way to the airport. It actually bears a slight resemblance to the Edwin Forsythe Wildlife Refuge in South Jersey–except that it lacks the swarms of mosquitos that the Forsythe Refuge has.
It’s getting close to the end of our trip so we decided to book into one of the resort hotels on the West side of the island for a couple of days. Needless to say, the views were spectacular. Among other things, we were able to sit on our deck and watch the whales go by and an occasional porpoise. The sunsets (and moonsets) were stunning as well. Not only that, we could watch the boats and Kayakers float by. Finally, we got to watch the divers leap off Black Rock into the waters below. Not something I would try.
We’ll be back soon to enjoy the springtime snow in New Jersey. Photos below (of Hawaii).
A trip to Hawaii necessarily means an outing to a Luau. We went to one in Lahaina complete with a pig roasted on a fire, native deserts and a Mai Tai or two. The highlight is a show with native dancers performing traditional rituals and dances, including the hula. Here are a couple of photos from the show.
We all decided to go on a sunset cruise sponsored by the Pacific Whale Foundation, of which Mary Anne and I are now members. The PWF has guides on the boat who act as spotters and teach everyone about how the whales live and behave. Not to mention that they serve cocktails and appetizers during the cruise. Nature never looked so good.
And—while we were on the sunset cruise, we bumped into some friends from the 2016 Crystal Serenity world cruise. Hello Beth! Great so see you. Who knows where we will meet again. Anyway, the pictures below are from the Maui sunset cruise.
Maui is an explosion of primary colors. At first, it looks like one of those planets that Kirk, Spock and McCoy get beamed onto where the plant life constantly and rapidly regenerates—except that there are not any devious Kling-on traps waiting for us.
There are gardens pretty much everywhere. It turns out that plants that are annuals elsewhere don’t grow in Maui because there really aren’t any seasons. Everything just grows all the time. So perennials aren’t suited for Maui.
Bob and Barbara and Mary Anne and I visited the Lavender Gardens Saturday after visiting a farmers market in Makawao. On Sunday, Mary Anne and I headed off for Kula on the side on the mountain overlooking the central valley. Some photos from those explorations are below.
We went on a mildly terrifying drive up to the summit of Haleakala, a shield volcano that forms more than 75% of the island of Maui. The summit is about 10,000 feet high. The road leading to the summit winds around the side of the mountain, with no shortage of death-defying hairpin turns. (OK, maybe a slight exaggeration). Death defying or not, it is well worth the trip. Especially now that I have a Senior pass.
At the Summit is Red Hill. From there, at the crater’s edge, you can look down into the cone of the volcano, which is 2,600 feet deep. It is hard to describe the scale and beauty of it except to say that it is like looking through a crystal ball into the land that time forgot.
The photos that follow give a taste of what it looks like.
It’s been pretty busy. We caught a spectacular sunset Sunday evening—from our backyard. One of the U.S. observatories is only about 20 miles or so away on the top of the mountain, so that gives a hint of the vantage point we have about halfway up the mountain. We also did some whale watching, and spotted quite a few on their trek back to Alaska. The guides on the boat dropped a special mike into the ocean that allowed us to hear the whales singing while they swam. It was simply amazing to hear it. I recorded some of it on my iPhone and I’m trying to figure out how to post the sound track.
Anyway, we have some photos posted of sunsets, whales and the shoreline as seen from the whaleboats.
We finally landed in Maui yesterday after 11 hours in the air. And we were greeted this morning (around 5:30) with an earthquake on Honolulu. The tremors were strong enough to wake us up. The quake measured around 4.5 on the Richter scale, but was not big enough to stir up a tsunami. Anyway, the physical beauty of the island Maui is breathtaking. Here, below, are some early photos.
Just back from a quick trip to New York, where we went to see the show “Beautiful” about Carole King. Just tremendous.
The Christmas Tree is lit up; getting around 5th Avenue is a nightmare now that Trump tower is serving as the White House North. Speaking of Trump, we had lunch with friends from the Serenity Crystal cruise at the Jean-George Nougatine Restaurant at 1 Central Park West. Just spectacular.