Saturday, April 30, 2011

14 Day Hawaii Cruise on the Golden Princess, Hilo, Hawaii, Honolulu, Oahu, Li hue, Kauai, and Lahaina, Maui

I know we just got back from another cruise, but my parents were going on this one to Hawaii and we knew that if we didn't go we would regret it but that if we did go we never would. I am so glad we did. My Dad's older brother Marshall and his wife Phyllis also decided to go. It was so great to spend time with them. I made a little journal and wrote down all the fun stories they talked about from their youth. I couldn't write them all down, but I did the best I could.

The boat left from Los Angeles and then we spent four days on the ocean before putting in at Hilo. Then four days--one for each Island--and then four days back on the boat. The last day was spent in Ensenada before docking back in LA. I thought maybe we would get tired of the boat but we never did. It was very relaxing.

My personal opinion on this cruise is that it's not for first time Hawaii travelers. I felt like we just didn't get enough time on each island to really see it. Since it was my 10th time to Hawaii though, it didn't matter to me and the others had also been multiple times. This is a trip for cruisers--people who love just being on the boat. And we did.

Leaving the Los Angeles Port

There were lots of Sea Lions around the docks

It's kind of hard to get a good picture of a small room so I opted for the reflection

They had different ethnic foods every afternoon at the buffet

The journal I made on the boat and almost filled up. Some interesting tidbits I wrote down are:
-Uncle Marshall would talk Dad into doing the chores and he would go make the donuts. They both agreed that Uncle Marshall got the raw end of the deal.
-Toab was an old Indian that worked for John Henry at the Saw Mill in Mt. Trumbull, AZ. He both respected and was afraid of him (probably for his marksman skills). Anyway it turns out he was the one who killed the two men on the John Wesley Powell expedition.
-Aunt Phyllis insulated her own house!
-Emerald would tease Marshall in front of other girls such as the time he said to LaRae Whitney that she should marry Marshall so that he could use her dad's dairy barn. Marshall got him back by telling Grandma when the ladies were hitting on Grandpa. He was quite a handsome man. Eventually they came to an understanding since Grandma had such a fit every time.

Dinner was a delight. We met some good friends and got to know them quite well from Rhode Island- Art and Jean Desaufell

We found a nice, quiet place at the back, and top of the boat to visit. It was called the Skywalkwer Lounge and it was mostly used for night parties so there was nobody there during the day. It had this escalator walkway going to it

We all had balconies which was really nice and they were well used

Mom tried out some escargot and loved it

David tried some frog legs and wasn't too impressed

I loved the Pina Colada's

Marshall and Phyllis Stout

The back of the boat was a nice place to hang out

We enjoyed some nice sunsets

Dad and Mom trying out the exercise room

David worked out everyday and felt great the whole trip

I ran two miles the first day and that was enough for me!

Gazing at the moon

Hilo, Hawaii

Sailing into Hilo

It was a tight fit and the tug boat had to keep us off the shallow part that you can see where the water changes color

The first thing we did was rent a mini van and visit the Volcano National Park. We walked through the Thurston Lava Tube which was so cool!

It was hard to get good pictures because it was so dark, but this is about how it looked

Of course my feet in a lava tube was a must have picture even though it was tough to get a decent picture

David playing Tarzan again in the rain forest

Volcano National Park was so awesome. It was my second favorite thing of the whole trip after the flight I took over Kauai. This is the Kilauea iki crater.

Marshall, David and Dad

Walking to the main lookout over Kilauea - the big volcano spewing steam and other stuff but all we could see was the steam. Dad had really shaky legs the first few days but then went off this new blood pressure medication he was on and was fine for the rest of the trip.


It was fun to travel with two close brothers and two Phyllis Stouts!

Kilauea and Steam vents. They were all around

The next thing we did was take a four mile scenic drive just north of Hilo. It was beautiful

There were beautiful ocean views

Then we just had enough time to see Rainbow Falls before we had to go back to the boat with a stop at Walmart first. There were shuttles running back and forth from the boat to Walmart all day long. Go figure

Dad decided to try some of the water

Aunt Phyllis looking beautiful as always

This was a strange looking plant near the falls, but the little green gecko on top was awesome 

We hiked a little trail that led to the top of the falls. There were kids swimming up there

We saw some huge Banyan trees

Getting a picture with the Banyan tree roots was a little easier

If you are going to Hawaii, you gotta see King Kamehameha

Honolulu, Oahu

Early morning pulling into the port at Honolulu

We drove around Waikiki but couldn't find a parking space at 9:30 am and I got disgusted at how packed the beach was that early in the morning and so we didn't stop to take any pictures like I had wanted too. So our first stop was the Punch Bowl Cemetery. This is a must see on Oahu. It has the most beautiful views of Honolulu and there was no one there. We had the place to ourselves- probably because it was early. It was a peaceful and solemn place. I always get teary in places like this. I have great respect for those who have died for the freedom that I and my family enjoy.

A bird of paradise flower

I am assuming that the flag is at half mast for the suffering people of Japan right now

We drove north and stopped at the Dole pineapple plantation for some of their fantastic pineapple ice cream

Dad was in 7th heaven!

We saw pineapple fields

It was a nice drive

To save money, since there were 6 of us, we just rented minivans on each island and spent on average $150 per day. That saved us a lot of money on excursions

We stopped at Turtle Beach as it's called but there are no signs for that. It's name is Laniakea Beach (GPS: 21 37 08.55 N 158 05 07.08 W cut and paste into Google Earth or Maps to find). There are lots of turtles in the water and four or five on the beach.

We took a walk on Sunset beach to check out the big waves

David's parents are serving a mission at the Polynesian Cultural Center for the second time. They will be there a year and a half paying their own way. So we called David's mom Bonnie and she said we should drive through Haleiwa which is a very picturesque town and then stop for lunch at Ted's Bakery just before getting into Laie. She suggested the Mahi Mahi sandwich which we had and it was fantastic. It's a popular local hang out, and certainly not a tourist trap by the looks of the outside. If you blink you would miss it. But everything they had there was fantastic. We had the best fried garlic shrimp I think I have ever had!

We sat down by a guy with a U of U shirt on and had a great discussion. He works for the church and was in town to meet with the President of BYU Hawaii. What a small world

Then we met Bonnie at their apartment and got a tour of it. Of course it had all of Bonnie's great little decorating touches that gave it a nice, comfy, homey feel. It was very nice.

This is her view out the kitchen window that she loves so much

Then she took us to the PCC with a quick stop at the Temple

Since they work there, Bonnie got us a great deal into the PCC. I think we paid about half the normal price

We saw a few shows. I loved Samoa and the Haka from New Zealand

This building in the Samoan village they are planning to either move or tear down. The roof was amazing

This is quite a famous tree in Hawaii. It grows from one side of the canal to the other and back. It has even been in a few movies such as "Blue Hawaii" with Elvis Presley

David's Dad joined us at the PCC

And we got to see where they spend their time. Bonnie has done a lot of work here at the Settlement House. She has even developed some of the patterns for the quilts. Some of her handiwork can still be seen from when she spent time here 4 years ago

My beautiful Aunt Phyllis

My beautiful Mom Phyllis

The Luau was a must and fantastic

They had dancers while we ate

We got to eat Taro rolls and poi sauce 

Saying goodbye was hard . . .

. . . since we won't see them for another year and a half (unless I can talk David into taking the whole family next year when Rick gets home from his mission)

We couldn't stay for the evening show (which I hear has changed and is fantastic) because we had to get the rental car back, but we where treated to a beautiful sunset on the way back to the port! It was a lovely day

And a lovely evening in Honolulu

Li hue, Kauai

Coming into the port at Li hue. We stayed on this beach years ago with Dana and Paul

It was a beautiful morning

We rented a van and drove to Waimea Canyon

It was beautiful but we didn't have time to go all the way to the last lookout because we wanted to see some of the north part of the island. Hanalei for example. With hind sight we should have just gone north because we could have gotten through the traffic early. As it was we only got to Kapaa and we had to turn around. But this was partly because it was my birthday and David bought me and my dad a plane ride and we had to be at the airport at 2 pm

I snapped a shot of the tunnel of trees on the way back from Waimea

We went to a scenic lookout just past Kapaa and then turned around and went back to Wailua to do a little shopping. It was a good thing we did because we heard the traffic was going to get horrendous when the schools got out. As it was we just missed that

I loved Wailua! There were some fun places to take photos

Since all the helicopter rides were booked, we got a reservation for an airplane ride. It was awesome! It was half the cost of the helicopter rides and I can't imagine that they were that much better. It was a comfortable and smooth ride. I was able to get great pictures. It lasted about 1 hour and 15 minutes. I highly recommend it! is the link. We booked at the last minute. The plane had seats for 6 passengers and they were nice and accommodating. 

Dad got the front seat!

Bruce Coulombe was our Pilot. He and his wife Ellen own the business. He was fantastic!

Li hue

A much better view of the bay we sailed into

The pilot said they have recently been filming "Pirates of the Caribbean 4" here

Waimea Canyon

There were so many waterfalls! There were long, skinny, wide, short, windy, double and every other kind of waterfall you can think of. I guess that would be so since this is the wettest place on earth

This is the road we took to Waimea Canyon earlier in the day

The Na Pali Coast

It was so amazingly beautiful!

Hanalei Bay


The wettest place on earth and it is always covered in clouds

Then we cut back across the island toward Li hue

Wailua Falls

There were some cute little girls on our airplane ride. They liked looking at the little ants

Coming back into Li hue

It was the best birthday ever! Thanks Honey

Lahaina, Maui

The first thing we did on Maui was drive to the Maui Tropical Plantation. We took a little tram tour and saw all kinds of interesting plants

They had a cool fish pond and we fed the fish and the ducks

We saw sugar cane plants and these are taro plants

They grow flowers and they have ziplines.


This was a Mango tree. We also saw guava and macadamia nut trees. They have everything exotic that you can think of

This was a rare Blue Jade Vine plant

Next we drove to the Tao Needle. This is where King Kamehameha defeated the Maui warriors to finally unite all the Islands

I tried taking a picture of my feet on a horizontal palm tree. It didn't really work. Doesn't my mom look great for having 16 children?

My shadow picture for the day

There are wild chickens all over the Hawaiian Islands. We saw tons of them. This hen had at least 10 baby chicks

The last thing we did on Maui was to drive up Haleakala Crater. We didn't go all the way up since it's covered in clouds but we did find this little farmer's produce stand with some great views.

You can see both north and south beaches from this view

Looking toward the north beaches

We bought some fresh-off-the-tree bananas that were oh so delicious!

David and I went to the beach after everyone else went back to the boat. We only had an hour and the beach wasn't that great in Lahaina, but it certainly was better than nothing


Supposedly the oldest Banyan tree on Hawaii

Leaving Maui

Back on the Boat

There is a story behind this picture. While we were off on Oahu, a pipe broke on the ship and flooded some of the rooms in our area. I think about ten rooms were affected and the outside hallway. Only the entry into our room was wet when we got back and they had a blower on it. The next day while we were on Kauai, they changed the entire carpet. They said it would take 45 minutes. We came back to brand new carpet. It was nice and luxurious. I was surprised that they were so efficient about it

This picture also has a story. On the first night, Dad spilled his water. Then the next night Art spilled his water and we joked that it was someone else's turn next. By the last day everyone had spilled their water. Uncle Marshall was the last and it went right into the rolls. We thought that was pretty funny

I borrowed mom's dress again. That's a twist isn't it?

We spent a lot of time visiting at the buffet

Then we would move to the tables by the pools and have ice cream 

No Easter egg hunts for us!

One day the water was amazingly smooth

We made good use of our deck

One day we realized we were all matching our spouses and so I pulled out my flash and we went to the back of the boat where I had seen them taking wedding pictures

I thought they turned out quite well

Sometimes we ended up in the Skywalker lounge that nobody really knew about so it was nice and quiet with  a great view

On our last formal night David got Dad and Uncle Marshall to wear bow ties. It was awesome!

We had lobster

We saw lots of shows on the boat

And we watched "The Tourist" outside under the stars. David took this picture with his phone. It was too funny to pass up


Pulling into the Port of Ensenada, Mexico

Dad and Mom, Uncle Marshall and Aunt Phyllis decided to stay on the boat, but they never missed the view of pulling in

This is not my reflection picture of the day but you can see my camera in the window of the bus

A huge Mexican flag looms over the city

We took a tour and the first stop was a winery. It was very interesting

We did not sample the wines but we did enjoy the bread, olive oil and cheese

Our next stop was the convention center of Ensenada. It used to be a grand hotel on the beach but they have built the city out in front of it. There were some cool designs I saw inside

Real Mexican tile

There were lots of wares for sale everywhere 

We spent an hour in the shopping district. I spent all the cash I had brought with me which was about $70. We didn't come back with much to show for it but that was my intention

We stopped at a supermarket to pick mom up some vanilla. A big bottle was about $3

We bought some Chicklets from this boy. I remember these from my mission 25 years ago

This is my reflection picture

A typical street in Ensenada

I bought something from this lady. I can't remember what but she let me take her picture

My shadow picture

Bright colors

And cute kids. That's what I remember about Ensenada

There were plenty of sea lions saving their energy just below the ship

Pulling away from the Ensenada Harbor that night. Next stop- Los Angeles. It was a wonderful trip!


  1. Best picture of David ever in the Rainforest! The scenic pics could easily be a screensaver, those were sharp. :)

  2. This is a work in progress ... It will take me awhile to process everything and fix everything! I'll probably be adding to it for weeks.

    Thanks Russ! You're sweet.

  3. I am glad you were there to document their trip Angelyn!!! Such beautiful pics can't wait to see more :)

  4. This is great! Sheldon and I enjoyed reading about and seeing pictures of the trip! we will be talking to you before we ever go to Hawaii, that's for sure!

  5. The boat left from Los Angeles and then we spent four days on the ocean before putting in at Hilo. Then four days--one for each Island--and then four days back on the boat. The last day was spent in Ensenada before docking back in LA. I thought maybe we would get tired of the boat but we never did. It was very car service maui

  6. The final look of this is really cool and unique!

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