Traveling Around the World

 

I have always loved to travel. In 2015 my husband and I took his dream trip driving through Ireland using a private driver, staying at boutique hotels. It was a wonderful experience but I wanted to travel more than he did. He was happy to go to Las Vegas every year but did not want to take long trips because of our 3 dogs. I took each of my three children on a special trip when they graduated from college and have taken four of my nine grandchildren on trips when they graduated from high school.

Lisa and I met in nursing school at Ohio State University in 1987. My husband passed away 2 years ago and Lisa just retired so we are embarking on a dream trip that will take 5 and 1/2 months to complete.

Lisa and I have been taking trips together exploring the world 2 or 3 weeks at a time. Most of these trips have been a combination of land and sea using cruise ships. We did take a back packing trip through Europe when I turned 60 traveling by train and staying in convents when we could.

I enjoy using any form of public transportation available to explore where local people live and shop, staying in bed and breakfast establishments tucked away in popular neighborhoods. In the last few years, I have been getting a hair cut during my travels which has been FUN (Azores Island, Iceland, Paris, Cuba, New York City, San Francisco and Las Vegas).

You will see Puddy in every city and special event along my journey. We are starting at my condo in Garden City Beach, SC enjoying our ocean view.

Kyrston and Jeramy (granddaughter and her husband) met Puddy in Charleston before the big trip. Kyrston is pregnant with my first great grandchild and I will get home July 11, 2019 just in time for the arrival! Jeramy is a manager for Halls Chophouse downtown Charleston. They have six unique dining rooms with live music. The food is excellent and if you get down that way, I highly recommend you try it out.

Next I drove to Rock Hill, SC to drop off my car at my daughter’s (Wendy)home.

I flew from Charlette to Columbus, Ohio to spend a couple days with my sister-in-law Jeannine and her husdand Chris. They gave Puddy and I a Bon Voyage Party.  Great fun seeing my step-daughter, Erin, Meghan and Ty.

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 My step-son Josh and his family where sick and could not make the party. 

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I met Lisa at the Columbus Airport and we then flew to Los Angeles non stop first class (a perk for this trip).

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Hawaii

Kauai is our first port and my second visit to this island.  Car rental works best to explore most of the island, visiting beautiful water falls, Waimea Canyon (Grand Canyon of the Pacific) and the Spouting Horn. In Hawaii, a rain shower is called a “blessing” and Kauai known as the “Garden Island”, has been blessed many times over with the rainforests, Fern Grotto (formed by lava rock) and botanical gardens.  Brightly colored chickens roam free. A helicopter ride will take you to areas that you cannot see by driving and it is well worth the money.

 

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Many popular movies have been filmed in Kauai: Donovan’s Reef, Blue Hawaii, The Decendants, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jurassic Park and Lilo and Stitch to name a few. Puddy had a great day visiting a coffee plantation, eating at a local food truck and driving to the top of Waimea Canyon.

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Honolulu, Oahu is our second port and my third visit to this city. In 2015 Lisa and I took a cruise to Hawaii from San Francisco. The engine caught fire just before we were to enter Hilo.  After 12 hours of no electricity, the ship slowly headed for Honolulu so we could be towed in with three tug boats.

A visit to Pearl Harbor and the Arizona Memorial is a very emotional experience but should not be missed. 

The Polynesian Cultural Center and the Mormon Temple is another popular visitor attraction and one of my favorites.  Each Polynesian Island is represented with history, music and dance.                    

My first visit to Honolulu in 1990 included body surfing at the famous North Shore and hiking to the top of Diamond Head Crater for a 360 degree panoramic view of Waikiki Beach, the emerald green mountains and the sparkling aquamarine water of the Pacific Ocean below. A much younger and adventurous me.

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We toured the Iolani Palace, the former residence of Hawaii’s last two monarchs. This  is the first palace in the world to have electricity and bathrooms and the only Royal Palace in the United States.

We enjoys visiting churches during our travels and St. Andrews Episcopal Diocese of Hawaii had beautiful stained glass.

Our third port is Hilo on the Big Island which is known as the volcano Island. We drove through Hawaii Volcanos National Park to the top of Kilauea Crater where we had lunch at The Rim Restaurant at the Volcano House. The views were spectacular.

 

I am ready to sail to French Polynesia.

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Sea Days

My first NCL cruise with my sisters in 1988

We won the passenger talent contest as “The Wonder Bread Sisters”. (Can any of you remember the Wonder Bread wrapper with balloons?) I guess dancing and popping balloons was popular that cruise. Lisa and I tried this same act a year later on our first Carnival cruise. We lost to two backpackers from Australia who where traveling around the world.

Puddy meets Titan.  The “real Titan” is the security german shepard dog at Mt Carmel East Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.  Mt Carmel made a stuffed replica because he was loved by patients and staff.  Lisa just retired from the hospital and will be writing about Titan’s adventures in their newsletter.

There are 330 out of 684 passengers going on this world cruise. The non world cruise passengers are not going completely around the world. The ages of the passengers seem to be mostly 50s to 60s years old.  I was surprised passengers were not older.  There is a family with 4 children that are being home schooled.

I jumped with joy when Lisa and I were able to unpack our suitcases finding a place for everything we brought for 161 days.  Below are pictures of our room which is 322 square feet and the ship.

We had a cabin crawl in which passengers are able to see rooms in most catagories.  This is helpful if you are interested in booking another cruise and you would like to get a different cabin.  You can also upgrade your current cabin if there is availabily.

We have an artists loft and passengers are able to learn painting techniques with our professional artist, Graham Dennison.  He worked for Disney for 20 years.  I look forward to taking lessons.  

There is live intertainment most evenings and many exercise classes during the day to counter all the food you might eat.  Other activities include, Bridge lessons, golf, trivia, table tennis, slot tournaments, line dancing, bingo and wine tasing.  Afternoon tea is at 4:00p everyday.

I do not have to cook, clean or do laundry for the next 5 and 1/2 months. I have a butler who will help me with anything I need.  I will not know how to make a cup of coffee when I get home.

 

 

Oceania Insignia ATW Cruise

Today is a bucket list come true.  This 180 day cruise will visit 5 continents, 36 countries, 35 islands, 91ports, 2 oceans and 16 seas.  There will be 14 overnight stays, 2 equator crossings and 46,925 nautical miles sailing east to west across 24 time zones.  Lisa and I are joining this cruise on day 19 in Los Angeles. We had previously cruised the first 19 day itinerary on previous trips. After spending two nights at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons in Beverly Hills we are leaving Los Angeles for Kauai.

From Kauai I travel to Oahu, Hilo, Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia, Samoa, Fiji and then onto New Zealand. More pictures and countries to come. My 161 day voyage required 5 Visas: China, India, Myanmar, Vietnam and Australia.

My children, Wendy, Eddie and Tracy have traveled with me through the years. This is our 2018 Las Vegas trip celebrating Wendy’s (left) 40th Birthday. Tracy (right) and I spent a week in Kauai for her college graduation trip.

After twenty five years of marriage and raising three daughters, Tracy and her husband left their professional jobs, sold their house and started traveling full time in their RV. She just published “Camper Chronicles Open Road” sharing their journey that changed their lives.

With over 30 trips to Disney since 1959, I have passed on my love of travel to my son, Eddie. His family’s 2018 annual trip to Disney. Tracy and her husband, Lee enjoy water falls while traveling through our National Parks.

We walked Rodeo Drive seeing a beautiful new yellow Rolls Royce, got a haircut for the trip and met 4 people who were from Ohio. Went to Hollywood Blvd. to the Chinese Theatre  and observed a star being imprinted with a new name.  There was an Oscar sitting on the star.

Puddy really enjoyed Los Angeles but it is time to board the ship.img_3604