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Come sail with me on a virtual cruise to Hawaii on Ruby Princess


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4 hours ago, winifred said:

Ellie I must have missed it in earlier posts, what time of year were you on this cruise? 

 

Hi Winifred. Nice to hear from you. How is it going in Scotland?

 

We sailed in April, 2019, on the 8th. 

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Hawaii, Land of Music and Flowers

Time for our tour...

 

Ahead of us is a large building which looks like a warehouse.

 

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In my imagination I have been picturing sun drenched beaches, tropical vegetation and beautiful Hawaiian ladies wearing traditional grass skirts and orchid leis, welcoming us with their undulating, swaying dances......

 

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Well, there are certainly some ladies dancing, but not quite what I expected!   😉  But it’s a nice touch to welcome us in this way.

 

We walk down the building looking for Ricky, and for a panicky moment we can’t see him. But right at the end of the building we see someone holding a card up and thankfully it’s Ricky! He greets us warmly and says he is waiting for a few more to join the tour, so we sit on some chairs and chat to some of the other people. It is still pouring with rain and we can hear it pattering on the roof.

 

With all of the tour assembled we follow Ricky out to his Ford Transit van, which is parked outside. We jump over puddles and hop into the van, grateful to get out of the rain. The group consists of 13 people plus Ricky, and we soon get on the way.

 

So are you ready, all you Cruising Adventurers? It's time to embark on another adventure. 

 

Edited by ellie1145
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‘The trees are a window into the history of Hilo.’

Jane Lasswell Hoff, anthropoligist.

 

We set off in the van with the rain pouring down, and our first destination is Banyan Drive.  Due to the weather it will just be a drive past. This is a tree-lined street, which borders the bay, and its claim to fame is that all the trees were planted by celebrities. Thankfully, these magnificent trees have survived several tsunamis.

 

I will apologise, in advance, for the poor quality of the photos, but the rain made it very difficult and there was some reflection on the glass of the van. Hope it won’t spoil your enjoyment.

 

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Banyan trees are really curious and quite unique, as they are actually a type of fig tree. They are not endemic to Hawaii but were transported there as a gift from Indian missionaries, in the 1800s. Like orchids, they begin life as an epiphyte, growing on another plant. They grow from seeds which land on a host tree, and germinate in a crack or crevice. Their roots eventually smother their host and grow branches that resemble new tree trunks.

 

They can tower some 80 ft into the air, but also grow vast sideways canopies. They drop dangling aerial roots from their branches, and these roots thicken and form a new trunk when they reach the ground.

 

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They bear a fruit which gives shelter and food to a type of tiny wasps that live inside them. Amazingly, the trees are pollinated by these tiny wasps.

 

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It was in 1933 that the idea was first mooted that celebrities would be invited to plant banyan tree saplings along the peninsular near Hilo International Airport.

 

In late 1933, the movie, ‘Four Frightened People,’ was being filmed on the island, and Cecil B. DeMille, his wife, and several actors planted trees, to celebrate themselves. Eight trees were planted, including one in honour of the famous baseball player, Babe Ruth.

 

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President Franklin Roosevelt arrived in Hilo in 1934. Because of his partial paralysis, planting a tree was always going to be a challenge, even more so as there was no road through them, so they hastily cleared the tangled undergrowth, and used crushed coral to make a roadway. He actually remained in his car and just threw soil onto the base of the tree.

 

Since then, numerous trees have been planted, including one in 1952 by Senator Richard Nixon, who later became president. His wife, Pat Nixon, returned in 1972 to plant two trees to replace his one, which was lost in a storm, as well as a new one to honour her as First Lady.

 

The trees were each labelled with the names of those who planted them, and these included religious leaders, famous authors, political and religious leaders, musicians like Louis Armstrong, adventurers such as the aviator, Amelia Earhart, and the Arctic Explorer, Lincoln Ellsworth, plus movie stars and local Hawaiians. The writer of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for the United Nations, Peng-Chun Chang, was also honoured in this way. A tree was even  planted in honour of our own King George V’s Silver Jubilee.

 

These majestic trees have flourished and now provide a shady canopy for those who walk along this route. Had it been a sunny day it would have been lovely to walk along this tree lined road to see who planted them.

 

Unfortunately, the trees are threatened by a gall wasp infestation which could wipe out all of these magnificent trees, and many of the wooden notices have rotted.

 

 

Edited by ellie1145
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The Lili’uokalani Gardens

 

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Our next stop is the beautiful Liliuokalani Gardens which are close by, on Banyan Drive.

 

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Ricky parks the van and offers us large umbrellas as we make our precarious way into the gardens, trying to avoid the huge puddles. It is still raining hard, but despite the rain we can see how beautiful the area is. How sad the sun is not shining.

 

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Despite the heavy rain the gardens are stunning, and we see that there are black pines, camellias and azaleas, which flourish in Japan.

 

We only have a short stop here but we brave the rain and walk along the paths a little way.

 

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Edited by ellie1145
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Queen Lili’uokalani and the Japanese Gardens

 

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These exquisite Japanese-styled gardens were built between 1917 and 1919, and the original 5 acre site was donated by the last reigning monarch of Hawaii, Queen Lili’uokalani, for a public park.

 

Queen Lili’uokalani is a fascinating woman, the last sovereign ruler before the islands were annexed by the United States in 1898. She was born in 1838 to a royal Hawaiian family, and on the death of King Kalakaua in 1891, she became the first female monarch. She was forced to abdicate in 1895, after a coup, and died from a stroke in 1917.

 

She spoke fluent English, having been educated by American missionaries, and loved music and poetry, producing over 160 songs. She devoted her life to establishing schools for Hawaiian children, and travelled to the Western world, representing her brother, the king, and accompanying his wife, to attend Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in England in 1887.

 

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Edited by ellie1145
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Hi Ellie Thanks for the lovely pictures and the reports.    We are in tier 4 at the moment and for forseeable future! This means only meeting up outside and in Scotland at this time of year that's not really a choice!  

I have been busy with a family emergency with my husband,  and then work but it will soon be  Christmas, and the best present a vaccine on the horizon! ( crosses fingers and toes)  I love coming on here and honestly reading your report is a much needed  wee tonic! I love being "on " this cruise.  Hope all well at your end of the country. 

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1 hour ago, winifred said:

Hi Ellie Thanks for the lovely pictures and the reports.    We are in tier 4 at the moment and for forseeable future! This means only meeting up outside and in Scotland at this time of year that's not really a choice!  

I have been busy with a family emergency with my husband,  and then work but it will soon be  Christmas, and the best present a vaccine on the horizon! ( crosses fingers and toes)  I love coming on here and honestly reading your report is a much needed  wee tonic! I love being "on " this cruise.  Hope all well at your end of the country. 

 

Thank you so much, Winifred, I’m glad you are enjoying this trip, and that it provides a bit of a tonic for you. Life is difficult at the moment and we all need some form of ‘safe’ escapism. 

 

We are in Tier 2, but we would rather that than allow this virus to spread like wildfire. I’m pleased to see that people are taking the wearing of masks seriously as well as social distancing. I just hope that Christmas is not going to cause a surge of infections. Better to have a low key Christmas this year than lose our loved ones. 

 

I hope you are able to sort out your family emergency, and enjoy some sort of a Christmas. 

 

Take care and keep safe. Here’s a virtual hug for you and all the Cruising Adventurers. I think hugging is one of the things I most miss...🤗

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The gardens now cover over 24 acres, and are said to be the largest Japanese gardens outside of Japan. Sadly, the Queen died in 1917, before she could see its completion. These gardens commemorate the Japanese immigrants who arrived in Hawaii from 1868, to work on the sugar plantations.

 

Today these gardens form a verdant oasis, with meandering paths, which lead to arched bridges over  tide pools, koi ponds and lava flows. 

 

We step gingerly over huge puddles, keeping to the waterlogged paths. What looks like a stream is actually the path!

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All around there are stone sculptures, stone lanterns, and pagodas and even a traditional Japanese tea house, which was built in 1972.

 

There is a small island called Moku ola, or Coconut Island, which is connected by a footbridge to the park.

 

There is evidence of lava flows.D6799238-22BB-4C16-BC3A-A1B6CC17CF8C.thumb.jpeg.7c47e9b176dab2c364f704044fcdb7eb.jpeg

 

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These roots have grown over some lava, creating extraordinary patterns.

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Edited by ellie1145
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On to Rainbow Falls

 

🎵 Raindrops keep falling on my head...🎵

 

Thoroughly damp we get gratefully back in the van. Thank goodness Ricky had umbrellas for us all.  ☂️

 

I hope your feet are not too wet! 😉

 

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He drives along the coast and past busy shopping streets, en route for our next stop, Rainbow Falls at the Wailuku River State Park.

 

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Ohh, such a pity about the weather! I've never had rain like this in Hawaii. Glad I wore waterproof shoes! 

 

By coincidence I visited the Cowra Japanese Gardens in country NSW only a couple of weeks ago. While much smaller - about 12 acres,  the weather was lovely. Thought you might like to see an "Australian" Japanese Garden. 

 

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1 hour ago, PurpleTraveller said:

Ohh, such a pity about the weather! I've never had rain like this in Hawaii. Glad I wore waterproof shoes! 

 

By coincidence I visited the Cowra Japanese Gardens in country NSW only a couple of weeks ago. While much smaller - about 12 acres,  the weather was lovely. Thought you might like to see an "Australian" Japanese Garden. 


Nothing could spoil our day, thank goodness. Even with the rain, the island was stunning and I hope to return one day to see it in the sunshine.

 

Thank you for the beautiful photos of the Japanese gardens in NSW. How wonderful to see the sunshine. 

 

Now I have something else to add to my ‘bucket list.’ 😉

 

Edited by ellie1145
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Well, dear Cruising Adventurers, I must wend my weary way to bed, but tomorrow we will continue our Hawaiian adventure and visit the Rainbow Waterfall, the Volcanoes National Park, a Macadamia Nut Factory, an Orchid producer, and a black beach.

 

I hope you have enjoyed our tour so far, despite the rain, and I look forward to sharing the next part of our adventure with you tomorrow. I promise the rain will lessen during the trip.

 

So goodnight, sleep tight, see you in the morning. 😴

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I absolutely love they way you captured the beauty of the Gardens.  One of my favorite places to meander on a sunny day.  Yes, it almost always rains in Hilo, but this day was exceptionally "moist".  It did clear up by late morning.  But everywhere had puddles.

 

Of all the cities in the State of Hawaii, Hilo is my destination of choice.  Someday, you will need to fly to Hawaii Island for a week to two.  So much to see and do on this lovely island.  Let me know when and I will set up your itinerary.

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Ellie, sorry to interrupt your wonderful review, hope you don't mind ... you may (or may not) have heard of the wonderful Gracie Allen.  May I offer a small clip of Gracie on a cruise ship to Honolulu - obviously in better weather that you experienced. 😉  She is featured with Eleanor Powell, arguably the greatest female tap dancer of her time.  But when they dance together, who can't you take your eyes off?

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IN3aETNaThI

 

Hope you enjoy.

Edited by LC1950
spelling!
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12 hours ago, cr8tiv1 said:

I absolutely love they way you captured the beauty of the Gardens.  One of my favorite places to meander on a sunny day.  Yes, it almost always rains in Hilo, but this day was exceptionally "moist".  It did clear up by late morning.  But everywhere had puddles.

 

Of all the cities in the State of Hawaii, Hilo is my destination of choice.  Someday, you will need to fly to Hawaii Island for a week to two.  So much to see and do on this lovely island.  Let me know when and I will set up your itinerary.

 

Thank you so much cr8tiv. They certainly were beautiful gardens, even through a mist of rain. I would love to see them one day in the sunshine. 

 

I would love to return to Hilo one day and I will certainly be taking you up on your offer to help us plan our itinerary. Thank you.

 

Now, as you may know, I often puzzle over people’s CC names, and I wonder if yours is to do with being creative? 🤔

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11 hours ago, cr8tiv1 said:

Welcome Home (to Hilo) Leialoha and Tiki Dave.  These wonderful Hawaiian Ambassadors (and entertainers) will be missed on our return sea days to San Pedro.  

 

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What a lovely photo of these two great entertainers. We certainly did miss them when they left and I think the ukulele class was not the same without him.

 

Is that, by any chance, you in the photo, too?

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4 hours ago, LC1950 said:

Ellie, sorry to interrupt your wonderful review, hope you don't mind ... you may (or may not) have heard of the wonderful Gracie Allen.  May I offer a small clip of Gracie on a cruise ship to Honolulu - obviously in better weather that you experienced. 😉  She is featured with Eleanor Powell, arguably the greatest female tap dancer of her time.  But when they dance together, who can't you take your eyes off?

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IN3aETNaThI

 

Hope you enjoy.

 

Wow! What a fantastic video of Gracie Allen. We woke up this morning and watched it, and then of course looked on Mr Google to find out more about these two. What an amazing tap dancer she was. Thank you for posting that. 

 

Then, we found a photo of her and her family onboard the Lurline in 1938, enroute to Hawaii, which became the Chandris ship, Ellinis, which I sailed on in 1968! 

 

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Edited by ellie1145
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16 hours ago, ellie1145 said:

Well, dear Cruising Adventurers, I must wend my weary way to bed, but tomorrow we will continue our Hawaiian adventure and visit the Rainbow Waterfall, the Volcanoes National Park, a Macadamia Nut Factory, an Orchid producer, and a black beach.

 

I hope you have enjoyed our tour so far, despite the rain, and I look forward to sharing the next part of our adventure with you tomorrow. I promise the rain will lessen during the trip.

 

So goodnight, sleep tight, see you in the morning. 😴

Thank you so much for the effort you have put into this adventure.  I was gone for a few days over Thanksgiving spending time with my children and their spouses, but finally caught up. 

 

I really love the Trivia questions.  FYI:  Guam is the largest consumer per capita of Spam in the world and Hawaii is the largest consumer per capita of all the states.  

 

Looking forward to the next part of this adventure!!!

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17 minutes ago, USCcruisecrazy said:

Thank you so much for the effort you have put into this adventure.  I was gone for a few days over Thanksgiving spending time with my children and their spouses, but finally caught up. 

 

I really love the Trivia questions.  FYI:  Guam is the largest consumer per capita of Spam in the world and Hawaii is the largest consumer per capita of all the states.  

 

Looking forward to the next part of this adventure!!!

 

Thank you so much for your kind comments. I’m glad to hear that you are still with us.

 

Glad you enjoy the trivia questions. I wasn’t sure if people really liked them or thought them and  unwanted distraction! 

 

An amazing fact about Spam, isn’t it?

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Despite the rain, we have really enjoyed our short sojourn at the beautiful Japanese Gardens.

 

Our next stop is the dramatic Rainbow Falls, so called because on sunny mornings rainbows can be seen in the mist thrown up by the waterfall. 

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The river is in full spate, so the waterfall is enormously powerful, thundering over the ledge and sending up huge clouds of spray into the air. It’s a magnificent sight, and it’s wonderful to be able to get so close to it. 

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Edited by ellie1145
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Located on the Wailuku river, the waterfall is a spectacular 80 ft high, and approximately 100 ft in diameter. Cascading over a lava cave, the water rushes into a pool below. The waterfall has cut out a steep gorge which is covered in lush tropical rainforest.

 

 

According to legend, the lava cave is home to the ancient Hawaiian goddess of the moon, Hina, the mother of Maui. He saved his mother from drowning when a giant lizard, Mo’o Kuna threw a huge boulder over the cliff to block the entrance to Hina’s cave. The rock caused water to rush into the cave and begin to fill up as Hina slept, but Maui used his club to split the giant rock in two, saving his mother.

 

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Ricky parks the van in the car park and we all get out. Surprisingly, there is no fee to visit this stunning natural feature.

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To our great relief, the rain has abated, and we walk over to the falls, where there is a viewing platform which looks directly at the waterfall.

 

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There is a superb view of the waterfall which, today, is in full flow, and roaring as it plunges over the rocks, throwing a mist of water droplets into the air.

 

The strength of the waterfall is dependent on the amount of rain which has fallen upstream. From time to time it is reduced to a trickle, but as there has been so much rain recently it is a spectacular sight.

 

Edited by ellie1145
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Ricky directs us to the left side of the falls, where there is a steep pathway leading up to another viewing platform. 

 

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It looks pretty wet and slippery but we haven't come all this way to miss seeing this spectacular sight (good job our kids can’t see us now).

 

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DH and I make our way slowly and carefully up the path, past lush vegetation, and banyan trees, until we reach the top where our efforts are rewarded with an amazing view of the falls, and the river below.

 

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Edited by ellie1145
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