Friday, February 29, 2008

Oahu, Hawaii 2006

This was an off-the-cuff trip made when I ran into a 5 night hotel plus airfare deal that is too good to ignore. Tourism was down because of the wet weather the islanders were having so they offered a lot of freebees to encourage visitors to come. The weather was not that bad. There was enough sunshine between light drizzle to heavy downpour to make the unplanned vacation an enjoyable one. In fact, I liked it so much because it reminded me of the Philippines during its rainy season.

Dole Pineapple Plantation

Polynesian Cultural Center

Polynesian Cultural Center

"Letchon" Hawaiian style

Scenic view taken from inside our tour bus

Waimea Falls

Roadside view taken from a rest stop

Hanauma Bay

An early morning view of Waikiki Beach
Flooded street after a brief but intense downpour
A couple of young tourists talking to an old man down on his luck

Friday, February 22, 2008

New England-Canada cruise, October 2005

We took this cruise because we were expecting to see the colorful leaves during fall for which New England is famous for. However, our timing was off - it was a bit early so we did not see much of what we wanted to see. No big loss though, we already experienced fall in this area when we made a one week road trip three years earlier covering the whole New England, including Quebec in Canada.

We decided to fly to New Year a couple of days earlier before starting our cruise and stayed another two days after the cruise. These gave us time to revisit old haunts and visit friends based in New York and New Jersey.

When we were at the Bay of Fundy, I was hoping we could see the tidal bore in action, again our timing was off! I've got to return to this place and watch this natural phenomenon! I think there are only two places on earth where this occur and I want to see it. My friends asked me what's the big deal about it. Frankly, I do not know. I just want to see it in my lifetime.

New York City in early morning light. Wherever I am and whenever I can do it, I love to take loooong morning walks. In case of seedy and dangerous neighborhoods, I gamble on the belief that the muggers and other criminal elements are still asleep. They ply their trades at night, don't they? My wife doesn't think so LOL.

Here I am taking a pic of our stateroom with my compact Canon S500 camera. I've since replaced it with a Canon SD800IS. I have thought of upgrading to an SLR many times but I am always deterred by its size and complexity. I am a shoot-from-the-hip picture taker and I am quite happy with what I capture - "mababaw kasi ang kaligayahan ko" photographically speaking.
An early morning shot from the top deck of Golden Princess

Promenade deck at night. There is a jogging and walking course at the top deck of most cruise ships but I prefer to do my walks on the promenade deck. On larger cruise ships, three complete circuits on its promenade deck is equal to one mile. You have to exercise a bit of caution when you are approaching the bow when the wind is blowing hard and the sea is rough - you can get wet and/or forced by the wind to hang on to the guardrails as you walk.

A lobster dinner entree. I forgot to take a pic before attacking it LOL. Note the beer on the upper part of the frame - I am a blue collar alcoholic drinker, I prefer beer and whiskey to wine and champaigne .

Another night's offering - a medium-well steak drenched with gravy

I can't remember what this was but it looked good. Note the almost empty beer glass LOL.

Our cruise ship at Bar Harbor, Maine

This was as close as we got to a colorful fall foliage LOL.

A lone sentinel watching for approaching enemy ships

A public market at St. John, New Brunswick

A night shot at Jersey City near the hotel where we spent a couple of nights after our cruise.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Alaska cruise, July 2002

Rainy Ketchikan - it has one of the highest precipitation in the US of A. They called rain liquid sunshine for a good reason LOL.

Juneau tramway


A train ride to nowhere. They take you there and back and charge you an arm and a leg for the ride LOL.

It's amazing how modern cruise ships can get close to land and make tight turns.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Fanning Island, Republic of Kiribati 2002

Happy Valentine's Day to Everyone!!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Mediterranean cruise, June 2003

A cruise along the Mediterranean Sea is one of the better cruises on the market because of the many exciting ports of call and the many famous cities and places within easy reach of the ports.

Before we left for Barcelona (our embarkation port) we were introduced via email to a Pinoy, based in Italy, who started a business of taking cruisers to their destinations of interest for less than half the price of the ship's land tours! He has a 12 passenger van and he took us where we wanted to go for the day. He picked us up as we disembark in the morning and return us to the ship before the ship sails away. We used his service at Civitavecchia (Rome), Villafranche (Monaco, Monte Carlo and Nice) and Naples. He does not advertise but he generates business through referrals. Last I heard his business has expanded and he now has several vans and they do not only take passengers from cruise ships but they now take tourists on land tours in Europe. Good for him and his business!

A victim of Mt. Vesuvious' eruption

A hillside view of Florence

The Leaning Tower of Pisa, one of the most famous engineering failures LOL

Stromboli Island

"Inihaw na mais" Maltese-style

Note the houses on top of what is a caldera

I forgot if this was taken in Santorini or Mykonos, two of the four Greek Islands we visited (senior moment LOL)

"Sidewalk vendor" selling beer!

Vatican Square