Hawaii – Day One

The five days in Hawaii is on a more compressed schedule after arriving late on the first day.  Thankfully, we are not missing any stops or shore excursions but times and dates keep changing daily.  I knew we would be busy here and it has been extremely hectic. We are on the run from the moment we wake up until falling into bed.  We will be docking in Kauai very shortly and have an early tour scheduled and since we are already leaving Hawaii the day after tomorrow I need to get a move on to let you all know what we are doing and seeing.  (Note: It is now evening and we are back from Kauai which turned out to be a very long day. The ship is leaving in 25 minutes and if I’m lucky, this post will GO!) It is starting to look like I won’t get everything written and uploaded until we get back to the mainland.

I need to answer a comment about our four day roller coaster ride.  No, we didn’t wear life jackets but had to be careful walking on the ship as there were regular drops to the bottom of a wave where we got that sinking feeling in our stomachs and our feet felt like there were weights on them.  It did make for good sleeping but I had a queasy stomach every afternoon.  There were no storms, just big rolling waves with no choppiness.

Those of you that have read my website for a long time know that I love botanical gardens and especially tropical ones.  I selected our shore excursions many months ago prior to leaving for Australia.  After visiting several in the South Pacific, Australia and New Zealand I regretted having booked yet another.  Well, the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Gardens on the island of Hilo is the tropical gardens that tops them all.  There may be better ones somewhere but this one is #1 on our list. 

HawaiiTropicalGarden 8Supposedly the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Gardens is the only one on the ocean.

HawaiiTropicalGarden 1Much of the vegetation was new to us

HawaiiTropicalGarden 2HawaiiTropicalGarden 3HawaiiTropicalGarden 4HawaiiTropicalGarden 5HawaiiTropicalGarden 6HawaiiTropicalGarden 7The foliage overhead was so thick that we rarely saw much sky.  These are Monkey Pad trees.

HawaiiTropicalGarden 9HawaiiTropicalGarden 10HawaiiTropicalGarden 11You can see how tall the growth is when compared to the people walking in front of us.

HawaiiTropicalGarden 12HawaiiTropicalGarden 13HawaiiTropicalGarden 14The parrots were very vocal when people talked to them.

HawaiiTropicalGarden 15HawaiiTropicalGarden 16The botanical garden is in a valley much lower than the entrance visitor center.  The first part has a pretty long and steep ramp.  About the time that we were due back in the parking lot, golf carts were sent to pick up the people who could not make the walk back up.

HawaiiTropicalGarden 17The visit to Hilo was pretty rush-rush since we didn’t arrive until 3 pm. By the time we got back to the ship it was dark and rainy and we quickly left for Honolulu.