I think my favorite day we spent in Hawaii was towards the end of the cruise. This was early on (first port). There is something to be said for bringing or being on a boat as it comes into port. There is a quiet majesty as that happens. The bigger the boat the louder the quiet majesty is. We had day trips planned every time we came into port (except for one day that was later in the cruise). Chances to go out and see other parts of the island we were docked on. The cruise has one sea day but for the most part you cruise at night and dock during the daylight hours. Due to the hurricanes approaching the big island (and ultimately missing the big island) in August 2015 they reversed the direction of our cruise (going to the islands in the opposite order of normal). I wouldn’t know the difference never having been on that cruise before. Guillermo, the hurricane was a topic of conversation but only impacted us on the very last day with slightly choppy water.
I love sitting on the upper deck and watching the ship come in. I enjoy doing the same thing with my boat, but it is really fun when a professional does it. I have plus or minus 10 feet of play. The cruise ship has plus or minus 1000 feet of play but it is also 400 feet of beam so it is really percentage wise a lot less play than I have. Plus the impact of a cruise ship would be a lot more. So it is a delicate maneuver. The tug boats are there as security blankets. It is amazing to me how easily the captain of the ship can maneuver into very small and what seems to be tight spaces with what is a very large ship. The other thing about the cruise ship and docking is it is less impacted by wind than my boat is, but it is also coming into port with a lot more momentum. Truly cruise ship captains are amazing! The first day of the cruise was the only day I hate Barb’s breakfast invention. Many years ago at a Residence Inn in Naperville Illinois Barb invented the following breakfast. Biscuits with scrambled eggs on them, covered in sausage gravy. While I had by the time she showed me that creation been over 500 nights at Marriott hotels I had never made that connection. On the cruise they had all the components, adding a local flavor of scrambled eggs with spam in them. Plus I like to add whatever hot sauce is available. Tabasco preferred but any hot sauce will do.
Some of my earliest memories of water are watching the sun set with my grandfather on Lake Ripley. 20 years after he passed away I still find myself missing him. Less now than in the beginning but I miss him. I watch the video we took of him telling stories in 1996 just a few months before he died from time to time. I still cry. This trip to Hawaii was to celebrate the other person I miss a lot. We took this trip a little over a year after dad passed away. He didn’t want a memorial, just wanted all of us together for a meal to remember him. Hans Andersen was a grand man. I miss him. As the fall comes and the leaves begin to change I miss dad. We (he and I) loved to listen to IU Football. We loved to watch IU Basketball together, or separately and then talk the game afterwards. It was something we shared. I have so many friends now, but few I can talk IU Basketball with. In part because that was something I did with dad. But sunsets on water remind me of Grandpa Ray. 2016 has been a not great year. There are so many bad things happening. I am glad there are the happy memories of our summer vacation in 2015 wandering Hawaii!
I will strive for the rest of my life to live up to the ideals of my Grandfather and my father. They were both grand men I hope someday to make their level!