Thursday, April 30, 2015

Pride of America

Day 2 found us awaking to Kauai's own alarm guessed it the Roosters!  I really can't complain as I was able to enjoy another beautiful sunrise while having my first cup of coffee.

As I was sitting on the Lanai enjoying a delicious cup of Kauai Coffee I get a text message from a friend of mine in LaRonge asking if we were going to be there that week with the Canadian Challenge Sled Dog Race!

I quickly snap this photo of the sunrise, teasing him that I am sitting on the Lanai enjoying the beautiful warm weather of Kauai, while he is maybe not enjoying as much as living with the snow, wind and cold temperatures of a typical Saskatchewan winter.

So as he and I are chatting, my daughter comes into the room to join me when she say "Holy Cow, Look at that!!  I look up and pulling into the Nawiliwili Harbor is a Pride of America Cruise ship....that ship was very quiet and quick!  We knew it would be arriving first thing in the morning and I had been watching for it but it was like it came in from now where.  Not 5 minutes prior I was watching for it and it was in front of me.  My daughter laughed at me for not noticing it, but when busy texting you don't necessarily notice things.

I quickly snap a couple of photos and send them to my friend, showing him was just pulling in.  My friend's reply was "I wish I was on that instead of sitting in the office watching the snow"! 

The cruise ship sure dwarfs this little tug boat that brought it into the Harbor. 

It sure didn't take long for the tug boat to get the "Pride of America" docked and the passengers were deboarding for their day in beautiful Lihue, Kauai!  

A close up of the tug boat through the fence as it sits in the harbor. 

The best photo of the Pride of America all lite up at night that I could get off our Lanai.   The ship stayed docked at the Nawiliwili Harbor in Lihue, Kauia for the night.  

The Pride of America pulled out of port on Thrusday afternoon around 2:30 pm with the Tug Boat towing it back out to the open ocean.  

 As one set of visitors arrive by air, one set of leave The Garden Island by boat! 


It didn't take long for the tug boat to get the Cruise Ship away from the dock and turned around to take it back out to the open waters of the Pacific Ocean.  It was really neat to watch it leave the harbor with such ease.  

Heading back into the Harbor!!

Day 1 In Kauai

The condo was quite warm from being locked up all day, no air condition running or screen doors open to cool the place off.  First thing I did when we arrived the night before was crank the air condition in the bedrooms to cool them down so they would be comfortable for sleeping.  When going to bed we turned the air condition off, no one wanted to wake up with a cold and left the patio doors open with the screens.

By 6am on our first morning we were awakened by the crowing of the many roosters on Kauai.  You don't really need an alarm clock in Kauai, you can wake up to the roosters each  morning.  Don't get me wrong I didn't find it annoying in any way.  Growing up on a farm with chickens I am no stranger to hearing the roosters early in the morning. 

So I head downstairs to brew a pot of coffee.  If I'm up and going to sit on the Lanai I am going to enjoy watching the sunrise with a cup of coffee. I nearly finish a pot of coffee myself before anyone else is awake.

First sunrise in Kauai

I absolutely enjoyed watching the sunrise over the Pacific Ocean along with a coffee.

At breakfast we put together a small menu for the week and made a list of groceries we needed.  After breakfast we headed out to Costco to do our shopping for the week.  Well we were a bit early (about 1 hr early) so we waited in the parking lot for a few minutes after I take a couple of photos we decide to drive around and find Walmart.  So after shopping at Walmart we head back to Costco.

View from a very empty Costco parking lot!

With a our groceries and alcohol purchased we off for a quick stop at Times for a couple of things we couldn't find at Costco then back to the Condo!  Unpack groceries, have a couple of drinks then fill our Bubba mug's and head up to the pool for the afternoon.  The pool is a salt water pool, which was different for us.  We met some fellow Canadians at the pool from Victoria BC.   We take the opportunity to get a family photo while there is someone around to take a few pictures for us. 

We decide to check out Kalapaki Joe's for happy hour.  A short walk later we arrive at our destination.  We each order different appetizers to share and drinks......let the Happy Hour Begin!!  Wings, Calamari, Hummas & Pita Bread and shrimp along with drinks made for a fun delicious Happy Hour!!!

After a few drinks and appetizers we head back to the condo.  The Plumaria trees are just starting to bloom in Lihue.  These flowers are both beautiful and fragrant.  I wish I could have a Plumaria tree or two in my yard at home but with our winters lasting as long as they I just have return to Hawaii to enjoy them.

Looking at these photos of the first plumaria we seen on our first day in Kauai, I can close my eyes and remember the wonderful scent of them.  So beautifully fragrant!!! They were just starting to bloom around Lihue Kauai!  So glad we were able to enjoy them our vacation.

After a relaxing first day we enjoy a later supper back at the condo, a few more cocktails and make a plan for our second day on the beautiful Garden Island of Kauai!!

There really are chickens every where on this island.  We seen on the streets & roads, in the Walmart parking lot, around the resort and everywhere we went today we seen at least 1 or 2 chickens.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

We Arrived in Kauai

At the end of February of this year my husband our two daughters and our son in-law departed on our Hawaiian Adventure.  This was our first trip to the Hawaiian Islands and were destined for Kauai, The Garden Island!!

We landed in Lihue at 9:35pm, after three flights and three airports we were in Paradise.  Al by headed over to Enterprise to  pick up our rental vehicle while the kids and I took care of getting the luggage.  Before we knew it we were on our way to the condo at Banyan Harbor Resort.

Once we loaded the  vehicle Al, our daughter and son in-law took off to see if they could find a store or convenience store open where we could pick up some mix so we could enjoy a drink and maybe some munchies of some kind.  They really lucked out and found Time's grocery store was still open.  So they picked up eggs, bacon and bread for breakfast the next morning, they picked up some orange juice and some pop for mix, they picked up a frozen pizza, some salsa and tortilla chips.  By the time they were back my daughter and I had us settled in the Condo and started a list for the basics that we would need to pick up at the grocery store the next day!

After a few drinks to toast to our newest adventure a bite to eat were all tired and in need of sleep.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

We're Going To Vegas

Tonight my husband surprised me with tickets to Las Vegas in June to celebrate my 50th Birthday!  What a surprise!!  We have never been to Las Vegas and we can't wait to get there in 45 days!!!  I still can't believe that we are going to Las Vegas!! 

It will be a quick trip but it will be fabulous just the same.  We are there for 4 full days and nights, leaving on the 5th day.

What to do!! Definitely have to see the lights on the strip at night!!  The fountains at the Bellagio.  The Conservatory & Botanical Gardens at the Bellagio!  Freemont Street.  The Titanic Artifact Exhibtion at Xcalabur.  The Mob Museum.  The biggest question is which Cirque du Soleil show to see.

So much to research so we have a game plan upon arrival!!

Look out Las Vegas here we come!!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

The Animals of Sandos Caracol

I'm so pretty!!!
One of the things that we loved about Sandos Caracol, was the different animals & birds seen around the resort!!! 

Cruisin' The Strip!!

I'm hungry!! Hope someone drops a few fries for me!!

Just swimming around the pond!!!

Soaking up the sun!! 

Enjoying breakfast up in the tree tops!!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

How It All Started

In late 2012 my husband and I started talking about going on a winter get away!!  He told me he was doing this for me as he knew I wanted to go on a tropical vacation!  He also told me this would probably be the only Tropical vacation I would get or at least the only one he would go with me on.

So in November we planned a time to go see the travel agent but first we had to have an idea of where we were interested in visiting.  We had a budget price per person and settled on Mexico in the end.  

We booked our trip to Sandos Caracol Eco Resort located north of Playa del Carman Mexico for January 12, 2013!!  

Once we are cleared through Immigration & Customs and got our luggage - no secondary screening, we got the green light to leave.  We head out to catch the shuttle to the resort!  We must of looked like first time visitors, which we were as everyone was wanting to sell us a tour, give us a map, one even told us our shuttle was going to be 45 minutes late!  We had been warned by the travel agent that these would people trying to sell us a time share and would cause us to hold up the shuttle or miss it all together, something we didn't want to do.  A quick stop for a beer at the bar outside the airport then into the shuttle and we are heading off for the resort!!!

We arrive at the resort around 1:30pm!  We are greeted with a welcome cocktail and got checked in. Only thing was we couldn't get to our room till 3pm as they were still cleaning them - no problem!  We had our wrist bands on so we head off to explore the resort and have lunch! 

Later that day we make our way down to the beach.  As we are sitting there looking out on the Gulf of Mexico on the Caribbean Sea my husband says he has something to tell me and he's not sure how to do it!!  You can imagine I'm wondering what the heck he has to say, I stand up and tell him he just better say it!  He looks at me and says "We're coming back, you're going to have to get used to travelling!"  We've been at the resort all of about 5 hours if that when he tells me this!!!  I just stood there shocked, I'm sure my jar hit the sand with his statement.  I couldn't believe what he said that I had to ask him if he was feeling alright!!  I told him he best not be joking with me on this or he'd be hurting!!  He assured me he was very serious on the matter!!  So I told him about my plan and how we could do these trips in the future.

The next morning we had a breakfast meeting with the Royal Elite sales staff for a presentation on the Royal Elite Vacation Club!  After learning about the benefits of membership and what we get with the membership - we made a deal that worked for us and bought in!  The next morning we are second guessing ourselves and wondering if we did the right thing.  I spent the morning reviewing the contract, we discussed it a bit more and headed to the Select Club beach area.  Here we met a couple that were discussing their membership weeks remaining and my husband and I ask them if we can ask them a few questions about the Royal Elite Vacation Club as we had just purchased ours.  This couple had been members since 2008 and had told us how it worked for them and how happy they were with it.  They put our second guessing to rest, it was so good to talk to members that had been using it for a few years to be re-assured we made the decision.  We actually started getting excited about our membership and looking forward to using it it again the next winter.

We had been home a couple of months and my husband started thinking about our next trip to Mexico.  By June of 2013 we had booked our reservation for Sandos Cancun Luxury Resort as well as our flights for January 2014.....we were heading back to sun, sand & relaxation.  By August we had booked another trip to Mexico with our daughter and her fiance in March of that same year back to Sandos Caracol Eco Resort ~ our Mexican Home!!

In June of 2014 we decide to us our RCI points for a family vacation to the Hawaii.  We found decided on a resort on the island of Kauai and planned for February 2015.  We were booked for this by June 2014.  In September 2014 after our daughters wedding my husband says lets go to Mexico in December just before Christmas!  Christmas shopping in Mexico ~ Love it!!! 

As you can see my husband is now hooked on traveling and I am loving this side of him.  Turns out purchasing our Royal Elite Vacation Club was one of the best investments we have ever made!!  No regrets 2 years in and our savings have reached what we paid for our membership!!  A great feeling knowing it has paid for itself that quickly!! 

Our travelling desires all started with a trip to Mexico that I was certain would be my one and only one with my husband!!!  

Welcome To Our Vacation Adventures

I got the idea to start a blog about our Vacation Adventures after reading a daily post that was posted on tripadvisor.  Each day she posted an update about the previous days adventures with pictures and information.  I was instantly taken back to many of the places we recently visited on our trip to Kauai.  Not only did it take me back to the Garden Island of Kauai, I gave me ideas of places to check out on our next visit. 

 So I thought if I would share our adventures of our travels with all of you as well.   Maybe it will give someone an idea of a place to visit or things to do on a return trip!!!