Ureparapara

This was another first time stop for our cruise line.  Ureparapara is an island in Vanuatu which is basically a volcanic caldera that has collapsed on one side.  Imagine cruising into the cone of a volcano surrounded on three sides by 300 meter cliffs.  There are just a few hundred residents who rarely get visitors, mainly yacht cruisers and a few small cruise ships.  They were very welcoming!  There was no dock for our tenders so we went in by Zodiac.

 

 

 

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Tavanipupu

This tiny spot in the Solomon Islands was a maiden visit for our cruise line.  It’s where William and Kate stopped to spend the night during their recent Asia-Pacific tour.  We had the entire island to ourselves and the locals threw a big BBQ for us.  Afterwards our ship hosted a special event where they serve caviar and champagne from a surf board in the ocean, a first for us.

Raiatea

This island is truly a jewel in French Polynesia.  We took a fabulous excursion that was both a visit to a vanilla plantation as well as a picnic on a small private motu.

After seeing this place on TV a few times, I was super excited to visit and bring home some (too many) vanilla beans.

This is how vanilla grows, on vines that crawl up trees. It’s an orchid species that has to be hand pollinated.

The smell was absolutely intoxicating.

Our picnic spot had some interesting issues.

Can you believe this water?

Well hello there.

South Pacific

It’s officially become my favorite place ever.  We have visited twice now and I’d go back tomorrow.   We snorkeled our way through the islands, giving our underwater camera a workout.

The children of Fanning Island greeted us with music and dance. It’s one of the most remote places on earth with no electricity or running water.

Well hello there.

 We snorkeled with sharks and rays in Bora Bora. Quite the experience! I could do this every day.

 So pretty.

Sargent majors in Fiji, one of our favorite places for snorkeling.

 Photo bomb!

 Underwater selfie.

We’ve Been Away

For a very long time.  We spent Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years and Valentine’s Day on our favorite cruise ship, the Seabourn Sojourn.  It technically wasn’t a world cruise because it didn’t circumnavigate the globe.  It was billed as an Extended Exploration that sailed from Los Angeles to Cape Town, visiting 26 countries and 4 continents.  Everything after Tahiti was brand new for us.  We’ve been home just a week and are both still suffering from jet lag.  I’m going to try to do a few posts over the next little while about the wonderful things we saw and did while we were away, starting with Hawaii.  We had three stops there; Honolulu, Kona and Kauai.  We were in Hawaii last year so it wasn’t super exciting to visit.  Our first order of business in Honolulu was to hoof it over to WalMart to stock up on Christmas stocking stuffers, toothpaste, shampoo, sunscreen and all of the other things we would need over the next 4+ months and didn’t want to pack.  We each took two suitcases and a carry on each (and that’s the same amount of luggage we brought home with us, although much heavier!)

 A highlight! Five inch wide deliciousness from Holy Donuts in Kona.

Waimea Canyon, Kauai

Spouting Horn, Kauai

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Tis The Season 2019

We had two sets of twin lambs born on the farm yesterday.  Our peach trees are budding and it’s time to plant potatoes and start tomato seeds.  Spring is on it’s way.

Day Of The Dead Ofrenda

For the Day of the Dead I made an ofrenda, which is an altar on which a collection of objects is place during the Dia de los Muertas celebration.  You can get details over at http://gslcuts.blogspot.com/2018/11/miniature-day-of-dead-ofrenda.html

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