Monthly Archives: October 2008

Sunny Fall Day

Yesterday was our neighborhood’s yard waste pick-up day, and as we were on vacation, all of our leaves were still all over our yard and not in bags to be hauled away.  So this afternoon (a day late) we began readying the yard for winter.  Into the garage go all the goodies – hammock, swing, hoses, bird bath, etc.  Out comes the lawn mower to mulch the leaves and cut the grass.  That will probably happen one more time before the snow starts to fall – we still have an awful lot of leaves clutching on to their branches on our maples out front!
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Posted by on October 31, 2008 in Uncategorized


Massacre on Center Street (plus cookies…)

Our poor pumpkin man was helpless against the savage squirrel beast.

On a better note – I thought up these cookies as we were sailing away from Hawaii.  I picked up some chopped macadamia nuts while in Hilo and some pink sea salt while in Honolulu, then added in some chunks of white chocolate and milk chocolate wafers.  Result – crazy yummy cookies.  Justin thinks they need a little extra something to push the “Hawaiian” theme a bit further – maybe some toasted coconut will be thrown in the next batch…

Posted by on October 29, 2008 in Uncategorized


Welcome Home!

We drove home through snow flurries and ran over an already-smooshed skunk.  Welcome back to Wisconsin!

Really though, glad to be home! (If I say that enough, maybe it will be true! 🙂

Posted by on October 28, 2008 in Uncategorized


Last day of vacation :(

Today was the last real day of vacation. We got off the ship without incident, and caught the shuttle to our hotel around 11:50.

We then stowed our bags at the front desk (it was too early to check in), and walked down to our new favorite bakery

We got some rolls for the morning, since there probably won’t be much too eat at 3 AM, and then split a grilled cheese sandwich. This was no Wonder bread and Kraft singles grilled cheese sandwich, this was two giant slices of rosemary olive oil bread, with three cream French brie and gorgonzola cheese stuffed between them and then toasted until the cheese was perfectly melty. I haven’t ever had a grilled cheese sandwich quite like it. I would have taken a picture of it, but it strangely disappeared much too quickly 🙂

This evening, we wandered out to Umi Sushi, which was less than a mile walk from our hotel. Julie and I split some teriyaki chicken, as well as 3 different types of sushi. We had tuna negiri (left), which is just strips of tuna on rice, a spicy tuna roll (middle), and the “Crunch Dragon Roll” (right). The dragon roll was definitely our favorite. It was crab, shrimp tempura, avocado, and diced cucumber in a roll, topped with spicy tuna and a dusting of Panko.

Also, due to popular demand, below is a picture of Julie, since there have been complaints about needing more Julie pics. It’s kind of hard to tell, but she is standing on the edge of a 400 foot volcanic crater.

Now we are going to go to bed at 8:30, to be ready to catch a taxi at 4, for our 6:20 flight to Denver. Blech.


Posted by on October 27, 2008 in Uncategorized


Back in San Diego

We are back in San Diego, waiting to disembark from the ship. The seas were incredibly calm on our return trip from Hawaii, which was apparently a large difference from the cruise that preceded ours, where they had 25 foot swells to deal with. These large ships have stabilizers that can be deployed like airplane wings from under the ship, and that helps, but there isn’t much you can do with swells that big. Luckily, we didn’t have to deal with that. The last couple of days have been filled with eating and sleeping and overall relaxation. We haven’t eaten as much in the dining room this cruise as we have in others. We found that the main buffet area has similar food to the dining room most nights, without requiring us to get dressed up. They also have a Mongolian grill area where you pick the raw ingredients and cook it for you, and a pizza bar, both of which were nice. We did eat at the specialty restaurants on the ship a couple of times: Portofino and Chops Grille. They were both very good, and had top notch food.

Here is a night shot of Honolulu, as we depart for Kona:

On our way out from Kona, the dolphins gave us a show, jumping around and basically causing ruckus on the ship. At around 11 PM on Monday, the ship swung by the south end of the island and we were able to see the lava flowing from the top of a volcano down into the ocean. It was very cool, but hard to photograph.

Our golfing skills came into use a couple of days ago. One of the activities was a “long drive” challenge, using the simulator on the ship. Julie and I both won our respective gender divisions, and came away with some sweet white elephant “gifts”. Luckily, Robert wasn’t there to write my name down.

Here’s a picture of a cake decorating demonstration, which was quite entertaining:

Today we are just waiting to disembark, and then we will spend time in San Diego, leaving for Minneapolis very early tomorrow morning. We should be back in Stevens Point around 7-7:30 tomorrow.

It’s going to be hard to leave the ship. Here’s a shot of the “Centrum”, which is the 8 story lobby in the middle of the ship.

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Posted by on October 26, 2008 in Uncategorized


Kona – Snuba

Another beautiful weather day, today anchored at Kona, on the Big Island. We had a chance to snuba – which is the combination of snorkeling and scuba diving. Great fun, and we saw all sorts of fish and coral.

Also, just a note – I didn’t just feel like Spam yesterday – it is actually REALLY popular in Hawaii, so I just felt like I needed to have some!!


Posted by on October 21, 2008 in Uncategorized


More food!

Today was another day in Honolulu. We are leaving at 5:30 today for Kona. We are 5 hours behind Wisconsin, so it was kind of weird to wake up this morning and have football games on the TV already in the 2nd quarter. Glad the Packers did well today! Today we ate breakfast on board and took a bus to the Ala Moana Center where we shopped for souvenirs. Lunch was the highlight of the day again. The food court at the shopping center had just about every type of food you could want, but Julie wanted something with Spam in it. The first thing we found was at a Hawaiian fast food shop, called the “Beach Boy Special”. It didn’t start out so bad, Spam and rice, but then it was covered in something called “Stew Gravy”. (Trav: I could only picture Gravy Robbers from Tim and Eric). Too scary for our taste, but we did manage to find Spam sushi that was much more palatable 🙂

I had some curry with fried chicken and Kalabi, which was really good, and then for desert we got some Shave Ice. It tasted like happiness mixed with sunshine and kitten kisses. Needless to say, we both enjoyed it quite a bit.


Posted by on October 20, 2008 in Uncategorized