Stars and whales in Maui

We have been having so many adventures on this trip. We went up to the top of the crater of the volcano which made part of the island of Maui.haleakala-maui-linda-and-davidHaleakala ( 10,000 feet high).  It is on top of the clouds and feels like the top of the world.  It is windy and cold hence the snow gear.haleakala-maui-clouds-5x7-net  We got to watch the sun set and to see the planets and the stars with an astronomer who educated us about the Maui night sky. www.mauistargazing.comhaleakala-maui-sunset-5x7-nethaleakala-maui-dave-telescope

Then yesterday we went on a whale watching trip at sunset.  We saw lots of whales. One of them even touched our raft.  They are very gentle and it was very exciting to be that close to such an enormous animal.  Here are some photos of a whale breaching.maui-whale-breach-5x7-closer-netmaui whale out of water 5x7 net.jpg  Thought you might like to see the size of the raft we were on and a whale’s back.   maui whale and boat 5x7Maui is a wonderland and we are having so much fun.

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Stunning sunset and a party at Hale Kai

Hale Kai is the small , intimate group of condos from the 70’s that has been rennovated.  It is right on the ocean and is only 2 stories high.  This type of small condos are quite unique for this part of Maui.  The northwestern part of Maui is dominated by large ritzy developments by big companies like Marriot, Ritz Carlton, and Hyatt etc.  The people who come to Hale Kai come every year on the same weeks.  They book their condos a year in advance and have made friends over the years.

One of their traditions is that every night at sunset people gather around the pool and have drinks and celebrate another day in paradise.  They blow conch shells like the old Hawaiians to announce the sunset, a birthday or a new comer to the group.  It is quite charming. maui-2-26-17-hale-kai-blowers-5x7

Here is the sunset that we were celebrating tonight. maui-2-26-17-sunset-5x7-closer-net-1maui-2-26-17-cloud-sunset-5x7-net  Since it was Sunday night we all got invitations to bring pupus ( little munchies) and make it a party with food. maui-2-26-17-hale-kai-party  The pupus were excellent and everyone is crowding around the snack table to try the tempting morsels. Ladies were asking for recipes and talking about their sea adventures here on the island.

We have met several really nice people.   What I really like are the moms and daughters that come back together every year.  Here are some photos I took of two of them.

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How lucky these women are that they can spend special time with their moms, I wish my mom could have done this with me.

Well, it is off to bed as a new adventure is calling us tomorrow. Aloha!

Clouds over the Atlantic Ocean

The clouds seem to be different here over the Atlantic Ocean.  We are in the middle of a giant area of water and the clouds are very white and very fluffy.  If you stand on our balcony you can see them being blown across the horizon by the wind.  Here are a couple of photos for you.

Life onboard ship: we do not normally eat in the dining room when we sail. It usually takes 2 hours to get served and to eat. The main dining room is crowded and noisy.  We prefer to eat in less time and whenever we are hungry.  This varies each day depending on when we have awakened and when we went to sleep.  So we normally eat up in the Oceanview buffet. This is the best kept secret on the Celebrity Constellation.  At the back of the buffet are these two handsome guys who will grill fresh fish, salmon, steak, chicken or a pork chop for you.  Your dinner is hot and the vegetables are crispy.  My favorite meal is a fresh Caesar salad, broccoli and carrots, and grilled salmon.  Yum, and healthy ondavid dinner small copy moon cloud small sunset buildings clouds small 2 handsome grill chefs small

top of it.  I find the desserts in the buffet not great so I normally skip that problem.  OMG, I might lose some weight on this trip! What a surprise.

European senior gap year trip planning is solidifying into a two month plan

As much fun as it has been to walk on the beach and take sunset and fish photos for two months, our time in Rosarito Beach is swiftly drawing to an end.  It is very sad to leave our cute condo above the Pacific Ocean.  We go home at the end of the week to prepare and pack  for the European gap year trip.

David has been working hard at looking at apartments to rent in Italy the last two months, and now all of our reservations are lined up for the first 2 months of the trip.  With the internet it is much simpler to plan and reserve places to stay in Europe. We found all three places on VRBO, HomeAway, or AirBnB.

The itinerary looks like this;  April 8 fly to Fort Lauderdale and board the Celebrity Constellation and cross the Atlantic in 13 days with stops at  Madeira, Gibraltar, and Alicante.  On the 22nd, we land in Rome and spend 7 days there.  Then on to Assisi for 3 days and then to Florence, my favorite city in Italy, for one month.  Wow, it is really hard to believe that in a month we will be in Rome.  I am so excited, and my camera is humming, ready to start to capture wonderful photos to share with you.

Here are a couple of photos of the sunset tonight in Mexico.long sunset 5x7 net only sunset 5x7 net

A sandpiper, and crashing waves and sick sea lion pups

Sadly, this has been a record year for starving sea lion pups who come to shore because they are tired and hungry.  We have seen 2 here at our beach. The first one we found dead on the beach a couple of days later.  It is difficult  here because the nearest rescue is in Ensenada so there is little that can be done for these sweet babies.   Today,we sent a donation to the Orange county rescue service that has 88 sea lion pups in its shelter ( there have been 1800 rescued off the coast of California since Jan. of this year).  FYI  here is a link to the story http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/16/sea-lion-pups-stranded-california_n_6876076.html  . I could not bring myself to take a photo of the last stranded pup we saw on Sat.  I just hope he rested , got back out to sea, and found some food.

Here are some happier photos that I took in the last couple of days.  It has been overcast here at the beach , but even when it is grey and somewhat stormy the ocean and its creatures are beautiful.  Here is one of the sand pipers standing on one leg, they seem to like to do that. sandpiper 5x7 small_edited-1Here is a photograph of the crashing waves on the rock point at the southern end of our beach. slow crashing waves 5x7 small_edited-1Since the waves have been more rough the last few days we have seen more sea weed wash up on shore.  Here is a photo of a large seaweed pod.seaweed on shore  And I wanted  to leave you with a sunset photograph taken on a cloudy day.black sun stream 5x7 small