Today is our final excursion. We will be exploring Kaua'i,
We had a meeting time of 8:50 so breakfast was somewhat early. We chose the buffet, and had a number of different things. I had scrambled eggs and bacon, then some Cheerios, Cheryl went with waffles. After breakfast we left the ship at about 8:30 and went to the sorting area of the pier. Lots of different excursions starting at roughly the same time. There was zip lining through paradise, snorkeling through paradise, horseback riding through paradise, and our excursion, walking through paradise.
We met our guide/driver and the rest of our group of 18 and we were off. We drove for about 30 minutes when we came to our first stop. We stopped at a beachfront overlook and watched the waves crashing against the rocks creating a few waterspouts. One in particular was especially spectacular. We watched for a few minutes, then headed back to the van. One thing notable about this stop was the number of chickens running wild. It seems that chickens are one of the animals that run wild around Hawaii, and this area had a bumper crop. They were well trained to go after the tour busses when they pulled in. Apparently some folks had fed them in the past.
Our next stop was about 10 minutes away. It was a gift shop for Allerton Gardens and McBryde Gardens. It had the usual gift shop stuff, but we were also told that if we had not used bug repellant this morning, we should get some here. The mosquitos were numerous where we were going. Cheryl and I had not, so we did. We were told to get bug spray. We looked. They only had bug wipes. We got what they had. We had heeded their warning and worn long pants, but mosquitos seem to be attracted to us, so we used the wipes. Back on the road, we drove for about another 15 minutes to Allerton Gardens. We were hoping to see McBryde Gardens for obvious reasons, but not yet. We parked the van and started out 90 minute hike through what bordered on a rain forest. At the beginning of the walk, we met Alice. Alice was a cat that I guess met all of the groups stopping here. Our guide fed Alice and we moved on.
The gardens were very nice and very interesting. There was a reasonable path and our guide (a former botanist) knew his stuff. Either that or he was good at making things up. We think the former. We saw lots of exotic plants and trees, as well as some fountains and waterfalls. We soon saw why there were lots of mosquitos. There were lots of places with standing water. Prime breeding ground. There were also lots of wild chickens running around. At one point they were also fed by our guide. We were told that a lot of filming for the first Jurassic Park was done here. Easy to see why. There was even a volleyball sized "egg" for us to discover.
At the end of our walk, we moved on to our next stop, a large canopy that served as a lunch area. Lunch was provided by the tour company. Turkey, ham or veggie wraps, chips of various flavors and juices with tropical fruit flavors. There was also fresh fruit including fresh pineapple and cookies. The pineapple was really good. I prefer original flavor chips, but that was not one of the choices. I chose BBQ that said sweet and spicy. I tried a couple of bites, then was told that this flavor was hotter than jalapeno. Oh well.
After lunch, we drove around McBryde gardens, but did not stop. We asked about it and were told it was a research garden, but not much else. We then drove around some more, then back to the ship. Maybe if we had seen this tour first it would have been better, but lots of the plants we had seen earlier. Oh well, still a nice day.
A note here about the tour guides. We have noticed that many of our guides were enthusiastic, humorous, and tended to chuckle or giggle frequently. All of the guides were long time residents of the area they were showing, some telling where they went to school locally. This last guide, however, although he had been a resident for 40+ years, did not have the enthusiasm or laughter of the others. He was pleasant enough, told a couple of puns, but noticeably down. He had a monotonous voice that lulled you.
Back at the ship, we had time to hit the pool before our final specialty dinner. Water was really warm and this wasn't even the hot tub. We sat there for a while. Then it was time to get ready for dinner. This meant long pants for me, and a really nice dress for Cheryl. We went to Cagney's Steakhouse. Cagney's is a high end steakhouse. We were seated right away at a table in front of a wall with lots of pictures of James Cagney in various films. We ordered some drinks and each ordered an appetizer, entrée and two sides. I had a sidecar (their specialty), shrimp cocktail, filet mignon, mushrooms and potatoes au gratin. Cheryl also had a sidecar, lobster bisque, prime rib, mushrooms and potatoes au gratin as well. We also asked the waiter if there was a sheet which told what movies all of the pictures were from. Unfortunately no. We both enjoyed our dinners and finished it off with a double chocolate brownie for Cheryl and apple crisp for me. Also good.
After dinner, we strolled around the deck enjoying the pleasantly warm evening. As we were walking, we passed a number of other couples, then passed a woman who was entering a door marked staff only. She said hello and started talking to us. Turns out she was Michelle Murlin, the singer who would be performing at the nightclub in about 15 minutes. She asked us to come to see her. We did. In her show, she says she has done a few road companies (les Miz, CATS) and once on Broadway (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat). She was very good, but on the ships the shows are only 45 minutes long. We wanted to hear more. After the show, we sat having a drink and did some research. All she said was right and we found out she has been doing cruise ships for the past 20 years or so.
After sitting for a while, we moved on to our room and to bed.
Tomorrow: Last full day and getting ready to leave.