50, 50 years old, "WOW" I made it. At times over those 50 years, I was not sure I would make such a grand number. To be truthful it was mostly my stupidity, and a true devil may care attitude that may have cut those years short, but as life would have it I was meant to continue so at on my 50th birthday I boarded NCL Pride of America for a week cruise around the Hawaiian Archipelago. I think Archipelago is the correct term, either way, it is the term we are using today. I wanted to go to the top of a volcano, not active of course and see stars at night.
It turns out my young neighbour; I can say that now she is only in her 30's and I am 50 as a gift booked us two nights at a Marriot in Waikiki. I had no idea what this was, but she who must be obeyed just smiled and said she had this. It turns out that it was not a comfort inn, motel 6 that I could afford it was a suite nearly as big as my house on the 27th floor of this multi-tower resort. Suffice to say it was much more than I had expected. We stayed there two days, just driving around seeing different things, spending a day at Pearl Harbour paying our respects and thinking how the Japanese really did screw up the attack. Should have been done differently and more effectively, but that is history and what is done, is done.
Anyway come the great day, 1 December we boarded the ship. Not the best ship I have been on, but it suited a purpose, to see Hawaii. The first of my birthday cakes were waiting for me, and I ate a piece. We toured the ship and decided in a French restaurant for a Birthday dinner. We both like Creme Brulee so the choice was easy. Not to many people in the restaurant and they had been told it was a 50th event so another cake and staff singing happy birthday and me an attractive shade of red.
After dinner, we went back to our room, and we passed some teenagers in the hall who were more than willing to take cake number two off, so our hands. I really should have at least cut it and had a slice, but Diabetes and self-control said no as I had already had a slice of the other cake in our room which was chocolate. The cleaning lady got that cake minus two slices. It is the thought that counts, not the increased blood sugar, so I wished the cakes well and gave them away.
The ship left one island and went to the volcano. We rented a car, so up up the hill we drove. Volcanic peak actually, 10 000+ feet high. Wow above the clouds and sort of high. I expected some altitude sickness as I had experienced it once around 7000 or so feet. This time I drank water and had a full stomach so no altitude sickness. The view was as you would expect, incredible. I looked out at the awesome vastness of the Pacific ocean all around me and thought about where I was. 10 000+ feet high above sea level on an island that went below the waves for thousands of more feet. Sort of makes Relapsing-Remitting ms (RRms) feel a little insignificant in the grand scheme of things. At least it does to me. I looked around, strolled the parking spot and looked at the strange trees. I took many pictures on my phone, but unfortunately, most of them did not turn out because somebody had his finger over the lens. I chastised myself most severely and continued to do this through the entire trip. I did not want to drop my phone, so my pictures did not turn out, such is life.
Anyway one goal achieved. As for night sky oceanic stargazing, a large cruise ship is not the place to do it. I think I need to do that in the Australian Desert over dinner and I know just where to go and my passport does need to be renewed this year. I can see a trip plan forming in my grey matter.
Hawaii is the same longitude as my Mothers house in Australia, So I am very familiar with the foods and scenery. I was amazed at how good the roads are and how friendly the people are. We got lost on purpose and was politely offered some cannabis by an older lady after she gave us directions. Been there done that, so we said no thanks.
All this took was a little planning, a lot of saving and a decision. A decision to want to do something and doing what needs to be done to make it happen. Airports and flying are truly no problem with RRms. Make check-in staff aware of your condition and they go out of there way to help, you actually go through the lines very fast sitting down in a wheelchair that somebody else is pushing. They point out the closest toilets and are usually willing to stop so you can get your coffee fix. Boarding the aircraft first is great, and special meals are never a problem. Make sure your seat is close to the toilet and close to the exit row, safety first. Cruise ships are the best way to travel, you only unpack once and they give you a slightly bigger handicap room if you ask and it is available.
It takes some planning, but it is a big planet that we live on. We have RRms but that is absolutely no need to not to at least see some of it. It does not have to be as grandiose as I do, Sunday drive for coffee works well. It gets"YOU" out of the house, gets "YOU" some fresh air and reminds "YOU" that there is still a world beyond our ills. Can be a little romantic if "YOU" play your cards well.
They say on the Amazing Race that there is a great big world out there, travel it. So why don't you, go to the local library and read with a child. there is so much out there available to us, "YOU" just need to find what is available to "YOU" in your area and makes your life have meaning.
hmm thinking of the next plan, stargazing I think