Vacation Travelogue-Hillsdale Cruise to Hawaii-Days Two and Three

Vacation Travelogue-Hillsdale Cruise to Hawaii-Days Two and Three

Sea days were lecture days on the Hillsdale Cruise, and the first two helped get us into the standard daily routine of morning lectures, lunch, afternoon lecture, and free time.  Monday the 16th of July introduced us to the lecture hall, known aboard ship as the Galaxy Lounge.  Here we all are that first morning of lectures.

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The first talk of the morning was by Victor Davis Hanson, Distinguished Fellow, Hillsdale College (and distinguished classical historian).  His subject was “The Current State of the US Military”, and as usual he held us all spellbound.  Today’s military has been subjected to differing rules, regulations, and budgets depending upon who is president, and the discussion was spirited.

VDH

Next, we were treated to a talk by the President of Hillsdale College, Dr. Larry Arnn.  Everyone on the cruise was very familiar with Dr. Arnn, and we enjoyed his speech.  Dr. Arnn has always been one of my role models as a Good Person.

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His was the last lecture of the day, so after listening to Dr. Arnn, we adjourned for lunch, and a free afternoon exploring the many wonders of the Crystal Symphony.  Not far from the Galaxy Lounge is the ship’s Casino.  On sea days, you could hear the merry jingling of machines and the hum of conversation from the casino whenever you passed near.

Casino

Sometimes we would have lunch in the Silk Restaurant, an Asian-flavored venue.  I loved the decor there, including a wall of art most unusual, and pretty furniture.  They also had some vertical gardens that lent a natural touch to the space.

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Living Wall

After lunch, it was time for a tour around the Promenade Deck.  At the bow of this ship is a “fitness garden” of outdoor equipment for people to take a turn on as they stroll the deck, as well as lifeboats and other safety paraphernalia.  The sea and sky were beautiful this day, too.

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Tuesday’s morning lectures were by George Neumayr, Contributing Editor of the American Spectator, and Nick Lloyd, Professor of Military History at King’s College, London.

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This is Mr. Neumayr.  We met him at dinner on Sunday and we enjoyed his talk.

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Mr. Lloyd gave three lectures on his specialty, World War I, which were very informative.

Tuesday’s afternoon lecturer was Roger Kimball, Editor and Publisher of The New Criterion.  His new book is very colorfully-titled, and available for purchase later, signed by the author.  Many of the tour’s lecturers had books for us to buy, which we did!

Kimball

Tuesday afternoon I did my tour around the Promenade Deck and took pictures, as usual.  It looked like the weather was going to get stormier, so I took every opportunity to get outside.  My readers will know that I have a fascination for the water and the sky from the ship, and I took many photos of the ever-changing sea.

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This is the end of Day 3, Sunset on Tuesday.

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Strange Beauty-Twisted, yet Supporting Life

A couple of miles south of my house, next to a Les Schwab Tire Center, is a small wetland, populated by mostly dead trees.  I have always wondered what that piece of property started out as, and how it got to be the way it is now.  Last week, I took my camera and got a bunch of pictures of the beautiful, twisted, dead trees, their roots and lower trunks submerged in water.  Were they already dead, or did a flood drown them?

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But look, there is green, living moss, growing on those twisted, dead tree trunks and branches.  It looks like Nature hasn’t quite given up on these dead trees yet.

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Photo Challenge: Liquid

I practically live surrounded by water.  Last week I shared a picture of the lake just south of my house.  Puget Sound is just a few miles to the west, and Lake Washington is to the East and South.  Back in 2016, we went on a cruise to Alaska, and I posted numerous photos of the various waters we traversed.  My favorite part of a cruise has always been relaxing on my verandah, just watching and listening to the water go by.  There is no better form of relaxation.  And this summer, we will be going on a two-week cruise, round trip to Hawaii from San Francisco.  I promise to to a big post when we get back.

But I always keep coming back to this particular photo that I took on the Crystal Serenity in 2016.  This is the water in one of the two swimming pools on board.  It just says “relaxing” to me.

Shiny water-like silk

The water resembles liquid silk.

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Photo Challenge…Elemental…Water

Here in the Pacific Northwest, we live nearly surrounded by water.  In Western Washington, anyway, you are rarely more than a mile from some body of water or other. Lake Washington, Puget Sound, the Green River, the Snoqualmie River, and Silver Lake are minutes away.  No two bodies of water or rivers are exactly the same from minute to minute, or season to season.  All those bodies of water moderate our weather here, and we rarely get extremes of heat or cold (recently we have been in a very unusual pattern of high temperatures and no rain at all for nearly two months).  Water gives the Earth and all its creatures life, and sustains us all.  Herewith, some examples of the beautiful water that surrounds me.

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This is the Yakima River, just east of the Cascades in Kittitas County. It is wide and shallow, and a great place for fly-fishing.

Ferry Wake

The wake of a Washington State Ferry, leaving from Edmonds across Puget Sound to the Kitsap Peninsula town of Kingston.

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Sky over Puget Sound in Seattle.

Note how the color of the water is a reflection of the gray clouds overhead.

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The Deschutes River at Tumwater Falls.

This is video I took of one of my favorite places, the Wenatchee River near Leavenworth.

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Fall Colors on the Wenatchee River, west of Leavenworth, WA

Hard to believe that this flat, reflective surface becomes a raging torrent not too far away from this spot.

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Glacial-fed Diablo Lake on the Skagit River.  I am always amazed by the blue-green color of the water.

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Calm waters of North Puget Sound, off the Port Townsend peninsula.  We saw many kayakers that day, sticking close to shore.

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Last, but not least, a rarity.  Frozen water in the bird-bath in our back yard.  Both ice and snow are present, and beautiful.

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Weekly Photo Challenge…Solitude

The ultimate solitude for me would be sitting here:

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The private veranda off our cruise-ship stateroom.  With a good book.  Listening to this:

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I find the sight and sound of the ship cutting through the water incredibly relaxing.  This is, in my opinion, the best part of a cruise.

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