Hello, Kona, Big Island, Hawaii…We’ll be back soon…

Sunset from our veranda.

After sailing all night, yesterday morning, we arrived on the opposite side of the Big Island to the city of Kona, the second largest city on the Big island with Hilo as number one.

This particular port requires passengers to board a “tender,” a smaller boat used to transport passengers to the shore when the ship is too large to dock at the pier.

Is this a houseboat, island or floating property?  Once we can get a better signal we can figure it out.
They used the ship’s life boats as the tenders, as opposed to using locals tender boats that are often contracted to facilitate the needs of the various cruise ships arriving in the port.

Although, we wanted to avoid the crowds on the tender boats knowing we’ll be on this island beginning on December 1st for a period of six weeks, we decided to go ashore to check out the city of Kona. 

View of a small portion of Kona’s shoreline.

Once we arrived at pier we boarded the local trolley for a 90 minute ride around the Kona area, taking many good photos.  Unfortunately, the poor WiFi signal on both the ship and the MiFi has prevented us from posting many photos. 

(Its taken hours of persistence to post the few photos we’ve included here each day.  We’ll catch up and post some great new photos once we get on land for a better signal.  Thanks for your patience).

Again, Wednesday night was “formal” night, the third on this 12 night cruise, a unusually large number for this length of cruise.  Of course, we no longer have formal wear or in Tom’s case, not a tie, dress shirt or sports coat.  Instead, he has worn his white long sleeve BugsAway shirt on each of the three formal nights.

Kona shoreline.

For me, formal night is easier.  Wearing one of my three “roll-in-a-ball” long skirts with a tee shirt, a long scarf, a belt and a few pieces of costume jewelry and I’m as formal as I can be with what I have on hand.  Many men were dressed in tuxedos and women in sparkly evening gowns.

When we were seated at the sharing dinner table for 10 with our less than formal wear, it only took a few minutes for us to settle in with the formally dressed others to become comfortable. 

When asked where we’re from and we explained our nomadic lifestyle, they all agreed that hauling a tuxedo and evening gown around the world made no sense at all.  In moments, we were entrenched in delightful conversation and our attire, although clean and tidy, was quickly forgotten.

We took one of these lifeboats, used as tenders to get passengers from the ship to the pier.

Last night, Thursday, we dined with a fabulous couple we met earlier from Cruise Critic, Susan and Mark, who hosted the slot pull last week.  We took an instant liking to them and were excited to dine with them as a foursome in the dining room (casual, last night).

We couldn’t have had more fun, laughter and also deep and meaningful conversation.  How fortunate we’ve been to meet so many wonderful people on cruises, many of whom we remain touch from as far back as our original cruise in January, 2013.

Almost every morning at breakfast and every evening at dinner, we’ve meet new people, each with their own interesting story to tell.  We find that in many cases people are curious as to how we manage our lives without stuff or a home.  They ask many questions which we happily answer candidly including the hard parts. 

I suppose if the tables were turned we’d be asking the same questions.  At times, even Tom and I look at one another asking, “How in the world are we pulling this off?” 

A very dear friend from Minnesota wrote to me a few days ago, telling me I could share with her in an email “what it’s really like” as opposed to the relatively cheerful tone in most of our posts, which she reads almost daily.

I wrote back to her, unable to wipe the smile off of my face, telling her there is no “what it’s really like” other than that which we share here.  Tom and I are not fighting in the background. We’re not running out of money.  We aren’t ill and hiding it.  We aren’t wrought with worry and concern, keeping it to ourselves.

Our posts are presented in a vein of “what you see it what you get.”  There’s no hidden agenda, no mask or veil from which we hide our true selves.  Many wonder if we have an end date in mind that we don’t reveal.  Not at all.  Our answer to this query is simple, “We’ll keep going as long as our health is good enough to continue on.”

Maintaining our budget ensures we never run out of money, although with inflation, surely in time, we’ll have to trim some of our expenses to account for the differences.  But, even that, doesn’t intimidate us.  We know how to sacrifice and trim.  After two years of living on a strict budget, we’re getting good at this, if we do say so ourselves. 

Tightwads?  Maybe a little.  Frugal?  Maybe a lot.  But, the motivation is sound and the result is rewarding.  At the end of this month on October 31st, we’ll have been gone from Minnesota for two years. 

Time flies when you’re having fun.

Photo from one year ago today, October 3, 2013:

When our driver Edmond drove us to the market in Diani Beach, Kenya, we usually spotted baboons on the side of the road.  On this particular date a year ago, the power was out in the house in Kenya as we packed for our upcoming safari in the Masai Mara, a few days later.  Please click here for details.

2 thoughts on “Hello, Kona, Big Island, Hawaii…We’ll be back soon…

  1. liz Reply

    What a stunning sunset photo at the top of the piece! Thank you for gritting your teeth re wifi to share the beauty of our natural world.

  2. Jessica Reply

    Liz, thanks for the comment about the photo. We were amazed by the beauty of the sunsets in Hawaii. I'm sure many more such photos will follow. Tom is the sunset spotter, keeping an eye our while I'll be busy cooking dinner.

    Right now, we're waiting to disembark the ship and head to our condo in Waikiki. Its wonderful not dreading the cruise ending and having to the opportunity to stay in the islands. We're very grateful.

    It will be fabulous not to struggle to post going forward. Thanks for hanging in there with us!

    Many hugs to you both,

    Jess & Tom

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