Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Overdue update, meaning time to get serious and stop slacking.

Racing season will be here before you know it, but still not soon enough.

It has been a crazy month or so.

Work is going well. Nice to be gainfully employed with a great company. The holiday season has been as stressful and as busy as expected, meaning we did a great job in getting the store ready.

In the meantime, I’ve put on twenty pounds. I’m still getting accustomed to working a swing shift, and I have not had a day off since mid November. The extra money has been great, and it’s really been easy overtime. But my riding has been zilch, and my diet has gone to heck.

Today’s weight..188. Glad I caught it before I hit the 190!

Now that the holiday are almost here (Yay!) it’s time to get serious about my training, my diet, and the Columbus chapter organized and going.

Gotta say , the team kit for the Echelon ZteaM has me motivated!


For more info on becoming a member of the Columbus chapter, please contact me at

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A few days away from permanent employment

It’ s been a while since I’ve posted an update. Lots has happened.

I interview for a helpdesk position with Limited Brands (Victoria’s Secret, Bath and Body Words, Express) as a contractor, late in Sept. Turns out, while I was in the interview, which was only 10 minutes, my firm was being texted saying “ we want him”.

While I really didn't want to go back to helpdesk, I knew that it provided the best chance for employment. And I’m certainly appreciative of landing where I did. The work environment is great, the people I work with..the best group I have EVER worked with.

My hours have been kind of wacked, meaning changes in my lifestyle and habits. I’m working midshift, meaning I haven't spent near as much time on the bike as I should have. This has been a sacrifice to this household. Mr. Mom has gone back to work. But I think we are adjusting. And it means my days off have been rather busy.

Funny thing. In the past, my temperament has been  working against me, especially in a helpdesk situation. My patience can wear thin, and I’ve been told that I can be loud and contribute to a bad work environment. Maybe true to a point, but… I had one work environment that can be described as nothing but the shits.

Over the past few, I’ve been able to hear others, and say to myself  “that must be how I sounded”  and it was an enlightening experience. I’ve been on the phone for something like three weeks, and I have done an unbelievable job in being patient, and it has been communicated to be how patient I am.  Things have changed, and hopefully, there is a new me! I really think I have changed.

This past week, Limited Brands extended to offer, and I will shed the title of contractor, and will become an employee, effective Nov 15. Benefits once again!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Chapter coming to Columbus in 2010

Chapter coming to Columbus in 2010.

ZteaM Cycling is a national cycling club that supports club riding and racing. We cater to men and women -- beginner, novice, or experienced, as well the more serious racer types through our Local Masters Racing Programs and our National Elite Team.

Local ZteaM chapters operate independently throughout the USA and are aligned with all ZteaM financial and product partners who pass on significant discounts on our gear, clothing, and other benefits to our nationwide member base. While we have the benefit of being a national organization, local chapters operate autonomously where members convene to ride, socialize, learn about cycling, and to support their various communities.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Evolve Yourself!

I’m really excited about this unbelievable opportunity. Read about it and join me!


Evolv Health (EvolvHealth) is “Pre-Enrollment Phase” –  “Pre-Launch” is planned for October 2009.  The Official Evolv Launch and Launch Events are planned for early 2010

About EvolvHealth:  ”More than 15 years of scientific research and development have been invested into EvolvHealth’s proprietary and all-natural Archaea Active™ formula. EvolvHealth’s beverage combines the colorless and flavorless Archaea Active™ formula with natural spring water to combine the health benefits of hydration with increased stamina, energy and endurance.

Additional benefits may include:

* EvolvHealth Helps increase stamina and endurance

* EvolvHealth Helps increase energy levels

* EvolvHealth Helps enhance the absorption of vitamins, minerals, amino acids,    proteins, and other important nutrients

* EvolvHealth Helps speed fatigue recovery

* EvolvHealth Helps maintain healthy circulation

* EvolvHealth Helps support immune system

* EvolvHealth Helps restore mental alertness from fatigue or drowsiness

* EvolvHealth Helps neutralize harmful toxins

EvolvHealth products are combined with its unique Archaea Active™ proprietary technology and backed by studies and testimonials from world-renowned research centers and everyday people like you.”

Founder and Chairman: Trey White: – 1999 IPO /$10 Billion market cap–Merged with, the world’s largest real estate listings provider; Founder of White Energy, an  ethanol production company; Chairman, EarthQuest: a $500 million Disney-style Theme Park, currently under development; Chairman, TKR Capital, a private equity firm headquartered in Dallas, Texas.  Chairman of Marlin Atlantis White

CEO: Brent Hicks

Chief Marketing Officer: Jonathan Gilliam

EvolvHealth Master Distributors: Jim Lutes, Charlie Culver

Main Product:  a functional beverage that is a proprietary natural formula  involved which results in the “production of cell signaling molecules that appear in very low concentrations”–increases oxygenation and decreases inflammation.

”What makes EvolvHealth unique is its Archaea Active™ formula, a combination of all-natural ingredients found in every bottle. These ingredients and our proprietary process have been in development for more than fifteen years. Our product has undergone rigorous testing with the University of TX MD Anderson in Houston and independent testing laboratory, FutureCeuticals Research with amazing results.

About The Company

Who’s behind EvolvHealth? When did it come together?

Trey White, founder of EvolvHealth, invested in the original intellectual property company in 2007. The other founders are Chief Executive Officer Brent Hicks and Chief Marketing Officer Jonathan Gilliam, both highly experienced executives in the operations, training, marketing and technology. We also have assembled three of the direct sales industry’s top professional network marketers as our trainers and Master Distributors, all of whom have both served in the field and have run their own direct sales businesses.

Why is Evolv launching as a direct selling company?

The years of testing Evolv’s formula have led to a strong word of mouth product offering. People had heard about its benefits from the testers and would often drive hours to the manufacturing facility for a sample. That convinced us that the best way to sell Evolv was through the direct channel — person to person. A retail shelf just can’t deliver the message of Evolv like you can.

Direct selling also dramatically lowers the cost of launching and operating the business and redistributes advertising dollars directly to the hands of its distributors, therefore making Evolv more affordable for everyone.

The Opportunity

Can I really make money with Evolv?

Absolutely! Evolv presents incredible earnings potential, and we’ve made this business extremely turn-key and simple. It is, however, your own business, so you will get out of it what you put in. We have brought on the top industry trainers and mentors in all areas to assist you in building your Evolv business and, as a result, your financial future. They will commence training with our Pre-Launch this fall.

What type of compensation plan will Evolv use to pay its distributors?

Given our potential for explosive growth, we have undertaken extensive research into the best fit for a compensation plan, one that will reward our Distributors handsomely for their efforts as well as set the company up for long-term success.

In the direct sales industry there are several strong plans to choose from. Evolv has chosen a “Binary” compensation plan, time-tested and proven. We know a binary is the best method to maximize return for our Distributors, and we have also added a very exciting twist to provide you with an earnings edge like none in the industry. We will provide you with full details prior to Pre-Launch. We are confident you will be thrilled by Evolv’s carefully considered and innovative comp plan, that creates multiple revenue-generating opportunities to build your business.

Pre-Enrollment & Pre-Launch

What is the Pre-Enrollment period?

Pre-Enrollment is a period of time where potential distributors can secure their position in the organization. As many in the direct sales business understand, a distributor’s success can be enhanced greatly by positioning early in an organization’s development. By enrolling now, you can secure your spot and then add others under you in your organization by referring them to your “” website supplied to you once pre-enrolled. No signups or commissions take place during Pre-Enrollment, just the opportunity for you to pre-build your network for launch.

What is the launch schedule of the company?

  1. Pre-Enrollment Phase is now! – Pre-positioning in the network will be limited to the Pre-Enrollment period which will allow potential distributors to lock in their position in the company genealogy as part of the Founder Club.
  2. “Pre-Launch” is planned for this fall and will extend into early next year. During Pre-Launch distributors will have a ground floor opportunity to begin taking delivery of product and begin building their business before the official Launch Event. Receiving product and generating commissions occur once we are in the Pre-Launch phase.
  3. The Official Evolv Launch and Launch Events are planned for early 2010.

Costs to Join:

Evolvolution compensation plan: hybrid binary: pays up to $50K per week; matching bonuses up to 100%; Fast Start bonuses on first orders up to 25% to 3 generations; coded bonus to infinity.

Pre-enroll here, for free. Time to get involved with this great opportunity.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Can’t believe it’s been this long since I’ve provided an update. Got to get better.

Nothing new as far as job situation is concerned. Still unemployed. I’ve had a few interviews, but I think the problem is people are thinking I’m overqualified. Sorry folks…..I want a job. The time off has been great. Lots of time on the bike, which has been great. Some projects around the house (guess I could do more).  We’re OK financial..for now, thanks to a decent severance package.

In the meantime, I have taken on some network opportunities:





Watkins associate ID 385718



Associate ID 2003686

Monday, August 31, 2009


Can’t believe it’s been this long since I’ve provided an update. Got to get better.

Nothing new as far as job situation is concerned. Still unemployed. I’ve had a few interviews, but I think the problem is people are thinking I’m overqualified. Sorry folks…..I want a job. The time off has been great. Lots of time on the bike, which has been great. Some projects around the house (guess I could do more).  We’re OK financial..for now, thanks to a decent severance package.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Depressing day

Cloudy, drizzly. At least it’s in the mid 70’s. Otherwise, it looks like a winter day in central Ohio.

At least I did get in a great 50 miler. The forecast is for hot and humid weather thru the weekend, which wont be all bad!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!

A long overdue update which will start with Happy Birthday to me on my 52nd birthday. Fifty two years young! I had planned on a 52 mile ride to celebrate, but the weather had other plans. The morning started out with a lot of thunder and very little rain. The heavy rains have been less than 20 miles to the west of us, all day, moving to the southeast. I’ll try again tomorrow.

Birthday present to myself…Garmin Slipstream team kit. I’m not really one for pro team kits, but I have to say, this kit rocks, and is so comfortable.

As for employment, or should I say unemployment, there has been no changes. Got me severance, drawing unemployment, which isn’t that bad. But, it’s not what I’m accustomed to and is requiring some sacrifices. Fortunately, July was out last car payment, so that is a HUGE help.

I’ve had some interviews, but nothing real solid at this point. I know the Obama Administration is saying that  we are “at the beginning of the end”. My challenge to them is to  convince those of us who are unemployed. It’s not the beginning to the end to me. Thank God I got a decent severance, but I really want work. I need to get out of the house really bad. As much as the dogs have gotten used to me being around.

At least I have been able to get in some decent miles.  Actually, I think I’m in the best shape that I’ve ever been in. And I’ve been able to work on some home projects. So it hasn’t a total waste.

Right after the Tour de Grandview, I discovered that my bike had a cracked frame. Since I bought it at Performance (bad mistake) I tried to work with them.



That was like pissing in the wind, and after three weeks of nothing, I went and picked the bike up and tool it to an Fuji dealer a few blocks away, Paradise Garage. While their primary customer base is urban cyclists, they took exceptional care of me, and my replacement frame was here within a week. Dan and Paradise Garage Rocks. Performance SUCKS and I will never buy anything from them, not even a Power Bar. And on top of that I actually received a bit of an upgrade.



Why date a cyclist That bulge isn't just the chamois. It’s balls of steel. We can go for hours and hours even when it hurts. We know how to take it easy. We know not to go real hard right from the beginning. Smoother legs than you. Skin tight lycra is real easy to take off. Can you say perfectly sculpted legs? Better power-to-weight ratio than a small car. We don't need booths to get our amazing tan lines

Monday, June 29, 2009

Tour de Grandview

The race I love to hate, but I will go back every year!

Title sponsorship was not found for this year’s event so it was down to only one day. Too bad. Grandview has always welcomed us. They really get into the race and make it a great atmosphere. Hopefully, next year we will see the return to two days racing.

If it’s Sunday, it must mean the hill. Tough course. The weather was not bad, a bit breezy from the west. Warm, in the mid 80’s, but humidty went down since a front passed thru right before noon.

I really did not go in with high expectations. My goal was to ride better than last year. While I was better prepared than last year in terms of riding more, I really havent raced as much this year as I had hoped. Crits.. Hate em. But it’s part of racing, which means I gotta do ‘em.  (Gotta make that weekly crit series!)

I went in feeling rested. Legs felt great during the ride up and the warmup on the coarse. The hill even felt good! As usual for Masters, a strong field of about fifty riders. (I gave thought to racing in the 3-4 race. If there had been strictly a Cat 4 race, I would have opted for that.)


To say this was an interesting race, for me, is an understatement. At the start, I fumbled around getting clipped in (one reason I have to do more mass start races). Got clipped in and settled in at the back of the back, and was with them until the first climb. On a positive, I was able to stay closer to the field in this years race.

I was involved in a Tortoise and Hare race, literally. There was a guy entered who was riding a relaxed street bike, upright bars, and bar ends which he had to take off to start the race. I will call him Mr. Tortoise .Mr. Tortoise , if you read this. I apologize for calling you this. I only do that because I don’t know your name. And I apologize for my ego issue

As we know, cycling has it share of egos. Sometime I feel I’m not taken serious when I show up on my $1000 bike, although I’m sure there are many more valid reason (#1, there really is no reason consider me a serious threat!).  Some guys can be to judgmental.  And I have to say, I was thinking the same thing when I saw Mr. Tortoise .

On the second lap, the race began. I was on the flat, rough section on Goodale Ave, pushing 27 to 30 MPH, when Mr. Tortoise , with his unique riding style, came flying by me as we turned onto Broadview Ave to make the climb. As he was passing, I screamed “WTF!” I showed my frustration (Again, I apologize to you, Mr. Tortoise, who’s name I wish I really knew. I have to say, on hindsight, it more out of respect than frustration. I also apologize to any families who might have had their kids in the vicinity)


I managed to beat him up the hill, but I knew what my race was. Forget the field. I wasn't going to get back in it, and I had my own race. As for the field, it got pretty strung out. And there were a few more guys dealing with the same person I was. And I think there frustration level was way more than mine.

This was my race for the next 16 laps. I was thinking that for the spectators they were able watch a second race, and wondering who they were supporting. I suspect it was Mr. Tortoise against the aging and slowing Mr. Hare. (Actually I think he was older than I am). I could take him up the hill. Making the turn from Broadview to First, there was a pretty stiff headwind, which slowed me down. I could get some distance on the turns and downhill on the back side. But more times than not, I would see him fly by me on the Goodale stretch. There were a few laps where it did not happen, then just when I think I established a lead…here he comes.

As we came to the line to start out last lap, I had about 10 feet on him. I kicked in the afterburners and rode as hard as I ever had. I almost lost it on the downhill and turn onto Goodale Ave. That hill really hurt on this lap. But I wasnt looking pack, I was assuming he was on my wheel.

Turns out, I had about 20 to 30 yards on him. After I crossed the line, I soft pedaled wanting to catch my ole nemesis, and my new hero, to congratulate him on his race. I have to admit, if we had come down to the finish, and we were neck and neck like we were on so many laps, I would have had to relinquish and let him cross the line ahead of me.

I was pleased with the effort. I was in better shape than last year. I  rode much harder. Thank you Tortoise… I salute you! For me, you have given new meaning to the notion “It’s not the machine, and not the motor. And I did finished the grilled crow that was given to me on a silver platter!


Thanks to the promoters, the officials, volunteers, and the fine citizens of the great city of Grandview (thanks for the hospitality once again!)

Can’t wait for next year!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Ohio State Time Trial

Got up early yesterday to drive over to Versailles, OH for the Ohio State Time Trial. Thanks to Roger Bowersock and all the volunteers for a class event. And thanks to the really neat village of Versailles for having us!

I went over hoping for a better ride than I had two weeks ago at Groveport. For me, personally, it was worth the drive.  I finished with in 00:53:15. This was definitely my best time trial effort in more years than I can remember. (24.9 pace)

Nope, I didn't set the course of fire, but I came away pleased in knowing that I gave it all I had, and somewhat pleased with the final result. Though it was not even closed to placing in the Masters 50-54. There were a lot of low 40’s in that group.

I still believe ultimate TT success goes to the the motor and not the machine. And while I may sound bitter and jealous low budget racer, there is no such thing as parity when it comes to time trialing. (OK, I fess..I am jealous. Severance package coming soon..if I can find a job with money coming in…that could be fun money for me to help stimulate the economy of my LBS))

I rode my Fuji Roubaix Pro:


The only changes for me were Mavic Cosmic rims from the late 90’s (not aero), aero bars, skinsuit, and aero helmet. Guestimating I had about 1500 bucks into the total package.

Now put that against bikes that cost twice as much, weight about 3/4 of what mine weighs. Designed to slice thru the wind.Let’s be honest. While it does come down to the motor, how could I really be competitive against machine AND motors like that.

I was proud of what I personally accomplished yesterday. For me, it was a great effort , especially considering I was not a prepared for it as I should have been considering the time that has been available for training the past six weeks. I gave it all I had. That’s all I asked for.

But at the end of the day, it’s frustrating to see that lack of parity that exists. If I hadn't been out of racing so long, I probably wouldn’t feel this way. Although its been just over a year since my non triumphant return, in a way, I still feel like Rip Van Winkle. I’m still in awe of how technology improved while I was asleep.  And how training has evolved from guess work and/or heart rate monitors, to power meters and high tech gadgetry. (Which I will avoid, I dont have time to sit in from of a spreadsheet crunching numbers. I can do that when I go back to work.)

I really appreciate the non-aero division of the Groveport Time Trial. And while I was riding like crap that day, it did level the playing field. And I think it would be great for more promoters to add that category to their time trials. For all of those who are in the same boat as me, or for all of those who may want to compete, but have the attitude of “What’s the use?”

OK, I’m done with my b*tching and will  jump off my soap box. Still, personally, I had a great day yesterday and had a efing blast

On to the Tour of Grandview next weekend. Then looking at the July race calendar.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

State RR this weekend

Just submitted my entry to the state road race this weekend.

I’m not as well prepared for it as I should, but what the heck. This will be my first road race in about eight years

Monday, June 8, 2009

Groveport Grand Prix Time Trial


It was a disappointing effort. My time was off one minute from last year. One difference, I did have some aero equipment last year. I’m not a high budget racer, so my aero equipment is limited to aero bars, aero helmet, and skinsuit.

This year, I raced in the non aero (stardard) division. I was really glad to see them have this division. It leveled the playing field for me, or at least it should have. Unfortunately I wasn’t as well prepared for it as I should have been.

I’m out of work and have plenty of time to ride, but I’ve been playing Mr. Fixituper and working on some home improvement projects. That changes today.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Ending week 3 of unemployment

Starting week 4 tomorrow. I haven’t worked since April 30. I have to admit, I’ve kind of enjoyed not working, since I haven’t had to reach for the panic button. But it’s time to get serious. I’ve updated my resume on Monster and had some hits and calls.

Last week, it was a 300 plus mile week, and it was great. Good rides, legs held up, perfect weather. It was my fun week.

This past week, the weather was not so great, and I spent a good deal of my time remodeling the guest bathroom, which was crying for help. My first remodeling effort, and it turned out well, even if I do say so.

I do need to get back on the road this week for some serious training. Got a busy month coming up:

June 7, Grand Prix of Groveport

June 13, Ohio State Road Race Championships

June 21, Ohio State Time Trial Championships

June 28, Tour De Grandview

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Cruise Recap- NCL Pride of America May 2-9

As promised, here is a recap of our recent cruise.

I left the office on April 30 thinking I had a 50/50 chance of losing my job. I didn’t give it much thought while on the cruise. As it turns out, the cuts weren’t as drastic as expected, but I was affected.

I went into the cruise with not so high expectations. I had some really bad reviews of the cruise, but, on the hand, I had read some very positives. In the end, the quality of the service, the food and the pleasure we had on the trip far exceeded my highest expectations.

The down side to the trip was that we did not plan our excursions ahead, meaning there were so many things we did not get a chance to see or do. But that’s the downside to the cruise. Your time is limited at each port (with the exception of an overnight stay on Maui and Kauai). What the cruise allowed us is a feel for each of the islands.

Day 1

We drove to Charleston, WV from Columbus, via Dayton (to drop of the dogs) and arrived there at about 10PM on Friday night.

Our flight was scheduled to leave at 6:30 AM on May 1. That meant very little sleep. Personally I was so excited, that I got no sleep. In fact, I slept very little on the trip to Hawaii.


We connected in Houston to Continental Flight 1, arriving in HNL at 12:30 PM HST (six hours behind EDT). The flight was smooth, and wasn't near as long as I had expected.


We claimed out baggage was was greeted by NCL and were bused to the ship.


Embarkation went really smooth, and we were on the ship within 30 minutes of arriving at the pier. Just as we boarded, they announced that cabins on Deck 9 were ready. Perfect!


The cabin was great. It was a bit small, but then again, the cabin’s only a place to sleep. (The king size bed was super comfortable. If I could have only have found a way to get it home).

HNL_DB_Day10049 HNL_DB_Day10050

We went to the muster drill at 4PM. By the time we got back to our cabin, our bags had arrived. We unpacked and set out to have dinner (Aloha Buffet) and to explore the ship. We also booked our excursion for the next day (Mauna Kea)

HNL_DB_Day10055 HNL_DB_Day10059

We were two hours late leaving HNL as we were waiting for some more passengers whose flights were delayed. They were lucky, since we had to wait for them as they booked their entire package thru NCL. Some were not so lucky and had to find a way to join the cruise in Hilo the next day. 

The bed was calling my name by 9PM. It had finally caught up with me. I slept like a baby, and having the cabin door open as we sailed made it even more relaxing.

Day 2- Hilo

I was up early, as I was everyday of the cruise. I really enjoyed watching the sun rise over the Pacific, while enjoying my Kona coffee.


We went up and had breakfast at the Aloha, and then went down to prepare for debarkation at Hilo. That was a bit of a mess, complicated by the fact that we were late docking. We located our tour and we were. At the time, it was sunny and beautiful in Hilo. As it turns out, during the day, a volcanic haze settled in, and it was something we actually had to deal with on every island with the exception of Oahu.

The view from Mauna Kea was incredible.

Hilo_DB_Day20054  Hilo_DB_Day20064

 Hilo_DB_Day20085  Hilo_DB_Day20084


We were back at the ship by 5PM. We had dinner on the deck of the Aloha. With the clouds and haze it want such a beautiful afternoon in Hilo, but it had still be a great day.

Overnight sail from Hilo to Kahuilu (Maui).

Day 3- Kahuilu

Another beautiful sunrise as we were getting ready to dock in Kahuilu.


We arrived on time, and debarkation went really smooth today.

Maui_DB_Day320011 Maui_DB_Day320010

My appointment: a ride of Haleakala. I opted to rent a bike and do it on my own. The excursions did not appeal to me. Don’t bus me up, and let me ride down on cruisers. Or should I say coast down on cruisers.

Ever since I took up cycling a couple of years ago, I’ve been wanting to ride up Haleakala for the challenge of the ride.

We got our rental car, picked up the bike, and headed for Paia. After a brief stop at Hookipa Beach.

Maui_DB_Day320033 Maui_DB_Day320043

Maui_DB_Day320069 Maui_DM_Day320020

Maui_DB_Day320032 Maui_DB_Day320031

Time to start the climb. (The others were going to drive the Road to Hana, and drove part way up the climb). They drove back down and we made arrangements to meet in Paia. The weather started cloudy muggy.


The most frustrating part of the whole trip… I forgot my camera in the car in my rush to get started. But I will always have the experience. The ride up did get cooler, and the clouds did break a bit. I went up to 9000 ft (approx) and decided I should ride back down as to not miss the meetup with my group.

Our meeting time was perfect. I arrived about five minutes before our predetermined meet time. Got loaded up, and then back to the ship and what became a difficult time in trying to locate a parking space for the rental car. It was then time for a long shower and a huge dinner. It was prime rib night at the Aloha. Then we went to shore to have a few drinks at a local bar (those 4.75 beers on the ship were getting expensive).

We were in bed by 9:30 PM. Had to rest up for another day.

Day 3- Kahuilu

Another early start. We had to make the most of the time we had available since 4:30 was the all aboard.

Started out by going to… Wal-Mart. Yikes. I can do that at home.


Picked up a few souvenirs, then off the Iao Valley State Park.

Maui_DB_Day4DSCN6100-0039. Maui_DM_Day40088-filename

We dropped off the rental car about 3PM. We were back to the ship with plenty of time left. So I decided to get into my swimsuit, get some sun, and see us sail away to our next stop- Kona

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Cruise Recap- NCL Pride of America May 2-9 (part 2)

Day 5- Kona

Today was a shopping day. I didn’t have high hopes for Kona, to be honest. But it ended up being a very enjoyable day.

This was our tender day. Another beautiful sunrise




Pics from the Farmers Market

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Pics of the ship


More pics of Kona

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All aboard was 4:30PM. Overnight sail to Kauai!


Day 6- Kauai ( Nawilliwili)

This was the island I have been waiting for.

I did get a decent picture of the full moon, something like 4AM.


We got up early and had breakfast at the Aloha. Our planned excursion was a trip to Waimea Canyon. It was a beautiful morning to have breakfast on the deck.

Lihue_DB_Day6DSCN6206-0008. Lihue_DB_Day6DSCN6212-0013.

We disembarked, boarded the bus and we were off.  We were fortunate to have the perfect tour guide, Vinny, who grew up and still lives in the area we visted.

First, there was a stop at the Spouting Horn


We then got a chance to preview the scenery that was waiting for us:


We had the perfect day to view the Canyon. Some clouds, which provided interesting shadows and contrasts of the spectacular canyon. There was also less volcanic haze on Kauai .




Some other pics from the day.

Kauai’s red dirt, which makes for some awesome t-shirts.


Got this shot of a chicken (the national bird of Kauai) as he was headed to McD’s to become the next batch of nuggets.


We got back to the ship around 2PM. I decided today would be a beach day, so we changed and we were off to enjoy the sun and the surf.



After dinner, we decided it was time to get away from the overpriced beers on the ship, and stop for six pack of  Fire Rock to enjoy on the beach. It was a great evening!


Day 7- Kauai

This was kind of a sad day as there was the realization that the cruise was almost over. It was a great week. Time literally drug by. I had not picked up a newspaper all week. No Fox or CNN. It was only my Crackberry for phone and email.

All aboard was at 1:30. We were sailing at 2Pm which was going to include a sail by of the Napali coastline.

For me, it was some last minute shopping, then I came back on board to get some pictures of the ship.





I changed into my swimsuit and went top deck for the sailaway. This was our first time to cruise during the day. And it was awesome. Clear skies, cool breezes. And I got cooked!

Lihue_DM_Day7100_6081-0042. Lihue_DM_Day7100_6092-0053. Lihue_DM_Day7100_6094-0055.

The Napali sail by was scheduled for 5PM, so I went down and showered, anxious for this sailby. We were fortunate to have a port side balcony room as we had a perfect view and didnt have to fight for spots on the deck. This was the highlight of the trip. The ship made a turaround which made having a port balcony room even better. We were closer to the shore and slowed down in speed. Once the turnaround was done, we stayed a further distance from the shore and sped up)

So many pictures to go thru, here a few:

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A great day, and great trip was coming to an end. I was hoping to get some great pics of the sunset

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Enjoyed dinner, then went down to get our bags packed since we had to have them out by midnight. I was cooked, literally. And for the first time, I was experiencing a bit of nausea. I did not sleep well that night. The fact that this dream vacation was soon going to be over did not help.


Day 7- Honolulu

Sunrise over Oahu.  It’s coming to an end :-(

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We docked in Honolulu at 8PM. After an early breakfast, we went down to disembark. It went very smooth and quickly.

Our excursion for the day was the tour of the Arizona and Missouri.

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After the Missouri, the driver took us up into the mountains north and east of HNL. There was saw the only rain on the entire trip.

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We drove back down thru the Punchbowl and got to see more of HNL.

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We arrived at the airport around 4PM, for our 9:30PM flight back to Houston. It had been a busy week, and while I was not that tired during the week, it was beginning to catch up with me.  We had some dinner, did some more shopping, and then it really did catch up with me. I also knew that it was going to be a long flight home and a long day the following day.

We boarded and left on time. I dont think I remember anything until I saw the sunrise coming thru when we were over Arizona.

We landed in Houston at 9:30 CDT. Our flight to Charleston left at 12:30 CDT, and we arrived at 4:3o EST. From that point, we loaded the car for the four hour trip to Dayton to pick up the dogs, and then the hour drive to Columbus.

We got  home around 2AM.

I was up by 7AM. Reality is enjoying your Kona coffee in Ohio, then getting a call to let you know that your job has been eliminated.