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The 2012 Grand Asia & Australia Voyage, Part 9

The 2012 Grand Asia & Australia Voyage, Holland America ms Amsterdam

Text and pictures by Snookums, webification by Filbert

Part Nine

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November 2 (Friday, Day 43, At Sea) -

Indonesian dinner


For the first time since she hurt her neck last Thursday, Snookums went to the gym for Fab Abs. After showering and breakfast, she napped on the verandah for a couple of hours until Filbert came outside announcing that rather than overnighting in Brisbane, the ship was going to drop anchor in Hamilton Island, Australia which means a Great Barrier Reef snorkel trip. (Filbert was coming back from the lecture on “The Pacific: Hotbed of Volcanoes & Earthquakes” and the announcement was in the mailbox.)

The ocean was like glass all day and we saw dolphins once and flying fish several times. Filbert spent a lot of time on the verandah listening to his shortwave and he also attended the “Darwin, Northern Territory and aboriginal Australians” lecture in the afternoon. While he was there, Snookums attended crafts and made a pretty lariat necklace out of various green glass beads that she will actually wear. Snookums also attended Total Body Conditioning at 5 PM.

We attended the $69 Indonesian Dinner in Pinnacle Grill. Snookums wore the blouse she bought in Lombok and the necklace that she just made. We ate with David, Mary and Roberta (all Deluxe Verandah Suite guests, although four of us had never seen Roberta before and that was a standing joke during dinner) and we all had a great time. Tina, one of the Pinnacle Grill waitresses, was the cook for this superb dinner. Her mother actually brought her the various Indonesian spices (like Indonesian basil that she used in the beef rendang) when the ship was docked in Semarang. Tina enjoys cooking and made her mother’s recipes for all of us to enjoy. It was definitely well worth the $69. And, every woman received a handmade 2012 Grand Voyage commemorative angklung (Indonesian musical instrument). Snookums and Filbert both really enjoyed the steamed barramundi fish marinated in lemon grass that was wrapped in a banana leaf and the dish made of sautéed tofu and bean sprouts. All of the items were delicious, but these two were the best.

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The 2012 Grand Asia & Australia Voyage, Part 8

The 2012 Grand Asia & Australia Voyage, Holland America ms Amsterdam

Text and pictures by Snookums, webification by Filbert

Part Eight

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October 31 (Wednesday, Day 41, Lembar, Indonesia; 10,000 Rp = $1.04, $1 = 9,610 Rp) -

We took the first tender at 7 AM to meet our guide, Eko. Sharie and John also came with us. We drove to a Sasak village of 300 households. Women weave ikat cloth or songket cloth and each sarong takes about one month to complete. The village seemed to be a cooperative village where money from the tours or purchases is shared. We saw the outside toilet and the freely roaming goats and chickens.

Weaver, with kid


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The 2012 Grand Asia & Australia Voyage, Part 7

The 2012 Grand Asia & Australia Voyage, Holland America ms Amsterdam

Text and pictures by Snookums, webification by Filbert

Part Seven

(Remember to click "read more" if you're looking at this from the main medary.com page to get the whole article!)

October 29 (Monday, Day 39, Semarang, Java, Indonesia; 10,000 Rp = $1.04, $1 = 9,610 Rp) -

View from Borobudur


Today was an exciting day since Semarang is very close to where a lot of the Indonesian crewmembers live. Over 800 family members were visiting the ship today to see their loved ones. HAL’s crew contracts are ten months long so the few hours that the family members could spend were very meaningful.

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The 2012 Grand Asia & Australia Voyage, Part 6

The 2012 Grand Asia & Australia Voyage, Holland America ms Amsterdam

Text and pictures by Snookums, webification by Filbert

Part Six

(Remember to click "read more" if you're looking at this from the main medary.com page to get the whole article!)

October 21 (Sunday, Day 31, Hong Kong, China; 1 HKD = $0.13, $1 = 7.75 HKD) -

Nan Lan Garden, Hong Kong


Snookums was the only person at the 7:30 AM fitness class so Hamish had her do a 23-minute “drop set” circuit on five machines. It was an absolute killer workout and although it only involved weights (and no specific cardio exercises), she burned 350 calories and was dripping wet by the time it was over.

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The 2012 Grand Asia & Australia Voyage, Part 5

The 2012 Grand Asia & Australia Voyage, Holland America ms Amsterdam

Text and pictures by Snookums, webification by Filbert

Part Five

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October 10 (Wednesday, Day 20, Jeju City, South Korea; 100 KRW = $0.09; $1.00 = 1,111 KRW) -

It's NOT called Jeju City because . . .


Snookums got up when her alarm went off and although she was pretty tired from yesterday’s activities, she went to the fitness class. She swore off the ship’s desserts as of Sunday, October 7 in order to lose some of the weight that she already gained on the cruise.

Jeju City, with a population of around 300,000, is the capital of Jeju Island, which is a resort island roughly 45 miles by 26 miles. It was partly cloudy with a forecast of a high of 72. We took the free shuttle to the Ramada Plaza Jeju Hotel. We walked around and stopped at E-Mart right away since the travel planning information that Snookums brought on the trip talked about a basement grocery store and a fifth floor food court. It took us several tries to find the various escalators, elevators and moving walkways that were needed to get to each floor, but we did it and scouted out our shopping plan for our return walk back to the Ramada. Then we continued our Jeju City exploring and stopped at the tourist information kiosk and Snookums asked where she could get a postcard and the woman gave her a pack of five. What luck, considering the two souvenir places in E-Mart didn’t have any.

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The 2012 Grand Asia & Australia Voyage, Part 4

The 2012 Grand Asia & Australia Voyage, Holland America ms Amsterdam

Text and pictures by Snookums, webification by Filbert

Part Four

(Remember to click "read more" if you're looking at this from the main medary.com page to get the whole article!)

October 8 (Monday, Day 18, At Sea) -

Kunchi Festival, Nagasaki


Snookums woke up in time to do 25 minutes on the elliptical prior to going to the fitness class. She got a trophy on her watch, too, for meeting her calories burned goal the prior week. She made it by 1%! It will be hard for her to get a trophy for this week’s efforts since there won’t be any workouts the two Beijing days.

Snookums went to the 11 AM “Things to See & Do in Xingang and Beijing”. We are doing a two-day overnight tour to Beijing so she doesn’t need to learn about Xingang or Beijing (and she’s been to Beijing two other times), but she wants to hear about Xingang in case another cruise stops at this isolated port.

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The 2012 Grand Asia & Australia Voyage, Part 3

The 2012 Grand Asia & Australia Voyage, Holland America ms Amsterdam

Text and pictures by Snookums, webification by Filbert

Part Three

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October 6 (Saturday, Day 16, Kobe, Japan; 100 JPY = $1.28, $1.00 = 78 JPY) -

Kinkakuji


Snookums went to the fitness class and then Brooke, a woman traveling alone for the first time, joined us for our trip to Kyoto which is about an hour away via train. Kobe is the sixth largest city in Japan and has a population of about 1.5 million. In 1995 a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit Kobe and 6,400 people died and 100,000 hones were destroyed. Kobe made a quick recovery and it is now a modern, industrialized city. Our $15.90 train took us from Kobe to Kyoto via Osaka. The entire hour-long trip was through a city and the Kobe-Osaka-Kyoto boundaries were not obvious. For some reason, Snookums thought that Kyoto was a town, but it’s a large, bustling city just like Yokohama, Kobe, Osaka and Tokyo.

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The 2012 Grand Asia & Australia Voyage, Part 2

The 2012 Grand Asia & Australia Voyage, Holland America ms Amsterdam

Text and pictures by Snookums, webification by Filbert

Part Two

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October 3 (Wednesday, Day 13, At Sea) -

Snookums went to the fitness class and then Snookums and Filbert ate breakfast in Neptune. It was rainy but around 68° outside. After that Filbert and Snookums went to the “Things to See & Do in Jeju” travel lecture and then stayed for “The Aleutian Islands” lecture. Then Snookums picked up her prize of a deck of Holland America playing cards for winning Monday’s daily quiz. It’s the same prize every time so she won’t bother with the daily quiz again.

Snookums went to the crafts class and made a beaded keycard lanyard although she doesn’t have a need for a lanyard. Later on she went to the “Fab Abs” class.

Tonight was formal “Kimono Night” and Snookums looked elegant in her men’s kimono that she bought at a thrift store when she worked in Tokyo and Filbert looked dashing in his Indian outfit that he purchased to wear at a wedding in India. We went to the Ocean Bar before dinner and saw the five gentlemen hosts onboard dancing with single women. We also noticed that not many men wore any kind of ethnic attire. Filbert was unique, and comfortable, in his!

Kimono Night


At dinner we saw that Sharie wore a beautiful Korean kimono – solid black heavy damask with a starched white collar and a bow tied off to one side under her chest. She bought hers at a Vancouver thrift store for $20 and definitely got her money’s worth. There were three Japanese dinner selections – yakitori chicken appetizer, sukiyaki soup and tempura entrée – and all were enjoyed although the tempura was rather greasy and heavy. Even the dessert menu had two Japanese choices – green tea ice cream and green tea cheesecake with adzuki bean sauce. Filbert was the only brave person at the table to order them. He didn’t care for the cheesecake and said the bright green ice cream did taste a little bit like green tea.

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The 2012 Grand Asia & Australia Voyage, Part 1

The 2012 Grand Asia & Australia Voyage, Holland America ms Amsterdam

Text and pictures by Snookums, webification by Filbert

Part One

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September 20, 2012 (Thursday, Day 1, Flying to Seattle) -

The Itinerary


Our Alaska Airlines non-stop flight to Seattle left five minutes early and landed 30 minutes early. The trip got off to a great start. We took the $2.75 Link Light Rail to the Hyatt at Olive 8 and were upgraded to a corner room suite and were also given a bottle of red wine and a 7.5 oz. bag of chocolate covered dried cherries for our anniversary. The trip is off to a really great start and it’s only 8 PM! After waiting 90 minutes for our Hyatt Diamond amenity to be delivered and making two phone calls, the bottle of wine and cheese and crackers were finally delivered. A slice of chocolate cake was also delivered as an apology.

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A Hooley! I wants a hooley!

(cross-posted from Medary's kinder, gentler twin blog site, gemütlich blog)

"Anger is uneasiness or discomposure of the mind upon the receipt of any injury, with a present purpose of revenge."  -- John Locke, "An Essay Concerning Human Understanding"

"The insolence and brutality of anger, in the same manner, when we indulge its fury without check or restraint, is, of all objects, the most detestable. But we admire that noble and generous resentment which governs its pursuit of the greatest injuries, not by the rage which they are apt to excite in the breast of the sufferer, but by the indignation which they naturally call forth in that of the impartial spectator; which allows no word, no gesture, to escape it beyond what this more equitable sentiment would dictate; which never, even in thought, attempts any greater vengeance, nor desires to inflict any greater punishment, than what every indifferent person would rejoice to see executed." -- Adam Smith, "The Theory of Moral Sentiments"

Listening to Mr. Locke and Mr. Smith, and observing the theory that "living well is the best revenge," I dispense with my anger regarding the 2015 Hugo debacle.  (wipes hands, makes throwing-away motion a la countless people in the Honor Harrington novels.)

The Puppies have kicked off Sad Puppies 4:  The Embiggening (The Bitches Are Back).  It's fascinating, isn't it, how a movement with the basic tenet of "read what you like, nominate what you really, really like" draws so much vitriol and spittle-flecked hatred, isn't it?

Well, you just can't please some people.  But like they say, haters gotta hate.

Anyway, I'm taking the sour grapes of the haters and making lemonade and other fruit-based drinks, and beginning to organize a get-together of like-minded Huns and Morons, somewhere in or around Kansas City, somewhen in the August 16-21 time frame.

This hooley is tentatively known as the KCHunMoMee:  The Kansas City Hun/Moron Meetup.

It'll likely be in a restaurant, tavern, or public house, somewhere in the KC metro area, details to be worked out.  Who knows, we might wind up in or near a gun range.

Specifically invited are Huns from Sarah Hoyt's According to Hoyt site and SF-tolerant Morons from Ace of Spades HQ.  Others of like Oddness or moronity (and if so, why aren't you on AtH or the HQ already?) will likewise be welcome.

Bring your own carp.  Crossbow and longbow enthusiasts will be asked to unstring their weapons before entering.

I have set up an electronic messaging thingie for communicating about this festive event.  It is: Huns and Morons at-sign gmail.

Oh.  Yeah.  Dot.com.

Put that address together, discard extraneous spaces, punctuation and obfuscating wordage, and pop me a note if you are interested.