Sailing toward Hawaii...Four days until we reach Kona, ..The Big Island...


A fancy outhouse on a tropical island.
Today, at 12:45 pm is the Crossing the Equator Ceremony which we'll attend poolside, taking photos we'll post tomorrow.  In these past four and a half years we've crossed the Equator on four occasions; twice on a ship and twice while on in the air.

Crossing  the Equator on a cruise ship is particularly festive when there is usually a ceremony filled with hilarious activities centered around King Neptune. Tomorrow, we'll return with our photos from the event.
Pristine beach and sea views.
In May 2015, while on our way from Hawaii to Sydney we thoroughly enjoyed the activities surrounding "King Neptune" and hope this ship will provide an equally entertaining Equator crossing event.

Otherwise, today will be a relatively quiet day for us.   With four more sea days, until we reach Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii, where we spent Christmas with 12 of our family members in 2014, we'll be reminded of how long it's been since we've seen everyone.
A school of fish swimming by the tender.
As we count down to 23 days until we reach Minnesota, the time apart becomes more apparent than ever. We haven't seen son Richard in Henderson, Nevada since January 3, 2013 (when he wasn't able to join us in Hawaii in 2014), a full four and a half years ago. Nor, have we seen some of Tom's siblings his retirement party in October 2012 and others during Christmas in Las Vegas since 2012.

My eldest sister (four years) also lives in Las Vegas, Nevada about a 30-minute drive from Richard's home.  I haven't seen her since December 2012.  My dear sister has been lying in bed with the same spinal condition as mine for the past 12 years. 
Care for a ride on a small boat?
Seeing my dear sweet sister is a sorrowful reminder that had I not changed my diet five and a half years ago, lying in bed, unable to walk and in constant pain could have easily been my fate.  My hearts breaks for her. 

But, a life without the pleasure of many foods isn't for everyone.  For me, it was a no-brainer...be in a wheelchair or give up the foods I loved.  I choose to give up the foods.
The sun reflecting on the sea at the end of the day.
The end result of that decision has enabled us to travel the world, an impossible thought six years ago, a reality today.  There's no doubt I'm eternally grateful as is Tom.  And although, I continue to struggle with this lingering and annoying gastrointestinal thing I remain hopeful for the future.

The next leg of our journey await us; our family, our friends and the memories of the hot summers and wintertime frozen tundra of Minnesota, which in itself I do not miss at all.  We adapt, we change and our priorities change along with us.

We sail on...

Be well.
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Photo from one year ago today, May 3, 2016:

"Pinch me," I gasped, "Is this real?"  We could hardly believe our eyes when we saw two buffalo walking on the beach with their owner.  He'd brought them for a swim in the river next to our house.  The black spot in the ocean is a small buoy.  This was our first photo in our upcoming series of photos of "Sightings on the Beach in Bali," one year ago.  For more photos, please click here.

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