41 days till I am home!

Man I have been horrible about keeping up with my blog this contract. I have 41 days till I am home, I cannot believe how quickly this contract has been flying by.

We are officially in high season here on the Pride of America, because we are in summer so there are a bunch of kids on board. Last time I posted we had just celebrated Easter.

I am truly in a routine here in Hawaii. I still love my job and I don’t completely hate ship life.

A week after Easter, Buffalo, Lulu, Honeychild, and I hiked at Haleakala on the Sliding Sands Trail. It was an exhausting hike because the entire thing was a gradual decline so the hike back up was killer. Buffalo and I took multiple breaks. But the views were incredible!

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A few weeks later, Lulu and I got to go on a passenger tour for free to the Volcanoes National Park. I had gone when I was a teenager, but I could barely remember it. We had a blast walking through the lava tube and seeing the HUGE crater.

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Those are the only real big adventures I have been doing lately. My cousin Tara and her husband Tim came to Kauai for their 5th anniversary, and I got to spend the day with them and kayak down Wailua River and hike to an amazing waterfall. I haven’t seen them since their wedding, so it was great to visit.

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I am ready to go on vacation and be at home to see my family. Here are some random photos from the past few weeks. Aloha!

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I haven’t posted in a while… Whoopsies

I cannot believe I am about to start my seventh week back on the ship! My vacation at home was amazing, I’m sad it flew by so quickly.

So far my second contract here is going great! I have been keeping busy with work and going on adventures.

On my second week back, my friends Lulu, Beeker, Eric, and I went to hike Honopu Ridge, a rough, uncompleted trail that is two miles each way. It was a tough hike, but an amazing view and a great time.

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Two days later, Hugs and I went and hiked Diamond Head on Oahu. It was my first time hiking it. It was a fairly easy hike, with a very cool view. We could see out ship and we kept saying we could see our house from up there.

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A few days later in Kona, Hugs, Beeker, and I rented a car and traveled to South Point, the most southern point in the U.S. to go cliff jumping. It took me two hours to get up the courage to finally do it. It was about a 35 foot jump, but the scariest part was the old rusty ladder that wasn’t bolted to anything that you had to climb to get back up. I only did it once, but I am glad I finally did it.

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The next week we were scheduled to have a training week with a representative from Kings Camps, a British company that created all of the programs for the kids club for Norwegian. Our guy was Daniel, and we had a complete blast with him throughout the week. We also loved showing him Hawaii. He had a Kings Camps sweatshirt that he said he would be giving away at the end of the week to the counselor he felt took the most away from his training a. And I won it!!

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Beeker my manager went home today, so we have a new manager, Tizzle from international. He is great and we really like him on our team. I’m happy because this is a short contract and I have less than 100 days until I am home. I am still loving my time here, so I hope you can all come visit Hawaii one day!

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Exploring southern and western Kauai

Two weeks ago I had the whole day on Thursday off until 5:45 pm, so I rented a car and decided to explore the other half of the island. I had explored eastern and northern Hawaii during Halloween week.

The day started off great because I was upgraded to a Mustang convertabile for free, and I felt so COOL.

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The day before I had made a list of all the things I wanted to see that day, and I was determined to do so. My first stop was to drive through the tunnel of trees to get to Poipu to go to Poipu Beach Park and to see Spouting Horn, this really cool natural blowhole.

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After that I backtracked to see the small historic town of Koloa, and to eat lunch at Tomkats Grille for lunch.

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Once my belly was full from a really amazing cheeseburger, I continued on my journey and headed to Waimea Canyon. The drive was mind blowing. I even stopped in the middle of the road to hop out to get picture of the view behind me.

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Once I got to the Waimea Canyon lookout, I parked my car and headed up the cement stairs to the lookout. I really didn’t know what to expect, but when I got to the top my mouth actually fell open. It was simply breathtaking. They call it the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, so now I really want to see the Grand Canyon.

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My final stop was the Hanapepe Swinging Bridge, this really cool bridge that one of my travel books said to check out. It was a really fun little side trip, and it made we want to visit Hanapepe again some time.

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At the end of the day, it really reminded me how blessed I am to have this job and to be living in Hawaii for free. And how lucky I am to have time off sometimes to explore the islands. I spent the day exploring alone, which I enjoy doing, but after seeing how amazing the sights were, I wish I could have shared it with someone. Maybe next time I have some time off I will take someone!

The week my family came onboard!

For the week of January 4-11, eight of my family members came on the ship for vacation! It was my mom, dad, twin sister Laura, my grandma, aunt Amy, uncle Greg, and cousins Blake and Taylor.

I requested to be on teens that week, which meant that I would have all day on Sunday and Thursday till the evening to hang out with them, as well as every morning and most afternoons. Also, my cousin Blake was in the age group to be in teen club so I got to hang out with him every night.

We did so much!! I love getting to explore Hawaii with them.

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On Sunday, everyone except my mom and sister did the Road to Hana.

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On Monday morning we took a tour to the top of Haleakala.

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On Tuesday I was bummed out because they all went to the Volcanoes National Park, and I couldn’t come because I had drill and Captain’s All Hands meeting. But it ended up being an amazing day because I received a Vacation Hero Award! About 12 people are chosen each month from all the different departments. And for the entertainment department, I was the only one to get it for the month of December! It is basically an employee of the month award. I got a special pin and certificate, and they had a special luncheon for us.

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On Wednesday we all went snorkeling. On Thursday morning, I taught Laura how to paddle board, and then we all went on a tubing adventure with Kauai Backcountry Adventures. If you are ever in Kauai, I highly recommend them.

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On Friday we all had a final lunch together at Skyline, and then that night my aunt, uncle, and cousins said their goodbyes.

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I had a great week with them here, and I think they did too!!

Christmas and New Years

The holidays on a ship are odd. When you are away from your family and it is 80 degrees out, it’s easy to think of Christmas as just another work day.

But the Pride of America did a great job of trying to make the holidays away from home the best possible. There was a party or event almost every night, and the ship was beautifully decorated with Christmas trees everywhere.

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We decorated all of kids club with snowflakes and we all received stockings from Toby Beau. We were also encouraged to wear holiday themed accessories.

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As a youth counselor, we had a bunch of extra duties for the kids, including gifts with Santa and gingerbread house making. I got to be an elf for the gingerbread making, and the youth counselors had to wrap about a billion presents sent from corporate.

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The ship hosted a lot of parties!! One night was the Officers Christmas Party, where the staff was also invited. Then the entertainment department had our Christmas Party, which was a BLAST! There was lots of food and drinks and was hosted by Rennetta from Toby Beau. Then on Christmas Eve there was an Ugly Sweater party in crew bar.

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On Christmas Day they gave us a lunch in Liberty, and corporate gave everyone iPod Shuffles with cute sayings in the back! That afternoon, I face timed my parents and sister and opened up my presents.

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The week leading up to New Years Eve was fun as well. Crew Enrichment hosted a Masquerade Ball, and it was so cool! They even used our snowflakes for decorations.

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The best part of the week was that I got to see my mom and dad after four and a half months! They stayed in Maui the week before they came on the ship, so I got to spend Sunday afternoon and Monday morning with them.

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Actual New Years Eve on the ship wasn’t to exciting for me because I worked till 3 am for late night care at kids center. But the ship was beautiful and the party looked amazing!

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Overall, I had a really great time on the ship during the holidays. The best part was seeing my parents, and knowing that my family would be getting on the ship for January 4-11. But that’s for the next post!

My birthday and Thanksgiving

These past few weeks have been really great here! Today marks 50 days till I go home, which makes me really excited.

This was the first birthday that I haven’t been with my twin, Laura. Usually if we aren’t together that day, we will see each other very soon after. So it was tough being away, but everyone here made me feel very loved!

The day before my birthday we were in Kona, and Lulu and I went on one of the ship excursions for only $20 each! It was with Body Glove, where we snorkeled, paddleboarded, jumped off a high jump, and went down a water slide. I also added on the snuba activity, where I got to go to the bottom of the reef and see the fish super close. It was an amazing day!!

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I worked during the morning, and I had the afternoon and evening off. We were on Kauai, so I had a beach day, then went to the most expensive restaurant on board with my friend Eric, my friend Lulu filled my bed with balloons, and that night they had a crew bowling night. I had a fantastic day.

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The next cruise was Thanksgiving and I was on teens for the week. I had an AMAZING group of teens. I had about 30 come each night, and they were a blast to spend time with and get to know.

On Thanksgiving, my friend Gretchen and I went paddleboarding, which I absolutely loved!

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Then as I was walking back to my room to get dressed for the crew Thanksgiving lunch, I got the call from Laura that she was engaged!! I could not stop crying that day, both because I was happy for her, and because it made it so much harder to be away from home.

The lunch was delicious and a nice reminder that it actually was a holiday. When you work everyday it is easy to see it as just another workday because you aren’t with your family. This holiday was really tough because it is my second favorite holiday because my entire family gets together. I got to Skype in, which was so awesome, but I just wish I could have been there.

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My awesome teens wrote me a bunch of comment cards, so for the week of Thanksgiving I had the second most amount of comment cards. I got a picture with our hotel director and everything.

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I am loving my time in Hawaii. I am homesick of course, but definitely not missing the cold and snow. The family will be here in a few weeks, which I’m so excited about!!! Here’s some random pictures from my life the past few days.

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Halloween week adventures

During the week of Halloween, I was on teens. That means most days I had the day off and then I always worked at night until 1 a.m.

So with that awesome of a schedule, I had to take advantage of it! On Sunday, I went to the bus station and got on the bus to see the Maui Ocean Center in Maalaea. Mom said we went 7 years ago, but I didn’t remember it at all. Before I went in I went to this DELICIOUS pizza place an bought some really good chocolate fudge from this nearby chocolate company.

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I had totally awesome teens my week. I only had three, but they came every night faithfully. And they were all European! 20131109-111008.jpg

That is Sofia, Emily, and Jono!

Then on Thursday in Kauai, I rented a car. I hadn’t driven in two an a half months, and I missed it!!! I hadn’t gone on any adventures in Kauai, so my friend Robert, who was leaving on Saturday, and I went to the North Shore to see Hanalei Bay.

It was SO COOL. Our first stop was at Opaekaa Falls. Then on the way to Hanalei we stopped in the small town Kapa’a to eat lunch at this amazing BBQ shack called Chicken in a Barrel.
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Then we stopped at Hanalei Valley before descending it to go to Hanalei Bay Beach. It was so gorgeous. Completely breathtaking.

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Then we got to the beach and swam and sunbathed. The view was so crazy cool. In my travel guide book, the description of this book said that when you swim in the water here and see the view you realize you are living in paradise.

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That night was the Halloween crew party. Because I was on teens I only got to go the last hour of the party, but I had a blast!! I went as Miss Pell, so my dress had words subtlety misspelled. My favorite costume was Mike Wazowski that Matt from the production cast wore.

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On Friday afternoon while sailing by the Na Pali Coast, my teens and I went to watch and saw an INSANE rainbow!! It was mind blowing cool.

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So overall it was a super fun week exploring the wonderful state I get to live in. Only 9 more cruises till my parents, Laura and Mom Mom get here!!! So excited. Hope you are all enjoying fall, I don’t miss it too much. Miss you guys and sending lots of aloha to you all!!

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Finally in my routine

Hey guys sorry it has been forever since I have written. The last few weeks have been crazy because in Australia, the kids were on holiday, which meant we went into a three week long high season.

We are back in low season again, meaning we usually have less than 50 kids on board. And with the ship being able to take over 2,000 guests, 50 is nothing.

I have been here for almost two months now!! Time has been flying. When you work everyday, the only way we know what day it is is by which port we are at.

Guys, I am so insanely happy here. I LOVE my work. I always catch myself walking down the hallway smiling because I still can’t believe I am here.

Of course I am always homesick, but I know I have to just keep pushing through. The thing I hate about ship life is that people are always coming and going. This week, my three closest friends on the ship left. So that’s tough, but it’s also cool getting to meet new people all the time.

I have gotten to go on a good amount of adventures so far! I went to the Green Sand Beach with two other youth counselors, Skittles and Gator, which was a total blast and so beautiful. I got to go to Pearl Harbor with my friend Zac just a few days before the government shutdown.

The shutdown has been tough here because so many people who come on the cruise go to see the volcanoes and Pearl Harbor. But with it all being shut down, a lot of people are upset.

I am finally in my routine here. I found out that there is a bible study on Tuesday nights at 11 in a training room, so I started going to that. And now my good friend Eric and I lead the worship for it, which is really cool. And this morning, I went to church on Maui for the first time with him, and it really refreshed my soul. You dot realize how much you miss being in fellowship with a bunch of believers until you are away from it for two months.

I seriously can’t put in to words how beautiful it is here. Everyday when I look out and see beaches and mountains and rainbows, I just can’t stop smiling because of how cool God is. I hope everyone can see Hawaii sometime in their life.

That’s all I have to report right now, I love you all and miss home every day. Keeping praying for me out here, the devil runs wild here on this ship.

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Adventure in Maui

This week I am on teen duty, which means I only work with the 13-17 year olds on the ship. There are only 8 on board, so it has been a nice week. But the great thing about being on teens is that I have for the most part every day off until the evening, which leaves room for adventures.

So on Sunday, me, Skittles, and Lulu got up crazy early, got a rental car, bought lunch and snacks, and headed off for the road to Hana. Instead of going from the beginning to the end, we started at the end and worked our way forwards.

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The drive was insanely beautiful. I can’t even put into words how breathtaking it was. So here are some attempts to show you the views from the car ride.

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We finally made it to the Haleakala National Park, which has the Ohe’o Gulch, commonly referred to a the Seven Sacred Pools. We parked the car, and hiked to the pools. It was GORGEOUS. The sad thing was that the levels of water had spiked so they had to close it, and we only got to spend about 15 minutes there.

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After that hike, we ate our lunches in the shade, and headed off to complete the road to Hana. The road is really gorgeous, but very windy, high up, and super narrow. Lulu was an amazing driver and we drove it safe and sound.

Out next stop was the Red Sand Beach. It was a really pretty and kind of scary hike, but it was so worth it when we finally saw it. The view we were not prepared for was that it is a popular nude beach. And of course, the only people who were nude were the old people. Other than that though, the beach was beautiful.

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After leaving the Red Sand Beach, we had a good amount of driving left, but we made a few out stops, including buying this awesome banana bread from this vendor on the mountain, and stopping at this little rickety shopping cluster on the mountain, which included me feeding a chicken some coconut. The best little stop though was seeing a gorgeous waterfall.

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Our last stop was a short little hike to see the Twin Waterfalls, which was right at the beginning of the road to Hana. It was small, but a nice was to end the day.

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We made it back to town, returned the car, and made it in to the ship with plenty of time to spare before work at 6:45. And it only cost me $29. I would say that was a successful adventure for a girl living in Hawaii. On Wednesday, Skittles and I are going to the Green Sand Beach, so look out for my next post on it!

Being homesick

I have now been working for Norwegian for three weeks. I am so madly in love with my job and the fact that I get to live in Hawaii. What more could a 21 year old ask for in a first post college job?

There are over 900 people who work on the Pride of America. So of course I have made friends and acquaintances. I know people in lots of different departments, which is really fun.

But today I had my first wave of homesickness. Yesterday I read “Where the Wild Things Are” to my kids, and i was hit by the line “oh please don’t go, we’ll eat you up we love you so.”

This line really didn’t hit me until today when I called my mom and my best friend, Emily, to catch up. After a nice chat, they both had to go, and it was so hard saying goodbye.

I miss my friends from home and Hood and my family so much. My kids asked yesterday how often I got to see my parents, and when I told them I would see them in January they were mind blown.

I was a mess today from the homesickness. I am even tearing up now as I am writing this. Of course I am not alone here being surrounded by 900 plus people, but I still feel alone.

The same feeling came to me when I was new to Hood two years ago, so I know in time this feeling will go away, but not yet.

I am truly having an amazing time here, do not be confused. I got to go snorkeling the other day, I have been to the beach a few times, I saw dolphins, the list goes on and on. I wanted this job so badly, and I got it! And I truly love my work. I could not ask for a better department to work in.

Continue to pray for me as I work through these feelings of sadness and loneliness. Also pray that I find some strong Christian friends to connect with. Ship life is an insane world, and I need strong fellow believers to spend time with.

Thank you all for following along with me on this adventure. I really really miss you all. ❤

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