Grand Asia Samoa

Day 28 – November 22, 2012 – Apia, Samoa

Samoa Resort

You never know what to expect. Today’s surprise was the gauntlet of taxi drivers! Usually Holland America takes us to nearest town on a bus… and we’ve grown quite spoiled to these Grand Voyage accommodations! Ha! Today we were met by a wall of large Samoan men right behind the gates of the pier, longing to take us in their taxis. So hard to choose… hoping you do so wisely. And so we finally said yes to Simone – in his lava lava, bare-feet, and floral shirt. And when he took us to his car… aye adai! It was the oldest one we saw all day, the air-con didn’t work much, the tires were about to split, and it had a hard time chugging us up over the hills… but all’s well that ends well, and we enjoyed our day.

Taxi Tire

We saw the beautiful Papapatai Falls and an incredible resort on the opposite side of the island from Apia. We visited Villa Vailima, the home of Robert Louis Stevenson, and also stopped at a gorgeous Catholic Church… all open air.

Samoa Waterfall

It’s a quaint place, little villages, thatched roofs. Simone is a chief in his family, lives in a farming village and has no electricity. They cook their food with wood, and they catch their water. Again… reminders of Guam everywhere… and probably what Guam was like 40 years before we moved there.

Gary and the Chief

(By the way… Gary gave him money at the end of our tour to go buy some new tires!)

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Day 29 – November 22, 2012 – At Sea

Notice that it’s still November 22, still Thursday, still Thanksgiving Day. We’ve crossed the Dateline.

It felt a little odd this morning… no preparations to be made, no hustle and bustle. We filled the day with nice conversations, good food, samba lessons and reading. Gary actually got on a bike today. He’s been giving his achilles a break.

American Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Dinner was very nice this evening with Carol and Evan. The dining room was filled with American flags and red, white & blue streamers… making sure we Americans were honored on our holiday. I had two courses of delicious pumpkin soup, and also had two desserts… pumpkin and pecan pie. The turkey was good, the plate was filled with vegetables – so we truly had our traditional meal.

Day 30, 31, 32 – November 23, 24, 25, 2012 – At Sea

Movies, dancing, reading, relaxing. “Hawaii”, “Amelia”, “Pearl Harbor”.

Grand Chefs
Another beautiful formal night, a dessert extravaganza, lovely gifts of commemorative plates. We crossed the equator Friday night and loved watching our tv screen count down to zero from the south, then begin moving up into the north.

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