Jul 11, 2008

Dinner Date

Saipan Sunset

Last weekend Babs and I decided to play tourists for a change and booked a dinner date on a "Saipan Sunset Cruise." We joined a passel of Japanese, Korean, and Russian tourists for a sunset saunter up and down the western coast of Saipan while enjoying a buffet dinner.

The ride was smooth (much to my relief--I was worried we'd both be queasy), the food adequate, the iced tea (and water for Babs) bottomless, the music loud and enthusiastic (much more so than one might expect for a sunset cruise), but the view was what made the night. In a word: spectacular.

Our boat

The dining area on the lower deck: We didn't spend much time here except for when we were eating. Part of it was due to the musical stylings of this fellow below. He's remarkably talented with a seemingly bottomless songbook of musical styles and artists from Elvis to the Beatles to Neil Diamond (He also had a repertoire of Korean, Japanese, and Chinese songs as well). He literally seemed to be able to take any request from the audience and play it on the spot. But he was also extremely loud! The volume was full tilt all evening and we could hear him just fine from the upper deck where we spent most of our time. Plus the view was much better there.

Looking back on Saipan not long after we cast off. This, by the way, is how Saipan looks when we do the "tank swim." I've never been able to take a photo since my camera isn't waterproof, but this is what we look back on when we're sitting out on that rusted World War II-era tank just offshore. Lovely, isn't it.

Babs enjoying the ride. The boat in the distance behind her is called, appropriately, Stars and Stripes.

Another view of Saipan. The girls in the foreground are cultural dancers waiting to do their show on the lower deck a little later in the cruise.

An incidental rainbow.

Sea, Sky, and Land. . .the three ingredients that make Saipan the beautiful place it is.

Looking west

Another view of our island home from the top deck of the boat.

Babs aglow: Whether it's from the sunset behind her or the pregnancy is debatable--that's she gorgeous is unquestionable.

I thought this cultural dancer chatting on his cell phone was an interesting juxtaposition--though not as ironic as you might think. These are not the ordinary clothes of the people who live here, and undoubtedly he'll change back into jeans and t-shirt in a few minutes.

The last golden rays of the sunset as we pull back into port.

Moonrise captured in the parking lot at the docks at the end of our dinner date.

We've had a number of special dinners lately. I already blogged about our dinner party with my former students. We also had our friends Russ & Kanae Quinn over for dinner this past week. You can read and see pictures here on their blog, as I totally forgot to take pictures while they were here. This past Tuesday, I met up with some more, slightly younger, former students for supper at Spicy Thai. I have a tradition of treating my former students to dinner when they graduate from high school. One of the dinner guests has just graduated and another (one of Malou's sons) is moving to New Zealand next week and so I won't be able to take him to dinner when he graduates next year. Again, I forgot the camera but we had a great time feasting on Thai food and sharing memories of their school days at SDA.


Bev said...

Beautiful pics Sean. Happy that you and Barbara are enjoying your time together before Elijah's arrival=) Miss you guys.

Ronda said...

You mean we didn't do ALL the touristy stuff when we were there! Awesome! Guess we'll have to get back there some time. We still talk about the fabulous time we had there with all of you guys. Our trip was a real highlight in our lives, for sure! You guys made it even more special as well as making us feel like family from the start. Babs certainly does look beautiful! We are all so excited about the new Maycock on the way. Riki can hardly stand it that she won't be there when he arrives! I hear you got to talk to the group that got together last week. Riki really, really misses her Saipan life but she's doing well. I'm really proud of how she has been able to get into her studies so soon after leaving Saipan. It can't be easy to make that adjustment. I still love to read your blogs about life in Saipan. Thanks for sharing!

Mai said...

There's nothing like a Saipan sunset - I miss seeing those almost every night!

Sean said...

Ronda: Thanks for reading! Keep an eye out for any one who might be interested in teaching next year. We're still short teachers!

Brit's Blog said...

FUN TIMES!! I can't believe it was your first 4th :) That's awesome Sean. Barbara looks beautiful (and so do you).
Missing you!