It's time to head for home – bye Honolulu, hello Brisbane! After travelling the gorgeous roads and sailing and swimming the blue oceans lapping the shores of three spectacular countries, we certainly had a lot of stories to tell.
We visited three Canadian provinces, four states in the US and umpteen cities, towns and villages before finishing out holiday in Hawaii.
On the US and Canada leg, we marvelled over majestic mountains and exquisite lakes, crossing multiple bridges that forged gorgeous rivers or streams.
On more than one occasion we ‘oohed’ and ‘aahed’ over The Last Frontier territory in the Yukon from a bus and a gorgeous little train trip I took.
Read more: 8 highlights to see on the Rocky Mountaineer
The train took me through different centuries from the time of woolly mammoths to gold diggers. I spied 18 bears in total including grizzlies, brown bears and black bears – including four tiny cubs.
I also saw scores of squirrels, one moose, several elk, lots of mule deer, several white-tailed deer and heaps of bald eagles. One of my favourite encounters was spying one very rare golden eagle sitting majestically on his treetop perch. Another beauty was one very large woolly mountain goat with his mate and baby, as well as two more herds of mothers and babies.
I had the opportunity as well to feed three gorgeous reindeer, as well as feed and play with Alaskan sled dogs and their three-week-old puppies.
The cruise ship delivered on the spectacular sights front as well. I saw six orcas, two humpback whales, bucket-loads of penguins jostling each other across the ship's wake, several dolphins, sea otters, thousands of tropical fish, a pod of turtles off Waikiki Beach and many different native birds in every state/province we visited.
From the trip, as well as taking home many gorgeous little souvenirs, I managed to snag several great clothing bargains and a good case of Hawaiian sunburn.
It was a fantastic holiday. Every single day I saw a new form of wildlife, but perhaps best thing of all was that we got to meet many new friends along the way, as well as stay for two days in Seattle with old ones. Our friends in Seattle are from home in Australia and just had a beautiful little baby.
Adding an extra-special dimension to the holiday was having a wonderful catch-up with a very dear friend and his beautiful fiancée in Banff/Canmore. They made us smile and laugh and feel very blessed to have them in our lives.
These are memories that will live forever in our hearts and make us smile every time we think of them. As the Hawaiians say, mahalo and aloha – now two of my favourite words.