Ports of the Pacific Coast of North America with Hawaii — Itinerary 7

October 13, 2022
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Cruise through History — Itinerary VII Ports of the Pacific Coast of North America with Hawaii

Cruise through History is a collection of short stories grouped by sequence of popular cruise itineraries, rather than by country, or period of history. As stories move from port to port, they randomly move through time. Stories are all true. They introduce travelers to history and culture of a port with lovely sites to explore.

Itinerary VII – Ports of the Pacific Coast of North America with Hawaii is a collection of twenty-two stories in the 15th release of Cruise through History ports of the world stories.

In Ports of the Pacific Coast of North America travel north from Nicaragua and Mexico to coastal cities of California, before heading to Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia. Stop for stories in Juneau, Ketchikan, and Sitka, Alaska before heading to Hawaii and stories of exploration of the Pacific Ocean. Stories are drawn from ancient to recent history, showcasing delightful sights to visit and insight to characters leaving their legacy on the landscape. In this Itinerary, heroes and heroines plant gardens, write poetry, play baseball, and drive sleds through sub-zero terrain in life-saving dashes. 

Note the long list of Native Peoples of this Itinerary. In each port, stories begin with first residents, struggling to maintain culture, which attracts travelers celebrating preservation of lifeways. Amid beautiful beaches of Mexico and California, breathtaking scenery of Alaska, and the garden of Hawaii are people who protected their environment. 

Begin in Nicaragua with Colorful Characters in the history of a place made tenuous in the shadow of volcanoes and powerful nations. Among a story of indigenous peoples of Central America, Spanish conquistadors, American industrialists, and politicians, are pirates and a heroic American National Baseball League right fielder. Within a litany of dozens of Nicaraguan presidents since 1821, there are those who deserve mention for valiant efforts to lead Nicaragua into democracy, among whom is the first female head of state in the western hemisphere. A rich Castilian culture, amid continual political strife, produced a cadre of Nicaraguan poets. Rubén Darío is revered in the Poets’ Corner of the Leon Cathedral, where he is joined by recipients of the Darío Prize in Poetry. Poets of Leon are also daring revolutionaries, priests, and leaders of the modern nation.

Visit colonial hill towns of Mexico, where Aztec culture fled Spanish devastation of Mexico City. Search for the Goddess Woman of the Aztecs from Puerto Vallarta to Izapa, Manzanillo, Zihautenejo, and Puerto Chiapas. Go beyond beach resorts for Colima, Comala, and Chiapas in Mexico, and Comalapa in Guatemala. Among coastal cities Acapulco adds singular flair as the destination port of Manila Galleons, bringing spices of the Philippines to Mexico, enabling Mexican cuisine as we know it today.

Prior to statehood, California was the domain of Native Americans, facing Spanish arrivals seeking gold and plantation agriculture. The story of slavery of Native Americans is preserved in California Missions, from San Diego to San Francisco. Mission architecture is the legacy seen in Art and Architecture of Southern California. Spain negotiated the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo with the young United States, a document little understood and contested today. San Francisco has a history of singular personalities from inception.

Enjoy Tea and Gardens in Victoria, a favorite cruise destination for creating a little bit of England in far west Canada. Architects of the palaces and hotels have stories as colorful as their buildings are fanciful. Built on the grounds of First Peoples, Vancouver preserves the story of its first residents as it adds the story of Chinese in North America. 

Native People of Alaska have their own story as they faced Russian settlers, whalers, and loggers making a home in gorgeous, yet unforgiving terrain. Having lost control of their land, Native Alaskan tribes and corporations are vibrant players in the modern economy, while preserving art and culture. Politics of Nature in Alaska is a story of the interplay of interests of Native Americans, state and local government, and the federal government. The vastness of Alaska’s landscape belies its fragile qualities. The story of the Alaska purchase is told in Sitka, where intrigue and folly collided in the aspirations of Russian and American dreams for territory. Alaska quickly became the domain of Characters to Match the Outsized Environment. Fur warriors fought early battles and whalers brought the American Civil War to Alaska. Fish canning corporations from the lower forty-eight fought Alaska statehood, while they enslaved new generations of Native Alaskans. 

Finally, poets came to Alaska painting and writing of the wilderness. Special Agent Ivan Petroff and Lt. Henry Allen walked into the wilderness. Allen found a missing soldier and returned charting the Copper River to its source. Petroff regaled President Rutherford B. Hayes with a story of his trek from Cook Inlet to the Yukon River that never happened.  John Muir is the poet of nature responsible for the view of Alaska giving impetus to the United States National Park Service. Muir made four trips to Alaska.

Stories of Hawaii begin with Being Native Hawaiian and move to a Royal History of Hawaii. Until the monarchy was usurped, its assets converted to private use of sugar magnates, Native Hawaiians marginalized, and the last monarch imprisoned, Hawaii was an independent monarchy recognized by the US. Cook’s Legacy from Monarchy to Statehood is an unpleasant story to tell, yet it is integral to US history. The Little History of Honolulu is seen in city streets and monuments, the beat of the real Honolulu policeman, inspiration for Charlie Chan of books and movies. No visit to Honolulu is complete without a visit to Waikiki Beach of the first king of unified Hawaii, King Kamehameha, and now home to A Vision in Pink: Royal Hawaiian Hotel. If walls of the hotel could talk, they would tell of surfers, hula parties, and famous guests.

This Itinerary ends with two tales for days at sea. Explore the northern Pacific Ocean with Bering, Cook, and Vancouver. Search for a Northeast Passage with English and Russian hopefuls, until success was achieved by a Swedish-Finnish-Russian hero.

As stories float through time and across ports, they leave the traveler with new insight to the Pacific region. New names become like old friends and familiar names are better known and understood. Travel gives insight to life. Read the stories and enjoy the trip!

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