Category Archives: Vacation

Hawaii Day 3

On Saturday while we were in Hawaii we rented a car and explored the island. We found a cute little farmer’s market/swap meet that had very cute things to purchase. Afterwards we went to a cute little restaurant on the ocean and the scenery was beautiful. The food was wonderful. I had the catch of the day which was very fresh. I just can’t get that here in West Virginia. This is Kristin taking pictures of the ocean from our table.

Everywhere we went we were surrounded by little birds begging for food from our tables. Birds were not as skittish there as they are at home.

Kristin had been wanting to get a tattoo and we found a very nice, clean shop and she got this very cute tattoo on her foot. It really is beautiful.

We knew that we couldn’t possibly leave Hawaii without visiting the volcano so we set off across the island to find it. When we left the restaurant it was about 85 degrees and we were wearing tank tops, shorts and flip flops. After about 90 minutes we were definitely away from the beach area and we happened to come across hundreds of goats roaming along the side of the road. We pulled over to take their pictures and when we exited the car we quickly realized that it was about 40 degrees outside now.

We didn’t spend very much time outside of the car because it was freezing. After we started driving again we began feeling enormous pressure in our ears and an empty water bottle actually collapsed.

Within a few minutes we began to drive through what we thought was fog and it was only 4:10 in the afternoon. We could barely see to drive and there was a fine mist on the windshield and we had to use the wipers the entire time. We could barely hear each other speak and we just couldn’t figure out what we were getting ourselves into at this point.

When we got to the volcano we spoke to someone that was able to explain what we had just experienced. He said that we had just drove over a mountain and we were at 9000 miles above sea level. We didn’t drive through fog. We had been driving through the clouds. The next morning we looked up at the mountain and noticed that the mountain was definitely sitting in the clouds.

We loved the volcano.

While we were in the volcano museum Kristin came running up to me to tell me she had learned about the volcano lava tube. It is a huge underground tube that was hollowed out naturally by hot lava flowing. We quickly jumped in the car to make it to the lava tube before it got dark.

This was large enough for us to easily walk through without having to bend over. The wooded area that led us to the lava tube reminded me of what it would be like to walk through a rain forest. It was beautiful.

Kristin was a great traveling companion. She was always smiling and happy to go at a moments notice. She has a great sense of direction too which truly helped me because I was always getting lost over there. 🙂

I loved traveling around in Hawaii and experiencing all the sights and natural foods that were available. We tried some native fruits that I have no idea what they were called or how many carbs were in them. I just knew that this was going to be a once in a lifetime experience and I wasn’t going to miss a moment of it. I am grateful for Kristin agreeing to go with me. Everyone who earned the trip was allowed to take a guest with them and now that I am divorced it gave me the opportunity to spend this time with the woman who makes my son and grandson happy every single day. She is a truly wonderful person who deserves to travel around the world and enjoy everything that life has to offer.


Hawaii Day 2

Day two in Hawaii was just as fantastic as Day 1. We woke to perfect weather and this was our early morning view from the patio.

On Friday morning after breakfast I needed to sit in on a business meeting while Kristin spent time enjoying the resort on her own. She said she must have walked over 3 miles. She learned so much and was so happy when we met up for lunch.

After lunch Kristin and I jumped on a bus and went to a marina and hopped on board a rapid rafting boat with 14 other people from my company. They took us out for 3 1/2 hours and we enjoyed snorkeling at the site of Captain John Cook’s Memorial. I don’t have any pictures but Kristin did have a water proof camera and I will get to see her pictures at a later time.

You should have seen the look on the captain of the raft’s face when I informed him that I couldn’t swim and here he was about to help me into water that was over 100 feet deep. I was hoping that they would give me a life jacket but instead they said for me to try a pool noodle first and if it didn’t work for me they would give me a life jacket. I was very apprehensive but I am a true West Virginia girl and I accepted the challenge with a smile on my face. 🙂

I did fine with just the pool noodle but I really would love to learn how to swim this summer. I loved being in the water and the water was so clear that we could see all the way to the bottom of the ocean.

We arrived back at the resort about 5:30 and we had to immediately get ready for a formal dinner that the company was providing for us. Kristin and I got dressed up and joined over 1000 people from Bankers in a huge ballroom.

Our menu was amazing and I have to admit that I ate every single bite of it. Even the things that were not low carb. This was a once in a lifetime experience for me.

This evening was amazing. Every meal we had fresh flowers on the table and tonight was no different.

I learned from the night before and I took flip flops in my purse and even though we took the tram from the ballroom to the hotel I still changed my shoes before leaving the ballroom. 🙂

I found another picture from last nights luau. It is a bit blurry but the night was fantastic. The wind was raging and we all laughed and enjoyed the evening.

We had a big day planned for the next day so we turned in early. Well…. Early considering other people. 🙂




Hawaii Day 1

Last week I went to Hawaii. It was a dream come true and I am still in shock over actually getting the chance to go to Paradise. The way that this worked out is where I worked set goals for each of us for the year. I met my goal and so I was sent to Hawaii and I was able to take one person with me. Over the past year I have been tested, encouraged and led to push myself so far outside of my comfort zone that I have lost sleep over the stress of the many changes in my life.

My job has provided me an outlet that I could sink myself into when my personal life was a constant state of chaos. Having this time to relax and take a few moments to myself was exactly what I needed to reflect on my dreams and my wants. My job does allow me to reach for my dreams. It has allowed me to purchase a home that I love and each day I return home and look around in amazement that I actually live there. A co-worker once told me that I needed to allow myself to believe that I am worthy of having a nicer home and traveling to beautiful places.

I work for Bankers Life and Casualty as an agent. I enjoy what I do and I hope that I am able to continue to work there for many years but I will trust God to lead me where he wants me to be.

Last week my daughter-in-law, Kristin and I arrived in Hawaii and we were met there by wonderful people that Bankers had arranged to take us to the hotel. They took care of our luggage and later delivered them to our room at the Hilton in Kona, Hawaii. There are several buildings in the resort and it is very spacious and they have enough amenities to provide almost your every want.

We were in the Paradise Towers and this was a very fitting name. From the pillow top mattresses to the bath towels that literally wrapped around us twice to a shower head from HEAVEN we were pampered every moment that we were there.

This amazing fountain was what we found as we entered the foyer of the our tower.

We were located on the second floor but this actually meant that we had a patio that led out onto a beautiful lawn. We sat on this patio every morning and just enjoyed the view.

Kristin found a beautiful cat the first night and she tried for days to get this cat to come to her but it never did. She also found a mongoose and called for it to come to her and to my horror it did. I quickly screamed and ran into the room while she laughed at me from the patio.

We had to either walk a 1/2 mile to the area that our meals were served or we could take a tram. We enjoyed the walk and it truly helped us considering we enjoyed way more food than we should have over the week. But in the end I didn’t gain any weight. I didn’t lose as I should have considering our pace but I didn’t gain either. 🙂

Each morning we would sit at our table and enjoy our breakfast and this was our view.

After our first breakfast there we explored the grounds and took over 100 pictures. They have a dolphin training area and we loved watching the dolphins play and they were so sweet. I wish that I had room to have one at home.

Kristin just glowed during the entire week. She was a great travel companion and I was so blessed to spend this time with her.

The hotel had this beautiful life size statue in the Lagoon Lanai.

They had many shops located within the resort. I saw several things that would have looked great in my home. Unfortunately they were not in my budget. This is a quilted table runner.

I would have loved this little basket but I couldn’t make myself spend $18 on it.

The resort had many forms of wildlife for us to enjoy.

They also had many historical artifacts as well. This statue is reported to be used during tribal counsel meetings and speakers stand next to it and if they tell a lie they will become violently ill. I could think of a few people that I would love to have stand next to this. 🙂

This very nice lady demonstrated how to make leis. She was very talented.

Kristin and I were enjoying our stroll and we came upon this sign that made my heart sink. Those of you who are friends with me over on facebook know how badly I hate swinging bridges. I had to walk across this thing only once. I found ways to avoid it the rest of my trip. haha

The evening ended with a beautiful luau and I tried to take pictures but they all turned out blurry. The wind was fierce that night but the food was magnificent. There was a live band and hula dancers. They had people dancing on rafts in the water as well. It was a magical evening and we will cherish our memories of a few days in paradise.

I will be sharing more pictures of the vacation and our experiences in Hawaii. I am very grateful to be working at Bankers. I have learned a lot over the past 18 months. I am stronger and I have finally learned to use my voice and stand up for myself. I am no longer afraid to work to achieve my dreams. I have accepted that I am just as worthy as anyone else and that if you really do work hard that you can achieve your dreams.


My Trip to Ohio

Two weeks ago I went to Ohio to meet my friend Pam and on the way home Mike and I stopped at every antique mall that we could find. Last fall I had found this relish tray and I wanted to find another one.

It looked so cute at Halloween last year when I took it to a party that my daughter-in-law had at her grandparents farm.

Well, I have looked high and low and finally found one in Parkersburg, WV at The Antique Mall. I loved looking through this store. It was very hot in their store but their prices are very good and it was worth the time to rummage through all of the many booths.

We went further down the street to another antique store and I found these beauties. This was a tray that used to hold glasses and I thought it would be very cute to put decorated cupcakes on or low carb muffins for a brunch.

I also found this pretty green dish. It is very heavy and has 3 sections in it. It goes well with the relish tray above.

While in Marietta, Ohio we found a flea market that is both inside and outside. It is called RinkyDink Flea Market. We loved this place and plan to visit it again. I found this green dish at one of the vendors that were set up outside.

While I was with Pam on Saturday I found a small store with beautiful items for the kitchen. I bought this dip container. It has a place to keep ice in the bottom to keep the dip cold while serving and has a lid to keep it from drying out. I loved this color of red.


I read on a blog recently that you tend to use your pretty dishes more if you have them on display and that they don’t really gather dust as you would assume that they do. I will let you know how that works. Around here we have to dust almost daily. I am not sure exactly why but it is unbearable. I told Mike my theory is that it is because we live on a gravel road.  I can’t wait until we get on the farm and away from this gravel road. Of course we will have gravel there but we will be the only ones driving on it so it should cut down on it some.

Haunted Ghost Tour in VA

I know many of you will be shouting HOORAY. This is my last post about our vacation in VA in October.  On Saturday night while we were there we went on a Haunted Ghost Tour in Lexington VA. This was a blast. Be prepared to walk 2.5 hours througout the city at night. It was a bit cool but with the walking being at a fast speed you will be fine. They only offer the tours from May until October and since Halloween is in October it was the perfect time to go.

We booked our tours through Lexington Ghost Tours.  This tour company is owned by the same couple that own HalloScream and Foamhenge. This was very well handled and our tour guide Heidi was amazing.  We loved her. She told the stories very well and with just the right amount of humor to keep our interest.

We began at the Lexington Visitor Center and our first stop was in an alley behind a building that many years ago housed a restaurant.  The story is that the cook at the restaurant was a very mean man that killed a mother cat and her kittens by throwing them alive inside the wood burning stove. The story is that at night you can see the cats walking across the roof of the building.

For some reason the picture that I took in this alley turned out like this. I am sure that it was the photographer and not some ghostly haunting messing with my camera. I do not take very good pictures in the dark.

Our wonderful guide was in civil war period costume and carried a lantern to lead us throughout the city.

We went to the Robert E Lee Church where he had been the night of his death. It is located just down the block from his home where it is reported that the ghost of his horse still walks the neighborhood.

This is a picture of Robert E. Lee’s house. We didn’t see a horse that night but the story is quite the story to hear from the guide.

At one point we ended up in front of a building that years ago used to be a fraternity house. The story is that a man committed suicide in this house and since then if anyone closes the window in the attic of the house the glass will crack out of it or the window will open on its own. You can’t see from the photos but the window is open that they spoke of.

There were many other homes and locations that we went to and heard the most amazing stories. I highly recommend this ghost tour. We ended the ghost tour in the cemetery where Stonewall Jackson is buried. We all experienced something in this cemetery but I won’t tell you what it was. You will have to go for yourselves. bwahahaha

Lexington Safari Trip 2

When we were on vacation in October we went to the Lexington Safari again. We went the first time a couple of years ago and we LOVED it. You can purchase buckets of food for the animals and feed them through the windows of your car as you drive through. The people in front of us piled in the back of a truck to get closer to the animals. I am not that brave. 🙂

When we first got there we went through the area that you walk through. We met Stanley. He is a 4 month old camel that loves to chew on your fingers. It doesn’t hurt because he only has his bottom teeth now. Isn’t he sweet?

The kangaroo area is wonderful. You can actually walk right next to them. They lay everywhere and appear to be harmless although I didn’t see anyone petting them.

The turtle area was a nice size and they had several species to enjoy.  They were very photogenic and you didn’t have to worry about them running away while trying to get a good pic. haha

The tigers are kept in a caged area and you can photograph them through a plexiglass area. Both times that we have been there they have been sleeping.

Mike and I both posed in the cut outs. We decided since we couldn’t claim that we were there with our children that we needed to act like big kids ourselves.

The giraffes are always our favorite part of the safari. They are so beautiful. I can’t get enough of taking their pictures.

This beautiful beast slobbered all over my hand. I held the bucket of food out of the window. As I felt his lips going over my fingers to grab the bucket I let go and he stole the entire thing. I think that was his plan from the very beginning. 🙂

There is a sign by the adult camels that says, “We will steal and chew on the buckets. Feed us anyway please.”  They were true to their sign. They don’t even pretend to be eating out of the bucket. They automatically steal from the beginning. haha

Mike loved all of the many species of deer that they had. This one came up to his window.

The zebras are very friendly and they love to stick their entire head inside your car to see if you are hiding extra buckets of food. Don’t try to pet them though because they don’t like it.

Here are a couple of random pictures that I love.

Natural Bridge Wax Museum

I kn0w. I know. You are wondering when will this vacation ever end.  I doubt it will. We had such an amazing time in Virginia. With the cost of admission to the Natural Bridge, Natural Bridge Taverns and the Indian Village and Trail we also had the opportunity to go to the Natural Bridge Wax Museum. We had put it off until the end of the day because we both felt it would be boring but we couldn’t have been more wrong.

This place was amazing and one of the biggest highlights of the trip. I could have easily went through it twice because there was so much to see. The wax figures were so lifelike and they each told their own story. The people who created this did an awesome job.

We went through one area that had many presidents who had spent the night at the Natural Bridge Hotel and they were all on the front porch of a make believe house in the display. I took pictures of all but 2 of the presidents. I couldnt’ make myself take their pictures. I know it was shallow but I couldn’t do it. I was in awe of the lifelike  figures. You really have to see this.

Can you guess who the people are above? I bet you can . What about these two historical figures?

The tour ends with a presentation that brings you to tears. They tell a story of the life of Christ. No one in the room said a word through this. It was very moving.

When you leave the tour you can go to the basement area and see where they make the wax figures. Down there we found a few more figures that I had to take pictures of.


The cost of the admission to the Natural Bridge Wax Museum, caverns, Natural Bridge, Indian Village, Trail to the waterfall and the Toy Museum was $26 per person. Not bad for that many attractions. It is very easy to spend the entire day seeing everything and you get the opportunity to learn quite a bit about the history of Virginia.