We stopped in at Tropical Farms, located on Kamehameha Highway with the Pacific Ocean on the backside of the building. This is a touristy shop but it was worth the time to stop. We sampled great coffee and macadamia nut tastings to help us decide which product to buy. There were also free macadamia nuts that you crack yourself with a rock on a tree stump. We sat outdoors for awhile enjoying the scenery. This woman was working on something but can’t remember what it was. . . should have made notes! Turtle Beach, also known as Laniakea Beach, is a well-known surfing spot on Oahu’s North Shore. The best thing about the beach is the green sea turtles, also know as Honu. The turtles are protested by the Endangered Species Act and have experienced a significant increase in their numbers since being protected. Information sheets are posted for the …
We were told to be sure to check out “Gus” the huge Banyan tree on the beach side of the hotel. We had seen Banyan trees as we traveled the island but none as large as “Gus.” The courtyard between the two main buildings were beautiful. Our first visit to Waikiki Beach we had drinks at Hawaiian Hilton Hotel and Hale Koa Hotel. We had Mai Tais ($15) at each hotel but the ones at the Hilton were our favorite. I tried the Dano, a frozen drink named after the charactor from Hawaii 5-0. It was pretty good too. We had lunch which included an island favorite, Hawaiian Loco Moco. It was a wonderful dish layered with white rice, a burger patty two fried eggs topped with Maui onion pan gravy. After lunch, we spent time on the world famous Waikiki Beach. We met Jeri, a very ice local, who …
In October we were off with the Rotchfords to Hawaii to visit with their daughter and her family, Carmen, Jamie, Ian and Connor. Steve and I flew to Dallas, where we met up the Fred and Lupe. Fred had arranged for us to fly first class. In Dallas we waited in the American Airlines Admirals Club, were we had complimentary juice, coffee, soft drinks, herbal tea and light snacks. They also had a cash bar. Once we boarded the plane, the flight attendant offered us mimosa, champagne, coffee, tea or soda as our per-departure beverage. We enjoyed a couple of mimosas as the other passengers boarded. A ramekin full of hot tropical nut mix was delivered to us, as soon as we were in the air. The mix as so good we had to have a second ramekin. Our first course for dinner was a salad with cabbage & carrots …
Fred and Lupe came to celebrate our 43rd anniversary and my 63rd birthday. We went to STIX, out at Legends, to have a Hibachi dinner. Habachi is always fun with the chef’s quick-handed, knife wielding of the flaming teppanyaki grill. The meat, vegetable and seafood dishes are cooked on a high heat, melt cooking plate. The chef made a volcano with onions and oil, then light it. A huge flame and steam rose from the onions. He then separated the onions to make a train. As he cooked, he stopped to throw shrimp into the air for us to catch with our mouth. Rice and veggies are cookie on the cooking plate and served with the meat dishes along with onion soup and ginger salad. After dinner we went to Crancer’s, a Leavenworth event center, to listen to some jazz music by Everette DeVan, Matt Hopper and Dionne Jeroue. As …
In Liberty Missouri, the Odd Fellows Home built in 1900, is now a the Belvoir Winery. This is one of our favorite winery so it was natural for us to take the Rotchfords there. This historic building was completed in 1900 and home to the Odd Fellows Home, a residential complex established for the care and maintenance widows, orphans, and members of the fraternal order who were unable to earn a livelihood by reasons of age or affliction. The complex included a school and a working farm and shops where residents contributed to their upkeep with their labor.The property consists of four buildings—the Old Folks Home, Hospital, Orphanage and Nursing Home/Morgue.The main building (old orphanage) is now home to Belvoir Winery & Inn on the first floor.  The winery building is beautiful with it stain glass windows. We did our wine tasting then took a tour of the public rooms. …
We packed a picnic lunch and headed out to Table Rock Lake. We found a very nice table overlooking the lake and enjoyed the beauty of the area. A toast to 31 years of friendship and travels! We had been to Sight and Sound Theatre to see Noah and enjoyed the behind the scenes tour. This time we were to see Joseph. We were met by two actors who lead our tour of the stage, sets, dressing rooms, animal quarters and sound system. It was amazing to be on the stage (20,000 square ft) with the HUGE props, to see the many stage markings and how they store the pieces of the scenes. This production used pyrotechnics, 60,000 watt sound system, live animals, animatronics and special effects. The theatre is truly one of a kind theatre in the Ozarks. The artist do mock ups of the set designs before they …
We found a Groupon for a three night stay at Stormy Point Village, located near the beautiful Table Rock Lake and Branson. It was a gated community styled after a timeless Cape Cod fishing village. The Guard at the gate was very nice and friendly. There was a police are just outside of the entrance with a “prisoner” sitting in the back seat. We continued down the road to Cape Co Drive and made a left at the stop sign.. We crossed over the covered bridge and continued on to club house with the light house. We got signed in, had a nice chat with three people at the desk and was off to find our cottage. This was our cute little two bedroom and two bath cottage. We explored the house, got unpacked and we were ready to enjoy our Branson experience. Steve got all the drinks setup, mixed …
The Rotchfords and Kerricks have been to Vegas several time and I am not sure there are pictures for each trip, especially in the early years. This would have been before cell phones. Carrying a camera in and out of casinos were not allowed years ago. We also learned, after the first trips, it was nice to rent a car to run up and down the strip. The sidewalks were always like traveling in a heard of people, some drunk some not. Add in the heat and lack of a breeze, it was much nicer to do valet parking at the casinos. The only cost was a couple dollar tip. At any rate, this trip was to see Celine at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace. More about that later. We stayed at the Luxor Hotel & Casino, a 30-story pyramid topped with a 315,000nwatt light beam shooting into the sky. …
It was March of 2011, when Fred and Lupe flew into Kansas City from El Paso by way of Dallas. We had some relaxing days visiting before getting into our van for a road trip to Dallas. Now you may ask, why didn’t we just meet them in Dallas. My answer to that is “And what fun would that have been?” We were off to visit Maria, Derrick and Alex. It was our first visit to their beautiful home. House of Blues Dallas opened in 2007 in the historic White Swan Building at the crossroads of Dallas’ West End and the newly established Victory Park development. The building dates back to the 1920’s when it housed a White Swan Coffee processing plant. This unique and histor rich building continues to celebrate and showcase art and music. A little info about House of Blues. As we passed the back of the …
Out last stop, before heading back to Kansas, was Bear Country USA, located just a few miles from Rapid City. We hoped to seen bears except for one on our road trip, so this was a good way to get up and personal safely. The park was a two mile drive through a wonderland of animals. At first, we weren’t sure if the cost would be worth what we would see. We differently were not disappointed. Entering the 200 acres of Black Hills beauty we saw bears everywhere, just roaring. We could stop anywhere along the way and bears would come up to the car. There were all kinds of animals and most of the wildlife were born on the premises and were hand-raised by the park staff. Adventure! We had been awestruck by the scenery of Grand Teton, Yellowstone and Badlands National Parks, marveled at the sight of Mount …
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