Isaiah 6:8

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A-Z April Challenge - M is for Michigan

Today on my A-Z April Challenge Travels we are heading to the great state of Michigan.  In 2009 my dear friend Mary, my daughter Kat and her dear friend Mandy all took a journey to Michigan.  Each on of us got to choose somewhere in the state we wanted to see.  Mary chose Frankenmuth, I chose Mackinaw Island, Kat chose Traverse City, and Mandy chose the new stadium at Michigan in Ann Arbor.  Anything else we got to see was just icing on the cake.  If you have never been to Michigan it is a must to put on your travel Bucket list.  We ate at Rosie's Diner just outside of Traverse City.  Guy Fieri featured it on Diner's Drive Ins and Dives.  The food was amazing and the atmosphere was great fun. 
We climbed Sleeping Bear Dunes, saw lighthouses, danced in a vat of cherry pits, visited the Cherry Republic, and ate fresh cherries til our lips and fingers were bright red. 

Traverse City is a great place to visit.  From there we went to Mackinaw and the Island.  We visited the town that night and the next morning took a ferry across to the island where we became fudgies.  We spent the day enjoying the stories and sites of Mackinaw. 

Coming back we got to see a ship like the one that was the Edmund Fitzgerald.  We spent a couple of days exploring the area and making a trek over the big bridge to Ontario.  I really had wanted to see the Edmund Fitzgerald Museum but time got away from us.  Our next stop was Frankenmuth.  Frankenmuth is a German style town much like Helen, GA. 

The food at the German restaurants was amazing.  It was done family style.  We visited several Cheese Hauses, and I bought Frank some Beer Kaza (sp).  Let me tell you that it stinks!  I ended up throwing it away somewhere in Kentucky because it smelled so bad in the car.  Our big adventure of the trip was to Christmas hell.  Actually it was Bronner's Christmas Store.  We spent over seven hours here.  I have never seen so many Christmas decorations.  The chapel outside was my favorite part of Bronners.  It was a replica of the chapel where Silent Night was first performed.  All around the chapel are the words to Silent Night in every known language. 

We ended up in Anne Arbor and the University of Michigan.  We had planned to eat at another restaurant Guy Fieri had featured but an Art Festival had all the streets blocked so we headed on to Monmouth Caverns in Kentucky.  If you ever get a chance to explore the United States you must do this.  There are so many exciting things to see, so many wonderful places to eat, and so many fascinating people to meet.  I can't wait for my next girl trip. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

A-Z April Challenge - L is for Louisville

Every year I go on a girls trip somewhere in the United States.  We have had some fabulous trips and times.  Our trip to Michigan sparked my place for today.  Our town today is Louisville, KY.  This was the first stop on our Michigan trip.  We went to Lynn's Paradise Café for dinner with my precious nephew, David.  He was our host for the night.  His wife was out of town so the four of us crashed in his apartment.  He was the ultimate host.  Lynn's Paradise Café was an interesting place.  Bobby Flay had a Throwdown there so that is why we decided we had to eat there.  I had the traditional hot brown and if you have never had one you must.  It is delish and not something I would normally order from a menu.  After dinner we toured the town and saw the Kentucky Derby.  All I can say is WOW!  I would love to come to the Derby sometime just to wear a big hat.  The next morning as we headed out we hit the Louisville Slugger bat factory and the Mary Alice Hadley pottery factory. What a blast we had in Louisville.  You should go there at least once in your life.  The bat factory was worth the whole trip. 


Saturday, April 12, 2014

A-Z April Challenge - K is for Killarney

I am taking a brief departure from my travel posts within the United States and fly across the big pond so I can share one of my favorite places in all my travels.  In 2009 I had the great joy of being in Dublin for Saint Patrick's Day.  Dublin was wonderful but my favorite part of the whole trip was a town called Killarney.  Killarney (Irish: Cill Airne, meaning "church of sloes") is a town in County Kerry, southwestern Ireland. The town is on the northeastern shore of Lough Leane, which is part of Killarney National Park. The town and its hinterland is home to St Mary's Cathedral, Ross Castle, Muckross House and Abbey, the Lakes of Killarney, MacGillycuddy's Reeks, Purple Mountain, Mangerton Mountain, the Gap of Dunloe and Torc Waterfall. Owing to its natural heritage, history and its location on the Ring of Kerry, Killarney is a popular tourist destination.  I am a huge Bing Crosby fan and the whole three days we were in Killarney I hummed or sang, "Christmas in Killarney."  It was truly a blast from the past.

Friday, April 11, 2014

A-Z April Challenge - J is for Jackson Hole

Welcome to another stop on my A-Z Travel Extravaganza.  Today we will be traveling to Jackson Hole, WY. 

Everyone should go here at least once in their lives.  I thought it was absolutely amazing.  I did not go there when there was snow on the ground.  I would have been stuck inside if I had.  I went in the early summer when everything was green and lush.  Jackson Hole is a thriving outdoor paradise during the summer months. It is the Southern Gateway to both Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park, many people base themselves in Jackson Hole and explore Teton hiking trails during the day. You can take a scenic float through the park or enjoy whitewater rafting in the Snake River Canyon. Mountain biking trails leave right from town or you can enjoy a horseback riding excursion.  I wanted to ride the stagecoach but never got around to it.  I loved the campfire dinner as part of a chuckwagon experience.  Let me tell you.  This place is amazing.  One of the girls I work with was actually proposed to here and I can assure you it is a place where romance abounds. You cannot help  but breathe in the clean air and just fall in love with Jackson Hole...and as a Floridian....I could fall in love with it in the summer really easy.....I am not much for snow! 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

A-Z April Blog Challenge - I is for Idaho

I know that you are thinking to yourself right about now....Idaho?  Well let me tell you about this place.  I went to school at Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA and one weekend we went to Coeur d'Alene.  This place was awesome.  The area is surrounded by dozens of lakes left behind by the glaciers of the ice age. There are more than 55 lakes within easy driving distance of Coeur d'Alene, but none more scenic and full of activities than Lake Coeur d'Alene itself.  There's something magical about Lake Coeur d'Alene that's hard to define, but it begins with the spectacular North Idaho sunsets and moonrises, the plunge of an osprey after a fish, the glowing lights of downtown Coeur d’Alene reflecting across its waters at night. You can take a flight on a water landing plane, see the lake and land on it.  You can golf at one of the coolest golf courses in the world....there is a floating hole....and you have to take a boat out to it.  The shops and restaurants are great fun.  Idaho is more than Coeur d'Alene. 
A waterfall near Coeur d'Alene
 Downtown Boise
White water rafting in Idaho
From pasture to mountains it is breathtaking
Mormon Cathedral that is amazing.
Capital building in Idaho
It is Boise and wilderness, white water rafting and potato farmers.  It is nature at its finest,  gorgeous Mormon cathedrals and small clap board churches that seem to be remnants of days gone by.  It is small towns lost in time.  Believe me it is glorious.  If you get a chance to tour Idaho go for it. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A-Z Challenge - H is for Honolulu, Hawaii

If this is Wednesday then this must be Honolulu, Hawaii for my alphabet travel post.  I should get double points since both the city and the state start with H.  When my friend Mary turned 50 I received a free trip to Hawaii for two.  She had always wanted to go so I cleared the trip with my precious hubby and with her precious hubby and we flew off into the wild blue yonder in time to be in Honolulu for her actual 50th birthday.    My trip covered flight and hotel so we were on our own for the massive food frenzy we went on.  Bill, Mary's husband made sure we had an amazing time and booked a tour for us, a luau for us, AND flew us over to see Kilauea and have a tour of the island.  It was a remarkable week and I would take nothing for it.  If you ever get a chance to go you must. 
Dole Pineapple Plantation....a must see.  Word of warning, when you get to Hawaii you will want to eat pineapple all the time.  Don't.  It messes with your stomach and in my case gave me a terrible case of rash mouth. 

Shopping was great.  The top picture is the World's largest shirt from Hilo Hatties.  The bottom was my favorite place to shop and it was just around the corner from our hotel.  They had some beautiful teak wood pieces.  I bought a gorgeous pineapple shaped salad bowl for a wedding gift and for my mom.  I bought my dad a teak wood pineapple puzzle.

One of the saddest parts of my involved the memorial at Pearl Harbor and the memorial at the Punch Bowl.  I cried like a baby as I stood about the ship in Pearl Harbor and listened to the speaker who had been there when it happened.  He was well into his 80's and reminded me of my father.  If you go to Hawaii for nothing else....this is a must see!

This was the view from our room at the Ohanu Hotel.  Yep, that was Diamond Head.  We hiked up it one day and took pictures of the amazing lighthouse there.
The laua was at the Polynesian Cultural Center.  The food was amazing.  The classes were fun.  The show was out of this world.  On our trip to the big island we saw many marvelous wonders of the world. 

The Volcano House, a macademia nut farm, and Kilauea in a semi state of eruption.  The big island had a lot of interesting things to do.  I did learn a couple of things while there....don't eat to much pineapple....and poi is nasty.