Wednesday, July 23, 2014


I've been to 3 of the Hawaiian Islands and they each have their own "feeling". Maui is the celebrity of Hawaii. The"Hollywood" of Hawaii.

 We stayed in the southern part of the island in Wailea  and spent some time at our resort swimming and snorkeling plus seeing a luau there one evening.  We did a day trip to Lahaina and went whale watching with Pacific Whale Foundation. And we drove the infamous Road to Hana stopping at Paia town and Makawao on the way back.  We also saw a sunrise at Haleakala, which was a previous post here on the blog.

Despite all that we did do, there was plenty that we didn't get to. We never made it to the northern part of the island including Kaanapali Beach or Napili Bay. Nor did we get to the island's only winery. Or to Makena Beach. Or Big Beach. So I guess we'll just have to go back, which is just fine with me!

I'm linking up for #FridayPostcards with Go check it out!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

50 States in 50 Years!

A few years back, Mr UR had the big 5-0 looming. I was nagging encouraging him to plan what he wanted to do to celebrate. Hmmmm....what to do? A trip? A party? A mid-life crisis car? What he came up with was , I thought, brilliant. He needed to visit 10 more states to visit all 50 of the United States - could it be done by the time he turned 51? Could he visit all 50 states by his 50th year? We were gonna give it the old college try!

The first of the 10 states we were headed to was the beautiful state of Hawaii for an anniversary trip.

Hawaii? Check!

The next summer we headed out west for an eight state road trip flying into Denver and hitting Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and Utah. Eight states of beautiful scenery. Oh, and lots of family togetherness. Five people in a rented Chevy Impala changing hotels almost nightly. It was the quintessential road trip hitting 3 national parks, one national monument, one olympic site, a hot springs, a rest area that warned about rattlesnakes and not one, but two, gorgeous mountain passes.

Eight more states? Check!

Now it was time for the last state. Alaska. The last frontier. And we weren't just going to cruise there. We were going to travel as the locals do - by ferry. We flew into Juneau and visited there along with Haines, Skagway and Sitka. We saw glaciers, icebergs, bald eagles, totem poles and took a train to what seemed like the top of the world. It was a great ending to a 50 state quest.

Now, you might ask , what counts as a state visit? We had to come up with some parameters. Does a
stopover in an airport count? Nope. Driving through the state without spending a night? Yes. We decided that you had to get a receipt of some sort - stop for a meal, or a beer or a souvenir.  That is our way. You can make your own rules.(Just like playing the license plate game - do trucks count?)

The questions that Mr. UR gets asked all the time about his 50 states by 50 years are:

1. Which state was your favorite?

And his answer is : Hawaii

2. Now what's your next goal?

And the answer is : I don't know.Maybe all the provinces of Canada? Or every continent? Though I think I can safely say that we can take Antarctica off the table. But never say never!

The reactions he gets from people are so different. Everything from "Oh, I wish I would've started doing that" to " I don't get it. What's the big deal about that?" (The latter reaction being from 2 family members who said the exact response word for word.)

By the end of this summer, I , too will have reached all 50 states! Thanks to Mr UR and his brilliant idea, I was able to travel along and visit all the same states he did. My last three are: Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. I must have said those three state names at least 1000 times this year when I tell people about my upcoming vacation. So, if all goes well I will have my picture in front of a sign that says "Welcome to Wisconsin"! Keep coming back - I hope to post that picture soon!

I'm linking up with #FridayPostcards at Head on over and check out some beautiful photos!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Wrightsville Beach

Now that the long holiday weekend is over - in the US at least - are you ready to feel some sand between your toes? Need a little ocean fix? Then how about giving Wrightsville Beach,  North Carolina a try?

We discovered this cute little beach town near Wilmington, North Carolina a few years back after we dropped our oldest daughter off at college. We've since been back a few times and spent a little time on the beach.

It's a fun mix of a laid back surf town with a little preppy thrown in. There aren't many hotels or resorts here but lots of condo and house rentals available.

It's also nice because you can choose between beach time or time spent on the Intracoastal Waterway. There are lots and lots of boats that you can hire out or enjoy a guided ride.

We always eat at the very popular restaurant, Dockside, which is located on the Intracoastal Waterway. Get there early if you want a seat on the water!

What's also nice is it's proximity to the beautiful southern city of Wilmington. It's about 15 minutes away from downtown eateries, shopping and touring the battleship USS North Carolina. Family fun, beaches and boating - you really can't go wrong with Wrightsville Beach!

I'm linking up with for Friday Postcards

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Boston harbor

Old Ironsides

There will be huge celebrations in this harbor to celebrate America's birthday on July 4th! We were able to take a nice cruise around the harbor on a beautiful spring day. Someday maybe I will be there to celebrate our nation's birthday. Until then enjoy these photos of Boston's beautiful harbor.

Free sailing lessons are offered each summer

Bunker Hill Memorial as seen from the harbor

I'm linking up with for Friday Postcards. Go check it out!