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Learning to slow down and listen

I have been slowly moving through a book called “whispers of rest” by Bonnie Gray.
40 days of God’s love to revitalize your soul.
It has been amazing and good. Challenging us to a new transformation of slowing down and listening.
It is a gift to give oneself.
To stop and hear God’s whispers. In order to do that we must be quiet enough to listen,
In everything I do I strive to be available and open to God’s prompting through the Holy Spirit.
It is amazing when it is a free open arms, open heart decision.
To say if there is anything in my spirit, my attitude, my witness that is not for your Glory.
Remove it. Restore me into a new awareness of love and kindness, so that those who hear me, never doubt my intentions.
We love to go to the beach in fact that is where I am writing from right now.
It refreshes my spirit to walk along the waters edge and as I listen, I hear less of the noisy world and more of the simple nature sounds. The camp where we go is a safe place for me. It is peaceful and quiet unlike a lot of camping parks.
It is a Christian camp where many people meet. They have summer camps for kids and adult meetings too.
It reminds me of beauty and the reason we need to get away just to relax.
Bonnies book teaches all that. How to do simple soul care.
When the day ends it is peaceful to see the sunset and feel the coolness in the air. To breathe in the final moments till another day begins. Like my word of the year, BREATHE … whispers of rest is helping me to do that.

Saying good bye and more time

We took the girls and Sarah to the airport on Monday, it was a sad good-bye.
Our time on the Island was fun and I do believe the girls enjoyed it a lot.
That afternoon we drove around the Island exploring other parts of it that we have not seen. The sides of the Island each look different and seem to have a personality of their own.
There is a rain forest side, a drier desert looking side and then where we were staying was a combination of both.
This was taken off our balcony or lanai. It was pretty private we didn’t have a beach view point but we were very close to it.
The green palm trees and the other ‘greenery’ was really tropical.
We loved to sit outside and listen to the birds and feel the cool winds. It quickly became our favorite place.
The tropical island feeling was everywhere. I loved it.
I had purchased a few things to bring home from this trip.
This was from the aquarium where a Hawaiian was painting on tiles. It should be a coaster but I like it as a ‘picture.’
I found a very cool carved turtle and wanted it for my ‘display’ at home.
Then I wanted some shells to create a ‘Hawaiian theme’ in the collection.
The shells came from Hawaii and the gold dish came from our local Fred Meyer store.
The plate I picked up at the airport as well as the turtle cups for myself and my daughter and the carved turtle.
We found ourselves in a maui brew company for lunch one day and it was surprisingly wonderful. I had the best little slider hamburger I have ever had. I highly recommend it.
Had to bring home a ‘gift’ for myself and my sister in law. It is a very nice little glass for beer or wine or icy drink of choice. I loved the etched turtle on the side of it. It was a very nice reminder of a very nice vacation for us.
I also purchased five summer dresses from a wonderful little Hawaiian vendor.

Hawaii day’s four and five

We only had six days with the girls in Hawaii with us.
We flew in on Wednesday so that really didn’t count as it was a long 5 1/2 hour flight.
They were flying out on a Monday so again that day really didn’t count much.
On the fourth day we let them swim and have fun at the beach.
We shopped a few times and ate meals both in the condo and out.
They were leaving on Monday at noon and the morning only allowed a small meal time, clean up time and one more quick visit to the beach.
After we left them at the airport we returned the mini van to the car rental place and exchanged it for a small Nissan versa.
I wanted to rent a Kia Soul as that is the car I am thinking of purchasing but there was not one available.
We had such a nice time in our condo and on the trip.
I would recommend it to anyone who is wanting to go and explore the Island of Maui.
The rest of the week we had time to explore and rest and enjoy the paradise life.

Hawaii day’s three and four

The third day we were in Hawaii we played at the pools, mostly the girls and grandpa and we scouted out some places for shopping.
We also had to get a few more grocery items at a local Safeway store, and find the atm for cash.
It was fun to drive around the local places and to see the small beaches they had.
Saturday night was the ‘special’ event for Faith’s graduation, the Luau in Lahaina.

We had a plan to get new dresses for the Luau and we knew it would be a nice ‘long evening’ for us all.

The Hawaiian’s were amazing and the dancers with the all the island outfits and festivities of the ‘show’ was really wonderful along with our dinner.
The Luau entertainment told us the ‘story’ of how Hawaii was found and how the traditions were started.
It was pretty fascinating, and of course the girls enjoyed not only the lady dancers but the guys weren’t too bad either when you are teenagers.

The Hawaiian Mai Tai is always a wonderful cool drink on a hot day.

The meal was a mixture of Hawaiian meats and fruits with rice and some vegetables.
It was what we call a smorgasbord of food. Where we could dish out our choices.
In case you didn’t want raw fish or other kind of foods that are not on our ‘normal’ list, the items were nicely marked for you.

The dessert tray was beautiful, full of all kinds of different cookies and treats to try.

The scenery was amazing and with the tropical breeze and trees we really enjoyed the whole event.
We were very close to the stage so we had a very good view of the dancers and the program.

The girls really enjoyed the Luau and I think it was a highlight of our trip along with the warm ocean waters and pools.
They enjoyed the pictures with our waiter, who was very entertaining and cute.

Then the birthday girl got a special picture with him too.

She also got a picture of grandpa and her as we waited for dinner to start.

The sunsets were beautiful and I was fascinated at the banana trees. Something we don’t see where we live.

It was a beautiful setting to end the evening of food, fun stories and music.

Sunset pictures and Hawaiian music left us with a wonderful relaxing feeling as we headed back to our condo.

Hawaii day two

The second day we were in Maui we got our maps and brochures out and decided the girls wanted to play in the pool.  Of course they did, they are teenagers. The beach was a delight for them too as our Oregon beaches are often cold and rainy. In Hawaii the beach was much warmer and the sand was coarse like river sand.
We had gone to Costco and picked up groceries, and we were planning on more meals in the condo than out. It is pretty expensive to eat meals out so one has to choose wisely.
Our first adventure was the aquarium near Lahaina (I think) it was a fun experience for all of us.

I have always had an appreciation and love for the water and the animal life that is in or around it.
There is something relaxing and refreshing about a body of water whether that be ocean, lake or fast stream.

The aquarium had both inside and outside pools so it was easy to see how ‘they live’ among the natural habitats.

The turtle is a very important ‘animal’ in Hawaii and in fact my husband was able to swim with a few of them and that is considered good luck.

This appeared to be a very grumpy octopus and you cannot use a flash on your camera near this display.

I was pretty excited to actually see a seahorse but I was hoping it was more active and maybe even showing us how it moves in the water.

The fish were colorful and fun. I wasn’t too excited about the shark area and in fact when we had to walk through the tunnel with fish swimming all around us I almost panicked it was a bit surreal for me.


It was a very wonderful experience even for the amount it cost us, the girls got shaved ice and they remembered it as a great time.
Making good memories is always a bonus when one plans these kinds of trips.
I got a turtle necklace carved by a native Hawaiian.

Our latest adventure

Our next adventure after Seattle Washington was a ten day trip to Maui Hawaii.
I had no idea what to expect when it came to a long flight, or an airplane bathroom.
(very tiny and very scary)
The plane ride from Portland Oregon to Maui is five and a half hours long.
It sounds like not much but when you are in a seat cramped together it is very challenging experience.
We took our daughter and her three daughters so we had new travelers who had never been in a plane.
The take off is always scary and I almost had a panic attack, it felt like we went from a mild float to a upturned roar, I kept telling myself to breathe.
The pilot did say we were at thirty four thousand feet high and going at a speed of five hundred miles an hour.
(e-gads did he really say that?)
After we landed a very bumpy landing we hurried to get a rental family van so we could travel comfortably.
Our place we rented was found on VRBO vacation rentals by owner, which basically means it’s not a motel/hotel it’s a condo that is owned by someone.
Much nicer experience and more like a home setting. We had a two bedroom two bathroom with a hide a bed in the living room so it comfortably slept six.
It was about a thousand square feet with plenty of room and a lanai (patio) and two pools. Plus we were very close to the beach. The kitchen and bathrooms were stocked well with assorted items. We provided our own food.

In this new experience of Hawaiian life, we discovered many little gecko’s running around the sidewalks or outside walls of the units.
They were very small about five inches long and they moved very fast.

The next morning we woke up to tropical breezes and bird sounds. I miss the birds. They were amazing.
Some sounded like our ‘mourning dove sounds’ and others were very different.
We had a vacation to conquer in a short amount of time.
It was fun to explore and discover new areas of the island, oh and of course the food was wonderful.

Continuing our Seattle trip

The next adventure we did was near the space needle inside a very unique museum.
The Chihuly glass museum and gardens. It’s really hard to explain the beauty of the blown glass.
Unless one is there in person it is just not easy to describe or even photograph.

The weather was amazing and we looked inside and outside admiring the detail and beauty of the glass.
In the bright lighting the glass takes on it’s own presentation and beauty.
The ceiling was amazing… glass in lighting and the beauty is just breath taking. You really cannot imagine the beauty from these pictures.
As we walked and observed it was clear these were not only beautiful but also very expensive.
This one looked like birds near the waters edge, it was completely mind blowing to see the intricate details of this glass.
Glass upon glass creating an illusion of reflection and fragility. The colors were stunning.
Large beautiful hanging glass fixtures, reflecting light and color and detail and amazing art work.
I could not keep my eyes off these beautiful works of art, the colors were bright and surreal.
The pictures do not show the beauty in the way a real life walk through tour does.
Dainty cups of flower forms, fragile and awe struck color.
Such beauty and delicate glass.
Such unique display of color.
Inside the museum and also outside the glass was amazing.
I think this was my favorite part of our Seattle tour, it was something one does not see in a life time and something with great history too.
The artist was very talented and the price tag on those displays were in the thousands. I wanted to purchase a little dish for my home.
Yeah that didn’t happen.
I would definitely recommend this outing to any one who is wanting to see something unique and beautiful.

More of Seattle

Our next adventure was a visit to the space needle.
I do not like heights and was not sure about going near it. We rode the city tram to get there.
It was like a mini train so we did sort of get a train ride on this adventure of ours.
Each of us had a bit of anticipation as to what we would observe and be a part of, and of course downtown Seattle has an assortment of people surrounding you as you walk the streets.
In order for me to go near the space needle I kept reminding myself of my best friends words, “there are worse ways to die.” Yes there are I think.This is what the tram looked like, a small compact train.
The space needle is very pretty and also amazing and full of history as you enter the inside walls.
It is very tall and amazing to look at. The engineering part of it was hard to imagine.
We went into the internal part of it and of course there were gift shops and restaurants and one could eat on the top of it in a very expensive restaurant or buy snacks in the mini shops.
In order to get to the top they have elevators and they really pack them in, I had to ‘breathe’ so I could relax.
Way too many people shoved into a small space but the time from bottom to top was about 20 seconds.
I kept thinking of the movie sleepless in Seattle and could not imagine a small boy alone in there.
I did not go out on the outer view point.
It overlooks the city, the water and the beautiful skyline of the city.
I loved watching the boats in the river and I did walk around the internal circle just not outside.
Everywhere you look there are large massive buildings and a great amount of noise from construction crews.
When looking out  I was amazed the top was only protected by a partial wired wall.
One thing I did appreciate was the fact that you could not go into the space needle without having your bags checked.
The guys had to relinquish their pocket knives and anything else that could be dangerous.
They did have guards who were on each level for safety purposes too.
We can now take this off our bucket list. Been there, done that don’t need to go back again.
I would like to go up north to the islands and ride a boat or ferry.

More of Seattle

The first full day of exploring began with the aquarium.
The day was sunny and we got there a little bit after it opened.
I really enjoyed the displays and the assorted fish and sea creatures in a natural habitat setting.





I didn’t realize there are two kinds of divers. One for cold water diving and one for warm water diving.
They had divers inside the aquariums cleaning and maintaining the displays.
It was really fun to watch them sometimes they even waved at us.
The water front was also a favorite of mine. The weather was perfect after many days of rain. We were so glad we got there early as the morning moved near the noon time we were noticing many school children coming in, by the time we left there were probably over a hundred little people in there. It was definitely time for us to leave.

 

Our Seattle trip

The original plan was to head to Seattle for our brother in law’s birthday by train.
He wanted to do the Amtrak train ride and experience traveling that way without a car.
About 24 hours before leaving we were told they had a landslide on the tracks and we couldn’t go.
So refunds were given and we drove their car to our ‘destinations.’
The traffic was horrible, and very fast I had to work really hard at not being too nervous.
Our condo was very nice on the 7th floor. In the middle of the downtown district.

this is looking to the left of our room.

This was in front of our window

this was to our right at night.


this was also to our right.

this was a dome that was being built by Amazon the daytime picture.

Every where you look there were big tall buildings and the noise of the city.
There were very few moments of quiet, sirens and tall buildings were the main part of staying downtown.
We stayed at the same condo which was also home for many people, for four days.
The room was very clean and very nice.
Our first day was full of driving, it took about 4 hours to drive from our town to downtown Seattle.
The next day we saw the aquarium, the Space needle and Chihuly gardens and glass museum.
The adventure continues as I show you the pictures.