Choices

With my grandchildren growing up I often think about the word “Choices”.    My thoughts go to the choices I’ve made throughout my life.  Some good, some not so good.   I think about how a choice can change your entire life. 

Friends

The friends you choose are a big influence on your life.  Make sure they have the same morals as you do.  Don’t let peer pressure change you!  Find friends who enjoy the same things that you do.

Activities, Hobbies

Choose what you love. Stick with it.  Finish what you start.

 

Morals

Follow the 10 Commandments to the best you can.  If I had chosen to steal, I could have ended up in jail.  If you covet what your neighbor has you will be miserable.   If I had chosen to commit adultery I probably would no longer be married.  Today one of the choices young people have is whether or not to try illegal drugs, cigarettes and alcohol.  If  you choose to do these things you choose to harm your body.  I think about my father.  He made the choice to start smoking around 13 years of age.  He died at 62.  I wonder if he would still be with us if he had not made that choice.  I’m sure he would have lived much longer if he had chosen not to smoke.  My cousin choice to drink and smoke.  She died at 66.

The Ten Commandments

  1. I am the Lord, your God.
  2. Thou shall bring no false idols before me.
  3. Do not take the name of the Lord in vain.
  4. Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.
  5. Honor thy father and thy mother.
  6. Thou shall not kill/murder.
  7. Thou shall not commit adultery.
  8. Thou shall not steal††.
  9. Thou shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
  10. Thou shall not covet your neighbor’s wife (or anything that belongs to your neighbor).

 

School

It never entered my mind to quit high school at 16, or to not study or try my best.  I chose to go to college and be a teacher.  I wonder where I would be if I had not tried to do my best in high school.   Or if I had chosen  not go to college?  Or if I had gone to a different college.  How different my life would have been.

Career

A career choice can be a difficult  decision.  Choose what you love.  Not what someone else wants you to do.  Looking back I wish I had chosen a teaching career in Home Economics( now called Family Science).  I made the choice to teach Elementary Education because it took fewer hours and I could graduate sooner.

 

Dating and Marriage

Wow, this one is BIG.  Make sure you choose someone who has similar interests and morals.  Don’t settle on anything less.  Make sure you are friends as well as lovers.  Since the divorce rate is so high I’m sure many people regret the choices they’ve made on this one.

 

Christ

The most important choice you can make is to follow Christ.  I remember being at a revival when I was a kid. The preacher spoke about taking the path less crowded instead of the one most people were on.  He spoke of not following the crowd down the wrong path, but traveling the straight and narrow path.  Making the choice to follow Christ and his word will make your life more pleasant with less strife.

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The Beginning of our Love Story

In the fall of 1965 it was our high school’s turn to attend a Lexington, Kentucky TV show called The Nick Clooney Show.  This weekly broadcast was set up like American Bandstand.  Every Saturday a local high school would be featured.

 

Students involved in sports, cheerleading, etc. would travel by school bus to participate in the show.  The latest music, dancing, and interviews with the visitors would be the main part of the show.  Nick Clooney, the father of famous actor George Clooney, was the emcee. He was as handsome as his famous son.  Another thing that made this special is that Mr. Clooney’s beautiful wife was from our county.

 

I remember dancing to the latest hits, and Nick Clooney interviewing me. He even ask me to say hello to my friends and family back home while being on TV.  An excited teenager I was.

 

After the show is when my now husband and my love story began.  All of the students and their sponsors got on the bus for our 45 minute ride back home. As I entered the bus most of the seats were filled up.  When I got to my future husband’s seat I ask him if I could sit next to him. He obliged, and I sat down next to him.

 

We talked all the way home, or probably I talked all the way home.  We drove past the Kentucky River where he showed me the locations of some of his family members. When we finally got back to our high school I suddenly remembered I had no way to get home.  I told him I didn’t have a ride home, and he gladly offered me a ride.  I took him up on the offer.

 

When we got to his car I noticed that 3 other football players were riding with him. I didn’t hesitate, and happily got in the front seat with the 3 big football players in the back seat. Now if one of my daughters or granddaughters were to ride around with 4 guys and only her I would not be very happy mom or Nana.

 

My future boyfriend, now husband, drove us around the local hangouts.  Jerry’s Drive In and the Dairy Dip were places you just couldn’t pass up when you had Dad’s car. I may have fell in love with the ’63 Impala before I fell in love with the guy!  He drove fast and I was excited about the situation.

 

Here’s the twist to the story. When he dropped me off at my aunt’s house I accidently left my purse in his car.  I swear it wasn’t planned! He swears up and down I did it on purpose so he’d have to come back and see me.

 

Well, that’s what he did. Brought my purse back and ask me out.  That’s when our 51 year love story began. Still going strong, happy, and blessed.

Today is our 49th anniversary.  Wow.  How time flies by.

Hope you enjoyed my little love story.  I hope you come back again to read more thoughts by Mrs. B.

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My Favorite Love Songs

Since it is Valentine’s week I thought I would share some of my favorite love songs.    Scroll through until you find one you like.  Then click on the picture, sit back, and get romantic with your special loved one.   Or maybe you could light the candles, and ask your favorite someone to dance to your favorite.

This post is dedicated to my husband and all of you romantic  couples out there in internet land.  Happy Valentine’s Day from Mrs. B.

Love Songs of the '50's

These two are special to me because as a young child my parents took me to the drive-in to watch the movies.

April Love

Pat Boone

1957

 

Love Me Tender

Elvis Presley

1956

 

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Love Songs of the 60's

These helped keep the marriage exciting and romantic.

You Are So Beautiful

John Cocker

1975

 

 

Grease  Oh, my.   How many times did my daughters watch this movie???

Honestly I Love You 

Olivia Newton John

1974

 

 

Love Can Keep Us Together 

Captain and Tenille

1975

 

You’re In My Heart

Rod Stewart

1977

Listened and danced to these when I was a teenie bopper and teenager.  They bring back memories of high school dances.

Can’t Help Falling in Love

Elvis Presley

1961

 

My Girl

The Temptations

1965

 

When a Man Loves a Woman

Percy Sledge

1966

 

 

 

I Got You Babe

Sonny & Cher

1965

Love Songs of the 70's

Love songs of the 80's

Could I Have This Dance 

Anne Murray

1980

 

Don’t Know Much

Aaron Neville & Linda Ronstadt

1989

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What a shame Keith died so young.  I’ve often wondered what songs we missed out on because of his untimely death.

When You Say Nothing at All

Keith Whitley

1988

Love Songs of the 90's

Love Can Build a Bridge

The Judds

1990

 

Everything I Do

Bryan Adams

1991

 

Forever Together

Randy Travis

1991

Love Songs of the 2000's

Hero

Enrique Iglasias

2001

 

Remember When

Alan Jackson

2003

Love Songs of the 2010's

I Walk the Line

Craig Wayne Boyd

2015

I Would Die a Happy Man

  Thomas Rhett

2015

I hope you enjoyed.  In the meantime have a terrific Valentine’s week and make someone you love happy.

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The Old Kapok Tree Inn Restaurant

Back around 1970 my grandparents took my husband and me to the Kapok Tree Inn Restaurant in Clearwater, Florida.   Since that has been 47 years ago I’m not sure we ate dinner there, but I do remember the humongous kapok tree and the fountains.  I remember it being the most beautiful place this young Kentucky lady had ever seen.

My parents took yearly trips to the Tampa Bay area, but they never took my brother or me.  I often heard them speak of eating at the Kapok Tree Inn.  I even remember seeing pictures of the tree that they and my grandparents had taken.  Finally in 1970 I took my first trip that I could remember to the Sunshine State.  We stayed at my grandparents house in St. Petersburg while we visited.  And that is when I visited this sensational place called the Kapok Tree Inn.

Here it is 2017, and my husband and I have retired.  We have spent the winter months near Clearwater for the last three years.  I have often thought of the Kapok Tree Inn Restaurant but I had not seen it.  Finally I looked it up on the internet and found out that it had shut its doors in 1991.  I found an address and decided I would look for the now defunct business not really expecting to find much left.

Wow! Was I surprised with what I found!  This place is still magnificient.  Although not as well kept as it once was, one can still enjoy the beauty and massiveness of this place.  The Kapok Tree Inn once was busy with the hustle and bustle from customers from all over the U.S and world.  Now it is the location of a music business and is rented out for special occasions.

Take a look at my pictures to see what you think!

The Kapok Tree

The Fountains

The statues

The Gardens and Wall

Today it is home to the Sam Ash Music Store

Now that you’ve seen the pictures do you see why I was so excited to reconnect with this place?  I could just imagine ladies dressed in expensive dresses and men in their suits and ties dancing to romantic music.  In my mind I visioned couples eating fine dinners with candles lit on tables covered with white table clothes.

I am so appreciative of the artistic work of the creators of this special, magical place.  And I sure am happy that the beautiful place hasn’t been torn down .  The Kapok Tree Inn property has been this way since the 1950’s. I’m hoping that the owners continue to have it open to the public.  It is free to walk around in the gardens.  The place is also available to rent out for special events.  For more information click here.

I hope you felt some of the magic of the Kapok Tree Inn as you viewed my pictures I took with my iPhone.  And don’t forget to check this place out next time you are in the Clearwater, Florida area.

Feel free to share any of my blog posts if you want.

Until next time,  Have a Great Day!

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Jamaica via Coral Princess

The last stop on our 10 day cruise was Ocho Rios, Jamaica. Most of our group traveled to Dunn’s River Falls, but a few of us toured Konoko Falls.   Our group also went to a beach near the port.  Join me on my picture tour of lovely Jamaica.

Near the Port

Konoko Falls

Dunn's River Falls

The people of Jamaica were very friendly and knowledgeable about their country.  What I saw was beautiful and clean.  We saw Baptist, Methodist, Catholic, and Seventh Day Adventist churches.  We learned that Jamaica has more churches per person than any other country in the world.  I saw the most beautiful turquoise water I’ve ever seen. The vegetation was green and abundant.   I would love to go back someday to spend some time on the lovely beaches.

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my Panama Canal Cruise and all of the ports we visited.  If you ever get a chance to cruise to Panama on the Coral Princess I suggest you take it.  A great itinerary and ship.  Traveling with 20 people made the trip special too.

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Panama Canal via Coral Princess

On our 10 day cruise in January, 2017 one of our days was spent traveling through the Panama Canal. What an accomplishment this was for the world! The canal saves so much time and money for the trade industry to travel from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean.  I have lots of pictures so sit back and enjoy.

The ship took us through three locks, then on to Gatun Lake.  This first set of pictures show our trip to Gatun Lake.

Traveling to Gatun Lake on the Coral Princess

Onward toward the Pacific Ocean

We did a partial transit through the canal on the cruise ship.  Then we boarded the lifeboats that tendered us to shore where we got on an air conditioned bus.  The bus took us to a ferry which transferred us through the remainder of the canal.  Then we got back on the bus and went to Colon where we boarded our ship the Coral Princess.

Taken while riding on the air conditioned bus

Our tour of the Panama Canal was long and hot.  It was also educational.  I learned that the canal was finished in 1914, and turned over to Panama in 1999.  More than 1,000,000 ships have crossed through the canal saving both producers and consumers money.  The Gatun Lake is 26 meters above sea level therefore the necessity to use the 6 locks.  These locks act as elevators to raise and lower the water level so the ships can pass through the canal.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my picture tour through the canal.  Now I can check this one off my bucket list.

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Limon, Costa Rico via Coral Princess

In January of 2017 the Coral Princess cruise ship took us to Limon, Costa Rico.

Here we took an air conditioned bus through the town.  My pictures of the town are not very good because it was overcast and the bus windows were not clean.

The bus took us to the Tortuguero canal and throughout the countryside.  We got a glimpse of the ocean, banana plantations, and cattle.  While riding a large pontoon boat on the canal we saw lots of jungle vegetation like coconut trees and cashew trees.  If you had good, quick eyes you could see a few birds, monkeys, and a sloth.

After the canal trip we had samplings of the bananas and pineapples of the area.  The pineapple was the best I have every tasted.  The small gift shop had some nice items that were not expensive.  I bought this beautiful fringed sarong for only $10.

It was a rainy, dreary day when we were in Costa Rico.  Because of this the guide said we saw fewer animals than if it had been sunny.  The guide was intelligent and so proud of his country.  He shared a lot of interesting information about Costa Rico.   The excursion gave me an insight into living in Costa Rico.  I was disappointed my pictures didn’t come out any better.  If I ever go here again I will take an excursion to a nice beach.  I’m sure there are beautiful ones that we didn’t get to see.

I hope you enjoyed this picture  tour of Costa Rico.  My  next post will be about our trip through the Panama Canal.

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Cartegena, Columbia via Coral Princess

We traveled to Cartegena, Columbia via the Princess Coral cruise ship.   Through my photographs you will see a variety of architectural styles and lifestyles in this South American city.  While here we rode the Hop and Go Bus and saw expensive high rises, historic monuments, and beaches.

Hilton area

The area around the Hilton was the prettiest part of Cartegena.

The Beach

Castillo San Felipe de Barajas is a fortress in the city of Cartagena, Colombia.

Around Town

In parts of Cartegena you could see poverty.  For instance the trash was piled up near the light poles.   There was a variety of historic and modern  architecture.  My favorite was the balconies on the buildings in town.  Lots of statues and small parks were throughout the city.  The electrical wiring looked like a disaster waiting to happen.  The narrow streets with the small cars lined up in traffic jams were seen all over the town.  Lots of mopeds and bicycles were seen.  In a few places the ocean washed right up into the streets.

I hope you enjoyed my blog tour of Cartegena, Columbia.  Next  blog post will be Limon, Costa Rica.

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Aruba via Princess Cruise Line

 

In January 2017 there were 20 of us Kentucky friends who cruised to 5 destinations in the Carribean, Central and South America.  Princess Cruise Line was our means of transportation.

We traveled on the Coral Princess for a 10 day vacation.

The ship was built in 2004 but has since been remodeled.  Often I saw the crew cleaning or painting.  They even changed our hallway carpet while we were onboard.  It isn’t the biggest ship I’ve cruised on, but I liked it and found it pretty.  Of course, the showers and bath are tiny.  The beds are soft, but I thought they felt great.   A few in our group thought they were too soft.

The shows featured the usual dancers and singers.  Some of them were so so.  When they sing opera or 20′ s through 40’s music I get bored.  I like country music and 60’s through 90’s rock.  They finally came through with some of that in the later shows.  The comedian and magician were great.  Loved the cruise director as he was a hoot.

The food in the formal dining room was great, especially the desserts.  We had prime rib, lobster and shrimp, lots of other choices for our meals.  Hamburgers and pizza were delicious in the casual areas.  The Lido deck had the buffet area where we ate lunch and breakfast.  Needless to say I pigged out on the bacon and abundance of fruit.

We took a trip of the kitchen.  The amount of organization it takes to prepare these meals for over 2000 people is amazing.  Here are some pictures I took of the carvings and creations the workers had created with fruits, vegetables and chocolate.

The boat is a good place to shop with sales on t-shirts, watches, and costume jewelry.  Liquor to take home is cheaper as it is  tax and duty free.

If you have never cruised try it out.  We love it.

Aruba

We were only in Aruba for 5 hours, so I didn’t get many pictures from there.  We took a round trip by taxi to Eagle Beach which only cost us about $30 for 4 people.  The sand was a beautiful white with no seaweed or shells at all.  Absolutely beautiful.  The weather was perfect.  The local market place is a good place to buy t-shirts or souveniers.  I would love to go back and spend more time there.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my post about the Princess Coral and Aruba.   Next post on my blog will be about Cartagena, Columbia.

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A Winter Wonderland

We chose to spend our last evenings of 2016 walking in a winter wonderland in Largo, Florida.  There was no snow, but it was cool enough to need  to wear jackets.  The light shows were amazing while walking through Largo Central Park and Florida Botanical Garden.  I hope you enjoy looking at the pictures I took of the many bright displays of lights.  Click on the blue words to check out this video of Largo Central Park that I found on You Tube.  I’m sure it will help you understand why we enjoyed this place so much.  Then take a look at the following pictures I took from the Florida Botanical Garden.  I used my iPhone so they are not great pictures, but I think you will be able to see the beauty in this park during the holiday season.

If you are ever in Largo, Florida try to check out these nice parks, especially during the winter holiday season.  I hope you enjoyed my winter wonderland post.  Happy New Year to all.

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