Are Your Vacations Chill?

Three Ways to Ensure that Your Vacations Are Stress-Free

Go Constantly or Smell the Flowers?

Smell the frangipanis.

One thing my husband hates when we travel is someone who wants to go-go-go the entire time we are on the road because there are so many things we MUST see. Driving in strange places can be stressful. If he plans one or two excursions per day, he stays calm. Other people like to plan excursions, fortunately, I’m not one of them. I can adapt pretty well to what makes others happy. No one has asked me to climb Yosemite with no ropes, so I’m good.

If you have the opposite kind of personality, then it’s nice to be in a group so that the take-it-easy folks have company while they relax, and you and the kids (of any age) have someone to have a great time with until everyone winds down.

Plan for Down Time

We love to travel with friends who play cards at night. We can take our entertainment somewhere there is music and lots of people, or enjoy a game in our spacious room. Some people pack books, others watch television, others love to walk. It’s great to be close to what you enjoy doing. Some of our friends golf, our son hikes, and bikes. Our resort in Sedona, AZ is perfect for both of them. Do you love to cook with friends? That’s why we love our timeshare. All the units have kitchens and usually a place to barbeque. You can enjoy the ambiance of the location and the comfort of home at the same time.

Don’t take selfies at the Grand Canyon. It will give the people in your party heart attacks. Two people died that way the week we visited Sedona. I couldn’t sleep that night and I didn’t know them.

Research and Discuss Your Ideas of Fun with Your Companions Ahead of Time

Have some ideas about what you want to do and see in the area even if you don’t get to do it. My husband had to wait for a couple of trips before we finally took a helicopter ride over Maui because the people with us did not want to go. When we finally took the plunge, the woman in the backseat of the helicopter was like I was on horseback – in tears the entire ride. We didn’t know her, but it’s stressful for everyone when someone doesn’t speak up about their fears.

Escape the Heat
Pier at Newport, OR

My brother and I took a very calm boat excursion. He never mentioned that he would get as deathly seasick as he did. He could not walk! He wanted me to have a good time and I was excited about going. I wasn’t prepared, but someone else on the boat gave him a Dramamine, and he calmed down somewhat.

A Traveling and Blogging Near and Far Puzzle

Want to Make the Most of Your Vacation Memories?

Turn your images into playing cards or puzzles. Here is a link to set of playing cards I made of a trip to Kings Canyon National Park.
As a gift, they are no more expensive than buying a trinket that doesn’t have much meaning to you and your companions, but if you have a photograph that you love, turn it into something fun rather than just a book. Check out Traveling & Blogging puzzles. Make one of your own, or buy one of ours.

Book a Discounted Vacation Through Traveling & Blogging Near & Far

We have some extra points with Diamond Resorts that we are not going to use this year. I have one vacation to Hawaii already booked, which I can’t use. Check it out! But I still have points that I have to use this year. I can’t bank them all, so YOU can use them! Where would you love to go? I may be able to book you a beautiful suite for much less than the cost of a hotel room.

One of the Top Places to Visit in Maui, HI

Iao Valley State Park

I met a wonderful woman while battling the Hawaiian surf old-lady style.  On our last day there she told me about Iao Valley State Park where we had not visited.  So before we went to the airport we spent an hour or more hiking around this park wondering how in the world the ancient warriors ever hid behind this needle.

Watch your step; 133 steps to the lookout point!

So up we go to see this big needle that was a famous hiding ground for ancient warriors.  It’s so steep that we wondered what they did before these steps were here?

The climb was easy because we both stopped frequently to take pictures.  I got sidetracked by a spider web sparkling in the sun that wouldn’t cooperate.  Needle-like FOCUS Marsha.  (Self-talk is good.)

The vista was splendid and we are not even close to the viewing area!

Viewpoint Headquarters

This lookout point is as far as the paved public trail takes you. Still, we were not very close to the Needle.  So how DID those warriors get there?  It’s still quite a climb.

What goes up, must come down.

And what a journey down was.  It wasn’t raining while we were there, but the lush vegetation suggested that it rained often.

They don’t bother to post “Watch your step” signs here! (where it’s much more needed than on the safe stairs!)

Kids frolicked in the water.  I don’t advise walking on boulders with cool river waters gurgling over them especially over the falls!

There was something for everybody at this park.

Is he looking for the Needle? He’s not even close to the Haystack!!
It’s an easy walk down to the floor of the valley.


The day was hot, about 86 degrees and muggy, so a splash of cool water from the stream felt good. There were plenty of cool rocks to sit and rest before starting back up to the parking lot.

One traveler from California enjoys the cool Hawaiian weather. It was probably over 110 in Bakersfield California that day.

At the end of the trail, we sat in the shade and watched the vog roll in.  Vog results from the smoldering volcanic ash from a nearby island. Natives say that it’s no healthier for you than smog, but it’s a lot prettier. We sat and breathed it in for a while just to get a feel for the place.

The Needle

With a needle this big, who needs a haystack?  I have to say, this needle is a little disturbing.  Cross my heart and hope not to die, I wouldn’t want IT in MY eye.

Google Map Iao Valley State Park

Related Hawaii Stories

Beat the Summer Heat – Vacation in Hawaii Aug. 18-25, 2019

My husband Vince and I own a timeshare with Diamond Resorts. I’ve already booked this luxury Hawaiian resort, Ka’anapali Beach Club, my favorite place in Maui for seven nights. At $150 per night, it’s less than Expedia – $199 per night. August 18-25, 2019. This offer at this price is good until May 19th.

Luxury Hawaiian Vacation Resort

No longer available! Stay seven nights at the Ka'anapali Beach Club in Maui for seven nights. At $150 per night Seniors 55 and over are 10% off.

$1,050.00

Gardening in Woodlake

Woodlake sits at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, forty minutes from Sequoia National Park on a slow day, in the fertile foothills. My blogging friend, Russel Ray, inspired me about weeding today. Someone posted a comment, “Don’t use Roundup.” So here’s my question for you. Which do you prefer spraying or digging?

Your opinion – Spray or dig

I’m weird, I love to dig out weeds. Today I put on my knee pads, got my trowel, and had a funeral for a bucket full of crabgrass roots then drove fertilizer spikes into any remaining villains’ hearts around our peach trees. Trust me, someone buried cement under the inch of topsoil. Around here we call it hardpan.

Here are some of our weeds. It’s Super Bloom year. (I didn’t dig these out today. LOL, most of the weeds I dug were crabgrass!) P.S. Porsche, the cat, loves to weed. I have to wear gloves to protect me from his claws. I accidentally stepped on his tail yesterday, so he gave me some space today.

Community Weeding

This Saturday our Kiwanis Group will clean out the Woodlake Rose Garden. We weed or trim officially once a month. Weeds love it here. Here is what we had last fall. If you live in or around Woodlake, come join us. The pay –you feel so good when you’re done! High levels of serotonin free of charge.


Now the weeds are green and luscious. You can see that everyone working hard together has paid off, but there are some robust weeds in the background and across the parking lot. So I can’t wait to attack them!

Our dream is to restore the garden to its former beauty.

Hope you all have a happy weekend. If you want to help us on Saturday, drop by the Woodlake Rose Garden between 8 and 11 on Saturday morning – March 23, 2019.

What Could You Give for Valentine’s Day?

Paper Engineering

Six of us learned the art of making fancy boxes at an eat-and-craft pre-Super Bowl party. We stuffed dainty portions of cookies or candy in them to make the perfect Valentine’s Day gift. Of course, we ate them right away.

paper engineering
This little box held a three-inch brownie. Perfect for a little sweet tooth.

In retirement our friend, Helen Bauer has taken up several crafts that she teaches to Boys and Girls Club Members. These activities align perfectly to S.T.E. A. M. or Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics as students solidify and apply their knowledge of fractions and three-dimensional geometry.

Helen donated her time and all the materials to make these boxes and all the goodies to go inside of them to the Woodlake High School Foundation. Thank you, Helen. We had a great time.

The creative part of our box making experience involved fancy papers and stamped designs. I’m not going to pretend to be an expert on this subject. There are lots of those. Stampin Up (SU) demonstrators give away their templates, measurements, but the products can be costly if you get hooked like Helen.

If you want to learn more about making boxes online check out Pootles, Sam Donaldson’s website. For advanced boxers try Julie DiMatteo, the Paper Pixie. Helen also recommended Mary Fish at Stampin Pretty. Jeanie Stark at Just Stampin, and Susan Itell at Simple Stampin. I also found a Pinterest site by Nancy Bates.

Equipment Needed

paper engineering
  • Instructions Type “stampin up youtube” into your search engine.
  • Cutting /Scoring tool
  • Tombow glue
  • double-sided, narrow sticky tape
  • scissors
  • paper clips
  • 80-110 lb cardstock
  • DSP or Designer Series Paper
  • Burnishing tool to crease edges – sharp fingernail works
  • a pad of 11 x 18 graph paper
  • something to put in the boxes as gifts

Our Boxes

Click LIKE if this brief post inspired you to do at least one of these things.

  • Have fun with friends and/or family
  • Work on your fractions
  • Be creative
  • Eat before you box, not during
  • Take a class where the materials are provided.
  • Laugh at your mistakes.

Related Articles

Unusual Perspective: Looking down on the Town.

I think Helen is an extraordinary photographer. What do you think?

MonoZone.Online

The view from Clitheroe Castle.

The medieval Keep of Clitheroe Castle has dominated the skyline of this Lancashire town for over 800 years.

These  pictures show the view of the town and surrounding countryside from the viewpoint of the castle.

Unusual Perspectives, looking down over Clitheroe from the castleUnusual Perspective 1 ©HelenBushe

Unusual Perspectives, looking down over Clitheroe from the castleUnusual Perspective 2 ©HelenBushe

monochrome, unusual perspectives, CB&W, Clitheroe castleUnusual Perspective 3 ©HelenBushe

To see more variations on this theme from bloggers worldwide, head over to Cee’s Black & White Challenge: Unusual Perspective.

Thank you for visiting me at MonoZone.Online

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