West Baden Springs Indiana

West Baden Springs Indiana
Inside of the AMAZING West Baden Springs Resort in Indiana.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Traffic on Oaho in Hawaii

We had heard that traffic on Oahu can be difficult, especially near Honolulu.

Well, it could get slow and congested, but it was never terrible.  Also, our friends who have moved there told us that Hawaiian drivers are friendly, and they are generally better at letting you over if you need to get over.  We found this to all be true.

Also, Hawaiians are VERY careful about not honking their horns unnecessarily.  We found this to be true, and only heard a few honks while we were around!  THIS is very pleasant, and I would love to see this catch on.

I don't think we passed a single accident.

I know I even read some articles about the famous traffic on Oahu but we had a pleasant time driving around the island.  Even in the few times we found ourselves in traffic, we were calm and cool.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Paintings in Hawaii

Here are just a few cool paintings I saw while on Oahu.  I was able to see the Wyland mural at the NEX while here and it was overwhelming (I have included a couple of photos here, but I am not sure if you can really capture how massive they are with a camera).

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Diamond Head Lighthouse and Blowhole on Oahu in Hawaii

Here are just a few photos I took around Diamond Head Lighthouse and Halona Blowhole while on Oahu.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Abandond Cars and Homelessness on Oahu Hawaii

Hawaii has so much going for it.  It is a very cool and beautiful place.  However, we did notice some issues with Oahu that we didn't expect.

There are abandoned cars.  Like, a LOT of them.  We saw some literally every day.

We asked around about this.  It seems that it is expensive to ship a car too or from the island.  Someone told me that it is around $1000 to ship a car off.

Well, if your car isn't worth that much and you have to leave the island, you might think about just leaving it somewhere.

We also heard that this is a common practice of military personnel on the island.  If they find out that they have to leave the island on short notice, it might not be worth even trying to sell it in a short period of time.

Also, there is a lot of homelessness in Hawaii.  There are tent camps we saw several times., Of course, we heard the long repeated rumor that other states buy one way tickets to Hawaii for some of their homeless, though I haven't been able to find any real documentation of this.

We were all over Oahu, and we really didn't see any aggressive panhandling or anything like that.  Once, near Duke's we notice a man being very non-aggressive asking for change.

There is something fascinating about homeless in Hawaii though.  The state is so tropical and affluent.  It has a rich and beautiful feel, yet there are primitive homeless camps, some even on the beach.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Dave's Icecream on Oahu in Hawaii

Our friends who have moved to Hawaii love Dave's Ice Cream.  The ice cream is actually made on Oahu!

We were able to visit one while we were in the area ,and it was great!

The one we visited was in a strip mall with a Chuck E. Cheese (WITH a band still playing!) and a Ben Franklin.  Again, VERY retro.  This is another place I would be hanging out at a lot if I lived here.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Kona Brewing Co. on Oahu, Hawaii

We are really finding that the restaurants associated with brewing companies are great places to stop for a meal.

We didn't get ocean side seating, but the restaurant was very open and relaxing.  We had a great waiter named Joey too.

We ordered a nachos appetizer that was so good.  This could have been a meal in itself easily.

I had shrimp tacos and mac salad (mac salad is a big deal here).

This was another great stop on our trip.

Monday, March 18, 2019

El Mariachi II Mexican Restaurant

We had some nice Mexican food while in Hawaii!  I wanted to tip my hat to El Mariachi 2

The food here hit the spot...  and since I was still on my shrimp taco kick, I enjoyed some of those here.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Iolani Palace and Downtown Honolulu

We weren't able to take a tour of Iolani Palace, as all of the tours were sold out for the day we visited.  We did get some good photos though (see the top photo).

We also swung by the well known statue of King Kamehameha which is in front of Aliiolani Hale which houses the Hawaiian Supreme Court.  Of course, we have now started watching Hawaii Five-0, and we will always think of this building as the place where Danno and McGarrett hang out.

I love statues that almost become the face of a state.  The King Kamehameha statue is that for Hawaii.  There are actually 6 statues (including one in Las Vegas).  This one is the second copy, which was made when the original one was thought lost at sea (that one was later recovered, and is now on the Big Island).

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Iolani Palace

This unused older postcard describes on the back- Iolani Palace.... in Honolulu is the only Royal Palace in the United States.  The Palace was erected during the reign of King Kalakaua (1874-1891).  The smaller building on the left is historic Iolani Barracks.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Byodo-In Temple on Oahu in Hawaii

It was raining very hard on the day we visited the Byodo-In Temple on Oahu.  Still, we had a very enjoyable time.

This is a non-practicing Buddhist Temple which is open and welcoming to all faiths.  It was established in 1968 to commemorate the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants to Hawaii.  The Temple is a 1/2 scale replica of one in Japan.

On your way to the Temple, you are first drawn to a 3 ton peace bell.  There is a stick attached to the rope, inviting you to ring it.  It produces a pleasant, soft droning sound.

You then make your way to the actual temple, where there is an 18 foot tall Buddha statue.  You can see it pretty well from outside of the doors.  You do need to remove your shoes before walking in if you choose to.  There was someone there constantly mopping the floor.

The entire area is attractive.  There are gardens and koi ponds.

There was a very pleasant lady selling necklaces made of volcano rock/ash.  She did let us know that she made them from pieces from Oregon and Washington, as many in the area are superstitious about Hawaiian volcano rocks off of the island.  They were nice and we ended up buying a couple.

The temple was a very pleasant stop on our trip.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Sun Valley Horse Farm in Versailles Kentucky

When I was VERY YOUNG (like, 5) we owned a horse for a couple of years.  I loved it.  Her name was Speedy.  My dad has always had a farm, and he's always had an interesting mix of animals.  I remember goats, pigs, chickens, and at one time even emus.  AND for a while, we had a horse.

I like horses but, in Lexington, there are people who REALLY like them.  Horses are a way of life.

An old friend/co-worker grew up in a horse breeding family.  They tried to explain a lot of the lifestyle to me once, but I didn't get it.

AND, we have visited a couple of farms in the past....  and the experience was... well, OK at best.

Anyway, we recently heard about the horse farm Sun Valley in Versailles that is now offering tours and we thought we would check it out.

Man, did this end up being a great visit!  We had fun actually getting to see and interact with some horses, and we learned a lot!

First off, Sun Valley is a very hands on kind of place!  The horses were social and seemed to enjoy the interaction.  We were able to interact with most of the horses, including some very young ones!

We arrived a little early for our 1:00 tour and Jan Butzer (who owns and operates the farm with her husband Barry) came out to introduce herself.  She told us a bit about the family and their farm.

After a few minutes, her son Brett showed up who does the tours.  Jan actually accompanied us on most of the tour too, and Barry even came out at one point to talk about the farm.

Barry told us about his love of horses from a young age.  He explained how, early on, he might buy a horse because of a gut feeling.  Doing research on horses could get pretty complicated.  Now anyone can get online and find out all they need to know about a horse.

All three Butzers talked about the success of Sun Valley, mentioning some of their successes (a video was shown of an auction involving one of their horses).  They obviously take a lot of pride in what they have done, but they still came off as very humble.  This is a family that loves horses, and loves being involved in raising them.  They also love telling others about them.

As Brett formally started our tour, he explained (in very easy to understand language) specifically how Sun Valley operates.  In a nutshell, they have female horses that they breed.  The ponies are then sold.  They also do boarding.

Brett talked about how things happen when the babies are born.  He showed us a kit that they have with all of the needed items to help in the process.  Though Brett is in his early 20s, you could tell he has been involved in all of the aspects of the family business!

The tour involves driving to several different barns to see the many horses at Sun Valley.  Obviously, each one had its own personality.  Brett would go into the stall and guide the horses to our tour group to allow visitors to pet and interact with them.

The family lives on the property and visitors get a very nice outside tour of their old home!  History fans will love this, as there is a small cemetery.  As a fan of the Civil War I was very impressed to see the preserved original slave quarters.  Those doing the Bourbon Trail will also enjoy hearing about the Sun Valley connection to bourbon!

Near the end of the tour, we were invited into a room to watch a few videos about the farm and their horses.  Coffee, tea and hot chocolate were available (and appreciated!) on this day.

As the tour wound down, we realized our hour and a half tour was going over.  Brett and Jan told our group that they would understand if anyone needed to leave.  No one did, as you could tell everyone was having a great time!  I know we ended up spending about two and a half hours here on our visit.

This is one of those places that I am glad I found.  I can't wait to bring some out of town friends here, especially ones with kids. 

For $20 a person we thought this was a great value, and a rare opportunity to get really hands on at a horse farm.