Arrived in Hawaii

We are in Hawaii for the next 10 days. We arrived on Oahu last night and we’re staying at an Air BNB near Waikiki. Saturday we’re off to Kauai for the week. Great to be back in the islands.

Aloha!

Ray

Our Visit to Beautiful Walden Pond

April and I have lived in Massachusetts for almost four years. As our time here draws to a close, we’re trying mark things off our places to visit list. We’ve been wanting to hike around Walden Pond (yes, that Walden Pond) since we arrived. I hiked part of it alone a couple years ago, but I didn’t consider it done.

Yesterday was the day. We visited the pond in it’s frozen winter state and navigated the treacherously icy path. Here are some photos from this amazing place. Henry David Thoreau immortalized these beautiful surroundings when he spent two years living in the woods along this pond. He wrote his seminal work – Walden – about this experience.

Walden inspired Thoreau and Thoreau’s writing continues to inspire activists and opposers of the status quo. Both Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. applied Thoreau’s approach to change the world.

Even in 2019, taking in the sights, sounds, and smells of this place, it’s easy to see why it so inspired.

Sailing to Kauai’s NaPali Cost

April and I are enjoying a trip to the The Garden Island of Kauai this week. Today we are sailing along the one-of-a-kind NaPali coast.

Here are a few pics! We just love the Hawaii vibe. It’s our go-to place to feel good.

We’ve seen whales, dolphins, and more. Here’s a little taste.

Aloha!

Ray

Sun Beams in the Oregon Forest

Today’s Affirmation

 I am one with the forest. Being among the trees, I am completely grounded. Being with the trees, I am reminded to reach for the sky.

Few things are as affirming and restoring as a little time in nature. I have always had an affinity for the great forests of the Pacific Northwest…at least from afar. They have always been a place of mystical magic to me. Where I’m from in Kansas, a forest is three trees clumped together. But in Oregon, they have real forests and real magic.

My wife and I visited Oregon last fall with some friends. We were fortunate enough to capture some magic moments of sunbeams filtering through the trees in the morning. I’ve put these photographs together in a video collage.

May it affirm and restore you today.

Follow your bliss! Experience your bliss. Become your bliss.

Ray

http://www.theaffirmationspot.com

Omaha – The Affirmation Spot for Monday Octbober 6, 2008

Beautiful Monday to everyone!

April and I took a little road trip this weekend. We drove about 200 miles north to Omaha, Nebraska. From a distance, it’s easy to wonder why people live somewhere. It never ceases to amaze me how you can find the charms of nearly any city with a little looking. Omaha is no different.

We had visited the Henry Doorly Zoo before and knew we were in for a treat. We love zoos and Omaha has one of the nation’s and world’s top-ranked zoos – they say third ranked globally.

The zoo is highlighted by the world’s largest glazed geodesic dome. Called the Desert Dome, the dome houses animals from three of the world’s largest deserts the Namib Desert in Africa, The Red Center in Australia, and the Sonoran in the United States and Mexico.

Beneath the Desert Dome, lies The Kingdoms of the Night. This exhibit includes cave and swamp exhibits featuring eight species of bats, screech owls, and other night time animals such as American alligators.

Henry Doorly Zoo also boasts the world’s largest indoor rainforest – The Lied Jungle. The zoo is a must see, if you ever get to Omaha. If you are into zoos, it’s worth the trip. The zoo is topped off by one of the country’s best aquariums. The highlight is one of the nation’s few tunnel tanks that allows you to walk under the sharks, stingrays, sea turtles, and fish.

Saturday we visited a lesser known attraction. Omaha has a stellar botanical garden –Lauritzen Gardens. We lucked into the weekend when Lauritzen had its annual Autumn Ambiance festival. In addition to lovely grounds that feature plants from around the world, Lauritzen was celebrating Omaha’s sister city Shizuoka, Japan.

Lauritzen has completed one of three phases of a Japanese garden project. Activities included traditional Japanese activities such as Japanese tea ceremony, Taiko drumming, traditional dancing, and sake tasting.

My favorite by far was the Taiko drumming performed by Kokyo Taiko drumming based in Lincoln, NE.

Taiko drumming demonstrates that you can tell a story and touch the heart with a single instrument – even a drum. This traditional form of Japanese drumming is at the same time powerful and meditative. It was my first exposure to this art form. I hope it will not be my last.

There was a large contingent from the surrounding Japanese-American community. It was a wonderful and memorable experience to be granted this insight into a culture full of spirit and beauty. Thank you to everyone who participated for giving us a rare opportunity to glimpse Japanese culture.

Saturday evening we had dinner in Omaha’s Old Market. Omaha is following the trend towards a revitalized downtown. The Old Market is comprised of several blocks of old brick buildings that now house some of the cities best dining and specialty shops.

The area features horse-drawn carriages and brick streets. We saw several wedding parties holding receptions in the area. The atmosphere was quaint and very appealing. Definitely worth experiencing while in Omaha.

We are enjoying our time in Omaha. Don’t overlook it, if you ever find yourself in the Midwest! You never know where you might find inspiration.

That’s why it’s easy, if you choose, to stay inspired!

Ray