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.



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.



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!


Hawaii Photos – The Affirmation Spot for Saturday September 6, 2008

www.theaffirmationspot.com offers downloadable mp3 affirmations, meditations, and visualizations for nearly every area of life – sports, sales, wealth and prosperity, health and fitness, personal growth – to name just a few. Our library is growing all the time. Remember your fifth affirmation on each order is always free.

If you’re like me, you could probably use a little diversion about now. Summer is winding down and the political season is heating up. Today I thought I’d share some photos from somewhere many of us would love to be – Hawaii!

My wife and I have been fortunate enough to visit paradise each of the past two years. She is, in most cases, the photographer. Here are a few of the beautiful photos she has taken on those two trips.

Enjoy your few minutes away from the real world and Aloha!


Beautiful Oahu from the air
Beautiful Oahu from the air
Newest land on Earth at Kilauea Volcano
Newest land on Earth at Kilauea Volcano
Lava flows into the ocean at night off Hilo, HI
Lava flows into the ocean at night off Hilo, HI
Sunset at beautiful Waikiki Beach Honolulu, HI
Sunset at beautiful Waikiki Beach Honolulu, HI
Palm trees everywhere you look!
Palm trees everywhere you look!
Rainbow over the Honolulu skyline the day our cruise sailed
Rainbow over the Honolulu skyline the day our cruise sailed
Moon over the Pacific
Moon over the Pacific

"We were here" photo at Kilauea's main vent

I call Maui the postcard island because there is a postcard shot everywhere you look. Outlook on the Road to Hana
I call Maui the postcard island because there is a postcard shot everywhere you look. Outlook on the Road to Hana
More beautiful Maui
More beautiful Maui
Jungle waterfall on Maui
Jungle waterfall on Maui
beautiful flowers everywhere!
beautiful flowers everywhere!
Flower with the blue Hawaiian sky as the background
Flower with the blue Hawaiian sky as the background
ATVing on Kauai - "The Garden Island"
ATVing on Kauai -
Fire dancer at a luau on Maui
Fire dancer at a luau on Maui
Beautiful Ka'anapali Beach on Maui
Beautiful Ka
Gorgeous blue water and palm trees in a cove on the Kona coast
Gorgeous blue water and palm trees in a cove on the Kona coast

The Aloha Spirit of Hawaii – The Affirmation Spot for Thursday April 17, 2008

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ray_launchpad.jpgYour Fifth Affirmation is Always Free at The Affirmation Spot

Whenever you download four affirmations at The Affirmation Spot your fifth affirmation is free. Simply type five in the coupon field at checkout to get your fifth affirmation free. (Offer valid only on a per order basis. Multiple single downloads do not receive this discount.)

Today’s featured affirmation is:

“Today I am one day closer to my dream vacation in Hawaii.” (repeats 4 times)

“Today you are one day closer to your dream vacation in Hawaii.” (repeats 4 times)

Hear an audio mp3 version of this affirmation right now.

My wife and I leave for our long-anticipated return trip to Hawaii tomorrow. Blogs may be a little sparse for the next ten days although it is my plan to blog a couple of times on the trip.

Hopefully, I will have some great experiences and maybe some pictures to share.
We are doing the island-hopping tour aboard Norwegian Cruise Lines’ Pride of America. It’s a slightly smaller ship than the former  Pride of Hawaii (our ship last year), but still large, elegant, and beautiful looking ship.

The seven-day cruise aboard a Free Style NCL ship is definitely the way to see the islands. You travel at night and arrive in your new port each morning. There are a wide array of excursions that allow you to experience many aspects of the islands.

One of the things April and I loved so much about Hawaii is the Aloha Spirit. I found two really good descriptions of the in-depth meaning of Aloha – beyond just love, hello, and goodbye.

What is the Aloha Spirit?

The Aloha Spirit

May your day and your life be filled with Aloha!

Be peaceful Be positive Be prosperous!



What is Your Dream Vacation? – The Affirmation Spot Saturday Survey February 8, 2008

copy-of-ray_hawaii1.jpgWhat Ray’s reading right now:

The Power of Kindness: The Unexpected Benefits of Leading a Compassionate Life

Today’s affirmation is:

“Today I am one day closer to my dream vacation in _____________!”

Fill in the blank with your vacation destination and keep this affirmation with you everywhere you go the next few weeks. If you’ve already planned your trip, the affirmation will help you remember it is getting closer. If you have not planned your trip, the affirmation keeps that dream in front of you and helps you attract the opportunity into your life.

Kailua-Kona Hawaii
The Saturday Positive Thinking Survey gives readers of The Affirmation Spot an opportunity to express their views on a survey question related to positive thinking or positive change.


This week’s question

If money and time were not an issue, where in the world would you go on vacation right now? Have you been there before? Why is this your dream vacation?

Your Answer

Share your dream vacation by leaving your comment here.

My Answer

ray_kona.jpgLast March my wife and I were fortunate enough to take our first trip to Hawaii.  We expected to enjoy ourselves, but we were unprepared for the unbelievable beauty of the place and the feelings it evoked in both of us.

So, this April we are making a return trip. Last year we sailed aboard NCL’s Pride of Hawaii. That ship was reassigned to the Mediterranean Sea.

This year we will be aboard Pride of America. Cruising is a fantastic way to see Hawaii. You travel at night. When you awake in the morning you’ve arrived at your next destination.

It gives you a chance to get a taste of each of the islands.For months after our first trip, I would close my eyes and see the incredible blue water off Kona or have a brief memory of our two mile trek across the lava fields to see “the newest land on earth.” I think often about the miles and miles of gorgeous beaches on Maui and the unspoiled wonder of the Nipali Coast.

Perhaps the most amazing place was the Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historic Park. In ancient times, it was known as the “Place of Refuge”. When someone was condemned to death their sentence was commuted if they could make it to this sacred place alive. Today this part of the Kona coast is definitely a refuge for the soul.

We are so looking forward to the return visit. After last year’s trip, we decided to make it a goal to move to Hawaii one day. This year’s trip will determine if we just had a crush or if it is true love. We’re pretty sure we already know!

This year I plan to blog from the ship during our trip. So I can share our Hawaii experience with readers of the blog.

View last week’s question

Be Peaceful Be prosperous!


MP3 Audio Travel Affirmations

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