Life without God is like an unsharpened pencil – it has no point.

Hi Lord, it’s me.  

We are getting older and things are getting bad here. 
Gas prices are too high, no jobs, food and heating costs too high.
 
I know some have taken you out of schools, government, veteran’s funerals,
And even
Christmas.

Image
But Lord I’m asking you to come back
and re-bless America .
We really need you!
   There are more of us who want you than those who don’t! 

Thank You Lord, I Love you. 

KEY WEST

I have always loved driving to the Keys (lower and upper) when I feel life is getting out of hand.

Key West is a good place to unwind and recharge your energy. In just about three (3) hour drive from Miami you’ll see a different world overlooking the most serene scenery that this side of the world has to offer. From the bluest skies, to the greenest ocean which provide a gorgeous view of both the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. There is nothing like driving along U.S. 1 and reaching the seven (7) mile bridge surrounded with water.

This is my Key West ~ a perfect place to escape from everything. As you spend time in here you will begin to see that everybody here is escaping from something. For some people it’s the law, for others a divorce or job failure. For some to escape the winter cold, and for the rest of us (like me) just want to get away from the city life.

Key West is an ideal place for someone to relax in the sunshine and strangeness. Key West is the end of the line. When you get here, there’s no going south and staying in the United States.

Key West attracts people from all over the world. The Island has this magical way of getting people to drop their guard, let loose and do things they would never normally do. It is an island of enchantment and mystery. It offers a place a little more laid back, a little more accepting, and a little less judgmental. Something has to be said for a place where you can dress how you want, say what you want, do what you want and be who you want without the worry of others wanting you to be something you don’t want to be. As a whole, the island runs a bit slower and a bit softer.

SHORT HISTORY OF KEY WEST – People who were born in Key West are referred to as “Conchs.” If you were not born in here, you are not, have not been, and never will be a conch. Don’t try to be – it won’t happen. But the fact remains, these are the people who helped make the island what it is today. It is estimated 20-25 percent of Key West population is gay. The island’s live and let live attitude has created a haven for gays. If you have problems accepting the sexual preferences of others, you might as well keep your mouth shut or don’t bother coming.

Key West has had many names, each with its own strange meaning. The first people to live and die in Key West were Native Americans. The first visitors to the island were Spaniards looking for safe trade routes through the Straights of Florida. Upon arrival, Spaniards found bones everywhere, and accordingly named the tiny spot of land “Cayo Hueso” that literally translates to “Isle of Bones.” Something wasn’t too appealing about the name “bone island” so as time went on the Spanish term was corrupted. “Cayo” became “Key” and “Hueso” became “West.” The name really has nothing to do with the fact that it is the westernmost key in the island chain.

Over the years a few attempts were made to change the name to something more desirable but most of the people creating the navigational charts of the day stuck with Key West, which has remained the official name for more than a century.

Key West first known visitor was Ponce de Leon. He discovered the island in 1513 during his search for the Fountain of Youth. It is believed neither he, nor his crew, ever came to shore due to the risk of jagged rocks and extremely difficult sailing conditions. Little did he know that Key West is probably the closest thing to the Fountain of Youth in existence.

For years, Key West was left to the pirates. As time passed, many ships wrecked, and the Native American tribe of Calusa Indians, pretty much kept the island to themselves.

In order to make a living, early settlers of the Keys had pineapple farms and the fruit was considered a delicacy. The fishing industry started to boom and a shark-processing factory was launched in Big Pine Key. Nobody knows what truly happened, but Key West soon became the wealthiest city per capita in the United States. As Key West flourished, more people started moving here, bringing more money. Key Westers soon starting branching out, going into business and selling the goods that are famous today (e.g. Cigars, Fishing, Sponging, Military, and The Coming of Tourism).

KEY WEST TODAY – The island has gone through its share of changes. Instead of pirates cruising the waters we have sunset sails. Instead of the great railroad, we have the Conch Tour Train. The one thing Key West has kept is its mystery and the legendary feeling that you are in Never-Never Land.

FAMOUS PEOPLE WHO MOVED TO KEY:

• Ernest Hemingway – writer
• Jimmy Buffett – singer/songwriter/author
• Kelly McGillis – actress
• Calvin Klein – Designer
• Robert Frost – poet
• Hulk Hogan – wrestler
• Harry Truman – President of the U.S.
• Roy Scheider – actor

Freshwater Conch – is a resident of at least seven years

Honorary Conch – is anyone the County Mayor sees fit to present the honor to

True Conchs – can obtain seniority with each generation and you will find it common to hear people damn proud of the fact that they are a 4th, 5th, 6th generation Conch.

Bubba – term comes from the word brother and started in Key West as a friendly term.

Atlantic City – 2011 Winter Vacation

My traveling Bud - Ninang

Every year I try my best to visit New York to spend time with my sister and dearest aunt. My sister’s style of getting rid of her stress is a visit to Atlantic City and spend most of her weekend playing slots machine. This year we stayed at the Caesar’s for four nights and three days.

My brother-in-law and I, on the other hand are not so fond of gambling so we usually hang-out at the bar and/or watch the shows, people watching, or picture taking. While we were killing time, my brother-in-law decided to used my aunt and I as his models to try his newly purchased top of the line camera. We visited neighboring casinos to pose in front of his camera (poor brother!).

Caesar's Lobby

In front of the Caesar's Casino

Playing silly

Playing silly again

Wild Wild West Casino

Wild Wild West Casino

Luckily, at the time of our visit to the casino there was vintage car-show being held across the street at the Atlantic Convention Center. As a huge fan of muscle cars, I invited my brother-in-law to join me at this event, which he happily accepted. Needless to say, we spent the entire day checking each cars that were there. I was salivating each and every time I get to see my favorite car “Corvette!” Such a fun way spending time and admiring all different cars from yesteryear.

1960 - Blue Corvette

How I wish I had lots of money to buy one of the Corvettes that I fell in love with.

Someone purchased this one by the time I arrived.

Not so me..but I will take it

One "Hot" 1969 Corvette for $25k

O’ahu, Hawaii – [ Pali – Day 5 ]

On our fifth day in the island, I then took both my husband and aunt in Nuuanu PALI. This is another place that in my honest opinion is a must see when visiting O’ahu.

So you know this place can get very windy, and it is imperative to bring a sweater when you go. At the lookout you will see the spectacular view of the mountain range. Even though we did not stay long (because of the strong wind), I was able to enjoy the breathtaking beauty of the place. The place is so peaceful and the only sound you could hear is the gusty wind.

Not so many people are aware that there is trail at the lower end of the lookout that you can take to get a different perspective on the views from the Pali. This trail follows along the route of the Old Pali Highway. I discover this trail during my first visit in 2001. I even saw a group of local hikers who were about to explore the trail. I asked them if I could join and luckily they let me to be a part of their group.

O’ahu, Hawaii – [North Shore – Day 1 ]

The second time I visited Hawaii was in May 2006. This time I brought along my husband and aunt, and I acted as their knowledgeable tour guide. Since I am very familiar with the area and its neighboring town, I took them to places that I knew they will both enjoy.

Experience Of A Lifetime. Day One

Our journey to the North Shore started early. It took us at least an hour and a-half to reach it. On our drive we passed Dole Pineapple Plantation but did not stop. In my honest opinion there is really nothing much to see in there except the plantation and of course, the usual tourist trap type selling memorabilias and souvenirs. Not too far from the Dole Plantation, we had a beautiful view of Waimea Bay.

The parking at the Waimea Bay was full when we arrived so I drove a little further down the road and ended up parking at Sunset Beach. Sunset Beach is considered to have the longest stretch of rideable surf spots in the world. We trekked down the beach until we reached the Banzai Pipeline.

Banzai Pipeline is a surf spot and notorious for its huge waves which break in shallow water just above a sharp and cavernous reef, forming large, hollow, thick curls of water that surfers can tube ride. The locals called it a “Pipeline” because of the massive “tube” that forms from the curling wave. Luckily when we arrived we got to see a huge surf competition taking place.

O’ahu – [ Diamond Head – Day 2 ]

Visit to DIAMOND HEAD –

The second day my aunt and I drove up to Diamond Head located on the end of Waikiki. We woke up very early so she can witness the sunrise overlooking the Pacific Ocean, and I, on the other hand can start the hike of the most famous volcanic craters in the world while the weather is still tolerable.

Diamond Head is a crater that has been inactive for one hundred fifty thousand years. I climbed up and found two sets of stairs, one with 99 steps and one with 76 steps. I also saw on my way up a 225-foot tunnel. The hike itself was tough but once you get to the top, it was definitely worth it. I got to see the breathtaking view of the west side of the island spanning from Waikiki to Koki Head.

As I looked out over the coast, it was heaven! Most importantly, being able to witness some of the world’s most beautiful creation was a dream come true. I felt a sense of accomplishments and happiness knowing that I had finally made one of my dreams a reality.

O’ahu, Hawaii – [ Pearl Harbor – Day 3 ]

USS Arizona – Floating Memorial

A visit to Pearl Harbor is not complete without a visit to the USS Arizona Memorial. I thought I already know everything there is to know about that fateful day of the attack, information which I gathered from reading text books and watching war movies, and history channel. However, there is no comparison to physically standing in the place where the tragedy unfolded. It was quite a moving experience in my honest opinion.

Our tour began with a theater showing the story of the attack and the events leading to it, as well as plenty of very interesting exhibits especially a video outlining the exact strategy engaged by the Japanese. After the film, we board the boats that took us to the actual memorial. This memorial is of course special and important because it is the reason why the US entered WW2.

On the memorial, you can view the Arizona and the oil still coming up from below the decks more than 60 years after that December 7th attack. The marble wall on the rear of the memorial has the names listed of the men still entombed on the ship.

We also visited USS Bowfin Submarine. Stepping on board we were given a walkman-style cassette player that narrates our tour as we explore this historic WWII submarine.

Below the decks we walked through an authentic submarine, touring its torpedo room, engine room and sleeping quarters. Some crewmen were actually trapped in compartments here after the ship capsized. They used hammers and wrenches to signal rescue crews on the surface. This tour gave me a chill. I also felt very claustrophobic walking inside the quarters and wanted to turn around and head back to the top but I could not get out. There is only one direction on this ship and if you must go out, you will have to continue walking all the way down to the end of the ship until you see the narrow stairs to go back up on the surface. Since there were so many people lining up in a single line, it was very difficult for me to by-pass them. Anyway, I ended up staying for the whole tour in spite of my panic attack.

In conclusion, we were glad for taking the time visiting this historic place. We were able to pay respects to our brave soldiers that fell that day. Now I have gained a new perspective on the sacrifices for our crewmen who lost their lives in the Pearl Harbor attack

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