Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Chick-Fil-A and support of traditional family

If you read my blog you know I'm a foodie! I love Chick-Fil-A! My favorite is the nuggets with polynesian sauce and carrot & raisin salad! Yummy, I'm drooling now! LOL. Anyway on a more serious note Today is Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day! I've been hearing all the buzz about Chick- Fil-A's President and COO Dan Cathy's comments in the news over the last few weeks. You can read the interview and actual comments yourself from The Biblical Recorder here. I don't understand why there have been petitions and proposed bans of Chick-Fil-A  from entire cities! Huh??? Why has this become a government issue? Why is our society so insistent upon pushing government to have more control over us, what we can have, do, and eat? Mr. Cathy didn't say anything disrespectful or degrading. I think some people are being a little over sensitive. I applaud him for speaking out on what he believes and not being afraid that it could have a huge impact on his business. In my opinion today's world is full of hypocrites; people that sway with the wind depending on what benefits them. He just stands strong on what he believes. Is it so surprising that the owners of a business known to abide by biblical principles, who still remembers to keep the sabbath holy would have these views? Is this still America? It is Mr Cathy's 1st amendment right to voice his opinion. Yes it is also the people's 1st amendment right to protest if they disagree. If you don't like the Koolaid, don't drink it! Do we really need government officials saying certain cities can't have a Chick-Fil-A because of the owners personal views. To the mayors in  Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, and Pittsburgh; If you plan to shut out Chick-Fil-A are local faith groups next? I think Malcolm X said it best..."If you don't stand for something you will fall for anything." I think Mr. Cathy is right to stand for what he believes , it is his witnesss. His organization has been around since 1946 operating on biblical principles; Why is it a problem in 2012? I admire and support Chick-Fil-A and the Christian principles they follow!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

I fell in Love with BERMUDA!!! (update)

I know its been a while but I'm still here working and traveling! I just got back from my third trip to Bermuda!!! Ahhhhhh I just LOVE that Island. I wish you could see the smile that suddenly forms every time I say BERMUDA! I get this feeling like I just fell in love with my soul mate and I'm the happiest girl in the world! Yes, that is home of the Bermuda Triangle and I have to admit I was a little reluctant to go there for that reason. My love for Bermuda was born June 3rd 2011. After receiving a call that interrupted the plans I hoped to have for the day I headed to the airport to with a new plan. I announced I wanted to go to an island to spend my birthday. I packed a backpack with a change of clothes a towel and a bathing suit! When I arrived at the airport I noticed the next three island flights scheduled to depart within the hour were to Jamaica (somewhere I'd been before), Turks and Caicos ( a bit on the pricey side for my fare) and lastly Bermuda ( where there's a boat and plane eating triangle). My decision was based on two things a suggestion from a woman I really admire who is the head honcho for my company and my fare was super cheap. For those of you that don't already know I work in the airline industry, so no I'm not rich or spoiled, my job just offers me the best perks! So Bermuda is a British overseas territory in the N. Atlantic Ocean, It's measured at about 25 square miles in legnth. You can drive the whole Island in about 45 
minutes. It is one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen! The water is the most beautiful blue (light and dark), they have pink sand beaches, colorful houses with white rooftops and the people are so friendly and welcoming!

Just before boarding the plane I grabbed a destinations magazine about Bermuda. The only thing I knew about the island was there is a Bermuda Triangle and I could disappear. I read that magazine backward and forward on the 2.5 hour flight. So when I arrived I at least had an idea of a hotel I could stay at and to ask for a Dark and Stormy or a Rum Swizzle when ordering a drink! What I didn't know was how expensive that hotel would be. I arrived at about 3pm (2pm est) after seeing the view from out the window I thought this must be heaven! I got through customs and I saw an employee thinking he may be able to help me find out the room rates for the hotel. This the point where things began to spiral out of control. After speaking with this man and having him call a couple of hotels I realized Bermuda is expensive! We were talking $300 and upwards a night! The man suggested a guest house or I could be a guest at his house once he confirmed with his wife. I was thinking "no way" I don't know this man, that is nice but too nice. So I thanked him, he gave me his number so I would have a contact if I needed help and I was off to customs
Well the customs officer must have been listening to the conversation or I looked suspicious. They assumed that I may have been smuggling drugs into the country. I was sent to secondary customs to be searched. First my bags were searched while I was being questioned. They went through every shred of paper in my purse even receipts. Then I was taken to a back room where I was searched and the drug dog was brought in to sniff around.That was a very scary situation to be in. I knew I was innocent but I started wondering if something had been planted on me. Once they figured out there were no drugs, customs released me into the hands of immigration's. They questioned me about why I had the phone number of the employee I meet earlier and why I didn't have a confirmed hotel room. So they tried to bring him into things and accuse him of doing something wrong. I finally asked to be sent back to the USA, since they had denied me entry to their country. That was not possible because the last flight was preparing for departure. So they agreed to assist me with finding accommodations. After calling a few expensive places someone suggested Brightside Guest Apartments where rooms were available for about $140/ night! So I finally got cleared for entry into Bermuda after over 2.5 hours of questioning!
(update starts here) So I walk out into the warm sunshine of Bermuda take a deep breath thinking "I'm free" and there is the guy I met earlier that worked in the airport waiting to greet me! He was so apologetic for my situation and offered to show me around. That was the beginning  of an awesome friendship. (Note: I do not suggest you run off to other countries and hang out with strangers.) I had the chance to see Hamilton aka Downtown Bermuda, John Smith’s Bay and Park, Harrington Sound, Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo, The Royal Naval Dockyard and the quaint town of St. George. I ate shark, had a Bermudian Snow cone on the side of the road and drank a Dark and Stormy (Bermuda's National Drink)! We went to a reggae concert were Etana a reggae singer from Jamaica was the main act. I hung out in an area called the Devils Hole at the Harrington Workmans Club where everyone helped me celebrate my birthday. It was one of my most memorable excursions yet!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Konnichiwa from Okinawa

I finally had the opportunity to visit a place I have wanted to see since middle school! Japan; Tokyo and Okinawa!!! My fascination with Japanese culture was sparked by my pen pal in the 7th grade. She used to send me origami, the paper was very colorful folded into intricate designs. I remember anticipating her letters eager to see the latest origami art. My sister studied Japanese in 6th grade and she taught me a couple words and to count to ten.  Konnichiwa means hello or good afternoon and arigato means thank you! These terms followed by a smile were what got me through most of my trip.
I flew from Charlotte to San Francisco almost five  hours and from there into Tokyo Narita airport for almost eighteen  hours. Lastly a three hour flight to my first stop, Okinawa. I stayed at the Best Western Inn Naha which was 18 minutes away from the Naha International Airport on the monorail. I didn't realize how convenient it was to catch the Yuki Rail (monorail) when I got there so I took a cab. I would suggest the Yuki Rail from the airport to Asato Station. When you come down the steps the hotel is there next to the Seven-Eleven convenience store.

The Best Western Naha was the best bang for my buck. It was affordable, the room was clean and the staff were friendly and helpful!
The hotel was located right at the entrance of the Yuki Rail which we took to go to Shuri Castle and the mall! It was also in walking distance to Kokusai Dori aka International Road, a mile long stretch of shops and restaurants. 

We also visited The American Village home of many shops, restaurants and the
iconic Ferris Wheel. The best part of the village for me was Fish Therapy. This is a process like a pedicure that you put your feet in a pool with tiny fresh water fish called Garra Rufa and they nibble away old skin cells, I don't know about the claim to reveal beautiful skin but my feet felt a little smother and more relaxed after a day full of walking. While in the American Village I also tried a Japanese treat made out of purple sweet potatoes called  Ben Imo.  I learned that Japanese sweets are not really all that sweet. They had ice cream flavors in Ginger, Green tea, red beans etc. I didn't find any of that appealing so I skipped deserts.

We had dinner at a place called Bikkuri Donkey: Hamburger Steak Restaurant that translates in English to The Confused Donkey! I loved this place the decor was awesome! It looked like a wooden shack and I assumed it was more of a hole in the wall type place at first. Upon entering we found this was a nice family restaurant with its own charm and delicious hamburger steaks!

I truly enjoyed Japan, I caught a glimpse of some cherry blossoms in bloom and the people were very friendly and polite! Check out My Youtube Channel for videos from my trip!
Until Later Toodles!!!