Seniors Stop In Waipahu, On O’ahu

3765622834_41c923598f_bI read in the paper today that back in 2010 the Little League Baseball team from Waipahu played Japan for the world championship (LLWS). So today, get your coffee, we senior travelers are going for a visit to Hawaii.

I discovered that the early Hawaiians considered Waipahu to be the capital of the island and  Hawaiian royalty used to gather here to enjoy the fresh clean spring water. Potable springs were always important when surrounded by the salt water of the Pacific Ocean.


So, Aloha From Waipahu, Hawaii.  Aloha is a greeting as well as a farewell and is often accompanied by a Skaka. Know what that is? Seniors who have visited the islands have no doubt seen the famous hand gesture coupled with the greeting “shaka, brah!”

The first and last digits are held up and rotated rapidly back and forth. Originally it meant to “hang loose “, or to chill out and be laid back and is most often used as a positive reinforcement.

  Seniors Discover A Former Sugar Plantation Town


Waipahu is a former sugar plantation town and now census-designated place located in the ʻEwa District on the island of Oʻahu with a population of just under 40,000. The name Waipahu is derived from wai, meaning water, and pahū, meaning “burst or explode”… “water forced up (as out of a spring)”.

I’ve studied the Hawaiian language some having taught languages for over 30 years and found it to be fascinating. The Hawaiian language, or Olelo Hawaii, is one of the oldest living languages in the world with, get this… only 8 consonants and five vowels – much simpler than English.


So let’s explore Waipahu, and Hawaii’s Plantation Village is a great place to start, perfect location for family, and all ages to explore a living history museum and botanical garden. A visit here opens a door to a time of true hospitality and cultural sharing that sprung from Hawaii’s plantation life.

Seniors Find Outlets, Museums and Golf Courses

Waipahu is close to Pearl Harbor on Oʻahu’s southern short. A big draw for many senior visitors is shopping and the Waikele Outlets fits the bill very well. What else to do? Senior visitors enjoy the Contemporary Museum, U.S. Army Museum, USS Bowfin and Submarine Museum and Park.


Theater lovers can enjoy the Hawaii Theater. Those interested in golf can play a round or two at the Waikele Golf Club, Ted Makalena Golf Course, or Pali Municipal Golf Course.

There are several institutions of higher learning in Waipahu that include Leeward Community College, Honolulu Community College, Kapiolani Community College, and Brigham Young University – Hawaii Campus.

So Welcome to Waipahu and perhaps you too can take in a LLWS contender by watching a game of baseball to add to your list of memories on Oʻahu.  Enjoy Waipahu. -jeb

Filed under : Editors Choice, United States


Seniors Stop In Sleepy Hollow

Legend_of_Sleepy_Hollow_U.S._StampYes, Senior Citizens, there really is a Sleepy Hollow. The village “Where the Legend Lives” is located on the east bank of the Hudson River, about 30 miles north of New York City. To the south of Sleepy Hollow is the village of Tarrytown. The population of the village runs just under 10,000.

Incorporated as North Tarrytown in the late 19th century, in 1996 the village officially adopted the traditional name, Sleepy Hollow. “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”, a short story about the local area and its infamous specter, the Headless Horseman, was written by Washington Irving, who lived in Tarrytown and is buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery.

Owing to this story, as well as the village’s roots in American history and folklore, Sleepy Hollow is considered by some to be one of the “most haunted places in the world.” Seniors, let’s go explore Sleepy Hollow and see what is there for attractions and fun things to see and do.


Unfortunately, the bridge where Ichabod Crane was unseated by a pumpkin, is the most popular destination in Sleepy Hollow that doesn’t exist—at least, not in the form and location in which it appeared in Washington Irving’s short story, first published in 1820.

Seniors Enjoy Everything Haunted

Historic Hudson Valley notes that taking the tale of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow to its darkest extremes, Horseman’s Hollow returns to the village for 15 evenings of highly entertaining haunted mayhem.


Philipsburg Manor transforms into a terrifying landscape ruled by the undead, the evil, and the insane. Senior visitors can walk a haunted trail, stumbling upon scary scenes of a town driven mad by the Headless Horseman. The Hollow’s unfortunate inhabitants are all too ready to keep visitors from ever leaving. So if your heartbeat can’t take a little scare to two, beware:)

How about taking a good old fashioned Haunted Hayride? After the ride plan to take in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery,  it’s on the Register of national Historic Places and the final resting place of legendary author Washington Irving. You can experience many activities including haunted attractions and Halloween festivals like the incredible pumpkin Blaze and scary Horseman’s Hollow.

Seniors Find Rockefeller Estate and Philipsburg Manor


For me, I’d want to visit Kykuit, known also as the John D. Rockefeller Estate. Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow and Old Dutch Burying Ground, founded around 1685, is the church and churchyard that appear in Washington Irving’s short story. It is often confused with the adjacent but separate Sleepy Hollow Cemetery.

Philipsburg Manor is another “must see” site on North Broadway. It is a 17th-century historic site that tells the story of slavery in the colonial north. Senior visitors can enjoy a plethora of outdoor adventures with parks, forests, rivers, lakes, streams and trails along one of the most scenic stretches of the Hudson River.

Check out all the history, scenery and hospitality in Sleepy Hollow that is as legendary as the tale itself. -jeb


Seniors Enjoy Kelseyville

headerKelseyville is a census-designated town in Lake County, California. Senior travelers will find Kelseyville 6 miles southeast of Lakeport, at an elevation of 1,384 feet and the population runs about 3,500.

Why write a blog on this small town? Well, it is famed for its wine. We oenophiles read the labels on wine bottles and I recently saw Kelseyville with a wine called Chacewater. The winery and olive mill is located on Gaddy Lane and they invite senior travelers to come and savor their fine wines.


The bottle I opened was a white wine that both my daughter and sister-in-law favor. They said it was “extra,” meaning really good, in French. It was called Lake County and carried a 2013 vintage.

The wine makers take great pride in producing fine wines, Extra Virgin Olive Oils and soaps of the highest quality, sourced from select vineyards and estate-grown olive trees. By producing only small lots and using only the finest natural ingredients they are able to produce artisanal products of distinction. TripAdvisor has paid a visit to Kelseyville and gave a high rating to the wineries.

Seniors Visit the Ely Stage Stop


Rising in the middle of Lake County is  Mount Konocti, a volcano on the south shore of Clear Lake. Teeming with mystery and legend, Mount Konocti has been admired, respected, and feared for many centuries by both Native American tribes and white settlers alike.

As for me, I’d want to visit the Ely Stage Stop and Museum, home to the Lake County Historical Society. The Ely Stage Stop became a relay station for stagecoaches back in the late 1800s, offering drivers a place to change horses while passengers enjoyed a meal.

For hiking, golfing, boating and fishing, Lake County’s an ideal place. Senior travelers will discover fine bed and breakfasts like the Venture Inn and Kristalberg, notable wineries and one scenic view after another. In Kelseyville the pace is slow and the locals are kind.

Seniors Enjoy The Outdoors And The Pear Festival


From east Lake County, senior hikers can hike the Cache Creek Wilderness Area, to Cobb Mountain, to the red clay hills surrounding the lake and the slope of Mt. Konocti.

A major good time in Kelseyville is the annual Pear Festival. In recent years, it has been a pleasure for Kelseyville to welcome some 10,000 visitors. The Kelseyville City Guide is fully interactive and can help senior visitors discover the main activities and things to do in town including a map of nearby Clear Lake.

Set your GPS for Kelseyville, bring along your favorite corkscrew and wine glass and spend some quality time. You will discover wonderful hospitality and legendary landscape. -jeb


Seniors Spend Time in the Heart of the Columbia River Gorge


The city of Hood River, Oregon is at the confluence of the Hood River and the Columbia River in the heart of the beautiful Columbia River Gorge. Senior travelers will find Hood River 30 miles north of Mount Hood, the tallest peak in the state. Hood River has a population of around 7,500 and is approximately 60 miles east of Portland.


The Hood River toll bridge spans the Columbia River and connects the city with the communities of White Salmon and Bingen located in the state of Washington. The city, a port on the Columbia River, is named for the nearby Hood River.

Senior travelers will find apple and pear orchards and fruit packing; opportunities for windsurfing, kiteboarding, cycling and mountain biking, hiking and skiing.

The town is home to four breweries and is a popular tourist destination offering a number of attractions in addition to outdoor recreation. Options include a scenic railroad excursion, a museum of carousel art, a brewpub, and some great winery tours.


 Senior Oenophiles Visit Award Winning Wineries

Many of the local orchards and wineries, including Hood River-based The Fruit Company, are featured on Hood River’s renowned “Fruit Loop”.  I counted nine award winning wineries on the Loop. Senior oenophiles, plan to take the 35-mile, scenic drive through the valley’s orchards, vineyards, forests, farmlands, and friendly Oregon communities where hospitality and scenic beauty merge.

Sample delicious fruits and take your favorites home, visit a winery, experience fields of fragrant purple lavender, visit friendly alpacas up close, enjoy delicious baked goods, and create memories by participating in activities hosted at Fruit Loop locations throughout the year.

Historically the area was inhabited by Native Americans when the Lewis and Clark expedition passed through in 1805.  They found a campsite called “Waucoma,” or “place of big trees.” The Hood River post office was established at the site of the present city in 1858, was incorporated in 1895 and is now the county seat for Hood River County.


 Columbia River Gorge and Mt Hood Draw Seniors

The Hood River Chamber of Commerce has lots of information on the area including their Hood River Valley Harvest Fest. The Columbia River Gorge and Mt. Hood would both be hard to miss once senior travelers are in the area. The NY Times Travel section notes that “The Columbia River Gorge is an 80-mile marvel of moss and waterfall-laden basalt cliffs rising up to 4,000 feet above a wide waterway.”


Hood River Valley’s 15,000 acres of orchards produce approximately 45 percent of the nation’s winter pear crop. Menus at local restaurants are dotted with homegrown specialties.

A great vacation awaits the adrenaline junkie. Hood River is often called the Wind Surfing Capitol of the World with its continual winds. Plan to stop in The Hood River County Visitor Center that welcomes visitors from around the world. You will enjoy Hood River any time of the year. -jeb


Seniors Discover Spearfish

topindexSpearfish, senior travelers learn, is a city in Lawrence County and has a population of 10,500. Prior to the Black Hills Gold Rush of 1876, the area was used by Native Americans, primarily bands of Sioux. Others also ranged through the area who would spear fish in the creek, hence the name of the creek and subsequently the town.


So let’s trek on into town and check out some of the main attractions. Known as the Queen City, Spearfish is surrounded by three prominent mountain peaks – Lookout Mountain, Spearfish Mountain, and Crow Peak which form an awesome “crown” encircling the City.

The City was surveyed and staked out in 1876 and officially incorporated  in 1888. Spearfish is ideally situated in the scenic valley of Spearfish Creek and at the mouth of Spearfish Canyon.

Seniors Discover Town Tied to Mining and Tourism


In the 20th century, the history of Spearfish was tied very closely to mining and tourism. Architect Frank Lloyd Wright, who visited Spearfish Canyon in 1935, later called the area “unique and unparalleled elsewhere in our country,” and wondered, “How is it that I’ve heard so little of this miracle and we, toward the Atlantic, have heard so much of the Grand Canyon when this is even more miraculous?”

Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway is one of South Dakota’s best scenic drives.  Any time of year, this stunning 19-mile cruise will take senior travelers through towering limestone walls and a dense deciduous forest. The Byway follows Spearfish Creek past historic Homestake Gold Mine hydroelectric plants and multiple waterfalls.

The local Chamber of Commerce notes that Spearfish Canyon has a beauty unique to each season. Fall dazzles with great colors when the aspen and birch turn golden yellow and the oak and sumac flame shades of red. The Canyon is equally awe-inspiring in winter when heavy wet snow piles up on the tree branches and canyon ridges. Senior visitors take note: there are three waterfalls on the “must see list” for canyon goers.

Seniors Find A Fishing Paradise


Spearfish is also home to Black Hills State University with over 4,000 students. The Matthews Opera House opened back in 1906 and is the centerpiece of the Spearfish Arts Center and the home to an active community theater. For you historians, the Spearfish Historical Society is awaiting your visit with ongoing presentations featuring the past of the area.

Seniors, ever done any fly fishing? If so, bring your pole along as Spearfish Canyon is a fishing paradise. Its narrow, 1,000-foot walls are among the most spectacular scenery in the Black Hills and home to cascading waterfalls and mountain streams full of awesome trout.

As for me, I would not want to miss the Western Heritage Center with displays of the Great Western Cattle Trail and a wide range of Western Artifacts. Enjoy your time in Spearfish. -jeb

Filed under : Family Travel, United States


Seniors Stop By Enterprise

bbac93_67772946590a1f12a732c74d4981c2d2.png_srb_p_180_146_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_png_srbSenior travelers find that Enterprise (City of Progress) is in the southeastern part of Coffee County in the southeastern part of Alabama and the population is nearly 27,000.

The founder of Enterprise, John Henry Carmichael, moved to Coffee County and settled in the area in 1881. Carmichael built a small store on what is now North Main Street. The local Chamber of Commerce does a great job of promoting Enterprise with Events, News and a variety of visitor information.

Enterprise is your gateway to the Gulf of Mexico, Fort Rucker, and home to the world’s only monument to an insect, a giant Boll Weevil. Enterprise, a beach stopover destination, is located 85 miles South of Montgomery and is the fastest way to the Florida beaches.

Senior Hikers Find Award Winning Hiking Trail


This senior would head over to the historic Rawl’s building and restaurant on Main Street for some great southern cooking. The Southern Broadway Dinner Theater would be next for a fine meal and an evening show . The Depot Museum is popular with lots of folks.

TripAdvisor suggests the Johnny Henderson Park Trail.  Senior hikers, bring along your hiking shoes and enjoy this award winning Trail. Coffee County Arts Alliance brings national performing acts to the area, as well as hosts the Piney Woods Arts Festival every March.

The Downtown Enterprise Business Association brings events such as Summer Fest, in May, and The Boll Weevil Festival, in October. Enterprise is also home to the new Performing Arts Center seating 1,850 people and showcasing a wide variety of exciting performances.


Toss your clubs in the trunk as Enterprise is home to Tartan Pines Golf Club, a public 18-hole scenic golf course, and the Enterprise Country Club, an 18-hole challenging course. In addition, Enterprise has 8 parks for you to enjoy a picnic of just a leisurely stroll.

 Seniors View The Boll Weevil Monument

Folks here will never forget the tornado tragedy that stuck the town back on March 1, 2007. They still speak of it… the devastation was classic. “Today The City of Progress is recognized worldwide for it’s unique attractions.”

The Boll Weevil Monument is the only monument in the world dedicated to a pest. Senior visitors will find that big pest on the downtown square, reminding folks of an agricultural past, and present.  Sessions peanuts have been making peanut products since the early 1900′s.

Fort Rucker is nearby and the home of U.S. Army Aviation. The Army Aviation Museum at Fort Rucker houses over 160 military aircraft, the largest collection of Army Aviation aircraft in the country. -jeb


Seniors Find Another Great American Food Town

UnknownWhy would seniors want to stop in Driftwood Texas? Well, most of all it was selected by Condé Nast Traveler magazine as a Great American Food Town.  It is famous for Salt Lick BBQ on Farm to Market Road. So, get your coffee and let’s check out Driftwood, Texas and another Great American Food Town.

This BYOB, cash-only, BBQ spot with a rustic setting & live music outdoors is about 25 miles down the road southwest of Austin. The folks there are delighted to share their world-renowned Bar-B-Que with senior visitors along with an extra portion of Texas Hill Country hospitality.


The Roberts family recipes have roots back to the wagon trains in the mid-1800′s. They want you to enjoy the same warm atmosphere and delicious Bar-B-Que they savored around the campfire years back. Does that entice your palate?

Seniors Enjoy More Than They Can Eat

If you know about the Amana Colonies in Iowa, they are famed for their family style servings placed right on the table in front of you. Salt Lick has a menu that will set senior visitors up with heaping helpings of beef, sausage, and pork ribs, served with potato salad, cole slaw, beans, bread, pickles, and onions right on your table.


Driftwood is a census-designated place and unincorporated community in northern Hays County, Texas. It lies along Farm to Market Road 150, north of the city of San Marcos, the county seat of Hays County.

The town is steeped in history and although the earliest settlers arrived in the area now known as Driftwood around 1850, the community was established later in the 1880s.

Driftwood shrank almost to a ghost town by the early twentieth century; although it grew somewhat by the middle of the century, it returned to its almost-deserted state by the 1970s.


 Seniors Sample Texas Hill Country Wines

Driftwood is home to The Wildflower Barn Event Center and the Lazy 8 Ranch which had its dry mix products featured by the Texas Department of Agriculture in the 2010 Texas State Fair.

TripAdvisor suggests a Texas Trail Ride and for senior oenophiles (that’s a wine enthusiast), they also suggest a visit to the Duchman, Driftwood Estate or Wimberley Valley Wineries.

That will keep you hopping cross-country for a while sampling some fine Texas Hill Country Wines.


I counted a dozen different types of wine at the Duchman Winery made from 100% Texas grapes. Folks who have been to the Driftwood Estate Winery on Elder Hill Rd. commented on not only the quality of the wine, but the fabulous scenery.

One last view of Salt Lick and the open pit used for making their famous BBQ. Viewing that video really made me hungry. How about you?  -jeb


Senior Foodies Are Welcome in Spruce Pine

sp_banner In a recent Condé Nast Traveler magazine Spruce Pine NC was highlighted as one of three small towns where senior visitors will enjoy some top notch great food. Spruce Pine is not large (2,123) however it is famed for its restaurants.

Located 50 miles NE of Asheville, this mining town is right in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Senior visitors will find Knife and Fork, a modern farm-table restaurant that fills the tables. Spoon (Yes, that’s the name of the restaurant) on the other hand is an up-scale cocktail bar. Both are owned by Nate Allen, a former chef who spent a decade cooking in an acclaimed LA restaurant, so he knows his business.


 Senior travelers will find Spruce Pine located geographically between Mt. Mitchell and Grandfather Mountain, the two highest mountain peaks east of the Rockies. 

Spruce Pine lists among its assets the unsurpassed beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Spruce Pine, Mitchell County’s largest city sits poised along the North Toe River.

Seniors Find “Ol’ Spruce Pine Tree”

Spruce Pine was once referred to as “The Kim Thickets”, after resident and axe handle and shovel maker Kim Mchone. Traveling salesmen would come to Kim Thickets and try to reach the “ol’ spruce pine tree” beside The English Inn before nightfall. Although the name of the town has changed to Spruce Pine, the “ol’ spruce pine tree” is still standing in all its glory.


The town was originally centered around a tavern operated by Isaac English, located on an old roadway that ran from Cranberry down to Marion, NC. The Old English Inn still stands at its original location near the center of town.

Spruce Pine Montessori School in Spruce Pine was founded in 1972 by parents who sought a creative, active learning environment for their young children, SPMS has grown for four decades into a highly respected center for pre-school through sixth grade. It has been highly successful.

 Rocks, An Orchard And Great Food…

Stop by the Linville Falls Visitor Center to pick up maps and information that will prove helpful on your visit. A visit to the Orchard at Altapass would be on my list being a Master Gardener. And if you are “into  rocks”, like one of my daughters who collects them, the Museum of NC Minerals is a place you will not want to pass up.


There is a lot to check out on TripAdvisor’s site. Seniors, come on down to Spruce Pine, enjoy some fine food and get to know the locals. The North Carolina hospitality is as legendary as the Blue Ridge landscape. -jeb


Seniors Settle Into Belmont


A while back I wrote a blog on Belmont, Massachusetts, sent a copy to the mayor of the city as I usually do, and inadvertently sent the same on to the mayor of Belmont, California.  He was very nice and sent a note back complimenting me on our blog. He stated that he would be very pleased if we would consider writing an article on his town as folks there are very proud of what they have to offer as well. So here it is, senior friends, Belmont, California.


I discovered that Belmont is a rather affluent city in San Mateo County in the San Francisco Bay Area.  With a population of around 26,000, Belmont is known for its wooded hills, scenic views of the San Francisco Bay and wide stretches of open space.

This quiet residential community is in the midst of the culturally and technologically rich Bay Area, with a good number of parks: Twin Pines Park, Waterdog Lake Open Space, Semeria Park and Davey Glen Park.

Seniors Find Smoking Ordinance

waterdog lake

I would guess that the Mayor has something to do with the fact that Belmont attracted national attention for a smoking ordinance passed in January 2009. It  bans smoking in all businesses and multi-story apartments and condominiums; the ordinance has been described as one of the strictest in the nation. How about that?

There is a lot of history in Belmont and this link has interesting “Then & Now Photos” that highlight the Historical Hot-Spots in town.  I discovered that the famous “Waterdog Lake” is located in the foothills and highlands of Belmont.


The town’s name is most likely derived from the Italian “bel monte,” meaning “beautiful mountain.” It was allegedly named such because of its “symmetrically rounded eminence” nearby. Others think it’s from French (“bel mont”). You choose.

Seniors Enjoy Historic Mansion

These seniors would enjoy visiting Ralston Hall, a historic landmark built by Bank of California founder, William Chapman Ralston. It is located on the campus of Notre Dame de Namur University and was built in the 1860′s around a villa formerly owned by Count Cipriani, an Italian aristocrat.


The restored mansion features a hall of mirrors, a grand staircase, crystal chandeliers, a ballroom and an impressive collection of 19th Century antiques. After that visit, I would want her to accompany me over to the the Belmont Historical Society Museum at the Twin Pines Art Center.

Senior readers can enjoy the local Chamber of Commerce site and their video on Belmont. The Dining Guide link is neat as you can flip through pages to search out your palate’s delight. The new Belmont Map and Community Services highlights the amenities that Belmont has to offer senior visitors.  So set your GPS for Belmont and greet the Mayor for me. -jeb

Filed under : Family Travel, United States


Seniors Spend Time Enjoying Hartselle


Senior travelers will find that Hartselle, about 10 miles south of Decatur, is part of a growing region, in terms of population (14,000) and economic development. Named for George Hartselle, a founding father, there are still some of his descendants in town.

The Depot Days Festival, held in the fall, celebrates the town’s railroad heritage. October brings the Crestline Carnival. In November, open houses hosted by the Chamber of Commerce and merchants begin the “Hartselle for the Holidays” activities, plus the community wide Thanksgiving Service.


In December, Santa makes his official appearance during the Christmas Parade and residents graciously open their doors for the Beautification Association “Tour of Homes.”Throughout the year, there are banquets, neighborhood block parties, school festivals, school choral and band concerts, as well as lots of regularly scheduled activities at the Civic Center.

 Railroad Heritage Attracts Seniors

The historic railroad depot, built by the Louisville and Nashville Railroad in 1914 and operated through the 1960s, currently houses the Hartselle Area Chamber of Commerce. The City is comparatively young as towns go, having been established in 1870 as a site considered strategic alongside the South and North Alabama Railroad.

Originally the budding village was located a half-mile north of the present downtown area. It had to pick itself up and move at the railroad’s request because the slopes of the old site made it impractical as a train stop and depot. The town was recognized by the establishment of a postal facility in 1873, but was not chartered by the state until March 1875.


Many of the oldest buildings in town were destroyed by a great fire in 1916. Even after the fire, Hartselle has more buildings on the Alabama Historic Register than any other city in Alabama.

Sixty-nine of the buildings in the central business district of Hartselle, including the Hartselle Depot, have been nominated for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places because of their architectural and historic significance.

 Robbery, Best Small Town, Ghost Stories…

In the early morning hours of March 15, 1926, fifteen thieves looted the Bank of Hartselle. The robbers got away with $25,000 in cash, coins and gold bars and despite the efforts of local, state, and federal authorities, no arrests were ever made. Sounds like a Jesse James or a John Dillinger caper to me.


Hartselle has been included in the book, The 100 Best Small Towns in America. It is the birthplace of novelist and journalist William Bradford Huie and noted progressive U.S. congressman and senator John J. Sparkman. The Encyclopedia of Alabama has lots of good things to say about Hartselle.

Various urban legends have arisen around the claims that Cry Baby Hollow and the bridge going across it are haunted, just ask any of the locals about it.  Seniors, set your GPS for Hartselle and enjoy the town and some great southern hospitality. -jeb

Filed under : Family Travel, United States

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