Once Ben and I got home from the cruise and had time to settle in to a normal routine we decided to take one more trip before senior year started. Neither of us had ever been to 6 Flags Over Texas so we decided it was the perfect time to try it out. One of my very best friends lives in Waco Texas so we asked if we could stay with her for one night and then the net day we played on down to Flags and staying close to the park that night. When we got to Waco we made it a priority to visit the Magnolia Market owned by Chip and Joanna Gains. It was amazing. They have set up the store in such a way that you feel like Joanna is personally showing ideas of how to decorate your home. They also have a very attractive outdoor space. It features a grassy area for kids and multiple food trucks. That night Ashlan (friend in Waco) and her boyfriend took us to a fun bar and grill for dinner. Waco has GOOD food. We slept on a blow up mattress that night and then got up went to fabulous breakfast place where I ate ginger bread french toast. YUM. Then we got on the road and headed to 6 Flags. Once we arrived at 6 Flags and decided upon the new Justice League ride. Then we headed for the roller coasters. I have always been a fan of roller coasters, but not these! Throughout the day I completely blackout out four times. I have never blackout before and do not want to ever do it again. Other than that we had a very good time. Once we got hot and tired to headed to our hotel. We stayed at an Embassy Suits Express. We were very impressed with the hotel. They had a nice indoor poor, full bar and restaurant, and the room was very nice. We cleaned up and then decided that we couldn’t be in Texas and miss out on going to the Cheesecake factory. I had the fish tacos. That meal made it to my top five best meals ever list. Overall, we had a super fun trip to Texas.
6 Flags Over Texas Link: https://www.sixflags.com/overtexas/store/landing/fright-fest?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIz-HKsojV1gIVxlqGCh3S2AOtEAAYASAAEgLVfvD_BwE
The Magnolia Market Link: https://shop.magnoliamarket.com/
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So on day 4 we went to the beautiful U.S. territory St. Thomas. The buildings are brightly colored and it is so fun to interact with the locals. When you get off of the ship locals are waiting to help escort you to where you are wanting to go. Ben and I decided to do St. Thomas just as a couple instead of going on the island tour with the rest of the family. We started off shopping for a wrap skirt for me and a cheesy Hawaiian shirt for Ben. Once we found what we were looking for we got aboard a taxi to Megans Bay. I have been to this beach once before and wanted to share the place with my husband. It was relaxing and beautiful. The water was so clear! I could take waist deep and still see my feet perfectly. They only thing we could have asked for is that our family could have seen the beach. After the beach we went back down the island and boarded the ship. We had another excellent dinner, went to a show and headed to bed. On day 5 we went to San Juan, Puerto Rico. It was so fun. We walked around and ended up at Fort San Juan. It was cool to step back into time and see how soldiers lived. Their kitchen was the size of a large closet and had to feed the hundreds of men living within the Fort’s walls. Once we left the Fort we headed to lunch. We ate at a local cafe. The food and experience was very fun. We then went and walked around the town. I found a cute outfit in one of the local shops and Ben’s Aunt found some fun things for her children. As we all know these two area were hit pretty hard by hurricanes in the past few weeks. Although these areas see a lot of terrorists they do not have the money required to recover. Please consider donating to their cause.
Donate to the Red Cross Now: https://www.redcross.org/donate/disaster-relief?scode=RSG00000E017&gclid=EAIaIQobChMInZKA0t3I1gIVk4NpCh1F0w0mEAAYAiAAEgKIf_D_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds&dclid=CMaAztrdyNYCFYw2aQod7D4AKQ
Info on Megans Bay: https://www.visitusvi.com/stthomas/attractions?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=%2Bst.%20%2Bthomas%20%2Bbeaches&utm_campaign=St.%20Thomas%20Activities
View from the top of Fort San Juan
On day two of our adventures, we started off the day by celebrating Father’s Day and Ben’s grandparents 50th wedding anniversary. Grandfather Kinney reserved a private room for us to celebrate. We went around the circle and shared something we loved about our dads. My in-laws gave a short testament to the love and faithfulness that has been displayed by the Kinney’s marriage and then we parted ways. Ben and I went to the pool deck and laid out. We also watched my in-laws dance with the with the cruise director. We went to Guy’s Burgers for lunch. If you haven’t ever been to a Guy’s Burgers you are missing out! They have amazing seasoning and a very taste special sauce. I think my brother in-law, Andrew, at at least fifteen burgers throughout our week long trip. We went to dinner and enjoyed a wonderful meal at the grandparent table and the grandparents allowed us to share their special anniversary cake for good luck in our own marriage. On day three we arrived at Amber Cover, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. Most of the boys went on an ATV excursion around the island. They had fun and their one wish was that they could have had more rest time at the secluded beach they stopped at mid-excursion. The area where the boat was docked was owned and operated by Carnival Cruise Line so it was very tourists oriented, which had it perks, but you did not get to experience what the lives of locals really looked like. For the afternoon the family took advantage of the pool the port offered. We laid out as well as relaxed in the pool. Once we got tired of the sun and the heat we went back to boat were we had a late lunch and then started the process of getting ready for dinner. To hear more about our trip tune in next week!
Amber Cover: https://www.carnival.com/cruise-to/caribbean-cruises/amber-cove-cruises.aspx?CID=PSearch_A_G_&SE=Google&KW=amber_cove_cruise&CM=CCL_IMCS_EN_CAR_Search_Lead_SKWS_Destination_Caribbean_Islands_BMM&AG=Amber_Cove&_vsrefdom=nonbrand&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI-vPq9oOy1gIVwoZpCh0WGglCEAAYASAAEgIirvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds
Guy’s Burgers: http://www.guyfieri.com/guy-fieri-restaurant_brands/guys-burger-joint/
The Kinney’s enjoying their anniversary.
View of Amber Cover
About two weeks after Ben I arrived home from our honeymoon in St. Lucia we left for a cruise with his side of the family. Right before Ben and I got engaged in August, Ben’s grandparents planned a family cruise in the Caribbean to celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary. Ben and I really wanted to be apart of this vacation and celebration of marriage. So we planned our wedding and honeymoon around the trip. Ben’s parents even paid our way as part of our wedding gift. On June 19th we met the Hollaway family in Little Rock, we loaded up and processed to drive through the night to Coco Beach in a twelve passenger van. Just to clarify, that was the WORST part of the trip. Tight spaces in a van that has little to no air conditions and eleven other people is an emotionally taxing experience. On June 21st all twenty-six members of the Hollaway Family Vacation loaded the Carnival Magic. Ben and I found our interior room and settled in. The best part of this room was that absolutely no light when the lights were off. This made it easy to nap in the middle of the day. After we were settled we met the family for lunch in the boats Italian restaurant. Once the boat left port we explored the ship and went to the “deck party.” This party mostly consisted of middle age couples in swim suites doing line dances. Yes, my father and mother in-law took part and even won a prize for their line dancing skills. After recovering from embarrassment, Ben and I got ready for the first formal dinner on the ship. When we got to the dinning room we realized we had been assigned to sit with Ben’s grandparent’s and their family friends and not with our immediate family. You see, the biggest table the ship had was for ten. This is fine for normal sized families, but when you marry into a family of ten it becomes a problem. So we decided to make the best of chatting to experienced married couples. The food was of course amazing. For an appetizer I ordered strawberry basil soup, which turned out to be a smoothie in a soup bowl. After dinner we went to show put on by the ships cast and then headed to bed. To hear more about the Hollaway Family Vaca stay tuned.
Coco Beach, Florida information website: http://www.cocoabeach.com/
Carnival Cruise line website: https://www.carnival.com/?CID=PSearch_A_G_&SE=Google&KW=carnival&CM=CCL_CCS_EN_US_Search_Isolate_BKWS_General_Brand_Exact&AG=Carnival_General&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI9ezRtbug1gIVilqGCh2Vtg-EEAAYASAAEgLSOfD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds
Guests bringing their allowed snacks onto the ship.
I know you have all been eagerly awaiting to hear about days 4-7 of my honeymoon to St. Lucia. Well the wait is over! Here we go. Day 4 went like this: at around 10am we received a call from the concierge informing us that if we would like we could be upgraded to a nicer room. They told us that if we were interested we could take a look at it at 11am and then make a decision. The room we had been in was one large room with a average size bathroom and had an amazing overlooking view of the beach. The view was worth its weight in gold, but the room itself was lacking. So we decided to go check out the other room. The new room was in an apartment style building. When we walked in we fell in love! You walk into a modern style living room which held a couch, tv, bar, and sliding glass doors that lead to the patio. To the right of this room was the bed room which had a beautiful bed, a large window, tv and large closet. The bathroom, which was open to the bedroom, had a beautiful modern sink, tube and rain shower. The sink was two different depths. This was nice because you could use half the sink for a countertop. The best part of the new room was the patio. The patio opened up on the ground floor of the complex. It had a pretty view of roof tops and the ocean. The patio had a basket weave table and an large outdoor tube! The patio also had thick curtaint that enclosed the space for privacy. It was so relaxing and you felt like a millionaire. So obviously we took the upgrade and spent the remainder of our trip in the new room. Ben and I remarked towards the end of the trip that it was like two different vacations since we had two different rooms. For the rest of the day we relaxed by the pool, drank cocktails, and ate dinner at Neptunes for dinner. The food was good and we had a lovely view of the waves crashing on the shore from our dock seats. On day 5 we woke up and ordered room service. I love breakfast food so this was always one of my favorite parts of the day. Then we went to pool and relaxed for the day. We went and got ready for our fancy dinner at the onsite Japanese restaurant. We arrived and were served their specialty cocktail. We were seated with 4 other couples. We had lovely conversation over travel, our stay, and our home states. Ben and I were by far the youngest couple at the resort and the cook noted this by nick-naming us “Justin Beiber and Selena Gomez.” The next day was the best day of the trip. We went on an speed boat tour, but it was so much more. We started the day on the speed boat tour and then stoped and went to the bottom of a volcano and had a mud bath, then headed to a waterfall to wash off. After the waterfall, we went to a local restaurant and had a fabulous lunch. On the way back to the resort we stopped and went snorkling. We had so much fun and it is a memory we will cherish forever. After we got back we went to the La Toc restaurant, which did not disappoint. The next day we slept in and had room service. Then we packed up and went home. It was all I could have ever asked for.
Link to the La Toc Restaurant: http://www.sandals.com/main/lucia/lu-dining/
Link to Speed Boat Tour: http://www.joeknowsstlucia.com/
Morgue in Texas close to capacity: https://www.apnews.com/98d608f5a1a945039e515583391da5ae/The-Latest:-Texas-county-morgue-close-to-capacity
I felt like this story really captured the heart break Texas is feeling as a result of the flooding from hurricane Harvey. The photo they used of a women crying sends the message of pain an agony related to the storm. The video of water almost covering cars in an apartment complex reminds readers how serious the flooding has become. Finally, the authors words send a pang of unbelief of the implications the death toll has taken on the area. “Thursday that funeral homes have been unable to retrieve the bodies in the aftermath of the storm and it has asked for a large refrigerated 18-wheeler to store more of them.” – AP News
20th Anniversary of Princess Diana’s Death https://www.apnews.com/2d87519f103d497f8f3ae9e2595c68ef/Public-mourns-Princess-Diana-on-20th-anniversary-of-death
This article captured the sadness that still lingers over the death of a royal twenty years after her dearth. The pictures show how much people loved and admired her. The video shows that her sons still miss her and loved her dearly. Lastly, the words express the place of honor we all still hold for the beloved Princess. She was and always will be “The People’s Princess.” -AP News
North Korea is attempting to make testing missiles a normal affair https://www.apnews.com/986d255a2c8a4d2490df718efa8bbe2d/Will-North-Korea-make-missiles-over-Japan-the-new-normal?
I think the author of this article successfully expressed the idea that North Korea is trying to making testing missiles a normal thing. I admired the cover photo that was a picture of Japanese individuals watching the news story capturing the latest test launch. The picture made it seem like they were watching everyday news. The video showed the missile and reminded me of War World II videos. And of course the words described a looming fear that revolves around these continuing testings. “Kim is clearly seeking a real nuclear deterrent against the United States and likely believes that will strengthen his negotiating position when North Korea returns to talks. And if it does, North Korea will likely demand a halt of the U.S.-South Korean drills and perhaps the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the Korean Peninsula in any talks involving a moratorium on its missile launches, said Koh Yu-hwan, a North Korea expert from Seoul’s Dongguk University.” – AB News
On May 30, 2017 Ben and I left for our honeymoon after staying the night at the Capital Hotel. We got up at 3 a.m. for our 6 a.m. flight out of Little Rock. We had a layover in Atlanta and then got on a plane for St. Lucia. Once we finally arrived we were greeted by friendly faces and a tiny airport. We stayed at the La Toc Sandals resort located on the bay of the Island. Although the Island is only twenty-three miles long, the roads are winedy and it took us an hour to get from the airport to the resort. The best way I have found to describe the roads, is to compare it to if you were to drive up and down Mount Nebo for an hour. Needless to say, I did not feel great after the ride. Lucky for me, the resort’s employees were wonderful and laid a cool, lavender scented towel over face until I felt better. Once checked in, our concierge drove us up to our suite over looking the bay. It was beautiful and relaxing. The resort is all-inclusive and boasts of nine onsite restaurants. The first night we tried out the Italian restaurant. The next day we relaxed by the pool and had a photo shot by the beach. That night we went to a restaurant called The Pitons. The Pitons are to mountains the Island is known for. The restaurant was not only appealing for serving only fresh local cuisine, but also for the unique restaurant design. It is an open air restaurant with “Piton” shaped roofs that are wood shingled. On the third day we went zip-lining through the St. Lucia jungle. It was an amazing experience. I saw the most beautiful flowers in the jungle. During this experience I found my new favorite flower that grows on a tree named frangipani. The cool thing about this flower is when the sun sets the flowers send off a wonderful perfume scent. I will discuss days 4-7 in next weeks blogs. So stay tuned!
Link to the Capital Hotel: http://capitalhotel.com/
Link to the Sandals La Toc Resort: https://m.sandals.com/resorts/saint-lucia/sandals-regency-latoc/?utm_source=google_maps&utm_medium=business&utm_campaign=sandals_regency_latoc_bl&desktop=disable
On May 29, 2017 I got married to Ben Hollaway. I had planned for this day for months. I stressed over flowers, wedding planners, and dress fittings. Finally, the day came. My entourage arrived at Goodwin Manor early to start getting ready. I had purchased each bridesmaid a periwinkle robe to match my primary flower, hydrangeas. We listened to a wedding morning playlist, drank coffee, and laughed. My cousins own the makeup and skin care store “glo limited” in Fayetteville Arkansas. They graciously offered to come to Little Rock and do the wedding party’s makeup. The hair dresser I used was from Jonesboro Arkansas and she was perky and did a great job with every ones hair. For lunch my grandmother provided the wedding party with smoothies from “Tropical Smoothie.” The smoothie company even artistically drew each lady’s name on their cup. Once we finally got ready, we had two photographers take pictures of us. One was a friend of my mother’s named Bob Fugate and the other was a friend from Arkansas Tech named Cambrey Watson. After pictures were finally over, it was time to line up for the processional and get married. The ceremony was all I could have imagined. My Uncle Chuck preformed the ceremony and said beautiful and encouraging words. Although it was beautiful, it was outside and close to ninety degrees. Due to the heat, my sister in-law passed out as my husband and I were exiting. Luckily, my father in-law noticed she was not doing well and gracefully went up to the stage, picked her up and walked off. Once Ben and I had exited, we had a candle light dinner in the estate’s wine cellar. After dinner we joined the reception for mingling and dancing. We danced the night away and drove to the capital hotel under the stars.
hyperlink 1: Cambrey Watson’s Photography Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/cambreywatsonphotography/
hyperlink 2: My cousins store’s website: http://glolimited.com/
My family setting up the cross at the ceremony site.
Ben and I at the Capital Hotel after the wedding.
For the past two years SAB has been putting on a fair for summer send off. I have been very impressed both times. They have had fun rides and carnival food. It is such a fun way to end the year. My favorite ride was the pharaoh boat. When you go up and down you stomach does a little flip. I love that feeling (at least when I and not sick). It was sad though because my boyfriend had just gotten off a spinning ride and was not doing so good, but he rode with me anyway. He is so sweet. We did have to leave the fair after that though. SAB great job! Keep up the good work.
SAB info: https://www.atu.edu/sab/index.php
Come to ATU!!: https://www.atu.edu
Yesterday was such a beautiful day. The weather was absolutely perfect. The sun was shinning and the pollen has finally retreated. As I was walking I realized days like this make days that are cold or rainy for grey worth it. All those times I have run to class to get out of the thunderstorm where worth every drop of rain because of the few days that it is so perfect. Days like that really remind me how much God loves us. I like to think that He took a paint brush and painted that perfect day.
Matthew 6:26: http://biblehub.com/matthew/6-26.htm
Genesis 1:20-23: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+1:20&version=MSG