Standing on 70 acres of land, and consisting of five historic buildings and eight gardens, Stan Hywet is the 6th largest home in the United States that is open to the public. Every year in December, volunteers decorate the estate with Christmas decorations of all kinds, and include over one million lights and a choreographed light show to various Christmas songs. If you’re ever near Akron, Ohio during the month of December, I highly recommend paying a visit!
Category: North America
Posts involving traveling in North America. These posts cover my adventures to the various states in the United States of America as well as trips to Canada.
Growing up, I would always watch the ball drop on TV on New Year’s Eve. I would see the crazy crowd of people in Times Square all wearing their New Year’s glasses and partying the night away. Despite what others might think, I thought it would be so cool to be in Times Square and experience the ball drop in person. I was so excited when I finally got the chance to go! However, going to New York City to see the ball drop definitely takes some preparation. Here are my thoughts on spending New Year’s in New York.
After our adventurous day at Black Sand Beach and the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, we decided to take it easy yesterday. We did the Atlantis Kona Submarine tour and then relaxed by the hotel pool. Today was our last day in Hawaii, but our flight wasn’t until later in the evening, so we made a few last stops, including Rainbow Falls and Hawaii Tropical Botanical Gardens.
Yesterday was our last day on the beautiful island of Kauai, but we decided to stop at the Kilauea Lighthouse and Wildlife Refuge before catching our flight to the island of Hawaii, also called the Big Island. There, we went to Punaluu beach, also known as Black Sand Beach, and then to the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
This morning, we caught a relatively early flight from the island of Oahu to the island of Kauai. On the plane, we took a look at our original plans for our time on Kauai and discovered that we had more time than we had thought, so we decided to change our schedule a little bit. In the morning, we decided to go to the Waimea Canyon Lookout in impulse. Then in the afternoon we went on a tour with the Na Pali Experience group.
Today would be our last day on the island of Oahu, so we made sure to fill it with lots of fun. In the morning, we hiked Diamond Head, which was once an active volcano but is now a crater, and in the afternoon, we stopped by Aloha Tower and the famous statue of King Kamehameha. Then, for the first time all vacation, we relaxed on Waikiki Beach and went swimming in the ocean.
The main event today would be Sea Life Park, where my mom and I would be able to swim and interact with dolphins! How cool is that? Then, later in the evening I was able to getting dinner with an old friend and even catch some fireworks over Waikiki Beach.
Today would be our running around day. We planned to visit Pearl Harbor, the Dole Plantation, Byodoin Temple, and Lanikai Beach. None of those took large amounts of time, but they weren’t exactly close together either. Thankfully, we managed to make it to all of them, and we didn’t even feel rushed.
The majority of our day was spent at The Polynesian Culture Center. It is a museum that preserves the various cultures of Polynesia, but it’s more of a theme park than a museum. The area is divided into different villages, each having their own performances and activities. I’m the evening they served us dinner and put on a big theatrical performance showcasing the different cultures.
My mom was recently recognized for the 30 years she has worked at her company. As a reward for her hard work, the company gave her a “free” vacation for 2 people. Because my mom is the most wonderful person in the world, she chose me to accompany her on her vacation. After some discussion, we settled on Hawaii as our destination.
In my last post (“New York for New Year’s – Day 2”), I talked about going to Times Square to see the ball drop for New Year’s. After that, it was time to head home, but we were in no rush so we decided to do some local sightseeing near the hotel we had stayed at in New Jersey. We decided to stop at a store called Carlo’s Bakery, which is the setting of a popular TV show “Cake Boss.” We also stopped at Basile’s Pizza for lunch and stopped by the waterfront to get a good view of New York.
As I mentioned in my last post (“New York for New Year’s – Day 1”), I went to New York to celebrate New Year’s. In New Year’s Eve, we finished up our last bit of sightseeing and then were off to Times Square to prepare for the ball drop.