Friday, February 12, 2016

Aloha to Tampa International Airport - Souvenirs, Anyone?


As I waited for my flight to Baltimore, I walked around the Tampa Airport.  I didn't realize Florida was famous for saltwater taffy ... 


... or coconut patties in classic original, key lime, and pina colada.


As much as I love chocolate, I don't think I could eat an alligator.


This looks like a comfy pillow ...


... Tampa loves pink flamingos and green alligators!  What would we find at the airport nearest you?  One randomly selected commenter from this week's blog posts wins a book choice from my convention stash.  Comments are open through Saturday, February 13, 10 pm in Baltimore.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, February 14, at SOS Aloha (link).

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Goodbye, Tampa ...


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Aloha to the Book Swap of Carrollwood in Tampa, Florida




During my recent visit to Florida, I stopped by the Book Swap of Carrollwood in Tampa, Florida.  From its website (link),

Book Swap of Carrollwood has been part of the North Tampa community since 1984.  We are an independent bookstore that sells books of all genres (new and used), including children and non-fiction.

I found several cozy mysteries among the thousands of books on their shelves ... 


... plus adult coloring books, too!


Several teens came into the store ... glad to see them reading!
 

I visited the store in January, spotlighting "books made into a movie" for reading challenge.


What book have you read that was made into a movie?  One randomly selected commenter from this week's blog posts wins a book choice from my convention stash.  Comments are open through Saturday, February 13, 10 pm in Baltimore.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, February 14.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Love this mural in the store!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Happy 106th Birthday, Boy Scouts of America!


On this day in 1910, the Boy Scouts of America incorporated in Washington, DC.  One hundred and six years later, 2 million youth and one million adults are registered members.  The 101,161 units include Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Venture Crews.  The BSA has weathered controversy as society confronted pacifism in WWI to diverse membership for the 21st century.  On a local level, Scouts have benefited my family through our frequent military moves.  I share some of my favorite pictures from Scouting ...

Above is a vintage photo (link) of scouts placing lei and flags on the graves at Punchbowl - The National Cemetery of the Pacific.  Below is the Scout Take Over Day (link) on Hickam Air Force Base.


My Scouts have stayed aboard the USS Missouri (link) in Pearl Harbor.  Next week, they stay overnight on her sister Iowa class battleship, the USS New Jersey.


We hiked around Hilo (link) ...


... and camped among the volcanoes on the Big Island of Hawaii (link).


The Aloha Council hosts Mahahiki (link, link, and link) - a celebration of Scouting every year in Honolulu.


When we visited my husband in Korea, they hiked with the troop from Osan AB on the Task Force Smith Heritage Trail (link)


When we moved to Maryland, we jumped right into local activities, such as the Independence Day Parade (link) ... 


... and the Antietam National Battlefield (link).


Do you have any Scouts in your family?  One randomly selected commenter from this week's posts wins a book choice from my convention stash.  Comments are open through Saturday, February 13, 10 pm in Baltimore.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, February 14.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Below is a canoe trip from Kualoa Beach Park (background) to Chinaman's Hat (foreground) ....





    Friday, February 5, 2016

    Aloha to the Palm Harbor Book Swap


    During my recent visit to Safety Harbor, Florida, I drove over to the Palm Harbor Book Swap.  I frequently shopped at PHBS while living in the area for two months before moving to Hawaii in October 2009.  I still had a credit on file!


    Although I checked out the romance section, I bought several cozy mysteries.


    I also enjoyed browsing around the shop, looking at how the staff displayed the wide variety of books. 


    The staff also spotlight books by local authors.


    I could spend hours in the shop! 


    I am giving away a book choice to one randomly selected commenter from this week's posts.   To enter the giveaway,

    1.  Do you have any collector editions in your personal library? I tend to pass along my books but I keep a few with special autographs.  One includes a personal message written in Chinese by Christina Skye!

    2.  Comments are open through Saturday, February 6, 10 pm in Baltimore.

    3.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, February 7 at SOS Aloha (link).

    Mahalo,

    Kim in Baltimore
    Aloha Spirit in Charm City


    Wednesday, February 3, 2016

    Wednesday's Warriors - United Service Organization (USO) 75th Birthday


    Tomorrow is the USO's 75th birthday.  From its website,

    President Franklin D. Roosevelt sought to unite several service associations into one organization to lift the morale of our military and nourish support on the home front. Those entities – the Salvation Army, Young Men’s Christian Association, Young Women’s Christian Association, National Catholic Community Services, National Travelers Aid Association and the National Jewish Welfare Board - became the United Service Organizations or, the USO.

    Bob Hope in WWII 
    Public Domain (link)

    Today, the USO has continued to support our nation’s military and their families for over seven decades as they defend our country and its freedoms. By providing support to our servicemen and women as they perform their most challenging duties around the world, our credo is to be always by their side.


    The reach of the USO’s 160 centers extends to countries on every continent except Antarctica, operated by thousands of staff and volunteers whose goals are to match our service members’ vigilance and provide best-in-class service to those who sacrifice so much for America.


    I stopped by the USO at the Tampa International Airport to check my email before my flight home to Maryland.  The Tampa Bay Buccaneers sponsored the refreshment area.

    File:LtDanBand USO.jpg

    I've also seen Gary Sinese's Lt Dan Band , above, while living in Hawaii.  Here's a list of celebrities who have performed for the USO - do you have a favorite?  I was pleasantly surprised to see Vivian Vance (Ethel from I Love Lucy) on the list.

    One randomly selected commenter from this week's blog posts wins a book choice from my convention stash.  Comments are open through Saturday, February 6, 10 pm in Baltimore.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, February 7 at SOS Aloha.

    Mahalo,

    Kim in Baltimore
    Aloha Spirit in Charm City

    Marilyn Monroe in Korea
    Public Domain (link)

    Monday, February 1, 2016

    Aloha to Safety Harbor - Ahoy, Pirates!


    Walking back from the pier (link), I noticed the Pirate house! 


    I asked the owner if he was a fan of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers ... 


    ... he responded he just like pirates!  He started with a few decorations for Halloween.  He noticed his neighbors, who otherwise did not converse with each other, started to talk over the cannon.  So he added more Pirate gear ... 


    ... including a ship's wheel, mast, and sails!  How would you decorate your house?  One randomly selected commenter from this week's blog posts wins a book choice from my convention stash.  Comments are open through Saturday, February 6, 10 pm in Baltimore.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, February 7, at SOS Aloha.

    Mahalo,


    Kim in Baltimore
    Aloha Spirit in Charm City

    The pirate cat?




    Friday, January 29, 2016

    Aloha to Safety Harbor - The Pier, Marina, and Library


    Continuing my walk around my home town of Safety Harbor, the pier is a symbol of our city.


    The seagull rests on the channel marker, reminding boaters to watch out for manatees. 


    The bay offers a small beach better suited for rock collecting than sun bathing.


    Yes, let's go to Safety Harbor after this week of snow ... 


    ... I would be on Cloud 9!


    Safety Harbor also boasts a world class library with helpful libraries ...  


    ... here's the fine print.  Indeed, the Librarians are Human Search Engines!


    I found proud parents of a Navy Sailor!  Speaking of sailing, what would you name your boat?  One randomly selected commenter from this week's blogs wins a book choice from my convention stash.  Comments are open through Saturday, January 30, 10 pm in Baltimore.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, January 31.

    Mahalo,

    Kim in Baltimore
    Aloha Spirit in Charm City

    The City of Tampa rises in the distance.