Sandals

Sandals & Beaches – What’s the Difference?

Sandals

Image ©Sandals

Sandals & Beaches — two world class brands that are considered by many to be the cream of the crop in the All Inclusive vacation game.  With Sandals & Beaches, you get incredible destination spots, world class luxury, some of the best food and wine to enjoy anywhere, and of course, top of the line service that sets them apart.  But beyond all of that, what is the difference between Sandals & Beaches?

Sandals

Sandals is strictly for adult couples only.  You will not find any children at Sandals resorts, you will not find any single vacation goers at Sandals resorts — you will only find couples at Sandals.  If you are looking for a vacation that is all inclusive, that features incredible beach destinations, and the romance that a couples only resort can bring, then look no further than Sandals.  Here are the Sandals resorts for you to choose from.

Jamaica

  • Sandals Montego Bay
  • Sandals Royal Caribbean
  • Sandals Negril
  • Sandals Royal Plantation
  • Sandals Ochi
  • Sandals Inn
  • Sandals South Coast (formerly known as Sandals Whitehouse)

Bahamas

  • Sandals Royal Bahamian
  • Sandals Emerald Bay

Grenada

  • Sandals LaSource  Grenada

Antigua

  • Sandals Grande Antigua

Saint Lucia

  • Sandals Regency La Toc
  • Sandals Grande St. Lucian
  • Sandals Halcyon Beach

Barbados

  • Sandals Barbados
  • Sandals Royal Barbados

16 resorts, 6 Caribbean islands.  So many things to choose from, so much to enjoy.  That is what the Sandals brand is all about.

Beaches

The Beaches brand is much smaller in comparison to Sandals, but it is not any less impressive.  Beaches is designed for families, for couples, for singles, for anyone that wants to enjoy a particular destination.  While some Beaches resorts are on the same island as a Sandals resort, there is only one resort in the brand that is located on Turks & Caicos Islands, and that is a Beaches Resort.  Here are the resorts that fall under this brand.

  • Beaches Turks & Caicos
  • Beaches Negril
  • Beaches Ocho Rios

3 resorts, two islands, all uniquely designed for any of your travel wants.

In addition, there is also the Grand Pineapple Resort located on the famous 7-mile beach of Negril, Jamaica!

When you stop and think about it, really the differences are not that great.  Simply put, Sandals is for couples, Beaches & Grand Pineapple are for families. Of course, couples can also enjoy Beaches & Grand Pineapple — there is nothing preventing that — but for adults only couples entertainment options, Sandals is where it is at.

Have you always thought that the all inclusive resort vacation is out of your budget, but never really checked to see?  Are you looking for something different to do with your vacation dollars this fall or next year? If so, reach out to me and let’s start a conversation to determine if one of these incredible resorts is really for you and your loved ones!

Call me at 919-606-6725 or email me at mike@pixievacations.com today!

Love

Prayers for the Week: Fruit of the Spirit – Love

Love

Image ©SincerelySaraD.com

22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. ~ Galatians 5:22 (ESV)

Hello my friends, and welcome to this week’s Prayers for the Week post.  Today I’m starting a small series on the fruits of the Spirit that we find in Galatians 5.  Over the next nine weeks starting today I will be focusing on one of those fruits.  Today we focus on love.

Love

The concept of love is discussed throughout the Bible, and there are many examples of love that we can draw on in our quest to understand what it means.  There is the concept of being “in love” with someone, such as how a husband loves his wife and vice versa. We find a very powerful set of verses pertaining to love of a couple found in 1 Corinthians 13:

4Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
13So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. ~ 1 Corinthians 13:4-13 (ESV)

Those verses are often quoted in wedding ceremonies.

Other ways love can be found in the Bible exist throughout — even in situations where God disciplined His children because they didn’t listen to Him and commit to Him.  Just look at all of the times that the Israelites were exiled because they turned away from God.  But then, of course, God sent us Jesus — the greatest act of love that has ever been known in this world.  God sent His Son to us so that we might believe in Him, and in doing so, gain eternal life and forgiveness for all of the unpardonable sins that we have committed.  God sent Jesus to be the ultimate sacrifice for all of our sin — and Jesus loves us so much that He died on that cross for me.  And for you.  And for all of us.  All He asks of us is that we would turn to Him, that we would believe in Him and His sacrifice, that we would pray to Him, telling Him that we have realized that we are sinners, and ask Him for forgiveness and to create in us a new spirit, a new life.  That salvation that we speak of is open to each and every one of us, from the meekest, most gentle person to the killer on death row that has shown no remorse for their actions.  That, my friends, is what Love is.  Love is dying on the Cross for each and every one of us when you didn’t deserve that fate.  If you don’t have John 3:16 memorized, go look it up, and memorize it, and do me a favor and leave it in the Facebook comments below.

Love — it is the first of the fruits of the Spirit, and it is an outward sign that you are one with Christ.  Do you show love?  Do people know it? That is the question.

Now, please continue reading with our Prayer Requests and Praises below.

Prayer Requests & Praises

  • Please pray for all of those that are having struggles with anxiety and panic.  Please pray for all of those, that God would send his Peaceful, Calming, Comforting touch to them, that they would know true Peace, and that their anxiety and panic would drift away.
  • Amanda has a prayer request: I need more prayers! My husband’s oncologist is requesting a test on his already removed tumor tissue to see if he might be a candidate for immunotherapy. This is huge because that’s where all of the research is. If it comes back as no, we only have one more drug after the one we are on to use. Not many clinical trials exist that don’t involve immunotherapy. Please pray it comes back that he is a candidate. We will be scheduling another scan in the next week or so. I’ll be requesting more prayers for that – better than last time with no new cancer, none of the resolved tumors active again and the active tumors less active, resolved or gone. But I’ll bother you with those later!
    Also, our friend Jaime has been put on hospice care. She has a husband and 2 small children. Please pray for them as well. Thanks, guys!
  • Please keep praying for my cousin Barb and her husband Tim. The results were not what we had hoped. The chemo is not working anymore, and the doctor is looking for clinical trials for him. Need prayers now, more than ever.
  • Carol has a prayer request: Pray for my son Jeff. He is having Very difficult time.
  • Please pray for my friend Clint and his family.
  • Please pray for Paul and his broken toe.

Thank you all for praying, and please don’t forget to send us your own prayer requests!  Now, please pray the prayer that Jesus taught us to pray together:

Our Father, who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be Thy Name.

Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be done
On Earth as it is in Heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those that trespass against us.

Lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the Kingdom, and Power, and Glory
Forever and ever. Amen.

 

Thy Will Be Done

Prayers for the Week: Thy Will Be Done

Thy Will Be Done

Thy Will Be Done!

The four most powerful words that can ever be spoken in prayer are simply “Thy will be done.”  By saying those words to God, you — me — us — we are telling God up front that we are putting our situations in His Hands — to do with as He would.  In the Father Tim series of books about the fictional town of Mitford, NC that writer Jan Karan penned, Father Tim calls that prayer “the prayer that never fails.”  He is absolutely right.

So, Lord, today we come to you with cares on our hearts, prayers on our lips, petitions for You that we need to utter, and desires that we wish You to take care of for us.  In each of them, though, we are committing to turn them all over to you with the additional words thy will be done, knowing that if You desire it for us, then that is what it will be. Lord, hear our prayers, and thank You for loving us so much — us, the unloveable — that You sent Your Son Jesus to us to pay the ultimate penalty for our sin. We love You too, Lord.

Prayer Requests & Praises

  • Leslie starts us off with what was an immediate prayer need she posted in our Facebook Group: My best friend’s husband is en route to a shooting the next town over. Shooter is barricaded in the house. Joey is my friend’s husband, he’s a police officer. Please, pray. ~ Lord, hear our prayer.  Thy Will be done.
    • Then, later on, the update: Thank you everyone! No law enforcement was hurt during this incident, but I’m not sure about the others involved in the actual shooting. Your prayers were heard, and were felt by my dear friend. We all thank you so much!
  • Kipp has a prayer request for a little two month old baby boy: Please pray for Lucas Stewart 2mths old with a viral infection on the way to the hospital for treatment. Please pray for him. Thanks in advance. ~ Lord, hear our prayer.  Thy Will be done.
  • Cindy has a prayer request: Please pray for my co-worker, Ruthie. She has custody of her 3 young grandchildren and is facing some health issues. ~ Lord, hear our prayer. Thy Will be done.
    • Cindy has an update on Ruthie: Ruthie is somewhat better today. She had a procedure done yesterday and is still hospitalized for the next few days. Thank you for keeping her in your prayers.
  • Lord, thank You for hearing our prayers for Charles!  He is back home and doing much better!
  • Lord, thank You for also hearing our prayers for David and Louise.  David is doing much better!
  • Lord, I’d love to make enough money to be able to fully support my family. ~ Thy will be done.
  • Lord, I’d love to see all marriages that are having trouble turn to You for guidance. ~ Thy will be done.
  • Lord, I’d love to see all suffering in this world come to an end. ~ Thy will be done.
  • Lord, I’d love to see all non-believers turn to You and announce their believe in Your Son, Jesus, and what He did for us on the cross. ~ Thy will be done.
  • Lord, I’d like to wish all of the fathers out there a Happy Father Day, and to thank You for giving me my dad! Dad, I love you!
  • Lastly, Lord, I’d love to see all of us give of ourselves completely to You — not just some of the time, but all of the time. Help us to do that, Lord. ~ Thy will be done.

Our Father, who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be Thy Name.

Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be done
On Earth as it is in Heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those that trespass against us.

Lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the Kingdom, and Power, and Glory
Forever and ever. Amen.

NC Beaches

The Blogorail: Exploring the NC Beaches

NC Beaches

The Atlantic Ocean rolls in at Atlantic Beach, NC

Welcome everyone!  Today the Blogorail is looking at beach vacation ideas — and for this resident of North Carolina, I’m here to tell you why exploring the NC beaches is where it’s at!

From the Outer Banks in the northern part of the state, all the way down to Wrightsville Beach and beyond in the south, the state of North Carolina has an incredible selection of beaches for you to choose from.  Whether it is to explore the Outer Banks and see Kitty Hawk where the Wright Brothers made their historic flight from, or to head down to Fort Fisher in the south, there are countless ways to explore the NC beaches year after year.

Today I’m going to focus on a small town that we visited with our family a few years back — Atlantic Beach, North Carolina.  This sleepy little town is big enough to have things that you’ll want while you visit — grocery stores, great restaurants, and a lot of awesome places to stay — but it’s also small enough that you can relax, enjoy yourself, and not find yourself packed together like a bunch of sardines in a can.  The picture at the top was our spot of beach — the vegetation was navigated by a small pathway, and while it looks like there isn’t much beach there, there really is, with plenty of spots to setup your chairs and umbrellas for the day.  On that day the winds were up, and we had rain, but even with some rain, it didn’t matter because we were able to just sit on our back porch and take it all in — the sounds of the surf, the ocean breezes, the warm temperatures — and just let life’s stresses melt away.  That’s just some of the reasons why the NC beaches are worth exploring!

NC beaches

The 4th of July Parade navigates down our stretch of Beach Heaven!

When we visited, it was the weekend of July 4th, and the community had a local parade — grab your jeep, truck, trailer, golf cart, bike, or RV — you name it, go grab it — and drive along and join in. Or, if you don’t want to, just enjoy the parade from the sidelines, like we did.

NC beaches

A patriotic row of beach houses lines the shore!

As you can see, there is civilization further south, but we liked it just here — and even with all of the houses, there was space to move, and we didn’t feel crowded at all!

NC beaches

And don’t forget, what 4th of July celebration would be complete without fireworks?  These were fired off from the pier at the main public beach, and we watched them from our location.

So, when you are thinking about the beaches and where you should spend some of your time this summer, think about all of the wonderful beaches to be found in North Carolina, and give Atlantic Beach some thought — if you come, you will be glad you did!  Have you been to any of the NC beaches?  Which is your favorite and why?  Let me know in the comments, and thanks!


For more on this really awesome topic,
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!


Disney Magazine: Pages of Disney History

It will be fun to have a look back at the way Disney was through the pages of the Disney Magazine. This post features an issue with both key articles and vintage advertising for the Disney company and it’s affiliates.

Let’s have a look at the cover for this Fall 1993 issue:

This magazine began in December of 1965 as the Disney News and was only 16 pages long. It was initially a free benefit for members of the Magic Kingdom Club, but later started charging a cover price (as above) with a discount for members.

The name was changed to Disney Magazine in January of 1994 to highlight it’s bigger size and expanded content. The Magic Kingdom Club ended in January of 2001 with the magazine continuing until the summer of 2005 when it finally folded.

What killed it? Apparently failing readership and the Internet.

Here is what could be found inside the Fall 1993 issue:

But while each issue did give us some excellent Disney content, this post will focus mainly on advertisements. Such as:

Buy Us First!

Very early in the magazine we are offered a subscription and a Disney Gold Card membership. With that out of the way, Disney moved on to offering products:

Arribas Brothers Crystal Dumbo

65th Anniversary Disney Dollar

Disney no doubt relied on it’s affiliates and partners to fill out the remaining advertising pages. Here are just a few of the companies that took full advantage of a captive Disney audience:

Delta and National

Kodak and The Big Red Boat

Yes, before The Disney Cruise Line sailed into existence, there was an official cruise line to the Mouse: The Big Red Boat. I wonder how many have fond memories of time spent at sea with this line?

Premier Cruise Line was a cruise line that was headquartered in Cape Canaveral, Florida. It was licensed as the official cruise line for Disney starting in 1985 and used the trademark “The Big Red Boat” based on the color scheme of some of its ships. Premier was licensed to provide Disney characters on its ships, until the relationship ended in 1993.

We’ll end with a few articles from the magazine that I thought were interesting:

The Mighty Ducks Hockey Team

Still looking forward to their first season in 1993, this article gives some history of the franchise. Of course, we know now that Disney did not stand behind the team for long and quickly sold them off.

Walt and Steam

The two were inseparable back in the day and so I thought this was a nice nod to the Master! It was interesting to see the link between trains and Mickey Mouse, too.

And that concludes our look back through the pages of Disney history!