Posts by April M. Williams

Posts by April M. Williams, speaker, author and coach

Crackle of Autumn Leaves in McHenry County

In the Midwest, the foliage can offer up a bouquet of colors in Autumn as deciduous trees prepare for the long cold winter. This year the weather turned cold and damp early fall and leaves on the tree did not get a chance to show dramatic shades of color. Many leaves fell while still green.

We take advantage of the last few days of summer-like weather around here. It is time to bring in any hoses, lawn ornaments and furniture. It’s also time to bring the snow shovels out because we will be needing them soon.

As I enjoyed our Indian Summer this week, I had to capture the sound as I walked through the leaves. Listen in:

So You Think You Know Hawaiian History?

We travel to Hawaii often and likely know more about Hawaiian history than the casual tourist to the islands. Our visits include stops at cultural and history sights important to making Hawaii the diverse location that it is. Then we met Richard Wong, tour guide for Ohana Tours. When our friends at Ohana Tours heard about our love of history and Honolulu they invited us to check out the weekend walking tour of the downtown area. We took our ohana (family) to meet Richard on a recent Sunday morning.

Our adventure began in downtown Honolulu in front of the golden Kamehameha Statue in the heart of the city. You can see this statue on the Hawaii state quarters released as part of the state series. For the next two hours Richard shared history of Hawaiian culture, religion, politics and people. As history buffs ourselves, we were overwhelmed by the detailed stories our guide shared with us. Richard is a gifted story teller. His vivid words and smooth delivery made the tales come alive for us. Drawing on a long career as a Honolulu police officer, he personalized his tales with accounts from his time on the force.

We found another link between us and our guide. To bring the islands to us when we are in the Midwest, we started watching the Hawaii 5-0 television series starting at the pilot. I get chills every time I hear the Hawaii Five-0 theme song playing. The show ran for 12 years from 1968 to 1080 and was filmed in Hawaii. The second floor of the Iolani Palace was the fictional state police headquarters. Many scenes were filmed at the iconic Ilikai Hotel in Waikiki overlooking Duke Kahanamoku’s Lagoon and the Honolulu Marina. Richard worked security during many of these shoots and shared stories of the cast and crew. He even had a few on screen parts.

You can read more about our tour on the www.808talk.com article. Listen to how Richard started out our tour below. If you are  staying in Honolulu over a weekend, check out Ohana Tours for information or reservations.

The Journey to Chicago’s Lakefront

This weekend we made a journey into the city to see the Burnham Plan exhibit at Millennium Park on the lakefront. It was a trip we contemplated for a while but were discouraged by the time commitment.  As we traveled into town, we reminded ourselves why we don’t do this trip very often.

Saturday afternoon at 3:30 PM we started out by car and 100 minutes later had crawled our way as far as Wrigleyville. We stopped there to park our car at reasonable rates. A 10 minute walk to the el,  then a 20 minute ride before another 10 minute walk. Over 2 hours of commute time one way.

Now some of you may suggest we opt for public transportation. The train is 20 minute drive  from home, runs once an hour and takes 90 minutes then a 20 minute walk to the park. No time or money saved there. The closest el stop is almost an hour drive from home. And buses? Never see them out here.

So now we are at beautiful Millennium Park on a warm late summer evening with my Dad. We took video at the Crown Fountain where children and adults are delighted by the smiling faces and surprise awaiting them.

Millennium Park Chicago Lakefront

Millennium Park Chicago Lakefront

Our journey was inspired by the Burnham Plan exhibit with lighting  by artist Tracey Dear.  After our walk we happened upon Hot Woks, Cool Sushi and had dinner under wall art commissioned by the restaurant. The artwork changes colors like the pavilion across the street. We talked to David, one of the owner of this new restaurant to get the scoop. If you like sushi and art – this is the place to be. The service was slow during our visit. The waitress did not get to our table for over 10 minutes when we arrived. Our appetizers arrived before our drinks. Just open since June, they may still be ironing out a few kinks.

Our diners enjoyed the sushi served and gave it hit marks for freshness and presentation. I recommend the sweet potato and asparagus maki rolls. The tempura was served hot with a batter fried light and crisp. Vegetarian items on the menu were clearly marked.

For the art lover, take a stroll along the long narrow room where each area displays a different artists work. You can read up on the artists in their bios within the menu.

All in all, it was a pleasant way to spend the afternoon. Just wish the commute time was shorter. If the 2016 Olympics land here, perhaps the infrastructure will improve and travel times will drop.


Hot Woks Cool Sushi on Urbanspoon

Elephant at the Honolulu Hawaii Zoo

Looking for a great way to spend an afternoon in Honolulu? Stop by the Honolulu Zoo just a block away from world famous Waikiki Beach. This jewel in the Waikiki neighborhood is just the right size for a  few hours of leisurely strolling.

Elephant at Honolulu Zoo Hawaii

Elephant at Honolulu Zoo Hawaii

When you walk into the park, the first exhibit you’ll see is the scarlet flamingos. Did you know they are pink because of the seafood they eat?

This is one of the few places you’ll be sure to see the native Nene birds. Other favorite exhibits I make sure not to miss include the Galapagos tortoise, monkeys, orangutan and African elephants.

Ahoy! Tis Time to Talk Pirate Me Hearties

Fourteen years ago John Baur and Mark Summers concocted the Talk Like a Pirate idea. When playing racquetball, they began cursing each other in a pirate like language. They promoted this event annually with mild success. Once Dave Barry and Long John Silver’s restaurants got behind the idea, things went viral.

It served them well. T-shirts, books, and speaking engagements followed. John parlayed this into a move deep into pirate territory with his current home base now St. Croix.

Here’s primer to get you started on talking like a pirate.

At least it is not another Hallmark holiday. To find out more check out the Official Talk Like a Pirate Day website.

To read more about how this annual event got started, read the CNN article.

Tikis Waikiki Honolulu Hawaii Tweet Up

Tiki’s Grill and Bar has one of the best locations in Waikiki. With a vast view of Waikiki Beach and the Pacific Ocean, this a favorite spot for locals to meet for cocktails and dinner while catching a beautiful sunset.

Tiki's Waikiki Tweep up Alexis Williams, Kyle E. Williams, Vernon Brown, Aloha Bruce, Carson P. Williams

Tiki’s Waikiki Tweep up Alexis Williams, Kyle E. Williams, Vernon Brown, Aloha Bruce, Carson P. Williams

Just a few weeks ago we were hanging out with friends at Tiki‘s in Waikiki. There was a Twitter organized meet up with Chris Pirillo tech writer for CNN, the night after we got into town. For us, it was a great way to visit with many of our new and old friends at one time. We ended up leaving the party early as we were still on Chicago time. I barely stayed awake till 8:30 there which is 5 hours later on Chicago time. I’m not often awake at 1:30AM.

You can watch video and read more on this Tiki’s event and other interesting friends.

I ran across one of the photos today of a few of our favorite tweeple. Check out these dudes having a fun time!

Tiki's Grill & Bar on Urbanspoon
Tiki's Grill & Bar on Foodio54

Join and LIKE Our Where Are You Today Facebook Page

Check out our new Where Are You Today Facebook page for interesting discussion and networking tips. Stop by and “like” our page.

Where Are You Today? | Promote Your Page Too

Got My Positive Charge This Morning

We founded a new monthly networking session at Port Edward in Algonquin. Buffet breakfast and lively, thought provoking conversation for just 10$. Best deal in town. All are welcome. First Wednesday of the month from 8:30AM – 10AM. For more info visit our website.

This morning I facilitated our discussion on sparking latent energy. Sparks of ideas were ignited!

April M. Williams @aprilmwilliams leads this morning's Posi+ineCharge

April M. Williams @aprilmwilliams leads this morning's Posi+ineCharge

Great Pacific Garbage Patch

While many of us just recently learned of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch floating 1000 miles off the California coast in the North Pacific Gyre, scientists tell us it has been growing steadily since the 1950’s. Birds and animals get entangled in the trash and ingest tempting looking pieces of plastic causing a high concentration of chemicals in our food chain.

Weight is estimated at over 100 million tons spanning an area twice the size of the state of Texas. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch even has its own Wikipedia entry. Experts believe 80% of the plastic comes from land based sources while 20% comes from ships.

I delighted in taking my kids snorkeling in Hanauma Bay in Hawaii this month. They were wide-eyed as they watched the colorful tropical fish swim arms length away. At all the beaches we visited in Hawaii we found plastic bags and other trash on the shore and in the water. It’s not just Hawaii beaches. We find garbage everywhere we go. While out hiking or geocaching, we take a bag to collect garbage. In fact, the other week I had to buy a tactical backpack to carry our hiking snacks/water in one compartment while filling up the others with beach trash. Cache in – Trash out.

Hanauma Bay in Hawaii

Hanauma Bay in Hawaii

Plastic is 100% non biodegradable. It never breaks down.

What do you do about this growing problem? Start locally.
* Bring reusable bags with you when you go shopping. It’s an easy step.
* Pick up trash you find on your walks
* Reduce your waste. Can you fix it? Repurpose? Do without?

Only humans are to blame for this disaster and we are the only ones who can resolve the situation.

Profile for Diamond Head

Eating Cookies with Wally Amos In Waikiki Honolulu Hawaii

Recently we were in Royal Hawaiian Shopping Centre in Waikiki, Honolulu visiting with our friend Wally Amos in his Chip and Cookie store and talking with customers about their favorite flavors. All five flavors of cookies he bakes are yummy and we had a hard time choosing our favorite.

Top votes went to Chocolate Chip with Macadamia Nuts. Here’s how the people voted. What is your favorite?

Chip & Cookie on Urbanspoon

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