Royal Victorian Manor Woodstock McHenry County Illinois

Movie Buffs: Do you remember the stately Victorian bed & breakfast that Bill Murray’s character stayed at in the movie “Groundhog Day” target=”_blank”>Groundhog Day“? Now you can spend the night in this same b&b in Woodstock, McHenry County, Illinois. Inn keeper/owners Karla Stewart Martin and Everton Martin completely renovated the home beginning in 2008 and opened the Royal Victorian Manor for business this summer.

We were welcomed by a roaring fire in the entry way fireplace which took the chill out of the overcast, drizzly morning. The Martin’s invited us in to their parlor where their niece Mghnon Martin treated us to several pieces on the violin. While living in Milwaukee, the couple decided to relocate and began a search across the county. When they saw this house in Woodstock, the Martin’s knew they found the perfect home.

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Inn keeper/owners Karla Stewart Martin

The main floor of the house is warm and inviting. Visitors can lounge in the large parlor providing the mid-century leather recliner, dining area or the wrap around porch overlooking the gardens. Enjoy a restful evening in one of the five unique guest rooms each with a private bath.

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Manor Suite

Guests will be sure to wake for breakfast as Karla selects recipes based on who is visiting. She told us guests often sit with them in the large kitchen and chat over coffee while they fix the meal. Breakfast is served in the large dining room.

The Groundhog Day movie was directed by Harold Ramis and stars Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, Chris Elliott. The home was used for outdoor scenes of the b&b and interior shots of Bill Murray as Phil Connors the weather man looking out the bedroom window. Of course, the Martin’s have a copy of the movie you can watch during your stay. The home is available for bridal or baby showers, renewal ceremonies, corporate events and retreats.

Click on the picture below to see a video of our visit to the Royal Victorian Manor in Woodstock, Illinois.

Our trip was sponsored by the McHenry County Visitors Bureau and Royal Victorian Manor.

Royal Victorian Manor
344 Fremont Street
Woodstock, IL 60098
(815) 308-5432
http://www.royalvictorianmanor.com/

Kualoa Ranch Oahu Hawaii Tours and Hawaii Activities

David Morgan, 6th generation owner, invited us to visit the 4,000 acre Kualoa Ranch cattle ranch and recreation destination.

David is a descendant of Gerrit Judd, who was one of King Kamehameha III cabinet members. Judd purchased the initial land and offshore fishing rights from the king in 1850.

While still an active cattle ranch, the family has diversified operations including vegetable and fruit farming, flower nurseries and producing fish and prawns for local markets. There are a variety of non invasive visitor activities they were happy to show us including hiking, mountain biking, horse riding, concerts, sporting events, education sessions and TV and film production.

After our breakfast orientation meeting, we were off to a tour of the Moli’i fish ponds and gardens. These preserved fish ponds were built 800 years ago using lava rock walls and a series of wooden sluice gates where small fish could enter. Growing as they fed on the alga in the pond, the fish became too large to exit the gates. Photo credit Kualoa Ranch.

Kualoa Ranch Oahu Hawaii fishpond tour on 800-year old ancient pond

Kualoa Ranch Oahu Hawaii fishpond tour on 800-year old ancient pond

Our next stop was the garden where taro, breadfruit, papaya, jack fruit, banana, pineapple, bamboo, sugar cane, coffee and a rainbow of flowers grew. We stopped near the macadamia nut trees seeking out a few overlooked nuts. The effort to required to crack these shells was impressive. By smashing the nut between two stones we were able to taste a few raw nut meat treats.

Kualoa Ranch Oahu Hawaii Stepping in the Footprints from Godzilla’s movie

Kualoa Ranch Oahu Hawaii Stepping in the Footprints from Godzilla’s movie

After our stop for the lunch buffet in the main lodge we were off on our next tour. We chose the movie tour which took us out in a scenic part of the ranch valley. Cowboy, our tour guide took us through the former military bunker which has been used to film Lost and now houses movie relics and posters. As we rounded the bend the valley opened up in front of us. Here is were many movies and television shows are shot including Jurassic Park, George of the Jungle, Fifty First Dates. “@nctrlbst @alohayaling @alohabruce and @noelwilliamsinside one of Godzilla’s footprints. Photo credit April M. Williams”

The sites are marked by signs and our guide Cowboy had a story to tell of each one. Photo credit Kualoa Ranch.

Kualoa Ranch is about an hour drive from Honolulu. The ranch offers shuttle service from Waikiki and The Bus route 55 stops at the entrance to the ranch.

Follow Kualoa Ranch on Twitter.

For more information or to make reservations for a day at the ranch call (808) 237-7321 or email activityinfo@kualoa.com.

Watch video of our trip to the fish ponds, gardens and movie location sites.

Oahu Revealed

Oahu Revealed

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Hawaii Five-0 Book Em Chin Ho Honolulu Hawaii

We stopped by Diamond Head Memorial Park to pay our respects to Kam Fong who played Chin Ho Kelly on Hawaii Five-0. The cemetery sits at the base of Diamond Head and next to Kapiolani Community College.

The head stone appeared milky colored and hard to read as the morning dew clung to the inside of the plexiglass shield protecting the etching. The Hawaii Five-0 logo is engraved on the right side of the headstone.

While Kam Fong was perhaps best known for his appearance on Hawaii Five-0, his movie credits include “Gidget Goes Hawaiian,” “Ghost of the China Sea,” “Seven Women from Hell,” and “Diamond Head.”

We are excited to hear CBS is reviving and updating the Hawaii Five-0 series with Alex O’Loughlin as
Steve McGarrett, Scott Caan as Danny “Danno” Williams, Daniel Dae Kim as Chin Ho Kelly and Grace Park
as Kono Kalakaua. Book ’em, Danno!

Here is a video of our visit to Kam Fong’s grave at Diamond Head Memorial Park.

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