Sunday, April 17, 2016

BillionGraves Contest Leads to Free Canary Islands Vacation

In the Summer of 2015, BillionGraves offered a Summer of More Get Away contest.  Combine my passion for cemeteries with a contest, and immediately my competitive nature emerged!  Over a couple of months, with the help of my family and friends, I managed to photograph 68,972 images, allowing me to win a trip to anywhere in the world.  My family and I chose to travel to Teneriffe, Canary Islands, Spain.

A Room With A View

Our initial set off was not without incident.  A delayed and then canceled flight out of Dulles Airport resulted in our luggage being lost somewhere between Washington and France, or maybe it was France and Spain.  We never did find out what happened.  Our first 3 days in Teneriffe was spent in the same travel clothes.  But, hey!  We were in the Canary Islands, so who cares, right?!
My 16 year old daughter carried all her luggage on the plane.  Not a care in the world!

My 19 year old son looks like he could live here!
While waiting for our luggage to be found, we decided to connect with members of our faith.  Meeting with members of the local LDS church was like seeing family and made the trip even more special than it already was.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Teneriffe, Canary Islands
The Sister Missionaries were as happy to see us as we were to see them!

Our luggage finally arrived and after some respite, we were ready to see the island.  The black sand beaches are a result of the volcanic eruptions from El Tiede.  It was strange to see beaches this dark, but they were so beautiful!

I was fascinated by the rock piling on this particular beach.

Even though this was to be our vacation, we couldn't resist visiting cemeteries around the island and photographing them for BillionGraves.  The visitors of the cemeteries greeted us with an embrace and love.  Although we could not communicate in their language, we could feel their warmth and welcome.

From our Condo, the drive around the island took about 3 hours.  It was amazing that at one moment we would be on the beach and within an hour we would be in the mountains.  The view was always amazing!


 Our trip to Teneriffe was definitely an experience of a lifetime.  With my children nearly grown, it was expected that this may be our last full family vacation.  I am so grateful for the kindness of BillionGraves and their willingness to send the four of us on such a spectacular trip to another country. It is something we will never forget!  Thank you, BillionGraves!

If you would like to learn more about volunteering in this effort to preserve cemetery records, visit

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