Our August Challenge, Truth! ! !

Real Estate Agent with eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) DRE# 00949880

What is good for the goose is good for the gander, right, so below is my first entry for the August Challenge. 

1.  We all go on vacation to get away from it all and have a great time, but I want to know, what vacation day was your worst? 

Our family, maybe it was just mom and dad, decided to take the public bus to visit the Dole Plantation on Oahu.  It was a huge mistake.  It took a long time to get there and our kids where barely talking to us by the time we finally made it to the plantation.  Even pineapple ice cream would not mollify them. We decided to go our separate ways.  The kids went back to the hotel while we traveled around the rest of the island.  It was Sunday so everything was closed. 🙁  We decided to visit a waterfall.  Mary Margaret loves waterfalls!  The bus dropped us off and, almost immediately, two dogs came after us baring their teeth.  They were evil little creatures, but we made it past them unscathed other than our very high heart rates.  We walked a long way to the park entrance, paid too much to get in and were told we had another long walk ahead of us.  When we made it to the waterfall, another guy tapped me on the shoulder and said, "We came all this way for this?"  We no longer talk of this incident!

     2.  What would be your bucket list vacation or, if you have already taken it, tell us about it?  Pictures encouraged.

We loved our trip to Italy and want to go back.  It was my first trip to Europe and I will always remember our time there fondly.  Later this year, we are super excited to be visiting Thailand. 

Italy 2018

     3.  If your ActiveRain friends were to visit you, would you prepare dinner for them or would you take them to the best pizza joint in town?  What would you make or where would you go?

I would prepare dinner.  I believe steak, pasta with pesto, barbecued vegetables with aioli, Classic Caesar Salad and garlic bread would be on the menu.  Ice cold Panic India Pale Ale from Track 7 would be the perfect beverage, but I would have a great Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot on standby, just in case.  Plenty of ice tea too!  Dessert would be one of my favorite's, Pecan Cake with Pecan Icing.  It is a Paul Prudhomme recipe so you know that it is good!

Pecan cake with pecan icing

If time was limited, we would go to Luigi's.  The best pizza in Sacramento! They make their own sausage! 

Luigi's Pizza

     4.  We all know that Canadian bacon and pineapple are the best toppings for any pizza.  If you can’t have those toppings on your pizza, what would you choose? 

This may surprise you, but I would choose Canadian Bacon and Pineapple.  😉  Mary Margaret loves all meat so, you know, the whole happy wife, happy life thing.

     5.  What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

Mint chip.  It is God's gift to mankind!  Rocky Road is a close second, but does not rise to the divinity level.

     6.  What is your beverage of choice with dinner; beer, wine, iced tea, a cocktail, or …..? 

I am an all of the above kind of guy, but if I have to pick one, a very nice Bordeaux.

     7.  Do you prefer going to a concert, the theater, or a big sporting event?  Who or what would you be watching?

I love them all, but probably concerts.  Sarah Brightman was one of the best, but that is closely followed by Santana, Guns and Roses, AC/DC and METALLICA! ! ! Oh, I did enjoy Sir Elton John, Fleetwood Mac and the Big Bad Voodoo Daddies too.

Guns and Roses

My son, Matthew, before the concert, "Guns and Roses, are they good."  Matthew after the concert, "Dad, that was the best concert ever!"  We have that and the Raiders in common. 

     8.  There are so many great festivals across the country.  Is there a special one in your area? Pictures are encouraged.

Stockton used to be home to the Asparagus Festival.  I loved it, but it is no longer held any more.  We also have the Crawdad Festival close by and that is a fun one too.  At Christmas, we always have a fun light show at the Cal Expo Fair Grounds.

Cal Expo Light Show 2021

     9.  What is your greatest sporting accomplishment, hitting a hole in one, bowling a perfect game, hitting the game winning shot, etc.?  If you do not enjoy athletics, what is your greatest accomplishment?

Who asked these questions?  This is a tough one.  I hit a hole in one playing golf with my son, a very special day.  I earned my black belt in Mixed Martial Arts.  If you knew me, you would know that is a shocker.  I was afraid of my own shadow at times.  I made it to Nationals in pickleball.  It was a fluke, but still.  I would say that the one that surprised me the most was crossing the finish line after running my first marathon.  It was an emotional experience for me.  It took me a few minutes to be able to even talk to anyone.

     10.  Are you a pet person?  If so, names and pictures are a must!

I love all animals, but cats are the best! I loved my little CC (Cute Cat) and our dog Zeke.

Our last kitty, CC     Our last doggy, Zeke

     11.  What is your favorite thing to collect, or do you prefer to keep things simple and clutter free? Or what is your decorating style?

Baseball Cards! ! !  It was something that my grandmother and I liked to do together.  Pete Rose belongs in the Hall of Fame!

Part of my baseball card collection

     12.  What job did you have just prior to making the switch to real estate and has it helped you in your real estate career?  (Courtesy of Jeff Dowler, CRS)

I was a painting contractor.  My clients like the fact that I have a rudimentary knowledge of construction and that I have a solid group of contractors that I can refer.

     13.  When you are writing on ActiveRain, who is your audience and why did you choose them for your audience? (Courtesy of Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400)

At first, my audience was my clients and friends.  I try to provide them with solid real estate information and I think it reminds them in a friendly way that I am a real estate agent.  I have also started writing with my  ActiveRain friends more in mind.  I think ActiveRain has helped make me a more rounded writer. 

     14.  What makes you the real estate agent of choice in your area?

Most of my clients say that I have a calming influence even when things are not going well and they appreciate that I spend a lot of time making sure they understand the process and that I answer all of their questions.

     15.  What is the most outrageous action that a client has ever asked you to perform?

I had a client that did not want to be bothered with anything except playing golf.  When it came time to fill out disclosures, he became very frustrated.  He threw them at me and told me to fill them out since I was his agent.  I started to say, "sir..."  He cut me off and told me, "don't you ever call me sir" and a few other things that I should not repeat.  It was a very difficult situation.  I did not fill out the disclosures for him and we did get the deal done.  I did not ask for a recommendation.  🤣

     16.  We show a lot of homes in our profession.  What is the most interesting home or, item in a home, that you have encountered?

A homeowner used a garage door opener in the most unique way ever! Here is my old post, Creative Uses for a Garage Door Opener.

Garage door opener used to open front door

     17.  What are your three favorite neighborhoods in your area and what makes them special?  Are you lucky enough to live in one of those neighborhoods?

Laguna West/Lakeside-We have lived here for over 25 years.  It is where we raised our children

McKinley Park-The homes in this area are old, surrounded by stately trees and full of character (Ronald Regan lived nearby in the Fabulous Fourties).  It was always a dream of ours to live near McKinley Park. 

The Pocket Area-This neighborhood is older than Laguna West/Lakeside, but younger than the McKinley Park area.  It has large greenbelts to enjoy and the Sacramento River flows around it.  If we owned a home in this area with a large garage, we we could have our boat on the water in minutes!

     18.  We all love client testimonials, but is there one that really made you feel special?  We would love to see it.

This is part of a recommendation from a young couple that I helped.  It think it means a lot to me because there was nothing easy about this transaction.  We spent a lot of time together and made multiple offers.  We ended up finding a home that needed a lot of work and used a fix it loan to get it all done.

"Though we were first-time home buyers with a modest budget, Ray never made us feel pressured to settle quickly or increase our budget beyond what we could afford. His concern with our ability to comfortably live with our purchase was encouraging, and he backed up this concern with constant communication with our lender and assurances that we could take all the time we needed to make a choice that worked for us. Though there were times when the process was difficult, Ray was a consistent source of knowledge and patience that guided us every step of the way."

     19.  What is your favorite volunteer work or charity?

I am a member of Running for Rhett.  We raise money to coach kids twice a year for five weeks, then we put on a 5k run for them.  For many of the kids, it is their first real race.  Everything is free.  We have thousands of kids participate every year.  We also give 1,000 pairs of running shoes to kids that need them every year.

Run Because You Can 5K starting line

     20.  What does the flag represent to you?


     21.  When we discuss life, my dad always says he is not sure what he would like to be when he grows up.  He is 77!  What do you want to be when you grow up or are you already in your perfect profession?

If I could crack the code, I would love to help others be successful in our real estate business.  I am at a crossroads, making a big move to a new state.  Should I continue in the real estate business or should I retire?  I do love real estate, but I also love traveling and playing pickleball.  Maybe it is time to seriously train and see what I can do.  Only time will tell. 

I hope you all are enjoying this month's challenge as much as I am.  Thank you Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400 for all of the help.

Posted by

             eXp Realty of California, Inc

Raymond Henson, SRES, GRI, e-Pro

Past Client Testimonials   

3412 Babson Drive

Elk Grove, CA 95758





Comments (36)

Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

What a fun read!  I've been to a lot of concerts also but not the bands you've seen. When I fill this out I'll have to include some of the ones on my list. And an asparagus festival!? Did they make all sorts of different things with asparagus? And that golf client sounded like such a pita. Geez.

Aug 14, 2022 05:13 AM
Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I would encourage all Rainers to come to visit you and have you prepare a meal for them.  I can attest that those meals are amazing and you are a great guy to visit with too!

Aug 14, 2022 05:16 AM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

I think that is a good thing, Grant Schneider.  Those two dogs may have been guarding the gates of Hell.  Ha!

Good morning, Kat Palmiotti.  Let's just say, the golfing gentleman and I were never going to be friends.  He really is the only client I ever thought about walking away from, but he was a referral and I had to finish it.  They did make all kinds of great asparagus items.  Stockton grows a lot of it.  I can remember, as a kid, going out to some abandoned fields harvesting it.  I look forward to learning some of the concerts you have enjoyed.

Thank you, Brian England.  I have put my cooking skills to the side lately, much to Mary Margaret's chagrin.  I need to get that changed soon!  

Aug 14, 2022 07:20 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

I enjoyed reading your answers.

Have a great day and a very productive week.

Aug 14, 2022 10:43 AM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

I thought I was the only one who had diverse tastes in music.  Like you, I like Sarah Brightman.  I also like The Grateful Dead, John Mellancamp, John Fogerty and Gordon Lightfoot.  

Aug 14, 2022 05:59 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

CONGRATULATIONS Ray, on having this blog FEATURED in the PHOTOS group!

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Aug 14, 2022 06:02 PM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Ray,

Having a Baseball card collection is cool.  I know a couple of people who have extensive collections and have them insured for a bundle.  Pete Rose should be in the Hall of Fame. My husband's favorite ice cream or substitute is mint chip PERIOD!  I love all ice cream haha!

Aug 14, 2022 06:19 PM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

Thank you, Roy Kelley.  I hope you had a great weekend!

Thank you for the feature, Myrl Jeffcoat.  I enjoy each of your mentioned musical artists too.  Variety is the spice of life!

I agree, all ice cream is great, Sheri Sperry - MCNE®.  I just usually can't get past mint chip!

Aug 14, 2022 06:55 PM
Aura Alex
Seattle, WA
Retired Real Estate Pro

Ray, I admire your volunteer work with kids and shoe donations. That is so impressive, and that alone says a lot about you. 

I can't wait to hear about your trip to Thailand. I enjoyed reading your post. Thanks for hosting the challenge! Well done!!

Aug 14, 2022 09:09 PM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

Thank you, Aura Alex.  I have to say that I am pretty excited about our trip to Thailand.  It just seems like such an exotic country and I really did not expect to go there any time soon.  The trip just kind of fell in our lap.

Aug 15, 2022 11:34 AM
Pete Xavier
Investments to Luxury - Pacific Palisades, CA
Outstanding Agent Referrals-Nationwide

Be sure to visit Chiang Mai (you won't regret it) and learn about the common Thai tourist scams BEFORE you leave. It's the land of smiles, but be on guard for shenanigans. 

Aug 17, 2022 08:01 PM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

Thank you for the tips, Pete Xavier.  I am on guard in every new place I visit.  We will be on a tour.  We will visit Bangkok and two islands and we really can't deviate from the scheduled itinerary.  Hopefully, we will be able to visit there another day and we can visit Chiang Mai. 

Aug 18, 2022 05:35 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate Services

You no longer talk of the incident.  Indeed – why bring it back to life! Your dinner sounds wonderful, minus the steak for me.  I will have cake instead.  Be sure to have a scoop of rocky road with a scoop of real orange sherbet. Reading this reminds me that I ran the Bay to Breakers a long time ago. I wore flip-flops for a long time waiting for the blisters to heal!  Do you still collect baseball cards? I learned more about you Ray Henson 

Aug 18, 2022 02:53 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Ray Henson  loved learning more about you and some of it I knew already, no wonder, since I do read most of your posts:)Endre

Aug 19, 2022 11:21 PM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

Hi Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist.  I do not make a point of expanding my card collection any more, but I still enjoy the collection that I have.  My grandma and I did this together.  She always said she would have been a manager if she was a man.  

I have always wanted to run the Bay to Breakers, but I doubt that will happen with our upcoming move.

I told a bunch of my friends about your rocky road and sherbet.  I think is sounds delicious!

Aug 19, 2022 11:28 PM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

Hi Endre Barath, Jr.!  Thank you and I do appreciate that you read most of my posts.  I do my best to keep up with yours too.

Aug 19, 2022 11:29 PM
Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366
Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366 - Placerville, CA
General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage

What a fun read Ray! I think this challenge will allow us to see the personal and interesting side of those in the industry.

Aug 20, 2022 06:30 AM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

Hi Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366.  It is great to hear from you! ! !  I hope you are doing well!

Aug 20, 2022 06:32 AM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Ray Henson For sure, I thought I commented on this outstanding entry. I had to laugh at your statement regarding the difficulty of the questions.🙃

You are doing a fantastic job; we all appreciate your time!

Aug 24, 2022 01:17 PM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

Thank you very much and I appreciate you catching my attempt at humor, Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400.  It is hard to keep up with all of the posts.  I hope I have not missed anyone.  

I also appreciate your help with this month's challenge.  I was a little intimidated by the whole process and knowing you were there to help calmed my nerves!

Aug 25, 2022 05:51 AM