Poke, Pareos and Poi; Maui Nō Ka ʻOi

… jk about poi tho.

I sometimes forget this was intended to be a travel/adventure blog since it turned into a bit of a cancer journal. Well, I finally have a trip to report on and have been putting it off, mostly because I’ve felt like crap lately. Let’s dive in…   

As soon as I got vaccinated and received doctor’s approval to travel, I hopped on a plane to Maui. I had the whole row to myself which felt a bit like winning the lottery. After hugging my sis and nephews, I immediately went to Tamura’s for a poke bowl and then hopped in the ocean. Priorities. 

I stayed at the Royal Lahaina since my parent’s house is being rented, which was sweet because it felt more like a relaxing vacation. I read a lot of books, laid in the sun, swam in the ocean, and adventured as much as my body allowed. I hopped over to Oahu for a few days to see one of my college roommates and eat Hula Pie.

Two of my girlfriends flew in for a couple days and I got to show them some of my favorite secret spots on the island. We watched an epic sunset from a catamaran, walked through a magical forest, spent the day in my favorite waterfall, ate more poke and watched lots of Friends

One of the main reasons we flew out to Maui was to celebrate my nephew’s 10th birthday. First his big brother surprised him, then I flew in a few days later and then my parents flew in a couple days after that. After the year we all just had, it was so lovely to just be together as a family. We ate pizza, swam, and spoiled the birthday boy with alllll the Legos. 

The island seems like it’s not ready for tourists quite yet, or at least it wasn’t when I was there. Restaurant reservations are all booked up, rental cars were going for as much as $900/day and people were renting U-Hauls, places ran out of food, and they’re not able to let guests in full capacity until more locals get vaccinated. So just do your research before you book a trip and don’t expect as much aloha as you may have experienced pre-pandemic. 

I actually felt like crap the first bit of my trip because I was on my monthly steroids but I truly believe the Hawaiian waters are healing. 

There were several situations where I was like I’m not sure I’ll be able to do something but I’m still going to try, and I surprised myself with what I was able to do.  I had to take a tiny plane to and from Oahu and wasn’t sure I’d be able to get up the sketchy ladder stairs by myself, but I just went for it and was totally fine. 

I was also worried about getting in and out of my favorite waterfall but that sure didn’t keep me from trying. I wouldn’t have been able to on my own so thank God for good friends. If that isn’t a metaphor for life, then idk what is. 

Hawaii is pure magic. 

This was a perfect first trip post pandemic/cancer diagnosis. I could adventure a little and relax a lot. I can’t wait until I’m able to travel like I used to but for now Hawaii will do.

Also, my freckles are back. 🙂

alooooha

Tropical Fits

Typically this time of year, I’d be in Hawaii. I’ve never gone this long without a trip “home”, yes I still consider Hawaii home, and it’s major bumming me out. So I put together this little board of wearable tropical vibes / aloha print goodies to feel a little closer to the Aloha State.

I tried to touch on every article of clothing I could think of to offer a wide variety of tropical goodness. I couldn’t find any good shoes so if you have any recs send them my way.

This took way too long to compile because it’s the dead of winter… but worth it.

1. Free People Aloha One Piece – It even has aloha in the name.

2. Anthropologie Arielle Sleep Maxi Dress – I actually got my mum this for Christmas and she wears it all the time.

3. Aloha Collection Mid Lei Lei Pouch in Orchid – I have a tote and a few of their pouches and LOVE them. The pouch bags are perfect for wet bikinis, cosmetics or organizing the inside of a larger bag. Who doesn’t love bags in bags?

4. Billabong Wetsuit in Iris – We unfortunately need to wear wetsuits to swim in the ocean in California… why not do it in style?

5. Tropical Face Mask – because that’s the world we live in right now.

6. Gigi Pip 2020 Sloan Straw Hat – Now that I rock a wig, I also love to throw on a hat to make it look a little less wiggy.

7. Slowtide Tarovine Towel – This towel looks like pure sunshine. I dig the tassels.

8. Wa’ahia Future is Wahine Tee – Preach.

9. Beach Riot Cara Legging & Bowie Top in Taupe Vintage Tropical – Workout gear in aloha print? Yes, please.

10. Misha Hawaii Tahitian Pearl Bangle – Every coconut girl needs this staple in their jewelry box.

11. L*SPACE Skyler Pant & Hayes Pullover – Our national wardrobe is now matching sweatsuits (not complaining at all) and how cute is this print?

12. Show Me Your Mumu Say Jay Ruffle Dress in Bright Blooms – Mumu is one of my favorite brands because they always have such fun bright prints and this dress is e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g.

13. Jams World Print Top in Floral Breeze – This one seems a little cheesy but I actually love Jams World. Paired with some cut off jeans and a flower in your hair and voila!

14. Stone Fox Swim Lele Top in Jungle Iris – Now that I’ve lost weight (thanks cancer), I might actually be able to rock a kini like this. Maybe.

15. Coco Moon Hibiscus Kiss Pareo – This is actually a baby company but they came out with pareos and this hibiscus print gives me hella heart eyes.

Now I’m going to go curl up into a ball and cry about how much I miss Hawaii. Jk… kinda.

aloha

A day on Oahu with Paco

A couple weeks ago, I flew out to Oahu to celebrate my Auntie and Uncles 50th wedding anniversary a few days early so I could see my friend before my family arrived. Paco was one of my best friends in college and then he moved to Maui so I spent a lot of time with him whenever I visited my parents.

We had no plans but just a desire to adventure. Here’s what our day entailed:

Leonards – Paco was sleeping in and I was up early on West Coast time so I walked to Leonards to get malasadas. This place has really changed since I lived on Oahu. They have merch, a variety of menu items and they take cards now!

On the road – We stopped at Starbucks in Hawaii Kai and luckily didn’t run into my ex that lives there. I’m always afraid of running into exes when I’m on the island… last time Paco and I saw a different ex at a bar and it was frightening. Well he looked all cracked out and I did a silent hallelujah I dodged that bullet.

My favorite route – The drive from Hawaii Kai to the east side is so beautiful because you’re driving along the cliffs on the ocean and it feels like you’re on the edge of the world.

From here to eternity

First stop – Ho’omaluhia Botanical Gardens. I saw that image that all bloggers post from this place on the road with the mountains in the background but I also did research and saw that getting out of the car is prohibited and the guards yell at those trying to take this photo so I was discouraged from visiting. Paco saw the sign and turned in last minute anyway. We saw the road that everyone takes a photo at and also saw all the little cones along the side of the road keeping anyone from stopping BUT we kept driving and this place is GORGEOUS! It was giving me all the Jurassic Park vibes without paying an arm and a leg at Kualoa Ranch.

you are allowed to get out of the car further into the garden

Beach Break – We kept driving up and stopped at Kualoa Beach to this spot Paco knew about. It was deserted and beautiful and I want to come back and camp here. I also biffed it so hard. Note to self: trees in the ocean are slippery. My gnarly bruise on my arm looked like the island of Maui though so there’s that.

the tree i fell off

Lunch – We wanted to make it to Pupukea Grill for lunch for the BEST POKE but we were so hungry that we just pulled into a 711 and got sushi rolls and canned coffee instead. Typical.

Another Beach – We stopped at Pounders in Laie. We were sitting in the sand and I said, “Ok, I’m ready to see some wildlife… like a shark or a zebra or something” and then a turtle swam by! I totally manifested that! I’m also pretty sure my ʻaumakua is a turtle.

My Favorite Beach – We finally made it to the North Shore and stopped at my favorite beach Ke Iki’s. It was HUGE and empty. Just how I like it.

Long Drive Back – Paco and I drove the long road back to town with the best destination in sight…

Dinner – SUSHIYA!!!!! My favorite restaurant in the world. I crave a spicy ahi donburi all. the. time. (We went back for lunch the next day too).

Sunset – We decided to watch the sunset at Kaimanas with all the keiki lol.

I’d say it was a pretty epic day for just going with the flow. But that always happens when Paco and I cruise.