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How ’bout North Shore?

How ’bout North Shore?

One of my favorite places on Earth is the North Shore of O’ahu. Yes for the cliche surf scene and nonchalant way of life on that side, but also for the natural beauty of the land.
A common question Matt and I will ask each other is “what do you want to do today?”. Okay yes out here there’s a million and two things to do, but with out fail, one of us will say how ’bout North Shore? It’s where I drank out of my first coconut, saw my first monk seal, and held Matt’s hand for the first time. So it’s always a yes to North Shore.

After some early afternoon errands one Sunday we found ourselves asking the famous question, and then answering it by hoping into Matt’s truck with our swim suits and the hammock in hand. We set off on the highway, and made our way north bound.

It was around 80 degrees with some vog in the air, but we didn’t let the casting volcanic vapor ruin our day, and nature didn’t let it either. When we got to our spot, the horizon overlooking the sand was 20 shades of blue all swirling and intertwining. It’s still crazy to me how vast the Ocean truly is.

We opted for a grove of shady trees at the top end of the beach to set the hammock up at. Or I should say where Matt set the hammock up at (he’s better with the ropes any how).

 We then swayed in the hammock for a handful of hours and watched as whales breached off in the distance. I love the feeling of my body just swaying, and the little flits of wind picking up individual strands of my hair. When you’re relaxed and looking up at the green leaves above you, with peaking rays of sunlight, a sense of bliss completely wraps your body. I don’t know a simpler way to describe it, to understand you’ll just have to get yourself a hammock and a free afternoon too 🙂  We stayed in our little two person blue and greed hammock until our sun began to descend behind the horizon. I suggested we stay for the sunset at least, and I am so happy that we did. Almost immediately as the sun began to touch the ends of the horizon, the sky began to turn almost fluorescent colors. Every grain of sand, bead of water, and cloud lining was highlighted in hues of pinks and golds.  Our entire surroundings had been dip dyed and colored. When people say you have to see a Hawaiian sunset before you die, they mean it.

 We watched as the sun said a hui hou to us and all of the other spectators on the beach. When you just sit and look around you notice so many small things, we watched as the wave photographers dove under waves, and you could still see them underwater, I say whales jumping in the distance, and watched as teenage boy tried to body surf on fast food restaurant trays. All of these little things could have been unnoticed, but the little things are always my favorite. They set the mood, they are the details that make the whole big picture.

 It would be unfair for me to say that North Shore O’ahu is the most beautiful of locations in Hawai’i, especially since I have yet to travel to the other islands, but I gotta say it is pretty close. If you ever find your self bored, or needing an escape, you don’t necessary need to live on an isolated island. Put up a hammock in the park, your yard, the beach by a lake nearby, and create your own North Shore break. An adventure day doesn’t have to be exhausting, even relaxation is a journey all in it’s self.

Idyllwild, Ca.

Idyllwild, Ca.

What I have to say about the gem hidden away in the Southern California mountains. 

A little over an hour detour from the 15 south towards San Diego you find yourself no longer driving on rounds lined with palm tress, but fir and rising pines. For those living in the most southern region of California this micro road trip is the closest and fastest  to a mountain escape.

Idyllwild, Ca. A gem found in the San Jacinto Mountains.

On a trip to California for the the holidays I visited the area three separate times, and will definitely find myself there more in upcoming trips. My first adventure to the tucked away gem was for a mini sunset hike on the Cedar Springs Trail with my boyfriend. Now i’ll admit it was cold. Not the kind of cold where you have irrational thoughts of losing your fingers to frostbite, but the kind the sinks into your clothes and sticks to your bones. Other than feeling like Frosty’s off spring, the hike was well worth it.

  The trail is actually located in Desert Divide, about 17 miles from actual Idyllwild, but makes for a good pit stop before heading into the little community. from the trail head the hike is about 5.9 miles round trip. It’s a short little hike but with quite a few switch backs the last half mile. Patches of snow covered the ground through out the entire trail. Matt took this as an opportunity to make himself a miniature snowman. Pretty cute huh?

We made it to the top in about an hour and were greeted by 360 panoramic views. I have seen my fair share of sunsets, but there is something about the golden hour reflecting of snow and turning the surrounding mountains different shades of pinks and purples that just marks this certain one noteworthy. This part of the trail offers views of Palm Springs and surrounding peaks, this is also where the trail intercepts the Pacific Crest Trail.


Our time was limited at the top of the trail with it already being sunset and we did not arrive equipped with flash lights other than our phones, and the temperature was dropping almost faster than the sun was setting.

We made it down the mountain in record timing, which was good because neither of us could honestly say we could feel anything at that moment.

We drove about 17 miles from the trail head to the main strip of Idyllwild. We were desperate for a warm drink to help us defrost the imaginary icicles hanging from our noses. Then there it was. The neon sign presented by God himself. There was a coffee shop still open. Now I have a certain love affair for coffee and cute coffee shops. I love when they are quaint and unique, and this one was exactly that. When we walked into Higher Grounds we were immediately greeted with the smell of espresso, the sounds of a family playing chess in the corner and a Christmas tree by the window. We ordered the Alpine drink  and took our seats of the sofa right beside the Christmas tree. They provided ornaments for you to write your name and where you were from. From what I could see, we were the only ones from Honolulu. We were there for about an hour before it was there closing time, but it was the perfect ending to a great late afternoon escape.

I fell in love with this region so much that I ended up returning to it two more times within a week.  On one of the excursions I convinced my brother and mom to join me so I could see the area in the daytime. We packed up my brother’s jeep and the dog headed out to the snowy town. To no one’s surprise I found myself right back at Higher Grounds coffee, although they were a lot more packed, the coffee was still up to par.


The last time was for another hike on the Deer Springs Trail with my friend Meghan on New Years Eve. We had about 30 minutes of clear views of the surrounding mountains while sitting on a wide rock vista until a thick fog began to crawl across the horizon and encircle us. We made the most of the weather until the temperature was dropping to point that was becoming uncomfortable in the clothing we had on. We listened to the Mogleys until we came to a stop at no other than Higher Grounds.. Do you see a theme here? Or maybe it’s just a personal problem. This time we both tried out their specialty drink, the Cozy Cabin. Again the tiny shop was a little too crowded so we found some outside seating beside a small art gallery behind the coffee shop. We took our turns laughing at the way our breath froze in the air, talked about the new year approaching and watched the many dogs roaming around with their owners dawning their own little winter sweaters. Sitting there in those chairs, and drinking our coffee we both discussed camping in the area during the summertime to explore a few more trails in the area. I don’t mind the idea at all.

Higher Grounds Coffee Shop. 54245 N Circle Dr, Idyllwild, CA 92549

While reading more about the little community, I found out that there is also an abundance of rock climbing routes and bouldering locations throughout the area. If that isn’t enough, there is also year round camping, cabin rentals, and there is fishing at Lake Hemet just about 8.5 miles away. I can find myself here again many times in future adventures, and would suggest it as a great area to visit for just about anyone.

 

What little mountain town is YOUR favorite? Let me know in the comments! 🙂

How To Write A Bucket list

How To Write A Bucket list

 

 

Bucket lists. A list of goals or aspirations someone wishes to complete before they kick the bucket. Usually you’ll hear someone say that doing something extremely challenging or adrenaline rushing is bulleted on their list, but how does someone create a list that they can actually fulfill? That’s where I come in to help. Here’s a guide on how to write a bucket list that suites your life no matter who you are!

 

 

  1. Write it down

    Buy a journal, create a word doc, paint it on the walls of your garage, anything! Having a physical written reminder helps you remember what it is that you’ve wanted to do plus there’s a sense of accomplishment when you get to cross an item off

  2. Think small

    No dream is too small. Have you always wanted to bake a pumpkin pie? Ride a bike at the beach? Watch Forest Gump? Then add it to your list! It doesn’t have to be all about jumping out of airplanes and running with the bulls, if you want to watch elf and eat pancakes for dinner then viva la vida!

  3. Get specific

    “Travel the world” okay like where? Israel? Australia? Down the street? Set  specific goals that once done can be checked off. The more specific you are the easier it will be to reason whether or not you can truly mark off that item on your list.

  4. Have fun with it

    It’s your bucket list. Not your cousins, your neighbor’s, or ex coworker that you still have on social media, yours. If you want to dye your hair green for Saint Patrick’s Day then cheers! Want to wear a cheeky bikini in Hawaii?  Then follow the phrase Suns Out – Buns Out! The point is this is YOUR list, we all have some ridiculous dreams and goals, so might as well make some of them happen!

    Did you recently add something to your bucket list? I want to know! Comment below with your recent additions <3