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Category: Hawai’i

Fly High

Fly High

Mr. Ralph Waldo Emerson said the above quote back in the 1800’s. He sure was a man of his time, a pioneer to free thinking and going against the routine grain. I would love to think that I too go against the grain of day to day life, but i’m not convinced that I am there quite yet.

I’m sure my mom thinks I stay up late at night just coming up with adventurous schemes to get my heart rate up a little bit. Little does she know, she’s totally right. For this particular Friday morning I had a new scheme, I had let my mind stew in the idea for a few months, I dreamt about it.  I flew a helicopter.

“You are crazy. There is no controlling you” -Mom

“They let you operate? You were in control of a helicopter? Only my sister. Only MY sister.” -Brother

“Now THAT is cool. That is way cool. ” -Dad

Yeah a helicopter. For some reason the past few months I had become nearly obsessed with the things. I was researching flight schools, watching YouTube videos, and studying the handbooks, all BEFORE I EVEN WALKED IN. Ill admit I was nervous. For the first time in a while I found something that gave me such a rush even talking about the subject.

I opted for the Mauna Loa Helicopter School at the Honolulu Airport, and on April 21st found myself in a small room learning pre-flight safety measures. As my instructor was discussing what mast bumping was, it hit me, I was about to be handed controls of a helicopter in 30 minutes. I had never even been in a helicopter. What I was getting myself into I wasn’t entirely sure but God was I ready.

Outside I was given the briefing on the main aspects of the helicopter, a Robinson R22. It was tiny, but the rotor blades that stretched above our heads were not quite as small. We made our way through the checklists, went over the controls, and gauges, and after making calls to the control tower, we were airborne.

We had just cleared the airport, and he handed the controls over to me.

Okay so I drive my car everyday, I’ve rode off road vehicles, motorcycles, the works. Controlling a helicopter is like NONE of the above. It’s a challenge. The movements you make with the cyclic are so small but have such great actions on the direction and pull of the aircraft. It was a struggle. But my instructoor was right there the entire time to direct the controls if need be.

Out of my total flight time there were only brief moments that I actually took in the view that was all around me. Seeing the island from above definitely is like nothing I have seen before.

Now I don’t have any actual photos from the flight since I was taking in the whole experience and stowed my phone away, but I think you’ll like the visuals I have for you. They do the trick right?

 

Flying over the USS Bowfin in Pearl Harbor

Dramatic Views of Diamond Head State Monument

 

 

I would definitely rate this as one of the best things that I have done while living out in Hawai’i, or just living in general.  My head has always been in the clouds, so why not make that my job? Being up in the sky getting the best views around. It’s a thought that I have debated the past few months, and I will  let you know if I continue with the idea of flight school. Until then enjoy more overly enthusiastic selfies documenting my first ever logged flight hour.

 

 

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.

5 Things No One Told You About Living In Hawai’i

5 Things No One Told You About Living In Hawai’i

I moved to Hawai’i for the first time in back in 2013. Out here there’s the endless smell of coconut lotion, sunny days in Waikiki, and the echo of “alohhhaaaa” running through the air within 10 ft of any tourist trap. O’ahu is my home now, however there are a few things I wish I would have known about living in the islands before arriving with all my belongings to the airport.  

1. Bugs

When I say bugs I mean, they will be in places you’ve never expected. I grew up in dry climates where finding a bug meant sticking your hand behind an old piece of equipment or somewhere in the attic. In Hawai’i however, centipedes escape out of your car air conditioning vent, cockroaches fly through the air (yeah I said fly), and there’s spiders that look like they escaped from the Halloween section of Walmart. They don’t include these critters in the scenic post cards.

 

2. Traffic

I come from Southern California, I know traffic (5 south @ 5 pm is a party). However never in my life could I imagine it possible that it would take me over and hour and a half to travel 8 miles. You think Hawai’i and you imagine these quaint dirt roads with palm trees growing out of grass spurts on the side, instead you are surronded by a river of metal and asphalt going a maximum of 15 mph. At least that’s what it’s like in the Honolulu area.  

3. It’s Not Always Sunny

Major tropical storms were not on my radar when I packed up my bags for Hawai’i… but they were on the weather station’s. My first month living in Honolulu I experienced Hurrican Flossy and a week’s worth of heavy tropical storms. Here’s my advice to anyone setting their sights for the island’s -Ditch the cotton pull overs and get your self a water proof wind breaker, you’ll thank me when you’re dry from from the rain, and not sweating like a rotisserie pig.

4.Small Island + Small Living

Just like any living area set in a city and/or urban area, there’s limited space.  Just we are limited due to an ocean hugging us in less than 100 miles in any place that you stand on island. This all means, the apartments and homes are a lot smaller, car parking lots lack parking for more than 75% of drivers, and crowding can happen in a snap of two sandy fingers. 

5. It’s Not Always Like Living A Vacation

What you won’t see in the surf cult movies,  and surf magazines, is the behind the scenes. Life still happens in Hawai’i. We still have bad hair days, have to pay rent, have to wait in long grocery lines. Hawai’i tends to be romanticized for obvious reasons, but people still live normal day to day lies except they are on an island.

 

Despite the critters, long traffic commutes, rainy days, and not actually being able to escape reality, the bad days are out weighed by the plenty of sunny afternoons we are gifted with, and turtles that like to share beaches with us. I could not be more grateful about living on this gem in the middle of the ocean.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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