Browsed by
Category: Island Life

Pumpkins & Pipeline

Pumpkins & Pipeline

 

Just like home in Southern California, Hawai’i does not have much in terms of seasons. I usually joke around with people, saying the only way you really now the seasons have changed, is when the flavors at Starbucks have changed.

With Fall being my favorite season of all, and living where the leaves stay green all year round, I was craving some Autumn-like activities. So Matt and I set out on a Sunday and did a little Aloha-style October fun.   Our apartment has had decorations for over a month, and I already had three pumpkins, but I still wanted to get one from the Waimanalo Country Farms patch. When we showed up it felt as if half the island was walking around the cleared out corn field taking family photos, and drinking some of their famous nalo-ade.                                                                           We had some hot dogs, watched the goats, and laughed at the site of people dressed head to toe in winter clothes walking around (it was in the 90’s). Eventually we found a winner, and took home our prize pumpkin for $12.

 

 

 

We were blessed to have great weather for this Sunday out and about, and knew that we couldn’t let it go to waste. We wanted to end our day in our favorite area, Haleiwa, and being on the opposite side of the island, we had a trek in front of us. What better way to continue our journey other than coffees in Kailua. We stopped at my usual shop Morning Brew, and enjoyed being surrounded by the smell of espresso, and warm muffins. Now would this have been better with giant oak trees out front and a little bit of cloud coverage? Of course. But this is aloha style, so blue skies and palm trees it was.

We had a little over an hour drive till we reached Haleiwa, and along the route there are tons of little niches that are unique to O’ahu, and this time we stopped at one. We have seen this tree dozens of times, it sort of reminds of a nautical Christmas tree. Thankfully there was parking along the side of the road for us to hop out real quick. The ground was surprisingly flat, and seemingly perfect for a picnic, we noted that for next time.

 

After a few pictures, and stretching our legs, we were back on the road towards the North Shore. We could tell that the closer we got that the ocean was looking more and more less peaceful. And as the waves got continuously bigger alongside the road, there were more and more trucks and cars parked along the sides. After some deliberation we decided that we had to at least check out Pipeline to see what was going on. The waves were hitting about 10-15ft, and you could hear them slam down on shore line. It was crazy to see just what nature could do. It was also just as insane watching everyone heading out on body boards and short boards to go ride these waves.

It may not be in the 60’s and I can’t quite wear my boots or flannels without sweating, but I think aloha-style fall isn’t all that bad. I will get my Vermont issued Autumn one day, with all the orange and red leaves I can get. But where else can you go to a pumpkin patch and watch people surf massive waves, while drinking out of cold coconuts? I’l enjoy these unique experiences while I can.

  

 

 

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.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

pinterest-e286a (1)