Jun 24, 2015

Saying Goodbye and a Top Ten List

MC and I made our final goodbyes to Hawai'i the only way we knew how.

A little beach time, some shopping, lunch one last time at Duke's, and a final salute to the swaying palm trees.

With our goodbyes finished (and more like see you later) we made our way to the airport to take our overnight flight to Atlanta. Woof.

After almost 3 weeks of traveling with one bag that I wore on my back through 5 different states, 5 different time zones, countless ubers, a gaggle of hotel rooms, and many city streets I thought it might be due time to have the what I wore discussion and how to pack for 3 weeks with limited space.

Here is my top 10 list in no particular order.

First. The bag. Choosing the right bag is tricky, But test those suckers out. I rotate between two bags and am debating another bag.

I took this bag all over Latin America this past November and it has worked perfectly for weekend trips, day trips, volcano hikes, classes, and then my three week long adventure through California, Arizona, and Hawaii. 

This bag holds a heck of a lot and is super comfortable to carry around. I highly recommend this bag.
The Yerba is smaller than the Chacabuco, but I have used it for two different week long surf trips, as well as for work since it has a laptop sleeve. I have a past version and it zips more like a backpack rather than just around the top. But it holds a heck of a lot for a seemingly small bag. It has stood up great against the elements that both Costa Rica and Nicaragua had to offer.

This bag is something that I have been lusting over. Since it zips all the way around it seems to me like a more practical bag for longer trips in multiple places. Being able to find things and repack quickly is ideal and is a bit difficult to do with a traditional backpack style bag. This one has has backpack straps that are hidden by a zippered pocket in the back and I think this may be added to my collection in the near future.

Patagonia gear and clothing always holds up well and I have a few standard pieces that always travel with me and I have been super happy with the quality and craftsmanship. I have also made the trek out to Patagonia headquarters and everyone was super friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable.

Second. Pick somewhere that swimsuits are acceptable. I kid (but not really). Pick somewhere that the weather is fairly consistent from place to place you hop.

I generally pick my journey's based on bodies of water, but sometimes you run into some issues with multiple weather changes. Just remember to have fun and keep number three close at hand.

Third. Pack in layers. Think in layers. Wear layers. Become layers. Seriously being able to layer is going to save your life and your back if you are like me and prefer the nomadic dirtbag lifestyle to the ritzy roller suitcase crowds.

California, Arizona, and Hawaii all have different weather during January. Not so vastly different that you needed a ton of clothing, but I always be sure to have a pair of leggings, a long sleeve shirt/sweater, and a scarf. All three pieces are easily converted for multiple wearings and in totally different ways. I always have a sweater or long sleeve shirt because I am generally freezing wherever I am.

Fourth. Think in terms of wear-ability, functionality, and versatility.

Don't pack things you aren't going to wear. Save that room for something fun and local you may purchase. You don't need more than one (maybe two) sun dresses. No one cares if in your picture you've worn the same dress 4 times. It's about the adventure not the dress. Also remember you are most likely going to be carrying that pack around a lot and the less weight, the better.

Fifth. Carry an extra pack-able bag for unexpected souvenirs and side trips you may take.

Every grocery store has started on the bring your own bag and save the environment thought wave. This means accessibility to a small, packable extra bag super easy. They are cheap, small, and if you lose it you are aren't out a big loss. These bags make for great beach trips, grocery runs, and souvenir shopping.

Sixth. Choose your footwear wisely because it takes up an extreme amount of space.

I personally say if you can't wear flip flops it's not worth doing, but that's not true. Being somewhere that means a lot of walking you are going to want something that has a bit more support than flip flops generally offer.

Rule of thumb I don't bring tennis shoes unless I plan on working out. They are bulky and you can't really wear them with anything but workout clothes. I pack chucks or my Merell's.

I have a pair similar to these, but lighter that I wore all over Guatemala. They are great shoes since they aren't bulky and you can rinse them off.

Seventh. Lay everything out you want to take and then pare it down by 1/3-1/2. You're making memories and should not be worrying about what you have on.

Eighth. Remember you can wash unmentionables in sinks and bathrooms.

Save space and pack just a few types of underwear depending on what clothing you have packed. You can wash your underwear when you shower and hang it to dry.

Ninth. Think you need a hairdryer, a straightener, and a giant bag of makeup? You don't. Embrace the natural look. Think a brush and some mascara. Save that space for something else.

Tenth. Most places have stores. If you've forgotten something you'll survive. And in most cases, you won't actually need it.

But most of all, remember to have fun and enjoy the journey. It won't be perfect and there will definitely be hiccups, but the memories you make and the people you meet will more than make up for something silly that you will undoubtedly forget before you can even start to complain that it happened. 

Jun 11, 2015

Yoga on the beach

Naturally after going on a hike people want to go to yoga. Right? Just us? Crickets?

The uber driver dropped us off near our hotel and MC and I sprinted double time to get some froyo before bolting up to the top floor of our hotel (baller room - definitely stay here) throwing on "yoga attire"...leggings, a swimsuit top and a tank top. oh and those trusty ole flip flops...calling another uber and skidding to a halt at Ala Moana Beach Park for some yoga on the beach.

One of the girls we met Sunday at the Super Bowl party had invited us to yoga after some beers and some headstands. Whitney is a super fun person and apparently overestimated our ability to do yoga because woof city.

Sara is the owner of Kova Yoga and she is an amazing instructor. Tons of energy and has a seriously good vibe. You naturally gravitate towards her and want to do whatever she says. We did about 12 million downward dogs with shoulder presses. Then some stretching, which is my favorite part about yoga.

This was a seriously good way to detox from the all encompassing travel diet. Then because Sara is the coolest and everyone wants to be like her, we got free fresh pressed juice. So good.


After yoga and some cold juice on the beach Whitney took us out for Taco Tuesdays and a brewery. I was in heaven. Two of my favorite things ever. Like ever.

If you are ever in Honolulu and want to step outside the hustle and bustle of the tourist area head over to Cocina. The tacos are fresh and made to order. Everything is fresh and made to order. They have a limited number of supplies for each item so they go quickly. It is a little hole in the wall that is mostly kitchen. BYOB and be prepared to have your taste buds blown.  After a few Kona beers and an amazing veggie burrito with a side of Mexican corn we moseyed our way over to the Honolulu Beer Works.

I should have been smart and bought one of the glasses, but I alas I am not and will forever be sad. We had some IPA and I am not even going to pretend that I remember what it's name is. Also I just learned about this hat and I need it. Like more than need it.

Honolulu Beer Works has an indoor and outdoor section and is a calm place to chill and have some local beer. Highly recommended.

After our beer pit stop we decided that hey we need more alcohol. We headed (stumbled, giggled, sauntered?) over to Bevy where we drank fancy cocktails and tried to pretend we were more sober than we were.

I love meeting new people and having them show us what life is like in their town. Experience everything from a non tourist point of view.

This was one of my favorite days in Hawai'i. All of them were awesome, but this one holds a special place.

Jun 10, 2015

Diamond Head

Because we were playing ultimate tourists we decided to go to Diamond Head and hike to see all of Honolulu.

I of course did this hike in flippyfloppys (#yolo). This one I wouldn't recommend in flip flops but a girl has got to do what a girl has got to do.

We walked to Diamond Head from our hotel. Holy far batman. And then we hiked Diamond Head and made the executive decision to take uber back to the hotel. We were scheduled to get to yoga in the park so it made the most sense to take uber back (and maybe get some froyo....)

And fine you caught us we started the day with some lunch beers before we left for the hike.


This hike isn't terribly strenuous but it does just keep on going up. And up. And up. And then there are stairs, a tunnel, and some more up. But it is beautiful and you can see clear across Honolulu. Absolutely gorgoeus.

Take a look.

You can be jealous of my mom sweater tie around my waist. It's fine.

Those sweet stunner shades. Yea. $4 at Marshall's because my Ray-Bans decided to go missing during the trip. Luckily the awesome people at Living Ocean Scuba had them in lost and found and I was reunited with them the very next day. 

The hike costs $5 if you walk in and a little more if you park. It is a beautiful hike and definitely worth all the walking and flippyflopping involved.

Jun 3, 2015

Manoa Falls

Before we went to Pearl Harbor, MC and I set out on an adventure.

We decided we wanted to go on a hike that was a little off the beaten path (at the end of a neighborhood) and we wanted to take the bus to get there.

We had gone about 3 miles in a hour complete with a bus change when we decided that maybe the bus was not our best mode of transportation. One uber and 10 minutes later we were at the start of the Manoa Falls trail.

It was a bit like what I imagine being on the set of Lost was like or Jurassic Park (not that I would know about JP as I have never seen it...that's a story for another day).

Naturally we got sidetracked before we even started.

Now I did this hike is flip flops. Which was fine. Everything advised against it, but I like to live on the edge...also I didn't have any tennis shoes because packing for almost 3 weeks in a book bag leaves little room for tennis shoes. Those suckers are bulky.

I imagine that if it has been raining this hike would have been a little more treacherous in flip flops. But it's about 1.5 miles into the trail to see the waterfall and then that 1.5 back. Not a bad or overly strenuous hike even if you don't have proper hiking attire. FLIP FLOPS, SWIMSUITS, FLOWER SHORTS AND TANK TOPS ARE TOTALLY HIKING ATTIRE.

At the very least they are good for monkeying around.

The hike is gorgeous and you forget that you are on an island surrounding by some spectacular oceans. Everything was so dense and lush. Quite spectacular.

Monoa Falls dead ends into, yep you guessed it, a waterfall. A calm and serene waterfall.

MC and I sat around contemplating life. Well probably laughing about something absurd that we've done or reminiscing about the funny things that have happened over the course of our friendship. Either way it was a nice break from the hustle and bustle of Honolulu.

I have a mild obsession with trees. 

This guy was no exception and he was huge. 

Once we got back to the entrance MC and I realized we had a bit of a problem. How on earth were we going to get back.

Onward we marched. Past a bus stop, past some high schoolers running cross country, past a middle school, past a neighborhood, past a major road, past literally everything before we came even close enough for an uber to think about picking us up and dropping our poor tired feet off at the hotel.

Another calamity on our adventure. But we laughed our way through it and told ridiculous stories to pass the time. And then took rooftop sunset pictures.

That pink hotel is in the opening scene of Hawai'i 5-0.