Archive for the 'Vacation' Category

Thoughts on Hawaii – revisited

November 17th, 2015

I’m back from a week in Hawaii on the island of Maui! I’ll save details about this trip for upcoming entries though :) I’m still post processing my DSLR photos, but you can head over to my Instagram for some phone ones.

A couple years ago, I had an entry about my thoughts on the Hawaiian islands I visited, except back then I hadn’t been to Big Island yet, and I felt I didn’t know Maui too well due to visiting with family and being limited on where we went. Now that I’ve visited Maui again, I think I have a good feel of it!

Hawaii is made up of 8 main islands, each with its own personality and 6 of which you can actually visit. Of those 6, I’ve visited the 4 most popular ones. I wanted to revisit my thoughts on these islands and also rank by my favorites! (There will be some repeats in photos and descriptions from past entries.)

4. Oahu

Oahu is the most popular island, and good for if you’re looking for a very active place. It’s home to Honolulu and the famous and busy Waikiki area. It’s not a very good place if you wanted peace and quiet. Waikiki is pretty much your stereotypical bustling beach town, and while the waters at the beaches there are very clear and calm, we thought the sand was rough.

View of Waikiki from Diamond Head

View of Waikiki from Diamond Head

If you’re there with a car, I do recommend driving around the north part of the island because it’s quieter and a very pleasant drive. The busy-ness of the island puts Oahu at the bottom of the list for me, but on the plus side, the best food I’ve had in Hawaii was on Oahu thanks to how many amazing restaurants it has.

Laniakea Beach in north Oahu

Laniakea Beach in north Oahu

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My Favorite Things: Napa edition

September 2nd, 2015

I was trying to decide between posting an entry for the My Favorite Things link-up (hosted by Tara this month!) and an entry about my recent trip to San Francisco and Napa. Then I realized, why not both??

One of my closest friends is getting married this month, and for her bachelorette party, she wanted something small with her 3 closest friends. The 3 of us are married already, and all 4 of us are around 30 years old, so uh… we didn’t want anything crazy! A trip to Napa sounded perfect for us.

My friend lives in San Francisco, so that’s where the 3 of us flew into. I really needed a break from work though. If you’ve been following my entries, you probably saw how I’ve been very busy and stressed the past few months. The trip was supposed to be Fri-Sun, but I flew in a day early on Thursday to spend time with my friend and tour San Francisco.

It’s been many years since I last visited San Francisco. The day I arrived, I lucked out on the weather because it was so sunny and clear. I was actually able to take a photo of the Golden Gate Bridge, unobstructed by fog!


We spent most of the day eating good food and having her show me around to places like Chinatown, Japantown, Sutro Baths, and Pier 39 where all the sea lions gather.

The next day, the other 2 girls arrived, and we took an Uber to Napa. (Getting an Uber to drive out of the city was surprisingly easy to do!) Napa is a gorgeous place – surrounded by mountains and filled with vineyards. You would think that it’s a fancy, arrogant place since it’s nice and focuses on good food and wine, but it’s actually very casual and laid back.

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Japan trip, part 6: Tokyo

December 19th, 2014

This is the finale! Since we were flying in and out of Tokyo, we split our time in Tokyo in half. On 11/06, we took a bullet train (about half an hour) from Hakone back to Tokyo, where we first started our 12 day Japan trip. Now we were ending here too.

The first thing we did was check into our hotel, the Park Hotel in Shiodome. It’s part of the Shiodome Media Tower, and the hotel doesn’t start until the 25th floor. This means every room has a great view! We paid a little extra to face the Tokyo Tower, and the view was definitely worth it.


Since we arrived in the morning, our luggage hadn’t arrived yet (which we sent off from Kyoto the day before). We decided to pass time in Odaiba, which is on a man-made island connected to Tokyo by Rainbow Bridge. It’s become a popular shopping and entertainment area with large malls like DiverCity, Aquacity, and Decks. We found a katsudon place for lunch, were able to do a bit of shopping, and also saw the life-sized Gundam in front of DiverCity!

After returning from Odaiba, our luggage arrived, so we settled in and rested up in the hotel. At night, we wanted to get a view of Tokyo and headed to Tokyo Skytree. We had dinner first at a nearby hitsumabushi (eel with rice) restaurant. There are a few ways you can eat it: as is, with leeks and wasabi, or with seasonings and a hot broth. I tried all 3, and the leeks and wasabi way was my favorite :)


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