Category Archives: travel

(Halfway) Around The World And Back Again

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Happy Monday!

It feels like it’s been ages since I’ve posted, but I promise I was thinking of you constantly while I was gone. I’m pleasantly surprised by how much I missed posting. Hubs and I had amazing adventures, saw new places, spent time with old friends, and made a few new ones.

IMG_20150228_101911Our first stop was Seattle. Neither Hubs nor I had everIMG_20150228_102038 been there before and we were eager to see a city we’ve heard so much about… even
if it was partly thanks to Grey’s Anatomy. With limited time (less than 24 hours) we each got to pick out a couple of things to do. Hubs took us to the bar Kurt Cobain went to before he died, Linda’s, and an amazing brunch spot with the hands down best Bloody Mary I have had in ages, 5 Point Cafe. From the outside you wouldn’t guess it was anything IMG_20150228_144335other than a bar and you’d be dead wrong. My choicesIMG_20150228_144948 were Pike’s Place Public Market and the Olympic Sculpture Garden. Having lived around D.C. so long, I’m always struck by how clean other cities are! Barely a speck of litter to be seen. Seattle even smells better… but that might be a combination of coffee and Elliot Bay. After seeing Seattle, I finally understand the pacific northwest draw. If we hadn’t been headed to Waikiki next, it would have been hard to leave.IMG_20150228_144852

IMG_20150301_160814Hubs’ best friend since childhood got married in Hawaii to a lovely Japanese woman he met in Mississippi (whom we simply adore), so we got to have a bi-cultural week while we explored this island paradise! It was a beautiful ceremony, in both Japanese and English on March 3rd which is Women’s Day in Japan. We were blessed to witness a little culture from both of their families and are so grateful that we were able to attend and support these two.

After taking a day to relax on the beach at the resort,IMG_20150308_180626
we had to get out and explore. On our second day we hiked up to Manoa Falls. It was very pretty, but it only tookIMG_20150302_204844 us about 30 minutes and we decided that wasn’t far enough and far too crowded. So we followed a couple other trails until we reached the Ko’olau summit, then wandered off again until we got a gorgeous view of Waikiki and Diamond Head crater. These were not novice trails. There were sections where the ground was loose and if you lost your footing, you would just keep going. There were other sections that were completely overgrown with roots, Hubs even slipped a couple times (I think my heart stopped beating for a moment). Near-death and exhaustion aside, it was a blast. I went online later to look up how far we hiked. It was only 3.35 miles, but it was no joke. Lots of switch backs, steep ascent and descent, we slept well that night.

IMG_20150308_181751We made it out to Pearl Harbor on our last day. I feel a little guilty saying this because it is such an incredible piece of preserved history, but I left with mixedIMG_20150308_182115 feelings. We toured the U.S.S. Missouri and took the ferry out to the U.S.S. Arizona memorial. You don’t get to see as much on the Missouri as we had hoped for $25 per person. Hubs and I toured the U.S.S. North Carolina in Wilmington loved it! We were really looking forward to touring a much larger battleship with so much history, but we left kinda wanting to go back to the North Carolina. You really only get to tour one deck. The North Carolina was $14 per person and you got to see so much more! If I had never toured a battleship before, I think I would have felt like I had gotten more out of it.

IMG_20150308_182431The U.S.S. Arizona memorial was intense. This is a free experience. It starts with a 25 minute movie, then a ferry ride out to the memorial its self. Seeing the sunken ship and the names on the wall was powerful to say the least. There are no words to describe how it feels to be standing over where all of those people lost their lives. Being so close that you could reach out and touch it feels unreal. The only thing that mars this experience is watching the oil that still leaks out of the ship to this day. The Arizona, as it turns out, leaks 2-9 quarts of oil a day. Watching the sea life swim around the wreckage, you have to wonder what impact this oil is having on the environment around the memorial.

IMG_20150308_181414On a lighter note. I convinced a group of people that you can’t leave Hawaii without going to a luau, so the seven of us went on our last night. We were all set to pig out at the buffet, drink our included 2 Mai Tais IMG_20150308_181138(which I didn’t realize I loved until this trip), and watch a bad ass show of music and dancing and fire throwing… the weather report said there was only a 40% chance of rain, but when you’re on a tropical island there is pretty much always a chance of rain, right? Well. Funny story. It rained. It rained a lot! It started off just slow enough that we were able to eat a plate of food and the show got started, but not too long after eating our first plate and starting my second Mai Tai it began to pour! The show went on though. I have to hand it to them. They maintained such energy, we were inspired to sit there in the rain and watch them. The staff handed out beach towels for us to put on our heads. They cut it short and refunded half of our money, but I have to say for as wet as we were it was pretty awesome.

IMG_20150308_200152On the way home, we stopped by Portland for aIMG_20150309_190746 couple nights. Hubs had some work to do out there, so I had a whole day to walk around the city and explore. I found a couple yarn stores and it turned out they were a part of a yarn crawl that weekend. Now, I don’t know if you have heard of a yarn crawl, but I hadn’t. We just don’t have enough yarn stores around here for that sort of thing and they have 15 most within walking distance! I was in heaven. After some morning shopping, I was off to wander the riverwalk and theIMG_20150308_224022 Lan Su Chinese Garden. Hubs joined back up withIMG_20150309_191819 me for Powell’s, a view of Mt. Hood from Portland City Grill, dinner at Henry’s, and a drink at the Whisky Library.

All in all, it was an amazing trip, but we’re happy to be home… at least for now.

I have more pictures on my Instagram page from the trip! Drop by and check it out. You can find the link under Where Else in my About Me tab.

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Next adventure, moving to our new home in three weeks and two days!