relaxation at its best (in kauai)

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people who know us - know that we are really into points. like airline points and hotel points now. we flew to and from hawaii all on points (so our tickets were just as much as taxes/fees...less than $100). and we stayed at a hotel in kauai on points. so we stayed for free. basically.
i love free.
we travel a lot but we do everything we can to make it inexpensive and thrifty. it's the only way to do it.

the hotel was really nice. whoever put it together sure went all out with the landscaping and every little detaiil - to the lava rock and water slide and lazy river and uniquely shaped hot tubs. and beautiful flowers! and trees! and everything. and they pass out otter pops! that sure won me over. and we probably took the water slide a dozen times. it's good to feel like a luxury kid. the beach (shipwrecks beach) is distinct and beautiful, we even saw some whales from the beach.

i think my hair was wet the entire [hawaii] trip. beach hair all the time. i didn't even bring my flat iron, it was refreshing. kauai was the point when we drank the hawaii koolaid - like how can we make this work to live here? it's amazing. it's relaxing. it's sunny. everyone is so nice and calm.

when we had to check out of our hotel (sad) and we "had" to use the spa to shower (since we had to check out of our room early) we showered in a shower entirely made of lava rock with an open roof. dreamy.

places we ate in the nearby areas (all really good):
koloa fish market - for poke!
dude dogs - piƱa colada smoothie and lilikoi soda
bubba's burgers - pineapple on burgers
tortilla republic - tacos
living foods market + cafe (my fave) - pineapple french toast
lunch by the pool :) - i ordered a smoothie that came out a milkshake. oh well! ben had lilikoi bbq sauce with his lunch
shave ice (with ice cream) at brennecke's

other things to remember:
we are easily impressed - ben! there are cows and chickens everywhere. and sheep! birds!
we didn't think food and things were that expensive...but we realize that's because we live in nyc where food and things are spendy :)
ben said kauai is heaven.
there was a cute kid at the hotel with ice cream all over his face that also needed to get an otter pop.
when you have the choice, always drive with the top down.
we saw couples carrying one another down the lazy river...so i took a turn on ben's back and he took one on mine. i love silly stuff like this. 


we left our hearts with kauai (waimea canyon)

IMG_5997 IMG_5977 Collage2 IMG_5979 IMG_5996 Collage1 IMG_5984 IMG_5999 IMG_6017 IMG_6007 IMG_6008 IMG_6016 oh...kauai.

maybe it started when we got a convertible (redmustangconvertible) for our rental car - for the same price as a standard rental, mind you.

yeah that was probably it. because we just drove around with the top off, the entire time. and even though ben got a little bit of a sunburn from driving in a car without a lid...it seemed worth it. we got to kauai in the morning, got our car, got some snacks and drove up to waimea canyon. kauai is super sneakily beautiful. the drive up to waimea is just ok...a little deserty and the red dirt, which is similar to where i grew up in southern utah makes you confused...am i in hawaii? and then all of a sudden, BOOM, gorgeous.

waimea canyon has the green of hawaii and red dirt and the right dips and gorges and ridged valleys. the shadows. i am in love.

the last few photos are a look out (and a sneak peak) of the napali coast. holy bejeezes.

to remember:
randall at the car rental hooked us uuup (with the mustang).
i slipped on a tiny hike and did the splits.
the humid valley, mid-kauai "one of the wettest spots on earth."
we bought shaved coconut, coconut candies and fresh pineapple from a guy up near the canyon lookout. pineapple is better in hawaii. i think it's because it's actually fresh there and ripened by the sun and not in my wintery nyc kitchen.


friends and froze (oahu)

IMG_5880 Collage5 IMG_5884 Collage2 Collage3 Collage4 IMG_5937 IMG_5931 IMG_5923 Collage1 IMG_5967 IMG_5968 our third day on oahu...

we got to visit pearl harbor: the uss arizona memorial. which is beautiful and sobering. the white memorial is placed above the sunken boat, the arizona. oil still leaks from the boat to this date - just a little everyday...kind of crazy. i'm really glad we got to see this. thanks jake for reserving tickets in advance.
and also for taking us on an awesome tour of your place of work :) we are very proud of you!

we ate froze (fried rice, spam, etc --- spam! we got to eat spam! the hawaiian treat!) and lovely lunch at a little spot near the water. we ate almost every meal outside in hawaii (the only 2-3 inside were because it was pouring rain). and i just basked in how great it was to be like...no bigs, we're eating outside and the weather is gorgeous.

we visited hickam beach...which is just so quiet and uncrowded and tranquil.

later that night we got together with everyone again and drove up to haleiwa to eat thai food. jk, the thai place was closed so we ate some burgers...but some how the place ran out of fries and cO2 (for soda)...so how were we supposed to get our burger on?
we got ice cream after to make up for it - ben got a few different kinds of mochi ice cream. yumm.

i loved seeing our friends. it feels like a dream now...that we got to be with them in hawaii. and also that they are the type of friends that i don't feel like we've lost track of time and we just picked up where we left off - the best kinds of friends.  

more to remember:
boo radly.
being with the little kiddies. elle is just my little buddy.
watching youtube videos together. taylor swift and the goat
it was especially fun talking to shevaun about the uvsc/p-town good times. and i always feel so happy to have introduced shevaunandjake. yep that was me!


we started with oahu (the north shore)

IMG_5865 IMG_5864 IMG_5860 Collage1 IMG_5870 IMG_5871 IMG_5867 IMG_5875 even long after there are no more spring breaks for school - i hope we continue to vacation for spring break. getting away from the long, cold, cruel new york winter is a must. and even if it's an 11 hour flight from jfk to hnl...it's worth it once you're there.

when we arrived in honolulu, it was pouring rain (wah waaah). but our lovely friend jake picked us up, beautiful flowery leis and all, so that made the rain seem ok. we got to stay with jake and shevaun and their little family on oahu. THANK YOU. they are some of the very best hosts. we can only aspire to be as awesome. that night we had dinner with them and our friends scotty and jamie who live there now as well. lucky us! we probably seemed like total deadbeats...by about 9pm. i kept avoiding doing the math of what time it was in nyc.

the next day, we woke up far too early (because we couldn't sleep) - jake and shevaun let us borrow their car which was just beyond nice and generous.
the drive to the north shore up the eastern part of oahu is full of tunnels and canyons and tall, narrow mountains. because i had been to oahu before (for the wedding of one of my favorite couples :) - sienna & tony) i felt almost like i knew what i was doing and i was "showing" ben around. even though i am totally inexperienced in the ways of hawaii, i did remember quite a lot from my previous trip - since it all seemed the same since my visit 6 years ago. 

we ate at kahuku grill for lunch (they have the best coconut-macadamia-nut-shrimp) and ran into a friend (noelle) - and we soon realized we were in mormonville, when about 16 mormon missionaries also showed up for lunch. we ate, chatted and we were on our way, down the street to ono yo frozen yogurt. we got lilikoi (passion fruit) "butter" on our yogurt that was pretty much the best butter i've ever had! and we also saw my high school spanish teacher, i avoided eye contact.

the sun started to come out a bit...we stopped at sharks cove, waimea bay beach (with really huge waves soo we didn't really swim too much), went up to haleiwa to surf n sea and matsumoto's for shave ice. (bybes, does this sound like our bus tour we took that one day? *wink*) it was especially fun to go to surf n sea where i had bought ben some board shorts 6 years earlier.
we made our way back to laie, where we took the grand tour (driving by byu-hawaii, the mormon temple and stopping at foodland for local's - sandals).
we also visited the polynesian cultural center (which i hadn't done before). which was fun...and interesting...including someone from utah proposing to their girlfriend in front of hundreds of their closest friends/strangers at the luau dinner. the night show is great with incredible dancing, poor storyline and awesome fire-tricks. all-in-all we are glad we got to go. and glad we saved $8 by parking over by sienna's mamma's house (pammy).
and we were happy to have gotten discounted tickets to go to the p.c.c. :)

the north shore feels homey and relaxed and welcoming and safe. it is a totally different feel from the rest of the island.

the rest to remember:
i hate detours but ben loves them. oh let's just take this road, it will only be like 5 minutes! (20 minutes later...)
ben called matsumoto's, quasimodo's.
we saw a lady at the p.c.c. wearing a mullet dress.
also saw someone from high school at the p.c.c. avoided eye contact again.
at p.c.c. dinner - ben was chowing down on some orange fruit and said, this doesn't taste like cantaloupe but it's really good! and i said, it's papaya. 
even at our communal table at the p.c.c. luau dinner, we just sat and talked and laughed for a while. we remembered in provo/utah/byu going to a hawaiian restaurant and ben got mad at me for forgetting a coupon...when all the while it was in his pocket. haaaaa, i love those dating memories!
at the beach ben said, you're not chubby, you're a healthy weight. oh so funny :)


oh, hi. it's my birthday.

IMG_6024 well it's my birthday again.

i guess i'm 27 today.

i always seem to reflect a lot around my birthday. i am a reflective thinker...and i think i always have been (ha). i think, so i'm 27. and i am still thinking of what i want to be when i grow up, i still learn things everyday, i still love candy and dressing like a seven year old, i still get excited about the weekend, i still love to have play dates, but most importantly, i still love my husband. and i love me.
it's weird to say i love me...

but i do. even though sometimes it's frustrating and mostly just exhausting --- i am (almost) always going a million miles a minute because i have so many interests, so many loves, so many simple joys in life.

i read somewhere that julia child didn't start cooking until she was 37. so even though i do so many things with my time and focus my efforts and i do ok at quite a few things...i guess i have another 10 years to totally master something (the art of french cooking?). hehe.

but really, i am so lucky to be alive in such a beautiful city, in a wild and crazy time, hanging with the coolest person on the planet {ben}.

happy birthday to me.

(photo taken in hawaii...many more photos to come :)


roosevelt island tram

Collage1 1st avenue IMG_5822 IMG_5827 a view of manhattan from roosevelt island IMG_5833 on saturday, i took the roosevelt island tram with my friend, suzie.

roosevelt island is part of the borough of manhattan - it's in between manhattan and queens and it's tiny and cute. people live there, there is an F train subway stop there, it's happenin'.

mostly i have just wanted to take the tram for a long time - to see the city from up high. and riding a tram is fun! it reminds me of being at snowbird, snowboarding in utah. i will definitely take the tram many many times. it's so easy too! you pick it up at 59th and 2nd avenue and you use your metrocard - it's just like getting on the subway, except you get to fly through the air and not be crammed underground! yeah!


alice's tea cup

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brunch is kind of awesome. i didn't really get brunch until we moved here; i didn't understand.

i mean, a lot of fancy restaurants in the city have brunch menus - and brunch is pretty much the same price everywhere. which is perfect.
we met our brooklynites (suzie, cole and babies elliot and quincey) at alice's tea cup on the ues (upper east side) on saturday for what turned out to be a late brunch - because the wait for a table was long. a little too long.
but we waited by walking around dylan's candy bar - not that it's something to write home about or blog about really (oops) but it's a huge store full of CANDY.

after a very delicious and filling brunch with tea, scones, smoked salmon/eggs benedict on scones - suzie and i had a couple hours to ourselves. bloomingdale's and a tram ride to see our beautiful city from up high.