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we sort of got super lucky last weekend with a visit from my sister, kristen. kristen has a little family of 4 kids and a husband and she left them home in utah and came to see ben and i - just her. of course we love her little family...but to get alone time with kristen was golden!
i just don't think i've been alone like that with her in a long time and it was really lovely. we had conversations, ate at delicious places, shopped a little, walked and walked and walked. and walked. and just really enjoyed every minute our of time together.

even a week later, i am still feeling lucky. love you, sister!

p.s. did you know that roosevelt island has cherry trees? meaning cherry blossoms + nyc skyline = incredible. really made my heart sing and not miss the dc tidal basin as much.


and that's the end of that (hawaii)

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it all sort of seems like a dream now. because being in paradise is just dreamy.

we ate brunch at island lava java. where a man next to our table played the best hits from high school on his trusty guitar. and a funny newyorker moment happened to me here...you know how in nyc you can be on your way to a restaurant, hop on the open table app on your phone, make a reservation and you show up to the place and you're all good? well you can't do that in hawaii (i tried). but it's ok because we didn't have to wait too long for our table. and we were waiting in the sunshine so that was cool too.

we visited costco (the hot spot on many of the hawaiian islands - where you buy chocolate covered macadamia nuts)
and drove to the visitors center of mauna kea - come to find out, we couldn't drive to the top of the pretty mountain because there was bad weather up top, brrrr :( kind of a huge bummer. i guess we'll have to go back! darn!

we went to hapuna beach. such a beautiful beach. thanks eric for taking us. and the sun managed to come out just right for us that afternoon.
we also somehow skipped lunch again that day (why i oughta!) but that might have been because of the macadamia nuts.

we ate dinner back in kona at kanaka kava where we went all out with our pu pu platter and whatnot. with poke, kalua pork, poi, taro, seafood, salad with miso dressing, bread. and all kinds of goodness.

afterwards we got frozen yogurt and shave ice. and sat under the palms. and talked and shit. and it was great.
i've decided some of the best conversations happen outside. at the beach. under a palm tree. sitting in a nice summery breeze.

also, i didn't wear my watch the entire trip. that's saying something.
and i picked plumeria (rather picked up off the ground) everywhere we were. i was always wearing a flower.
let's just move here, said ben.


volcanoes and national parks just go together.

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our third and final stop in hawaii was hawaii (ha...) - the big island. we were lucky, ever so lucky, to meet up with shayna and eric (sister and broinlaw who live in san francisco).

eric is somewhat of an expert of the island - having lived there for a year and also having spent a lot of time there. eric is just so knowledgeable.

we took a tiny plane from kauai to kona, big island - meeting shayna and eric at the airport. we ate a late dinner at the kona brewing company. where we got a server that seemed mad that we ordered water to drink? weird :)

the next morning we went to basik for acai bowls and smoothies (a rad mint one) to start our journey to volcanoes national park. about a 2 hour drive from kona...because -mind you- the big island is BIG.
and let's talk about how incredible the miles and miles of that black lava look...amazing!
and the lava tube? lava tubes are created by a bunch of lava flowing through there and the caves are what is left of the area. dark and creepy and cool.

the only problem is once we were in the park we just kept going and seeing things...and it was about 4ish-pm by the time we ate lunch/ish. i thought i was going to eat my arm and yell at the server or pass out. but once we ate our papaya salad and our thai curry (at thai thai), we all sort of laughed really hard about the whole thing.

somehow we managed to drive around the entire island that day (not sure how) but we also managed to go to yogurtland and get malasadas at tex (portuguese donuts...who knew the portuguese could get food right?).

more to remember:
macadamia nuts...mmm.
when ben, eric and i asked shayna to pull over to a place and she just drove on by. haha i don't think she heard us :) 
i heard the server say to another person at the kona brewing company that she "didn't like being nice" - i think she was referring to us...hehe.


napali coast + whales + other things

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one of our days on kauai we took a boat to see the napali coast - and we were hopeful to see whales, dolphins, sea turtles (all of which we saw!).

we took our boat tour with captain andy's (on the southern star) - we recommend the boat and the splurge (we thought about taking a helicopter but glad we opted for the boat). the crew was awesome and super nice. one of the crew was steering the boat while the captains and crew were serving the passengers. she said, i love that i'm the crew and i'm steering and the captains are serving! my kind of boat.
we took the boat out early, got breakfast on the boat and immediately saw some dolphins. dolphins spinning and bolting out of the water.
we soon thereafter went snorkeling (before 9am, ha) where we saw lots of fishies and a sea turtle (at least one).

we then went on to the napali coast. it is incredibly beautiful, much like its cousin, waimea canyon. did you know the napali coast is one of the fastest deteriorating coastlines in the world? so you'd better fly out and see it. it's unbelievable. give me a multi-colored jagged coastline and i am happy.

the only thing about the boat was i felt a little sick...but after some ginger ale and some food i was ok. i'm just glad i didn't lose my breakfast or lunch. (too much?)

on our way back from the coast, we got to see whales. many, many whales. they kept dancing and flying to the surface for us. one was slapping its tail a ton - one of the captains said he's been doing this a long time and had never seen a whale slap its tail so much. and they were so close. the boat also had a sort of fancy-dancy-underwater microphone so we could hear what the whales were singing.
whale season is from december to april-ish. yeah spring break!

that night we went to bed super early. we were so tired from the eventful day. it's exhausting to see such beautiful things :)