Hawaii 2020: Day 8

02.27.20 | Lihue, Hawaii | 22:37

Today was another beautiful day with my family (the last one, unfortunately)! I woke up early enough to do one more load of laundry- I had plenty of time because most of the family didn’t rise very soon. 

First, I want to tell you about Mali. Mali is a cat who has been hanging out at our house last night and this morning. He/She has even made it into the house a few times. Much to Melanie’s dismay, since she is allergic to the creature. I, on the other hand, would have happily let it stay over for the night and would have even shared my bed. Alas, my family wasn’t on board. 

When I woke this morning, it was still outside, meowing and meowing. I went out and picked it up (I’m not sure if it’s a male or a female, but will assume it is male from here-on-out.). Melanie gave me some leftover pepperoni to feed to him. He liked it but didn’t finish all of it. 

I chose the names Mali, because the Hawaiian word for “Stranger,” according to the internet, is “Malihini.” I took him over to some neighbors to see if they recognized him, but they didn’t. When I was walking back to the house, he squirmed around, signaling that he wanted me to put him down. When I did so, he ran back to the neighbors house. Oh well- Mali is their problem now.  


Once my family was up and ready, most of us headed over to see the lighthouse at Kilauea Point. It was beautiful, but we couldn’t get closer without paying an entry fee. No thanks. 

Kilauea Point

We made the drive down to see some waterfall that boasts a higher fall than Niagara Falls. That may be the case, but it isn’t anywhere as large or as breathtaking as Niagara falls.  It was beautiful to see it from above, however. 

We stopped for lunch in the town of Koloa, then grabbed a double scoop of some tasty ice cream. I don’t remember the flavor I picked, but it was definitely Hawaiian and definitely yummy! 

We drive down to walk across a swinging bridge- it felt good to stretch out legs for awhile. 

Dinner was barbecued chicken from a restaurant called “Chicken in a Barrel” (I think). It was another great meal. Perfect for our last meal together as a family! 


I just boarded the first of two flights. I’m not looking forward to going home, but I am looking forward to what comes next. I’m sad to be leaving my parents, siblings, and their spouses. I certainly won’t miss how expensive Hawaii is! Bittersweet feelings, for sure. 

Hawaii 2020: Day 7

02.26.20 | Princeville, Hawaii | 21:42

Today was a great day! It was probably the most adventurous day that we’ve had on this trip. We started on a kayak/canoe adventure on some river, and ended up hiking a mile through the forest and ending at a beautiful waterfall! The only one missing was Joe, since he had to leave early for a work meeting in Washington D.C.

After swimming in the waterfall pool, and hiking back to the canoes, we explored further up the river, until we found a place and did some cliff jumping into the water. Matt had been here a few years before.

Hawaii 2020: Day 6

02.25.20 |Princeville, Hawaii | 20:18

Last night I didn’t get any sleep. It was a night of tossing and turning, and for some reason, I was unable to clear my head. I’m not sure why that was. I was pretty exhausted by the time my alarm went off at 05:00.

Nevertheless, today was a great day! We jumped in the cars and headed to the airport in Lihue. It’s a relatively cheap, round-trip flight to Oahu- especially since Southwest is still having a sale.

Up Before the Sun
On the Plane

We had a fantastic tour of the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor. This was especially meaningful that I got to be with my dad there since he is such a history buff.

Feed the Birds

We decided to drive to the Dole Plantation. It was a pretty cool tourist trap. I recommend a walk through the garden, and it’s worth it to line up for a Dole Whip come, but other than that, we didn’t do anything. I think most of is didn’t want to spend the money. But there is a train ride and a maze you can walk through.

Dinner was in Waikiki. Most of us were craving a good burger, and we found some in a mall food court. Even though my burger was tasty (it had an egg and brown gravy), and the truffle fries were amazing, I hope I never have to pay $17 for a burger combo again. Hawaii is expensive!

Hawaii 2020: Day 5

02.24.20 | Princeville, Hawaii | 16:51

Today was a beach day! It was so much fun to get back into the water! I did spend much of the time partially blind because the suntan lotion that I put on my face kept getting into my eyes. Still, I can’t complain!

It was a beautiful day, and the clouds kept it pretty cooled down. I did manage to get a bit of a tan, however.

Beach Day

I wanted to try a pizza place for lunch. Hanalei Pizzeria is fantastic, to say the absolute least. I had the forbidden pizza, which had garlic butter, mozzarella, lamb sausage, feta, olives, onions, tomatoes, and spicy honey.

I sat there and ate the entire 12-inch pizza by myself, and I feel no regret since it came on a cauliflower crust! I hope I can get another pizza there before the end of this adventure!

Hawaii 2020: Day 4

02.23.20 | Princeville, Hawaii | 21:52

In Front of the Church

Today turned out to be another spectacular day! Since it was Sunday, we all went and caught a church service in Kapaa. It felt so good to be with the family at church. Afterward, some of us drove to the west side of the island to see Waimea State Park. The first part was like a mini Grand Canyon. The second part was a beautiful hike through a very green area. It was lovely to look off and see the beautiful mountain and coastline!


When we got home, we all sat down and had some chicken pot pie for dinner. As we were chatting afterward, my family got to sharing memories all about me growing up, mostly in Arizona, and then they presented me with a hanging quilt.

The quilt is fantastic! Each of my siblings added a picture of something that reminds them of me. One was musical notes because I loved singing, another was a picture of my favorite dog growing up, and there were various other squares on this quilt that means a lot to me!

I’m not sure the reason they decided to make this gift to me, however. It’s not my birthday or anything like that. It was just a simple gift to show me that they love me.

I felt this was so wonderful because I occasionally feel somewhat separated from my siblings. I was born five years after my brother, and so by the time I was in my teenage years, they were off doing their own thing. Sometimes I feel so detached from them, especially when I was growing up.

I do have to say that this was very unexpected and very appreciated. Perhaps someday, in the future, I will post a picture of this quilt.
I sure do love my family!

Hawaii 2020: Day 3

02.22.20 | Princeville, Hawaii | 21:04

Today was a good day. I spent quite a bit of it alone because my family all wanted to go out on a boat ride. I don’t know exactly what this ride entailed, but even though they said it was a good time, I couldn’t wrap my mind around the $140 price tag.

Instead, I decided to walk into Hanalei. I did some exploring, bought a rash guard shirt, found some fish tacos for lunch, and got my second snow cone.

This walk took about two hours, and the only reason I decided to Uber back, was because there was hardly any shoulder on the roadside to walk on. Quite a few times on the way into the city, I had to duck into a bush so that I wouldn’t get hit by any vehicles.

Every Town Needs A Crazy Person

When I got back to the house, I took a little abit of a nap. About two hours later, my family got back from the boat tour.

Matt and I made dinner tonight. We made a hash with pineapple sausages, onions, peppers, and potatoes. It was delicious!

Hawaii 2020: Day 2

02.21.20 | Princeville, Hawaii | 02:04

Before most of the family was awake this morning, Matt, Kas, and I decided to go for a bike ride. Our Airbnb provided a few bicycles, so it was a great way to start the day!

Morning Bike Ride

We ended up at Hanalei Bay and spent a few minutes standing on the shore. We should realize we had to start our way back to the house, and most of this ride was uphill. I was reminded just how out of shape I am. We eventually got back to the house, however.

Hanalei Bay

We tried to go hiking on this excellent 8-mile trail that Matt and Kas have been to in the past. They said it was one of the most beautiful hikes they’ve ever hiked. I was looking forward to it! When we arrived, however, we discovered that you now have to make a reservation to hike on this particular trail, because it was such in high demand. Unfortunately, the lady at the entrance told us that the booking would’ve had to be made about three months in advance.

We ended up stopping at a beautiful beach, and we played in the ocean for a while. One of my sisters brought sandwiches for everyone, so it was great to sit, chat, and eat on the beach.

We explored downtown Hanalei and I ended up getting my first Hawaiian shaved ice! Growing up in Arizona, we had a place that did this shave ice, but this was incredible! The snowcone was atop macadamia nut ice cream and they pour sweetened conndensed milk over the top. It was the most fantastic thing ever!

We decided that we would go back and swim, once again, at Queen’s Bath. Yesterday, my sister Lori and her husband Scott, weren’t able to be there with us, and we wanted them to have that experience. We even talked Lori into jumping off a high rock into the water. It was amazing! I think, all in all, I end up spending more than seven hours swimming in the ocean.

NYC 2017: Day 3

09.15.17 | New York, New York | 15:50

Brooklyn: So much to write about- I hope I’m don’t get too tired before I finish this entry. I woke up this morning at about 08:00. I decided that I’d walk the 14 miles from where I was in Jamaica to where I needed to be. Yes, that is correct. My thought process was this: Think of how many beautiful pictures I can take along the way!

After 6 miles of walking through sketchy neighborhoods, I was done walking. I stopped at a gas station and bought an egg salad sandwich and a bottle of water. I ate it in the park across the street. With food in me, I felt like I could handle the next 8 miles. Keep in mind, I have a heavy backpack on and am dragging a roller bag behind.

About a mile later, I knew that enough was enough. I called for a Lyft. See- my intentions were good, but as they say- the will is strong, but the flesh is weak. Soon, a driver met me and took me to Brooklyn, near my next Airbnb.

Once he had dropped me off and had left, I realized I had left my backpack in front of the house where I’d called for the Lyft! I am such an airhead sometimes! I start to freak out a bit. Inside that bag is my iPad and other expensive things!

I considered not going back for a brief moment. I felt that by this time, my bag would have most likely been stolen. I didn’t know what I should do, so I stood on the side of the road and said a prayer. I can’t afford to be throwing away iPads (especially 12.9-inch ones)! I decided to call another driver to take me back to where I’d left the bag.

A guy named Joseph came to pick me up. I told him the story, and he sped the entire drive back. Most of the ride, I’m chatting with him, acting like this is no big deal. When I’m not talking with him, I’m praying, hoping that my bag hasn’t been stolen. We get there, and low and behold- my backpack is there against the tree where I’d left it.

I’m so happy now that I could cry! I’m trying to keep it together in front of Joseph as he drives me back to Brooklyn. He told me that if I’d have left it anywhere in Brooklyn, we would have never found it!

I found my Brooklyn Airbnb, which is an entire story in itself because the Airbnb app sent me to the wrong location when I’d asked for directions. Thank goodness I was able to find it on my own! By this time, I’m so exhausted from the walk and the drama that I bring to my own life, but I’m thankful. I tried to fall asleep for a while but was unable to calm my thoughts. So I just lay there, pretending to be asleep for about half an hour.



Dinner was at a Chinese restaurant on 8th Avenue called Chef Yu. Incredibly delicious chicken with curry sauce. I love finding new places to eat! I love food! I’m surprised that I’m not four times my size!

Tonight I went to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It was so cool! It very much reminded me of the movie but didn’t follow the same storyline. I had to call Kas, my sister-in-law because I remember she’d once told me that it is a story that she enjoyed.

I haven’t read the book yet, but a friend sent me a link explaining that the original idea for Charlie was to write him as a little black boy. But in the time it was written, that wouldn’t have gone over too well, is my understanding. This was discovered in an interview with the author’s widow. Click here to read the article.