Innkeeper, do you have a room for us?

For two whole weeks?

IMG_20171115_110222410_HDR

Hello Redwood City! Thank you dad for helping us get here!

Can you tell I had no idea where my makeup was packed?

So, our welcome to Redwood City, CA was a little bit rough! With Brent’s new company, Comp Health, you are set up at a hotel as your home base while you review the housing options they offer you. We loved the fact that we actually got to choose! You could also elect to receive a stipend instead for housing and find it yourself, but we aren’t *quite* comfortable enough with the process to do that. Yet.

They set us up at the Comfort Inn for about a week, the last day being the day after Thanksgiving. We were expecting to be all moved in before we even needed to think about a turkey so we weren’t too bothered. We explored the area a little bit since we were right in the heart of downtown Redwood City.

IMG_20171116_115754_168

Is this little guy not the cutest??

However, as I’m sure you have guessed, things didn’t quite turn out that way. For some reason, Comp Health still hadn’t gotten us our housing options even though they had been promised a few days before we arrived. We had been wanting to look through and make some eliminations so that the first weekend in the city we could go take some tours and hopefully choose a new California home.

After several requests for our options, we finally received one. That’s right, one. The pictures were dark and blurry and the phone number provided was incorrect at first but hey it was something! Oh and it happened to come through a day or two before Thanksgiving. We had no idea where we would end up for the holiday.

We met with the realtor who was a very sweet older lady, Joan, that we made friends with easily and who told us all about the place and the area, and asked lots of questions about Brent’s job. Our assumption was that Comp Health worked with a few regular people or property management companies that they matched with their travelers but it turns out that Joan had never done this before. She sure was in for a treat 🙂 Luckily we absolutely adored the place! It was right on the water, had plenty of space, and was in the safest neighborhood I had ever seen (other than podunk little Boise our hometown! Ok, ok, it is growing..)

We were excited to see what else Comp Health would find for us since the first place was so magical but they let us know that actually, that really and truly was our only option as they could not find anything else for some reason.  I do believe it is probably harder to find a furnished place; I’m not sure I would want random people using my sofa and mattress!

We were given the go-ahead to move in by the housing coordinator at Comp Health so we asked Joan for the keys. That is when she told us that she hadn’t actually received any money and so she could not let us move in! Mistake after mistake was made by the housing company that Comp Health uses, they even tried amending the lease AFTER it had been signed by the owner. If you know anything about California real estate this next one will make you laugh – they tried to offer a lower price on the rent for the water front property. Ha! Luckily Joan had liked us enough that she worked through it all with them and held the place available for us.

But guess where we spent Thanksgiving while all of this was going on. 🙂

That’s right, the good ol’ Comfort Inn! Luckily my cousin is a wonderful human being and invited us to her Thanksgiving get together so we were able to get out of the hotel room that smelled like all of the spices I had been generously given by my mother and the dirty clothes that we hadn’t been able to wash. We both actually have quite a bit of family in the area that we are looking forward to hanging out with.

IMG_20171125_124501_487

She also invited us on a hike with her family!

With all of the problems we kept having with the housing company, that by the way is not Comp Health but a company they use (which most likely contributed to the fiasco this became, with news traveling through multiple different people and companies), we ended up at the Comfort Inn for two whole weeks. I was grateful we at least had a place to be of course, but I wouldn’t wish two weeks in a tiny hotel room on anyone! We were also thankful for our microwave and mini fridge.

We are now in our beautiful little place on the water and we are loving life so far! What do you think, have I scared you away from ever trying the travel tech life or does this kind of how-will-it-end adventure excite you??

IMG_20171129_141402_715

Advertisements

New contract, who dis?

Hello folks, we are now in Redwood City, California!

img_20171115_111104.jpg

Which, if you don’t know, is in the Bay Area and quite close to this work of art:

IMG_20171203_133352419.jpg

No, not me 🙂 The Golden Gate bridge behind me! San Francisco is only a 45 minute drive away.

It has been quite the process to get from Honolulu, Oahu, to Redwood City, California!

We decided after 6 months in Honolulu that we were tired of how the hospital there was scheduling Brent, and being in Hawaii didn’t *quite* make up for it like we thought. He was worried that not renewing his contract would upset his boss, but she was very, very sweet and said they would welcome him back any time!

His co-workers were the absolute cutest and threw him a little going away party with a little Karaoke and a lot of Soju, and while Brent finished out his last few weeks on his contract I packed up our lives … again! I think our suitcases must have shrunk because it definitely all didn’t fit this time and we ended up donating quite a bit of clothing, household items, and food we didn’t end up using.

Brent ended up choosing a contract with a new, smaller, company, Comp Health, so he had to spend a couple days doing loads of paperwork and attempting to re-do things like drug tests. Comp Health does not have a location for him to get medical things done or to get things notarized so for most of the requirements we waited until we got back to Boise, our “home base.”

One difference between Aureus and Comp Health that we encountered was that Aureus had Brent do all of his paperwork and quizzes after he had the job and was in the lab, and Comp Health had him complete it before. Because of this, he didn’t know the answers to a lot of quiz questions such as who his direct manager would be, or specific requirements of the hospital.  We were not really big fans of the way Comp Health had him do this, and at the end his contact at the hospital just ended up giving him some of the answers because there would have been no other way for him to know.

We had a very chill last couple days in Hawaii, aside from the frantic packing, and although we were sad to say goodbye, we were happy to go on a little vacation between contracts and see family!

 IMG_20171026_135349820

Took a day to take some last photos of our home

IMG_20171028_144415_947

Goodbye Oahu!

IMG_20171027_073954793

We flew over a couple of the other islands, don’t even ask me which one this is though!

We finally landed in Idaho and took the next couple days to relax and see both sets of parents and all the siblings that we could.

We went to a couple weddings that happened to fall perfectly within the contract gap, took a peek around the ever changing Boise, and then took a little trip to Vegas!

We saw some Cirque du Soleil, walked around all of the casinos, went up in the High Roller, had cupcakes from the Sprinkles ATM, and saw the aquarium at Mandalay Bay. We stayed at Excalibur which is always my hotel of choice because yes it’s old, but it’s cheap and right on the strip!

After jetting back, my dad offered to help us drive to California and since we had two cars to bring and I kind of hate driving, we said yes please!

IMG_20171113_141304541

On the road again ….

IMG_20171113_161118487

This is somewhere in Nevada on the way to Sparks

IMG_20171114_103103864_HDR

We spent the night in Sparks, which was .. interesting. It is very brown and sparse!

IMG_20171114_125008714

This little reservoir lake was pretty though!

So after 2 days straight of travel, our booties were pretty sore, but we had finally made it to Brent’s next contract, Redwood City!

Of course, if you don’t know by now, travel tech-ing is always full of surprises … but this post is already too long. 🙂 Check back for part 2!

Is the Oahu (or any) GO Card Worth It?

Everyone loves a good deal. I sure as heck do. Any event I attend, every activity I do, you better believe I am researching the absolute shiz out of Groupon, Living Social, Yipit, MyDeal, you name it.

IMG_20170926_155125168

The face of elation after finding a good deal. (p.s. this butterfly is in Haleiwa the surfer town!)

LOL

We were lucky enough to be gifted Oahu GO cards for our wedding but as we went along and chose/did the activities, we really evaluated the deal we were getting. We wanted to see if this was something we would have potentially bought for ourselves or would recommend to others.

The card that we got was for 4 days and cost $360 for 2 people.

PROS:

-We were able to do a LOT of REALLY EXPENSIVE things! Pearl Harbor alone was $130 for the two of us, and included all of the major attractions such as the U.S.S. Missouri and the U.S.S. Bowfin.

-It opened our eyes to a lot of different options for activities (although I knew about most of them … I love to research things to do!)

-We definitely got our exercise running around to each activity trying to fit it all in!

CONS:

-It was REALLY hard to fit in everything that we wanted to do in only 4 days. This was exacerbated by the fact that Oahu seems to close everything at 4pm!

-Some of the activities we were very disappointed in (looking at you DOLE)

-A lot of the “activities” were tricks. It showed a price like $22 to go on a hike BUT WITH US IT’S FREE!! When you look into it, you see that the hike (or whatever) is free, but the $22 is for transportation. Which would be cheaper if you just walked to it, rented a car, or sometimes even got an Uber or Lyft.

What do you think so far?

So overall if we would have done all of the activities on the card that we fit in and paid for it ourselves, we would have spent $556 for two people. The cards were $360 for two people so yes we would have “saved money” (if we bought it ourselves).  However, many activities on the cards we just didn’t want to do. One of the activities was “shopping.” A tour company would literally charge a (to me) crazy amount of money to just drop you off at a mall, but it showed on the card as some amazing “shopping” deal. It’s not, read the fine print!

Another thing is this card requires a LOT of planning ahead. We printed out the whole thing and by the end it was shredded to bits, highlighted all over, and scribbled on. We even drew maps on it!  Something to keep in mind is that you are (presumably) on vacation, and if you buy something like the GO Card, with limited times you can use it depending on how many days you buy it for, you will most likely overbook yourself. We had to do quite a bit of rearranging because we didn’t quite know how much time to give ourselves for say, Pearl Harbor or the Bishop Museum. Since we are crazy, we also wrote down prices for all of the activities to see how we could best get “our” money’s worth. (We are the people that go home hurting from the buffet because …. we paid good money dammit!)

Also, we were really silly and assumed we could pick as many as we wanted from the “premier attractions” at the top of the page. They included things like swimming with the dolphins at Sea Life Park, the luau + entrance fee + Ha: Breath of Life show at the PCC, and a sunset catamaran sail. Nope! Oops … we ended up picking the PCC and actually bought the sunset sail on Groupon for very cheap. Read the fine print!

IMG_20170527_180527323_HDR

Very worth it

I just went to the Go Oahu Card website and saw they have a handy dandy little feature where you can “build your own card,” so I tried building one that included all of the activities that we actually ended up doing and reached a total of $416. I didn’t include a couple things because they just weren’t on there, such as the Pineapple Maze at Dole. A MUST SEE!! (kidding… read this). The fun thing about doing it that way is that you have 30 whole days to use the card! So much nicer, but also more expensive for each attraction.

We had fun, we appreciated the gift, but I think next time I would really sit down and think about everything I wanted to do in that city first then compare it to the card. If all of the activities I wanted to do were on there and I thought we could smash them out with plenty of time, I’d do it again. If only one or two of the activities I wanted were included and ultimately I’d be paying more for a “deal” because I didn’t want to do 80% of the things.

What do you think? Have you used a Go Card before? Was it worth it?

IMG_20170926_110741161

I can’t end this blog without introducing my new baby! His name is Laniakea and he was crocheted by Brent’s coworker as a birthday present to me, how sweet is that? We will really miss the kind people we met here!

Meet Me on the Veranda

Sorry for the break in posts, I had some wonderful people visiting me for a week! My family!

It was so fun to have them here, and we got to show them a lot of our favorite things here on Oahu as well as explore some new things.

IMG_20170928_153952185

Like Iolani Palace!

I can’t believe we have been here for almost 6 months and hadn’t been to one of the most popular tourist destinations.

Building began on the palace in 1879 and in its lifetime housed Hawaii’s leaders King Kalakaua and Queen Lili’uokalani. The queen would eventually be imprisoned there.  Interestingly, the palace was the first place to have electricity in Hawaii, and even had it before the White House in DC!  There were no light switches inside the palace though, so each flip on and off of the lights had to be planned ahead of time to be done at the source of the electricity.  Luckily this was pretty easy as the palace also had a telephone!

IMG_20170928_141945644

Unfortunately not too many of Hawaii’s leaders were able to rule from the palace as the monarchy was overthrown in 1893 by Americans on the island.  Queen Lili’uokalani who was ruler at the time was locked away in a very small corner of the palace. The Hawaiians tried to bring the monarchy back to power but the island was flooded with marines that put it down quickly. The United States shortly after had to put its attention to the Spanish-American war so Hawaii was quickly anexed. The Hawaiian flag was lowered and replaced by the stars and stripes. All that Hawaii has really ever gotten from the United States for taking their land was a signed apology from Congress and Bill Clinton in 1993.

While the queen was locked away she put herself to work on a “crazy quilt” which is exactly what it sounds like.

IMG_20170928_142154

See what I mean?

On it she included family names, friends, and important dates such as when she took the crown and when she lost the throne.

Most impressive to me was the throne room, which included royal gowns, insignia, and crowns.

IMG_20170928_134349137

We paid for the audio tour, which was $14.75 for adults. They also have guided tours for $21.75 but look at the website to make sure the time you would like to go is available. The days we were there the guided tours were only available for an hour in the morning that was long past. The grounds are always open during the day so feel free to take a walk around for free if you don’t want to pay to get inside. Just like in any big city though, there are several homeless individuals that will be taking naps around the property.

IMG_20170928_140035664

Brent modeling his snazzy audio tour iPod

Included in either tour (or available to purchase separately for $5) is entrance to the basement galleries where you can see the royal jewels, the kitchen, and other items.

IMG_20170928_152055858

Queen Naomi in the basement galleries

Overall the tour was very informative and for all of us the most interesting part was seeing how all of the palace’s items were tracked down and restored. All of the palace furniture including drapes and bed frames had been sold at auction when the queen lost power. It was quite crazy to see how far some of the items had made it before being returned to Oahu!

On your audio tour, make sure you aren’t as silly as I was and make sure you click “hear more” instead of just skipping to the next room. Oops!

I do wish there was a little more information and more to see inside the palace but they are sticking to their guns of only palace originals so a few of the rooms are pretty bare. I’m sure as items are restored and returned it will become even more beautiful!

IMG_20170928_143428456

Can you tell what these “flowers” are made of?

Parking is also somewhat of a hassle. The palace is downtown and in the middle of quite a few one way streets. They don’t really have much of their own parking so it is first come first serve for street parking. Bring your quarters! And pay attention to signs that display the maximum time allowed to stay parked there. If you are a slower reader or just like to take your time you may need to go move your car once. We did, and we parked in a 2 hour space.

IMG_20170928_134646200

So many interesting things to see!

You may take photos (this seems to be a newer rule) but ***NO FLASH***. If you are local, pay attention to the palace’s occasional Kama’aina Sundays for a discount. Loud and disruptive children will be asked to leave so please be considerate! No large bags are allowed, and our water bottles had to be left in an unattended box outside of the palace. And even though this is Hawaii, swimsuits are not considered appropriate attire for viewing the palace so leave the bikini for the beach!

I got into a habit of asking my family out of 10 pineapples, how many pineapples would you give this activity? Iolani palace got a resounding 8.5/10 pineapples. There are also quite a few interesting things to see in the area as well so take advantage of that paid parking! The very first Christian church Kawaiahao Church is kitty corner, and the homes of the missionaries are one street over. Directly across the street is a very old post office that is worth a stroll through, and next to that is Ali’iolani Hale which now houses the Hawaiian Supreme Court. Make sure to take a picture with King Kamehameha the Great out front!

IMG_20170928_154126723_HDR

Is Iolani Palace on your list of things to do?

So you want to get your California license

You’re in for a heck of a time my friend!

I hope you have lots of patience.

First let’s go over why you would want your California license (because you should!).

  1. You are paid much more in California (as of September 2017, around $20K more than your average assignment)
  2. California is AMAZING (in our opinion!) – snow, sun, beach, Disneyland, vegan food, great shopping, Universal Studios, etc. etc.
  3. As a travel tech, your housing is paid for which completely takes care of one of the major downsides to living in California. After that, all you have to tackle is food and entertainment!
  4. There are so many incredible positions available in California that you can pick whatever works best for you. This is because in California, it’s a lot more work to get a state license than in most places and lab assistants are not allowed to perform as many tasks as in most other states.

Now, this is not an exhaustive list of California requirements just a few tips concerning some of the usual snags. Make sure you do your own research and keep all of your bases covered such as the previously discussed tax home!

First, go here. This is the California department of public health website which is currently under renovation (and has been for the a long time).  That webpage is where  you can currently get most of the information you’ll need about obtaining a California lab licence.

Something to consider for older travel tech-ers looking for a California assignment is if your ASCP examination was before 2002 it will unfortunately not count.  You will need to take a California certification exam.  😦 Good news for the younger travelers is you are good to go with the exam you already took!

You will need to send in school transcripts, your certification test results, work experience, and eventually take a quick California State law quiz. Something that was nice to discovery was that the quiz is very easy and repeatable if you mess up.  Something that we were particularly worried about is the required physics credit. One of the academic requirements is a physics credits in electricity and magnetism.  Luckily, Brent had taken a very similar physics class that they accepted instead, so make sure you ask questions! (which can actually be kind of impossible sometimes … see a couple paragraphs below!)

Another struggle that Brent experienced is that your lab director needs to verify on official letterhead all of your lab experience including at least one year in ALL the different subjects.  Microbiology may be hard for some of you that haven’t done anything in the department since school as most lab tech jobs don’t really require a rotation in micro.  If you have your boss fill out this form it may make it easier for you to make sure that they are signing off on all the different competencies at once.

***Please beware***

It can take up to 5 months to actually get a California license.  It’s fairly expensive ($230) and you need to maintain it with continuing education credits also.  Also, it is pretty much impossible to get to anyone on the phone in order to ask questions.  Brent called several times at different times of day and left quite a few messages but so far we are 0 for 0 at reaching a real human.  What worked best for him is to email LFSscientist@cdph.ca.gov.  You will usually get a response within a day or two.

Those are some of our “insider tips” if you will to getting your California License!  We both wish you the best of luck, and please reach out or comment below if you have any further questions, we are no experts but we do love to help. It is sometimes just nice to talk to someone that has been through the same experience! 🙂

 

Touring the Temple

IMG_20170818_105243917

A couple weeks ago we took the opportunity to “road trip” small island style over to Kaneohe to take a peek at the gorgeous tourist destination Byodo-In Buddhist Temple.

To get there you must drive through the Valley of Temples. It is just about as epic as it sounds – it is a majestic cemetery on a hill with different sections for quite a few different religions such as Catholic, Protestant, and Shinto. There are also chapels and mausoleums that we didn’t get the opportunity to explore but would have made for quite the experience.

The parking lot for the temple is quite small, so be prepared to walk quite a ways and to also make way for gigantic tour buses. If you are actually on one of those buses you will get dropped at the front!

The temple costs $5 per person, and you can also purchase food for the various animals on the grounds!

Like these black geese and enormous koi! We saw a couple turtles that swam over for a treat as well.

IMG_20170818_111933098

This picture does not even begin to show how absolutely ginormous these toads are. Don’t fall in, they might swallow you whole!

After walking across the bridge and taking in the view of the temple, which is a replica of one in Japan that is now 950 years old, turn to your left to see the Bon-Sho.

IMG_20170818_105505512

Grab a hold of the wooden shu-moku to ring the bell before entering the temple to bring you blessings and happiness! Always a good thing to have on a vacation.

Take your shoes off to enter the main room of the temple which holds the Amida Buddha carved by the famous Masuzo Inui.

received_1101646359967436

Make sure to wander around and find the meditation pavilion and the tea house gift shop where you can find unique Buddhist trinkets and Japanese treats.

Overall it was a nice experience but I probably wouldn’t go out of my way to visit unless I was perhaps a Buddhist and visiting really meant something to me. In my personal opinion, I would rather visit an authentic temple in Japan that would be far older and have more history.  The grounds were tiny and it took us about 15 minutes to walk the entire thing, even with reading every sign and perusing the gift shop.

IMG_20170818_112307953_HDR

What do you think? Would you take a day to see the temple or would you rather go to the beach?

Hanging Out on the Wild Side

If you research Oahu at all, you’ll see endless cautions about going past the Aulani Disney Resort on the West Side of the island to the Maili and Waianae beaches.  We even had a Lyft driver warn us about it here! It’s not because of wild animals that will eat you or E. Coli in the water, it’s because of the people. Some locals out that way are said to not be big fans of tourists or people that are not local Hawaiian. Our experiences have been nothing but pleasant though!

IMG_20170731_182342455

Besides, how can you say no to miles and miles of gorgeous empty beach??

We have been back to Maili beach and Waianae beach quite a few times, on weekends and on weekdays and each time we have only come across a few scattered fishermen. Of course, it is quite a drive from Waikiki so you’ll need to have a car or commit to a long bus ride!

IMG_20170731_190023365_HDR

Because it’s so far from Waikiki, there is nothing touristy here. No crowds or vendors trying to sell you luaus and snorkel tours, just a place to relax and breath.

IMG_20170731_184458959.jpg

Or take a nap. 🙂

We did have a very enjoyable meal at Da Crawfish and Crabshack though! It is an odd place on the second floor of a very quiet wooden building with not a whole lot of other businesses.  The seafood is decently priced, but no bibs or gloves here like at Raging Crab so be careful! Everything we had was delicious, and the windows look right out onto the beautiful beach and sunset.

Just be warned, every time we have been here the waves have been small but have a hard pull out and in, so watch small children carefully.  It is a peaceful place to enjoy life in front of a beautiful beach sunset if you don’t want to go all the way to Sunset beach on the North Shore.

IMG_20170804_111706_864 (1)

IMG_20170729_181845360_HDR.jpg

Or take super cute #instapics ❤

What do you think, would you enjoy an empty peaceful beach or do you prefer the party scene of Waikiki?

We all got crabs

And we liked it!

When on an island, you have to eat seafood. Especially if you are from somewhere so far inland (like us) that the only seafood you can get is either trout or frozen. (P.S. trout is nasty. I’d rather eat algae.)

I bring you, Raging Crab!

They have lunch deals a go-go that include chowder fries and crab sliders. If you just want straight up seafood though they’ve got you covered there too.

First, pick your seafood, then your seasoning, and finally your spice level. You can get straight up pounds on pounds of crab, or grab a combo and get a taste of a few different creatures.

IMG_20170623_183424384

On our first visit (heck yes we’ve been back multiple times) we got a crawfish, shrimp, and crab combo with no spice and just garlic butter. The next picture accurately depicts how we felt about crawfish after trying it.

IMG_20170623_183425515

Not our favorite!

The next time we went we took my brother and got a pound of crab each but this time with “the works,” all of the flavors combined and a bit more spice.  I highly recommend this combo! There was a lot more diversity of flavor which we enjoyed.

They’ll give you a bib and gloves and I highly recommend you use both, plus a napkin on your lap. You WILL get messy!  We even had some misfiring of butter from across the table .. And good luck getting the smell of butter out from under your fingernails for weeks after!

I think they liked it. 🙂

We ended the meal (both times!) with a Dole Whip from the Walgreens down the street. You don’t have to go all the way out to the plantation for a pineapple-y treat!  It is seriously so cool, you buy the cup at the counter and then fill it up (as much as you can/want) at the self serve machine. You don’t get the option of the fresh pineapple on top but it is still absolutely delicious.

Would you sacrifice the smell of your fingers for some buttery dungeness goodness?

I walk the ridge

So as you read the other day, my brother has come to visit us in Oahu!

So I immediately took him on a hike.

What better way to dive head first into a vacation on an island? Who needs drinks on the beach! If you follow me on instagram you’ll know I loooooove hiking (and taking pictures of my food. Who doesn’t??)

IMG_20170718_123649467

We chose the hike Awaawaloa via Wa’ahila Ridge.  To pick my hikes I use the app All Trails which lets you filter by nearest, best, keywords like “waterfall” or “kid friendly,” and length. This is *NOT* sponsored (although I wish it were, hmu B-] ) but it is genuinely my favorite way to find a hike. You can download the map so you can follow it even while offline or without phone service, see reviews that other people have written with tips and opinions, and go straight to directions to the trailhead via Google Maps. That might be my favorite part … I don’t usually get lost on a hike, just while trying to find the start!

The trail starts at Wa’ahila Ridge State Recreation Center. It definitely gave me Idaho camping vibes, it was an odd feeling! It looks as though you have left the island jungle completely. There is also a bathroom there which I was much appreciative of … drink that water folks! The start of the trail is easy to find, but very muddy. It hadn’t rained in a few days when we went and it was still quite squishy and slippery.

After just a short while on the trail, you’ll see it goes in two different directions, one off to the left and down some stairs, and one that continues straight ahead. They both end up in the same place, but the path straight ahead has better views. We went up that way which takes you under the power lines and then came back the other!

IMG_20170718_134244742_HDR

Dat view tho

The path shortly after goes pretty steeply down, so make sure you are wearing grippy shoes and be careful of roots that want to trip you. You’ll also be climbing down some rock walls, nothing too crazy though. We knew that this part was going to HURT when it was time to come back! An ascent is the last thing you want at the *end* of a hike!

After that it was a nice shady walk between ridges on a nice flat path. It was pretty cool to think that on either side was the cliff side of the ridge you were walking! For those of you scared of heights no need to worry, the foliage keeps you from seeing over the side. I did find out though that not only is my husband scared of heights, so is my brother!

IMG_20170718_124038643_HDR

It is shady most of the way but still, remember your sunscreen!

Every so often we encountered another ascent and descent to get over the peaks of the ridge which was nice to keep our blood pumping.

IMG_20170718_131915616

You’ll see this sign about 2-2.5ish miles into the hike, and you can either turn around, go left down the lower Wa’ahila Ridge Trail, or carry on ascending which is what we chose. Past this sign are some steeper climbs with rope assistance that in our opinion, was not necessarily needed but it was fun!

IMG_20170718_133531857_HDR (1)

Basically Indiana Jones.

This path will take you to Mt. Olympus but to be honest, I’m not sure if we made it there or not! There is really nothing in the area that would indicate the peak, and it is definitely not the most amazing summit from what I’ve heard anyway. We arrived at a pretty nice view and decided to turn back as my brother was feeling a bit of jet lag. The trail did continue downwards and I would like to return at some point to see how much further it goes.

IMG_20170718_124124596

Ascending at the end and building calf muscles

This was a lovely trail with a nice mix of up and down with flat places to catch your breath in the middle.

What do you think, am I sister of the year for dragging my newly arrived brother hiking or the devil herself? 🙂

….And we’re back! With a new face!

Hello everyone! Sorry for the long break!

We have a new face around here:

IMG_20170718_175851417_HDR

Do you see any resemblance? 🙂

It’s my brother Elijah!  He is taking a break from life after his previous job was running him into the ground with 12 hour days 6 days a week. Hawaii is the perfect place for a little relaxation.

Side note, most of my family members think I’m in Maui! (Hopefully we’ll island hop over there at some point!)

Since my brother has been here for a couple weeks already, I thought I’d ask him about his thoughts on Hawaii so far.

  1. “I thought there would be a bigger city center .. more skyscrapers, more of a ‘city’ feel, but it very much still feels like island ‘aloha’ life.”
  2. “Just driving around is so fun. It is all so different.”
  3. “I didn’t think there would be as much dead vegetation.” (Hawaiian Summers are HOT!)
  4. “There are lots of cool shoe stores” (He is a fan of the crazy shopping in Waikiki)
  5. “I think it’s really cool how it’s a small island but each beach has a different feel even though to get to a new beach you only have to drive max an hour.”
  6. “I like all the lizards.” (He and I both ❤ reptiles ❤ ❤ ❤ )
  7.  “It doesn’t seem like there are many Hawaiian restaurants, I was expecting more ‘local’ cuisine.”
  8. “The locals are nice!”
  9. “I like the quick weather changes, it’s interesting how it is way too sunny one minute and sprinkling rain the next.”
  10. “I love the hikes, I’ll miss them when I go home.”
  11. “Pizza is EXPENSIVE!”