Friday, May 29, 2015

Oahu, Memorial Day Weekend

A and I visited Hawaii for the first time this past Memorial Day weekend. Oahu has been on my travel destination list for a while now so it was gratifying to be able to visit and kick off the summer in the most wonderful way.

We took Hawaiian Airlines from San Francisco first thing in the morning on a Thursday and landed a little after noon. After finding the baggage claim we were met by a frantic looking airline employee carrying our leis. Soon after some back and forth, we arrived to the rentals lot and hopped in our rental, lunch and malasada bound.

My general impression of Hawaiian food is that it's incredibly unhealthy. I felt a little guilty for the amount of meat consumed on this trip, but not to fret. That's what vacation's all about. Soon after finishing up, we took Pali Highway to sleepy Kailua to check into our AIRBNB.

I liked Kailua a lot. Most people opt to stay in Waikiki where all of the resorts are, but Kailua offered us a slice of what Hawaii should feel like. We pulled into the driveway and were warmly welcomed by our host Beth and her adorable dachsunds and pit bull. One beach entrance to Kailua Beach was literally a 5 minute walk away from the house.

Greedily, we swapped into our bathing suits and rushed off to the beach. Eager to soak in the last of the afternoon. I'd never seen such clear, blue-green waters before. We had our fill until the rain suddenly arrived, forcing us back to the airbnb.

We ended up getting ready for Waikiki afterwards and drove into the city to get a drink at House Without A Key--a delightful venue where you can sit outdoors, watching the sunset over Waikiki beach to the lullaby of slack-key guitars. It was blissful. I miss it already.

Waking up every morning in Hawaii was delightful for the obvious reasons, but the most memorable feeling I take back now is one of nostalgia. Every morning I'd wake up feeling like I did as a teenager on summer vacations. Incredibly well-rested, carefree, smelling slightly of sunblock and summer. I relished that feeling so much on our recent stay in Kailua.

I'll definitely be back someday and hopefully soon to visit the other islands and do another ATV tour! Teehee.

Weekend in Seattle

With a woeful delay, I've decided to finally update my blog/travelogue. I traveled to Seattle recently for a short stay with A. This was my second time in Seattle, and I still maintain that this is a city for those who like to eat. I am still vehemently pro-Portland when it comes down to which city is a better vacation destination.

We stayed in the Warwick Hotel in lieu of airbnb this time. An excellent decision give the hotels central location and close proximity to the delicious Palace Kitchen, Top Pot Donuts and more. Not to mention, Pike Place is a quick 15 minute walk away.

We hit up some of the usual suspects during this visit: Pike Place Market, Olympic Sculpture Park, The Space Needle, and more. This time I visited the Ballard Neighborhood, which to my delight, was chock-full of fabulous little shops full of housewares, jewelry, and more. We spent an entire afternoon there where I discovered Prism--a boutique that boasted of tons of hipster-ware. Think macrame wall hangings, geometric-inspired jewelry, overpriced pieces of pottery and so on. I laughed a little at how it all was a little much but quickly reigned myself in when I found a wonderful necklace by Baleen in stock.

We moved on to the Ballard Locks where you can see the salmon swimming upstream in the summer and concluded the afternoon at The Walrus and the Carpenter. Best oysters I've had in a long time. Arrive early.

While I'd like to return someday to Seattle, I don't think I will deliberately plan a vacation for a long time now. Perhaps Portland in the Fall again...There's nothing quite like sitting on the PSU campus people watching, farmer's market in the background, and watching the gold, brown, and yellow leaves flutter about.