Bula from Fiji

imageBula!  You hear that everywhere in Fiji.  When asked what it meant, they just replied, “It means everything!”  So we heard it coming and going and just as a joyful acknowledgment.  The people were so warm and welcoming, I felt like I was home.  If home was the most epic beach location.  I wish!

It’s hard to describe the color of the beautiful water surrounding Tokoriki Island.  It’s the most inviting blue I’ve ever come across.  It’s so toasty warm I could snorkle for hours.  And after a long snorkle, we could simply relax in the quiet of an adult only resort with a beverage and the sound of the ocean lapping at the shore.  It’s magical how beautiful Fiji has been to us.

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Silly in Santa Monica

DSCN0282Those of you that know me know I have kind of a huge obsession with dinosaurs.  I mean, my favorite movie of all time is Jurassic Park!  (And if any of you know how I can be an extra in the 4th one, I’ll be forever indebted.)  So while I was visiting 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica, I was super excited to see garden dinos!  I’m just getting my silly on in these shots so don’t judge.

While the boys watched football at Barney’s Beanery (an epic place to watch any sporting event), I got my shop on at some of the great boutiques in the area that I don’t have down in San Diego.  Brandy Melville and Kitson were my two favs.  I have some major wandering coming up soon so keep your eyes peeled on my social media!  (Instagram: @WanderingInHeels)

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Clam Digging in Washington

Clamming

That’s right, my friends.  I went digging for clams in Washington.  Over our Thanksgiving trip, Tyler’s family suggested a camping adventure to Pacific Beach to dig for razor clams.  I’m game to try anything once but got a little freaked out after looking at the weather report.  It kept warning of an “Arctic Invasion” (“Killer Snowflakes!”  My mom exclaimed) and the thought of battling almost freezing temperatures with high winds and rain while clomping through the wave edge looking for razor clam holes was not as appealing as I originally thought.  We totally lucked out though.  When the tide was low, the weather broke and we had an absolutely great time.  I was shocked how fun it really was!  That was until we got to the cleaning the clams part…  I’ll spare you the details.

P.S. – I wore this look when I went to get my clamming license at Sportman’s Warehouse.  I don’t think they believed me that I was actually going to use it…

 

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Clamming9 Clamming11 Clamming8 Clamming4 Clamming5 Sunset

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Hawaiian Sunset Montage

Sunrise in Oahu

As a finale to my Hawaiian adventure, I’ve compiled all the beautiful sunset/sunrise shots from throughout the trip.  I never really did get used to the time change so I was up by 6 am and usually passed out embarrassingly early every day.  I actually liked it because I got to see both the sunset and sunrise!  I’m everything a morning person is not so I can’t remember the last time I saw a sunrise!  I have to say… I kind of like them!!

Thanks for following me on my Hawaiian Adventure!  We have a few other trips in the works and I can’t wait to share more details with you when everything gets nailed down.  Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter (@WanderingHeels) for all the details!

Sunset in Hawaii

lava skies

Ocean sunetHawaiian SkySunrise over a mountainSunset at the KahalaSunset at the north shore

 

Resort Review: The Kahala Resort

Rainbow over Hawaii

I don’t even know where to start with The Kahala Resort.  It’s so luxurious and amazing!  Coming here was a total surprise from my honey for our 4 year so as we walked in, I was floored.  Not to mention my eyes welled up with excitement when I saw the dolphins (see my last post for pictures of the happiest girl in the world and her dolphin pal).

We might be the luckiest people to have gotten an upgrade to the 9th floor with views of the ocean and the dolphin lagoon.  We were able to sit on the balcony, enjoy our celebratory mimosas, and watch the dolphins play frisbee with their trainers.  The Kahala is also a hugely popular place for weddings and we saw at least 3 happening daily.

The resort is a place for relaxation and since cabanas come with the room, we spent many hours soaking up some rays, eating lunch in the sand, and snorkeling the reef that starts just feet from the shore.  You can paddle board, kayak, and do yoga classes on a paddle board as well but we decided to be lazy so swimming and snorkeling were our activities of choice.

The Kahala is also home to Aracino, one of the best Italian restaurants we’ve ever been to.  We had the 5 course meal with wine pairing and could hardly believe how delicious everything was.  The service was amazing as well and they were able to answer all Tyler’s questions about the meal (he’s an aspiring chef so there were many questions!).  If you’re on Oahu, I highly recommend coming here for dinner.  It’s one of the top 3 meals I’ve ever had so this is an absolute must-visit in my book.

Overall, The Kahala has everything a relaxing Hawaiian resort should have.  I did not want to go home at all after staying here.  I mean, life is good but there’s just something about a vacation that makes everything even rosier.  5 stars Kahala… 5 stars…

You would have found me in this position often

You would have found me in this position often

The Grand Entrance of The Kahala Resort

The Grand Entrance of The Kahala Resort

Super excited about the view for our balcony

Super excited about the view for our balcony

I loved watching the sea turtles swim

I loved watching the sea turtles swim

The view from our balcony

The view from our balcony

Sunset in Oahu

Sunset on the balcony

Sunrise in Oahu

Sunrise on the balcony

Swimming Pool at the Kahala

Look at those people doing that exercise thing *sips mimosa*

Look at those people doing that exercise thing *sips mimosa*

There's a gorgeous wall of orchids that leeds down to the beach

There’s a gorgeous wall of orchids on the way down to the beach

 

A Secret Hike in Hilo

Wandering In Heels

After we said our goodbyes to the North Shore, we took an island hopper flight over to The Big Island to stay in Hilo for a few nights.  Originally we were supposed to visit the Volcano National Park but because of the government shutdown we weren’t able to go.  No worries though!  Hilo was full of super fun things for us to do!!

One of my favorite adventures was a totally unplanned stop on our way up to Akaka Falls.  There was a teenie tiny trail head on the side of the road with a stunning view.  So we pulled over to take some shots and decided to head down the trail a bit.  I’m so glad we did!  There were little hidden beaches, mini waterfalls, and plenty of ocean views.  If you’re looking for this secret spot, it’s about 1 mile South of the Hawaiian Botanical Garden entrance.  Just keep your eyes peeled for a small trail head sign just before one of the bigger curves in the road.

Tip:  Do this hike before buying your tickets to the botanical garden.  Once you’re a ticket holder, you can’t do this hike for insurance reasons.  Also, bring some water shoes.  You’ll be walking across a few streams and things you won’t want to miss out on!

 

Hawaii Views

Secret Beach

secret beach

Waterfall

lone palm tree

palm tree on the beach

Mongoose

Tropical Plants

Rental Review: North Shore Beach House

Hawaiian Rental House

I won’t lie… we totally lucked out on our rentals while in Hawaii.  I mean, this place is directly on the water, there’s great snorkeling right out front, and sea turtles swimming by every few minutes.  I’d give it 5 stars if it was just a place to pitch a tent with those credentials but it was so much more.  The 4 bedroom 4 bathroom house was set to impress.  There was everything you could possibly need to cook and BBQ, lots of snorkeling gear, and water shoes/fins.  We ended up spending many nights just creating our own personal luau and playing “The Turtle Game.”  The rules are basically just shout “Turtle!” when a sea turtle pops it’s head out of the water and scramble to get a glimpse.  Yeah… it’s a totally stressful environment… Not!  I think the only negatives are, for the price, we might have expected more amenities in the bathrooms (i.e.- soap, shampoo, hair dryers) but nothing you’ll die without!  The salt water will give you the best bath anyway!

Check out more details at www.HawaiiNorthShoreBeachFront.com.

Relaxing on the beach

set in hawaii

There’s a stunning view of the sunset here!!

Here's the view from the back yard.

Here’s the view from the back yard.

We're only steps from the ocean!

We’re only steps from the ocean!

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