I spent the entire month on the mainland – one week on vacation and four weeks working. Here are 10 things that made me happy:
- Good times with good friends – especially these two ladies and their dudes.
- Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park.
- The little things – hello, tiny frog.
- The big things – hello, trees that are too big and tall to comprehend.
- Camping in the California redwoods.
- Swimming in COLD river water.
- Driving 101 along the Oregon coast.
- Full moon in summer.
- Biking in the bike city – Portland. (Thanks to a lovely friend who let me borrow her bike for my entire trip.)
Oahu is an amazing place to hike and the terrain is super diverse – everything from hot, dusty deserts to cool, muddy rainforests. My favorites are the view hikes – I just love climbing ridges (although, waterfalls aren’t half-bad either). And, lucky for me, the windward side has some of the best hikes on the island. To illustrate:
Here are my 10 favorite hikes (so far) on Oahu:
- Haiku Stairs or “stairway to heaven”
- Mariner’s Ridge
- Lanikai Pillboxes
- Kaena Point Nature Reserve
- Makapu’u Point Lighthouse
- Diamond Head Crater
- Kaiwanui Marsh
- Abandoned Rader Tower near the H-3
- Maunawili Falls
View Hike Oahu in a larger map
Wow that went quick! April marked my first trip back to Portland for work. And boy did I work – almost around-the-clock for three straight weeks, including weekends. I did have time for meals out with friends, coffee with my parents and an afternoon of shopping though. Phew. I was so happy to get home. Here are 10 things that brought me joy in April:
- Tasty breakfast spots on Oahu – especially ones that serve Portland coffee like Town and Morning Glass.
- Hiking to Maunawili Falls.
- Having a “fruit corner” instead of a fruit bowl.
- Cooking with beets – my favorite veggie.
- Kayaking to the Mokes.
- Shopping ’til I dropped at the Columbia and Adidas employee stores. What? I needed more outdoorsy gear – it’s for my health!
- Dreaming at Rejuvenation Hardware – love this place.
- Running along the waterfront. I have missed you, Portland.
- Seeing my lovely parents, even for just a short while.
- Making up for lost time at my favorite Portland breakfast spots.
It was a life-changing month. It also involved a few trips. Things were bittersweet. Did I mention life might be changing? Here are 10 things I loved about August.
1. Foggy mornings at the Oregon coast
2. Tomatoes from my garden
3. Road trip to Crater Lake
4. Camp food – grilled corn on the cob
5. Hiking down to Crater Lake and wading in the icy, clear blue water
6. Pancakes at the Crater Lake Lodge restaurant
7. Celebrating my sweetheart getting old (turning 31)
8. Portland Bridge Pedal – the 10-bridge ride
9. Last-minute trip to Hawaii for husband’s job interview
10. Throwing our plans out the window
I had a great January. Here are 10 things that rocked my month.
1. Winter hiking: What’s better than bundling up and trekking out into a cold, but not freezing forest?
2. Santoku knives: I received a wonderful, belated Christmas gift of a santoku knife. It is crazy sharp and after a few weeks of using it, I’m lucky to still have fingers.
3. Little Dragon: Caught them at the Doug Fir in Portland. Great show at a great venue.
4. Cooking class at Sur la Table: Definitely my best use of $70 in the past few months.
5. Shuffleboard: I am tempted to buy a shuffleboard. Hmmm… I do have the space for one.
6. Strawberry marshmallow snacks: They take me back to our Tokyo trip. I did a taste test on two different varieties this month. If you must know, the Hello Kitty brand marshmallow snacks won by a long shot.
7. Snowboarding: Where have you been all my life? I feel incredibly guilty for squandering the last six snowboarding seasons. We headed up to Mt. Hood and were rewarded with fresh powder!
8. Timberline Lodge: We spent a wonderful weekend at Timberline (that’s where you’ll find the snowboarding and shuffleboard mentioned above). Despite having season passes seven years ago, we never actually made it inside the most beautiful, historic lodge of all time. (“Red rum, Red rum” … part of The Shining was filmed there too.)
9. Pambiche: Cuban food in Portland – who knew? The avocado salad was pretty good, but the desserts are what made my day.
10. A new year: January was a great start to my new year. I am feeling blessed.