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.)
May started out with me coming home after working for a few weeks in Portland. It was great to be there and to see my favorite people and places, but it was even better to get back home. You don’t realize how much a place has become your home until you’re gone for a bit. Flying back into HNL on this trip really, really felt like coming home, which was a great feeling! Here are 10 more things I loved about May:
1. Stumptown Coffee – my final stop before leaving Portland. I bought so much, they said I could pretty much take anything else in the store that I wanted, including this cold brew.
2. Home (sigh). No, this isn’t the view from my home – I wish! But this is the beautiful windward side where we live.
3. Lazy weekends at the beach.
4. Our first trip to the Big Island. Look at this adorable horse I found on the way to South Point. I tried to convince him I was his paniolo.
5. Seared ahi at Merriman’s Market Cafe – yum! This was PERFECT. (I get very grumpy when I order seared ahi and it comes out cooked all the way through.)
6. Driving up Mauna Kea – 13796 feet!
7. Seeing the lava glow from Halemaumau at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
8. Snorkeling with a pod of spinner dolphins – they just showed up.
9. The Painted Church at Honaunau – amazing.
10. Spending five days in Volcano and hiking almost every day! It was chilly up there in the mountains, which reminded us of Oregon. <3
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.
January was an emotional rollercoaster! After spending December with my favorite guy in Hawaii, I was back to Portland for a month to get our house ready for the big move. It was bittersweet, and involved delicious food and many goodbyes. Here are 10 things that made my month:
- Seeing Monk Seals on an early morning hike to Kaena Point on New Year’s Day (my only day in Hawaii this month, tear).
- Baking and cooking a few last times with my 1950s oven – oh, how I’ve loved you.
- Another trip to the Barefoot Sage – I have a great friend and I am so spoiled.
- Taking a “Mastering Macarons” cooking class with my bestie, from a French Laundry alum, no less. (Best Christmas present ever!) She did a great recap of our class here.
- Dove Vivi pizza – the cornmeal crust is ahh-mazing … I think I may have mentioned this before.
- Breakfast at Besaws – although, this time I liked their “2012 – what will it bring for you?” chalk art more than my food.
- A going away party hosted by my dearest, with four of my very favorite people in attendance. Cupcakes also made an appearance.
- Shopping – I went a little overboard, snatching up things at my favorite places like West Elm, Anthropologie and World Market, none of which are in Hawaii. The movers were a little perplexed at the sight of unopened boxes. My favorite shopping find was not a purchase, it was seeing the EXACT typewriter I own in a store display at Anthropologie – swoon.
- Bamboo Sushi – definitely my favorite sushi place in Portland. Amazing quality and unique, tasty combinations. It’s also a great place for non-drinkers to get a fancy drink, as they will make many of their signature cocktails without the alcohol. My favorite is “purple haze” with fresh blackberry puree – yummy!
- This one was a love/hate – watching our Matson shipping container get loaded up over two full days and then seeing it drive away … the end of our Portland life.
October – our last month living in Oregon together. Much of the month involved getting the house ready to sell, but we made time for some great trips, Portland experiences and meals out with good friends.
Here are 10 things I loved about October:
- Walks at Powell Butte Nature Park – our neighborhood spot for the last seven years
- Nuestra Cocina – best fish ever, and a pretty good pumpkin soup
- Kayaks – we bought ourselves presents for our new life in Hawaii
- A walk at the lake – a great weekend with the parents
- Lark Press – great little shop with “designy” gifts and letterpress cards
- Beautiful autumn drives – one last road trip
- Laughing Planet – Cuban bowl and PB&J smoothie
- Scootering with my best friend – Comma Mr. finally bought a scooter
- The Oregon coast – I love my chilly beaches
- Screen Door – always a favorite