Where Would You Go?

Out of all the places in the world you could visit… Where would you go?

For me, my wish list destination would be Italy.

Image result for italy

Who wants to come? ๐Ÿ™‹๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ

I really enjoy traveling. All of my traveling thus far has been within the United States… Well except for Canada! ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆWhich I got to see briefly on my way back into the states, after an Alaskan Cruise. Which was stunning, if you have never been!

Back to Italy…

I would love to go to Rome, Venice, Florence and Milan.

If I am going to go all that way… I would also enjoy skipping over to see… Paris, France and London, England.

See the problem when I start thinking about international travel, I tend to get carried away.

Then I think, if we go to Italy and France we might as well to close we might “stop by” and see…. Ireland, Scottland than over to Australia and New Zealand.

P.S. My neighbors just moved here from New Zealand. They are the sweetest people ever!

As you can tell I to get a little distracted…

When it comes to traveling, I can’t seem to control myself and I just want more!

It is very similar to if the children’s book, “If you give a Mouse a Cookie.” He wanted a cookie but then he needed a glass of milk! So naturally, just like the mouse…

If you take Lynzzi to Italy, she will want to go to France… If you take me to France, I will need to go to England…

Now you can see why my husband hasn’t taken me there yet! ๐Ÿ˜‚

Either way, I would love to see it all!

So again, I ask you… Where would you go?

Hawaii – Part 2

Oahu

The view from our Hotel

Like I mentioned before, we spent the first half of our our vacation on Kauai. The second half, we were on Oahu. Which is just a hop, skip and a short flight away, to the next neighboring island.

This wasn’t my favorite island, when compared to Kauai. Although, it does have some pretty fun attractions! Such as the Dole Plantation, Pearl Harbor and the Polynesian Cultural Center. If you are ever in Oahu, those are a must see.!

Oahu was a little too familiar to home, for my liking. It is a large city full of sky rises, hotels and shopping. Our hotel even had a large indoor mall. Oahu even has a luxury row… where you can find Michael Kors, Tiffany’s, Louis Vuitton, Dolce Gabbana and so much more!

So personally I preferred Kauai for it’s natural, raw and uncultivated scenery. It made me feel more as if we were actually on a vacation in Hawaii, not down town Time Square. But Oahu definitely left quite a long lasting impression…

While we were there, we got to experience a Hurricane warning… ๐Ÿ˜…

We landed in Oahu in the middle of the night. We made it to our hotel half asleep, to find slid under our hotel room door. A paper containing information of the approaching Hurricane. Wind speeds and everything… Talk about frightening!

When we came downstairs for breakfast the next morning, to our surprise FEMA officers were stationed in our hotel! On the ready to assist if needed and eager to jump into action. I couldn’t decide if that was reassuring or even more alarming…

It rained while we were in Oahu due to the Hurricane approaching. It rained off and on. But rain in Hawaii is a different kind of rain. More like a warm mist… It reminded me of the misters, Disney waiting lines have for each ride. You know what I’m talking about!

Anyways… the rain in Hawaii is much more enjoyable, than the cold and heavy rain we get in Utah. You never need a jacket and you never get soaked.

We were able to visit all of our desired destination sites, that is except for Pearl Harbor. Technically we did get to see it, but we didn’t actually get to go in. Let me explain.

After spending most of the day sightseeing and traveling around the entire island, we arrived in the Pearl Harbor parking lot. Trying to contain my excitement, we made it to the front doors. There we were informed that they had previously closed the doors…

I was devastated! Pearl Harbor was the number one thing, I was most eager to see on Oahu. We even scheduled it for the afternoon, so we could take the proper time to appreciate such a sacred and hollowed monument.

Due to the hurricane warning, they had to closed up shop. Many military men and women running about, to ensure the military base was secure for the arrival of the Hurricane.

Long story short, the Hurricane never hit Oahu… and I missed seeing Pearl Harbor, by 15 minutes!

It did not open again, before we left the following day. ๐Ÿ˜”What a bummer…

However, the Dole Plantation was really fun! I was very surprised at how small pineapples can be.

Did you know they grow on a small bush?! I didn’t either.

Pineapples about 3″ tall

Did you know that it takes 2 years for the seed to grow into a full and ripe pineapple? ๐Ÿ First the seed will produce a flower, which takes up to a year and a half. From there it then produces pineapple which takes another sic months. Once they harvest the fruit the farmers pull all the existing bushes and till the ground, before planting again.

Pretty neat, huh?!

When you first arrive at the plantation, shortly inside the gates you find this sign…

For some reason, this sign was really impactful. Sometimes it was easy to forget we were on a small island, in the middle of the ocean… The sign reminded me just how close, or not so close… we were to other countries! And great reminder how special of an experience, it was to actually be in Hawaii.

Dole Plantation Train

If you get a chance to go to the Dole Plantation, be sure to ride the train. It was really cool! It is a guided tour, through all of their orchards. You get to see up close the wide variety of produce they grow on the plantation. Macadamia nuts, sugar cane, avocado, bananas and more!

In their store you are going to want to get the Dole whip… it’s AMAZING!! ๐Ÿ˜

๐Ÿคค It puts Disney’s to shame…

Also, I really enjoyed their pineapple jelly! Get yourself some of that too! I brought some home as souvenirs, for friends and family. It wasn’t quite as perishable as the dole whip… ๐Ÿ˜‰

Last but not least, my favorite beach the entire trip was KoKololio Beach.

Although it was slightly overcast due to the arrival of the Hurricane, we made the most of it! Especially since it was our last day in Hawaii.

Surprisingly or not so surprisingly, we had the beach to ourselves… haha I wonder why?! Either way it was perfect! The sand was soft and the lush green mountains were gorgeous, as the waves crashed upon them. I could have stayed there forever! Seriously…

Take me back! ๐Ÿ˜ฉ

We also got to see BYU Hawaii, the Polynesian Cultural Center and the Latter Day Saints Temple, in Laie.

Laie, Hawaii Temple

It was an amazing experience to go to Hawaii. I am so grateful to have been able to have gone. I hope you have the same opportunity to see Hawaii, as well. It is a wonderful reminder of all the beautiful creations the Lord has made.

The Purpose

The purpose of this travel page wasnโ€™t so I could gloat. Most definitely not so I could brag, about all the places Iโ€™ve been. Obviously… since I havenโ€™t be anywhere internationally. Well at least not yet! ๐Ÿคž๐Ÿป

However, I did decide create this page because I want to help you realize there is beauty all around you! No matter your destination!

As you can tell, I am no world traveler… This board will most likely be short and not very jaw dropping! Especially, when compared to some other amazing travel bloggers.

I donโ€™t have a job that pays me to travel. But I know what I do have… 

The ability to appreciate my surroundings… What it means to have an open mind and a heart full of gratitude.

I hope I can inspire you to seek out the good. To recognize the beauty. Find value in all things and most of all… be grateful for the environmental surroundings and opportunities you do have. 

Trust me… You donโ€™t have to travel over seas. You donโ€™t have to spend a lot of money. Or have to live someplace extravagant, to be grateful or in the experience and the joys of creation.

Hawaii – Part 1

Kauai

My husband and I planned a vacation to Hawaii last year. We visited two islands, Kauai and Oahu. If you don’t know where Kauai is, it is the fourth largest island, of the Hawaiian Islands. It is also the oldest, of the other islands dating back some 5.1 Million Years. The origin behind its name is unknown but the native traditions suggests, that it was named after the son of the navigator who discovered the island.

Dax and I were very excited for this trip, since neither one of us has ever been to Hawaii!

If you have ever wanted to go, I would highly recommend going to Kauai! It was absolutely breathtaking! What I liked most about Kauai, is that the island isn’t overpopulated by tourists or over-commercialized by stores. It is referred to as the “Garden Isle”, which speaks volumes in itself. The island is practically untouched by man.

Kauai is full of gorgeous sights, including beautiful sandy beaches, large waterfalls, farmers markets and adorable ma and pop shops. I think what we fell most in love with, was the casual and laid back vibe the island and it’s locals exude.

We stayed in Lihue, which is on the southeast coast of the island. Which is the largest city in Kauai! It is also the first place visited by explorers in 1778, by captain James Cook. Today it is still port for many cruise ships traveling to and from Los Angelas, Thailand, or many other countries.

We stayed at the Kauai, Marriott in Lihue. Our resort was absolutely amazing!

Kauai Marriott Resort

Our hotel had a beautiful private beach! Making relaxing on the beach much more enjoyable. The beach was so large, this picture only contains half of it.

In the lobby they had a historical Hawaiian boat, just like the one featured in Disney’s feature film Moana. It was really amazing! They also had a large Coy pond, which you could help feed once a week.

Hawaiian Sail Boat

We enjoyed plenty of adventures while on Kauai. But I’ll only share a couple. Over 90% of the island is out of reach of roads. If you enjoy hiking or boating, this island is for you! Which brings me to my absolute favorite landmark, was the Na Pali Coastline!

The Na Pali Coast, Kauai Hawaii

The only way to view the Na Pali Coast, is either by boat or helicopter ride only. There are also certain locations of shoreline, were it is actually illegal to dock!

So knowing we had time to spare, we decided to take the boat tour. Which we were both glad we did! You really get an amazing experience by boat. It reminds you just how extraordinary the world truly is. From the strength of the blustery wind, the depths of the briny sea and the vast oceans extent.

If you come to Kauai, I highly recommend taking this tour! The company we used, Holo Holo Charter. They also offer an all day snorkling tour. In which they take you to a private island nearby to snorkle with sharks, in the middle of the ocean.

Unfortunately or fortunately for me, we didn’t have time to do that one. Darn… ๐Ÿ™‚

I enjoy being adventurous! I really do. I like trying new things.

Looking back, I would have loved to have gone. However, I think I needed more time to mentally prepare in advance. I mean, Come on… they are sharks… in the middle of the ocean… This isn’t Sea World, this is real life!

Back to my story…

After the captain explained the safety procedures we boarded our boat. As we set sail we were served appetizers, while we sailed quickly up the coastline… and I mean quick!

It was stunning! No picture does the Na Pali Coast justice…

Along the way to the north point of the Island, we saw spinner dolphins, turtles and whales! The spinner dolphins were quite the site to see! They did exactly that… spin! As they jump out of the blue water, they spin quickly like a football hurdling in the air.

Sooo cool!

Once you get to the highest point of the north coast, the boat turns back around. This time, they sail much slower… Thank goodness! This time you can walk leisurely about the boat, and take in the sights. The captain will points out all the hidden secrets. Stopping multiple times, for tourist to get impeccable photos of the Na Pali Coast.

Our tour included dinner, also. We were served savory fish tacos! They were delicious… I haven’t had better fish tacos since!

We sailed back into the dock, by the dim light of the sunset. It was a magical experience… Watching the sun set on the shimmering water, as far as the eye could see. Take me back!

The island of Kauai is also well known, for its influence in many popular feature films. Such as Lilo and Stitch, Jurassic Park, Hook and Indiana Jones. If you remember majestic green cliffs and lush, jungle scenery… Well, that’s Kauai! It’s really a hidden gem of sorts.

Another breathtaking view, was the Waimea Canyon! It is most known for dramatic colors and towering peaks… A whopping 3,000 ft from the Canyon floor. It even has some of the most gorgeous waterfalls, you can actually hike too.

Waimea Canyon

The Waimea Canyon is full of adventure! It contains 45 miles of hiking trails, that reveal the best the 10 mile long gorge has to offer. The canyon walls illustrate built up layers caused by year of volcanic eruptions. Which has then been eroded by rain throughout the centuries. Causing it to take such a unique shape.

Panoramic View of the other half, of the Cannon

While in Kauai, I enjoyed my weight in fresh mango, pineapple and papaya. Out of all the local food, were excited try fresh coconut! You can see my true reaction towards coconut in the next photo…

Yeah, not so good… ๐Ÿ˜‚ It definitely wasn’t what I was expecting!

While in Kauai, we enjoyed plenty of delicious food. Including numerous food trucks, popular whole in the wall restaurants and even quaint local farmers markets. However, to my surprise it vegetables are difficult to come by.

Travel. Learn. Grow.

The older I get the more I appreciate this quote…

A mind stretch by new experiences can never go back to it’s old dimensions.

So Travel. Learn. Grow.

Finding beauty in the things around you, reminds you to be grateful for all of God’s creations upon the Earth.

“And into the forest I must go, to lose my mind and find my soul.” -John Muir