Island Life

Waimanalo Pumpkin Patch!

img_3622I absolutely love October. Even on the island, October means the wind and waves pick up, the weather cools down, and the rains come down. It’s perfect weather for hiking and, with enough rain, the Koolau’s weep with plentiful waterfalls. It’s awesome.

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In the spirit of fall, we headed to Waimanalo Country Farms’ pumpkin patch. Nestled between the sea and majestic Koolau mountains, the farm sits on an idyllic plateau perfect for pumpkin-patching and photo ops.

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Bama had a great time picking out her own mini-pumpkin! If you’re in Hawaii during the next month, you’ve got to go!

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The four of us ended up taking home a ton of pumpkins. Thankfully, my friend brought this hand wagon to lug them through the farm.

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Waimanlo Country Farms is famous for its delicious Nalo-Made Lemonade. I got a Li Hing (a local spice) Lemonade in this super cute, reusable jar.

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We lugged our pumkins up to the sunflower patch, which is up on a little plateau and right below the mountains. Amidst all the sunflowers, you can even see a glimpse of the ocean on the opposite side.


We also found a few activities, but the gaint pumpkin beer pong game was definitely our favorite.

 

Island Life

Aloha Friday: Kapoho Tide Pools

  
I barely ever make it out to the west side. Small as this island is, we all keep to our own sections 99% of the time; have our own hikes, places to eat, and secret spots. The day after thanksgiving, though, my friends decided to take a spontaneous road trip to the other side.

Hello from the other side…..

The Kapoho Tide Pools are towards Oahu’s westernmost tip, so it’s a relatively far journey for us island folk. The drive there veers off to a dirt road riddled with gigantic puddles, dips, and rocks. Thankfully, we had a truck to muscle our way through to the stopping point and continue on foot.

The hike is breathtaking; we watched waves crash against rocky sea cliffs as the sun set poetically in the distance, lighting the land and sea and equally glittering gold. We had a hard time even walking out there because we kept turning around at the stunning landscape in disbelief.

The tide pools are awesome; isolated, turquoise and teeming with life. There were crabs, vana (Hawaiian sea urchin) and small fish busying about beneath our feet. The pools were big and deep enough to swim in, and were warmer than the sea from the sun’s glare.

   

  

  

  

  

  

Island Life

Aloha Friday: Kaneohe Bay

Happy Aloha Friday, folks! It’s been a busy & beautiful week full of crazy storms in the island. We’re on our sixth or seventh storm warning at the moment, and part of the island’s streets are flooded in several inches of water. Thankfully, my side of Oahu – which, ironically, is the stormiest in most cases – has stayed gorgeous and clear. We’ve only had a few hours here and there of torrential rain, thunder and lightning.

  
Last weekend, we battled dark clouds and found some sun on the sand bar, a kickass spot in the middle of the ocean where the water is only waist to ankle deep. You can park boats right off the shelf and party on!

  Honesty, it’s way too much fun! We’d were very lucky- the storm was all around, but it was sunny right over the sandbar.
  
The upside of the storms is that we get some crazy, colorful sunsets! My favorites are the ones just outside my house over the bay. Almost every night, they’ve been apocalyptic and pink 🙂

  
I wish all the best for the storms coming our way, and hope we all stay safe! Enjoy your Aloha Friday everybody 🙂

Surf/Bodyboard

Aloha Friday: Bodyboarding at Makapuu

Happy Aloha Friday! Since I’ve been couch-ridden for the past few weeks, I had to scrounge up some photos to slap a post together. I’m usually the one behind the camera, so I don’t have too many pictures of myself surfing. However, on a small, gloomy day when my fiance was injured (usually the only way I can force him to take pictures!) I got a few. It’s small, but hey! It’s time spent in the water.

Makapuu is my favorite place on the island. It’s where I’ve got some of my most memorable waves, really learned how to bodyboard, and – most importantly – where Rocky proposed! It’s beautiful even when it’s stormy, but when it’s sunny, it looks like heaven.

Ahhhh. I’m in love.

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Running

Progress: A Beautiful Thing

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m soooo stoked the weekend is finally here! I got to sleep in a little this morning, do some yoga, and grab some lunch with old friends. Of course, I snuck in some beach time too 🙂 beautiful, right?

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The week was pretty hectic blog and work-wise, so I didn’t get to work out nearly as much as I would’ve liked. However, I did make the best of it, and something magical happened: since my plans got thrown off, I finally woke up and saw how much I’ve progressed. It’s crazy how you can get stuck thinking about where you want to be instead of how far you’ve come. 

A few days ago I had my ‘fast run’ day; I was slammed at work and scrambled to get out in time to fit it in before dark. Since I was a little short on time, I decided to run a mile as fast as I could and then go into my intervals (usually, I do a timed tempo run and don’t worry about distance.) I was shocked by how quickly I hit the one mile mark – I was far from winded and wasn’t even sweating. On a hot, humid, Hawaii day. I thought, I might’ve even come in under eight minutes!

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Not only did I come in under eight minutes, I came in at 7:20. I haven’t ran a mile that fast since my first year of college! When running a 7-minute file was part of our fitness tests for the soccer team. Err, what?!

I’ve been running for a while now, but I’m happiest doing slow, long-distance stints as opposed to quick, fast ones. Since I’m doing my Spartan Race, though, I’ve been diligently knocking out my fast-paced runs & cardio each week. I never thought I’d be able to run a fast mile! And I’m still very, very far from where I want to be. My training is still in its infancy – I can finally see myself running longer and longer distances much faster, something I’ve always wanted but never thought could happen.

Even better, I’m not even sore after my runs! I’ve been doing more stretching, icing, and yoga, and paying attention to my post-run meals. I feel like I’m finally getting this stuff all figured out! And I’m going to spend this whole weekend relaxing and enjoying my progress.

Cheers to next week!

Nikki

Island Life

Aloha Friday: Laie Point

Happy Aloha Friday folks! In addition to a shiny new layout, I’m happy to share a brand-spanking-new discovery.

One thing I love about Hawaii is that there’s always a new spot to explore. Somebody that knows somebody that knows some hidden gem can lead you to another unknown little slice if paradise.

Laie Point is pretty cool – it’s tucked deep into a random neighborhood, and you’d never know it was there from the highway. In fact,
I’ve driven past the turn off a zillion times and never knew what I was missing.

I have no idea how this unique rock/island thing came to be, but it definitely reminds me of my travels to Southeast Asia. It could easily belong in Indonesia or Thailand – but lucky me, it’s on ya short drive away (:

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Eating

The Pescetarian Dilemma

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To eat or not to eat?

Tis the question. Concerning fish, that is.

In the vegetarian world, fish is, well, a fishy subject. Technically, we shouldn’t eat fish. Fish is a living creature, and we don’t eat those. Secondly, catching our ocean bound friends destroys the sea floor and plenty of other unintentional species that get hoisted up in the net with the tilapia, tuna, shrimp, and mahi mahi that sell so well on the market. These poor little guys don’t get eaten,  but instead are often harmed or killed in the sorting process before getting tossed back to the sea.

Another scary thing? Fish farms. Nope, I’m not kidding. We’ve all heard of the horrible abuses and filth of factory farms,  and now they’re popping up in fish form.  Just like their land-born friends, fish are crammed together so tightly that they rub against each other, and often sport sores and injuries on their sides, fins and tails (among other icky animal welfare issues, which I won’t get into at the moment.)

Right now, almost all  of the fish we eat in restaurants and buy in stores are from fish farms. And most of them hail from China’s fish farms, which I’m sure are a beacon of animal welfare and happiness.

Anyways, how does this relate to vegetarians? Oh, yes. Fish are living creatures, and they suffer before ending up on our plates. Yet I’ve met quite a few vegetarians that appear proud of their dietary preferences, but then add, “but I eat fish. Do you?” after a couple beats. One person even told me he’s been a vegetarian for over 30 years (but, alas, he eats fish.)

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Technically, fish-eating vegetarians are called Pescetarians. And, of course, the vast majority of vegetarians don’t dine on marine-born mammals.

For the past three years, I’ve been mostly vegetarian – and I loved it. Although I stopped eating animals solely because of health reasons, I’ve fallen headfirst into the battle for animal welfare. What I love most, though, is not supporting the factory farming system. Which is a scary, scary thing!

What breaks my heart about fish, though, is that most people fail to think about eating fish – as if they can’t or don’t suffer.  Also, it seems most Americans think that the fish they eat at restaurants or buy at grocery stores were actually fished out of the ocean. Sorry folks, but they probably came from a lovely Chinese fish farm.

To me, fish farms actually freak me out wayyyy more than their land-borne counterparts. The fish don’t just stand or wade in their own excrement, illnesses, and disease – they’re freaking swimming in it. Yuck.

Anyways (sorry this is so long!) the whole point is that I have been eating fish. Which may sound totally crazy-hypocritical, but hear me out: I’ve been catching my own free-swimming fish from the ocean. My fiancé is an avid fisher and spear fisher, and lately, he’s been dragging me along with him. And – I LOVE it.

I don’t like killing fish – but if it’s by my own hand, somehow I’m okay with it. The fish isn’t suffering, isn’t crammed in a filthy tank on some farm, and I’m only taking what I need. I can’t explain it, but living off the land (or in my case, the sea) doesn’t feel wrong.

So that’s what I am now – an educated Pescetarian, that only eats her own fish. I’m not supporting the system, and I’m fully aware and responsible of what ends up on my plate. I know my former fellow vegetarians likely totally, totally disagree with me, but it doesn’t matter. This is my life – and it feels right, to me.

P.S. – Here’s my first fish that I helped catch while diving.

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