Oahu Adventure

My husband and I boarded a plane on a chilly October morning. It was the day after the first snowfall of the season and we were happy to be headed off to a much warmer destination. My in-laws take frequent trips to Hawaii and, every couple of years, we join them. This year we decided to fly out a day early to spend some time enjoying the island, just the two of us.

We stayed in a little yurt on the North Shore near Haleiwa. Andrew bemoaned the outhouse-style toilet and lack of air conditioning….wimp! I, on the other hand, was obsessed! From the outdoor shower under the mango tree, to the birdsong all around us, it felt like our own little slice of paradise and was a dream come true. This AirBnb had all the thoughtful touches, romance, nature, and beauty that one would hope to find in a tropical getaway and I can not recommend it enough!

The next morning we woke up before the sun and went on the hunt for coffee and good food. We happened to find both at Kono’s Northshore. After eating our breakfast burritos at the cafe-style tables outside the restaurant, we took our coffee to go. We drove over Rainbow Bridge and found a little stone wall nearby where we sat, drank our coffee, and soaked in the cool, early-morning sunshine. After finishing our coffee, we got back in the car and decided to explore the rest of the North Shore. While driving, somewhat aimlessly, we stumbled upon Ka’ena Point State Park.

We raced down to the beach, both eager to plunge our feet into the waves. While there are many wonderful features of Colorado, the ocean is not among them. As Pacific Northwest natives, and having grown up on Vashon Island myself, we both had been craving the feeling of sand and surf between our toes. We spent the rest of the morning enjoying the beach and reveling in the relaxation and romance of Hawaii.

Frolicking on Oahu’s North Shore

The next day was Andrew’s 26th birthday. It feels like the years have just been flying lately and it was nice to be able to take a step back and reflect on the past year of his life, over Mai Tais at the beachside bar. As I have mentioned in the past, I am all about intentional living. A big area of growth in my journey to more a conscious life, has been learning to take the time to notice and appreciate the now. It is so easy to get bogged down in an unending list of to-do’s and upcoming moments, and completely miss the unique sweetness of the moment we are in. There is nothing quite like a celebrating a birthday in Hawaii, and this was not lost on either of us. There was much gratitude felt in those moments of reflection. We watched football, went out to dinner with his family, and spent some quality time soaking in the sweetness and beauty of another year of life and growth.

The first few days of vacation were pretty low-key, but that did not last for long! We were lucky enough to enjoy a multitude of activities. One of the biggest highlights for me was snorkeling on a catamaran cruise surrounded by the coral reef fish. I also went parasailing with Andrew and my mother in law, kayaking with my sister-in-law and her boyfriend, hiked Diamond Head and even went on a ghost tour! All these activities made the rest of the vacation fly by.

Views From Diamond Head Hike

Leaving Hawaii never gets any easier. I do , however, always leave feeling refreshed, ready to get back into my routine and full of happy memories made with some of the people I love most in this world. I am so thankful to be able to spend time with Andrew and his family in such a beautiful place. I look forward to the times that I will spend on the beautiful islands of Hawaii in the future. In the meantime, I intend to treasure all the memories I will make between now and then. Aloha and mahalo, Oahu!

Hawaii October 2019

The Telluride Film Festival and An Introduction to the San Juan Mountain Range

I had the opportunity over labor day weekend to volunteer at the Telluride Film Festival. My friend from college reached out to me when she saw that I had moved to Colorado and invited me to join her. Her mother lives in Telluride and, while she had visited Telluride before, she had never volunteered at the TFF before. I had been dying to explore the mountains already, and so, I jumped at the opportunity.

Telluride, CO

My friend Rachel flew into Denver, I picked her up from the airport and then we were off! It was so surprising to me how quickly the bustling city and suburbs of Denver turn into little mountain towns. The scenery along the 7 hour drive was nothing short of glorious. The interstate is bordered on either side with mountains, lakes, rivers, stately rock formations, and all sorts of foliage and wild flowers that I had never seen before.

Scenery Along I-70 Heading to Telluride

Telluride is a small town nestled in the beautiful and rugged San Juan Mountain range. The TFF has been going on for 46 years. This festival is special because it draws in premieres of big movies and is attended by stars the likes of Adam Sandler, Emma Stone, Christian Bale, Adam Driver, and Angelina Jolie, as well as many others. Despite this fact, the vibe is very relaxed and stars enter the theaters and sit and watch the films with everyone else. The fun and excitement of the film festival is paired beautifully with the scenic, small town atmosphere. It is truly an almost surreal experience and unlike anything I have ever encountered before.

Telluride, CO

Volunteering was itself such a unique and enjoyable opportunity. I saw some amazing films without paying the large price tag for a festival pass. The days were long and busy but the work was enjoyable and fairly easy. I met some truly fantastic people and the staff party on the last evening of the festival was one of the best nights of my life. I would highly recommend volunteering at this festival to anyone. It is an unforgettable experience I will look back fondly on for the rest of my life.

View Looking Down Colorado Avenue in Telluride

After spending 5 days in Telluride we began our drive back to Denver. We decided to stop about half way and stay in Crested Butte. Crested Butte is another small mountain ski town but felt very different from Telluride or Vail. It was much more laid back and down to earth. I plan to bring my husband back for our anniversary because I fell in love with it after only 24 hours.

Downtown Crested Butte
Mount Crested Butte – Elevation Hotel and Spa

I feel that this trip was such a good one to do right after moving to Colorado. It was a wonderful introduction to the mountains and I was able to visit some of the towns on my bucket list along the way! I was already in love with my new home, but after that trip I am officially head over heels. I can not wait to explore this beautiful state more in the future. It is truly a wonderful thing to love where you live!