Beginning of November

Upon my return to Hawaii I jumped back into my routine quickly as I knew I needed to stay on track before I left for Kauai for Thanksgiving.

My roommates and I spent time on the sandbar, I worked, I ran, and I hung out with friends.

Here are a few highlights:
Sandbar with my roommates and friend Liz.
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15 mile run with a reward from ‘Ai Love Nalo (vegan restaurant that is amazing!)

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Out for the night with Liz and Chelsea where we ran into a few of our friends:

Election night: Tasting beers I brought back from Kansas City at Tatum’s house and hanging out on the roof listening to the boys play guitar and sing.

Reward for running 20 miles: Belgium Waffles with Nutella, Strawberries, and Whipped Cream then hanging in the hammock at my aunt’s beach house:

Another day on the sandbar:

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Tuesday yoga under the stars:

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Blessing my Kahuku project site:

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A cold, rainy day on the sandbar:

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Hiking some north shore pillboxes with friends and eating shrimp at Romy’s:

Then onto Kauai to hike the Na Pali Coast for Thanksgiving.

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2 Weeks Back in the Midwest

I may have been back in the Midwest, but that didn’t mean that marathon training was on pause. Sunday morning, I woke up and met my friend Stephanie for a 10-mile run on Indiana Creek Trail. The run was easy breezy through gorgeous fall leaves and we even ran some of the path that I use to run over lunch. After the run we went to Urban Table for a bubbly brunch.

Sunday afternoon I went to my old neighbor Meredith’s house. We watched the Chiefs game, let our dogs play in the backyard, and watched our new guilty pleasure show Lauren and Ben Happily Ever After. I’m not always into TV shows, but the Bachelor Family of shows is what we bond over. Mostly trying to figure out how these people function in real life.

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It was warm enough to be in a swimsuit! (photobomb by Sam)

Monday, I took myself on a little tour of KC. I visited the new Boulevard Brewery Tasting room, took a touristy photo overlooking the city at the WWI monument, and ate a late lunch on the patio of Gram & Dunn on the Plaza.

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After lunch I went with my parents to my mom’s oncologist appointment. She was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in the end of August and since then has had surgery to remove the lump. The appointment was a post-surgical checkup and to see what kinds of treatment we are going to use moving forward. We went to The Well in Waldo for Burger Week and I got my Boulevard Wheat!

Tuesday stopped by Lee’s Summit to get my hair trimmed since it had been over a year (Thank you Katie for fitting me in!)! Then I did something I haven’t done since moving to Hawaii: I drove for 4 straight hours to St. Louis. Once in St. Louis I went on a 9-mile run on Grant’s Farm Trail. Unfortunately, they weren’t open on a Tuesday so I couldn’t get a free beer post run (stay tune to Sunday).

Wednesday, I took my grandma out to run errands. That evening we went to Uncle Kevin’s house for dinner as my cousin Tara was in town from college for the evening. It was good seeing them as they will be visiting Hawaii in January!

Thursday, I woke up late and my Uncle Danny took Gram, I, Leah, and Miss Kate to lunch at Delaney’s. It was a continuation of Gram’s birthday from the previous week! After lunch I went for a short run and then got ready for Amanda’s and Josh’s wedding rehearsal and rehearsal dinner!

The rehearsal was easy (just walk down the isle and stand until the bride and groom exit) but it was so good to see Amanda and Josh (and other college friends. The rehearsal dinner was at their house which I saw the week after they bought it right before I moved. The house has changed a lot and it truly is starting to look like a home! I also got to meet there “too smart for his own good” dog.

Wedding Day! Friday we started decorating for the reception at 8 am, then we went to the salon for everyone to get their hair done! Amanda hosted us with bellinis and snacks since we were there over lunch and then we ordered pizza. After our hair and makeup was finished we went to the hotel for more champagne and to get our dresses on. Once we got to the venue the picture taking started, and so did the beer (thank you groomsmen!)

When we all got ready for the ceremony to start we had to finish our beers before going down the isle, and it seemed very cold for my newly acquired Hawaiian blood. The ceremony was beautiful with some very personal touches (which are what I truly think makes the ceremony special).

Being as I didn’t take a real date I did take photos of my dates and did a photo booth session with my “date.” My date for all weddings is alcohol, and I’m so terrible at commitment that I can’t even commit to one type of alcohol for the entire night. I’ll usually have a mix of wine, beer, champagne and whiskey: Thank goodness I don’t get hangovers…yet.

Fun Fact: Two of the groomsmen had dates also named Molly. Seriously, the only time I’ve been in a room with two other people my age named Molly.

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Saturday, I did late appetizers and beer with my childhood friend Brittanie! We went to Schalfley Bottleworks and sat on their patio for hours. I cannot get over how nice the weather was while I was in the Midwest. That I could be outside in October, in long sleeves yes, but no coats! We had a family dinner where my cousin Kevin made some amazing ribs and I feasted on dessert and then went to bed super early.

Sunday, I did a 13.1 mile run (yes a half marathon) on Grant’s Farm Trail. After the run I got on the tram to get my free beer which was a very nice reward after a solo half marathon. Sunday evening Gram and I went to Uncle Danny’s house for his birthday dinner.
After dinner, I drove to Columbia to spend the night and visit with Michaela (and Scout).

Monday morning, I drove back to Kansas City to have lunch at Lidia’s with my Grandma Troop. I caught up on her travels and told her all about living in Hawaii. I think knowing that I snorkel with sharks scares her. Monday afternoon I went to IBEX gym to get some rock climbing instructions so I would be more comfortable with trying it when I got back to the island. That night I went over to the Houk’s house. I watched the Houk kids for 4 years, and the 8 months that I’ve been gone is the longest time I’ve gone without seeing them. I hope they come visit Hawaii and I’ll be able to visit with them here!

Tuesday I went to lunch with my friend (known her since I was 4) and hair dresser Katie. We went to this place with awesome and cheap tacos in downtown Lee’s Summit. No trip to downtown LS is complete without a trip to Poppy’s Ice Cream where I was able to get my favorite flavor that I can’t spell and can barely pronounce, Tuesday night my PiYo friends and I had girls night! These girls and I created a bond when we let Kelsey teach us PiYo in our old work’s basement and we spent time gossiping, working out, and drinking wine. The stories went late and I stayed even later to talk to Steph. I ended up sleeping there (thanks for hosting Steph)!

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Little bit of Hawaii at KC Girls Night

Wednesday I did a short run and hung out at the house as my mom got her port put in that day. Thursday I visited Lee’s Summit Medical Center. The last time I went there was right before I left to let the people who worked there know that I was moving. This place was a huge part of my life in 2015, and I felt I needed to go back to show the people who cared for me how well I am doing now. They saw me in the worst of my days and the comment I kept getting was “You look so healthy!” Which is good because I feel so healthy.

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Thursday night my parents, Leigh, Tim, and Jeremy went to the new Crane Brewery in Raytown. They specialize in sours and in my opinion most were good and if I didn’t like them (Beet Weiss) at least it was creative…

After the brewery, I went back to Meredith’s house to watch more Ben and Lauren . I woke up Friday with my last full day! I finished up some laundry and started packing everything up, knowing the beer was going to take a lot of weight/room.

When my parents got off work we went to Boulevard tasting room with KP and Robin. I did a flight of beers and my friend Sarah met me there. Sarah and I will then went to go to La Bodega for wine and tapas and waited for Paige to meet us. Once Paige arrived we went to Torn Label Brewery-recommended to me by an old co-worker. Thankfully I have some of the best parents and my dad was my UBER and picked me up! Per usual after drinking I was very talkative on the way home.

Saturday morning, I woke up at 3:30 am for my dad to drive me to the airport. My dad walked me in and helped with my bags. I had to remove my coat from my checked luggage so it would make weight for flying. I then gate checked my new hiking bag (free!) so I only had to carry my backpack. United upgraded me to the exit row for my first flight to Houston, and once in Houston I changed my seat hoping that I would have an entire row to myself! 

The flight back to Hawaii was 8 hours, but landing back in paradise was priceless. My aunt and uncle picked me up and dropped me at my house. I hastily unpacked and my roommates and I went straight to the beach! We took Bodhi for his first beach time. It got cloudy and a little cool, but it was so great to touch the ocean as soon as I was back. I went to bed early still recovering from the time change, but I was glad to be back…

I’ll leave you with these photos of my dog, Roxy who lives with my parents now.

Best Start to a Week That Ends in Missouri

After my 3.5-hour restful nap Saturday night, I woke up to pack for the day as I knew I wouldn’t be home much and needed to get everything together because sometimes you have no idea what you will end up doing once you leave your house, thus you must be prepared for all activities.

The day began with hiking Pu’u ma eli eli with my running friend Tatum, her boyfriend, Mike (I finally got to meet him), and my friend/their roommate John. While it isn’t a long hike (only 1.5ish miles) it is tough enough you feel like you have done a hike, but have enough energy to go and do more things during the day. The view from the top is my favorite and as a quick hike this is one of my favorites. It is tree covered so you are only in the sun at the very end and you can sneak views of the bay throughout the hike.

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After the hike my friend Mike picked me up for our rescheduled shark dive tour with One Ocean Diving. We used the real highways to get to Haliewa, so we had some time to spare, so we stopped at a smoothie shack in town and got some nutritious fuel to fill us up (the shark dive was from 11-1 so we needed a little something before).

One Ocean Diving was great! They gave us a full lesson on sharks, shark behaviors, what to expect, and the research they do. I felt pretty prepared since I had gone with another group a few weeks prior, but this one had a lot more education. You could also tell that Jules (our guide) was very passionate about sharks and the research she does.

When our boat started to get in the area someone spotted a shark in the water. We then stood up to see more and started counting them. Mind you the last time I did cageless shark diving there were 2 sharks most of the time and a 3rd one that came at the end. This time we were able to count 12 sharks in the water before we even got off the boat. I won’t lie, this made me a little more nervous knowing there were going to be more sharks than people in the water.

Jules got in the water first and called to our captain about what sharks were doing and started naming out the ones that they see often in the area. I chose to be the first one to get in and I was so surprised at how many there were. I couldn’t count them all as they were moving around a lot. They were mostly Galapagos and a few sandbar sharks. They were majestic just swimming around and their movements are so fluid. There were times when the boat would rock more than others which caused the sharks to get more curious and come closer.

We were allowed to dive a little deeper to be closer and swim with them when Jules allowed. However, it was hard to get too deep in the water because you aren’t supposed to use your hands as they attract attention being paler than the rest of your body. The entire experience was amazing and by far my favorite thing I have done since moving to Hawaii. I am unable to explain the sense of adrenaline and calmness and wonder that I experienced while in the water. I highly recommend for everyone to try it as it is something that you won’t easily forgot.

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Swimming with Sharks

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Swimming with Sharks

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Swimming with Sharks

As I am writing this three weeks late the rest of the week was a blur of getting ready for Kansas City.

Monday I ran we met at Big City Diner, Tuesday I had another flag football game and we won! Wednesday I ran Lanikai Loop early as I had a work meeting and was late to running group. I met up with everyone afterwards though. Thursday some of my running friends and I met at the Kailua Farmers Market then we went to Lanikai Brewery where we met up with even more running friends. I made my way to the other side of the bar and helped a little bit with serving as the place got crowded.

Friday was a day full of stress and I was trying to make sure everything was in order before I left. Thankfully everything was taken care of, but my face was breaking out like noone’s business. I got on the plane at 3:50 pm for my layover in Chicago. The poor lady who sat next to me had just hiked the Na Pali Coast Trail and I asked her about a million questions the first hour of our trip. After that I left her alone and let her sleep, but I couldn’t get to sleep at all.

From Chicago to Kansas City I was able to sleep for about an hour of the flight. When I landed in Kansas City my parents met me at the airport and granted my one wish of the trip home. They drove me straight to Lawrence, Kansas to get a taste of the Waffle Iron waffles. I found the Waffle Iron last year when I couldn’t eat and once I could there was never a weekend that the restaurant popped up that worked with my crazy schedule of being out of town. THE WAFFLES DID NOT DISSAPOINT! Sam Donnell is a master at the toppings. My parents and I shared our waffles so we could try a few different ones. The ones we picked were the Blackberry Lemon Curd, Raspberry Almond Cream, and Cookie Butter & Brown Butter Cream Banana Brulee. All three waffles were amazingggggggggg! I recommend that anyone going to Kansas City area try to find out where they are going to be and make the stop. It is totally worth the wait. Also since Sam had lived in Hawaii I was able to pay him in Madre’s Chocolate from Oahu.

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After breakfast we went home and I reunited with my dog Roxy. She was a mix of confused and excited as she saw me for the first time in 8 months. I then started unpacking as well as reorganizing things so I could figure out what I was going to take back to Hawaii. My best friend Angie came over and we caught up and hung out. I took her to LC’s BBq since she had never been and it was one of my family’s favorites.

Well 15 Miles Wasn’t Easy…

The week started off with the Brio 25K. I woke up at 3 am thinking that would give me enough time to prepare for the race so it was a very early morning. I got to the race and was feeling great until mile 5 when I had to stop and go to the bathroom (thank you Kalama Beach Park for being open!). I then had to stop again after mile 11 to go again at Safeway. Other than those two stops my pace wasn’t too bad. I think I just need to do less the day before a big run which means no more rock jumping and beer the night before…

It was also my farewell to Rebecca for the next 3.5 weeks. We had a perfect encounter with someone who knew our ex-boyfriend and I think we shocked them with how good of friends we have become. #weirdestfriends #iaintsorry Adventures to come when we are both back in town!

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Rebecca and I after the 25K

Post run thought was AMAZING! My friend Eric who lives near the race offered to make brunch for our running group. I arrived with the other guy who ran it and walking up to the house I could already smell the bacon. After I did a quick rinse-off shower I started stacking my plate with the pancakes. As I’m placing them on my plate I say “You know what would make these pancakes even better…*cue looking down at the pancakes GASP*… Did you already put chocolate chips in these pancakes?!?!” He read my mind. Thus brunch consisted of chocolate chip pancakes with slices of bananas, whipped cream, real maple syrup, and bacon. I am ever grateful for that food as having it all prepared and ready to eat was a perfect end to the run.

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You don’t even understand how good this breakfast was

Once the non-race boys were getting ready to leave to go on a hike that involved rock climbing, Mike and I went to Lanikai beach just to chill in the water post run and post brunch. The water felt great and the weather was perfect. Since neither of us brought sunscreen we didn’t stay long, and I left to go hang out with my aunt and uncle for a little while at their house.

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Lanikai Beach Post Race

Sunday evening, I went to flag football practice. Yes, that’s right, my beer league flag football team is serious enough that we have practice on the weekends. Luckily this one ended with a cookout and beers at Jess’ house in Kahala which meant quality time with Jess and Lucy! I did leave a little early and was home and in bed passed out before 9:30 pm which really isn’t that surprising but I didn’t hear my phone go off at all that night.

I did a good slow 5 mile pre-club run before Aloha Run n Chug. We did about 4 miles around Enchanted Lakes and I had some good splits thanks to Tatum pacing me faster than I normally run! Again I’m so thankful for my post run beers. Training for this marathon has been so enjoyable. With my weekly runs getting to do 5-7 miles alone, then another 3 to 5 with friends, and the ability to socialize after has made a true difference in my positivity and commitment to training. For all of the people I’ve run with over the last two months THANK YOU! While this is fun and all I’m looking forward to December when I can just run with the running group and don’t have to get out there early to run the extra mileage.

This week flag football was on Tuesday night, so I missed yoga on the beach. Because I was still sore from Sunday’s race I got to the game early and went through a few yoga flows which popped a lot of my stiff joins and stretched some muscles.

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Kickoff

We were playing against an undefeated team with a quarterback who played in college. We had scouted him and he was very good under pressure and liked to throw long into the end zone. While we lost I had a few great plays! I caught the ball for a first down, and later since they were leaving me wide open I caught a touchdown pass. I got the ball for the extra point, but my flags were pulled before I got over the line. We had our post-game drinks at Tropics (just a few pitchers between the team). We strategized for the coming weeks.

The boys finally wore me down and talked me into joining their trip to Kauai to hike the Na Pali coast over Thanksgiving. Hiking the Na Pali was the big thing I didn’t get to do on my May Kauai trip so I’m really excited. However, this will be my first overnight camping/hiking trip so I’m leaning on lots of people who have already done it for their advice!

I was late to Wednesday run club because I misjudged my pre club run. Thankfully I was able to find them on their route so I could finish with them! Post run beers at Whole Foods was a great end, and it was Fiona’s last Wednesday night run before she returns to England so it was good-bye evening!

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Pre Club Run Views

Thursday Eric and I went to Pearl Harbor to get a tour of Mike’s submarine! (no pictures because #security) We got to walk along the top of the sub go inside on all 3 different floors and climb the scaffolding on the top to get up to the very top of the tower where sometimes Mike sits in the open when they are out to sea.

We first walked through the control room, met one of the sonar guys who gave us more details into what he does (Eric had tons of questions I felt unprepared for this tour), saw the kitchen and where they ate (watching TNF), toured where the different sleeping quarters were, visited the torpedo room and saw the torpedoes, and ended the tour in the Wardroom where apparently the officers eat and where surgery would be done if needed in an emergency. It was crazy to think that they have everything they need for about a month (longer if they need to) and that over 100 men are on the sub! If you ever know someone who will offer to give you a tour take it, because it puts things into perspective of what it is like for them while out to sea.

Friday was rest day before Saturday’s run. To help relax I went to my very first acupuncture appointment. A friend from my marathon training group recommended Catherine Kurosu MD, Lac. One of the reasons I liked the idea of going to her was that she is a medical doctor so she would fully understand what I went through in 2015 as well as how important my medications are to me. I had always wanted to try acupuncture, but this nagging pain I had in my left hip really was my reason for going at this specific time. While it didn’t bother me when I ran, it was painful when I stretched and just an annoying thing to deal with.

After we did a full medical history and she and I got to know one another Catherine set up the bed so I could lay on my stomach as she was going to put the needles on my back and legs. I truly felt onl I got a lot of the extra stuff out of my car, did 3 loads of laundry, and organized my room. I started pulling things out that I need to take back to Kansas City when I leave on the 14th. Fairly productive night. Got to spend some time with the roommates and puppy Bodhi!

Saturday’s run was out in Waipio. I ran 10 miles and had a great pace and felt wonderful after the run. I drove home to shower and realized I still had 2 hours to burn until meeting up with my friends at noon. I decided to do more organizing, put college football on the TV, and played with Bodhi. I did think about going for a short hike, but then would need to shower again…blah blah blah.

I took my flag football friends to Stewbum and Stonewall brewery in Kaneohe. Its smaller than Lanikai with fewer beers, but still a good place to try something new. The owner Darren was in Colorado at the Great American Beer Festival so they didn’t get to meet him.

After the brewery we packed everything up and went out to Waimanalo to chill on the beach. It was a super local move, but we road in the back of our friend’s truck so we could take one car instead of two. The beach was really nice as it is one with shade, so other than the time I spent in the ocean it was just a day in the shade and the sand staring out at the ocean. It was a clear enough day we could see Molokai which I hadn’t seen before.

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Waimanalo Beach

After the beach we rocked out in the truck on the way back to Kailua, stopped at Foodland and bought an epic amount of food to take to the house and grill. We had all kinds of different steaks, veggies, corn on the cob and stayed in our day clothes and ate on the lawn. Two people decided they were getting tattoos that they didn’t get the night before so we rolled up to a tattoo parlor that was open and watched them go through the process. I can now say I have been in a tattoo parlor, but I don’t think I’ll be going back to get any of my own. Thankfully the tattoos turned out the way they wanted…

It was decided that we couldn’t yet end the night, so we went to Bob’s to go drink more. They have a dance floor so naturally I took over. I had stopped drinking hours before and was pretty sober, but as my friends know that won’t stop my ridiculous dance moves (sometimes my soberness encourages me to look the drunkest). I had my sarong wrapped around my shoulders because I had been cold earlier and used it as a prop in my dancing mostly like a cape. Not to brag, but I got some compliments. When the bar closed we went back to the house and hung out.

Finally, when everyone was going to bed and I realized how late it was I drove home so I could get a good 3-hour nap in before gathering myself for my busy Sunday.
(Spoiler: it includes a hike, swimming with 30+ sharks, and a nap on the beach)!

Swimming With Sharks…Literally

I left off last week saying that I stayed up too late for my Sunday adventure. I still made it on time though to go CAGELESS shark diving. The opportunity came up on Friday when my friend Liz said they needed one more person to fill the boat that they were going on. She really wanted me to come because she thought I wouldn’t be as scared and she knew that I was looking to try it.

We got out there around 6:45 am for our 7 am boat ride (mainland peeps Haliewa is over an hour away from my house), and after a few short instructions about where the life vests were stored we were off. The water was very glassy and the sun was still coming up on the ocean. Ryan our boat captain gave us some insights into the sharks we would be seeing: that they eat crabs, they might get close to us but they aren’t looking to eat us, GoPros give off energy that make the sharks curious about them, etc.

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Beautiful Sunrise Over the Ocean

Once we got to where we were planning on getting in a shark came right up to the boat! In the moment I looked at the size of the shark (bigger than me) and just thought “I am seeing a shark and I’m going to get in the water; most of the time I would be doing the opposite.” I pulled my wetsuit on (not really necessary) and slowly entered the water with my snorkel gear the way Ryan showed us.

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First Shark Siting!

We didn’t actually dive we just snorkeled in an area near the boat, but we had two sharks that were consistently swimming with us. While I was 95% sure they weren’t going to attack us, any time they swam straight at me my heart skipped a beat and then about 4 feet away the shark would dive down avoiding me. The scariest part was toward the end of the excursion. We had been swimming with the same two sharks the entire time and I was pretty comfortable with them, then all of a sudden a third shark started swimming up from the bottom really fast. I was willing it to go away just thinking “I’m cool with these two sharks we have our rhythm everything is good, but I have no idea what this third shark is or what it is thinking.” Luckily it was another nice shark that just swam with us for the last 5 minutes, but it was a little nerve racking knowing that you are in their home and if they don’t welcome you, well they have big teeth…

After the boat ride I drove down to Waihole Valley to help a friend set up and park cars for a baby shower she was hosting on her gorgeous property. I was pretty exhausted and didn’t know the mom to be, so I spent most of the time talking to my friend’s dad/my landlord in the back of the truck and taking a nap in my car.

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Waihole Valley-Wilkenson’s Property

After the baby shower I skyped a few friends from home then left to go to the west side to Ko’Olina hoping I would get a hike in with some friends. However, they had been swimming all day and the hike turned into dinner and ice cream (still not terrible).

Monday I ran with Aloha Run n Chug. I ran with my friend Fiona and we chatted most of the way. Thankfully on our way back someone caught up to us and told us where to turn otherwise I think we would have gotten a little lost.

Tuesday I woke up feeling stuffy and throughout the day I wasn’t feeling better. I went to yoga and made it about 20 minutes in before I got up and went home. I was in bed asleep by 7:30.

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Wednesday I found out that my friend Tatum and I won spots to go to a release party for Lanikai Brewing Co.’s newest beer “The Beach Cruiser.” While I was feeling up and down all day, by afternoon I was doing great and went for my 7 mile run. I showed up to Lanikai Brewing in my running clothes, changed in the bathroom and then joined the party (I def added some more deodorant). The new beer is classified as a Pale Ale, but tastes close to an IPA. It was really good, but since they were offering I tried a few other of the older beers too. Trey introduced Tatum and I to some other regular customers that I had seen there before, but hadn’t met. I also somehow made my way behind the bar to get a new perspective. I felt like I was back in college working at the winery just serving drinks and drinking myself.

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After Lanikai Brewing, I met the Lanikai Juice runners at Whole Foods. Mike, Eric, Kyle and I booked our spots to shark dive on Saturday afternoon. We were going to try to go with One Ocean Diving since that was the company that I had originally met and wanted to go with. I still made it to bed pretty early that night as well.

Thursday my Kailua friends and I carpooled to flag football. After being down a touchdown we ended up coming back and winning. We had some pretty awesome interceptions by the defense and our offense got in more of a rhythm. We celebrated our post game victory at Proof with a few PBRs. Thankfully I have friends on the team I can carpool with now so I don’t always have to make the drive into town!

To celebrate the fact that most of us were going to run 15ish miles on Sunday my running group leader #CNRunningCrew hosted a pasta dinner for 40ish people. There were three different kinds of pasta, bread, and lots of great desserts. It was really fun to meet more of the racers I don’t always get to talk to but see every Saturday and to catch up with Rebecca. I hadn’t seen her in 2 weeks and we realized we wouldn’t see each other most of October with our vacation schedules.
Also I’ve decided I’m in the longest committed relationship I’ve been in for years… with running. Honestly I’m more committed to running right now than I’ve been with any guy I’ve dated in years. Even the last guy I dated I had a rule that if something better than our plans came up I was going to take it which sounds terrible, but being new to the island I didn’t want to miss an opportunity for something new and exciting. Maybe that says something about the guys I’ve dated…

Saturday I woke up and did some stretching and ab workouts at home, then met up with some of the running guys to go to Haliewa for our shark diving adventure. When we were almost there they called us to tell us that the weather wasn’t good and they were going to have to cancel our trip out for the day. We mulled over our options at the Haliewa Joe’s in Haliewa and decided to go to Waimea Bay and jump off the rock there and play around in the water. (Photos still to come)

The jump was shorter than Laie, but it still took me some time to get up the courage to jump. Once I did we all swam out to the smaller rocks and played around with the GoPro doing different dives and having contests. Then we went back to the bigger rock so we could get video jumping off of it from different angles. Every time I got to the top it took me less and less time to make the jump.

After jumping we went back into Waikiki and had dinner at Yardhouse. I tried their Passion Fruit Sour which doesn’t taste as sour after drinking the sour beers at Lanikai Brewing. We then stopped at this bakery nearby for macarons. I got the Kona Coffee and the Cinnamon Bun, and Mike let me try his Red Velvet one and the Salted Caramel one. They were all delicious and soft and just perfect. Probably not the best “night before a race” food but totally worth it.

Onto next week!

Start the Week off with a Helluva Hike

Last Sunday some of my running friends and I went out to hike Ka’au Crater. I had seen a few pictures of this hike and had been wanting to do it since March, but someone told me it was probably too challenging for me. After my resident hiking expert (whom I totally trust) Rebecca told me it was totally doable, I set my sights on it. When the weather turned out to be not ideal for our first hiking choice, my running friends and I figure Ka’au Crater would be a great one to do, as with all the rain the waterfalls would be gorgeous.

The hike was extremely muddy and we crossed streams multiple times (which helped clean us off). In the hike there are 3 waterfalls and somehow we missed the bottom of the first one. We ended up at the top of it and figured we didn’t want to turn around so we would just play in the second waterfall (which is exactly what we did!). The water was refreshing and we had fun taking pictures. It wasn’t deep enough to swim in, but we waded around in it. The 3rd waterfall we literally climbed the rocks right next to it! Once we got to the top we could see out to Waikiki. Coming down was very slippery and while we had rinsed a lot of the mud off in the waterfalls it didn’t matter because we just continued to get muddy.

I have no idea how long the actual hike was, but the entire group had fun along the way. I’m currently looking at spikes to purchase to go over my hiking boots so I can do the Ka’au Crater Rim in the future to see the full view! After the hike we ate at The Counter in Kahala. Their build your own burger is the best idea and the prices were really reasonable (and we were starving).

Monday I had Aloha Run n Chug club! I got 5.5 miles in before our 4 mile work out. I ran with my friend Libby and a girl who is visiting for a month named Fiona. They bumped my average pace up to around 9:45 minute miles, but we had a lot of fun talking so I didn’t notice. At Big City Diner after the run I talked a few of my running friends into cageless shark diving that I’ve been wanting to do! While I think we are all a little nervous to be swimming with the sharks it will be very exciting! (Planned for Oct. 1st so I’ll have a pretty cool update then!)

On Tuesday I invited Fiona to my Lanikai Beach Yoga. We had a wonderfully relaxing class. We practiced some arm balances (which I was not good at this week since I was still sore from Ka’au Crater). But not much beats the beach yoga with a view of the mokes. I’m so glad I found it and make it a part of my weekly routine.

I also had a lilikoi (passion fruit) for my post-yoga snack. I have to share because I know very few people back home have actually seen one! I think they are delicious and everyone should try them, but even here they aren’t found in grocery stores. You have to know someone who has a vine or buy them on a road side stand

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Wednesday was Lanikai Running Club. One of my friends that I met early in the group showed up again, so it was nice to catch up! I cut the run a little short since I did 6 miles before club started, but I got a full 10 in that day. The group (plus some new people!) went to Whole Foods after for our post-run beer. I got the Maui Mana Wheat. It’s one of my favorites when I’m missing Boulevard!

Flag football on Thursday I got to play on the defense this week. I’m really not 100% sure what to do with a zone defense, but I think I’m learning. We lost again, but after game beers at Proofin Chinatown helped nurse the sting of our wounds. (I had the Waikiki brown ale even though it wasn’t on special, I just can’t get into drinking PBR.)

I should have gone to bed earlier on Friday, but I had an almost expired Groupon for 6 people to go on a sunset catamaran sail around Waikiki to see the weekly fireworks. My friends Jess, Liz, Brian, Freddy, and Becca came with me and we had a great time! It was BYOB and BYOFood. Also being that I’m like a child and love fireworks it was a great. It was through ManaKai Catamaran and I would do it again. Seeing the fireworks over the water is just a beautiful experience.

Saturday was another long run day; however, we were tapering (only ran 11 miles) since we have a 25K race the next weekend. While at home changing I was startled by a gecko friend who decided to live in my closet for the day. (Mainland friends-it is very common for geckos to roam around indoors. I’m always startled at first when they move, but you just try not to stop on them and you live peacefully together!)

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After the workout I took some friends to Lanikai Brewery since they had never been! Everyone enjoyed the tastings (of course) and Trey and Scott were available to answer all beer and Hawaii related questions.

After the brewery I took them to Kalapawai Marketto get one of my other obsessions: Uncle’s Ice Cream Sandwiches. If you haven’t you should go get one. We then spent the day enjoying Kailua Beach, which since I’m in Kailua all the time I ran into multiple running club friends who were also enjoying the beach day.

We ate small plates and apps for dinner at Kalapawai Café (different from the market). I love going there with a group and being able to sample all of their different options. The night ended with a few rounds of Cards Against Humanity and Jenga and I stayed up way too late to get up as early as I needed for my Sunday adventure (next post).

 

Apologies for the lack of photos again.

Jumping Into the Week

Sunday I drove Meredith to the airport so she could go back to Kansas City. It was nice having a friend visit again, but with marathon training ramping up it will be nice to focus on myself for a while.

After a quick morning nap two of my running friends picked me up for an afternoon adventure. First we went to Laie Point. I had planned to jump off, and after watching Kyle it seemed easy, but standing on the edge my legs buckled more than once. I took some long deep breaths up at the point and had many false jumps before taking the plunge! Once in the water we tried to climb out, but the waves were higher than expected, so Kyle and I swam to shore and then walked back to the point. If we had been able to climb out I think we would have made a few more jumps.

Then I road in my friend Bruce’s convertible up to Turtle Bay (gorgeous drive with the top down)! The hung out on the beach then snuck into the pool and hot tub, and left right before we got kicked out.

Monday was the last Aloha Run n Chug beach run for the year (now we just meet at bars). Due to my toenail getting ready to fall off (loose toenails and sand don’t mix) I did the road route with a few other people. We then had a post run potluck on the beach and played with the pups that run with us!

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Aloha Run n Chug Group

On Tuesday the weather was pretty iffy. I captured some waterfall pictures off the H-3 while traffic was at a standstill. Seeing the spontaneous waterfalls out of the mountains is one of my favorite sights.

Tuesday yoga was tentative, but we made it through most of the work out before the rain came through. Below are a few pictures from our resident yoga photographer!

Wednesday I had a great pre-run and group run with splits lower than I have been averaging. I think getting back to my schedule really helped. We made it to Whole Foods for our post run beer and started making plans filling upcoming weekends with hikes and camping trips!

Thursday was my first flag football game. Our team is more competitive than I anticipated, but everyone is fun! I didn’t stay for the happy hour since I had a long drive back to Ka’a’awa, but I’m looking forward to having more post-game fun next week!

Friday I moved some stuff back to my real house in Kaneohe, and spent the night there since my early run was in Kailua. It gave me a chance to really “meet” the baby chicks, and I got to snuggle and hang out with Mr. Bodhi Jordan and Chelsea’s puppy. He is getting so big and while he can be cute and cuddly I’m missing a black slippah that I know he has hidden somewhere…

For Saturday’s long run I switched up groups. It was fun meeting new people! I was able to run and talk the entire time and once we got on the subject of how I knew Rebecca things came full-circle for the group.

After the run I had people over to grill and hang out at the beach and backyard. While the weather wasn’t super sunny the rain did hold off! We did a little bit of kayaking but mostly played volleyball and hung out in the water and ate food. While the clouds put a little damper on the fun for me (just because I know how gorgeous it is when the sun is out with no clouds) the clouds helped set up some breathtaking sunset photos.

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The best part about being 28 and hosting “parties” is that everyone helped clean up when they were leaving. Also, my aunts neighbor came over at 7:30 pm to join the party and everyone had just left to start going home. #partyresponsibly #earlytobed

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Captured this moon over the ocean after everyone left the party

Overall it was a great week with friends and my marathon training felt really good!

I lost a Week and a BFF Visited

I forgot to record anything that I did Aug 28-Sept 1. It was a pretty normal week Monday run, Tuesday yoga was canceled because of rain, Wednesday run, Thursday I stayed in and rested, Friday my friend and Roeland Park neighbor Meredith arrived in town!

Friday (Sept. 2) I picked Meredith up and we got groceries. I struggled over whether to buy 2 or 3 bottles of champagne to celebrate with for the weekend. (We caught up on the previous week’s Bachelor in paradise: guilty pleasure). We had dinner at Mike’s Huli Chicken which has been featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. We both loved it and I will take more guests to visit!

Saturday I had my long run so I left Meredith to go to Saturday Lanikai Beach yoga. I wasn’t feeling great and stopped running early so we hung out on Kailua Beach watching the CrossFit Competition and stuck around for my running group potluck.

Meredith and I took the tourist picture with the King Kamehameha statue (she did mention this was the Hawaii 50 building, I corrected her). Then we visited the Iolani Palace (something I hadn’t done), and learned about Hawaiian history and royalty and how the United States came to take power on the island. It was very insightful and humbling to see how the lives of the Hawaiian people were changed with the differences in power.

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Me and Meredith with King Kamehameha

After the palace we visited Waikiki and I showed her Duke’s and then we visited Tiki’s Bar and Grill per a recommendation from her co-worker to try the edamame. The edamame did not disappoint: it had truffle oil, shoyu, and salt, but the truffle oil made it phenomenal.

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Best edamame I’ve ever had

To top off the evening we met my friend Liz at China Walls for sunset. After sunset we went to Bubbies for ice cream and ice cream mocha!

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China Walls Sunset

Sunday was supposed to be rainy thanks to Hurricane Lester. Meredith and I thought we would take advantage of the morning sun by reading on the beach and drinking Champs with frozen raspberries in it. 😉 (We fancy!) This ended up an all-day thing as the storm never really touched down.

Monday was Labor Day and I invited some of my friends over to enjoy the Ka’a’awa Beach and backyard. This also gave Meredith the chance to put faces to the names of many of the people I tell her about when I talk about my Hawaiian Life. We had drinks, a few coconuts cut up, got the grill going, played volleyball, kayaked, and enjoyed the water. (and per usual I forgot to take photos…)

I skipped Tuesday yoga so Meredith and I could watch the Bachelor in Paradise Finale. Ah! So many couples got engaged and found love (and Meredith and I laughed and joked about the entire thing, we can’t take the show seriously).

Wednesday I went to my running group again. We added more members to the post-run Whole Foods beer group! I think we are becoming a pretty great group of friends who can adventure and beach together and I’m excited to do more.

Meredith and I had some adventures planned for Thursday evening BUT they came to a quick end when the alternator on my car fried and wouldn’t start. Thankfully a few AAA calls, Meredith’s 100 free towing miles, and Chelsea being able to pick us up and take us home made it easier. (Also the trip to Stewbum and Stonewall for a quick beer tasting after dropping the car off helped make everything easier.)

 

Thankfully the car was able to be fixed around lunchtime on Friday! After we picked up the car Meredith and I made a pit stop for fish tacos at Waiahole Nursery & Garden Center. The fish tacos are an absolute must (get there before 4 pm) and I also enjoyed my smoothie which fresh fruit based on what they have fresh that day! It is a place on the side of the road right after the Waiahole Poi Factory, and I can vouch that everything looks and tastes amazing!

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Waiahole Nursery Fish Tacos…YUM!

Friday night Meredith and I spent the evening just hanging out in the yard. We made dinner (as we had most nights) with arugula from the garden and basil pesto with basil from the garden. We had to go to bed early so we could wake up for running and yoga Saturday morning.

Saturday was Meredith’s last full day in town which was very sad! We made the most of it though! After my run and her Lanikai Beach yoga we went to Waikiki for a Mai Tai Catamaran ride. We had a few glasses of champs while we cruised around the ocean and past Diamond Head.

After we docked we headed into Kailua for apps at Cactus. I took her to the “famous” Lanikai Brewery for a tasting, and we ended the day with Uncle’s Ice Cream Sandwiches from Kalapawai Market! We then went home for our final salad from the garden, wine, and great conversation that had us laughing all evening.

With Meredith here I got asked the question multiple times if I plan on moving back to the mainland, and all I can say is I don’t have a ticket booked…

Running More Means I Can Eat More Chocolate, Right?

Monday (8/22) started exceptionally well with a 4.25 mile beach run followed by 3.75 mile run around the Lanikai Loop with the Aloha Run n’ Chug Group. After the run we had some beers and apps on the beach (I mostly ate some locally made chips and salsa)!

On Tuesday I left the house a little early for yoga (never know what traffic is going to be like going into Kailua), so I had some extra time before yoga. I stopped in Kalapawai Market and picked up one of Uncle’s Handmade Ice Cream Sandwiches (Double Dark Chocolate Duh!). Dark chocolate ice cream in between two chocolate cookies. I am confident saying it is the best ice cream sandwich I have ever had and everyone who goes to Kailua beach should stop in for an Uncle’s ice cream sandwich!

After my ice cream detour, I went to beach yoga and was rewarded with some amazing lights over the Mokes. While it is hard to keep balance on the uneven sand the view makes the additional difficulty worth it.

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Beautiful views over the Mokes

Wednesday I went to the Lanikai Juice running group. My run was faster and harder than most of my runs, but it wasn’t as long. Only 4 miles on Wednesday. I met some new people in the group and we decided to institute drinks at Whole Foods after our Wednesday runs. (Beer is a great motivator.)

Thursday I had a busy day at work and had to stop for lunch at a bagel place call Lox of Bagels. I had all the intentions to getting something semi healthy, but they had chocolate chip bagels that could be smothered in Nutella… so obviously I chose…

Thursday evening I had homemade fish tacos at James’ and PJ’s house with my cousin Val. Later I headed to Lanikai Brewing Co. for Thursday drinks with friends (I truly love this brewery if you can’t tell).

Friday I stopped at the Kamehameha Shopping Center off of LikeLike Hwy into town for a quick snack and stumbled upon a wonderful bakery! They make what I can only assume are some amazing cakes and cupcakes after tasting my chocolate smothered doughnut. I’m looking forward to someone having a birthday or reason to celebrate so I can order a cake from there!

Friday I visited the Kaneohe brewery that I’ve been meaning to try. My cousins and I stopped by Stewbum and Stonewall. They are smaller than Lanikai and usually have 4 beers tapped. The owner is very nice and the beer is fabulous! I suggest a visit after Fresh Catch for poke!

Over the weekend I made it out to the sandbar with friends and dropped PJ and James off at the airport for their Italian vacation. I officially moved to Ka’a’awa for the next three weeks. The ocean view makes the drive absolutely worth it.

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First sunrise at Kahakai Cottage

Running, Running, Running, Hiking and a Puppy!

Last week  (Aug 15-21) got started as many of my weeks do with the first day of work and my Aloha Run n’ Chug group in Kailua. Unfortunately, as I am training for the marathon I have to get to the club early and run a little extra. What I’ve found is that I really enjoy running when I’m just doing it for enjoyment and training and not trying to push myself too hard. Six miles didn’t seem as hard as it once did! 🙂

Tuesday’s yoga class was glorious! We had an almost full moon rising while we practiced and we stopped to take a break to bask in the beauty and take photos. The colors of the sky and the ocean continue to amaze me.

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Lanikai Beach Yoga Class

Thursday I made it to the Kailua Farmer’s Market for the first time. Like a true adult I had ice cream for my first dinner and then had a vegan Turkish dish for a real dinner. After the market I hit up Lanikai Brewing Co. for a Thursday wind down beer tasting. They can’t do anything wrong when it comes to beer.

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The craziest day was Friday when I got home from work and my roommates surprised me with their new puppy Bodhi! He is an adorable mix of a mutt and just adorable. I had to go to bed early to get ready for Saturday morning running, but he has been a fun addition to our house!

Saturday was my long run day with my marathon training group. I only did 5.5 miles as I wasn’t feeling well and had plans to kayak to the mokes with my cousin and her husband. After the run I grabbed some snacks from Down to Earth grocery store. I met Val and Scott at Kailua Beach as they had the truck with the kayaks. (We had planned to meet at Lanikai beach since we had our own kayaks, but it was a 3 day weekend due to state day and we couldn’t park in the loop.)


The mokes provided a new view for me seeing the Lanikai beach from afar. It was hot out at the mokes so we didn’t stay too long. We hiked around for a while and explored before having to kayak back (my arms haven’t had that kind of work out in a long while).

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Sunday I did most of the hike behind Friendship Trail. Once it started really down pouring I turned around. At the bottom I met a lady named Sheryl and she told me she was thinking of doing the old Pali Road, so I followed her and went on the trail with her and her daughter. The hike wasn’t hard and you can really make it as long as you want. Just another hike to add to my Sunday rotation!

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