Yokohama Bay & Kaena Point

We took advantage of the long holiday weekend and drove out to Yokohama Bay and Kaena Point. Lucky for us, the beach was empty and the hike wasn’t crowded at all. Highlights from the hike (besides the unreal views) include a Hawaiian Monk Seal swimming up on us as we dangled our feet in the water completely oblivious, the baby albatrosses, spotting a baby needle fish and a sea cucumber. Quite the wildlife adventure! We rewarded ourselves with some fantastic Puerto Rican food!




How I’m Feeling About Monday


Last weekend we went to the beach with my mom who is visiting us. Luckily for us, there was a monk seal hanging out. He/she decided they were done looking at everyone and decided burying their head was a great idea. Love this picture!

This is how I’m feeling about tomorrow being Monday.

Jan & Bob Visit Hawaii!

A couple weeks ago, my aunt Jan and uncle Bob came to visit. We did all sorts of fun things including hiking, snorkeling, kayaking and eating all sorts of food. So happy they were able to come spend some time with us. We had an amazing time!


Intense waves on our Kaena Point hike:

Ending 2016

We started 2016 with a hike so we decided to end it with one as well! It was a beautiful day so we headed to the Northwest part of the island to hike to Kaena Point and then spend the afternoon at Yokohama beach. It was a morning filled with animals — plenty of whales on our way to the point, albatrosses in their protected environment and we saw five Hawaiian Monk Seals at Kaena Point (one of them in the water deciding whether or not to come in). We spent the afternoon enjoying the beach and relaxing. A great way to end 2016!

Hawaiian Monk Seals

Last weekend we went to Kaena Point with my mom and we were lucky enough to see three Hawaiian Monk Seals. Since there are only about 1300 left, this was quite a treat! There are estimated to be about 25 on Oahu so we felt pretty lucky to see three of them!

And We’re Back!

After a lovely (and mostly cold) couple of years in Chicago, Josh and I decided to move back to Hawaii in July. We were lucky enough that all of the stars aligned to make it happen — Josh got a job here, my company allowed me to keep my job working West Coast hours, we found a place to live and purchased it (site unseen..more to come on that in a later post) and coordinated a move across the ocean — all in a matter of a couple weeks.

It was an incredibly tough decision knowing we’d be leaving our families again and living so far away, but it was too good of an opportunity to pass up. Our dream of moving back was actually becoming an reality!

Fast forward a few weeks….we moved out of our place in late June and into my mom’s house for a few weeks (temporary stop #1). Josh left in the beginning of July to start his job and I left a couple weeks later to meet him there. A few Airbnbs and hotels later, we finally closed on our place and moved in at the end of July.

After a few weeks of unpacking and getting settled, we finally feel like things are becoming “normal”. I’ve started volunteering at the Boys and Girls Club and this weekend we are planning on spending time with friends and going on a new hike. I won’t be blogging every day like I did the first time we lived here, but I’m planning on posting all of our adventures and any fun things we do so we can stay connected with our families and friends.

Thank you to everyone who has supported us over the last several months. We couldn’t have pulled this move off without your love and support (and special shoutout to my mom and Tom who are babysitting Nola until she is done with quarantine and can fly over to meet us).

Volunteering a few weeks ago for BGCH. Started our morning with a monk seal sighting and some beautiful weather.

Oahu: Part 4

Thursday was our North Shore day. Our tentative plan was to stop at some of our favorite places (for both food and scenery). First stop was Giovanni’s shrimp shack in Kahuku…quickly followed by delicious corn on the cob.

We continued on to Haleiwa..and along the way we stopped at one of the beaches for our third monk seal sighting of the trip!

We made it to Haleiwa (which has changed quite a shops, restaurants, etc). Even with all of the new stuff to choose from, we decided to share a Matsumoto’s Shave Ice.

Cherry, Grape and Pineapple

Cherry, Grape and Pineapple

After walking around and enjoying Haleiwa, we started our way back to town. On our drive back we saw yet ANOTHER monk seal..making our total for the trip four! Which is a lot considering they are critically endangered with about 1,100 left. We also got a glimpse of Sacred Falls on our drive back!

We made it home to shower, change and make the sunset at the Tantalus lookout. It was a bit cloudy, but we still got some great pictures.

After a beautiful sunset, we met Kevin, Saki and Kion (Kevin is Josh’s friend from the Marines) for dinner at Sweet Home Cafe. The restaurant is a Taiwanese-style hot pot and shave ice place. It was absolutely delicious!

On Friday, our last full day there, we hiked the Hanauma Bay ridge. This was another new hike for us and it completely blew away all of our expectations. It was a gorgeous day and we could once again see Molokai, Maui and Lanai. I think the pictures will do a better job of describing how gorgeous it was! The waves were quit insane…Josh took an awesome video!

After that incredible hike, we drove around the east side of the island for the last time and got some poke at Hibachi again in Kailua.


After my last poke bowl, we went back to our apartment to shower, change and get ready for dinner at Duke’s!

On our last day (so sad), we checked out of our airbnb at 10:00 AM and went to Diamond Head Cove Health Bar for one last açai bowl.


After enjoying the deliciousness, we drove around the area a bit checking out all of the cool houses and then had an early lunch of Shabu Shabu (my fave).


We then headed to the airport to catch our flight. It was absolutely amazing to be back and Josh and I left there even more determined to do our best to live there again one day (especially since it was 43 degrees and raining when we landed in Chicago). I am so thankful we were able to go back and see our friends, get outside after SUCH a long winter and enjoy some of our favorite foods! 🙂

Oahu: Part 2

After a couple days of volunteering, it was the weekend and time for some hiking! Our goal was to do some of the hikes that we didn’t get to do while we lived there. The first one we started with was the South trail to Kaena Point. We had taken the North trail a few times but hadn’t ever explored the South side. Our drive there was stunning. It was our first time to that side of the island and neither of us realized how pretty it was!

After a pretty awesome trip to Kaena Point, we were both starving and went straight to get some poke at our favorite – Ono Seafood.



We went back to the apartment and showered before deciding what to do for the evening. We decided on eating at House Without a Key at the Halekulani hotel in Waikiki. We sat outside and enjoyed the amazing weather and a really great meal to end our day!

The next day, we got up and hiked Kuli’ou’ou Ridge. This is one of our favorite hikes on the island and we were really excited to get to hike it again. The view of the Windward coast at the top of a hike never gets old!

After the hike, we got lunch near Diamond Head at Bogarts and then had my favorite açai bowl from Diamond Head Cove Health Bar.

So delicious!

So delicious!

After a shower, I met some friends from BGCH for dinner at Side Street Inn while Josh did homework. We tried tons of different food as it was family style. So fun!

On Monday, we had a laundry day and then met Andy and Anna at Bellows beach to hang out. I sadly didn’t take any pictures at the beach…too much fun catching up! A great way to end our long weekend!

Hawaiian Monk Seal!

Today, I was driving down the road with my boss and a coworker, after checking out a hike for a field trip for our summer program, and Liz spotted a Hawaiian monk seal, or ʻIlio-holo-i-ka-uaua, sunbathing on a beach. They are an endangered species and it was so INCREDIBLE to see one in person! We were able to get so close and he didn’t seem to mind. He even snorted and rolled over onto his stomach after a bit. I can’t believe how close we got! It’s days like these that make me want to live here forever :).