All posts tagged: beach

Road to Hana

Driving to Hana is one of the most popular things to do in Maui. It is a one day mission as there is only one route that will take you to Hana. The bar was set pretty high as everyone we spoke to raved about the amazing scenery and beautiful waterfalls and bamboo forests to behold.  Along the way you will see very lush rainforest-like terrains, scattered fruit stands and hiking paths. One’uli is a black sand beach which is a pretty interesting stop if you have never seen one before Some food stands to serve hungry drivers about halfway to Hana. Arguably the most interesting thing on the drive is Kipahulu National Park where you can hike to see the ‘Ohe’O Gulch and the grand finale which is taking the Pipiwai trail to see the 400 foot Waimoku waterfall.   The hike to Waimoku is a fairly easy 2.5mile trip one way.  You will see a lot of interesting landmarks along the way including some pineapple trees and this one tree that has trees growing …

Exploring Maui underwater

If water sports are your thing, Maui is the place to do it.  Unlike the Big Island, Maui is a lot more remote and quiet – perfect to reconnect with nature and take in all the beautiful sights the island has to offer. Snorkeling We snorkeled with Four Winds II and it was an incredible experience. Originally we were supposed to sail to the beautiful crescent shapped Molokini Crater to snorkel, but conditions became rough and we had to head towards another part of the island. Which actually was not a disappointment at all because we saw a TON of tropical fish and even a few turtles! It was amazing how close we got to them… and all the beautiful coral that lived under the ocean. Its another world beneath the surface. Four Winds provided all the equipment, served breakfast and lunch and an open bar. Paddleboard/Surfing This was my first time paddle boarding and it was a lot harder than I thought! It’s easy to get knocked off balance by the waves and because we were …

Sunrise on top of Haleakala

At every destination you will be a told a list of “must-do” things. Sometimes those turn out to be tourist traps, other times you walk away with a glorious memory. Sunrise at Haleakala was definitely the latter. This is a trip that is not for the faint of heart. There is a price to pay and I’m not talking about the $15 entrance fee into the summit. Be prepared to wake up at 3am dressed in insanely un-Hawaiian winter clothes and drive up a windy road up to the summit in a half asleep daze. Be prepared to stand up to some of the windiest conditions 10,000 feet above ground that will leave your face and hands stiff from waiting in anticipation for the sun to peek above the horizon. All of this sounds pretty awful for a trip that promised nothing but bikinis and short shorts 24/7, but let me tell you… Haleakala is a breath taking experience and you will regret nothing. When we reached the top, it was still very early and …

Paradise Island, Maui

Maui is the all encompassing definition of island life – pristine beaches, tropical palm trees and glorious sunsets. Although K & I planned a good handful of fun activities like surfing and snorkeling, we were determined to slip right into the chill lifestyle of Mauians for the duration of our one week excape.  Maui is known for a few must-eat food items: Macadamia nuts, tropical fruits, and Kona coffee.  On our first day, we had a delicious hearty breakfast made with local ingredients at Leoda’s Kitchen & Pie Shop.  I had their Banana Pancakes which was like eating the best banana bread in breakfast form.  K had their house Frittata and a side of Coconut French Toast drizzled in condensed milk.  Two thumbs up for this place! After breakfast we set off to explore the island by driving along the highway that hugs that parameter of Maui. Almost every strip of the drive was filled with views of the dazzling ocean and mighty mountains in the background. There are plenty of spots for scenic views. …

5 days in San Francisco

This is my second time visiting California in 2015. If you recall from some of my previous posts, I swung by Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco in March with my girlfriends. Aside from the fact that I am in love with the weather, this time around I had a very different agenda. The main purpose of my trip was to go camping into Yosemite National Park with my boyfriend which I will talk about in much more detail in the post right after this one. Today I wanted to highlight some of the fun things I did in San Francisco  🙂 The weather in San Fran was perfect as usual – a hot dry breezy mid 20’s.  We walked around Union Square and Market Street – a great shopping area with an generous mix of luxury and mid priced retail stores.  You can buy your Givenchy, Chanel and Valentino, walk a few blocks and find Victoria’s Secret, Converse and Urban Outfitters. One of my favorite things about this city is the neighborhoods.  It’s simply …

San Francisco: Traveling by Segway

Our last stop in California… San Francisco! One of the highlights of touring this city was definitely riding a Segway for the first time in Golden Gate Park. We rode with The Electric Tour Company. The guides were very thorough with their training and the pace was comfortable as we zipped across gardens, ancient trees, and historical landmarks in the park.  They have a bunch of other tours available but I would actually recommend going Segway on Golden Gate Park because it’s a lot of walking if you were to explore it fully by foot. After Segway-ing, we headed to Santa Monica beach which is just an hour South of San Jose.  It’s quite a commercialized family beach complete with your usual amusement park and also a boardwalk with shops and other summer treats. The beach itself is not very big and the view is not that glamorous, but there are a few volleyball nets available.  It’s mostly just a fun place for family and friends to hang out and catch some rays. Fisherman’s Wharf …

San Diego: La Jolla Cove, Balboa Park and lots of Sangria

We were only spending about 2 days in San Diego but it was more than enough to explore the relatively small city. Obviously, hitting the beach was on top of our priority list.  It wasn’t the most impressive beach but it had a very long boardwalk and an amusement park at the end of it.  Cafes and summer homes lined the beach, giving it a very relaxed vibe. A little further away from the city is a place called La Jolla Cove. Some locals described it as very beautiful and a must-see while others gave us an impression that it was just smelly because of the abundence of seals that lounge around the Cove. We took a chance and decided to check it out and it turned out to be worth the trip. It did smell fishy, but only in certain areas and I thought it was worth it to see so much wildlife living in a Cove that literally had hotels and right off the edge with plenty of humans walking around. The seals …

Los Angeles: Santa Monica Beach, Mexican Food and Rooftop Lounging

Day 2 of Los Angeles and it was time to hit the beaches!  We went to Santa Monica beach which was swarming with both tourists and locals looking to catch some rays and fun in the sun. Seems strange to find rows of crosses on a beach but they are placed there in memory of the American soldiers that died in the Iraq war.  Pretty deep for a place people usually go to sun tan. One of the key features that makes Santa Monica unique is the outdoor gymnasium/work out equipment.  You see people doing some crazy athletic poses and moves and its pretty entertaining to watch them perform. Near the beach there are streets conveniently lined with shops and restaurants.  We stopped by Border Grill for some dinner.  The Mexican food is supposed to be very good in California because of the large Spanish community.  The chips are fried in house with a fresh guacamole and the ceviche with crispy plantain was bursting with flavor and my favorite dish. Their Baja Fish Tacos served with three …

Australia – Beach bound on Horseback and Peninsula Hot Springs

Beaches in Australia are nice…but you know what’s even better? Beaches on horseback!  I was so happy I got to tackle one of my bucket list items and I couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful location.  Gunnamatta offers 2-hour horseback riding on the beach and no experience is required.   We were a little bit late when we showed up to place and the moment we got on our horses we started trotting already!  A bit scary at first but after a while you get used to the rhythm.  The movies always make galloping look so easy but it’s actually a lot of work as you need to continuously use your leg muscles to keep yourself steady and to sit up and down while your horse trots. Since we were late, K and I ended up with the naughtiest horses of the bunch – Lily and Rose.  Apparently they were best friends which wasn’t surprising as they were both equally mischievous.  Lily kept cutting in front of everyone and Rose just wanted to go …

Australia – Great Ocean Road drive

8 hours later we arrived in…Melbourne, Australia!!  Kind of a surreal moment when the captain announced our landing in the place I’ve been meaning to visit for the longest time.  Australia’s seasons are opposite what we have in Canada and despite the fact that it was Spring in October when we landed, the weather was quite chilly!  We had some lovely friends who were gracious enough to let us stay with them for our 4-day stop.  The Great Ocean Road drive was the first on our bucket list and it is essentially a long windy road built right next to the coast of Victoria so you get these amazing beach and mountain views as you cruise along.  Every beach was more beautiful than the next.  The waters were so crystal clear.  We drove a comfortable 3 hours of this scenic route from Melbourne to Apollo Bay.  By the way, Australians drive on the other side of the road… it was actually kind of trippy seeing cars coming from the other direction, but you get used …