Oahu, Hawaii – Days 3 & 4

Welcome back!

Did you read about our first two days in Hawaii? You should! 🙂 Just click the link HERE. Taylor and I had a blast driving around Oaha the first two days together, but we had an even better time on the 3rd and 4th day!

We started our 3rd day the same way we started every other day…in the car. On this day, we were heading to the North Shore! On our way North, we stopped at the Aloha Stadium and walked around their flea market. The market is held every Sunday, Wednesday, and Saturday, and I truly believe it’s the best market for all gifts and souvenirs. You’ll also find the prices way better than anywhere in the city. If you can make it out, I’d highly recommend it. It’s $1 per person.IMG_8056They also offer tours of the stadium now! This was perfect for Tay and I. A little football and a little shopping. 🙂 IMG_8060.jpg2Once we were done, we finished the beautiful drive to the North Shore. The nice thing about Hawaii, is that it’s very easy to drive all over the island! Our stomachs were grumbling at this point, so we stopped for brunch at Cafe Haleiwa. This was such a sweet, locally owned place. I ordered their huevos rancheros with a cold brew latte and Taylor had their french toast! Both were amazing. IMG_8071.jpg1IMG_8074After stuffing our stomachs, Taylor told me that he wanted to stop at Turtle Beach. After complaining about how I didn’t want to stop because there wouldn’t be any actual turtles, I was proven very wrong. There were so many sea turtles floating in the ocean and it was really special to see them! I couldn’t get any good photos, but you can see the shadow of some in the picture above. Pictures would never do it justice anyway. You just have to be there. I switched over to metal straws last year to help save our sea turtles, so this was such a special moment. I’m glad he made me get out of the car. ❤ IMG_8073We continued our drive along the coast, and found a beach to rest on. The North Shore is famous for it’s massive waves, so we sat and watched the incredibly talented surfers. The waves were actually so big that nobody could even touch the water unless they were professional surfers. Not that I minded anyway, I wouldn’t dream of getting into waves that size. For some reason I didn’t capture any pictures of the big waves. I guess I was too mesmerized. LOLIMG_8072.jpgIMG_8109.jpgFor lunch, Taylor ordered a BBQ chicken platter from Winna Chicken and I ordered the garlic shrimp from Giovannis. (*peep the new hawaiian shirt 😉 ) IMG_8112.jpgNot to be dramatic or anything, but this was the best shrimp I’ve ever had in my life. ever. I’m still dreaming about it. I discovered all the amazing reviews of this place online and it not disappointed. We took our lunch and sat in the park overlooking the water. IMG_8113IMG_8117IMG_8119For a sweet treat, we split a Hawaiian ice. When in Hawaii right?! Untitled designWe were having the best time together!IMG_81101After stuffing our bellies with delicious food, we drove back to the apartment and showered off before watching the sunset on Ala Moana beach. A sunset in Hawaii is one of the most beautiful things you’ll ever see in life. The colors are stunning and everything is perfect. IMG_8136IMG_8125Travel the World in Style-2IMG_8142.jpg

The next day was sadly our last day in Hawaii. To start the day, we woke up early and drove to Diamond Head. I completed this hike on my last trip to Hawaii and enjoyed it so much that I knew Taylor would love it too! It was a much nicer day this time around. IMG_8155IMG_8156Untitled design-3IMG_8151 Unfortunately, parking was full by the time we got there (around 9:30am) so we had to park a half mile away. Just keep this in mind if you plan on driving. I wouldn’t recommend going anytime later than 10am. When we were on the way off the mountain, there was a line of people trying to get up and it was extremely crowded.IMG_8168We chose to eat lunch at Waikiki Brewing Company after our hike. We ordered some nachos and the bratwurst sandwich. This was a really cool place and the service was awesome!IMG_8172.jpgUntitled design-4The rest of our day was spent shopping downtown and packing our bags for our return to China. 😦 IMG_8192This view didn’t make leaving any easier. Tay said he loved his first trip to Hawaii, and we’re already planning our next visit! Although we were only visiting for a few days, we had a blast driving around the coast and enjoying each other’s company. Trips like this are always my favorite.

Thank’s for reading!

xoxo

Oahu, Hawaii – Days 1 & 2

Aloha!

I’m so excited to write this blog post, because it’s about a trip to one of my favorite places in the world! Hawaii! This is my 3rd time visiting Oahu, and it never gets old. I was recently there in July for a week, so you can read about that relaxing trip HERE. Although this was my 3rd time visiting the beautiful island, it was my first time traveling there with someone!IMG_7991.JPGLet’s start from the beginning shall we? Taylor and I decided to visit Hawaii last week because it’s: a) a place I love and b) one of the only states he hasn’t been to yet. Airline tickets typically range around $700-$800 round trip from America, but we snagged tickets for only $400 round trip from China. We flew from Nanjing to Shanghai to Honolulu. The Shanghai to Honolulu flight was only 8 hours, and wasn’t full. Before boarding, we asked the attendant at the gate to change our seats to single rows by ourselves in the back, so we could lay down. Untitled design-2It was important for us to sleep on our flight, because we arrived in Honolulu at 8am and hit the ground running. After going through customs, we picked up our rental car and drove to my cousin’s apartment. She was away for work, so she let us stay at her place for the week. We’re so thankful! We changed into our swimsuits and started driving up the east coast. IMG_7957IMG_7992img_7978.jpgIMG_8012Untitled design-5After stopping at several lookout points and absorbing the beautiful views around us, we stopped for lunch at Kona Brewing Company on the harbor. We shared a few appetizers and enjoyed the warm weather. We ordered chicken wings, pepperoni rolls, and seafood soup to split. The soup was okay, but everything else was wonderful! This is a great spot to stop at if you’re in the area. Untitled designOnce our stomachs were full, we hopped back in the car and continued driving. img_8015.jpgIMG_8017How cute was our car? 🙂 If you’re visiting Oahu and looking for a less touristy beach, I’d recommend driving to Waimanalo Beach. It’s in a residential neighborhood, and there’s always free street parking. I think the sand and water are nicer too. IMG_2067-2DSC_0013-2We also stopped at Halona Blowhole Lookout so we could experience that small beach too. IMG_80011IMG_7999Untitled design-3After a day in the sun, we ate dinner at California Pizza Kitchen in Ala Moana, and then headed to bed. We were exhausted from a full day of traveling and exploring! (Just as a reference, Hawaii is 18 hours behind China.)IMG_80204

On our second day, we got dressed and packed our bathing suits for the road. Our first stop of the day was Pearl Harbor. We drove up the west coast and arrived at Pearl Harbor within 30 minutes. This is somewhere you absolutely need to visit if you find yourself in Honolulu. DSC_5625DSC_5614DSC_5628I visited this National Park during my first visit to Hawaii, but I was only 17. I’m really glad I had the opportunity to go back, because I didn’t fully grasp what I was learning the first time. They were doing renovations on the Arizona Memorial, so unfortunately we weren’t able to walk through it. However, the boat drove us around and it was free of charge. I really appreciated this. DSC_5608DSC_5621DSC_5610After a morning of learning and remembering, we got into the car and kept driving up the west coast. We stopped for a quick lunch at Island Plantation. This is a locally owned place and they had a great lunch menu! Untitled design-4The west coast of Oahu was really cool! The mountains were stunning, and it felt like we’d transported to a completely different island. The weather was cloudy and stormier, but we had a great time. IMG_8035IMG_80512.jpgLater that evening, when the sun began to set, we drove back to Waikiki and ate dinner at OMG Tacos. This place was sooooooo good. It’s very similar to Chipotle, and it was exactly what we needed after a long day. This would be a great lunch spot if you’re staying in Waikiki. IMG_8055.jpg

After eating, we went back to the apartment and called it a night. I hope you enjoyed reading about our first two days in Hawaii. The second half of our trip will be up soon! Make sure you’re following A World of Crazy for notifications about the next post.

xoxo

Going Home to Lancaster

Good Morning!

I feel like every time I start a new blog post, I’m in a different location! I never thought I’d spend a whole month traveling around and going wherever my heart desired. I think I could get used to this! 🙂

Once I left Hawaii, I flew home to surprise my parents. With the help of my sister and brother in law, we were able to completely throw them off guard. They had absolutely no idea I had plans of visiting, especially before Christmas! I left Hawaii around 4pm Hawaiian time and flew 7.5 hours to Chicago, where I had a 2 hour layover. I boarded my next flight at 6:30am Central time and landed in Baltimore at 9:30 Eastern time. I was EXHAUSTED to say the least. My time zones are completely out of whack. Hawaii was 18 hours behind China, and then I flew home which was 6 hours ahead of Hawaii and 12 hours behind China. Confusing right? 🙂

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Either way, I’ve loved being home and am extremely thankful for the life and career I have, which allows me to come and go as I please. Taylor is still doing well in Tianjin, and you can read about his update HERE. I’m sad he couldn’t come with me, but it was better this way. He’s been having a blast completely immersing himself into the Chinese culture, and I’ve enjoyed being able to see friends and family and refresh myself before going back.

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Coming back to America after living in China for two whole months was one of the best decision I made. I really needed to step away and readjust. I feel so relaxed, and can return to China knowing I’ll only be there for a few months before we return together for the holidays! I wish I would’ve know that I was coming home two months ago, because I think it would’ve made my transition a lot easier. In my mind, I was in China until Christmas!! Coming home has also shown me that I’m not trapped and I can come home whenever I need. The flight is long, but home is always here. This brings me so much peace.

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I’m off to South Carolina next to visit Maybelle and my in-laws! I’ll be there for a few days, and then we’re off on our next adventure! I can’t wait until you see where we’re headed next! Where do you think we’re going? 😉

 

A Week in Hawaii!

Hello everyone! Or should I say Aloha!?

I think I have some explaining to do. Technically, I’m still supposed to be in China right now. However, you know nothing ever goes as planned, so here I am! Let me catch you up on what’s been happening. 🙂 Grab a snack while I try and explain!

We landed in Tianjin very late at night after leaving Hong Kong. Things started going south as soon as we started driving to the hotel. We had to drive over an hour to the hotel that was literally in the middle of nowhere. Literally. It was dark and everything was covered by fog, making the building (can I even call it a hotel?) we pulled up to super eerie. Nobody was at the desk when we walked in, but there were people sleeping on some couches in the lobby. Once these people woke up and realized we were there, they handed us a key to a hotel room. My stomach dropped as soon as we entered. All I wanted to do was lay down and go to sleep, but the room was horrifying. I’m not going to go into detail, but just trust me on this. We tried to find a different hotel the next morning, but there was nothing else around. Taylor and I were both feeling anxious and uncomfortable. This says A LOT, because Taylor isn’t hard to please. When we went to the baseball field where Taylor and I would be spending most of our time, I realized there was no wifi and very little cell service. I know this sounds so high maintenance, but I depend on internet for work.

By the end of the day, Taylor had decided that he was going to stay the full four weeks and finish the job. I really admire this about him. He could’ve went back to Nanjing where he was more comfortable, but instead he stayed so he could work harder and make a difference. Staying wasn’t an option for me. I could’ve probably stuck it out a week, but definitely not a whole month! Taylor knew I couldn’t stay either, so he researched flights and booked a one way flight to Hawaii for me.

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Things could be worse right? 🙂

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I had no plans for my time in Hawaii, except to relax and take a break. We’ve been GO GO GO in China for the past two months, so it was refreshing to return to something comfortable. There’s no better place to chill than in Hawaii! My wonderful cousin lives in Hawaii, and I was able to visit her 8 years ago too. I’m so thankful she took me in for a week!

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As I mentioned above, I really wanted to spend my time relaxing and that’s exactly what I did. Besides working (I love working remotely!), I went to the beach, did some hiking, and ate an abundance of açaí bowls and drank plenty of Kona coffee!

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I didn’t get the chance to hike Diamond Head the last time I was here, so I was eager to do it this time. The views make this easy hike super worth it!

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I also got to hike Moana Falls! It was super wet and muddy, so keep that in mind if you decide to do this yourself.

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My week in Hawaii was a bunch of eat, sleep, beach and repeat. I couldn’t have asked for a more relaxing time!

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Thank’s for following along! I’ll keep you updated on Taylor soon!