Category — Canada + USA

{travelogue} 12 Things I Love On Hawaii’s Big Island

I just got back from a week on the Big Island of Hawaii and wanted to share some of my favorite places and things. I am not going to say that these are the twelve BEST things to do, because I am by no means an expert on the place. But here are some things that I thought were spectacular! I’d love to hear any recommendations for next time, too.

Big Island of Hawaii


Place of Refuge (Pu’uhonua o Honaunau) – Honaunau
A super special place by the sea, this national historic park is worth a visit. Learn about Hawaiian history with cool wooden carvings and replica houses on a palm-shaded seaside. It has a 500-year-old, 17-foot-thick lava rock wall and some neat tidepools, too. [Read more →]

April 7, 2016   1 Comment

{aloha advice} More of the Best Things to Eat in Maui

I thought I had seen and tasted most of Maui by now, since we keep going back again and again – but on our most recent trip, I found even more fantastic things to eat. I was especially wowed by the new-ish Star Noodle, which we went back to multiple times. I wish I could go there right now. It’s in a weird warehouse-y area and seems an unlikely spot for the best food in Maui, but I definitely think it’s a contender. The Filipino “Bacon and Eggs” was one of my favorite dishes.

star noodle maui

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June 27, 2014   No Comments

{travelogue} Maui Update: More Favorite Eats and Activities Around the Island

I love Maui – it’s one of my favorite places in the whole world. I have written previously about some of my favorite places to eat and visit in Maui, but that post mostly covered the Western part of the island. Since then, I have made enough repeat visits to explore most other parts of the island as well. Here is a second round of suggestions for great things to eat and do on Maui!


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August 5, 2013   1 Comment

{recipe} Ham and Cheese Pancakes

I love sweet, buttery, maple-drenched pancakes–for about one or two bites. After that, I want salt! Luckily, this problem is easy to solve. Simply add ham and cheese to the inside of a fluffy buttermilk pancake, and you have a nearly perfect breakfast.

ham cheese pancakes

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July 19, 2013   8 Comments

{photojournal} America the Beautiful – Favorite Photos of the USA

Since it’s the 4th of July, I thought I’d share some of my favorite photos of different parts of America. We have some stunning, interesting, and unique spots in the USA! Happy 4th of July, everyone.

hearst castle

Hearst Castle, San Simeon, California

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July 4, 2013   No Comments

{10 second vacation} Dog Sledding in Montana

What could be better than spending the day with dozens of sweet, energetic dogs pulling sleds through the snow? In a word, nothing. Sure, it’s cold and snowy, but the exhiliration of guiding your own eight-dog team takes care of that quite nicely. A major plus of this experience is that I got to spend a little time in the picture-perfect Old West town of Livingston – a treat whether you’re hanging out with huskies or just on your own. 

I arranged my dog sledding experience through the funky and fabulous Chico Hot Springs Resort. Rumor has it that Teddy Roosevelt once stayed there, too. 


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April 4, 2013   No Comments

{10 second vacation} The Floating Lantern Festival in Honolulu, Hawaii

Every year on Memorial Day, there is a huge Floating Lantern Festival at Ala Moana Park in Honolulu. People make paper lanterns to commemorate loved ones who have passed away, and at sunset they light a candle with each lantern and set them into the ocean. It is a moving experience that is aesthetically and emotionally very beautiful. For more information, check this website. You can find more of my Oahu and Honolulu recommendations here

lantern scene

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February 17, 2013   1 Comment

{canadian getaway} I Went to Tofino and Wanted to Stay Forever

There is a magical place way up on the northwestern side of Vancouver Island, in British Columbia, called Tofino. This map will show you exactly where it is. I went there somewhat randomly and I ended up loving it so much, I kind of wanted to stay forever.

To get there, you take a little 7-seater prop plane from Vancouver, which lands at an airport that is approximately the size of your house. As you fly in, you see the incredible landscape of Clayoquot Sound and the countless inlets, bays, and islands that define the landscape.

True story: we arrived late and the car rental guy was no longer there, so the guy who flew the airplane had to give us a ride. Canadians are nice.

October 2, 2012   3 Comments

{travelogue} Favorite Unique and Cheap Oahu Eats

You probably think of Oahu and your mind goes somewhere like this:

It’s a great place to visit – with sparkling white sand, clear blue water, peaks to hike, and palm trees swaying in the breeze. But one thing you might not realize is that this island paradise also boasts all kinds of unique and delicious culinary delights! Fortunately, the best things also happen to be pretty cheap eats. Here are some of my favorites.

Mochi at Bubbies
You can get ice cream almost anywhere in the world, but fresh mochi is a rare find. Head to this unassuming strip mall location for homemade mochi balls in dozens of flavors ranging from chocolate with peanut butter ice cream to passion fruit and sakura (cherry blossom.) The ice cream at Bubbies is also top-notch, and as a bonus, the sundaes are named to raise an eyebrow or two. Bubbies: two locations in Honolulu; check website for details. 

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August 16, 2012   1 Comment

{travelogue} Chicago: Eating, Drinking, and a Few Other Things You Might Want to Do

For some reason I keep going to Chicago in the middle of winter, so mostly I spend my time eating and drinking (and being cold) when I’m there. Occasionally I get around to doing other things, too – so here are my top picks all around.

Eating & Drinking

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January 12, 2012   No Comments