aloha hawai’i

what a time to be alive

Rainbow Falls, Hilo, HI

Buying a one-way ticket to Hawaii is mind-blowing. However, being here now absolutely takes the cake. You guys, this place is everything you see in every picture. The photos that look edited, color-enhanced, and ‘look at me-esque’, ARE REAL. The geography of this island is INSANE and I’ve only seen about 20 square miles of it so far. There are about 4-5 bridges between our house and town, and I clap and lose my mind over EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. every time. I am a walking, breathing, exclamation point with adrenaline that is probably making my blood pressure elevate to unsafe levels. Let’s get to it, though. Here, I plan to document nearly every detail of our trip LIFE for the next two months. Here is what you need to know to to get yourself a one-way ticket into our loop:

  • “Us/We/Our” refers to Mara & I.
  • We live on the East side of the Big Island in Hilo.
  • We are living in an airbnb until the mid-second week of August (the whole freaking summer. what.) It’s a one-floor, wide-open, wooden-heaven, windows-open-24/7, travelers’ dream home.
  • Because employees here are often travelers, we haven’t had many issues finding resources. A nice man named Peter, rented us a car (2005 Ford Escape) for the time we are here. He also lets us use snorkeling gear, lawn chairs, boogie boards, etc. anytime, for however long, ever. wow.
  • Mara is a travel nurse working 40 hours a week at the Hilo Medical Center on a Med-Surg Unit. (travel tip: find yourself a nurse and travel with them. #walkingpharmacy)
  • I am in the process of beginning my job doing behavior therapy for tots with Autism Spectrum Disorder in their home. I’ve been doing online training the past few weeks, and meeting every tiny requirement to become a Registered Behavior Technician. This is actually a credential I can tack onto my special ed title. (I have to fly to Oahu to take an exam next week for it. bum-mer. #lifeisrough)
  • Rainbows are an hourly occurrence here. It’s literally the rainbow state.
  • Wild-hogs are a thing and are everywhere. They run at the speed of light.
  • My heart is racing just typing this because I want every person to experience the bliss of Hawaii right now in this very moment.
  • ANY suggestions, tips, dude-you-have-to bucket list items are WELCOME. However, we consider ourselves native Hawaiians so nothing cheesy. LOL. I’m a pasty white girl wearing Chacos and a backpack filled with all essentials in it at all times. But, native.
  • My plan is to return a forever-bronze, island girl who just happens to live majority of her life in Wisconsin/Minnesota.

Stay tuned – SO much more to come!!!

|| Update June 11, 2018 ||

I come writing to you from a beach chair on a lava beach after hanging out with a loggerhead turtle!!!

Here are some fun things – enjoy!

  1. EVERYTHING in Hawaii starts with an H or a K – pull up google maps, it’s a real thing.
  2. Get this – Target has the cheapest groceries… what an excuse to go to Target ;)
  3. The cheapest gas price at the moment is $3.64 (when you pay cash)
  4. The cheapest gallon of milk is $4.97 at Target. I KNOW BUT I NEED IT.
  5. Our kind property manager’s assistant brought in baby goats so now we have new members of our little neighborhood! (They are not named yet)
  6. We live about 20 steps from a Lychee Orchard. Okay, we’ve decided that lychee looks like a giant raspberry, has a pit like a cherry, you peel it like an orange, and it’s the texture of a grape. They’re amazing and I can’t believe I’ve been alive for 23 years without knowing this delicacy exists.lychee.jpg
  7. Speaking of delicacies – Subway is the bomb here.
  8. Everything (meaning most things) are closed on Mondays. Just a Hawaiian thang.
  9. There is such thing as Hula Ministries at New Hope Church. 5 Hula dancers graced us with their talents at church yesterday to Danny Gokey’s song Rise!
  10. PSA: we now know where Yankee Candles get their ‘Ocean Mist’ scent from… Wai’olena Park & Beach in Hilo, Hawaii. It’s a real scent!carl smith selfie
  11. We experienced our first cockroach, pray for us. Mara put a Tupperware container on it and slid a piece of paper under it and I took it outside. We immediately went to Target to buy Raid and Mara covered every possible roach entrance of our house (every window sill and baseboard). Future visitors, don’t worry we got this.
  12. We also learned the hard way to take trash out very often. I opened the trash to throw something away and felt like I was being punished by a plague of flies. GROSS. You should have saw it, I ran outside with the trash can at the speed of light.
  13. Speaking of delicacies… HAWAIIAN SHAVE ICE (It can be Scandinavian or Italian, it’s just ice with sugar flavor in it)IMG_2765
  14. We went across the island to Kona this past weekend to celebrate King Kamehameha (Hawaiian Holiday honoring the King who united the 8 islands) and watched a parade. It was awesome – no candy, no big crazy advertisement gigs, just each Island’s representatives riding horses in IMMACULATE attire.20180609_103107
  15. Hawaiian tip #243 – listen to the lifeguards when they toot their horn and warn you of a big wave. You may not see it coming, but I PROMISE it’s coming and they don’t calm down for one frightened Katie.20180609_164038
  16. Hawaiian tip #186 – TAKE THE SCENIC ROUTE and hike down some hidden path, you may just end up in the Hawaiian Botanical Gardens after hours and witness beauty you never thought was real. You guys, we LIVE in Pinterest.
  17. Spending all afternoon at a beach in beach chairs and hammocks is good for the soul. And ordering pizza.

|| Update July 21 , 2018 ||

We’ve been able to show some guests around the island in the last few weeks!
Abby posted a vlog of her time here, check it out!
Hawaii 2018

Tom and Sharon joined us for 9 days and we did all the things! Here are just a few:











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