Black Sands of Maui

Aloha everyone!

My time here in the Hawaiian islands has finally come to an end and it's been a pleasure as always. Unfortunately, during my stay on Maui, high winds prevented me from doing the zip-lining and snorkeling I signed up for, but that's okay. Next time. My family and I did a road trip instead, from West Maui to East Maui. Along highway to Hana, we stopped by the Garden of Eden in Koolau Rain Forest Reserve (pictures coming soon) and visited Wai'anapanapa State Park, home to the beautiful black sand beaches.

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      When I stand on these beaches of Hawaii, I still find myself in awe. It's amazing to think about how these beautiful islands are here for us to see & enjoy. Who knew that something so violent & disruptive as a volcano, could make something so beautiful?

      And to think, how long it must have taken for all of that lava to erupt from beneath to ocean floor, the plate tectonics to move & create those mounts, and for a single seed to begin the introduction of vegetation to these volcanic islands. It took hundreds and thousands of years to create something this beautiful!

     All in all though, I would say that this second trip to Hawaii was a success. We got to experienced everything we liked about Oahu & Maui, that we liked last time, and everything else was a new experience!

      Of course, I can't wait until the next time I can visit the Hawaiian islands again. There's so much more I want to experience and do, like learning to surf, paddle boarding, snorkeling with sea turtles, finding the red sand beaches in Maui, and hiking through the Bamboo Forest. I think before I my next trip though, I'll work on becoming scuba certified first. 

I hope you guys enjoy my recent posts from my week in Hawaii. You can read more about my other adventures there here. Until next time, keep on dreaming my travel & adventure junkies! xo JEN

Beach Hopping East Oahu

Aloha everyone!

My visit to Oahu has now come to an end & by the time you guys are reading this, I'm probably in Maui. I don't think I'll every get over how beautiful of a color the coastal waters are. I could stare at it forever, so for our last day in Oahu, we spent the day beach hopping along East Oahu, towards the North Shore. There seemed to be no end the places that made us want to stop on the way, like Halona Blowhole (above) & Hanauma Bay State Park (below, taken with my Rokinon 8mm Fisheye lens).

We stopped at a total of 4 locations on our way to the North Shore, some of which, I don't even know the name to, like the place above. Everywhere I looked, the view was breathtaking, and I loved the contrast of the dark volcanic rocks against the bright teal waters and warm sandy beaches. I've said it before, but I'll say it again: I think I'm going to need to move here one day. The weather is addictive, and the views & vibes are like a ballad to my soul. I can't wait to come back again.

Thank you all again so much for reading. Hope your Hump Day is treating you well. Adventure on adventure junkies! xoxo JEN

Diamond Head

Hello my fellow adventure junkies! Spent the other morning "hiking" up Diamond Head crater. I say that with parentheses, because it was actually a lot easier than I expected, but the view was more heavenly than I could have hoped for. 

We started the hike at 6am sharp, because that's when the tunnel gates to the center of the crater (and the trailhead) opened. I wish I could have started it sooner, because I sure love sunrise hikes, but I loved the pictures I got anyways.

This was definitely the perfect type of hike to bust out a fisheye lens. I had my 8mm f/3.5 prime Rokinon fisheye lens the entire hike up, which allowed me to capture more of the view, and finished up my ocean view shots at the top, with my Canon ultra-wide EF 17-40 f/4L USM lens, which still allowed me to capture more of the view, but reduced the distortion of the horizon. All in all a fun hike & shoot! -JEN

DETAILS ON EQUIPMENT USED HERE

Waking Up 26 in Waikiki

Aloha from Waikiki Beach everyone!

Spring break officially started at 12 o'clock noon yesterday, and yesterday I flew out of Seattle at 1:00pm, so I could spend my birthday in Honolulu, Hawaii. Yes, that's right! Today I'm officially 26 years old, and I have to admit, it doesn't feel too different. I remember being so worried about this ominous number every year, but it doesn't matter to me anymore (especially since I got carded today already). I've realized that life is just better when you spend less of your time worrying. Plus, I know I take care of myself & I feel young from that.

For the past couple months though, the only goal I had was to eat the best eggs benedict I've ever had, for breakfast on my birthday. I'd like to say that mission was accomplished :) I've tried eggs benedict everywhere in Seattle, but nothing compares to the Seared Peppered Ahi Tuna Eggs Benedict with wasabi hollandaise sauce, at the Hula Grill Waikiki. Plus you can't beat the view.

After breakfast we shopped along Kalakaua Avenue and strolled along Waikiki Beach. Eventually we discovered these beautiful catamarans, which happened to give 90-minute cruises, throughout the day. $40/person & unlimited drinks included! If you do happened to go on the Na Hoku II, say hi to Captain Jeff. He's from a Seattle & yes, he's a huge Seahawks fan. :)

I just couldn't ask for a better birthday (ok maybe I could, but that's a cookie filled story for another day). 

The weather was perfect over the aqua blue waters & the breeze on the water was so refreshing, We got a perfect picture view of Diamond Head Crater, along with the waterfront of our hotel. I definitely got my dose of adventure for the day (& maybe a sunburn too lol). Pure gratitude, that's all I can say.

Thanks for reading again guys. I hope you're al getting some vitamin D tool! - JEN

Garage top // Hollister skirt // Ray Ban sunglasses // Banana Republic cardigan // Lilly Pulitzer for Target iPhone case

Postcards from Maui

For the second half of our trip to Hawaii, we spent it in Maui, which has a much more laid back feel to it. I was able to spend a lot of time relaxing/exploring the beach. Sometimes it nice to just focus on taking pictures of the scenery, than taking pictures/video of what you wear, so that's exactly what I did.

The last two pictures were taken after the sun had gone down and the beach was almost in pure darkness. I used a low ISO and small aperture, to decrease the light my DSLR would receive. Then I held the shutter for 25-30 seconds. It's an effect that I've wanted to try for a long time now. As the camera captures the moving waves over a long period of time, it gives the water a fluid/foggy feel. I was really happy with how it turned out, but I can't wait to try this again!

I hope you enjoyed the pictures! xoxo JN

Classic Florals

For my 4th day in Honolulu, my family and I headed to the Polynesian Cultural Center, for a guided tour & luau. When I think of a Luau, I think of fresh flower leis, so I decided to wear floral maxi dress I got a ways back, from Forever 21. You can see it styled again here

Our morning started out beautiful and sunny, like most of our days at Wakiki, but as we drove through the pass on the other side of the island, we were met with grey skies and a short drizzle. Luckily I brought along my floppy hat from Target. You wouldn't believe it, but occasionally they have great, affordable, pieces!

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All the pieces I wore were old, but you can recreate a similar look with these pieces: