Summertime Highlights

Summertime Highlights

Where do I begin? I can’t believe summer is almost over…or at least it is for me on the 29th. Why? Because your girl got accepted to graduate school!!! My classes begin on the 29th. If I were to insert a relatable emoji, I’m not sure if it would be the “face screaming in fear,” “the weary cat face,” or the “face with tears of joy.”  Hmm. Maybe all three.

I hope everyone’s summer has been filled with a lot of sunshine and frozen drinks. My summer has had its ups and downs, however for the most part it’s been good and I’ve come to appreciate both the good and the bad. Although slightly cliché, it still is the truth: Life is what you make it.

With that being said, here is a list of some of my “summertime highlights” —

The food! // Yes, I’ve eaten some really tasty food this summer. Lightly golden, fried, filled malasadas. Oh yes. It was good. We actually tried two places that are known for having the BEST malasadas on this island — 20180711_161634_FotorTEX Drive-In in Honoka’a and Manuela Malasada Company in Waimea. We ordered guava, lilikoi, coconut, and plain malasadas from TEX Drive-In. At Manuela Malasada Company, we ordered mango, guava, and plain malasadas with li-hing sugar on top. I’ve had thai food from New Chiang Mai Thai Cuisine. Smoothies and dreamy ice cream from Makani’s Magic Pineapple Shack. Fish and chips from Mo’s Fish and Chips. Craft chocolate bars from Puna Chocolate Company. One of my goals is to compile a list of amazing places to eat on the Big Island. Would you guys be interested in that?

The day trips // My mom, Riley, and I would drive all over the island — Kailua-Kona, Mahukona, Waimea, Ahualoa, Honoka’a, Laupahoehoe, Kalopa, Honomu, ‘Akaka Falls, Pepeekeo, Onomea Bay, Hilo, Volcano, etc. It was so much fun exploring our town; I loved it.

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I swear we saw so many beautiful places this summer. I love how one location can be drastically different from another location with only 5 or 10 miles separating the two. For example, Waimea always reminds of fall (hello, my favorite!), while Onomea Bay is covered with palm trees and a path leading to the most perfect aquamarine ocean.

My acceptance to graduate school // I was accepted to Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies; I’ll be studying Applied Intelligence. I can’t believe I’m going back to school — I’m both nervous and excited. I

Amber Georgetown Lettergraduated last year from college, however it feels like a lifetime ago.

Hanging out with Riley // My sister Riley came home for the summer before she started her first year at college. It was fun having her home again — We talked a lot (I forgot what it’s like to be young again even though I’m only 22 or 85…depends on the day), ate good food, and explored various places.

Lint Center Scholarships // I love when it’s scholarship season. We have so many patriotic, academically gifted, and dedicated individuals applying for scholarships this summer; it’s wonderful!

 

 

 

I have hundreds of photos from this summer and I’d like to post them all (or at least try to!).

 

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Memorial Day | National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific

Memorial Day | National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific
“The patriot’s blood is the seed of freedom’s tree.” – Thomas Campbell

I wanted to share some photos I took a few years back in 2015. My dad and I were working a case in the Punchbowl area of Honolulu when we had some time to visit the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. It was actually on Veterans Day (not Memorial Day), however I thought why not share the photos today. Honestly, it was both humbling and put life into perspective being able to visit a place where the men and women buried served America, many of them died while doing so; the sight was awe-inspiring, as are the stories of these individuals.

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There’s at least 34,000 graves at Punchbowl; this includes service members and dignitaries/politicians. Unfortunately, due to the fact we were working, I wasn’t able to see the cemetery up close and personal. Next time!

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Our freedom has a price; it’s paid for by those who are willing to sacrifice what they have and to sacrifice their very own life, if the need arises and without hesitation.

I’ll never forget about them or their sacrifice.

 

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The Easter Chapters: Ka Lae (South Point), Hawaiian Ocean View, & Naalehu, Part II

The Easter Chapters: Ka Lae (South Point), Hawaiian Ocean View, & Naalehu, Part II

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These last two photos mark the end of our trip to South Point; I’m pretty sure this was the last time we took a trip out there, however I could be wrong. South Point is such a breathtaking place to visit; massive sea cliffs, the endless ocean with its varying shades of blue (btw, the water is a mixture of cyan, azure, and a very light shade of blue), and the different terrain that somehow fits itself into 710 acres. Seriously. You have the ocean and the sea cliffs, which looks like New Zealand. You have another side of South Point that is strictly wild grass, flowers, and dirt; it makes you feel like you’ve just entered into a Safari that happens to only have cows and horses. It also takes 12-miles to actually reach South Point, which includes driving through the “country” and passing coffee farms, plantation homes, and a lot of farmland; it’s peaceful.

Here are some interesting facts about South Point: 

  1. It’s the southernmost point in all of the United States.
  2.  It’s home to Papakōlea Beach, also known as “Green Sand Beach.” It really does have green sand; it’s one of only four green sand beaches in the whole world. FUN FACT: I’ve never been to Green Sand Beach, even though it’s literally right there to the east of South Point.
  3. It’s said that a Hawaiian Chief was swept away to his death.

 

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Here is Ocean View. It’s a strange yet fascinating town in the middle of nowhere; a place with an abundance of succulents, drifters, and never-ending roads. It does have the occasional crime, what strange town doesn’t? I once worked a case out here with my dad and since then I’ve loved driving through Ocean View; maybe I like it so much because it is in the middle of nowhere or because it was a great case that we worked or because it was a great case AND it was great working it with my dad. It takes more than 4-miles to drive to the “grocery” store, which btw there’s only two stores to choose from; this is where I became very accustomed to eating jalapeno chips, which I ate for a week or so when working.

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It really is this foggy. It makes me happy. I don’t know why.

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Mom
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Max
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Nick, Me, and Paul

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Driving around Ocean View was definitely fun. It was great being able to see the look on my brother’s faces when they realized how endless Ocean View felt/is. Paul insisted that he’d seen this old warehouse before, while Nick was very skeptical to this information much to Paul’s annoyance. I don’t think Paul’s ever been through Ocean View before, except maybe when he was a young child. Also, Paul was exuberant because he saw an abandoned toilet on the side of the road (gross!!!) and some empty box that he just had to go and look into (man, he’s one of those kids). It also doesn’t help that dad loves to encourage his behavior, however it is funny to watch at times. Max also loved driving around Ocean View; this semi-blind dog ran up to the car and wanted so badly to be friends with Max, well Max wasn’t having any of that, and then Max wanted to be friends with two very aggressive dogs in the grocery parking lot, and they weren’t having any of that. Dogs, ya know?

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I actually took this photo at Punalu’u Black Sand Beach

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We drove to Whittington Beach Park, which is where the old (and broken) pier can be found. You know what else can be found there? Cats! Beautiful, wild (and yet fed) cats. Oh, I love those cats!

 

Location(s) – Ka Lae (South Point), Hawaiian Ocean View, Whittington Beach Park, & Punalu’u Black Sand Beach / Big Island of Hawaii (we did drive through various towns to reach South Point) – When – Sunday, April 16, 2017 – Time – Afternoon & into the evening / With – Mom, Dad, Nick, Paul, and Max / What we did – We took a great Easter Sunday drive to South Point, Ocean View, and a couple beaches / I took many photos! It was fun hanging out with my family; we mostly drove around.

Camera used – Nikon Coolpix L840 / Editing – Fotor photo editor / I edited the photos by adjusting the curves.

 

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The Easter Chapters: Ka Lae (South Point), Part I

The Easter Chapters: Ka Lae (South Point), Part I
Earlier

Right now it’s 11:18 pm, the 24th of April, and nearly four weeks since Easter has passed. I’m also eating some very tasty vanilla pudding, however that’s beside the point. I’m finally posting photos from Easter…from last year. I know, I know. I’m shaking my head too.

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Location(s) – Ka Lae (South Point) / Big Island of Hawaii (we did drive through various towns to reach South Point) – When – Sunday, April 16, 2017 – Time – Afternoon & into the evening / With – Mom, Dad, Nick, Paul, and Max / What we did – We took a great Easter Sunday drive to a beautiful place called “South Point” / We walked around near the cliffs, ate our prime rib sandwiches that mom made at home, and simply enjoyed being with each other.

Camera used – Nikon Coolpix L840 / Editing – Fotor photo editor / I edited the photos by adjusting the curves.

 

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Travel: Mahukona | Kailua-Kona

Travel: Mahukona | Kailua-Kona

Location(s) – Mahukona Beach Park / Kailua-Kona (we did drive through Kawaihae briefly) – When – Sunday, august 06, 2017 – Time – Afternoon & into the evening / With – Mom, Dad, and Paul (Nick was with us for a short while, however he only went diving but did not come with us to Kona) / What we did – We took a great drive (seriously) to the other side of the island / Dad, Paul, and Nick went diving. I stayed in the car with mom and watched the ocean. After they went diving, Dad, Mom, Paul, and I went to Kailua-Kona to eat dinner.

 

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Honestly, I had such an amazing time with my family (as I always do). I wouldn’t have spent my Sunday any other way. We left for Mahukona around 11 am but we also stopped briefly in Hilo; We filled up on gas for both of our vehicles (we took two because Nick was going to leave at 4 pm to drive back to Hilo, while we left for Kona) and got a few drinks for the road (yes, that means I got a mango white tea lemonade extra sweetened). We stopped one more time when we reached Honoka’a at Tex because we wanted haupia malasadas (omg, it was sooo good!). We then drove out to Mahukona, which is located in the middle of Kawaihae and Hawi; it’s off the coast. I actually sat in the car with mom, while Nick, Paul, and Dad went diving. I did want to go swimming and diving because the water was so perfect, however I also had a good time with mom while watching the ocean. Nick left around 4:30 pm to head back to Hilo because he had a party to go to, while we (Mom, Dad, and Paul) drove another hour into Kona. We went to Costco to see if they had a sashimi platter but the lines were so long we left. We then went to Ultimate Burger because Paul and Dad wanted a burger for dinner. In the meantime, Mom and I were going to have sushi at a place called Chirashi Sushi Don by Jiro, however it was closed. I also was going to have a boba tea nearby but that had just closed. We then decided to grab something to eat nearby Ultimate Burger. Mom had Genki Sushi and I had Panda Express, however Mom did get me this delicious unagi sushi. We all ate our dinner together in the car and then we headed back to Hilo. The sunset was beautiful with orange and pink hues; the last few photos (except for the very last photo) Paul took with my camera. Once the sun set and the night fell, it was cool and filled with glittering stars.

 

Camera used – Nikon Coolpix L840 / Editing – Fotor photo editor / I actually only edited a few photos by adjusting the curves, as well as saturation.

 

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Travel: What’s Shakin | Onomea Bay Drive

Travel: What’s Shakin | Onomea Bay Drive

My Mom, Dad, Riley, and I went for a drive a few days back (4/4/2017) to Onomea Bay. It was so much fun! We had smoothies at a little place called ‘What’s Shakin’ and we drove around through the scenic route of Onomea Bay. Our Mom and Dad would take us there when we were little, so we loved being able to go back. I mean, seriously, we live in Hawaii and this is the first time we’ve been back in a long time!

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I love the yellow and the twinkle lights and the simple sunny atmosphere. It’s sad that this place is closing, I’ll miss it greatly. It will always be a staple of our/my childhood, where my family and I would sit on the grass and drink banana shakes. A time of simplicty where my mind enjoyed thinking of every possibility in life while trying not to choke on a piece of banana.

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I had a papaya and strawberry smoothie; same as my dad. My mom had a banana smoothie. My sister, Riley, had a smoothie as well. I literally cannot remember Riley’s flavor of smoothie (sorry Riley!). We also ate these oatmeal cookies that were to die for! What’s Shakin also has a menu of healthy sandwiches, cookies, and numerous other types of foods.

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The bridge is my favorite part of the whole drive. It makes me feel like we are in some storybook surrounded by flowing streams and botanical magic. I suppose in that area that is exactly what we are in.

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Spiderwebs over the bridge. My heart nearly exploded with happiness from these webs. So beautiful.

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Last stop of the trip was to Alae Cemetery, which is actually not near Onomea Bay but actually nearer to Hilo. This is where Nana, Papa, and Tutu are buried in the Mormon section. Unfortunately, I waited in the car because we had Max with us. Next time I’ll be sure to visit them. This place used to be the highlight of my life when I was a child. My siblings and I spent many hours running up and down the hill, stopping by to say hello to our Papa and Tutu.

Take time to explore. Enjoy the world.

 

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Travel: Sea Cliffs | Kahakai Blvd

Travel: Sea Cliffs | Kahakai Blvd

Date: Sunday, February 12, 2017

Starting location: Our house on Kahakai Blvd

Destination: Sea cliffs at the bottom of Kahakai Blvd

Distance: We walked over 2.5 miles in less than 52 min (average time on Google Maps), however we also ended up taking two detours to get off the main highway; a detour from main Kahakai Blvd onto Puni Makai Loop S, back to the main highway, and then onto Opae St.

Who: Paul, Riley, and I

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We left our house around 3 or 4 in the afternoon, which was a perfect time because traffic wasn’t so bad. Trust me, if you have to walk near a busy highway timing is everything. We mapped out how far we needed to walk from our house to reach the bottom of Kahakai Blvd, which was around 2.5-3 miles. It’s not so long but it gets a little bit difficult to walk once you pass the middle of Kahakai Blvd (around Kaku St).

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We started walking and walking, oh, and some more walking. I (like a fool) decided to wear flip flops, so my feet were killing me .5 miles away from our home. Too far to walk all the way back and far enough away from our destination. Luckily, Paul had me wear his shoes and he wore my flip flops. My feet hurt a little bit but not so bad. #foreverthankfulforlittlebrothers

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We made a few stops because of my feet, much to the annoyance of Riley and Paul. Yes, thank you guys for waiting. We tried not to stop in front of anyone’s homes and we stuck to the left side of the road when walking, and right side of the road when walking through side streets.

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The air was cool and hot at the same time. That’s hawai’i for you. We pulled up the map and determined that if we continued to walk along the highway and then turn onto Puni Makai Loop S, we would be able to walk a great distance before we had to return to the highway. Paul was our land nav guy. He did a good job. We followed the map. The highway wasn’t so bad if you walk far enough away from the road. We don’t have sidewalks in our neighborhood. Also a hawai’i thing.

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We actually ran into a guy that had some pugs (Mia and I can’t remember the other pugs name) who were just some lovable creatures (wheezy little things). The guy was very nice as well. We kept walking and a guy who was doing some gardening waved at us, which was also nice. It’s nice being around people and seeing how friendly they can be when you take the time to actually interact with them.

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If you ever feel like you need to breathe or find yourself a bit or go on an adventure, just take a walk. It’s a whole new world when you’re traveling by foot. I had the greatest time ever.

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A lot of the homes are super pretty when you reach the bottom of Kahakai. Pretty beach homes!

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I was super happy to be walking around with my sister and brother on a sunny day. I think we all had a lot of fun. When we were on the main highway we had to walk on the edge of the highway, which was a little scary but we had no choice.

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Some of the streets were super wide and others were narrow. I enjoyed the fact that some streets were covered in pretty flowers and fruits.

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Riley said I looked like a “hobo.”

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I was so ecstatic when we finally saw the ocean. It seemed like we were walking forever and when I saw the ocean I just was so happy! I think Riley and Paul were happy too. I could smell the salt water and see the deep blue ocean.

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By the time we reached the bottom of Kahakai, you could feel the difference. Everything felt light and happy and hot. The sun was blazing.

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My feet and legs were burning a bit. Sad I know. Imagine what OCS will be like.

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We walked a little bit and finally reached Kahakai park. We decided to sit down on a warm patch of grass underneath the coconut trees. My feet were very thankful. We played eye spy and that was interesting. No one believed my whole “eye spy something pink” and when they found out I was talking about these tiny pink flowers down by the castle house, yeah they thought I was lying. Nope. I was not. We then decided to make our way down to the sea cliffs, and while I was getting up I suffered a major cramp in my right calf. I quickly got over it and walked with Riley and Paul down to the cliffs.

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Beautiful!

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We watched the waves. We watched the sunset. We thought. We talked a bit. We had a fantastic time. A time that I am forever thankful for. We called our brother Nick to pick us up because we didn’t want to walk back. If the sun wasn’t going down we would have walked back for sure.

It was an adventure that I’ll never forget.

Forever a Goonie.

 

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*all photos taken with my Samsung Galaxy Express 3 GoPhone (all unedited).