Home Again

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Since living in Hawaii the past year, I have found my go to places to eat. Teddy’s, Zippy’s, Anna Millers…places I’m going to miss dearly when I leave. But I do have to say I’m definitely looking forward to all of my old favorite places that I miss eating at since they aren’t in Hawaii. Firehouse subs, Olive Garden, Panera…oh my gosh you guys my mouth is watering and my stomach is rumbling just thinking about eating at these places again. I may go to sleep tonight and dream about olive gardens salads and breadsticks.

I’m looking forward to having all of my belongings again. My furniture, my pictures, movies and books, the rest of my clothes and shoes. I’ve done a good job living a whole year without those things, but let’s be real, I’ll be glad to have them back. On top of that I’ll have a car again and even though I have an AUX cord and can play music from my phone, I’m overjoyed to play my old mix CDs to bring back some good memories.

But yes…a car! I’m so happy I could cry. Taking the bus to work and home every day has been a pain. I’m not going to lie, I enjoyed it at times. I enjoyed people watching and seeing the different kinds of people take the bus and some familiar faces, after a while, and wonder what their stories are. But at the same time its going to be so nice to be able to control when I leave and where I go. It’s hard relying on a bus or other people to get to work and to do other things on my days off. And also road trips…I miss road trips.

Most of all, it’ll be nice to see my family and friends again. To be able to spend holidays and celebrations with them. I miss going over to my parents house to hang out and try to sneak out with frozen pizzas. And of course I can’t wait to be able to snuggle my dog Buddy again and run around with him in my parents back yard.

Thanksgiving in Hawaii

Happy thanksgiving everyone. In no way this time last year did I think I’d be living here in Hawaii. It was on my mind, but I didn’t think it was actually possible. I’m amaze myself everyday. When I first moved here, things were going perfect, then the last couple of months have been a bit rocky. It got to the point that I thought that I had to go home to South Carolina. Not that I wanted to go back, because more than anything I want to be here, but under the circumstances I thought I might not have a choice but to move. I lost my job, which kind of meant I lost everything that was helping be here. But things worked out and they’re still working out. Seriously you guys, if it weren’t for my friends, Mariah and Victoria, I’d probably be back in SC. They gave me a place to live and a job. I couldn’t be more blessed or thankful to have them in my life.

The last week, my sister has been in town. Unfortunately I only got three and a half days to actually spend with her. I’m kind of sad that she’s here and I didn’t get to spend a lot of time with her and miss thanksgiving. But being the new girl at my job, I wasn’t able to get any time off. But it is what it is. I’m just thankful that I even have this job to begin with. I’m thankful that my sister is here and for the time that I got to spend with her. I’m thankful that even though I have to work thanksgiving, I got to spend the first part of my day at the beach and snorkeling with my sister. We’ve been having a great time and I’m glad I got to work on my tan a little bit.

I’m very thankful that I live on this beautiful island and that things worked out for me to still be living here. I also very thankful for my parent for being supportive about me living here and being so helpful with things got hard. There’s so much that I’m thankful for this year, but if I wrote about every single thing, you’d be reading a book instead of a blog post.

I hope everyone has a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

Waikiki Weekend Getaway

Sometimes, life gets a little overwhelming. You get stressed out easily. You’re working a lot and you’re finding it hard to relax. You need a little vacation. So, what do you do? Well, book a Hotel and have a mini getaway, of course!

Seriously you guys, this was just what I needed. My best friend and I booked a hotel room and pretended to live this luxurious life. It’s was fun and relaxing. It was also a great way to play tourist since we live in Hawaii. We forget to take advantage of the fact that we live on this beautiful Island.

We booked a room at the Laylow Autograph Collection in Waikiki, Hi. They have great prices and the stay was wonderful. They upgraded us to a suite for free and we even got a goodie basket…we were pretty excited about that. We laid in bed and watched Milan on Netflix, went to the pool and laid out in the awesome pool chairs. I mean the chairs were actually in the pool. How cool and relaxing is that? Afterwards, we ate dinner and got fruity drinks by the bar and ended the day by getting all dressed up and going dancing with a group of our friends.

I’m pretty sure my favorite part was wearing the super comfy robes that the hotel provides. I just wish we were able to take them home. I even slept in mine because it was so comfortable.

I’m definitely looking forward to doing this again soon. It was much needed, very relaxing and so much fun!


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Trail of Trials

Back in October, I was diagnosed with Asthma. I’ve always had athletic asthma which made it difficult to play basketball or run. The older I got, the worse it became. And now it’s just full on Asthma. One inhaler for mornings and nights and another to use through out the day when I need it. Last year I did a lot of hiking and realized breathing was slightly difficult, but I figured it was normal for me and I pushed through it. I (FINALLY) went hiking this weekend with friends here in Hawaii… I. About. Died. It may have been an easy trail for most people, but for me, it wasn’t. I realized I was definitely out of shape. This is also the first time I’ve been hiking with my ashthma like this. My lungs hurt bad. I couldn’t catch my breath. Once I did, I’d walk a few more feet and I couldn’t breathe again. I told my friends to go ahead without me. I didn’t want to hold them back, nor did I think I could go any further. I wanted to stay right where I was, sitting on a rock and let them make it to the top. I wanted to cry, but didn’t. I was angry because I already deal with other health issues, I now have crappy lungs too. It sucks.

I sat for a while, not wanting to get up and go further. I considered going back down to the cars. But finally, I decided that I’m a tough girl. I was going to finish the hike. I was going to make it to my friends. I was not going to let Asthma and my health problems stop me from doing the things I wanted to do. I was going to kick asthma in the butt. I was going to prove myself that I could do it. And I did. After a while I didn’t have trouble breathing any more, probably because I puffed my inhaler a lot, and I really started to enjoy the hike. I made it to my friends and it felt good! I will definitely do an easier hike next time and work my way up to the more difficult hikes.

Today, my legs are KILLING ME! Haha, but I’m definitely motivated to kick my butt in gear in get into shape for these hikes! I can do this!

Island Fun

I’ve almost seen the whole island now. Before I haven’t been able to see or do much. It’s been incredible and loads of fun. I’ve done things I’ve never done before. I went cliff jumping at Laie Point and I finally saw my FIRST SEA TURTLE! If you don’t know me, you should know that I’m obsessed with sea turtles. The only time I have seen one was in an aquarium and it was for a brief moment. Seeing one swimming around free in the open water is nothing like seeing one in the aquarium. It’s magical and breath taking. Literally. I could barely breathe after I screamed loudly under water. I wanted to cry, but I was so shocked that I couldn’t cry or even say anything besides “oh my gosh” over and over again. Apparently a good place to go snorkeling and to see turtles is Sharks Cove. Cliff jumping was completely awesome. I felt like I could do anything after that. I was nervous at first, not about jumping, but only about getting back on to the rock. It looked a little complicated. But I did it. I’m proud of myself.

While exploring, I have found my where I love to go and relax in the sun. The Makapu’u tide pools. I just want to get me one of those big flamingo floats and relax in the water with friends. It’s peaceful there and absolutely gorgeous. Definitely and instagram worthy location, at least to me it is. But nothing beats my go-to spot at the Nanakuli beach. It might not be the most gorgeous place on the island, but it’s still beautiful and close to the mermaid caves. I love the water there and how it’s not crowded with people like the east and north sides of Oahu. I also go there a lot because it’s pretty close to where I live.

It’s been exciting exploring the island and doing all of these things. I have even found some great places to eat. I went to Boots & Kimo’s Homestyle Kitchen and Over Easy for breakfast with some family friends that are visiting and we ate the best pancakes and omelets that we have ever had. Both of them are delicious, but I think Over Easy was my favorite. Their crispy edge pancake (with the daily fruit and powder sugar) was heaven in my tummy. It’s bit of a drive for me, but I plan to go there more often when I’m on that side of the island. Ever since I moved here, I always said that everything tastes better here, and that’s including shrimp! I do not eat seafood often. Rarely I’ll have a couple of shrimp and some crab dip here and there, but lately, I’ve been eating a lot of it! Shrimp scampi, shrimp stuffed crab cakes and even shrimp from food trucks! And for some reason it tastes even better from a food truck. My dad will probably pass out from reading this and my sister will probably be even more excited to visit me and go out to eat with me. Seriously, this is shocking, even to me. But when you live in a place like Hawaii, you have to get out of your comfort zone and try new things. Who knows! The things you used to dislike might become something you love.

If you plan on visiting Oahu one day, then I just gave you some great locations to check out. To those of you who just moved to a new city or state or even an island like me or if you are on vacation…. get out of the house. Get out of the hotel room. Explore. Go do things outside of your normal routine and comfort zone. Go do the things you’ve always wanted to try. It’ll be fun and totally worth it.

Be Brave With Your Life

As I’m driving one day through Oahu, I look at the beautiful sunset behind the mountains and I can’t help but to smile and laugh a little. I became overwhelmed with gratitude and happiness. Sometimes I still can’t believe that I took a huge risk and moved here. I began to think about what my life would have been like if I was still living in South Carolina. I’m almost positive that it would have been the same as it was when I left. I’m sure I would have found a new job and a new car, but I’d be still living with my sister wondering if there was some grand adventure out there for me. Waiting around for something truely amazing and exciting to happen to me. The thing is…Sometimes those amazing and exciting things aren’t just going to happen…sometimes we have to make them happen. We have to take risks. I took a big risk moving to Hawaii. (I moved here with nothing but faith, four suitcases, and $30 in my bank account.) I believe that I’m here for a reason, but I also believe I’m here because of my own agency. I could have chosen to stay in South Carolina. It would have been the easy thing to do. It wouldn’t have been a bad choice, but I knew that other than my friends and family, there was nothing for me anymore in South Carolina. I needed something different in my life.

So many incredible things have happened to me since I’ve moved here. I’ve been able to see good things happen in my life and be able to recognize how blessed I am. I have strengthened my relationship with God. I have a deeper love and appreciation for others and for different cultures. I’ve learned so much about myself and have opened up a lot. A lot of my likes and dislikes have changed. My desire to learn and travel has gotten stronger. I’m not normally this brave…in fact I never thought of myself as brave, but through this I’ve learned how to be happy and overcome my fears and anxiety.

I think that taking risks is good for the soul. Life is a learning experience. It’s amazing to think about how we can live whatever life we want to live. We can do whatever we want if we put our minds to it. It’s up to us. Have a little faith and follow your dreams. Make goals and do it! Go apply for that dream job. Move to a new city. Ask that person that you’ve had a big crush on a date. Take a chance. You never know what will happen. Maybe it’ll be everything you’ve dreamed of. The outcomes are endless and can be really great. And if it doesn’t go so well, try again or find a new dream and try that one out. We are in control of our happiness and our futures. Follow your heart.

“If there’s even a slight chance at getting something that will make you happy, risk it. Life’s too short and happiness is too rare.” 

-A. R. Lucas

Hanauma Bay


I went swimming with the fishes and the other Mariah that I met here on the Island.

Seriously you guys! I conquered a fear of mine. Ever since I moved to Oahu Island, I decided that I needed to do the following:

  • Get out of my comfort zone
  • Try new things
  • Go with the flow

That’s only a few of the many things that I need to do.

As you know from a previous blog post, I love the beach. I also enjoy visiting beautiful aquariums. I really enjoyed the Bahama’s when I was a little girl because we stayed at the Atlantis Hotel and there are aquariums everywhere and one of the water slides is surrounded by a huge aquarium. It was incredible, I probably went on that slide about a thousand times. It was my favorite part of the whole trip. Really it was!

But despite all that, the thought of being close to a fish creeps usually me out. In South Carolina, our beaches and lakes are murky and you can’t see anything in the water. The fish aren’t colorful and tropical looking. I think they’re gross and smelly. If I’m swimming in the ocean and I spot one jumping out of the water…I’m out! Nope. I don’t want to touch one and I don’t want to eat fish either. Something about the look, smell and taste turns me away. Blech!

It’s strange considering I used to go fishing with my dad as a kid and I absolutely LOVED eating seafood. I loved it! Things changed the older I got and now I can barely stand it.

So, like I said, I conquered a fear of mine. I went snorkeling with my friend Mariah. She had extra snorkeling gear and posted on Facebook asking if anyone wanted to go with her. I don’t know why, but I messaged her and said I would go and for some reason, I was actually excited to go. I was nervous, but I was excited because I could potentially be swimming with a sea turtle (which is my favorite animal, by the way.)

We went to Hanauma Bay. If you’re ever visiting Oahu, that is the perfect place to go visit! You can rent snorkeling gear there or rent your own. We had our own, so all we had to pay for was parking and that was only a dollar.

I was super nervous. Something about snorkeling also freaked me out, but I had to try something new, I had to get out of my comfort zone. So I did it! It was definitely one of the most incredible experiences of my life. Once I got the hang of snorkeling, I was no longer nervous. I was just excited. I was so close to some of the fish that I could touch them. I mean I was just inches away. It was breath taking, sometimes literally. I had to pause a couple of times to catch my breath.

We didn’t have much time to spend there since we arrived close to closing. Nor did we see any sea turtles, but that is just all the more reason to go visit this beautiful place and experience the excitement all over again! Hopefully next time I can get some underwater pictures.