December 2022 was full of a lot of traveling across multiple time zones! From the Northeast, to heading a little more south along the Atlantic coast, to traveling to the West coast, then capping the year off in my home state of Hawaii… it’s been a great way to end the year!
Cape Cod, MA
We finished off our time in Boston by driving down to Cape Cod! Even though it’s too cold to go to the beach, I can totally see why it’s such a popular summer getaway! The beaches are pristine, and the sun was shining the entire time we were there. We enjoyed a beer at a local brewery right along the coast, so we could stay warm indoors and still get a killer view.
A three hour drive outside of Boston, we took a day trip to Portland, Maine! The lobster rolls there were outstanding, and all the lighthouses in the town were cool to see. Even though it was raining, we didn’t let the weather stop us from enjoying the sights. Plus we got to see my husband’s cousin, which was an added bonus!
This quaint little suburb outside of NYC was a great place to relax before we prepared for the busy travel schedule we had ahead of us. The walking paths around the main Village area were perfect for a quick jog with a nature feel. We housesat for two chill Shitzus, in a stunning house just a quick walk away from their main Village area. This sleepy little town was perfect for us to wind down and enjoy the simple pleasures.
The moment I had been waiting for…my first ever Steelers game, in Pittsburgh! And they were playing their rivals, the Ravens! I bought my first Terrible Towel, and we enjoyed being a part of the Pittsburgh culture of their love for the team. Unfortunately, our starting QB was on concussion protocol after the first few plays of the game, so we didn’t do as well as I would have liked. But we still enjoyed the experience regardless!
Virginia Beach, VA
We visited one of my best friends from childhood in Virginia Beach, which was so nice! Even though it was chilly, we still enjoying walking along the boardwalk and checking out the Atlantic Ocean views. Our dog even got to meet her dogs, which we never thought would happen before we started traveling. We got to spend some much needed quality time and catching up after not seeing each other in over a year!
Manhattan Beach, CA
We jumped on a plane heading west and spend a few days in LA! Our good friends was getting married, so we figured why not make a trip out of it? We visited some of our favorite places in South Bay, our old stomping grounds. And you can’t visit LA without walking out on the Manhattan Beach pier!
After our friends’ wedding, we headed even more west…back to my homeland, Hawaii! We decided that since we would be in Hawaii for 3 weeks, why not visit one of the neighbor islands as well? So, we Hele On to Kauai!
We stayed in a little motel right in the heart of Lihue. We chose this place because it is situated halfway between the south shore and the north shore, perfect distance for our quick trip! Plus, it was walking distance to many shops and restaurants, which was a huge plus! We ended up splurging at a fancy restaurant overlooking the water, using the money we were refunded from our cancelled boat tour due to weather conditions.
The next day, we headed south of Lihue to Waimea Canyon. When we first arrived, it was so foggy and you couldn’t see anything! But as we hiked to Waipo’o Falls, the fog cleared and we had some amazing views of the canyon! We stopped in Waimea for some plate lunches, and it was some of the best chicken katsu we’ve ever had.
On our last day, we drove up to the north shore, but not without hiking to see the Sleeping Giant on the east side. We headed to Hanalei, where we tried a taro teriyaki burger, which was a great vegetarian option for us. We hung out in Hanalei Bay and soaked in the sun before we flew back to Oahu that night.
Celebrating Christmas in Hawaii is the best – sunny skies, warm weather, and surrounded by my family. But of course, we still find time to explore!
One of our favorite activities to do in Hawaii is play golf! The warm weather allows for us to golf any day of the year, no matter what time of year we visit. Our favorite place to golf is Mid-Pacific Country Club in the neighborhood of Lanikai on the east side of the island. I was fortunate enough to grow up playing this course, so my dad loves taking the both of us golfing any chance we get.
White Plains, Ewa Beach
My favorite underrated surf spot on Oahu is in Ewa Beach at White Plains! We took my cousin out with us to surf too, as she hadn’t been surfing in years. The mild waves and long rides here are perfect for beginners and seasoned surfers alike. Plus, you get a great view of Diamond Head in the distance, which is cool!
Pearl Harbor Sunset
Even though my dad still lives in the same house I was born and raised in, the sunsets over our view of Pearl Harbor still amaze me every time we’re home. I grew up in Aiea Heights, just outside of Pearl Harbor. The views of the Arizona Memorial and the Battleship Missouri are things I grew up with every day, but didn’t realize how awesome and historical it was for me to experience this until I left the islands. So while we’re home, we take in as many sunsets as possible!
Makapu’u Lookout and Tidepools
On the last day of the New Year, we got our workout in and hiked up to Makapu’u Lighthouse and Lookout. This hike takes you to the most eastern tip of O’ahu, and gives you stunning views of the east coast. On a clear day, like the day we hiked to the stop, you can see the island of Molokai in the distance!
We also hiked down to the tidepools, where you can enjoy the cool waters of the swimming holes before you make your way back down the trail to your car. It’s a great way to cool off after that glute buster of a hike!
We’ll be in Hawaii through the New Year, then it’s back to the mainland to head south for the winter!
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