Off to Whiteface Mountain

I have climbed mountains in Iceland and volcanoes in Guatemala, but nothing was as treacherous and as hard as climbing Whiteface Mountain. This 12 mile hike was a testament to mine and my husband’s physical health and our teamwork.

Work has been super slow lately and I have A LOT of down time. I was perusing Airbnb and I came across an adorable cabin. I have been wanting to go camping for the past two years but between planning our wedding and working to pay for it, my husband and I have been too busy. Since things are calmer, figured it was the perfect time to get away. I found an adorable cabin in the Adirondacks so I sent the link to my husband with the suggestion that maybe we go on a weekend trip to see the foliage and to hike Whiteface Mountain. He loved the idea, so I booked the cabin. Fully equipped with a kitchen, bath, grill and fire pit – I was so excited to call this place home for two days and enjoy some fresh air.

That Friday we took the five hour scenic drive upstate. Driving through desolate Adirondack towns in mid-fall is pretty creepy but that added to the fun of the trip. We kept ourselves entertained on the drive with my favorite podcasts, like Morbid: A True Crime Podcast and Canadian True Crime.

Hudson River

When we arrived, we were blown away by how cute the cabin was. Tucked away but not too isolated and only a 35 minute drive from Whiteface Mountain. Our host let us know that there was some reported snowfall atop the mountain that day but not enough to worry about. We settled in for the night and got some rest in preparation for the hike the next morning.

The Cabin Near Whiteface Mountain

The next morning, we enjoyed a huge breakfast, packed some snacks and hit the road. I did just a little bit of research prior to our trip and found a trail to Whiteface from Marble Mountain. Road. What I did not see in my research though, is that this path was the longest and most difficult path

At first it seemed we were way overdressed, sweaty and hot within twenty minutes, but the higher we climbed the chillier it got.

About an hour up we noticed snow. It seemed to be melting and we thought it was nice to see the abrupt difference in weather. We thought this must have been the snowfall our host was talking about.. We were wrong.

The amount of snow we were encountering got steeper with each change in elevation. The higher we got the more grateful we were about our clothing choices because it was beginning to look like a winter wonderland on the mountain. White snow covered EVERYTHING.

Up onWhiteface Mountain

At one point, we got to a road and we thought our hike was over, but we discovered another peak to climb up.The road before the peak had a beautiful overview of the mountains – we attempted to just walk up the road to the summit but this was harder than climbing because with each step, our feet would fall completely through the snow causing a lot of pullback.

We abandoned the road idea and got back on the trail. This part of the trip was the snowiest and seemed to require the most climbing.

When reaching the top, there were quite of few hikers, taking photos and having lunch. Of course, we too had to document completing this excursion to the top of Whiteface Mountain.

Since the hard work was done (and our legs were jello at this point), on our descent so we hopped off the trail and took the road down. Descending the road was easier because there was less snow on the descent until there was none at all. It was really something to witness two seasons in a day.

In total we hiked 12 miles. According the 46er’s Club, it was supposed to take 8.5 hrs – our hike was done in 6! Could not have done this without my husband because there were a few times when I wanted to quit and vice versa.

Hiking in October up a snowy mountain was a new experience but here are some tips I picked up along the way.


  • PLAN YOUR MEALS. I specifically picked a cabin with a functioning kitchen to save $$$ on buying food and dining out.
  • CHECK THE WEATHER. The weather stated it was nice to hike but also stated that temperatures dropped to sometimes lower to 25 degrees F in October. Pack thermals because the temperatures can get frigid.
  • BUY SOME HIKING SHOES. You’re not getting up the mountain safely in running shoes or any shoe that does not have grip. I saw only one person on the trail with running shoes and the poor guy was really struggling.
  • PACK SNACKS. Six hours hiking on nothing but protein bites, apples and water was doable but a sandwich would have been a better choice. Make sure you have food to keep your energy. According to my husbands phone, at 12 miles walking, we burned over 2,000 calories. 
  • START EARLY, FINISH MIDDAY. You need to give yourself time and daylight to comfortably finish this hike. This is obvious but as the sun lowers, it gets colder on the mountain. We started around sunrise and finished with about 4 hours of sunlight left.
  • TAKE LOTS OF PICTURES. There are 46 high peaks in the Adirondacks, why climb the same one twice?


At least once a week I fall off the healthy eating wagon, and I crave something deep fried and fatty or a garbage plate. BUT I always get back to eating healthy. You can enjoy your favorite foods but moderation is key to not only eating well but having a balanced life in general.

This Easy Vegan Roasted Poblano Pepper & Broccoli Soup helps me get back on track. It’s savory, filling and nutrient dense with an abundance of antioxidants from all the greens in there. Save this recipe for the next time you’re feeling like you’ve overindulged a little too much. ⠀


2 tbsp sunflower oil
1 small onion, chopped
3 large cloves of garlic, minced⠀
1 large potato, or 3 small
4 cups of Better than Bouillon Vegetable Broth
2 small heads of broccoli, chopped⠀
4 roasted poblano peppers, chopped ⠀⠀
4 stalks of celery, chopped⠀⠀
5 leafs of kale, stems removed roughly chopped
½ cup yogurt, unsweetened – I used KiteHill Almond Yogurt ⠀⠀⠀


  1. Follow this quick video to learn how to roast and peel a poblano pepper. *Roughly chop the poblanos and set aside.
  2. In a large pot add in sunflower oil and place on medium/high heat. Throw in the onion and garlic, and with a wooden spoon mix occasionally until fragrant. Add in the chopped potatoes and stir, about 5 mins. Using the wooden spoon, scrape the bottom of the pot, then add the broth.
  3. Add the broccoli, celery, poblanos, and kale to pot. Cover with a top and reduce heat to medium to let simmer for about 25-30 mins.
  4. Remove pot from heat and let cool for about 10 mins.
  5. Gradually add contents of pot to blender, little by little.
  6. When all is blended, add soup back to pot. 
  7. Season with salt and pepper to taste, add yogurt or more broth to make soup to your desired consistency. Serve with croutons for a little crunch over your yummy roasted poblano pepper and broccoli soup!

*Make sure you remove the seeds and stem of the poblano peppers when chopping them.


Fall is here! Fall and cinnamon are just synonymous in my brain, so fill your home with the smell of these easy caramelized pecans.

caramelized pecans


  • 1lb raw pecans
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp. Cinnamon


On medium heat, melt butter in a large skillet Add the sugar, cinnamon and stir.
Add 2 tablespoons of water to thin out sugar & butter. Mix should be syrup-like, not watery.

Add pecans and stir until well coated with sugar and butter, about six minutes.

Turn on broiler. On a parchment lined baking sheet, spread pecans.
Place baking sheet under broiler for about two minutes, any longer and you risk the sugar burning (you want caramelized pecans, not burnt pecans). Leave to cool at room temperature.

Store in cool dry area.

Did you make this recipe?


These apple cinnamon buns are fool proof and perfect for fall. I’ve made these a few times for work parties and at home and they’re always a hit. You can also substitute any of the dairy ingredients to make this recipe vegan. Sometimes this recipe yields 15 cinnamon rolls, sometimes it makes 12 rolls – it really all depends on how you roll the dough out, but not to worry, there will be enough for seconds… And thirds.


– 3 Tbsp butter
– a packet instant yeast
– 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
– 1 Tbsp sugar
– 1/4 tsp salt
– 3 cups all-purpose flour

Heat milk and butter over low heat, until temperature reaches 110 F.* Transfer mixture to large bowl and then sprinkle yeast in bowl to activate, about ten minutes. Add sugar and salt then stir. Begin adding ½ cup of flour at a time. The dough should be slightly sticky.

Transfer to a floured surface and knead the dough just enough so it forms a loose ball, careful not to over mix your dough. Put dough in a bowl coated with olive oil. Cover with plastic and let dough rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about an hour.


– 5 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and diced
– 2 Tbsp butter, plus extra for coating
– 1/3 cup brown sugar
– 2 tsp ground cinnamon
– 1 tsp pure vanilla extract (optional)
– 1 tsp tapioca starch or cornstarch

Peel and dice apples, set aside. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add apples, brown sugar and cinnamon stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes. Reduce heat to low and cover for 15 minutes. If filling is still watery, add the tapioca starch. When filling becomes a syrup/jam consistency, remove from heat and set aside to cool at room temperature.


– 2 oz. cream cheese, Ⓥ option
– 2 Tbsp. Butter
– 1 Tbsp. unsweetened almond milk
– ½ tsp. Pure Vanilla extract
– 1 cup powdered sugar

Using an electric mixer, combine butter, cream cheese and vanilla extract until creamy. Gradually mix in the powdered sugar until smooth.


Roll the dough out into a rectangle. Using a spoon, scoop the cooled apple filling onto the dough. From the longer side of the dough, begin rolling, keeping the dough tight as you go.
Butter a 15”x10” dish. Using a serrated knife or floss, cut the roll into 1-2in sections and place in dish. Melt some butter and brush along the top of the rolls. Place dish on top of the stove, covered with plastic. Preheat the stove to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Once the stove is heated place rolls in stove and bake for 25-30 minutes. Let rolls cool for 15-20 minutes and then drizzle frosting over. Serve immediately!

*I added a little caramel drizzle and ground cinnamon to my final product.


Forester Croque Madames, adapted from Alex Guarnaschelli


Forester Croque Madames

  • 6 tbsp. Butter, divided
  • 2 tbsp. all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • ¼ cup grated parmesean
  • 4 stalks of kale
  • 10 small baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 yellow onion sliced (optional)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 8 slices of sourdough bread*
  • 8 thick slices of quality ham**
  • 1 ¼ cup of shredded Gruyere cheese, divided


In a small saucepan melt 3 tbsp of butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour. Stir continuously until flour and butter are fragrant, 2-3 minutes. Add milk and bay leaf. Stir occasionally until mixture thickens like soup, about 11 minutes. Take out bay leaf and whisk in Parmesan. Take off heat and let cool.


  • Heat broiler
  • Wash kale and remove kale leaves from stalk. Set aside.
  • Wash mushrooms then slice and set aside with kale. Heat a non-stick pan on medium. Add kale and mushroom (and onion if using) to pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Saute by adding about 2-3 oz. of water to the pan, cooking for about 3-5 mins. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Mix bechamel with 1 cup of Gruyere.
  • On a baking sheet, arrange 4 slices of bread. Fold 1 slice of ham on bread, then add a spoonful of the kale, mushroom, and onion mix. Add another slice of folded ham to each slice of bread and then spread half a spoonful of the bechamel on top. Finish with another slice of bread
    (Bread → Ham → Veggies → Ham → Bechamel → Bread)
  • In a cast iron skillet melt the remaining butter. Arrange the sandwiches in the pan. Brown on each side, about 3-5 minutes. Transfer back to baking sheet. Spread remaining bechamel on top of sandwiches and sprinkle remaining gruyere on top. Place in broiler for 2-4 minutes, until cheese is melted and browning on top. ***


  • **** Place a non-stick pan coated with olive oil on medium heat. Crack an egg into a ramekin. Slowly pour the egg into the pan. Repeat this process for all four eggs and then cover the pan with a top, about five minutes.
  • Place eggs on top of sandwiches. Serve immediately.

*Make sure the bread is ½ – 1 inch thick
**You can use deli meat for this step.
I used Organic Ham from Wegmans and had them slice it thick.
***The broiler feature on your oven gets SUPER hot, SUPER quick – keep an eye on your croque madames when they’re in the oven or they will burn very quickly if not monitored.
****You can use cooking spray too but I find olive oil works better for me.

More Recipes


seafood chorizo pasta

I love Aldi’s. You can get quality food for a fraction of the price you’d pay at other super markets. I found this black soy bean pasta there for only $2.89! It’s tasty, protein-packed and went perfectly with this Seafood & Chorizo Pasta recipe. Added bonus – the black pasta is pretty aesthetically pleasing.

seafood pasta


  • 4oz. Aldis Simply Organic Black Soybean Pasta
  • 1 1/2 cup sliced chorizo
  • 12 little neck clams
  • 12 raw shrimp – peeled, deveined and tail removed 
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 16 oz. tomato basil sauce*
  • 1 cup Chardonnay
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 3/4 cup preferred stock**
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Parsley (optional) for garnish
  • Parmesan (optional) for garnish


1. Cook according to directions on box.
2. Rinse with cold water and drain.
3. Set aside.


1. Put a large cast iron skillet on medium heat and coat with oil.
2. When oil is hot add garlic and onions to pan. Stir until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
3. Add tomato basil sauce and wine. Simmer for 5-8 mins. 
4. Add stock and stir. Let sauce simmer until you can no longer taste the wine.
5. Add sugar and stir. 
6. Add chorizo and shrimp stirring occasionally until the shrimp has curled and is cooked, about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low.


1. Clean the mussels and clams vigorously until all grit is removed.
Discard any broken or open clams/mussels.
2. In a large pot bring 2 inches of water to a boil.
3. Add clams and mussels to boil and cover for 4 mins.
4. Remove any clams or mussels that have steamed open and set aside. Repeat the process until all clams and mussels have opened.

1. Toss pasta into sauce, then top with clams and mussels.
Sprinkle Parmesan and parsley on top and serve immediately.

*I used Wegmans Tomato Basil Sauce
**I used beef stock

Hands down one of the best plates I made

5.0 rating
December 11, 2019

I really enjoyed this recipe. I am always looking for new ways to cook chicken because sometimes you just need to change it up. After seeing this recipe, I knew I would enjoy making it. The dish is filled with aromatics, which highlights the sauce and chicken. Usually I am not a huge fan of olives, but to my surprise, the olives complimented the dish by giving it a little extra salt to the rich sauce. I will definitely make this again. Probably next week !


Response from

Love hearing this! Thanks for the feedback!

31 Days of Spooky

Happy October! 

AKA Spooky Month. I have always loved October, especially the spookiness that comes with it. Some people, like myself, just truly enjoy a good scare. The science behind why some people enjoy being scared versus why some people have no interest at all is pretty interesting. In fact, if you head over to one of my favorite podcasts, ‘Morbid,’ Alaina will tell you all about “The Science of Fear.”  

Anyways, there is nothing I love more than getting comfortably scared on my couch, so here are 31 of my favorite scary movies, one for each day of October.

Happy Hauntings xx

  1. House on Haunted Hill (1959)

2. Carnival of Souls (1962)

3. Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

4. The Wicker Man (1973)

Please watch this before you watch ‘Midsommar.’

5. The Exorcist (1973)

6. Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

7. Halloween (1978)

8. Friday the 13th (1980)

9. The Shining (1980)

10. My Bloody Valentine (1981)

11. Evil Dead (1981)

12. Poltergeist (1982)

13. Sleepaway Camp (1983)

14. Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

15. Children of the Corn (1984)

16. Hellraiser (1987)

17. Pet Sematary (1989)

18. It (1990)

19. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

20. Se7en (1995)

21. The Craft (1996)

22. Scream (1996)

23. I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997)

24. Urban Legend (1998)

25. The Faculty (1998)

26. Stir Of Echoes (1999)

27. The Sixth Sense (1999)

28. 28 Days Later (2002)

Image result for 28 days later

29. The Ring (2002)

30. The Descent (2005)

31. Let the Right One In (2008)

*I do not own any of these images.

Easy Moroccan Chicken

Sometimes you get bored of chicken, and that’s where this Easy Moroccan Chicken recipe comes in.


Adapted from Once Upon a Chef

  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 bone-in chicken breasts (about 3-4lbs in total)
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, halved and cut into thick slices
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1-3/4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 large or 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into rounds
  • 1/2 cup green olives, pitted and halved
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves*


  1. Combine the spices in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. WASH your chicken by rinsing it off in lukewarm water. Trim any excess giblets. (Always disinfect your sink after rinsing meat by spraying it with some anti-bacterial spray and then scrubbing it.)
  3. Pat your chicken dry and then season with salt and pepper to your liking, about 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
  4. Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet on medium high. When the oil begins to smoke, add the chicken. Brown chicken on each side until it’s a golden brown (about 5-7 minutes). 
  5. Transfer the chicken to a plate to cool. When cooled, you can discard the skin (I kept mine but can do away with it if desired).
  6. Reduce heat to medium and add onions, stirring occasionally until browned.**
  7.  Add the lemon zest and minced garlic stirring, until fragrant. Then add the spices and flour, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Make sure your flour isn’t clumping or sticking to the bottom of the pan. 
  8. Stir in broth, honey, 1/4 teaspoon salt, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to make sure all is incorporated. 
  9. Add the chicken back to the pot, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.***
  10. Add carrots, cover until the chicken is cooked through and the carrots are cooked, about another 10 minutes.
  11. Stir in the olives, parsley, and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice; taste the sauce and adjust with salt, pepper, more lemon juice, if desired. 

*I’ve seen this recipe using cilantro instead of parsley so whichever you prefer.
**You don’t want the onions to fall apart or burn so add some water by tablespoon if they’re getting too dark. The onions should be soft but not diminishing in size.
***If the sauce begins to dry up, add more chicken stock little by little and stir until you get a gravy-like consistency. 

Hands down one of the best plates I made

5.0 rating
December 11, 2019

I really enjoyed this recipe. I am always looking for new ways to cook chicken because sometimes you just need to change it up. After seeing this recipe, I knew I would enjoy making it. The dish is filled with aromatics, which highlights the sauce and chicken. Usually I am not a huge fan of olives, but to my surprise, the olives complimented the dish by giving it a little extra salt to the rich sauce. I will definitely make this again. Probably next week !


Response from

Love hearing this! Thanks for the feedback!

A Guide to Kaua’i

A Guide to Kaua’i
I had never given a thought to traveling to the Hawaiian Islands. I just imagined a very touristy place full of beach resorts. But because my husbands passport was expired, we were limited to the states for our honeymoon. He had always wanted to go to Hawaii and since that was the most tropical place we could go, we started looking at flights. At the time I noticed it was cheaper to fly into Lihue than Honolulu. I had never heard of Lihue but after looking into the terrain of the island, I was excited to go. We booked our flights and planned to (and successfully did) explore the entire island of Kaua’i. So with our weeks worth of experience on the island, I present to you: A Guide to Kaua’i.

Where to Stay

Our first stay was at a hotel. Now, normally we would not do this but our flight got into Hawaii at 7pm. I knew after 10 hours of flying we would be too tired to drive an hour away, to the first town we planned to explore.


Conveniently located about 15 minutes from the airport is the ISO. Check-in was easy because the front desk staff is around until 11pm. Our room had a 70’s motel vibe (not complaining). The bed was comfy, the bathroom was nice and our room led right out to the pool. Not going to lie, it was deathly hot in our room. Apparently Kaua’i isn’t air-conditioner friendly, which I get and respect but ya girl was perspiring, A LOT. 

The ISO offers a small complimentary breakfast. Nothing phenomenal – just oatmeal, cereal, some coffee, tea, yogurt and milk. This was enough to start the day though. We then took out some of the hotels vintage bikes and rode them to ‘Opaeka’a Falls. This was treacherous and an uphill battle with street bikes but worth it for the views. Bikes are available on a first come first serve basis and are free to rent to hotel guests.

When we returned to the hotel we hung out by the pool. Our checkout was at 11am but the friendly staff allowed us a late checkout at 130pm. There are hammocks, lawn chairs facing the ocean and a sleek fire pit for the evening in the courtyard of the ISO. Even though our room was hot I really enjoyed staying here and if you can stand the heat, it’s worth a stay.


After the ISO we headed to our first apartment through Airbnb. I love Airbnb. It’s nice to feel at home when you’re traveling. You can rent an entire apartment, an entire house, a room, a cabin, a plot of land – wherever you travel, there’s probably an Airbnb that can accommodate your needs. Click here to sign up for Airbnb and get a discount on your first stay! With my link for Airbnb, you’ll get $40 off booking a home and $15 to use toward an experience worth $50 or more.

We rented two apartments throughout our stay. The first was a studio in Princeville. Princeville is beautiful but it has a very generic feel. You’ll find private golf courses for $200 a round, two lattes can cost you $18 and there is no genuine Hawaii feel. It felt more like what I imagine Beverly Hills would be like. But I digress…

And we had AC here! 

Our other apartment was in Kapa’a and chosen because it was close to the airport. This stay, much like our time at the ISO, was incredibly hot. It was a room off of a house with a private entrance. At night it cooled down but we stayed out during the day because the heat was unbearable. We did not have a kitchen here but that was by choice. We wanted to enjoy all the local eats! Our apartment was nice as expected. We had a large balcony which overlooked Namolokama Mountain. The kitchen was very well equipped so we were able to cook some meals instead of going out to eat every day, which was a nice balance. The neighborhood, as generic as it was, was picturesque for quick runs in the morning or sunset strolls.

Some of the breakfasts we prepared at our Airbnb’s.

Where To Eat

I love food – maybe we hurt our bank account a little with all the places we dined at but as my husband kept reassuring me, “We only get one honeymoon.” Well played.

Before I dish out all the places that helped us gain some extra pounds, a quick forewarning: Hawaii is expensive. Believe me, I tried to look for the cheapest meal options and these were what I came up with.

Tiki Tacos in Kapa’a 

These are some FAT tacos. Tiki Tacos has a simple menu with tacos, burritos and my all time favorite food: tamales. The shop is tiny with just 2-3 seats inside but some outdoor seating. I thought the prices were a little steep for a taco but after seeing the size of the taco, I believe the price is right.

Kountry Kitchen in Kapa’a 

For the most important meal of the day, definitely get to Kountry Kitchen. Bottomless, delicious Hawaiian coffee, crispy waffles and giant omelettes. We ordered one Mediterranean omelette to split and I could barely finish my half. Service was quick when went around 8am but the place started to pack in shortly after we finished eating, so get there early. You can find a simple eggs and bacon meal on the menu or something more elaborate.

Lava Lava Beach Club in Kapa’a

Our kayaking tour guide recommended this place after our excursion. We arrived at 2pm right before their menu changed to only happy hour foods. We got shake fries, which was a bag of French fries that we added, cajun seasoning, furikake seaweed and Parmesan, to and then literally shook the bag, sizzling shrimp and a $16 salad. Now before you judge me, I saw the size of the salad before we ordered and it was enough to feed 3 people. Well worth it after five hours of kayaking and hiking. 

Rob’s Good Time Grill in Kapa’a

This place was so good that we went back twice. They have an Ono fish and chips dish on the menu that has the best GD tartar sauce I’ve ever tasted. The slaw they give you with the fish and chips is not some mayonnaise doused coleslaw, it’s a kale and purple cabbage coleslaw with a nice vinaigrette. They also have a fantastic selection of local beers on tap, karaoke some nights and a dance floor.

Aloha Roastery in Koloa

Another spot we visited twice. I’m not an expert on coffee; in fact I drink Tim Horton’s coffee almost everyday and I once heard a barista compare that to jet fuel so what do I know? But this place made a delicious matcha latte and a nice vanilla latte. They have non-dairy substitutions for milk and a small selection of baked goods.

Island Taco in Waimea

After Waimea State Park, we stopped at this place. Small menu with mainly just tacos and burritos. With the tacos you have the choice of flour or corn tortillas. The tacos come with thick homemade chips and salsa. I got a glimpse of the burrito that another customer had ordered and it was quite large so you get your money’s worth here.

Fresh fruit and street food

We found a ton of fresh fruit by chance and street food as well. We passed by a cocoa farm and stopped there to buy the most delicious strawberry mint dark chocolate truffles. The woman behind the counter gave us as much starfruit as we could carry without damaging it (it’s such a delicate fruit), for free.

We drove by a papaya farm and stopped there, found a man selling coconuts by the beach, grabbed some of those and saw a couple of young girls selling an ENTIRE COOLER OF TAMALES by the beach so of course, we bought some of those too.

Keep your eyes peeled for people selling food next to the beaches – you won’t be disappointed and it’s cheaper than the restaurants.

What to Do

Tahiti Nui Luau

This place is the definition of a mom and pop restaurant. Every Wednesday they throw a traditional luau and but you must make reservations to see this amazing show. Owned by a family, the husband places guitar and sings for the audience while you enjoy free MaiTais until 6pm! The imu roasted pig is served with a ton of traditional Hawaiian foods and later in the evening a family begins the hula and fire dancer show. I really appreciated being able to see the tradition of the hula dance and being able to enjoy a traditional Hawaiian meal.

Ali’i Kayak

First off, be ready for a workout. This FIVE HOUR kayak and hiking tour gets you onto trails only accessible by tour guides. After kayaking for a mile and a half, we made our way through muddy trails, grass and plants taller than us (I’m 5’9, my husband is 6’ for reference), to a cool refreshing 80ft waterfall. Like our tour guide said, “you could take thousands of photos of this place and photos will never do it justice.” 100% agree. 

Hā’ena State Beach/Park

Unfortunately, I didn’t do my homework well enough because you have to make a reservation to enter Hā’ena State Park. The views are said to be spectacular, the trails long and scenic and the photos of the park are out of this world. Since the park just recently reopened, only a certain amount of visitors are granted access each day. Reservations can be booked a month ahead and I saw why: the earliest reservation we could find was two weeks after our flight to go home. So sadly, we didn’t get to the park. But we did get to the beach. This is a big snorkeling spot for tourists because turtles frequent this area.

Kaua’i Lanes

No matter where we are vacationing in the U.S., we always find a bowling lane near us. We used to bowl a lot in college so we like to check out the lanes in other cities. We went on a Saturday around 8pm. The place was packed with leagues but only on one side. It’s large enough though, so at any given night I’m sure lanes would be available. The staff is super friendly and so were the patrons. 

Waimea State Park

I’m not sure if Waimea is accessible without a car. The Jeep we rented really came in handy for this trip. There was misty rain on and off all day but that didn’t take away from the beauty of the park. We were originally going to hike through the trails but the minute we got to the first lookout peak, I felt awful. Not sure why but it could definitely be blamed on the altitude; the elevation is 3,600 ft! The canyon is 3,00ft deep and affectionately referred to as the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific.”

The rest of our trip was spent on the beach in the sun and I couldn’t have asked for a more relaxing honeymoon.
I hope this guide prompts you to make a visit to this beautiful place or at least add it to your bucket list. Where to next? – aloha 🙂

A Fresh Start

There’s nothing like a weeklong vacation for the first time in nine months to help put things into perspective.

I have always been a writer but I chose to go down a different path in life. I don’t regret this choice but lately I’ve felt I’ve lost all my hobbies along the way. So with this, I’ve decided to write (or type, I guess) again to share my recipes, travels, and other things in my life that interest me.

Welcome, to A Piece of Ressa.