Take me to the Beach…

The Place:

The Place is the spot of our special place on the ocean. I grew up spending time there in the summer and even at Christmastime. Everyone who comes to the Place falls in love. It’s the beach. No one is there. You can walk forever. The tide could be in or out, the waves could be rolling in or it can be calm and as flat as glass. It can be sunny, cloudy or completely pouring with rain. However it happens to be, it’s perfect. Since it’s in Washington State, west of Seattle, it’s cloudy most of the time and rains for much of the year. But, rain or shine, it’s our piece of perfection. It’s my absolute favorite place to walk. The reason is simple — there are very few people. The beach has homes on the shore, so there’s limited beach access. The one area, by the mouth of the Elwah River, has  very few places to park. And, really, unless you have a place there, it’s not worth it to go to this particular beach because there are other beaches in the area that are far more convenient. But, for the lucky few who live there, it’s heaven on earth.

I loved the beaches in Hawaii when I lived there, but I always compared the two. I loved swimming in the Hawaii waters because it’s warm and lovely when you’re in the water. And, when you’re in the water, you have to swim way out because most swimmers hang out at the shore break. To be alone means swimming through the break and out into open water. One thing that became very apparent when I lived in Hawaii is that I’m not a fan of people. When I’m walking the beach, I like to be alone or with one or two others.

My favorite person to walk with is my dad. We spend hours walking the beach when I go home. And he calls me when he’s on the beach when I’m not there and I can picture exactly where he is. Sometimes he sends me videos of eagles or maybe a baby seal. It’s amazing! My dad walked the beach with his own dad every single week. He’d go with my  grandpa on his day off of work. They would walk, talk and find treasures. I have to say, my dad was the lucky one in his family. He had those unforgettable moments with his dad. My grandfather died very unexpectedly when he was 71 and my dad didn’t live with regret that he hadn’t spent enough time. His siblings weren’t that fortunate. They were younger and never got that kind of time with their dad. And they also didn’t have a special place to go and reflect and remember. Even to me, there’s a piece of my grandfather on that beach. I think of him fondly every single time I’m there. Even when I’m inside the Cabin, I think of him playing Christmas music on his trumpet there one Christmas Eve. That was the year we made it simple, and ate clam chowder. I don’t think we have had or will have a better Christmas Eve than that one. And that’s okay. We don’t try to recreate it, we just smile and think of how happy it made us just to be there.

So, find your place and your people. Appreciate every moment.

Keep walking!

-K

“The ocean stirs the heart, inspires the imagination and brings eternal joy to the soul.” ~Wylan

IMG_3649“The Sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.” ~Jacques Cousteau

Leaving Paradise…

And the things I’ll hold close to my heart!

So, people ask me all the time how I could leave Hawaii. I lived there for seven years and I did love it. But, I never felt local, I always felt like an outsider. It really wasn’t anyone making me feel that way (although there were the mean-sprited individuals who liked to remind me that I was a haole.) And, no, I wasn’t local. Blonde hair and blue eyes? Nope, certainly not native. But, I never even really felt like Hawaii was home. I felt like I was on an extended vacation and that I’d go back to real life one day. And, it’s not just sandy beaches, waves and palm trees. You have to work hard when you live in Hawaii. Probably harder than anywhere. Most people have to hold down 2 or 3 jobs. Not fun at all. It is so expensive to do anything. Many people I know who grew up there hadn’t ever visited the mainland because they had big families and the tickets aren’t cheap. And then there’s the living situation — anything remotely nice and in a good area is at least $2,000/month. Realistically, $2,500-$3,000… And, it is so damn far away. You are on an island in the middle of the Pacific and getting anywhere takes forever, so you eat your vacation time just on the travel to get somewhere… All of that, and I haven’t even talked about the costs for food. Ridiculous! 

So, by the time I did leave, I was ready. I wanted to do something different. I wanted to feel the seasons again. I wanted to experience art and culture. And, I wanted it to feel like home again. I was so desperately lonely. All the time. I would meet people and a few months later they moved. Sometimes I didn’t know until they were already gone. Lots were in the military and others simply couldn’t afford it anymore. At a certain point, you stop wanting to meet anyone because they’ll leave too. You become tired of meeting new friends all the time. And, I get why locals didn’t want to take me in — they knew one day I’d be leaving too.

I met some great people and I will never forget them. Some live in Hawaii and others live all over the world. It’s cool to have friends everywhere. And, I’ll always have Hawaii in my heart. Here are a few ways I keep Hawaii alive every day!

Lucky we live Hawaii:

  1. I will always wear slippas! (Even when it’s cold.)
  2. I will alway enjoy Spam! (Never thought I’d try it, but dang spam musabi is amazing!)
  3. I will always remove my shoes when entering someone else’s home and my own. (Seriously, it’s just rude not to!)
  4. I will always crave ahi poke and will eat it whenever I’m lucky enough to see it on a menu.
  5. I will always be able to smell a lei and will forever be grateful that I had fresh flowers around me all the time.
  6. I’ll always love Kona Brewing Company and Maui Brewing Company and will drink them when I find them on a menu.
  7. I’ll always love mochi ice cream. And, I’ll never forget Bubbies!
  8. I’ll always enjoy college sports (because I’ll remember when that’s all there was.)
  9. I’ll appreciate really good hiking because I know that trails aren’t that plentiful everywhere in the country.
  10. I will always love the North Shore and will remember what it used to be, before everyone else found it.
  11. I’ll always wear Strong Current (I hope there isn’t a day I can’t get it.)
  12. My house will always have a Hawaii section to make me smile and think of the good old days.
  13. I will always say ALOHA and MAHALO!
  14. And, I’ll remember that I truly never said goodbye, I said see you soon!
  15. I’ll always be #luckywelivehawaii

As you can see, there’s so much I’m taking with me. I left a piece of my heart in Hawaii and I know I’ll have another list soon! 🙂

Keep walking (and do it with the aloha spirit!)

-K

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This is the beach on the North Shore of Oahu. I’m all alone, which is uncommon. Just wait until you see what’s to come from the Aloha State!

Getting Back to It!

How to get back on track…

Well, I have written in way too long. I know that part of the problem is that this blog is about walking, learning, seeing and doing — right now. But, at the moment, my walks aren’t as meaningful, due to some issues in my life I’ve had to deal with. So, in the spirit of doing what I set out to do, WRITE about my experiences, this is what I’m doing to get back on track…

How to refresh your mind:

  • Renew the Commitment: I’m going to commit to writing, no matter what! No matter how hard I have to reach or how tough it is, I’m going to get ideas on paper.
  • Find Inspiration: I’m going to find my inspiration again by doing the things I love.
  • Go Back in Time: I’m going to go back in time and write about some of the things that are so worthy of writing about, but I never took the time to do it.
  • Love Yourself: I may have disappointed myself, but I’m human. I need to let it go and love myself to find my voice again.

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I spent a whole lot of time living in and loving Hawaii. Get ready, you’re going with me on the trip of your life! Finding aloha again! It may not have happened yesterday, but it has only been a few months and it’s heaven. See you in the plumeria garden!

Keep walking!

-K

Walking to Eat Healthy

How to Enjoy Eating Healthy

Sun ripened peaches. Glistening red cherry tomatoes. Crisp and colorful kale. Rainbow stemmed swiss chard. Bright orange fuzzy peaches.

This is what I’m thinking about while walking today. For some reason, I dream of fresh, healthy food when I’m on the move. This is a good thing! But, when I get home, I’m tired and the last thing I want to do is find a recipe and go to the store to buy the ingredients to make a healthy meal. Sadly, I end up with a bowl of yogurt and some raspberries (I love fruit, so I always make a point to buy some at the store.) But, I don’t come up with a genius concoction for dinner, so we go out or just grab whatever is in the fridge.

So, I decide, after hearing an ad on one of my podcasts, that I’d like to try Sunbasket. I had been trying to go Paleo for a long time and thought that this service would be perfect to do just that. So, I put in my first order. It was very easy and they remind you when absolutely everything is happening. Such a simple, no excuse way to eat healthy!

I have to say, I loved it! Although, it’s much harder than they say, because I can’t quite get things timed right… I’m a work in progress. The meals were excellent, for the most part. I even ate beef, which I never do, because that’s part of being paleo. But, I overcooked the steak, proving I shouldn’t stray too far from what I can stand. I have this aversion to blood when I cook and so I char it until it’s gone. My fiancé basically ate my steak like Chevy Chase ate the dry turkey in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. No exaggeration.

The cool thing about Sunbasket is that they actually teach you to cook. They put things together that I never would have thought of. And, I absolutely hate waste and you don’t have it because everything is measured perfectly. I did stray from the paleo option once and oh man was it good. I know I’ll continue with Sunbasket! If you suck at cooking, like I do, and want to eat fresh and healthy, it’s awesome!

Keep walking!

-K

Walking Fore Fun… at the U.S. Senior Open

 

Yesterday, it was more than 6 miles at the U.S. Senior Open. I can only imagine how far a professional golfer walks in a lifetime! Watching these guys play is amazing. OLD GUYS RULE! Apparently, Kirk Triplett won the day with a 62, eight under par. He even had an eagle on the 4th hole! That is amazing and I wish I had been there to witness that one. There’s no way to see everything when you watch live… We actually came to see John Daly (We love watching him!) but he had to pull out the day before due to a shoulder injury. So, we had to decide who to watch… We paid the most attention to Couples, Jimenez, Watson and Faldo.

The course was absolutely gorgeous. It was played at Salem Country Club in Peabody, MA. Apparently, they did a huge renovation of the course to prepare to host. And, you could tell. It was in a wooded area, almost like it was cut out of the forest, and it looked so serene.

We were surprised that more people weren’t there. Hopefully, that will change for the final three days. There are things I would do differently if I was running it… like better marketing, improved food, etc. But, they really are relying on a lot of volunteers. So, overall it was well-done.

Somehow, I’m very into sports. I always laugh and say that I was my dad’s boy because he only had my sister and me. But, although she may not be as hardcore as I can get, my sister is also a sports fan. So, if you like sports, golf is a fun event to see and, heck, you get your walking in for sure! You don’t need to be a golfer to join in. But, girls, make sure you have a very small purse (6×6 max) and dress to be in the sun all day. Some people were wearing heels. Don’t be that girl. Think about walking on grass in heels all day… Enough said!

Keep walking!

-K

The Charles

The Charles River trail is one of the best places to walk! It’s a piece of beautiful restored nature in the middle of the city. I start where I live in Waltham and I’m able to get to the trail very quickly. Some say it’s boring to walk the same trail all the time. I totally disagree. The trail is never the same — you see different things every single time you walk it. A trail that you know also has huge advantages — you know how far you’ve gone and you figure out what’s around if you need anything. It’s easy to get off the trail on the Charles, to do whatever you want. The other thing I really like is the surface. When you walk every day, you just can’t do pavement 100% of the time. The Charles is also safe because there are plenty of other people walking, running and biking. I always appreciate whoever I see — they are out in nature getting exercise. It’s my tribe!

Today, I saw a bunny on the trail. The first time I saw one, it freaked me out. We sure didn’t have them in Hawaii and I didn’t see them when living in Washington or Oregon. The only place I saw bunnies all over was in New Zealand. It only scared me because I was so surprised. They usually just hop in the grass by the trail and stay far away from me, but today this bunny let me get really close. I didn’t magnify the photo at all. Later, at the bar (yes, of course I go to the bar!) I was telling a friend that I couldn’t believe the bunnies on the trail. He grew up in the area and said that he never remembered seeing them as a kid, but definitely started to see a lot more about 5 years ago or so. They aren’t taking over in the areas I see them (unlike the geese!) but it’s easy to spot them on the trail. I’m new to this part of the world, so I don’t have an opinion on them yet…

I know the Charles meanders all the way to Boston. I haven’t gone that far yet (that’s a long walk one way, so I’d need to Uber back.) For now, I try to go a little farther every time I walk the trail. Just increasing your typical walk a little bit each time makes a difference. Soon, you are adding miles to your walk. I use a FitBit and when it vibrates for my 10,000 steps, I’m super happy. There’s that little celebration that goes on in your head (or sometimes out loud when I have a walking partner) and you want to start happy dancing. I hope you all feel the same way. Make sure you thank yourself for making exercise a priority!

Keep walking!

-K

 

 

Beginning the College Tour at Bentley

BentleyI absolutely LOVE visiting college campuses. They are a perfect place to walk trails, hills, stairs… Yesterday, I visited Bentley University. It was established in 1917, so they had signs all over about the 100 years of Bentley. They also had a brilliant marketing campaign. I went into the cafe to get a water and attached to all of the napkin holders were small signs that announced “100 things” to love about Bentley. 100 years of history is a big deal and I was happy to see that Bentley was celebrating!

The campus was really alive (being it was a summer evening.) They had admissions events going on and the basketball courts were being used for some kind of camp. I was also very impressed when I looked at the website from my cell phone — it’s a respected business school!

The campus was gorgeous and they were in the middle of construction, which is a very good sign for the future of the university. If you are in Waltham, MA, I would definitely recommend walking Bentley. And, I will be telling kids I know in other states to take a look because Bentley just may be exactly what they are looking for.

I’d love to hear about the campuses you have walked. It is worth researching and getting out there to take a stroll.

Keep walking!

-K

Beginnings… The Summer Solstice

Amazing that my first post is on the longest day of the year. Often a day of change and renewal, it’s a great day to get out and walk. Just knowing that you have the most time you’ll have all year feels fantastic. Many people got out to see the sunrise and, although I didn’t do that, I wasn’t in a rush today. I stopped to “smell the roses.”

We can make every day feel like the longest day of the year. Build in these five tactics to make every day longer:

  1. Get up with the sun… Experiment with keeping your windows uncovered when you go to bed, so you can actually feel the sun when it rises. Let that warm, bright feeling propel you into the day.
  2. Move in the morning… Forget the coffee. Try to get out of the house and move as a new ritual. As you walk, you’ll gain more energy. You’ll feel amazing and will also gain some spunk for everything you have to do during the day.
  3. Take breaks during the day and feel the sun… Whatever you’re doing, take a 5 minute break to go outside, close your eyes and look up at the sun. Feel the warmth on your face. Focus on your breath and bask in the sun. Try to let your stress fall away and prepare to go back to your life feeling relaxed and renewed.
  4. Eat light… Eat nourishing foods that are light and healthy. Think fruits, veggies, fish. These foods will prevent you from feeling full and keep you light on your feet.
  5. Walk more than you normally would… Take an evening stroll and move longer than  you usually do. Take a new route or explore further than you normally do. When you finally go inside for the night, feel good about the dark. You may enjoy the light, but the stars shine in the night to show you the way.

Keep walking!

-K