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