Thursday, September 3, 2015


So my most recent trip to Hawaii was just down right incredible. For the first time ever I traveled to the Big Island, Hawaii and then later followed up with Oahu. That'll be a post for next time though. While on the Big Island I got to visit some amazing waterfalls, climb the enormous Banyan trees, and hike my way to a gorgeous, secluded beach. My stay on the Big Island was mostly for business but this is just a short review of what I found to be some of the must haves to do while visiting. 

Makalawena Beach

So for my hiking friends, there are plenty of places to hike on the Big Island. The Big Island is, well, BIG, but it can be a little limited to what you can do. The multiple climates leave some wiggle room of activities but mostly it ranges from going to the beach...or going hiking (for outdoor activities). Just so everyone gets what I mean about multiple climates; on one side of the island, the HILO side, it is more green and lush, but very rainy. On the KONA side it barely rains and is covered in lava rock. If you drive to the top of MAUNA KEA or MAUNA LOA you'll be met with snow. Many locals will even drive to the top of these mountains to fill their truck beds with snow and bring it down so their children can build snowmen and have snowball fights. Personally, I tried to fit a beach day with a hiking day and the perfect place to do that in my opinion is at Makalawena Beach. 

Makalawena Beach

I know it looks like a lot of rock and that's probably because it is. Proper foot wear is essential, so make sure you have good hiking shoes, (and socks! I can't stress that enough). Also wear plenty of sunscreen; the sun can be ruthless on your skin and body so fill yourself up with water and lather up in sunscreen. It is very rocky so if you have weak ankles...don't go far, or just be careful. The ride down to the parking area will require you to have a truck, jeep or something with four wheel drive; you'll be going off road driving. Please...don't try this with a Prius. 

Makalawena Beach

Makalawena Beach
Remember location, location, location. You'll have to walk to get to the best places. The walk I took was about 30 minutes though it felt like much longer  because I figured out the hard way about that proper footwear I fore mentioned. I would do it again, I'd just wear socks! (Always wear socks!) 

The hike is not your average, climbing hills and stepping over tree roots scene. The land is flat...but remember, you will have to walk over lava rocks, and depending how far you go, it'll include more sand and tree roots and plenty of lava rock. But in the end it is a gorgeous view and incredible experience. 

My biggest suggestion (besides wearing socks) is make sure you stay for the sunset. Sunsets in general or gorgeous...sunsets in Hawaii are ten times better. 

Makalawena Beach

Pictures can't do it justice, so you'll just have to visit on your own.

Now, while Makalawena is beautiful and has just drop dead gorgeous sights, try and see some of the waterfalls. When I was available to do these activities the island was feeling some of the aftermath of their most recent hurricanes and a lot of the parks were flooded. The majority of those were the ones with the waterfalls. The one park that was open to visitors was Rainbow Falls. In short, it was magnificent! 

FUN FACT: If you visit, stare at the center of the waterfall 10-30 seconds and then slowly move your eyes to the green shrubbery beside it. Your vision will become like waves and the the rocks and trees will start to move up and down. It's actually very cool. 

Climb the stairs to the top to get pictures of the falls from above, and if you go a little further you can see the banyan trees. I had a little fun and climbed up into them myself, but beware, they'll get you muddy and sweaty and they might be wet, so don't slip! 

For the final, really exciting, thing I did. Some may not be aware but on the Big Island of Hawaii...there is a live volcano that has since erupted and spilled lava in certain places. If you come, you should definitely try to buy out some time to drive up to see this live volcano. I unfortunately didn't get too good pictures because when we went up, it was at night, but it was still great to look at though. 

I suggest maybe getting there before nightfall because then if you want you can enjoy the museum while getting pictures both in the day time and at night of the lava. Personally...museums aren't quite my thing, but I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Inside it had seismic charts of volcanic activity, ancient Hawaiian beliefs like that of Pele, their goddess of Fire, and several samples of lava rock and shavings from the volcano. So while my trip to the Big Island was short, it's definitely worth seeing. Make sure to try and do some of the things I mentioned, you'll really enjoy it! Later in this blog I'll add some other cool things to do while on the Big Island too, so just keep your eyes open, but if you have a question feel free to ask in the comments or email me through the blog. Their should be a section to do that somewhere on the sides of the page. That's a wrap for this trip. Thanks for reading and I hope it helps! 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Welcome to New York!

So I will start my blog with my review of my New York trip from this past March. I wrote this for my job as a Graphic Designer for a smaller NC magazine. Hopefully this will give some hints as of what to do, where to go and what to eat while visiting New York. You can read the magazine this article was featured in HERE. Or you could stick around and *cough, cough*, read it below.
Feel free to comment with your own suggestions for Restaurants, Attractions, Shopping and anything else you feel worth sharing!



When it came to my most recent trip, to New York, I managed to do some awesome things in a week that I could suggest anyone planning a trip to The Big Apple to do. When you go on a vacation, at least for me, there is just a few certain things I want—good food, good pictures, and good entertainment.
When planning for NY, for someone who is interested in getting good pictures and learning about the city (and getting an awesome picture of the Statue of Liberty), I strongly suggest buying tickets for a river tour. Trying to get pictures from a moving car or from the ground is not as efficient and enjoyable as taking an hour boat ride around the island. I promise you'll be able to get amazing shots of the city skyline and get real up close and personal with Lady Liberty.

After the river tour you may be a little hungry (like me), and what do New Yorker's always claim to have the best of? Uh hello! Their Pizza! I'll be honest, over my week in New York, I visited so many pizza places I have no idea which is the best. One of the places I visited that I really enjoyed was John’s Pizzeria in the Theatre District on West 44th St. Just a heads up though, if you're interested in an awesome pie (pizza), try and stay in the Time Square area. “If you want a good pie, you got to walk,” quoted straight from a New Yorker's mouth.
So my advice is to try and search for something between 7th Street and Time Square. For other restaurants and coffee shops I suggest stopping by Dean and Deluca on 8th Ave. for a mad Chai Tea and cupcakes, or Tony's Di Napoli on W 43rd Street for a family styled meal. The portions are enormous and their spaghetti and meatballs are incredible!
When it comes to the best entertainment—Broadway is the way to go. There are so many options that it could make your head spin. From comedy shows to Disney shows you can find anything and just about everything. It's a bit on the pricy side for tickets but if you're willing to spend it, it is worth the money.
My trip was a whirl wind but I still managed to do all the musts when it came to having an awesome stay in the Big Apple.