Papa’a la but Hau`oli


So…Hawaii? Gorgeous.

Like, stunning.

We are staying in a house about a mile from a beautiful, huge stretch of beach, some cute little shops, and best of all, not in a super touristy area (like Waikiki).

So far my Hawaiian experience has been great. We’ve gone to the beach a few days, gone to a farmers market, gone on a hike (more on that later), and even running has been incredible.


Lets start with the weather. The place I’m staying has no AC. That’s only been a problem a few nights when my sunburn (regrettable…more on that later too) was making me hotter than normal which made it hard to sleep. But with the way I burned, it would have been hard to sleep anyway. So, in short, the weather is fantastic. It gets down in the 70s at night and up in the 80s during the day. It gets a little hot and muggy after it rains, but other than that the weather is very pleasant. Perfect, almost.

Now, on to the hike.

So we were planning on doing the pillbox hike but the weather looked dicey so we chose to do a lighthouse hike (which is paved and in a different area).

Okay, so there are these things all over O’ahu called “pillboxes”. They’re these little concrete structures that were lookout stations during World War II, but they kind of look like little pill boxes. So that’s what they’re called now. And they are all over the island on the hills and mountains (which makes sense, they were meant to help look out for Japanese planes/ships/etc.).

A pillbox on the top of the mountain.

So we went to what was called the “lighthouse hike” because there is a lighthouse on the side of the mountain that you can see. The hike is actually called “Makapu’u Head” which is the eastern most point on the island.

There are actually three hikes. One is actually an abandoned road (called Ka’iwi) that goes almost to the top of the mountain. It’s about a mile and a quarter up to the top, but it’s paved and has a gentle rise. We took a five-year old and he was fine. And we saw plenty of people with strollers. That’s the first, most common, hike. The second is one that takes you all the way to the very top

of the mountain where there are more WW2 bunkers and another pillbox (there are several on the mountain). This was not for little kids, it’s more of a hike, unpaved, and requires climbing. Not major climbing, mind you, the stones almost make “stairs”, but it’s not just like going up the stairs in your house. The last part is Ka’iwi Shoreline. It’s a nice, flat walk that leads you to a nice little beach and some rocky areas. And all of it is absolutely gorgeous.

A pillbox on the top of the mountain.

This was great because I got to do the trail at the top, and everyone in our party got to do the road and the trail to the beach. According to fitbit, I did 4.2 miles that day, which is about right, considering the road trail is 2.5 miles on it’s own, then we did the Ka’iwi shore and I climbed to the top of the mountain. This was all in a town called Waimanalo (pronounced like “why man aloe”), which is pretty close to Kailua (which, in Hawaii, everything is “pretty close” compared to life on the mainland…)

at the bottom of the shoreline trail, the Pacific ocean ladies and gents

at the bottom of the shoreline trail, the Pacific ocean ladies and gents

On to the burn.

I am descended from a long line of Irish folks. Pale, creamy white Irish folks. Equatorial sun and I do not mix well. And me, being the hippie that I am, I decided to use organic sunscreen. I bought this organic 30 SPF thinking that if I applied it more frequently it would be just as effective as the 50-70 SPF range that is not organic. I tried it out at a pool at home in southeastern VA. 2 hours and not a bit of sun. So I pack the sunscreen, thinking, if I re-apply every hour I can use this and not put weird chemicals on my body. (the clean eating is slowly expanded into trying to be clean and organic everything). I dutifully re-applied my sunscreen. I wore a hat.

I got completely burnt on my chest, back, and shoulders.

Thank goodness it was early in the vacation, which means I don’t have to ride in a plane with crazy sunburn AND I’m in a wedding with a strapless dress two days after we get back from Hawaii.

So now I have some really nice burn lines that  need to do something about for the wedding I’m in. It’s only in…oh, a week.

That’s it for now. We leave tomorrow (SO SAD!) but I have lots more to tell later.


the view from the top...pretty stunning

the view from the top…pretty stunning

Aloha, ‘apala kaika ‘awa’awa

Very roughly translated, the title of this post means “Hello” (or goodbye) and “apple cider vinegar”.

You may ask, what do Hawaii and Apple cider vinegar have in common?

The answer: nothing. They merely both happen to be having an impact on my life at the moment.

Let’s start with Hawaii.

In just a few days I will begin a day-long journey across the country and part of an ocean to see my sister who just happens to live in, you guessed it, Hawaii.


Ah…so beautiful. And I will be there so soon. If I can ever finish laundry and packing and all the other millions of things I need to get done and we’re getting so that I leave in days. Days.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m OCD so I’ve already started and mostly finished my packing. But it’s summer and what I wear here (I’ll admit, nike running shorts and tanks/tees) is what I will be wearing there, so I had to plan laundry and pack so that the last few things that went into the washing machine will, in fact, fit in the suitcase. And I haven’t even started gathering things for my carry-on, getting books on my kindle and a paper back or two, rounding up chargers (kindle, iPhone, fitbit, etc.), printing out confirmations and reservations, finding all of my travel items, getting my quart-sized bag of 3oz or less liquid containers…

This list is making me feel like I should be working on packing instead of writing. Oops.

We will be gone for two glorious weeks, which is awesome, and then when I come back, I still have a whole month before I even need to think about school or work. But we do come back a mere two days before my cousin;s wedding, which I’m in, so that’s going to be a rush. Fingers crossed that my dress is ready to pick up from the tailors on Monday. And that I can find the jewelry I want to wear…

I digress. Hawaii, yay! I’ll try to blog from there but…meh, I’m on vacation and my posting is spotty at best (I’m trying, my goal is twice a week, we’ll see how that goes).

I’m super excited and I have so much to do but I’m sure it’ll all get done. And if I forget anything, my sister lives near a Target. And you can find everything you need and a million things you never knew you needed at Target.

Now for the second part of the title. Apple cider vinegar.


I know, random. But that’s how I roll. If you haven’t seen it on Pinterest, you may not know this, but apparently, Apple Cider Vinegar does many things. The one I will be focusing on today is hair. You can use Apple Cider Vinegar (hereafter abbreviated ACV) as a sort of cleanser/conditioner. I love this idea, because it’s cheap, it’s chemical free, and my hair is super thin and needs as much help as it can get.

Per a great deal of googling, I learned that ACV cleanses excess product out of your hair, helps fight split ends, and helps your hair hold moisture. All good things.

So I decided to try it. You put some apple cider vinegar in a container with some water (depending on which site you look at, it’s 1 cup water to 1/2 cup vinegar, or 1 part water to 1 part vinegar). I estimated and did about a 1/1 ratio. After shampooing my hair, I dumped this on my head, rubbed it in a bit, and then rinsed it out. I smelled like salad for a few minutes, but the smell was gone long before I left the shower, so that’s good news.

But the best news?

The best news is how my hair feels. This gif expressed my feelings perfectly:


I literally cannot stop touching my hair. It feels SO SOFT. Like it does after they wash it at the salon.


I am so going to keep trying this. I even made myself a little 3oz container of ACV to take to Hawaii. And if continues to work, once I run out of the shampoo I couponed* for, I think I may try no-poo.

*I haven’t bought shampoo in a year, I got a really good deal one day and bought a ton for almost nothing…

Hey, it’s summer, it’s not like I have to go into work if my hair has a hard time transitioning (which, I hear, is occasionally an issue).

I love being a teacher 🙂

Aloha, mahalo, A hui hou kākou