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Life, Travel

A Weekend in Port Townsend

July 24, 2016

The weekend before my 25th birthday, I went to visit my grandparents in Port Townsend with my dad. They bought a house in town and now live just a hop, skip and a jump from downtown (and, most importantly, the food co-op!). I love PT because it’s quite a small town with lots of pretty gardens, houses and the population of deer rivals the humans!


I went for a long weekend so this post is pretty long and has a lot of food. My grandma wanted me to try out this almond cake recipe, it’s GF and just uses almond flour, sugar, olive oil, eggs and an orange and lemon.


It’s baked in a springform pan and the batter looks pretty oily but it smells heavenly like orange/lemon. This is a pre-baking picture:


We decided to use a cheap paper doily as a stencil for a powdered sugar topping, it turned out so pretty!


The cake is super duper moist and tastes so citrusy and delicious. It’s a very Italian recipe and you could definitely find something similar in a high end bakery.


My grandparents’ dog Blacky, wanted a piece (of anything)!



For lunch, we had the best kale salad ever (GF), cantaloupe and prosciutto for the meat-eaters and a fresh loaf of whole wheat sourdough bread–the best thing in the world.


This whole wheat sourdough bread made me want to try my hand at sourdough, I am hoping a bakery in Seattle might give me some of their starter.


The best kale salad and a apple kombucha made in Oregon. I highly recommend making this salad, you will become addicted. It does have dairy from the cheese and really shouldn’t go without it but maybe a modification could be made.


On Friday night for my birthday dinner we went to Sweet Laurette Cafe and Bistro. It’s a cute little restaurant and I have been there before and the food is really good but the service is always quite slow, it took us about an hour to get our appetizer…



I got the pan-seared sea scallops and it was so delicious and very filling!


We shared the creme brûlée for dessert but I really wanted some traditional birthday cake so my granny was kind enough to go on a cake hunt with me. We found two pieces of locally made cake at the food co-op — chocolate with cream cheese frosting and ganache and carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. Both were super good.


The next morning was graced with homemade blueberry sourdough pancakes. The batter must be prepared the night before and it is very bubbly.


They turned out great and we made a homemade plum sauce to go on top.


I think I might have eaten about 15 pancakes…


After pancakes we went on a walk and went to the plant nursery and got this plant. Isn’t this an interesting flower? They are edible and would look so pretty in a salad.


We take a lot of walks when we visit…I trail behind and take pictures 🙂


Friendly–terribly excited–neighborhood pup


There are blackberry bushes everywhere so I kept stopping to snack like a deer. I would love to be a deer in PT because there are so many fruit trees/bushes!


The houses are very victorian and pretty:


The gardens are amazing:


My granny Ann knows everyone in town so we stopped by some of her friends houses. This is Kipper who is a Havanese like Gryphon, my pup.


Pretty flowers everywhere!


Stare-down with a buck. This is with no zooming in and it actually made me a bit nervous because I was so close and he was staring me down hard. Maybe he was just saying hello or looking deep into my soul or maybe he was about to charge. I took this picture and then ran away ha ha.


More flowers.


After our long walk, we stopped at the farmer’s market to get salmon sandwiches from the Cape Cleare Salmon stand.


These sandwiches are TO DIE FOR. A big fillet of fresh salmon on the best chewy bread with tartar sauce in-between. I could eat this everyday.


This is the view from the docks downtown:


Another walk we went on led to a nice beach where Blacky took a chilly swim. He likes to lay down in the water for a few seconds and then get up, like a weirdo.


Action shot! For a senior dog, he is quite athletic.


For my last dinner, we went to Hillbottom Pie which has the BEST caesar salad I have ever had (and I have had a lot). I would describe it as juicy and super cheesy. Juicy is a weird word to describe a salad but you really should try it.


My grandparents and I split the white pizza which has: Basil walnut pesto, blended ricotta, aged mozzarella, kalamata olives and parmesan. It’s very tasty and very rich. Two slices were plenty for me.


I’ll leave you with this deer picture. You can tell how comfortable the deer are in town, they just walk where ever they want and eat whatever they want (aka everything you try to grow in the garden!).


Review, Travel

A Weekend in San Francisco

June 18, 2016

I visited my boyfriend in San Francisco recently, we ate a lot of food and saw some of the touristy sites. I had been to SF twice before but I was only there for the day and didn’t get to see very much so going for almost a week gave us plenty of time to hang out and see the city!

I arrived around midnight from Seattle so we went to bed immediately and then got up pretty early the next day. We already bought Alcatraz tour tickets for that day so we went out to brunch near G’s apartment which is in the best location ever, the marina district! You can see the golden gate bridge from outside his door and all the apartments have the typical SF ornate style.

I did a quick Yelp search and this place, Cafe Golo came up with good reviews and it was like a 2 minute walk so we gave it a go.

My handsome BF:

Greg cafe golo

This is a teeny tiny kind of hole-in-the-wall looking place, our waitress/possible owner was really sweet and brought out some pastries made in-house (it’s also a bakery):

cafe golo

G and I ordered the same things, the blueberry french toast on their cinnamon swirl bread with a scrambled egg and bacon (mine went to G of course). Verdict: Great bread, tasted like a cinnamon roll! BUT they used terrible fake maple syrup instead of real which is basically a sin for a cafe specializing in brunch. The eggs were nothing special either and the meal costs almost $15 each! Unexpectedly pricey for the look for the place and for somewhere that uses fake syrup.

breakfast sf

G lives about a 5 minute walk from the Golden Gate Bridge!

greg at the marina


Next we walked to Fisherman’s Wharf where the Alcatraz cruise takes off. I pictured a bigger boat but the use pretty small ones that bounce a lot on the waves and almost sent me flying a few times! It was sunny but pretty chilly on the water because the wind is super strong near the bay.

Arriving to the rock…


alcatraz arrival

It’s actually quite pretty:

alcatraz view 1

Not very pretty inside though:

alcatraz jail 1

The great escape:

Escape from alcatraz REAL

alcatraz window

alcatraz admin

So close to the beautiful city! I can see why one would want to give swimming to shore a try

view from the rock

A decaying house of one of the prison officials

alcatraz building

We escaped the rock!

view from alcatraz boat

The tour took longer than we thought so we were starving by the time we got off the boat. I had yelp’ed this fish and chip stand which has amazing reviews to we went to find it near the piers. I LOVE the name!

The codmother fish stand

These are the BEST fish and chips I have ever had! They are in the classic English style with malt vinegar included. The breading was so airy and light and the fish was perfectly moist.

the codmother fish and chips closeup

After that huge meal, we walked back to G’s apartment and passed out from sun over-exposure (me the Seattleite – not him).

The next day I dubbed “mission district day” so we headed over there and played a fun game of mini golf at Urban Putt which was so fun! After playing golf, we went to La Taqueria El Farolito which is supposed to be one of the best mexican restaurants and it’s super cheap! I got a veggie burrito with guac of course and G got some meaty burrito. It’s a very narrow little place and kind of dirty but they have good food and the lines are long. They do only take cash though!

el farolito SF

Burritos the size of newborns:

el farolito burrito SF

Mmm so tasty!

el farolito burrito closeup

Because we are gluttons with endless pits for stomachs, we also got ice cream at Bi-Rite Creamery! I have been here before and they have high-quality stuff! I got cookie and cream and mint chocolate chip and G got a huge ice cream sandwich that he couldn’t finish. Don’t worry, I finished it for him.

bi-rite cookie ice cream SF

bi-rite ice cream SF

The next day was reserved for the enormous Golden Gate Park! We went to the Japanese tea gardens and the botanical gardens. The whole park is so beautiful and it’s so much bigger than I thought!

Botanical gardens:

botanical garden sf leaf

botanical garden sf flowers

botanical garden sf 7

botanical garden sf 5

botanical garden purple flower

botanical garden bird

I love this wisteria, so pretty!

botanical garden 2

Weird plant in the Australian section:

botanical gardens australia zone

botanical orange flower

botanical gardens SF 3

botanical gardens sf 6

flowers SF

Japanese tea gardens:

GG park japanese tea garden

GG garden 3

GG park 4

GG tea garden

In front of one of the museums:

kyla at golden gate fountain park

GG park 2

Greg at GG park

japanese tea garden kyla

The succulent part of the botanical gardens is my favorite!


GG Park botanical garden

Two goobers:

greg and kyla SF botanical gardens

So many succulents!

succulent gardens!

succulent gardens kyla

succulent gardens kyla 2

G caught me mid-complaint about something lol!

succulent garden Kyla 3

This is my favorite picture:

succulent garden closeup

succulent garden cactus

Whew this is such a long post, hopefully you are hanging in there!

The next day, we went to Chinatown and the financial district area for some tasty eats.

First I dragged G to a highly-rated bakery called Good Mong Kok, here is their menu:

good mongkok bakery SF

Everything is SO cheap so we got a bunch of stuff to try. G got a barbecue pork steamed bun:

good mongkok bun SF

I got some scallion/shrimp dumplings which are so delicious:

good mongkok bakery steamed chive dumplingsgood mongkok steamed dumpling

G got us egg custard tarts which are really good and he loved them so much he said it was the best thing we ate the whole trip! The crust is super flaky and buttery and the custard is just right.

good mongkok custard tart SF

Not a great picture, it’s hard to balance a camera and a tart! 😉

good mongkok custard tart closeup

A pineapple bun – decent but nothing too special,there is no filling so it’s kind of plain, I wish it was filled with custard.

good mongkok pineapple bun

Scallion bun/bread – yummy and super huge, couldn’t finish this one!

good mongkok scallion bun

good mongkok scallion bun!

After our massive chinese bakery breakfast, it’s only natural to wash it all down with a bubble tea! We went to G’s favorite place, i-Tea, which has a bunch of locations in the bay area. They have an awesome large menu and the tea is really good! I wish they would come to Seattle.

I got a jasmine green tea with boba and G got a wintermelon milk tea:

itea bubble tea

Then we walked around the Ferry Building Market for a bit, always a good time.

ferry building market SF

At this point, coffee was needed, so we got blue bottle NOLA iced coffees, the only coffee I like! It has roasted chicory root in it.

kyla at ferry building

Unbelievably, we got hungry again and since it was my last night, we decided to go for Italian food so we stopped at The Italian Homemade Company which I have been to before and they make the best pasta! We went to the original restaurant in the teeny Italian district of SF.

italian homemade company

I got pesto ravioli and savored every bite.

italian homemade co pesto USE

G got spaghetti with meatballs which also looked divine.

italian homemade company greg

To end the night, we stopped at Naia Gelateria for a cone, I got hazelnut chocolate and biscotti something or other. Good thing we walked so much otherwise I would have gained 10 lbs from this trip! We averaged about 20,000 steps a day!

gelateria naia 2

The next day I had a late afternoon flight so we were able to go out to breakfast. I looked up some places close to his apartment and chose a rather touristy spot, Hollywood Cafe, which is in the Fisherman’s Wharf area. G got blueberry pancakes and I got french toast and fruit.

hollywood cafe SF

The amount of fruit is impressive! It was pretty good french toast.

Hollywood cafe SF fruit

We walked around at the marina park and got mojito iced coffees at Philz coffee. It is a little too sweet for me so G had to finish mine for me.

philz coffee line

greg at the marina 2

philz coffee mint mojito 2

I ate some farmers market strawberries too:

sf farmers market berries

It’s such a pretty area, I would love to live near this like G does! I ran 11 miles here on one of the days for my half training and it was super hot but it had great views!

marina SF

I love these apartments! They cost a fortune to live in though.

SF 3


Beautiful SF…

San fran!

We also had time for one last frozen yogurt, we went to this place like 3 times during my visit because it’s SO good. It’s called Loving Cup and they make their own probiotic froyo and then mix in toppings for you. It’s only a few blocks from G’s apartment on Polk street! I actually like this better than the famous Bi-Rite Creamery.

loving cup menu

I got the “Dirty Hipster” a couple times, it’s vanilla froyo with oreos and nutella mixed in…Heavenly!


Post-froyo cheerfulness:


We walked by this donut shop and I saw the biggest donut I have EVER seen! The cinnamon roll next to it is the size of an adult hand so the donut is about the size of my head! And no, we didn’t eat that too 🙂


We also stopped for a quick drink on Union Street, G got a beer and I got a rather weak black currant kombucha. They don’t really have much kombucha around in SF that I saw, I should open a kombucha bar there!


That concludes this super long post! I hope you enjoyed reading. Have a good weekend!

Life, Travel

Exploring Hawaii: Part 1

February 27, 2016

I am super late with this Hawaii trip recap but better late than never right? I went to Honolulu for work and then met my dad on the Big Island for a little vacation time.

I started my first morning how everyone should, with a fresh papaya from the Sheraton Waikiki hotel restaurant. It was perfectly ripe and a dash of lime made it the best welcome I could ask for to Hawaii. I also got a undocumented undercooked egg white omelet which my coworker and I had to send back :/ and the service was extremely slow (almost 1.5 hours for a papaya and two omelets!). The manager was super nice and came out with an apology and two new omelets though.


Then we worked all day. Nothing to document there! The next morning we had learned our lesson eating at the hotel and went to find a good breakfast spot nearby. After a quick Yelp search, we decided on Heavenly, a healthy, local ingredient place with great reviews. I love that they show where their ingredients come from on the menu:


My coworker and I started with the obligatory papaya and lime:


How cute are their tables?


I got a sort of rice and veggie has with an egg and salmon on top and a green smoothie. It was very good!


Then we went to work again so no picture until the next morning when we went back to Heavenly! This was really the only healthy breakfast place within walking distance of the Sheraton Waikiki (that we found) so I wasn’t feeling guilty about going back again. This time I got the eggs Benedict with avocado and a kale side salad, papaya and a green smoothie. THIS IS MY DREAM BREAKFAST. I wish I could eat this everyday.


I love plumeria flowers (the heart is covering my company’s name on my work polo). Did you know if you wear it behind your left ear it means you are taken and behind the right ear means you are available?


The view from my hotel room which I hardly spent any time in!


Most of our dinners during this work week was subway or granola bars but we had time to go out to dinner one night so we decided on the Hula Grill, which sounds pretty cheesy but it had really good reviews!


We started with some delicious moscow mules with ginger beer in some appropriate tiki mugs:


Our table had a great view of the sunset


 Then we got a delicious raw ahi appetizer:


For my entree I got the coconut seafood chowder with lobster, shrimp, scallop, a Hawaiian fish I can’t remember and peanuts, coconut cilantro broth. This definitely fulfilled my seafood cravings. I savored every bite!




Our waiter told us we should try their famous “hula pie” so we had to, right? I can see why it’s famous, this pie is the It has a chocolate cookie crust, macadamia nut ice cream, hot fudge, toasted mac nuts & whipped cream…drool! My pics aren’t that great because of lighting + iPhone. We almost finished this enormous dessert but couldn’t get the last few bites in. Nothing like a good sugar coma!


After the next day of work, it was time for me to leave my coworker and fly to the Big Island to take some vacation time and hang out with my dad and our family friends that live in Hilo, HI.

We stayed at my dad’s friend’s house and they have kids of a mini farm going. This is their cutie dog:


A baby sheep was just born (in the back) so we tried were trying to hold it but big daddy (front and center) wouldn’t allow it and kept trying to charge us! He is pretty scary!


One day I want to live somewhere where I can just pick fruit in my yard!


My daily papaya:


My dad’s friend Marcos picked some oranges for us and made fresh juice, such pretty colors!


The first day we went to visit my dad’s other friend who lives in the mountains in a sort of commune he has built. It’s pretty cool since he has set up his own water system, cabins and gardens. This is his turtle:


This is a chocolate (cacao) tree!


This guy also makes his own chocolate from the cacao he grows. This the cacao fruit, looks strange huh? He cracked this one in  half, gave me a spoon and said to spoon out the seeds and suck off the white residue on them. Hesitantly, I did and was pleasantly surprised by the taste. It tasted kind of like a slightly sour grape but was very good, like a candy, not like chocolate at all of course.



He also has his own private waterfall/swimming hole



Once we got back to my dad’s friends house, I helped make some fresh hibiscus tea. This was a fun activity. You just cut around the bulb and remove the skin and then soak the skins in hot water for a while, add some honey and you have some delicious tea!


This is the part you don’t use:


The part you use for the tea:


Whew, that was a long post! I have a lot more photos but I should probably stop here. I’ll do another post soon. I hope you enjoyed the pictures!

Life, Travel

Visiting San Francisco

February 26, 2016

Last weekend I went to San Francisco to see my boyfriend. I left on Friday and came back Monday (President’s Day). Usually G comes up to see me in Seattle so it’s more exciting for me when I go visit him! I made some banana chips in my dehydrator for a plane snack (below), actually, I made them for G too but I ate them all before I got there…typical. They’re so good though, super chewy and sweet! I just learned that most store-bought banana chips are actually deep-fried. I wondered why they are so different from the homemade version!


G told me that, in order to enter California, you must eat In & Out within an hour of arrival so after he picked me up from the airport -in his new very loud 1965 mustang- we headed straight there. I got a veggie burger (literally tomato, onion and lettuce) and some fries. I don’t miss the burger at all and it’s quite tasty actually!


Later we headed out in the city with the plan of seeing the Ferry Building market and walking around until we met G’s friend for a dinner.

The market in the building is cute, unfortunately we weren’t hungry so we didn’t try any of the food shops but we did stop at Blue Bottle Coffee which is G’s favorite and got two New Orlean’s iced coffees which has chicory. I don’t generally like coffee at all but this coffee was very good. I can’t really describe the flavor but I highly recommend it!



Then we made our way to Union street and met with G’s friend at The Italian Homemade Company. This is a legit Italian place where they speak Italian and make their own pasta!



I got the veggie lasagna which was really good, it could have used a little salt though, to make the flavor pop.


G got the pesto pasta. I stole a bite and it was very good, better than my lasagna, darn it!


We decided to be really gluttonous and get the very highly rated Bi-Rite Creamery ice cream after dinner. We got to the shop around 10pm and the line was pretty long but we decided to wait it out. It ended up taking only about 10-15 minutes but I can see why the line is so long, this place is teeny!


We went all out since it was our first time there. G got a brownie sundae with vanilla ice cream and a spicy chocolate sauce. I got the most AMAZING creme brulee and cookies and cream. The creme brulee was my favorite! Obviously I took some bites of G’s monster sundae, and I have to say, I didn’t really like the spicy chocolate sauce on top, but the rest was delish!


The next morning, I tried to make-up for the night before with an egg-white veggie omelet and fruit at a little breakfast joint in Pleasanton.


After breakfast, we headed up to G’s family cabin for some quality time and spent the evening on a double date and watching Stargate SG1, our nerdy show 🙂

The next morning was Valentines Day! We each ate a few aussie bites for breakfast (delicious little muffin granola bites from Costco – find them, buy them!) and drove out to Yosemite National Park for a romantic day hike.


This was my first time at Yosemite and it is absolutely beautiful!



I can’t imagine someone climbing up the side of these rocks!



It was really nice outside that day, we got lucky!



Maybe I should get a selfie stick so I can get more pictures of both of us instead of just me haha



We left at around 5:30 and caught this perfect sunset


The net day we headed back to G’s house as I had a flight to catch that evening 🙁 I did convince G to stop at Meadowlark Dairy in Pleasanton on the way back, really good soft-serve there! I got a vanilla chocolate swirl. It’s super cheap too!


I also got to love on G’s dog Abby. Isn’t she the cutest?


G made sure I left with a purse full of fresh oranges from his tree. Nothing like a homegrown orange just plucked off a tree! Usually I don’t even buy oranges because it’s always a 50/50 chance of getting a dried up or bad one but every single orange on this tree tastes amazing!


That’s a wrap! I had a lot of fun this visit and I hope you enjoyed the pictures. Have a good weekend!


Have you ever been to San Francisco? If so, any good restaurant suggestions?


Life, Travel

Washington, DC Trip: Part one

October 21, 2015

The next few posts I’m doing are going to cover my recent trip to Washington, DC! I went for work but after my conference was done my dad flew out and we visited some extended relatives who live in Falls Church, VA. This post has a few work food pictures and then the Smithsonian Natural History Museum. I took a lot of pictures so I’ll probably be doing about 3 posts on this trip!

My work hotel was in National Harbor, MD so I got to explore the little “city” around the clump of hotels in the harbor. The first night we went to the Crab Cake Cafe which had good reviews for their crab cakes, which are my favorite. The restaurant is right on the harbor and looks like a fast food joint but the prices are not super cheap since they use real crab. My meal was $27.oo and included two crab cakes and a salad but the crab cakes are pretty large and I could barely finish it all (but I did haha).


The salad was very yummy, I forget how much I like orange slices on salad. My favorite part is the goat cheese truffle you can see poking under a strawberry slice, so good! The crab cakes are moist, pure crab and very flavorful. Pretty salty but I like salt so I enjoyed them a lot.


The tarter sauce is delicious too!


My coworkers were crabbed out after that dinner but I could have gone another round 😉

The next morning I ordered oatmeal and some fruit, the fruit was pretty but kinda unripe.


After working all day in an office, we headed out to dinner to an Asian restaurant that wasn’t very good but afterwards we got Pinkberry which made up for it! I love Pinkberry, I wish there was one near me at home. I got chocolate hazelnut and chocolate with oreo crumbles.


I didn’t take many pictures of my work lunches and dinners because I was too busy! But I couldn’t help but snap a pic of these cute macarons the hotel made. I had pistachio, raspberry and passionfruit.


One of our work events brought us to Mount Vernon which is where George Washington lived and died. We got to tour his mansion (it was too dark for pictures), the museum and then ate dinner in the modern inn there. I really enjoyed the tour and his house, it was almost like going back in time! You’re not allowed to take pictures in the house so I just got some museum photos.



This is the modern inn where we had dinner:


Dinner was pretty good! I had lasagna, salad and a hoecake (google it!)


Now flash-forward to my work week being done! I hopped in an Uber and headed to my dad’s aunt and uncle’s house in Virginia. It was really pouring rain since the hurricane Joaquin swept by us so it wasn’t hot or humid which I was glad about. Dad and I headed out to see the museums early on Saturday, first we went to the Museum of American History which had a cool food exhibit but I didn’t take any pictures. Then we went to the natural history museum!


Even though it’s a bit sad seeing all the stuffed animals, it was interesting!



Did you know a giraffe drinks water so precariously? I would fall flat on my face if I tried the same move!


Look at this cute kitty with big fluffy danger paws!



The stages of human evolution…Very cool!


Dad and I needed to refuel about halfway through the natural history museum so we decided to come back after a snack and started to walk towards the White House. As I had never been to DC, I didn’t know what to expect but I did expect it to be a bit more bustling, even though it was the weekend!



There are some really pretty buildings there!



Uh oh, I’ve been stopped by the white house guards (from the 1700s…)!


The White House was quite hard to get a good picture of since they have double fences around it but I managed an okay one between the bars. We also saw a happy little White House (official) squirrel prancing around the yard!


We stopped at a little cafe a block from the White House for a cuppa soup. I got a VERY sweet butternut squash-pumpkin soup that was topped with sugary granola. It definitely needed a salty element to balance it out but it was nice to have warm soup in my tummy on this cold, rainy day!


After our soup break, we walked back to the natural history museum and finished it up. We saw dinosaurs…



Spooky skeletons…


Terrifying turtles…(those hands look an awful lot like ours!)


Bizarre birds…


And whatever this cutie was! I can’t remember but he reminds me of something out of the Nightmare before Christmas.


Just a little pocket mouse has so many bones!


And last but certainly not least, a sloth skeleton. I love sloths but it’s really a wonder that they aren’t totally extinct yet considering how easy they are to catch…Or in this case, to help! 



Next we saw the Egyptian mummy exhibit:


And the hope diamond. So sparkly!


Well that’s day one! Come back for more of DC soon!



Don’t Mess With Texas!

June 23, 2015

Earlier this month I went to Austin, Texas for a work function. Well, the hotel wasn’t really in Austin, it was seriously in the middle of nowhere and it took about 30 minutes and a long windy road to get there from the airport. I didn’t get too many food pictures because I was so busy working but here is what I did capture:

Dinner on day 1: a portobello mushroom burger with sweet potato fries, it was good except the mushroom was pitifully little, you can’t tell from this pic but it was as thin as an index card and the size of a silver dollar! My healthier-than-me coworker got it without the bun and it was about two bites!

austin portabello burger

The hotel is actually quite pleasant, when we first arrived on property I thought it looked like a compound! But as we looked around it got much better. A little plantation-like but it has cute components like the back porch:

hyatt lost pines

I love the look of this, truly southern! It’s empty because if you sit there you will be murdered by mosquitoes!

hyatt lost pines porch

These signs cracked me up! I guess it had to be said. There are also horses and llamas on property, this llama looked like he would enjoy spitting on us. I do like his hipster hairdo!

lost pines hyatt hotelllamalost pines hotel 2

Breakfast day 1: the normal bowl of oats. I brought my own toppings as usual, my chia, hemp and maca mix.

oats austin

A late night post-work meal of red snapper, cheesy grits and veggies. The grits were so good!! I could eat those everyday. I’m sure they had tons of cream and cheese though.

snapper and grits

It was very warm and sunny the whole time and the humidity just about killed me! Beautiful lush greenery though.

hyatt lost pines texas

I met a squirrel friend…

austin squirrel new

They planted these flowers while we were there!

hyatt lost pines grounds

No filters needed for this flower.

hibiscus flower austin

One of the dinners we had, I’m not sure what these was, I think a pesto ravioli with balsamic vinegar drizzled?

dinner lost pines

I never forget a dessert! 😉  this was a flour-less chocolate cake and a fruit tart. Both were okay, not spectacular. I think if you’re going to do a flour-less cake you need to use really high-quality chocolate, this chocolate did not taste that great.

dessert lost pines

My favorite day at our meetings is boxed lunch day! Every time there is a veggie sandwich, a cookie, fruit, chips and sides. I love getting a packed lunch! (maybe I just love that I automatically get a cookie).

boxed lunch day austin

I hope the cowboy doesn’t mind that this photo is up. We had some visitors of the long-horn variety. I wanted to jump on but my dress wouldn’t allow it without some inappropriate views!


We had an outdoor dinner one night (so hot!) and these cinnamon-orange margaritas were a drink option. It was very good, not too sweet like I was afraid of and I like the cinnamon around the glass edge!

cinnamon-orange marg

We did go into Austin for one night, hosting a sort of pub crawl thing. I love rainey street, it’s like a neighborhood street but all the houses are bars/restaurants and there are pretty lights everywhere.

bangerz austin

I’ll leave this post off with a pic of me holding a cute armadillo. He was a bit wiggly and I was sure thankful for the gloves!

kyla + armadillo

I did enjoy Austin but man, I could never live there, between the humidity (frizzy hair 24/7), mosquitoes (bugs love me and I don’t love them) and sun (I burn in 2 seconds) I would have to be quarantined indoors permanently. It was real nice to breath in that fresh, cool Seattle air when I got home.


My First Trip to Chicago

May 30, 2015


This post will be all about my very short work trip to Chicago. I’ve never been there before so I wasn’t sure what to expect but it turned out to be so fun and it is such a beautiful, classy city.

Our first stop off the plane and long taxi ride from the airport was The Fairmont’s restaurant Aria,where my co-worker and I stayed. It’s a nice looking looking Asian restaurant that did not have great reviews online but we were so starving that anything sounded good! I got  a salmon roll and a California roll, both were pretty good, not amazing but hit the spot for sure.


Next we check into our rooms, I got upgraded to a suite with a pretty view!


The room was very big (for one person!), it was almost a bit empty!


After relaxing in our rooms for a bit, we headed to dinner at RPM Italian. Thankfully my co-worker booked our reservation about two months in advance and we got the last 8pm for that night! Our table wasn’t quite ready so we got two glasses of prosecco while we waited.


The menu:


This is one of my co-worker’s favorite restaurants so she’s been there more than a few times 😉 Our waiter brought us some complimentary cheese-stuffed peppers for her loyalty! We also ordered the truffle garlic bread, I could have eaten the whole loaf myself! What I really wanted to do is take it all into my hotel room bed and nibble on it like a squirrel…Maybe another time.


We like to split things so we had the Tuscan kale salad with pecorino and lemon, really tasty!


Then we ordered a million plates of pasta, it’s not as much as it looks, I promise! In order: Maine lobster ravioli with spinach pasta and lemon; goat cheese ravioli with ramp pesto; and a basic spaghetti with some meatballs. My favorite was the lobster ravioli of course!


Dessert was a must so we got the hazelnut tartufo, a ball of chocolate gelato rolled in a chocolate-hazelnut crunchy shell. The center was dark chocolate gelato. This was amazing, I love the crunchy shell and that it take a bit of work to crack.


The next morning, I was hungry, surprisingly, so I got some oatmeal because I knew we wouldn’t be eating for a while since it was the first day of the meeting we were doing! I bring a small container of my chia, hemp and mac mix to add to oats when traveling so this was exactly what I wanted!


I have no pictures from during the day because we were just in the basement of the Swissotel all day! But when the evening arrived, we headed to Smith & Wollensky, a steakhouse right on the Chicago river. Just look at the great view! Perfect for a Chicago first-timer like me.


Our dining room was made up real pretty!


My dining partner, the blue water and some good wine we enjoyed!


I chose the green salad, salmon and chocolate cake!


Pan-seared salmon with mushrooms. This was pretty good, I liked the mushroom sauce!


I was really looking forward to the chocolate layer cake but it was kinda meh, not moist enough and the frosting wasn’t great, of course I still ate it all!


An artsy photo taken by my co-worker


We went to bed with full tummies and woke up for one more half-meeting day. Luckily, after that, we got a chance to explore a little. First stop was Millennium Park and the bean!


I thought this picture was pretty cool but I’m sure everyone takes the same picture! (I don’t know the people in it!)


Next stop was for some deep dish pizza, at Giordanos.


Unfortunately we didn’t have time for a whole pizza because it takes 45 minutes to make! So we got personal size ones and added veggies. It was really good and plenty of food for a reasonable price. I still like thin crust better but I would definitely come here again!


Mmm cheese!


On our tour de Chicago we also walked down Michigan Ave (the magnificent mile) that has tons of awesome shopping and we stopped by Dylan’s Candy Bar and I got a bag of candy for the plane (sometimes I feel like a little kid!). Then we got a taxi to the airport but it took us an HOUR to get out of the city, like we weren’t even to the highway yet, it was like 5 miles tops. Then it took another 45 minutes to go the 14 miles to the airport!! Yikes, I had no clue how bad Chicago traffic is! So I nervously ate my candy during the car ride while my cool-as-a-cucumber co-worker snoozed peacefully. It’s hard to be high-strung sometimes 😉 We did make it on our plane though, luckily the plane was running a little late but it definitely made me sweat, I think I aged about 10 years during the cab ride, lol!

We have a meeting in Austin, Texas next week, busy busy! Hopefully I can post again either before or right after that and I’ll have some good foodie pics I hope! Anyways, thanks for reading 🙂


Munching in Maui: Part 4

January 28, 2015

I do realize that WIAW should be about what you ate on Wednesday so from now on I will post what I actually eat on Wednesday! In my defense, I’m usual super boring food-wise on Wednesdays and I only have breakfast and lunch by the time I post so this is wayyy more interesting (to me at least)!

Anyways, in my last post I promised horses, crepes and craters, and so that is what you shall receive! If you’re a new reader, I am covering a week Maui trip that I went on about two weeks ago. I had so many photos that it needed to be a four-part post, so click here to check out the first three!

I left off at the Grand Wailea Waldorf Astoria Resort where I was incapacitated by a bee sting. Now we shall travel to a more remote part of Maui by taking the Road to Hana, to Hana which is a small town on the Eastern end of the island. We took a kind of funny route from Wailea to Hana because we stopped in Paia to grab snacks from Mana Foods AGAIN  (I swear dad dropped a couple hundo there at least!)


Before you all pack up and rush to Maui , you best be warned about the ‘Road to Hana’ section of the Hana highway.

It is the most dangerous, terrifying, fun, beautiful and sleep-inducing two and a half-ish hour drive ever. The road is filled with hairpin turns, sharp corners, cliffs and many parts go from two lanes into one without visual confirmation that there is no one speeding around the corner to take you out. Let’s just say it takes a lot of faith in your driver and the other drivers. Of course I trust my dad but there were a few “JESUS TAKE THE WHEEL!” moments. The ride there was a lot scarier than the ride back when we knew what to expect though. Plus windy roads always make me sleepy so I was semi-drugged by sleepiness the whole way (or maybe that was just the bee sting benadryl!).

When y’all go to Maui and drive on this road I hope you don’t think I’m a big sissy! Personally, cars kind of scare me and I hate driving on the highway so I’m probably more nervous than most. I know my boyfriend would probably have the time of his life driving it in stick shift! If I had to drive the Road to Hana I would be going at such a snail’s pace that someone would probably purposefully take me off the road! : 0

On the other hand, the Road to Hana is very beautiful and there are a million things to do just of the highway like waterfalls, hikes, food and fruit stands, and botanical gardens. On the way there we needed to kind of hurry so we could set up our tent at Wai’anapanapa State Park before it got dark so we didn’t stop but on the way back we did (see later in this post)!

Road to Hana view 1

 Our little one-night camping adventure went un-pictured for various reasons:

1) it was raining

2) I was grumpy because my dad brought his dirty, moth-eaten 30 year old tent that smells like old cats

3) old tent has holes + rain storm = valuables like my iphone go into dry clean rental car

To his credit, after spending the night restlessly dozing in and out of sleep as puddles formed near his head and a musty aroma filled his lungs, my dad realized that it was time to let go of his good ol’ tent. So, in the morning we debated just leaving it there, all set up, still but settled on taking it down and stuffing it into the campsite’s trash bin.  Unfortunately, I saw Wai’anapanapa’s beautiful black-sand beach only briefly, and since it was kind of cold and wet we decided to pack up and drive into Hana to explore.

Fortunately our day brightened when we saw a woman working at a small horse barn down the road while we ate papaya breakfast bowls at a park bench. So we meandered over and asked her about her well-groomed horses. Turns out, a local hotel offers hour long horse rides along the coast! The only place in Maui that does a coastal horse trail. From the second me and lucky (the chestnut-colored horse) locked eyes I knew we had to do it, luckily my dad wanted to as well so we changed into pants and got going. By the way, I have never ridden a horse before so it was a bit intimidating at first but Lucky is so well-behaved it was easy peasy!

Dad and I horseback riding BETTER

 My posture is terrible in this one but it shows Lucky’s good side so I stuck it in anyways.

Dad and I horseback 2

 It was 9am when we left even though it looks like dusk in the picture below. We headed off to trample around Oprah’s property (not a house just some land)!

horseback riding Hana

 It was only my dad and I, a couple and a very passionate horsey ringleader who was born and raised in Hana.

horseback 2


My horse lucky is such a gentleman, he waited for all the other horses to finish drinking before he shyly edged his way in. I gave him some good pets while he waited his turn.

Horses Hawaii


These horses live a pretty good life, they only work (give rides) for 2 hours a day and spend the rest of the time grazing, getting groomed and eating treats!

horseback in Hana

Lucky is a real handsome fella isn’t he?

Horseback riding 4

Horses are such beautiful animals, you can see so much emotion in those eyes. I wish I could have one! After we hopped off, Lucky and I took a few selfies and I’m pretty sure Lucky enjoyed it!

Lucky the Horse BETTERLucky 2Me and Lucky!

Other horseys Hana

 After our horse ride, dad and I got on the Road to Hana again and started heading back to Paia. One place we needed to stop was the famous Coconut Glenn’s coconut ice cream shack. The woman working there was a bit odd, very in your face personality but the ice cream was soooo good! All the ice cream is vegan and made from coconut milk. They have a variety of flavors like lilikoi, chocolate, chocolate toffee and others. If you read any of my last few posts you know that I a lilikoi (passion fruit) obsessed BUT I tried a bit and decided to go for chocolate and classic coconut instead because it was double chocolate and it is called “Coconut Glenn’s”

Coconut Glen's Ice Cream, Road to Hana, Maui 2

 The coconut was good but the double chocolate really hit the spot. It’s creamy and almost fluffy with chunks of dark chocolate and a light cocoa taste. I heard that they serve the ice cream in coconut shell bowls with a coconut shell spoon so that was my main motive to visit but instead the kooky lady served us in paper cones that started to fall apart midway through! That was a little disappointing.  Something tells me she’s not the regular host (maybe Coconut Glenn’s girlfriend?) though so I still suggest going!

Coconut Glen's Ice Cream, Road to Hana, Maui

We weren’t in too much of a hurry this time on the Road to Hana so we made a few easy stops (although stopping at all on this super narrow road is definitely a risk to your life!)

Road to Hana waterfall 2 BETTER

 We saw a dirt road that probably went down to this exclusive beach but it looked a bit non-rental car approved so we skipped it (this time)!

road to hana beachRoad to Hana view 4

My dad’s friend recommended a stop at Maui Kombucha in Haiku (a few minutes from Paia). I love me some kombucha and a dad hopped on the kombucha train as well so we gave it a try. It’s little hard to find but cute on the inside and has extremely healthy food and drink options. I chose the lilikoi kombucha (surprise surprise). Some kombucha has cane sugar added but this stuff is legit and strong!

Maui Kombucha, Maui

 With kombucha in hand, we continued on our way until we saw this viewpoint and beach so we pulled over for a quick photoshoot

Kyla on road to hana

 We saw some green sea turtles napping on the beach!

Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles

More turtles lazily dragged themselves up onto the sand and a few minutes later a turtle conservationist came and out up signs to make sure people stayed more then 15 feet away.

sea turtles Maui

 Back in my favorite Maui town, Paia. It’s little hippy but I like it more than the cruise stop towns.

Paia, Maui downtown

We tried to stay at this cute hotel below but the only available “room” they had was a little house/suite thing that cost $600/night! A little out of our budget.

paia inn maui

We heard about another hotel in town and stumbled upon this beautiful alley mural while trying to find it.

paia street art

The hotel is called Nalu Kai Lodge, I didn’t even look it up reviews before we stopped in to ask about a room. Mostly because we we’re kinda desperate.

Nalu Kai Lodge outside

 There’s our baby blue rental car 🙂 There are some gorgeous houses along the water behind this alley!

Nalu Kai side of lodge

The lodge is very natural looking and fits well into Paia’s hippy vibe.

Nalu Kai Property 2

 I’m loving the jungle-like atmosphere especially this waterfall and pond in the courtyard of the hotel. They also have an outdoor shower made of lava rock for beach-goers but it is in sight of anyone who comes through the front gate so keep your swimsuit on!

Nalu Kai Lodge property waterfall

This is the communal dining/lounging area. I saw the owner and manager eating dinner here a few times, it gives a nice homey feel to the lodge.

Nalu Kai Lodge property

I like this ceiling fan!

Nalu Kai lodge details

The cute courtyard again

Nalu Kai Lodge Property view

I actually loved our tiny little room. It was on the second floor and clearly doesn’t offer a lot of privacy but would be great for a romantic trip with anyone besides your dad ha ha. I love the little touches like flowers on the beds/sink and macadamia nuts on the towels.

Nalu Kai Lodge Paia Maui

hotel flower maui

While the room was tiny, it had a lot of detail and character!

Bathroom tile Nalu Kai Lodge mauicute little bathroom Nalu kai LodgeMaui soap paia

room Nalu Kai LodgeNalu Kai Lodge policies  Nalu kai hotel room view

Nalu kai Jungle

 If you can’t stand the crowded beach, you can sneak up to the empty rooftop patio and take a snooze in the sun in peace!

Nalu kai Lodge roof patio

 After the long drive from Hana to Paia, we decided to hit the beach. Paia has a really nice beach 2 minutes from the main street/our hotel, although the waves are a bit rougher on this side because it’s the North Shore of Maui, a very famous surfing area!

dad on hana beach maui

Since neither my dad nor I surf, we brought our beach towels and laid out to catch some rays. I dipped into the water for a few minutes (with a cover-up because it was a little chilly out!)….

kyla maui

 And got slammed by a wave…Serves me right for hanging by the shore!

kyla on hana beach 2

The ocean is so powerful,  it scares me a bit!

kyla hana beach 2

 So I tried to take artsy photos of the brave surfers

hana beach sand

 After a bit on the beach we both got hungry and headed to Flatbread Company right near our hotel on the main street in Paia. We got a salad, half meaty pizza and half pesto/kalamata. It was okay. From the great reviews I expected really good flatbread (aka pizza!) but it was just decent. I;m not sure what didn’t make it that great but my World Pizza in the International District Seattle beats this ANYTIME.

Flatbread Company, Paia, Maui

Afterwards I wanted to try some gelato from Ono Gelato Company since the reviews are really good. They have locations in Lahaina and Kihei too.  Let me tell you, it is delicious!! Especially Sandy Beach, peanut buttery with a crunch of sweet coconut and graham cracker and a little salt to balance out the sweetness. The dark chocolate sorbet was reallly dark chocolate and you definitely only need a small cup because it’s so rich. Drool with me people!

Ono Gelato Company BETTER , Paia, MauiOno Gelato Company Paia

Out last day in Maui came upon us almost as fast as our first day. Our flight left on Wednesday night around 10pm  (agh red eye!) so luckily we had a full day pretty much left in Paia. As an early lunch we tried another highly recommended joint, the Paia Fish Market. Since we were determined to find some amazing fish tacos, dad and I split the Mahi Mahi fish tacos (2 tacos w/fries). It was pretty packed in the small restaurant so you had to squeeze in to find a seat. I would go either before the lunch rush or after next time!

paia fish market 1

Paia fish market 2

Let’s taco about this tacos. Were they delicious? Yes. Would I eat them again, perhaps 3 or 4 of them? Yes. Should you go here? Yes. The fish was much more flavorful than the other fish tacos we had and the homemade tarter sauce added a real punch of flavor also. We got the Cajun spice rubbed Mahi Mahi so maybe that’s why it was so good! The fries are good solid fries and I definitely recommend this place, I’m sad we only got to try one thing there! If you are looking for a snack, split one plate of two fish tacos. Otherwise get one plate per person.

paia fish market tacos 4

Sorry my pictures are slightly blurry, I guess my hands were trembling in anticipation of the tacos ha ha!

paia fish market tacos

Somehow I ended up holding a pineapple, Maui kombucha and some local oranges while wearing a lei, so obviously I made my dad take a picture of this quintessential Hawaiian tourist!

Kyla in Paia Kyla in paia 2

I know you’re thinking “gosh do they ever stop eating??” and no, we don’t ever stop eating. Luckily my dad is a foodie too so we can eat foreverrrrr together! So we went back to the BEST restaurant in Maui (in my opinion), Cafe des Amis! They have the best crepes I’ve ever eaten, good service and not too $ either.

cafe des amis paia maui

I love how they have fresh fruit around the counter always! As you can see, it’s a casual affair.

cafe des amis, Paia, Maui

They have a beautiful patio (good because the inside is teeny!)

cafe des amis outdoor patio

I circled everything I tried there for you guys!  Not very much but we did go three times!

cafe des amis menu Maui 2.0

Dad and I knew we would regret it if we didn’t try one of their sweet crepes so we went for a banana, strawberry, nutella crepe with homemade cream.

cafe des amis sweet crepe

Holy smokes. Amazing. The cream was the best part is was not too sweet but still rich and buttery and the crepe was thin, slightly chewy and filled with sweet nutella and fresh strawberry sauce. Disclaimer: If you’re mouth isn’t watering right now, you may be not be a human and should probably see a doctor ; )

Sweet crepe 2

I’ll just give y’all some more beauty shots 🙂

sweet nutella crepe

sweet crepe homemade whipped cream

sweet crepe

The not-so-pretty aftermath!

sweet crepe aftermath

After our crepe extravaganza, we went to Mana Foods AGAIN to grab some snacks for the day. I saw these cute macaroons and took them home to Seattle with me! They are made by Mana Foods and really delicious!

Mana foods macaroons

 Dad got me some bee pollen popcorn. It’s pretty good, just a little sweeter than usual! I already drown my popcorn in nutritional yeast but the cayenne added a nice flavor.

Mana foods bee pollen popcorn

And…of course some more kombucha! This one had kind of a lot of sugar but was really tasty!

Mango kombuchakombucha mango maui

I wore my lei for the whole last day and then dramatically flung it into a tree as we left for the airport!

kyla lei maui

I’m almost embarrassed to type this but we went back to Cafe des Amis for dinner on our last night…Even though we were there only a few hours earlier for the sweet crepe. Before we went dad and I discussed the possibility of them having the same staff as lunch but decided they probably wouldn’t and it’s worth the slight embarrassment anyways ha ha.

Dad got the seafood stew and said it was good but he wished he got another crepe because he thinks those are slightly better.

Cafe des amis seafood stew

He did get some delicious toasted bread and a vegan garlic-saffron aoili that tasted like heaven.

cafe des amis vegan garlic saffron aoili

I went for the Italian lentil, tomato stew, pesto and mozzarella crepe. It was the best one I had there. Just an amazing amount of flavor and I love that they put sour cream with each savory crepe too. I want this right now so bad!

Cafe des amis savory crepe

And that, my friends, is the end of our grand Maui trip!I know that took a lot of post but I hope you all enjoyed them and I hope they weren’t too long to read!

I’ll leave you with this picture of my toes that I thought was artsy, but maybe don’t look if you don’t like toes.

toes in sandy beach hana

And this beautiful Hawaiian flower

hawaiian flower

And a pensive photo of me walking towards the water!

kyla on the beach hana

I guess I have to get back to my less-interesting Seattle food pictures! Today for breakfast I had frosted shredded wheat cereal (and more than one serving!) and for lunch I’m having almond butter and jam on rice cakes!

What’s your favorite cereal?

Have you ever ridden a horse? Where and when and did you love it?

Do you make crepes? What’s your favorite crepe filling?

Thanks for hosting WIAW Jenn and thank you for reading through all my Maui posts guys!



WIAW: Munching in Maui Part Three

January 21, 2015


Welcome to Part Three of my Maui overview. Whew! With the amount of pictures I have I’m going to need to make a part four too so I hope you guys aren’t getting bored with this long overview! I left off with a horsey picture but that will actually happen in part four.

After staying at the Lahaina Inn we decided to boldly have breakfast at The Gazebo which is in Napili along the shore. I say boldly because, well, the Gazebo opens at 7:30am and has about an hour and a half wait line usually! Most people get there at 6:30am to get the first seats. Dad and I however did not wake up in time and arrived a little after 7:30. The line was already wrapped around the gazebo! The restaurant is a cute, airy gazebo with only maybe 50 seats maximum so that explains the wait time. They are famous for their white chocolate macadamia nut pancakes so we HAD to try them!

Gazebo, maui menuthe gazebo, Maui

This little gazebo restaurant is literally on the beach!

The Gazebo View, Maui

We ordered the Kula veggie omelette and the white chocolate macadamia nut pancakes to share.

omelette and toast, The Gazebo, Maui  Famous Maui Pancakes, white chocolate macadamia nut

The pancakes were fluffy and cakey with chunks of sweet white chocolate and crunchy macadamia nuts cooked within. But the real star of this dish is the whipped cream on top! I don’t know how they make it but the whipped cream has a marshmallow creme texture (does anyone else love marshmallow creme like me?!) and a white chocolate flavor but very subtle and not too sweet.  The pancakes didn’t need syrup but they had coconut syrup so I tried that and it was delicious!

white chocolate macadamia nut pancakes!

The omelette was okay, a little under-seasoned and plain so I suggest the pancakes or maybe french toast!

White chocolate pancakes 3

After breakfast we headed back to  Lahaina to pack up and head to Wailea for our island resort experience. On the way we stopped by Mana Foods again for some deli meals for the hotel (pictured later). We arrived at The Grand Wailea Waldorf Astoria Resort with the sun shining and ready to swim our heart outs in one of the EIGHT pools at the hotel. Yes, eight!!

Grand Wailea Hotel

My lifelong dreams came true when a lei was lei’d upon my neck (see what i did there!?) as we entered the glitzy Grand Wailea. I know we paid a hefty resort fee that probably covers ten leis but aren’t they beautiful?!

Grand Wailea lei's

I have never seen a more grand tropical resort! I love how open the entire hotel is. It’s actually a motel-style hotel because you go outside to get to your room.

Grand Wailea pools 11

The lush foliage is incredible, I’m sure it takes millions of gallons of water to keep up but I certainly enjoyed looking at it!

Kyla at grand Wailea Waldorf Astoria

Kyla at Grand Wailea, Maui

Grand Wailea Hawaii maui


Our room was just perfect, with two large beds, a huge bathroom, and an ocean view.

Grand Wailea Maui Rooms

maui room

Look at that TV!

hotel room huge tv

hotel room bathroom

Grand Wailea Waldorf Astoria Porch

Lei from Grand Wailea

I tried to find a place for my lei but ended up putting it in the fridge hoping it would never, ever die! Looks pretty good around our Mana Foods bounty huh?

Hotel bounty of hawaiin fruits

There are ponds and even a floating restaurant (well, maybe not floating but surrounded by water) at this hotel!

Grand Wailea Waldorf Astoria Maui

Grand Wailea Resort view

After all cloudy days on my Maui trip so far, I was eager (over-eager) to get some real sun! So I lathered up in my SPF 45 multiple times and headed out to join the hoards of tan vacationers lounging by the adult pool. Of course I stick out like a sore thumb (a really really pale one!) but I still got in my bikini and stretched out on a lawn chair in a grassy area. There’s a bar by the pool and there was a football game on so dad hung out there while I got some sun. About 20 minutes later a fly landed on my hand while laying on my stomach. I brushed it off and looked down to see a very angry assailant, a wasp! Startled, I jump up and the wasp fell to the grass. I took ONE step and BAM I stepped right on the wasp with my left foot. The pain was instantaneous as many of you probably know. I shakily gathered my stuff and limped to my dad, and then to the pool desk for some bee sting medicine. The last time I got stung was around 14 when my dad kicked a soccerball into a bush and, well, it turned out to be a bee’s nest. I got 6 or 7 stings all over my body. They swelled up really bad and I couldn’t sleep for days so I really wasn’t excited for what was to come with this lovely Hawaiian bee sting.

Pool by Grand Wailea

For those interested, this the the bikini I wore basically everyday in Maui! It’s from Asos and pretty cheap for $30-ish bucks.

ASOS FULLER BUST Exclusive Cross Wrap Bikini Top DD-G

My sting didn’t feel too bad at first so I laid out a bit longer and then limped back to the room for some deli food from Mana.

mana foods deli maui

evening at Grand Wailea

Dad wanted to explore the hotel property later so I wholeheartedly limped along beside him.

Kyla at grand Wailea night

The next morning I still couldn’t really walk on my left foot so we didn’t get do the free yoga beach class or go the the hotel gym (dad wouldn’t go without me!) 🙁 but we did have an amazing breakfast. I bet you’re thinking, hotel rooms service, how nice! Nope, this beauty was made by my pops! We brought Greek yogurt, Mana granola, strawberries, oranges and papayas and asked for bowls from the hotel.

Grand Wailea Papaya breakfast

Grand wailea papaya bfast

I couldn’t stop taking pictures, it makes me hungry just looking at it!

Grand wailea papaya

We decided to eat lunch out most days so we tried the Maui Brewing Company fish tacos and they weren’t very good! The fish had little to no flavor and they were very watery.

Maui Brewing Co

To make up for the Maui Brewing Company we went to Coconut’s Fish Cafe in Kihei (only 5-10 minutes from the Grand Wailea) to try the “best fish tacos on Maui.” Are they the best fish tacos on Maui? Maybe! They are very good. BUT the homemade ones we make back in Seattle actually taste a little better to me! I was so surprised. I guess nothing beats homemade salsa, homemade slaw and hand-breaded fresh Pacific Northwest fish! But, that being said, I would be more than happy to eat 2 or 3 of these tacos anytime…

coconuts fish cafe

Coconuts fish cafe menu maui

They use 17 ingredients (including a great mango salsa/relish on top). With the double-wrap tortilla and a monstrous amount of filling these aren’t pretty to eat but real tasty! I could eat two before I was stuffed.

Coconuts fish cafe maui

Fish Tacos Coconuts Fish Cafe

After our fish taco indulgence we saw a place next door that has kombucha so we wandered (errr I mean limped) inside. It’s called Wow Wow Lemonade and they make their own kombucha and lemonade as well as super healthy bowls.

Aloha Lemonade Kihei Maui

They also had these super healthy pies so we got Lilikoi and Chocolate Coffee (which dad ate in about 5 seconds!).

Chocolate Pono pie

The un-pictured lilikoi pie was actual really good, a little tangy and cheesecakey. Both had breadfruit in them, cool!

Chocolate pie Maui

Of course I got the lilikoi kombucha.

Aloha Lilikoi Kmbucha BETTER!

Dad and I also shared a ginger-tumeric kombucha which was super refreshing! AND for only $5 you can get this cool mason jar drink bottle! I brought it home with me and am using it for smoothies.

Aloha ginger tumeric kombucha

Kombucha and Kyla

At Mana Foods we picked up a flat of coconut water for the whole trip (since we were in Hawaii!) so dad and I enjoyed sipping on it during breakfast.

Grand Wailea coconut water

On the second day at Grand Wailea I soaked up the sun with my swollen, itchy foot. By the third day my foot was still real swollen, itchy, hot and started to turn a different color than my other foot so we called around and went to an insurance-approved doctor since benadryl cream, ibuprofen and neosporin weren’t working. He gave me a stronger benadryl-like drug and something else and suggested I travel with those two drugs in the future because my reaction to bee stings might worsen! Scary. It was a shame that happened on my first day (first 20 minutes actually!!) at Grand Wailea because I didn’t get to do as much as I would’ve liked there and dad didn’t have an active partner in crime!

Grand Wailea Pools, Maui

We did end up going in almost all of the eight pools (including some kids water slides hehe), renting some hotel bikes and getting ice cream, and watching Stepbrothers on that huge TV with my pops!

sunset Grand Wailea

Come back to read more about horses, crepes and craters!

By the way for eats today I had Fage Greek yogurt with Bare Naked granola, Moosewood Cookbook Lentil Soup and tonight I will probably have lentil soup again or protein waffles.

What did you have for lunch today?

Have you ever been stung by a bee or multiple bees?

Thanks for hosting WIAW Jenn and for reading peeps!



Munching in Maui: Part Two

January 17, 2015


Hello! Let’s see where I left off….Ah yes, on the beach! With a papaya in hand where I bet we are all wishing we are right now…


 On day two we hit the beach again. It was still cloudy bit that didn’t stop dad and I from exploring!

hawaiian flower 1

There are lots of resorts along the Ka’anapali beach so we stopped by one of the outdoor bars for some water (and a overpriced beer for the pops!). We were watching a whale jump far off in the distance when something even more entertaining caught our eye. I’;m not sure what kind of bird this is and I know it’s not a duck but this bold little fella reminded me of Ping the Duck, a children’s book about a cute little ducks adventures. Hawaiian Ping kept stalking guests, drinking from the pool and walking on top of bushed bobbing and weaving for lizards.

my favorite maui duckping hawaiian duck

Next we drove through Napili, a fancy-ish resort area and came upon this beautiful  cliff area right next to the Ritz-Carlton. The waves were crashing and splashing but the coolest part is the shapes of the rocks that were formed!

Kapalua trail 1

Don’t worry, nobody is jumping in here!

Kapalua Trail Cliff Panorama 1 Kapalua Trail Cliff Panorama 2

Kapalua Trail, Maui 2

There is also this cool maze activity!

Kapalua Trail Cliff Maze Maui

Kapalua Trail, Maui part 3

Kyla + Cliff

After the short cliff jaunt we headed in the opposite direction about 45 minutes away to Paia, a small hippy town on the coast. I read about an amazing natural food store called Mana Foods on Trip Advisor so I dragged my dad there first. It is heaven. Literally heaven for any health nut or foodie. The store looks teeny from the outside but don’t let appearances fool you! It’s huge. There’s a deli area, bakery, and huge health section as well as a major grocery store. I do suggest you bring a jacket though, they keep the A/C blasting in here!


Since we didn’t have a fridge, we couldn’t get a ton of food but we got a cashew/veggie wrap, papaya, oranges, fresh juices and some unpictured fresh soup.

mana foods, Paia, maui groceries

This juice was so tasty, I’m going to recreate it at home.

Mana Fresh Juice, Maui

For just being cashew spread and vegetables my wrap was excellent.

Mana Foods Wrap

For a quick bite we also made it to Merriman’s in Napili.

Merriman's Merriman's Maui

The fish and chips were good but it was a little too much fried food for me. There were also only like three pieces of fish, the rest was fried eggplant, still good but come on!

Fish and chips at Merrimans, Maui

For dessert we shared these gooey sweet morsel:

White chocolate malasadas Merriman's Kapalua

This is the true meaning of beauty!

White Chocolate Malasada Merrimans Kapalua Maui

The view wasn’t too bad either 🙂

Merriman's Kapalua, Maui

I might be the only person to order tea on a hot Maui day but I get so cold sometimes, I needed it!

Green tea at merrimans Maui

Finally headed back to Lahaina where dad obtained a room at the historical Lahaina Inn right downtown. I was pleasantly surprised with cuteness of this room! I NEED this pineapple wallpaper. Unfortunately there were some communication issues with the hotel and we didn’t get a double bed room. My gentlemanly father let me have the bed while he took the floor with his sleeping pad and bag, luckily it was just one night.

Lahaina InnLahaina Inn, Lahaina, Maui

Lahaina Inn porch

Here’s a preview of what’s to come! Check back for part three soon!


Well, back to freezing my booty off in Seattle! Thank you for reading my long post and please stop by again for more!