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Hawai'i Vacation Part 2: O'ahu

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O'ahu

Our final destination of our Hawaiian vacation was the island of O'ahu, where were stayed in a boutique hotel in Waikiki.  The location couldn't be better!  We had gorgeous views of the beach from our upper-level hotel room and we were within walking distance of dozens of shops and restaurants.  I did some window shopping at the high-end stores in Waikiki, sampled the famous cookies from the Honolulu Cookie Company (I'm hooked!), ordered a macadamia nut latte, enjoyed a fresh poke bowl and pineapple boat for lunch, and bought some gifts and souvenirs, all within walking distance of our hotel.  Across the street, right along the beach, there was a huge banyan tree where birds congregated.  I couldn't believe how loud it was with birds chirping and talking to each other in the tree!  Once again we were blessed with gorgeous sunsets over the ocean.  

We only had a few days on O'ahu, and I liked it a lot more than I thought I would considering how populated and…

Hawai'i Vacation Part 1: Maui and the Big Island

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We just returned from an unforgettable family vacation to the Hawaiian islands!  We have been planning this trip for almost a year, since Ady was just a few weeks old.  One of Jaycob's ambitions was to compete in the Xterra World Championships, a strenuous and elite off-road triathlon on Maui, and when he registered for the race last December we decided to plan a family vacation around the event.
We visited three of the islands during this trip: Maui, the Big Island, and O'ahu.  I learned that each island has its own personality.  Individual islands also have their own unique geographical features, and even within each island there is a large variety in geography, climate and vegetation.  What amazed me most about Hawai'i was its fascinating ecosystem and its isolation from the rest of the world.  Hawai'i is incredibly unique because it is so far from any other land mass and so young (relatively speaking) compared to other regions.  In fact, the Big Island is actually s…

Tatonka Trail Run and Fall Snapshots

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Yesterday morning Jaycob and I raced in the 2nd annual 10K Tatonka Trail Run in Glorieta, New Mexico.  It was quite a different experience compared to last year, when my very-pregnant self walked the 5K course!  It was fun to be able to run it this year while Ady spent the morning with her babysitter.  I haven't been doing a lot of trail running since having the baby, but it was a beautiful day for a run and the trails were fun with lots of ups and downs and bright fall colors in their prime.  It was a chilly morning but warmed up during the race.  My goal was to run the whole race without walking (done!), and also to finish before all the cupcakes were gone (check!).  I have high ambitions.  Admittedly, I was not very prepared for the intensity of the race, nor did I mentally prep for a run that would take me that long, but I feel a sense of accomplishment afterwards.  (Not to mention a sense of delayed onset muscle soreness.)  Jaycob had a great race and got the bronze medal!  

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Fall Feels

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Happy Fall!  The leaves are changing and there's a chill in the air!  I love this time of year.  A few Tuesday Tidbits about life lately...

1) The evolution of pumpkin spice cracks me up.  What started as a novelty to celebrate the flavors of fall and create a bridge between the iced lattes of summer and the peppermint mochas of winter has become the ultimate symbol of the Basic B, and even the focus of racially charged jokes (AKA that all white girls like pumpkin).  So I won't perpetuate this by going on and on about pumpkin spice like I usually do... but I did have a salted caramel mocha frappuccino at the end of a long work week and it was heaven in a cup.  :-)

2) One of my favorite things about the weather turning cooler is diving into warm, cozy, flavorful fall foods: risotto with butternut squash, pork chops with cooked apples, wild rice, and homemade mac and cheese.  I baked a blueberry pie and peach cobbler for our friends' outdoor wedding celebration earlier this mo…