Hawaii Happenings: Chasing Clouds

One of the reasons anyone would move to Hawaii is the great weather, right? That’s what I thought too until I decided to move here during an El Nino year. The weather throughout August was hot (in the mid 90’s), humid (75% humidity or more), and unpredictable (for Hawaii). Hurricane Ignacio, which just passed to our north, is the 8th hurricane to pass the island chain this year with Hurricane Jimena on its tail. Every week we see hurricane warnings and every day there is rain in the forecast. This week we even got a formal statement from the governor. But not a single storm has hit. It’s become a bit exhausting, actually. While I’m glad to see the seriously bad weather pass us by, I’m sick of feeling completely saturated. My biggest joy in moving here has been all the time spent outdoors and it turns out I flat-out don’t know what to do anymore when I don’t have that option. Well, I guess I do what everyone else does and burn through seasons of my favorite shows on Netflix.

Between hurricanes, I’ve been doing a little of the usual: hiking, beaching, and yoga. Two weeks ago I tried a new trail I really loved with my friend, Marie. It’s a 5-mile out-and-back trail in Hawaii Kai called the Kuliouou Ridge Trail. I especially liked this trail because it was challenging, but not overwhelming, and it had a little bit of everything. There were ocean and mountain views and we even passed through a pine forest. The end is a pretty steep climb up some terrible stairs I’d rather forget, but the hike itself was a lot of fun. It was forecast to rain that morning (of course), but there wasn’t a cloud in the sky so we went anyway. When we reached the top, the most incredible thing happened: to our left was completely cloud-covered and our right was completely clear. You could actually see the line of clouds rolling into the side of the mountain toward us, quickly. I’ve never seen anything like that split view.

Since I’ve been stuck inside a lot, I decided to start the 30 Days of Yoga challenge through the Yoga with Adriene YouTube channel. I really like Adriene’s videos because she has a lot of personality and manages to switch up the practice every day. I completed Day 10 today and I’ve realized I really like how doing yoga every day makes me feel. I never thought I’d be someone who exercises every day, but yoga makes it seem totally do-able. Each day targets a physical or mental hurdle, which ensures you’re not overworking exhausted muscles. The videos also vary in length from 10 to 40 minutes so not every day is a huge time commitment. The videos can be challenging but I feel a physical and mental lightness every time I’m finished. I’m excited to see the changes establishing a daily practice brings about.

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Lastly, I finally got in a beach day today at Marie’s favorite beach: Waimanalo. It’s hardly a kept secret since Dr. Beach named it America’s Best Beach in May, but it’s far less crowded than Kailua and Lanikai Beach Parks with equally stunning views. The water is pristine and turquoise surrounded by towering green mountains and tons of shady trees. Today, when we were supposed to see the worst of Hurricane Ignacio, ended up being a picture perfect beach day. The passing hurricane provided big waves, which was great for body-boarding but sometimes a bit scary. I got caught and slammed by a few big ones, but I made it out of the water in good shape. This place would easily make my top beaches list, too. It’s stunning, peaceful, and a whole lot of fun, the kind of place that reminds me why I moved here in the first place.

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