Tuesday, April 16, 2013

dude, sweet - north shore, oahu

i scored the deal of the year this winter: bellingham to honolulu for $200 return. coupled with hotel deals, it was a cheap getaway and my first trip to hawaii. but i must confess something. whenever anyone asked me where i was going, i told them "oh, just oahu." i had this idea that it was the lamest and most commercial island. but let me tell you what i learned: it's beautiful and if you get away from waikiki, you can find a true hawaiian experience.

just over an hour up island is the lush and scarcely commercialized north shore, where the bohemian heart of oahu beats. north shore culture is surf culture. it's the breeding and stomping ground of some of the world's best surfers. a place where you can find 30-foot swells and fit in a surf before and after work; where you can mingle with pro surfers, colourful characters and barefoot, wet-haired locals fresh off their boards in the grocery store; and where dressing up literally means throwing a dress over your swimsuit.

here are a few suggestions for a trip to hawaiian hippie heaven...

sample roadside delights
it's worth pulling over for the food stands along kamehameha highway. from haleiwa to kahuku, you'll find family fruit stands, acai bowl shacks, shrimp trucks, shave ice and haupia pie. it's not fancy, but it's delicious. must stops: ted's bakery at sunset beach for bbq chicken plate lunch and chocolate haupia or banana cream pie, matsumoto for guava, pineapple and lilikoi shave ice, fumi's for garlic or coconut shrimp plate and cholo's for mexican.

visit hawaiian green sea turtles
a couple miles north of haleiwa on kamehameha highway, pull over at laniakea beach and see the basking turtles who crawl up on shore daily. you'll also meet volunteers from save the sea turtles international, who protect the turtles from ... tourists. stroll along the beach and try to catch sight of a few more turtles, minus the tour bus passengers.

watch surfers in action
the best workout on the island has got to be a walk on the beach, where the quicksand-like pebbles not only make your legs burn, but also give you a killer pedicure. my favourite activity was strolling on the beach, flip flops in hand, stopping along the way to watch throngs of surfers paddling out in the late afternoon. check out pipeline, sunset beach and the break off turtle bay. visit between late november and early december to catch the vans triple crown of surfing. if you'd prefer to get out there yourself, rent a board in haleiwa, where you'll also find surf schools and calmer waves.

fall asleep to the sound of crashing waves
there is one major hotel on the north shore: turtle bay resort. despite this, you'll still see a hand-painted sign on the side of the highway that reads "no more hotels!" the resort sits on the northern tip of oahu. you may remember it from forgetting sarah marshall. while the property is beautiful, it looks much nicer in the film thanks to the magical wizards of production design. the hotel has multiple restaurants---including one on the beach, golf courses, stables, pools, and a surf school on site. stay in the beach bungalows if you can, but if you leave the lanai door open, the soothing sound of crashing waves means any room will do. i booked turtle bay on hotwire for a discounted rate. if you see a four-star beachfront hotel on the north shore, it's turtle bay. if you'd prefer to stay in a house, try the basic ke iki beach bungalows or one of the many homes rented out by owners. 

ride the pineapple express
it only takes an hour to drive from honolulu to the north shore, but you'll probably want to stop and ride the pineapple express along the way. not that pineapple express ... this is a train at the dole plantation. it's a total tourist trap, but worth stopping for a cone of delicious pineapple dole whip.

this post was originally featured on tripstyler.com

Sunday, April 14, 2013

très cool

i'm travelling to europe this spring and i've been using blogs as my go-to travel guides for what's cool beyond the getting there's and must do's of a traditional travel guide. this kind of exhaustive research is a lot of work, but it pays off by directing you to all the local favourites and hippest neighbourhoods. i recently discovered some travel guides that speak to me on an aesthetic and cultural level, combining both substance and style.

this independent, barcelona-based company has published european city guides for amsterdam, barcelona, lisbon, london and madrid. their books have been called "guidebooks for people who hate guidebooks" (the guardian) and "your hippest good friend" (the independent). they're suitable for locals who want to rediscover their city and tourists who wish they were locals. buy them online or in shops across europe.

this series-in-the-making of american guidebooks, launched last fall, has captured my attention with its choice of cities to cover -- nashville and austin -- and its clean look. each pocket-sized guide is "equal parts travel guide and tribute" and is packed with best-of lists, hand-drawn maps and interviews with locals. watch for upcoming guides on all your favourite american cities: seattle, new orleans, san francisco and brooklyn are in the works. buy them online or in shops across nashville (the austin field guide publishes next month).

[images via le cool and wildsam]

Friday, April 12, 2013

in print :: kelli murray

san diego illustrator kelli murray is hands down one of the cutest gals on the internet. she's got killer california style, an adorable family and great platinum locks. plus she's super talented and seems as nice as can be. 

go buy her prints via her etsy store or society6. the hardest part will be choosing your favourite...

bonus jonas! some prints are available as iphone cases, laptop skins, stationary and more. #imean #comeon #girlcrush

don't forget to follow her blog for gorgeous photos of her personal style, family and work, as well as sweet DIY projects and printable cards.

[all images via kelli's blog and online stores]

Friday, April 5, 2013

fashion friday :: cycle chic (via trip styler)

cycle chic 

i'm heading to amsterdam this month and recently a friend jokingly asked if i'd go to the red light district. i confess i hadn't even thought about it. when i think of amsterdam, i imagine stylish cyclists on dutch upright bikes with tulips in their baskets riding alongside picturesque canals. i suspect the same thing of copenhagen, and i refuse to think any differently until i'm proved wrong. part of this confidence comes from my faithful addiction to street style blogs and their sub genre, cycle chic blogs, birthed in copenhagen in 2007.

there's something magical about cycling in a bike-friendly city, smiling at passersby, having moments of fleeting flirtation at stoplights with fellow cyclists, all while getting in some light cardio. of course bike commuting is only magical until that moment it begins to downpour, you're splashed by passing cars, yelled at by impatient cyclists and you knock down a whole row of bikes while locking up your own. that's when you go inside for a heineken. speaking of dutch beer, i'll have to drink some and i'll have to go to the red light district. it would be disrespectful not to...right?!

amsterdam milan cycle chic
amsterdam cycle chic
new york paris amsterdam cycle chic
milan copenhagen cycle chic
amsterdam milan cycle chic
copenhagen milan cycle chic
amsterdam cycle chic

this post was originally featured on tripstyler.com