Tag Archives: fun

Staying Active on Vacay

I am back! Phew, CRAZY few weeks. We’re talking about endless assignments, presentations, studies, work, chores, sleepless nights and some running + strength training.

Final week of class before the exams and then SEM BREAK! So keen for it to be over! 😉

How is everyone else? 🙂


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Anyway! This post is on how to stay active when you’re on a vacay (speaking of which, I need a vacay!):

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Are you a routine junkie? Workout junkie? Vacay junkie?

*ME!*


The thing about being a routine junkie is that going on a vacay will potentially ruin it. I must admit, I get a little anxious about that! I am all about routines.


I’m here to talk about BALANCE: Not completely throwing your routine out the window but also not sticking to it like a junkie

It is not always easy to find a gym or a safe place to run (depends on where you go). So that might make it more difficult to get your usual workout in. If sticking to your routine stresses you out, what you need to do is throw THAT out the window. But not the working out part.


Staying ACTIVE on vacay:

1. EXPLORE

You’re on vacation! Take this time to get out there and EXPLORE the new city/place. Take it as an adventure.

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The best way to explore: WALKING/RUNNING/JOGGING

You get the best of both worlds: A chance to explore AND get your workout in!Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

My Garmin FR235 has been my best friend! It makes working out SO EASY! Just PRESS and GO! So fun to look at the stats after, even if it was just a walk in the park. 🙂

2. Free and Easy

It is always good to have a PLAN but if you’re like me and you get upset if you don’t get to stick to your schedule/plan, get rid of that!

I tend to have an “all or nothing” approach. If I fail to stick to my plan, I’d do NOTHING at all. I try to balance between having a plan and being okay if I don’t adhere to it.

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Take it easy and go with what you have. If you have time, GO! If not, CHILL… with coffee! Your body probably needs the rest.

3. MIX IT UP!

I like running, but it is not always convenient to do so.

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Get creative. Do a short HIIT workout/sprints that can be done anywhere! Anything that will get your heart rate up. Set your alarm, get up to catch the sunrise and WORKOUT! I LOVE that fresh feeling after my workout. If you’re the same, then just do it!

Trust me, it will be worth it!

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Example:

4 rounds of:

-Pulse jump squats x20

-Cross mountain climbers x20

-Elevated Push ups x20

-Leg raises x20

1:30 min break

4 rounds of:

-Burpees x15

-Tricep dips x20

-Russian Twists x40

-Jack Knives x20

REPEAT x2!

4. To GO GET FOOD!IMG_3092

OH YEAH! The best kind of workout/activity is going to get FOOD! Walk/run/cycle to your favourite breakfast/brunch/coffee/ice cream place!

Explore local cuisines!FullSizeRender_1I earned my ice cream!

5. Try a NEW sport/activity

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Cycling is a fun way to explore a new place! I don’t normally cycle, so this was something “new” to me.

IMG_2402Triathlete in the making. hahahhhahahhaha. JOKES!

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Go on a hike! Walking/hiking is so good for you. My favourite aerobic workout! Get your heart pumping with a few inclines/climbs. Trust me, your heart will thank you for it. 🙂

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Soak in your surroundings. God NEVER fails to amaze me. His creations are breathtaking.

DCIM102GOPROSnorkeling. Swimming. Underwater fun! There are SO many ways to stay active!

DCIM102GOPROJust. AWESOME.

<3

Enjoy your next vacay + getting your heart rate up!

PS: If you happen to be planning your next trip, check out HotelsCombined to help you find and make the best accommodation decisions + great deals!

For more info on my Garmin FR235 or any other models, check out http://www.aeco.com.my or like their FB page !

Do let me know if you’re interested in any of the models. 😉

Cheers!

Feature: The Ultimate Running Programme

Don’t forget your heart, the most important muscle!


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Special thanks to Axtrosports for this feature! Click here for the FULL ARTICLE. This is just my part on running. ENJOY!


 

We are grateful to have Adele Wong from www.adeleruns.com to share with us a surefire way to whip your heart into shape.

Why Run?

Running is a great workout that can be your staple-go-to healthy activity or thrown in to complement other training regimes that you might have. Running boasts many health benefits, including improving the cardiovascular system (heart, lungs, vessels), strengthens bones, lowers cholesterol levels, releases stress, increases metabolism and helps with weight loss!IMG_4966

If you’re just starting out, your main focus should be on consistency. Commit to a few days of running a week and make it sustainable by picking your preferred time and place.

Week 1-4

The focus for these weeks would be to make running a habit and to build a strong base for more structured workouts.

You can start by running 25-30 minutes, 3 times a week. Monitor how you feel after each run. When 30 minutes becomes too comfortable, you can add 5-10minutes and eventually, being able to run for 50-60 minutes with ease.

At this stage, you can forget about distance and pace. Instead, focus on how you feel. On a scale of 0-100%, you should be running at 70-80% of your effort. Don’t worry, you will get a better gauge of how you feel when you start to run a little more!

Week 4 Onwards

Once you get stronger with a good base, you can spice up your running regime by adding some “fun” and structured workouts. This is where you can work on developing speed and endurance.10356340_10204293752563578_8230519310562349253_n

 

Let’s talk about adding interval training to your running routine. Without getting too technical, interval training is alternating between bouts of high intensity effort and low intensity effort. The duration, recovery time and effort level of each bout depends highly on which physiological system (cardiovascular, muscle strength, nervous system, anaerobic system etc) you want to work on.

Some Great Routines

Short Sprints

10 x 100m sprints with 2-3 mins of recoveryIMG_1446

As you get fitter, work on increasing reps and distance up to 200m. Keep your running time to less than 1 minute.

Hill Sprints

10 x 30 seconds up a steep hill with a jog down for recoveryIMG_2065

As with short sprints, work on increasing reps.

*Short sprints and hill sprints stimulate the nervous system and works on strengthening your muscles.

Long Hill Repeats

8-10 x 60-90 seconds up a gradual incline with a jog down for recovery

IMG_2092Work on increasing reps.

This workout works on muscle fibres that are needed in middle distance running (1km-10km).

Other Routines

6-8 x 400m with 2-5 minutes of recovery (@ mile pace)

4-6 x 600m with 2-5 minutes of recoveryIMG_1448

1 km @ 5km pace | 3-5 x 800m with 2-5 minutes of recovery (10km pace) | 1km @ 5km pace

5 x 1km with 3-5 minutes of recovery

2 minutes x 6 with 2 minutes of recovery

10 x 30 seconds with 30 seconds of recovery

The combinations are endless! You can even do a combination of 5 x 1km finishing with 5 x 400m or 3 sets of 100m, 200m, 300, 400m, 300m, 200m, 100m. As mentioned previously, the effort, duration and recovery time depends on which physiological system you intend to work on.

In general, if you want to work on:

Improving the pace over longer distances (speed endurance): the recovery interval can slowly be shorten/equal to the running time

Getting used to the increased pace by stimulating the nervous system: 3-5 minutes of recovery depending on the length of running time

Anaerobic system: the recovery time should be twice the amount of running time to allow for full recovery and anaerobic products to be cleared.

Try adding any 1 of these structured running workouts once a week on top of your usual 3-5 days of easy running. As your body gets used to the stress of heavier workouts, you can start adding 2 structured workouts a week!

Running is so versatile! Mix it up and have some fun!

Kona Town, Hawaii – Last Day

Day 9 – 26th January 2016, Tuesday

Journey back to Kona Town

Wake up time: 7:30am

Some shots of our accommodation at Volcano Hale:IMG_4008

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Living area with fireplace.

IMG_4007The kitchen area.

 

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Up the stairs!IMG_4005
The entrance to our room.

It was another early start! I wanted to put in a run at Volvano park just before we left but when I woke up at 6am, it was below 10degrees and it was PITCH BLACK! No street lights, nothing! I didn’t bother moving from my comfy bed.

IMG_4014We packed up, checked out and had coffee and cup noodles before driving back to Kona Town.IMG_4018

Our first stop: Papakolea Green Sand Beach (one of the two green sand beaches in the US)

We heard a lot about the Green Sand Beach and apparently, it is one of the MUST-SEES in Hawai’i.

Green Sand Beach is not Green Sand Beach without GREEN SAND! Yes, the sand IS GREEN. It is green because of the glassy crystal Olivine. Olivine comes from olivine-rich lava that spewed out of cinder cones years ago.

Olivine is locally known as “Hawaiian Diamond” and it is denser than the other rocks/lava flows. The ocean current separates these heavier particles and concentrates them to form this beach!

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My first “outdoor” toilet experience. It was HORRIBLE! T_T

Like all things in life, good things don’t come easy! And that includes getting to this beach! It was quite remote and not easy to reach!

We drove to a harbor where they had parking lots.

2 ways to get to Green Sand Beach:

-Take a 4WD car

-HikeIMG_4759Loving the Garmin FR235! 😀

Distance to beach: 4.5km one way

We thought we’d hike/walk/jog there and take the 4WD back (to save time). On the way there, the guide in the 4WD told us that it was easier to take the 4WD THERE and HIKE back because heading there was mainly uphill! HE WAS RIGHT! It was not easy! IMG_4054The hike was hot with the sun blazing and shining directly in your face with no cover from trees/clouds. The terrain was also not easy to navigate with lots of rolling hills, sand, rocks and dried out grass. IMG_4024BUT, the view made it ALL worth it.IMG_4020 IMG_4050 IMG_4056 IMG_4059

IMG_4053I thought it was a really tough hike but my mom made it all the way! SO PROUD OF MY MOMMY BEAR!

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Enjoying the view!

IMG_4068The cliffs above Green Sand Beach.Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

You can see the GREEN sand.IMG_4069I climbed down the lava cliff to get to the bay. I made a mistake of NOT wearing my shoes! IT WAS BURNING HOT! I had to rush to the sea to cool off!

IMG_4070 IMG_4077It was a steep hike down!

IMG_4078 IMG_4071 IMG_4072 IMG_4074 IMG_4079 Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset IMG_4080After enjoying the beach and the view, we took the 4WD back which cost $15 each! It was worth it because by then, the heat had gotten to us. We were exhausted and hungry.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetGarmin Panda says it is Kona Coffee Latte O’clock!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetWe settled for a cafe along the way to Kona Town. I cannot remember the name of this place but they had decent food!

We were so tired, we drove straight to our AirBnb accommodation in Kona town. IMG_4128Kona town Oasis!

IMG_4127It was a really nice place that was super central! It was just 300m walk to Ali’i Drive (tourist area). It was also just 10mins away from the airport, shopping malls, food etc. The couple who runs this place actually started it to accommodate athletes that were competing in the Kona Ironman!

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Perfect day out!

After resting for a bit, I went for a run! It was one of the best running experiences along the Kona Ironman route! I didn’t know that that was THE Ironman route! Our Airbnb host, Marc, said that you can see 100s of swimmers training every morning! I ran to the pier to check out the place where they do their bike transitions. It is a big event and there were many permanent signs everywhere.

It was a pleasant run along the killer tough route! It was hilly and windy. I ran right along the coast and occasionally, sea water would splash and burn your eyes and skin. Too salty! There were SO many people out there training, running, swimming, biking, surfing etc. I followed a guy who was doing his brick training! It was fun to pace with someone else. Great way to connect with people too! I loved every bit of running in this town. Kinda miss it now.


Day 10 – 27th January 2016, Wednesday

We didn’t do much at night, mainly packing. Our flight was at 7:50am the next day and we had to be up by 4am! IMG_4172The al fresco style airport at Big Island! Yes, that’s the waiting area.

IMG_4186Coffee and breakfast at Honolulu airport.

IMG_4177Mahalo Hawai’i!

I am very grateful to be able to visit such a beautiful place! This trip was fun (SO FREAKIN AWESOME OMG!) and it also made me appreciate the beauty of nature (even more!) and the wonderful hands of our CREATOR.

Just. Too. PERFECT.

W.O.W!

Kona, Hawaii – Day 3

Day 3 – 20th January, Wednesday

Ocean Power Rafting + Snorkeling

My day started at 5:45am, such an ungodly hour! I had to set 3 alarms to get my butt outta bed. If I am ever up so early, it is usually for a race (which I usually dread). But today, I was excited. I signed up for the Ocean Power Rafting and Snorkeling excursion.

IMG_2858After packing all the necessary and unnecessary stuff, I went down to the lobby to board the shuttle bus that was scheduled to leave at 7:15am.

IMG_2866The port.

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It was a 45min drive to Honokōhau Bay, where we boarded our rigid hull inflatable boats (RHIB) / Zodiac-type rafts made famous by U.S. Navy SEAL teams. There was a bus load of us and we had to be divided up into 3 different groups.

IMG_2868My group had 12 awesome people under Captain Dave.

IMG_2870Briefing – the Dos and Don’ts.

IMG_2871Off we go!

This excursion would cover 14 miles between Honokōhau and Kealakekua Bay. It was a slow drive out from the dock before the Captain went full speed with the rafts. We were travelling at about 30-35 miles/hour. Sports car of the sea?

IMG_2908Safety rope! As long as you have one foot under it, you’re SAFE!

IMG_2883Spinner Dolphins!

 

IMG_2887Our final destination was Kealakekua Bay for snorkeling. But we had many stops along the way whenever we spotted spinner dolphins and pilot whales!

IMG_2919Can you spot the pilot whale?! It went under our raft!

IMG_2922YES, we came UP CLOSE and PERSONAL with them! It was so amazing. They swam towards us gracefully and showed off their flipping/rolling/splashing skills.

Just look at him playing around on his back!

DCIM102GOPRO The sun was high up in the sky and shining in its full glory. But it was a bit chilly. The speedy and nimble raft went against the wind which countered the heat from the sun.

DCIM102GOPROThe wind was so strong, I felt chills running down my spine and goosebumps started popping out. I actually enjoyed the warmth from the sun whenever we stopped to view interesting marine life.

IMG_2932After cruising the waters along Kona coast for about 1 hour, we were at Kealakekua Bay!

DCIM102GOPRO DCIM102GOPROThis bay is actually a National Marine Park and apparently, one of Hawaii’s finest underwater preserves.

DCIM102GOPROWe were NOT allowed to go on land or to stand up while snorkeling. Standing up would mean that you MIGHT be standing on corals and that would kill them.

DCIM102GOPROAfter gearing up, I jumped in! The waters were so pristine, visibility was far and wide. A bit scary and breathtaking at the same time.

DCIM102GOPROFuzzy.

DCIM102GOPRODecided to switch to my goggles because I wanted to dive a little deeper.

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The waters were nice and warm. I thought it would have been FREEZING COLD!

DCIM102GOPRO DCIM102GOPROI had a lot of fun paddling around, swimming around the fishes and corals and drinking mouthfuls of salt water!

DCIM102GOPROWhile we went snorkeling, the Captain prepared our snacks of fresh fruit, cookies, crisps and drinks.

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DCIM102GOPRO DCIM102GOPROWe spent an hour or so at Kealakekua Bay before heading back to shore.

IMG_2952On the way back, we stopped at coastal lava caves, ocean geysers and sea grotto. The Captain was also sharing a bit about the history and ancient Hawaiian legends.

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IMG_2964Sandwich and Coffee.

After the excursion, we arrived back at the hotel at about 1:30pm. We were given $30 to spend on lunch! I had a sandwich to-go as I wanted to shower and eat in the comfort of the hotel room.


Kahua Ranch – Dinner

We had little time to rest before we had to dress up to go to Kahua ranch for dinner. The ranch was about 45mins-1hour drive away, so we had to be at the lobby by 4:45pm.

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IMG_30349 inches of rain a year(just outside our hotel) and 45 mins later……

IMG_3042120 inches of rain a year! Hawaii has many MICROclimates!

We caught the first bus to Kahua ranch! We were greeted by Big John who was one of the owners of the place. Before dinner, he shared a bit about the history of the place.

IMG_3040Kahua ranch means the beginning or the foundation as it was one of the few places that was established during World War II.

IMG_3041  IMG_3046It was started by 2 families over 8500 acres of land!

They aim to provide: Value, Productivity and Beauty.

IMG_3047 IMG_3049So picturesque.

IMG_3050They have over 2000 cows! It was interesting to learn about high intensity rapid grazing (Not HIIT :P), how they keep cows in a smaller closure to sustain the land, rotational grazing and skip grazing. You should hear the logistics of how they ship the cows – Cow-tainers, cruise ships and boarding 747s. Crazy!

IMG_3052IMG_3077He was SUPER friendly. Very good with people.

IMG_3062 IMG_3054 IMG_3067Arrrrrr!

He also talked a bit about some of the animals that were brought into Hawaii by accident and how they changed the entire ecosystem.

IMG_3069 IMG_3070The sunset.

IMG_3074 IMG_3089Where we had dinner.

IMG_3090After that, we had a lovely BBQ ranch dinner (with live country music) followed by some cowboy activities – line dancing, hot iron stamping, smores making, horse shoe throwing, a fire place and star gazing.

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Hot iron stamp!

IMG_3092The BEEF was so good!

IMG_3094 IMG_3095The founder of my Mom’s company (DDI), Dr. Bill Byham. We sat at the same table 2 nights in a row. We’ve met before and he is always so nice to my mom. Very interesting man and at his age, he is still VERY sharp! Scary.

IMG_3100The fire place.

The highlight (for me) was STAR gazing! It was pitch black so we could see the glittery sky.

Day 3 was very tiring with back-to-back activities!

Day 4 was a little better……

Wait for it!

xoxo

 

Kona, Hawaii – Day 1 & Day 2

Day 1 – 18th January, Monday

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia –> Narita, Tokyo –> Honolulu, Hawaii –> Kona, Hawaii

Total time (door to door): 24 hours

Total time spent flying: 14 hours

Compared to my other trips to the USA, this was the most bearable one! Despite having ZERO sleep on Sunday night, I was surprisingly okay!

The journey started at 4:15am (when we left for KL Sentral), Monday morning. As the last minute hero, I was up all night packing till 1:30am. On top of that, I had some work to finish before leaving the house which explained why I had no sleep. Also, I was out the WHOLE day.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetGetting ready for the LONG journey!

Took a nap on the train to KLIA. We checked in and headed to Starbucks for coffee! 

Narita, Tokyo

The flight was good and the service was superb. Managed to catch some sleep and watch 1 movie!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetWe had breakfast in the plane at around 10am (KL time).

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetThe layover was about 3 hours. We decided to have our late lunch at around 4-5pm (KL time). I was FAMISHED! I was glad that this meal didn’t disappoint! It was the ONLY place that had decent food. Very fresh but also very expensive.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetWho wants to guess the cost of this meal?

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetSo FRESH!

Honolulu, Hawaii

The flight was delayed for about 1 hour, not sure why. The ride was also not as pleasant and it was quite turbulent. But it was all good, quite exciting actually. Managed a little more sleep on this flight. I had so many mini naps in between that I dragged one movie for the entire duration of the journey. Haaaaaa! Didn’t even manage to watch the ending when the plane landed!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetAfter going through customs/transit etc, we had breakfast at an All-American diner. Although it was not eating time back home (12am KL time), I was feeling hungry! Okay lah, when am I not hungry? 😛

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetThe face of the exhausted.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetAnd then had coffee at Starbucks while waiting to board the plane to Kona on BIG Island!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Using my new passport wallet from my special friend. 😉 LOVE it!

Kona, Hawaii

The airport was barely an airport! More like an al-fresco style waiting area. IMG_2359See that “B” sign? That’s the baggage claim area!

When we arrived, our taxi was waiting for us (DDI, my mom’s company). Jim, our driver, drove us straight to Mauna Lani Bay Resort.

IMG_2363Thankfully, our room was ready. It was about 10am and check-in is usually at 3pm. So, we were very fortunate!

IMG_2372A guy at the airport jokingly asked if I was sponsored by Puma. Haaaaa! Was it THAT obvious? 😉 Technically, not anymore.

 

 

 

IMG_2366Panoramic view from our room!

IMG_2381From our balcony.

If you ever visit Kona, Hawaii, here’s some info:

Mauna Lani Bay Resort at Mauna Lani

Deluxe Ocean View room (our room) at $549/night. Other rooms starting from $399.

25-30 mins drive away from Kona International Airport

I couldn’t wait to put my head under nice warm running water. After a hot bath, I was feeling so smashed and so relaxed at the same time. Had a good 1 hour nap before heading out for lunch.

IMG_2385The entrance.

IMG_2387Mauna Lani Bay Resort.

We took a walk to The Shops, a commercial area with food and some shopping. It was about 1 km from our hotel.

IMG_2395The Shops.

 After looking through the food list, I convinced my mom to have lunch at “Under the Bodhi Tree”. You guess it! It is a healthy, vegan and raw food place. My mom nearly flipped when she learned that there was no MEAT!

IMG_2397We had fungus hummungus (Quinoa with loads of mushrooms) and a veggie burger to share.

After lunch, we went to the grocery store (which was VERY well stocked) to get some stuff. As we were stuffed from lunch, we decided to walk back to the hotel (free shuttle service available all day around Mauna Lani).

IMG_2402Free bike rentals!

IMG_2403Took one out for a quick spin.

IMG_2415We took a short walk on the beach before returning to our rooms.

IMG_2421ALOHA!

IMG_2412The chill life.

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IMG_2431 IMG_2432 IMG_2433For dinner, we took the shuttle to The Shops (again!). We didn’t want to venture out from Mauna Lani. The next town was quite a distance away.  We settled for Tommy Bahamas. Fresh seafood and produce, everything was made from scratch!

Thanks to NO SLEEP SUNDAY, I was able to sleep like a pig the minute my head hit the pillow.


 Day 2 – 19th January, Tuesday

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My mom and I lazed around in bed till about 9:30am.

IMG_2438The day started with buffet breakfast at the hotel.

IMG_2440OOZING yolk! I love doing that – poking it and watching it flow!

IMG_2444Made my own bagel and lox. 😀

IMG_2449Loading up on CARBS!

IMG_2450I have a soft spot for cream cheese. Just had to have it with everything! This was all eaten in one seating. 😀 Safe to say that I started the day right – with a HUGE breakfast.

*Beach Shots*

IMG_2483Time seemed to fly by! We spent the whole day exploring the beach around our hotel and just chilling out under the sun! I also got to try SUP! SO FUN!

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IMG_2497My mom is kinda goofy.

IMG_2498Too. Funny.

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IMG_2513  Jump shot!

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IMG_2708Chilling under the cabana. This post was actually written here!

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IMG_2831It was my mom’s Awards Day dinner that night so we had to be ready for cocktails at 5:30pm. I managed to put in a sunny run just before that! It was scorching hot with the wind in your face. It was all good.

IMG_2832Garden dinner by the beach.

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That’s it for Day 1 and Day 2 of the Hawaii trip!

Stay tuned for Day 3Ocean Power Rafting and Snorkeling!