Welcome to the bottom of the world. It certainly is beautiful. We flew to Punta Arenas from Santiago, which is about a 3.5 hour flight. From Punta Arenas, we had a 2.5 hour drive to The Singular in Patagonia.
Easter Island. This is a bucket list destination. It’s in the middle of nowhere, about 4.5 hours west of Santiago in the middle of the Pacific ocean. We landed and I was pleasantly surprised with deplaning procedure on LAN air. Because this airport only houses one flight to and from Santiago, you exit from the tarmac. They open BOTH ends of the plane to expedite this process. This makes so much sense and sounds so simple, but blew my mind. Upon deplaning, my senses immediately took me back to Hilo, Hawaii. The sights. The smells. It was so familiar.
Santiago was the first of three legs of the South American adventure. After a long day of travel from Chicago to Santiago via Panama City, we finally checked in to the W Santiago.
We had only one full day to explore Santiago. We started walking and found a park with a path that lead to San Cristobal Hill. We saw a long line and didn’t know what it was for. It was the line for the cable car ride to the top of the hill. Nah, we thought, line's are stupid. We walked the 45 minutes up to the top. It was hot and dusty, but seeing temple and statue was incredible. The temple was modeled after a Roman basilica and built in 1921. German sculptor, Peter Horn, constructed the images and two sculptures in the gardens.
November was a great month. I capped off my 2016 wedding season with this wedding at The Dawson and then packed my bags and headed back to Oahu.
So what was I up to? Check it out:
For those of you who are just as obsessed with HGTV's Fixer Upper, this post is for you. I slowly, but not so slowly, became enamoured with the show and Chip and Joanna Gaines. To start, yes I understand this is a reality show, but I just LOVE THEM. Are they not the couple you just want to be friends with? Chip's jokes. Joanna's easy going but totally cool demeanour [and strong baking and design skills don't hurt].
Anyway. What better thing to do than to take a short 36 hours down to Waco, Texas to Magnolia Markets? Waco is a short 90-minute drive from Dallas, which was the easiest to fly into. This Disneyland for HGTV obsessed lovers is awesome. Something like 30,000 visitors come through Waco to Magnolia Markets A WEEK. A WEEK.
I never need convincing. If I have the chance to hop a plane and escape for just a few days, I'm in. Got to head down to Scottsdale to celebrate the marriage of two friends. The desert light. The blue skies. The amazing company. All signs to a good weekend getting outside.
Opting out of staying at the W, I found a fantastic Air BnB option just half mile from the hotel. An awesome value and a little bit more space to spread out, yet super close to all the action.
Friday night we spent time at Casablanca Lounge by some late night dancing at Casablanca Lounge. Saturday's more formal dinner reception was at El Chorro... What an amazing Scottsdale venue and restaurant.
Sometimes AZ feels like Mars to me, but all in all, great short weekend away!
Chicago. You might find yourself standing in the same places, but it's never the same view. The way that light reflects or diffuses off glass buildings. The way shadows encroach your step. Sometimes I end up taking for granted all the photo opportunities that exist in this great city and get wrapped up exploring other cities. I still love you, Chicago! Here are a few of my favorite Chicago scenes. Don't forget to stop and look around. :)
Back to back weekends of warm weather! Heading west for a few days of work, I went early to stay the weekend. Perfect southern California days - warm sun, cool breezes - doesn't get better than that. Sometimes just getting to the edge allows you to gain perspective, break free from daily mundane automation, and feel real again. Hoped to do a little more surfing, but conditions weren't great and I'm out of paddle shape. Albeit, happy in the brine so even a bad day out there is better than anything else.
If you've met me, it probably doesn't surprise you how much I love Hawaii. It's without question one my favorite places to visit. The smell of salt water, the sound of the ocean, and the spirit of the aloha wash over me and it's another world. My heart rate slows, my shoulders lower, and I forget about whatever I used to worry about on the mainland. It's a place I truly can unwind and rebalance. I never look forward to spending 9 hours on a plane more. It's practically a quick work day anyway!
I'm lucky enough to have family in Hawaii and getting to connect with them as an adult has been awesome. My grandparents grew up on the Big Island, so growing up we would visit every so often, but often times that meant bypassing Oahu. Going back to Oahu and spending time with family there has been quite special.
Sometimes feeling small is a positive reflection. Sometimes it's just the perspective you need to rest your soul and reboot. When you take a deep breath in, swallowed by the bright night stars and grand mountains, it's the perfect combination of gratitude and content.
Get lost. Find a happy place. Enjoy the small things. Live simply. Do this often.