Adventures, The List of 5

5 Essential Things for Winter

1. Cream based moisturizer

  • Need heavy duty for dry skin

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2. Leather gloves

  • Keeps my hands super warm

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3. Water proof boots

  • Snow is frozen water
  • NYC has slush
  • Cold, wet toes are not a good thing

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4. Uniqlo Heat Tech everything

  • These babies really work
  • Lightweight, but keeps you TOASTY!

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5. Chapstick

  • Your lips die in winter
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Adventures, The List of 5

5 Things to Do in Italy

I’ve only been to Italy once, but since a dear friend of mine is doing a year abroad there, I wanted to list the things I did when I was there.

If you ever get a chance to go to Italy, you better do it. It’s such a beautiful city. If you want to see art, go to Italy. If you want to go shopping, go to Italy. If you want to eat good food, go to Italy. If you like getting lost, go to Italy. If you like history, go to Italy.

1. Go to art museums and chapels

If you have been living under a rock, Italy is chock full of art. Paintings, sculptures, textile, jewelry, and so on. But, you want to see all the classical, ancient Roman, and medieval art. I mean, to be in the presence of all these masterworks that you’ve read about in textbooks is crazy! Even if you’re not religious, chapels are covered in art. Lots of gold leaf paintings  can be found in churches and chapels. This is because the light from the candles will reflect off the gold to illuminate the chapel at night.

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2. Eat like an Italian

Italians are all about fun, life, and FOOD! Forget about that one “authentic” Italian restaurant back at home. You need to sit down in a real Italian restaurant and order a full course. The tour group I was with took us to all these great restaurants. I remember eating a 5 course dinner at some vineyard that was prepared by monks!

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I highly suggest getting a thin crust pizza. I found this hole in a wall back in Sienna. I don’t remember the name or how to get there :(, but it was the best mushroom pizza I’ve ever had.

3. Visit the Vatican

This is a tourist trap, but going inside the Vatican is really cool. Warning, the wait time will take kind of forever, depending on what day it is. The price isn’t too bad, but you can’t really take pictures of anything. You do get to see the famous Michelangelo’s painted ceiling of the Life of Christ, the Sistine Chapel, and see some Popes’ tombs.

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4. Shop for Leather and Jewelry in Florence!

Florence is known for it’s leather and gold jewelry. Is it expensive? Yes. Is it worth it? Yes. Will it make great gifts? OF COURSE!

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Florence is just a great place to go to, below are my pics of famous buildings and some statues.

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5. Sip wine at the vineyards!

Okay, I didn’t do this, because my dad wouldn’t allow me. But why not go wine tasting? It’s like the most Italian thing you could do!!!

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Adventures, The List of 5

5 Things To Do In Hawaii For Free-ish

1. Hiking

Unless you want to hike with a guide and a bunch of strangers, you must go out and do a hike (or several!). It’s beautiful through out the entire hike, there’s always a magnificent view, it’s free, and it’s healthy! I haven’t had the chance to do hikes on the West side or North shore, so my examples are limited to hikes in the East side, South East side, and North East side of Oahu.

Although these hikes are a once in a lifetime kind of activity, please do in-depth research. It is dangerous to hike, you know. We might not have bears,  but we do have pigs, dehydration, lots of people get lost, and people have died on these trails. It’s really easy to get yourself in trouble if you don’t know how to hike, so BE WISE!!! Or be the laughing stock of the 7 o’clock local news. Below are easy hikes that I highly recommend.

  • Makuapu’u Light House
    • It’s paved, so it’s mostly easy.
    • If you are not an experienced hiker, clumsy, pregnant, or elderly, then DO NOT GO DOWN THE CLIFFS to the tide pools.
      • Lots of young people go down
      • Tide pools are very dangerous
        • Many people have been hurt by the waves

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  • Diamond Head
    • Lots of stairs to climb when you get towards the top
      • So worth it!
    • $1.00 entry and $20.00 parking

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  • Koko Head (this is actually a little harder)
    • Lots of “stairs” straight up
      • Thigh killer!!!
    • Hot
      • Need sunscreen and water
    • Great view from above

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  • Aiea Loop
    • Drive out far and little confusing to get to
    • Lush green nature all around
    • Park
  • Pali Look Out
    • Not really a hike
    • Beautiful, stunning view
    • Police always in area
2. Beach Hopping

One of my most favorite things to do withe my friends is going to the beach. I actually have a semi-annual North Shore excursion that I orchestrate. But there are so many other beaches to go to! I mean, it is an island! However, to keep some beaches a secret (for local reasons), I’m just going to list some general areas with great beaches that are not so intense.

  • North Shore
    • Sunset beach, Turtle bay, Haleiwa Beach
    • No huge waves, pretty safe
    • White sand
    • Perfect for picnics after visting Dole Plantation

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  • East Side Beaches
    • Avoid Sandy’s and Makapu’u if you value your life
    • Beautiful teal waters and white, fine sands
    • Gaze up at the cliffs and explore the little towns

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  • North East Side
    • White, fine sands
    • Beautiful teal/blue water
    • Nice shopping areas nearby

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  • South Shore
    • This is Waikiki area
    • Highly populated, but still pretty to see
    • Much prettier beyond the shore
      • You can go on tours or go snorkeling

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3.First Fridays/Art & Flea

Like New York, there are lots of cool, free things to attend. There are a lot of cool vendors and stuff that would make great souvenirs. Lately, Hawai’i has been strongly promoting local boutiques/businesses, and art. Thanks to gentrification, these places are in the trendiest and coolest part of Honolulu.

  • First Fridays
    • Chinatown block party
    • Fashionable boutiques with local designers
    • Good food, good drinks, good bars
    • Lots of bars and a few pool halls to visit
    • Art exhibits with local artists
    • Parking is hard to come by

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  • Art & Flea
    • Every third Thursday of the month
    • Held at various areas in Kaka’ako
    • Vendors, good food, good drinks
    • It’s according to a theme, so dress up for it! (The last one I went to was dog themed)
    • Fashionable, stylish, cool, trendy!
    • Parking is hard to come by

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4. Watching sunsets/sunrises on the beach/cliffs

How can you resist or avoid doing this? Sunsets are magical back a home! It’s a wonderful backdrop for photos, proposals, dates, and so on. It’s so serene with all the ombre of orange to midnight blues! The best places to view it is on the beach or on sea cliffs.

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5. Exploring Waikiki at night

Although it’s a tourist trap, Waikiki is so much fun to explore at night. It’s actually one of my favorite things to do at night! I love walking by the shops, walking on the beach (which really isn’t allowed), and seeing the street performers.

The last time I was there, an Middle Eastern dance troupe was running around. They were blasting their folk songs, dancing, and had a train of people following them! They were even dressed up in costume!

Also, every Friday night, there’s a fire work show at the Hilton!!!!

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Adventures, The List of 5

5 Things to do in New York for Cheap

I’ll be posting a weekly list of five things according to a theme of my choosing. I’ll try to write a short bit about each item. Hopefully, I’ll encourage you to try one (or all) of the things on this list.

1. Taking a stroll down 28th Street.

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Between 6th and Broadway is a honey pot of pure delight that could brighten up anyone’s day! A strip of flower shops! Just what a person needs to see after a draining or terrible day: flowers. Flowers are expensive, but taking a few minutes to admire them is free.

2. Visiting the Cloister Museum.

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If you don’t live anywhere near the top half of Manhattan, then the subway ride to 190th street will be a long one. A long, but worthwhile one. Once you step out of the elevator, you’ll be asking yourself if you’re still in New York. It’s quiet, peaceful, and very green. It’s a bit of a scenic walk, but once you reach the museum (which is free, but they strongly suggest a donation of any amount), your jaw will drop. It has two beautiful gardens and lots of Gothic artworks.

3. Taking advantage of installations, pop up shops, and random events through out the city.

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That’s what I love about New York. There’s always something cool and new to enjoy. Naturally, being in a large city there are lots of sponsored events, new museums, artworks, clubs, and events. So, however you got the info, you better take a chance to check it out. Like this art installation/pop up store in Chelsea Market.

4. Picnicking in the park (during the warmer season)

 

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A mix-up on going out for lunch! It’s a cute date for friends or significant others to go on as well. Although, I know some of you might think that making your  food is a hassle, it truly isn’t. What’s complicated about making a couple of sandwiches, buying some spirits, and unfolding a blanket? Central Park is an ideal place to visit with all that space!

You can find other parks on the New York Parks and Recreation website. They give a nice description of each park.

5. Exploring the Meat Packing District

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After a nice stroll on the High Line, you can find yourself in one of the most trendiest parts of the island! Cool cafes and restaurants, cobble stone roads, wonderful boutiques, beautiful homes, and fashionable people. Bring your camera, everywhere is the perfect backdrop at golden hour.

If you have any suggestions for places to visit or things for me to do, please leave a suggestion in the comments!

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