Hawaii: Part 3

MKW_20180116MKW_0020© Meagan Wanschura

Obviously, high on the list when we decided we were going to Hawaii was making a stop at Pearl Harbor. Just like when I walked the beaches of Normandy, as I looked at where a fleet of American ships were docked on a peaceful Sunday morning in 1941, I found myself wishing I knew more of their stories. More of the history behind what happened. And so very grateful that throughout the years, men have bled and died so I can live in a free country.

MKW_20180116MKW_0021© Meagan WanschuraMKW_20180116MKW_0024© Meagan WanschuraMKW_20180116MKW_0027© Meagan WanschuraMKW_20180116MKW_0029© Meagan WanschuraMKW_20180116MKW_0032© Meagan WanschuraMKW_20180116MKW_0044© Meagan WanschuraMKW_20180116MKW_0046© Meagan WanschuraMKW_20180116MKW_0053© Meagan WanschuraMKW_20180116MKW_0055© Meagan WanschuraMKW_20180119MKW_0610© Meagan WanschuraMKW_20180119MKW_0618© Meagan WanschuraMKW_20180119MKW_0623© Meagan WanschuraMKW_20180119MKW_0627© Meagan WanschuraMKW_20180119MKW_0628© Meagan Wanschura

Hawaii: Part 2

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The beaches we went to were so beautiful. The water was crystal clear, and changed colors with the color of the sky. My favorite was the North Shore – 7 miles of gorgeous beach front.

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We went kayaking one afternoon

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If you ever have the chance to surf; do it!

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There have been times in my life when I think we do not desire heaven; but more often, I find myself wondering whether, in my heart of hearts, we have ever desired anything else. C.S. Lewis

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Our last day, it was rainy in the morning, but so worth it, because this huge rainbow appeared!

 

 

Hawaii: Part 1

MKW_20180115MKW_0003© Meagan Wanschura

You know those places that everyone talks about? Either because they’ve been, or because they’d like to go? Hawaii is definitely one of those places. With all the hype it gets, I wondered if maybe it was overrated. Public Service Announcement: it’s not. When we were stuck in Ecuador last summer, my friend Lydia and I started plotting our annual winter adventure. She threw out Hawaii as an idea, and we ran with it. It was so much fun to explore this beautiful state for a few days.

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This was the view from our AirBnB
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Our first morning, we did the Pill Box Hike

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One of my favorite meals in Hawaii…SO good
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Tantalus Lookout was a favorite spot. It was such a cool view of Honolulu and Diamond Head

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Thursday we did Diamond Head Crater. It was so windy at the top!

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The last night in Hawaii we got dressed up and ate at a restaurant that was surrounded by beautiful gardens

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North Shore Ski Trip

Over Christmas break the whole family + my friend Katie, drove up to Minnesota’s North Shore for a weekend of skiing. We rented a cabin for the weekend, and it was perfect. We had some fresh powder and fabulous skiing. Whenever we can all be together is my favorite time.

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We visited Split Rock Lighthouse – a Minnesota icon – on our drive home

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Venice

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Venice had been on my bucket list ever since I had a bucket list. A city with water ways instead of streets and boats instead of cars? I’m in. I think that Venice was the best way we could have ended our adventure, because we literally had nothing on our agenda but to get lost wandering. Gelato and the most beautiful pastries are for sale at every street corner. String quartets fill Saint Mark’s Square with music. Laundry hangs out of windows. White haired couples stroll hand in hand. Artists find inspiration at every turn. Fog rolls off the water by lunch everyday. Venice is idyllic.

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Cinque Terre

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Forget Disney, Cinque Terre might just be the most magical place on earth. Stretching along Italy’s north-western coast, these five towns contained inside a national park, absolutely lived up to their hype. The inclines are steep if you’re hiking, but if you reward yourself with some fresh lemon slush or gelato, it’s so worth it. Colorful houses dot the cliffs and the salty Mediterranean is just a jump away. Hands down, this was my favorite part of our trip.

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The water was so clear and blue and warm!

 

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We watched the sun set over Manarola, perhaps the most famous of the five cities. Painters and photographers crowded the path as the sun sank into the sea.

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Rome

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“Italy. I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to see western civilization. It is such a happy place. Violinists and accordion players fill the streets with there beautiful songs. History practically smacks you in the face. You can barely walk 100 yards without running into something ancient. Laundry hangs from windows, golden light is around every corner, old men with white hair sit on park benches reading the morning news. Oh Rome, you are a dream.”

Our first night in Italy, we watched the sun set from the top of the Spanish steps, and ate pizza and gelato for dinner

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We took a guided tour of the Coliseum – so incredible! There were 28 trap doors built under the floor, so the gladiators would never know where something would come from next.

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The Panthenon

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Trevi Fountain and Manertime Prison, where Paul was imprisoned

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Where chariots raced at the Circus Maximus

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Morocco

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“Africa. It’s pretty crazy to step foot on five continents in five months. Africa is a sensory barrage. Walk through a crowded market street and you’ll encounter burrows pulling carts, motorcycles racing by, pedestrians window shopping, vendors vying for your attention, snake charmers, monkeys on leashes, not to mention the smells of the leather, spices, and food that are being sold there…”

Somewhere along the trip planning line, one of us – neither one of us is owning up to it- decided that Morocco would be a cool place to go. It was cool. For like the first two hours. And then I think we were both ready to be done. The heat, the noise, the smell, the constant pressure to buy things, quickly became overwhelming. Most afternoons we would return to our Riad exhausted, take a nap, cool down in the pool, and then work up the energy to brave the city to find some dinner.

One day, we escaped the hustle of the city and drove out to the desert for a hot air balloon ride.

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After the hot air balloon ride, we went to a palm grove and rode camels. Although the whole experience was somewhat overpriced, getting away for awhile was definitely worth it!

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Our last day we went on an architectural tour of the city, which was pretty cool too.

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