Gloria's Travel Blog

here's to a year of travelling…

Posts Tagged ‘surfing

Hawaii

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       I went to Waikiki from December 7-15. It was my first time back to Hawaii for over 12 years. What a beautiful place to visit and go for vacation. There’s so much to do and see, but best of all there’s plenty of time for relaxation. 
      We swam by the beach and pool most days and sun tanned. It’s nice to be able to swim in December, and not have to freeze 🙂 We rented a car to be able to see more of the Island and so we went up to the North where there are more waves for experienced surfers. There was a huge competition going on but we didn’t have time to stay and watch and there wasn’t any parking in site.  The waves are crazy there some times over 10 feet tall. My brother-in-law did some crazy waves without even realizing that they were for only kamikaze surfers. I’m glad he didn’t miss any of the waves and get hit into the coral, that would have been truly unfortunate.
     One of the days I went out surfing with my sister. We had 3 person private lesson for only $25 for a 1.5 hour lesson. It was great! They took us outside on the boards and helped push us into the wave as the hardest part is the momentum in paddling. The waves were so much calmer here and I managed to make almost each wave!!! It was sooooo much fun and I rode most of the waves til the shore until I jumped off as I didn’t want to have to paddle as much 🙂  Can’t wait to go back and surf in Hawaii!!
     We went on a road trip and went to a beach with these turtles. Usually the turtles lay on the beach and people just stare at them. But they wanted to go for a swim. You were allowed to swim 2 feet away for them, so I decided why not swim with the turtles 🙂 It was amazing swimming with 3 turtles about half my size! A great experience!
     Along the road trip we stopped for some amazing snow cones. It was ice cream with shaved ice and several flavors like pineapple, coconut, mango. All I know is there were long line and It was delicious. I’m actually craving more right now that I think about it.   We also went to a little Thai restaurant that is very famous in Honolulu and they gave us this really tasty meal all from the side of a truck 🙂 
     While in Hawaii  we also went to hike Diamond Head. It’s a short hike with a long line-up in the tunnel but a gorgeous view of  Waikiki from the top.  It’s an easy hike, very accessible I wouldn’t suggest going in the peak hours likely at 10am as the lines are crazy busy but maybe go early or later in the evening.  It’s well worth the views.
     During the trip there’s a few places to go shopping too. I went to the mall nearby which was a quick minute walk from our hotel. There’s some new variety there with lots of nice designer stores. There’s the outlets just outside the downtown core which I bought several things from. I actually enjoyed the flea market of all things. It consists of many stands around the outside of a large stadium. The prices are really reasonable as this is where most of the locals shop, so you can buy many items and gifts for reasonable prices instead of the mark-up prices they have in the city. 
     We stayed at the Hilton Hawaiian village in Waikiki. I really enjoyed the stay there, I highly recommend it. They have everything you’d need and more. They have a couple private pools and water slides, several stores for anything you can think of. Restaurants, bars, grocery stores, coffee shops, and a private beach. There’s also many animals like you’re in a mini zoo. You can find fish, parrots, flamingos, and penguins. I took my niece to the penguins most mornings and she loved watching them eat. She is so cute, and basically jumped into the fish pond to stare at all the fish. It’s a great place to take kids 🙂
    In Hawaii there’s so much to see & do. I’m glad I had the chance to visit again and have a break from everyday life to appreciate the world around me.

Written by gloriastarr

February 23, 2011 at 11:26 am

Adventures of windsurfing

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Are there any new adventure sports out there? Sometimes I wonder if there are not any more options for new sports to try. I’ve gone surfing, wakeboarding, parasailing, white water rafting & kayaking, hiking, ziplining, snowboarding and cliff jumping. I’m always looking for some new sports to try, when I came across the groupon for windsurfing with windsure.

Windsurfing combines elements of sailing and surfboarding. I’ve tried surfing before and enjoyed it and I’ve been in a sailboat at least but definitely need to go again in the recent future. When my friend told me about a windsurfing deal for $15 I figured that was a great opportunity. The group classes normally $52 for 2 hour introductory lessons. The lesson brings you through dry land simulations, teaching theory and giving plenty of time for on the water training.

I was nervous as it was my first time and the class was initially canceled due to too much wind for beginners. But there’s really only a few things to know. Stand in the middle of the board, knees bent, to keep your balance and grab the rope to make a T position. After you are straight enough, take your front hand and place it at the back of the sail in a chicken arm and then bring it 80 degrees and drop the remaining hand. It’s good to glide across the wind such as at the 3 or 9 position of a clock facing the wind. To turn around, let go of the sail, hold on the rope to the T position, bring the sail around the back of the boat and pivot until you are 180 degrees. It’s that simple and then you’re windsurfing!

I expected to fall down a lot of not be able to pick up the sail and just get exhausted. Yet it was awesome, lots of fun with simple instructions. I highly recommend it. If you know of any other interesting sports to try, let me know.

Last days in Israel

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My year abroad has come to a close with my last month in Israel.  It has been a great year of relaxing and spending time with my family. There were good times and times of adjustments but all well worth it.  So for this last month I decided to do all my favvorite things from my time here so far.

I went to may favorite places to eat such as: Hashdera, a cheap variety of good foods in a trendy restaurant. I had malawah (flakey pankake) in Old Jaffa and a tasty chocolate croissant at the french patisiere. I had some freshly squeezed orange juice + smoothies, and couldn’t forget my favorite yogo!  I had ice cafes at both cafe cafe and my other favorite aroma cafe. There’s a lot of foods and hot spots I’m sure I’ll miss.

I ventured around tel aviv and checked out the artisan market at Nehalat Binyamin & the carmel market for a real israeli experience. I shopped along sheinken & took photos of beautiful bauhaus on Rothschild. I enjoyed bike riding throughout Tel Aviv, it was really relaxing.  I also saw this amazing fower carpet in the square. I was able to visit the Ashkelon Marina & swim in this country club. But of course my time wouldn’t be complete unless I visited Tel Baruch beach again for some swimming and relaxation. I also went surfing again and can see some progress.  I also enjoyed many walks along the beach and the wonderful Tel Aviv port. I even managed to see some random guys turn their car stero up and dance disco outside along the boardwalk 🙂 Priceless,  I’ll be missing all these random happenings and the open, friendly culture.

Later I visited Jerusalem on the high holidays again (Yom Kippur). I was able to meet up with several friends before my departure as well.  I also enjoyed apples and honey to celebrate the Jewish New Year of Rosh HaShannah.  I went to sublet, and Galina again and even got a membership 🙂 I’m sure I’ll be missing all the lounge bars and clubs in Tel Aviv and the European vibe.

So ends my wonderful time in Israel and abroad. This year I’ve seen 6 countries: Jordan, Spain, France, Italy, Greece, and of course Israel. It was a fabulous time abroad, well worth the experience.  So begins my new year in Vancouver yet again.

Written by gloriastarr

October 21, 2009 at 8:06 pm