Kauai - part 3

For our last full day in Kauai, we drove an hour and a half back up to the North Shore to take a walk. But not just any walk - the Wai Koa Loop Trail is quite possibly the most beautiful 4-mile trek I've ever taken.

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So many trees....

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...and a beautiful waterfall as well.

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Nearby is the Kilauea Lighthouse and Wildlife refuge.

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This wasn't really worth the $5 admission fee (Abe and I agreed Maine does lighthouses better) but the views are still spectacular.

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Kauai - part 2

We've been on Los Angeles time in Hawaii, which means we're trying hard not to fall asleep at 10pm and waking up before the sun. Lucky for us, there's a beautiful hike near our hotel. Shipwreck Beach Kauai Hawaii

This morning I was a little too tired for an upward climb so we opted for an easy garden tour instead. The self-guided option at McBryde Garden was a perfect hour-long trek.

We went first thing in the morning and pretty much had the whole place to ourselves. Can you picture the brontosaurus walking by?

Speaking of which, things got super Jurassic Park on my first helicopter tour! We went with Jack Harter Helicopters - not cheap but totally worth it. I took a Less-Drowsy Dramamine, wore these Sea-bands for motion sickness, and I felt fine.

Warning though - it can be freezing up there! I can't believe I was in a bikini just yesterday.

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A lot less expensive - Spouting Horn! It's free to visit, and right by the gardens. A fun little stop.

Kauai Part 1, Part 3, and  view the Hawaii highlights on my Instagram Stories.

Kauai - part 1

Aloha!!!! Abe and I are currently taking a much-needed escape in Kauai, Hawaii. It's our first time here. We're never going home.

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First on the agenda - BEACH BEACH BEACH. We drove an hour and a half up to Hanalei Beach (above), and hiked out to Queens Bath (below). The hike out to the latter is very slippery and muddy with some weird wobbly parts - make sure to pack some sturdy shoes that you don't mind mucking up.

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It was a little rainy today so we put on some more layers and headed to the Kauai Plantation Railway. This 45-minute train ride was so much freaking fun. Tons of fruit trees.

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Also, we got to feed bread to baby pigs. I'm still freaking out.

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We drove through a lot of cute little towns, but our favorite was Hanapepe, home of Lilo and Stitch.

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There's also the Hanapepe Swinging Bridge...

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...and Talk Story Bookstore, the country's western-most independent bookstore.

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The sun came out just in time for us to check out Waimea Canyon State Park. Jaws dropped. It reminded me a lot of The Grand Canyon, where Abe and I were engaged almost 15 years ago.

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Gluten-Free Snacks at Disneyland

Abe had his first day off since working on Big Mouth all year, so he took me on an impromptu trip to my favorite place on earth!

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This was my first trip to Disneyland since discovering my gluten-sensitivity. Lucky for me, two of my favorite snacks are 100% gluten-free - Dolewhip and Popcorn!

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Both happen to be vegan as well.

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One new treat we've never tried before was their giant dill pickle. It was incredible - crunchy, cold, and perfectly sour.

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We brought a lot of bars/snacks from home to supplement our hunger. But there are so many gluten-free options at the park - pretty much every place as gluten-free bread to sub. If you go to City Hall on Main Street, USA they can give you a current list of everything available.

Big Bear/Lake Arrowhead Weekend

One of my favorite parts about living in Los Angeles is the ability to just go away for a last-minute trip where you feel like you're worlds away. I feel like I've done pretty much all the quintessential LA getaways - Santa Barbara, San Diego, Julian, Oak Glen, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Ojai, Palm Springs, Temecula, Borrego Springs, Solvang - the one place I've been hearing about for years but never visited was Big Bear and Lake Arrowhead.

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We drove up on Saturday morning to Big Bear. The town is full of interesting shops that are rather niche for your typical tourist spot. I wound up buying a fitted LA Dodgers hat - even more fitting that I wound up watching the documentary Long Shot on Netflix that night (if you haven't seen it, it's really incredible. Especially if you're a Curb Your Enthusiasm fan like me and Abe).

Food-wise we just brought our own meals/snacks and went to the grocery store - with my gluten allergy it was just easier.

Our hotel (Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa) check-in wasn't until 4pm so we stopped by SkyPark at Santa's Village - a newly reopened theme park totally devoted to Christmas! Longtime readers know I'm a freak about the holidays (because I was born on Xmas Eve). It's never too early for me to start celebrating. You can watch more in the video at the bottom of this post.

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The hotel is a bit overpriced for what it is, but most of the other places I looked at required two nights. Next time I'd like to get a house with friends and stay a little longer. We woke up early in the morning and headed to the Heart Rock Trail for a morning hike.

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Take your GPS to 250 N Highway 138 Crestline, CA - when you see the "Camp Seely" sign, drive up the one-way dirt road to a small parking area. Follow the trail past the pool and make your way (about 20 minutes) to the rock with the heart in it! For the most part this was an easy hike, though I did need to find a large stick to help get me up the steep parts near the end.

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