Which Island is This Quote From?

Swinging boys on Water Island

I’ve been to so many islands as of late, I’m almost like every other person here: late to everything, flaky with the possibility of even making plans, and very tan. If you count the cancerish darkening of skin where I have repeatedly been burned, I mean. And don’t tell me how I ended my title with a preposition. I know.

Anyhow, to cap my year on islands (not including the Bahamas or St. Martin, where I currently am), let’s play a game: Which island said this?


1 “So I go to all the islands and treat people as a specialty surgeon.” “What’s your specialty?” “I’m a plumber.”

  1. Actual plumber, Bali, Indonesia
  2. Confused medical assistant, Japan
  3. Urologist, Big Island

2 “It never rains the next 5 miles.”

  1. Highly specific weather forecaster, Maui
  2. Pothead barefoot hiker
  3. A resident of the White Desert, Egypt

3 “Which side should I sit on for the best view of the islands?” “Left (motions).” [I saw 0 islands.]

  1. Flight attendant conused about where she was
  2. Light attendant confused about her left vs. right
  3. Flight attendant confused about life

4 “Ma’am, are you looking for mangoes? They aren’t good. Here, have these (Peers over the fence, then hands me several lovely mangoes of a different varietal from his yard).”

  1. The friendly folks of Puerto Rico
  2. The bitter locals of St. John
  3. Florida

5 “Looks like fanny packs are in in this commonwealth.”

  1. Commonwealth of the Virgin Islands
  2. Japan
  3. No one ever said this in Puerto Rico, but it was obviously true

6 “Everything’s so delicious and clean.”

  1. Japan
  2. Bali
  3. Java

7 “I have the runs.”

  1. Vermont
  2. Yes
  3. Bali

8 [Returning my rental car] “Do I park anywhere or are there assigned spots?” “I’m standin’ here waitin’, ain’t I?” This friendly response brought to you by:

  1. An employee in Puerto Rico
  2. An employee in St. Thomas
  3. An employee in New Jersey

9 “Sure, you can take photos of me on the water. Wanna see my crystals?”

  1. Meth dealer in St. Thomas
  2. Pre-teen surfer in Kauai
  3. Likely high skimboarder on Big Island

10 “I feel dizzy.” “You do? I feel like I’m seeing things. Everything is fuzzy.” “I’m in a very happy place now.”

  1. The high skimboarder on Big Island, after taking his crystals
  2. My friends, after drinking Luwak poop coffee
  3. Results after visiting a methodone clinic


Now that we all know how Puerto Rico is a friendly place and everywhere else is dirty, I’ll share some photos from several of the islands that give a li’l hint as to what was there. The answer key is at the bottom.

  1. c; 2. b; 3. Any 4. a; 5. c; 6. a; 7. b or c; 8. b; 9. c; 10. 2

Kauai, Hawaii: The More You Know*

Solitary beauty

You may think that living in Hawaii is similar to living anywhere else in America, but that’s where you’d be wrong. In fact, even the islands within the state of Hawaii are all different from each other–and the state as a whole is so very different from the mainland. But no matter where I am in the world, there is so much to learn. For example…

In India, I learned that women, cleanliness, safety, and medicine rank low on the totem pole.

In Thailand, I learned that new food prep, innovation, internet usage, and sleeping past 6 AM are frowned upon.

In Kauai, Hawaii, I learned that people move to this island in particular to set up shanty towns in the wild and become live-off-the-land tax evaders.

So now that you’ve been given a hint, what do naked people, money, beaches, and crazy destinations have in common with each other? Atlantic City. But why would I ruin a perfectly good post to talk about such a God-forsaken place?

My whole point of moving temporarily to Hawaii was to one day hang out of a helicopter and take photos over the Na Pali coast. But since that seemed unlikely, hiking the coast seemed a very good second best. However, the photography job I was offered was on the Big Island. No biggie, since that was my second-choice island! Almost the size of Connecticut and full of snow-capped peaks, volcanoes, rainforests, and beaches, I never ran out of things to do outdoors.

But then I was invited to hike Kauai’s Na Pali coastal trail—the Kalalau Trail—and I knew I couldn’t pass it up. So off my friend Brett and I went to this small but most delightful island, full of beautiful natural wonder, birds I’d never seen, and…traffic. I mean, there’s basically only one road and way too many tourists trying to polish off their cancer-ready tans. So the morning after landing, we tried to get away from the crowds and thus started out on 10 miles of “practice” hikes.

Of course, the first hike–the Awa’awapuhi Trail–blew my mind, and here’s why:


No, I did not make that trail name up.

Then the main, 3-day Kalalau Trail blew my mind. Here’s why.


After that, the other trails didn’t blow my mind. But there WERE free wild mangoes littering some of them, so I kept stopping to messily snack like a little kid. We then ate lunch, had shave ice, and sadly departed. The Big Island has so much to do, but Kauai’s wildly unique beauty captured my imagination. Plus, where else would I, should the urge to do yoga or do it naked ever arise, have such an amazing view?

15-05-5-Kalalau Trail - 47

Ehhh, I’ve hiked in better places.

1I8A0200Ehhh, I’ve played frisbee in prettier places.

There were indeed many, uhhh, modern-day hermits living in unexpected places, hobbit-like folks hiking the trail bare-footed, and almost no “normal” campers who had planned ahead, bought permits, and expected to enjoy the views with, I dunno, law-abiding citizens who were aware their social security cards were indeed still in existence? But despite odd people and too many of them in the most random places, for the most part we enjoyed hours of trail sections without internet, without cell service, and without people. We had a 1,500-foot waterfall to ourselves, saw dolphins and mountain goats, and just enjoyed what has to be the prettiest hike of my entire life. There were so many cliffs and awesome areas (like the not-aptly-named Crawler’s Ledge, which sounds dangerous but really isn’t) that would give any mother a heart attack. Though the elevation gain wasn’t big at all as a whole, the change in scenery and hot sun on exposed rock made 40 miles in 4 days tough!  I sure felt healthy afterwards, a feeling which was quickly erased during our post-hike milkshake-and-burger celebration. We hiked more the next day, saw a lighthouse, overate, and wished there was more time to stay in the wild. Did you learn something new today? I sure did. I’d go back to Kauai in a heartbeat, though I don’t think I’m prepared to see so many old naked practitioners again just yet. Until next time, dear Kauai.

*Note: This post not endorsed by NBC

Though watermarks were put on the photos I took, none of the photos in this post were edited in any way, shape, or form. This is Hawaii shown in its unadulterated natural beauty!

24 Hours Ago, I had No Plans. Now I’m Halfway Across the World.

So this happened…

My friend to me, yesterday: “Well, you and I both like adventures and travel and exciting everything.”

Me: “Exactly. I LOVE finding random adventures and just going somewhere at the drop of a hat.”

Him: [Pause] “Right, so come with us tomorrow to Indonesia.”

Tonight I am leaving for Indonesia.


Well, that was the other day, so now I’m in Indonesia! Details to come soon, after I post photos of Kauai, Hawaii, the Caribbean, Puerto Rico…heck, this ain’t neva gettin’ done! Oh well, I have street food to go eat.


Hawaii: The Rainbow State

Because Hawaii is the rainbow state, and because rainbows are our sign of choice for celebrating our recent ruling on gay marriage, and because I have yet to gather my Kauai photos together–and because I’m truly trying to create the longest sentence ever–I’m giving you, my faithful viewers, an oh-so-simple photo post.

Here is a rainbow of colorful photos that are very, very representative of this lovely state. And no, I didn’t put any actual rainbows in here. That would be just too literal, and aren’t rainbows full of mystery and wonder? This is surely a lame excuse for not posting stories from Kauai, but with medicine, prayer, and a good-ol’-fashioned bit of patience, I’m sure we’ll both make it through the waiting game.


A gecko sits atop a giant red flower in Akaka Falls State Park


Do sunsets get any better than this? Not a smidge of editing needed.

Mango and pineapple shave ice atop ube (purple potato) ice cream. The. Best.

Mango and pineapple shave ice atop ube (purple potato) ice cream. The. Best.

The beautiful green Akaka Falls

The beautiful green Akaka Falls

I think dis is pretty blue. Hiking the Na Pali Coast, Kauai

I think dis is pretty blue. Hiking the Na Pali Coast, Kauai

The Milky Way, as seen from Puako, Big Island

The Milky Way, as seen from Puako, Big Island