Summer in Hawaii; Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Oahu

Aloha!  In my previous post Summer on Kauai; Waimea town, Canyon & surrounding areas, I talked about week one of our Honeymoon,  in the beautiful and rugged Waimea area on Kauai.  For the next half of our trip, we left our little sugar plantation that had become home, and headed to the bright lights of Waikiki!

I’ve now been lucky enough to visit Oahu & Waikiki several times, and in this post I’ll give some recommendations & reviews of where we stay and favourite restaurants in this bustling coastal city.  There are are also much quieter and more remote parts of this beautiful island and Waikiki is a perfect base from which to explore..

Continue reading “Summer in Hawaii; Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Oahu”

Summer on Kauai; Waimea town, Canyon & surrounding areas

As you may know if you have visited my blog before, I don’t need much excuse to re-visit Hawaii (or in particular, my current favourite of the islands, Kauai)!  So after a small amount of deliberation, we decided to take a 2-week summer trip last month for our (slightly belated) honeymoon 😀

Sadly, due to severe flooding and mud slides in the North of Kauai in April this year, the resort where we would normally stay (Hanalei Colony Resort) , was still completely blocked off and unable to accept guests (the latest estimation for re-opening is now November this year).  I wrote about this part of the island in my previous post,  In a land called Hanalei

After doing some research on other parts of the island, we settled on the Waimea area, on the West coast of the Island – the town where Captain Cook first set foot on the islands in 1778.  exactly 240 years later, another intrepid British explorer arrived (only this time, very jet lagged, in a Jeep from Avis and with many shopping bags from Safeway)..

Continue reading “Summer on Kauai; Waimea town, Canyon & surrounding areas”

A visit to Vuurtoreneiland

Go back to nature and enjoy a delicious dinner on this centuries old remote lighthouse island.. where sustainability and self-sufficiency are key

You close your eyes and listen to the sounds of the island.. there is no mobile phone reception here, only the sound of the water lapping, the patter of hooves as some resident sheep fleetingly run past, disturbed by the strange visitors.  The wind is strong and refreshing, and you feel a cold light spring rain against your face.  You pull your coat closer as you take in the old lighthouse, rugged scenery, and old bunkers, remnants of a long derelict fort.  As you turn a corner on the uneven ground, you smell the inviting aroma of cooking and wood smoke.  Fire pits are lit, with seats around the outside.  The lights are warm and comforting.  You are stranded on this island until later tonight, when the boat will take you back to the mainland.  You decide to follow the warmth and see where the adventure takes you..

This may sound like an excerpt from a (perhaps not very good!) fictional novel..but this is exactly the experience you will have on a visit to this remote Lighthouse Island.  Read on to discover more! Continue reading “A visit to Vuurtoreneiland”

More bike adventures from Amsterdam; Easter in Edam

As I flicked back through my (gorgeous leather Tiffany 😊) diary to check the Easter weekend dates, I couldn’t believe it’s already been over 4 weeks!  Not to mention it’s  over 3 months since we returned from our Christmas/New Year break in Hawaii…time flies when you’re having fun!  I’ve also been very delinquent with my blog 😳, which I’m going to remedy with some new posts over the next couple of weeks.   We’ll also be moving to a new apartment- very exciting, and something I’m going to write about soon – with some tips on navigating the rental market for expats in Amsterdam.

We’ve been on some lovely weekend adventures in the Netherlands in the last couple of months, as well as a very special London visit in March, with a luxurious stay in the Savoy Hotel (more on that soon…watch this space!)

So today I thought I’d do a post on our recent visit to Edam, a quaint historical town on the Markermeer, probably best known for its little round cheeses, but with a lot more to offer.. including a delightful Auberge Hotel…the perfect place to relax after the ride from Amsterdam. Continue reading “More bike adventures from Amsterdam; Easter in Edam”

Hiking Kauai; Top trails on the Garden Isle

If Kauai wasn’t known as the Garden Isle, it should be called the Hiking Trail Isle (although this wouldn’t be as catchy).  There is a wealth of incredible trails weaving through the landscape, allowing you to appreciate the stunning Island from many different perspectives.  Not to mention getting some pretty decent exercise and fresh air to boot!

With so many easily accessible hikes, for all levels of ability, there is no excuse not to put down that iPad, grab your hiking boots, and hit the trail!

In this post I’ll talk about three different hikes which we’ve really enjoyed doing (perhaps “enjoyed” isn’t the right word for my night time trek back on the Kalalau Trail in the rain… but more on that later 😳).  Read on for my recommendations..

Continue reading “Hiking Kauai; Top trails on the Garden Isle”

January 2018: Update on Jack Harter Helicopter tours, Kauai, Hawaii

Aloha! I’ve just updated my previous post to include our most recent helicopter tour over this magical island – this time in the AStar, doors included!  This will give you an idea of what to expect from each tour.  Doors or no doors – it’s up to you – but don’t miss this incredible experience if you’re visiting Kauai 😀

Come fly with me! Magical Kauai from the air (doors optional)

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Cozying up in the Cotswolds

A perfect Christmassy retreat at The Manor House Hotel, Castle Combe

“I need to get out of town. You know, I think I need some peace and quiet… or whatever it is people go away for…..You know, I want to read a book! Not just a magazine, an actual book” – says Amanda (Cameron Diaz) in The Holiday.  And if she hadn’t ended up staying in Kate Winslet’s beautiful cottage, The Manor House Hotel, nestled in the beautiful village of Castle Combe, would not be a bad option!

The website of the The Manor House perfectly describes the location and atmosphere..

Breathtakingly situated in Wiltshire and on the outskirts of Bath lies Castle Combe village. Untouched since the 17th century, this chocolate box Cotswold village is home to the definitive country retreat. Whether you are joining us for business or pleasure, take time to explore the grounds, get lost in our Italian gardens and stroll through the flourishing kitchen garden, growing the finest produce for use in our award-winning restaurant and bar. And when your tummy begins to rumble, why not opt for a spot of afternoon tea out on our sunny lawns or hideaway in one of many nooks and cranny’s to simply relax.

Continue reading “Cozying up in the Cotswolds”