Eavesdropping from the second floor of Java Point will tell you everything you need to know about the 2015 US Open of Surfing.
I may be repeating my US Open wrap-up from 2014, a year after the riot, because the mayhem of 2013 still looms over the World Surf League (WSL), even though it has been 730 days since VANS took over and calmed things down. The crowds, and branded umbrellas, were out in full force for the final weekend of the event.
Beachfront photographers snapping yet another (and another) pic of competition favorite Felipe Toledo doing another (and another) air reverse. It's been exactly one week since the conclusion of 2014 US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach. In 2013 CNN lit up the screen with scenes from the evening that wrapped up the final day of the US Open. Within days the City of Huntington Beach and current sponsor VANS stood up and declared they were taking away our toys. Locals and local businesses applauded the quick declaration and VANS was informally awarded Good Samaritan status for not sulking about the lost opportunity of mass brand exposure. I arrived in-person for the final weekend of the event after spending the last five days watching the live-streaming webcast, eying for a hint. Saturday night's bar hopping scene between Fred's, Hurricanes, Baja Sharkeez, and Beachfront 301 was all that of-age US Open partygoers could hope for.
It's practically mandatory that you buy a ukulele on your first trip to one of the Hawaiian Islands. Honorable mention: Haleiwa Surf 'n Sea - This North Shore surf shop is also home to the coolest limited edition ukuleles on the island - Haleiwa Ukuleles. This tiny box like ukulele shop in Wailuku is the kind of local business you want to support.
This one falls under the most unique ukulele "purchase" experience around AND makes you one of the most deserving strummers to own a custom ukulele.
This list concludes with a trip to the Garden Isle of Kauai where ukulele hunters will need to head over to Kalaheo on Kauai's southern side. Do you have a favorite ukulele shop that you feel truly deserves to take the top spot for one of the above island choices? In the span of about 30 days or so I had read numerous praises for Kaimuki Honolulu's Waialae Avenue as the new go-to destination for dining and boutique shopping on Oahu.
The next day, just as I told the cabbie to keep the change, I asked him if this was indeed the same stretch of Waialea that had Town and Salt on it - two of the most talked about eateries on the row. Reviewers of the strip like to mention the old Crack Seed shop that still stands on Koko Head Avenue - a gateway to the neighborhood should you be arriving from the south shore.
I realized I had already passed the SALT, Kitchen & Tasting Bar, an upscale "all the rage" contemporary eatery from Executive Chef Quinten Frye that defies the scorched landscape of Kaimuki. The next hour of exploration however included watching a game of pick-up basketball on the steaming concrete court of Kaimuki Community Park, donating pocket money to a fundraiser outside of Sacred Hearts Academy, grabbing a bottle of water at Times Supermarket, and u-turning on Waialea back towards where I was delivered to this curious neighborhood. The only photographic subject I pondered was the old abandoned Queen Theater decaying on the corner of Center Road, with its rusted yellow broken neon sign indicating a neighborhood that "once was". Note: To show your support for the revitalization of the Queen Theater, and ultimately Waialae Avenue, visit Friends of the Queen Theater.
Our recommendations will feel completely random at times but never predictable - the way your travels should be. If experience supersedes convenience when it comes to dining on your travels then you are on the right track to being one of the wanderers of the world. A text message came in to me at the office today from one of our contributors about the 2013 US Open of Surfing. Be sure to join me and the YAHglobal crew in Huntington Beach (likely at the Sun n Sands Motel) this coming summer of 2013.
I was about to release a more spirited blog post about 2013 travel plans today when I caught wind of the unfortunate closing of the historic Waldorf Hotel & Tiki Bar in Vancouver BC.
The Vancouver public is no slouch when it comes to getting in an uproar over such matters and as anticipated a petition to save the Waldorf Hotel is gaining momentum. It's that time of the year and shoppers are out in full force checking items off of their Christmas lists.
These days an iPhone can make a far better photographic travel companion for those that prefer to be unencumbered by awkward camera gear and to be honest we've scrapped many professional equipment induced photos of our travels for impromptu images taken from our smartphones that somehow captured the moment better than "set up" shots. Old fashioned hardcopy guidebooks can never truly be replaced by online travel guides, and this is coming from an online travel guide. Wenger of Swiss Army fame has introduced a potential life saver with its portable and extremely bendable solar charger. I've visited the city of Portland Oregon on more occasions than I can count in my early youth. There's a problem I've developed over the years and if my random browsing through the social networks of fellow wanderers can tell me anything, I'm not alone. But now, in my pocket I have the newest smartphone with a touch screen interface that looks more like Tetris - blocked full of colorful cubes indicating every photo and video editing app you can imagine.
I don't refer to Murphy's Law of photography where the best photographic opportunities happen without a camera in sight. In five days my bags will be packed for another island brimming with photo opps and on arrival my three month early New Year's resolution will kick in - every other day of the trip the equipment will stay at the hotel.
Now I'm not usually one for using this travel blog forum to stand on a soapbox and preach but seeing as we spend a lot of time at YAHglobal pointing you towards some of the best ocean activities in America the math is simply too clear to ignore folks. I cringed as did most of my eye rolling salt water bredren but then I remembered my most recent editorial contribution to a Best Travel Gear of 2012 list - the Catalyst Escape Capsule - a fully submersible waterproof iPhone skin. For me that line is bringing a cell phone into the surf (admirable aforementioned circumstances aside) . While everyone else in the line-up paddled away from the 12 foot stand-up paddle soft-top board cell phone guy I edged a little closer hoping to hear what was so important.
The leeward side of the Big Island Hawaii momentarily loses its cool for one weekend in October every year. This weekend I had the privilege of attending a qualifier for Kona Hawaii's 2012 World Championship IronMan in a sleepy summer town in the Pacific Northwest well over 2000 miles from the Sandwich Islands. Athletes from all over the world converge upon the small desert town that barely registers on any traveler's periphery and turn it upside down.
Sitting on the cafe patio sidelines and ironically sipping imported Kona coffee, I ponder if I'll ever devote an entire year or two of training to place one of these triathlons on my travel itinerary as a serious competitor. The Greatest Sporting Event in North America - the 2012 US Open of Surfing - returns to Huntington Beach this week. You see, the fact that surfing is a part of my lifestyle has nothing to do with my affection for this event. The distractions I refer to don't even involve the multitude of other action sporting displays taking place at the US Open such at the Converse Coastal Carnage skate comp, BMX and motocross exhibitions, parachuting arrivals of sponsored athletes, and whatever progressively insane Hurley brand stunt is pulling off (usually involving a jump off the pier) as each event progresses through the decade.
The village created on the beach spans a large portion of Huntington Beach's Pacific Coast Highway ocean view. There are spray-on tattoos and stickers on the bodies of everyone around you with an even greater number of real tattoos displayed on coconut oiled biceps, triceps, pecs, breasts, butts, backs and thighs.
The madness spills out across Pacific Coast Highway as the patient HBPD directs traffic to protect spectators dodging in and out of Main Street shops to nab US Open of Surfing gear to get signed by the stars and athletes seated at the tables lined up in front of Huntington Surf & Sport and Jack's Surfboards. New York, NY New, Get Introduced parties and get togethers Connecting New York City singles.
New York City (or NYC) -- officially, "City of New York," and affectionately known as "The Big Apple" -- is the largest city of the state of New York and in the United States, and by many measures, one of the most important cities in the world.
New York is also the location of what was, according to many experts, the most devastating act of terrorism in modern history: the September 11, 2001 attack that utterly destroyed the twin towers of the World Trade Center and several surrounding buildings. New York has had a reputation as a crime-ridden city, partly due to the hundreds of TV and cinematic crime dramas set in it. The current mayor of New York City is Michael Bloomberg, elected in 2001 on the Republican ticket. Although New York's harbour was first discovered by Giovanni da Verrazano during his expedition of 1524, the history of New York City properly begins with the Dutch settlement of 1624.
In 1664, British ships captured the city, with minimal resistance: the governor at the time, Peter Stuyvesant, was unpopular with the residents of the city. Several battles were fought in New York during the Revolutionary War; the British defeated George Washington's troops, and held the city until the war ended.
New York was briefly the capital of the new United States of America, in 1789 and 1790, and George Washington was inaugurated as President in New York, then the nation's second largest city.
The building of the Erie Canal, in the 1820s, helped the city grow further by increasing river traffic upstate and to the west. The modern city of New York -- the five boroughs -- was created in 1898, as the merger of the cities of New York (then Manhattan and the Bronx) and Brooklyn with the largely rural areas of Queens and Staten Island.
The building of the New York subway, as the separate IRT and BMT systems, and the later IND, was a later force for population growth and development. The world-famous Grand Central Terminal[?] opened as the world's largest train station on February 1, 1913. As of the census of 2000, there are 8,008,278 people, 3,021,588 households, and 1,852,233 families residing in the city.
The median income for a household in the city is $38,293, and the median income for a family is $41,887. I invite people using message boards saying that I prefer my guests to be 30 - 50 years old but everyone is welcome.
For five straight days following the event I sat up there, 20 oz mocha in hand, inconspicuously listening to the 6 AM dawn patrol crowd spill in to chat with the shopkeep about what they did or did not miss. Keep scrolling for a peek at not just the 2015 US Open of Surfing, but a prediction of what this event will look like for the near years to come. No elbow room on the pier and as the AM turned into the afternoon there was no place to lay your beach towel.
US Open village attendees lined up to try on the VR head gear, hop on topsy turvy surfboard decks, and ride virtual barrels.
The Huntington Beach Police Department, on horseback, kept a tight lid on the shenanigans without impeding upon the good natured good times of the event. Depicted were mobs of ne'er-do-wellers from Reseda, Riverside, and other inland slouches where the youth don't know how to act when they get near saltwater. For the near future there would be no more concert stage, fewer vendors, far fewer scantily-clad testosterone-boosting promo girls, and an overall smaller event site. As the months toward this summer approached we all wondered what the US Open would bring in 2014. For the first time in years I didn't have to position myself in the AM around a beehive surface of beach umbrellas to see the competitors paddle out. The marine layer of clouds lifted and crowds eventually rolled in as if they were at the prom, waiting from the sidelines until the dance floor began to fill.
The Huntington Beach Police Department made their presence felt, checking Slurpee cups for the scent of vodka and riding around on horseback as bannermen for HBPD.
The void in top level pros (mens) giving way to braggadocios Brazilian dominance of the event didn't bother the Aussie or Americans. Will it call for a return to the concert stage, Red Bull parachuting antics, and promo girls toting bags oozing with swag? As a souvenir it makes more sense than a 3-pack of Dole Pineapples or chocolate covered macadamia nuts as the experience is less fleeting. In many ways it is, especially if you buy a local luthier crafted koa wood model that will appreciate in material value if kept in mint condition (koa is rare and indigenous to Hawaii). While it may seem that sending you to a ukulele shop in tourist trap ground zero is a little inauthentic such a thing couldn't be further from the truth. It's a bonus that they carry some of the best locally made ukuleles on the island, including the only two-holed ukulele we've come across, a design that allows for a more amplified experience. It had to be new I thought, because the main drag through Kaimuki that I had known for so many years previous was only worth a visit if you happened to be passing through the neighborhood to Kahala Mall. He shook his head affirmative and I stepped out, perhaps wondering if I should have told him to keep the meter running and wait.
While it's great to see this old local business survive the years and gain support from visitors for their Li Hing Mui dipped gummies and similarly flavored ICEE slush, it offers little else you can't find at the Whole Foods down the road or in Chinatown, outside of nostalgia.
On a strip of real estate that could be visually improved by the addition of an Arby's it's not only a surprise that a three-course sitting in this neighborhood can consist of pork & lobster pierogi, hearts of palm salad, cast iron roasted jidori chicken and a bottle of $200 Macchiole, it's downright absurd. Eying Salt and Town across the street I couldn't help but think that if restored, the eight decades old Queen Theater could serve as the perfect house to host the Honolulu International Film Festival, with patrons spilling out afterwards for a late night of fine dining and drinks. I've been on the road and up in the air updating content for our alternative travel guide.
Don't worry, we're not rebranding to cater solely to travelers that consider skinny jeans functional for anything other than irony (but they're welcome to follow along). Cities like Portland or Santa Cruz - quite peculiar yet popular tourist destinations - will play an important part in our mainland presence. VANS announced that they would be taking over title sponsorship of the greatest sporting event in America, filling the swooshing shoes previously worn by brand powerhouse team of Nike and Hurley.
The event will be better than ever, even though likely not bigger – just the way most of us like it.


From my understanding the sale has already gone through (correct me if I’m wrong) so there may be no recourse but if the city deems it a historical landmark there may very well be salvation for what many, including myself, consider to be one of the Best Tiki Bars in America. Our 2012 Gift Guide for Travelers is short and sweet this year, no mentions of useless travel neck pillows or recycling items from last year by adding a "4" or "5" or "mini" to the equation.
However many have been frustrated by the iPhone's inability to log those special moments that are further out of our eye's reach such as a surfer descending down the face of a ferocious winter swell wave many yards away from our sandy position on the North Shore of Oahu or a cascading snowboarder returning from the snow kissed mountaintop at Whistler Blackcomb. There's just something to be said for being able to hold that bound copy in your hands when on your travels but at the same time some of the more image conscious traveling fashionistas and fashionisters balk at the prospect of flipping through a Frommer's or Fodor's or God forbid Michelin (as in Michelin Man) guidebook. This flexible solar paneled creation can attach to the visible side of your backpack on any expedition and within a few hours can fully charge your defunct smartphone in the event of an emergency or if you simply need to check-in with your friends or family back at home. The Zeal Optics Z3 Transcend GPS Goggles are perfect for the hardcore ski bum or bunny that wants no part of the beginner or bunny hill. I was a bit of a Greyhound bus enthusiast that would hit the road up and down the coast visiting beach towns and hole in the wall zip codes that connected the bigger cities. After sifting through countless images, notes, and anecdotes from contributors I have to say in my adolescent ignorance that I missed the boat on what may very well be the hippest city in North America depending of course on your definition of "hip".
First time travelers to Portland may wonder why this text is painted on the red brick wall of Old Town and found on half peeled bumper stickers of aged VW's commuting regularity along Burnside. In my backpack is a Canon, a lens, a waterproof camera, a waterproof instant YouTube uploading video camera, SD cards, and batteries. For an amateur I have to say I've captured some National Geographic worthy (not really) moments on digital. Don't you think your future kids should have the opportunity to find their own un-pixelated Nemo one day? We travel, presumably, to escape the trappings of home and those trappings often include smartphones, computers, and other LCD screened contraptions we seek to disconnect from.
For others it's having headphones take you on a downloaded audio tour of a storied country side thus completely negating half of a sensory experience. The  food truck grinds and slipper wear of Kailua Kona is replaced by scientifically timed carb loading and tight laced cross trainers as the Ironman World Championship swims, bikes, and runs its way through through town.
In the same manner that Kailua Village transforms from surf town to an arena for some of the planet's best endurance athletes Penticton (BC) too comes to lack in hotel vacancies.
The locals may make off the cuff remarks about road closures and long lines but inside they adore this weekend as much as the competitors and will be the first to smile and pass on sincere well wishes to an athlete - given away by sinewy veined legs - standing next to them in line at the local coffee shop. If you didn't know that the US Open of Surfing was the Greatest Sporting Event in North America, you're not alone. There is so much more going on at the US Open that it almost defies description, but I'll try. The sand is compacted by massive tents, stadium seating, retail construction and kiosks, inflatable brand sponsored monstrosities (in a fun way), Titantrons, and planks placed everywhere to guide the over half a million spectators that converge on Huntington Beach throughout the week through the gauntlet of promotional activities. The city is probably the world's most important financial center, and one of the most important cultural centers of the Western world. Each borough elects a Borough President, but under the current city charter, the Borough President's powers are limited--he or she has a small discretionary budget to spend on projects within the borough.
The population of the City of New York is more than eight million (2000 US Census), with the population of the entire metropolitan area at around 20 million. Residents generally refer to New York City (or just Manhattan) as "New York" or "the city". In fact, the city has a high crime rate compared to the United States of America at large, but a relatively low rate compared to other North American cities. Bloomberg had come to prominence as an expert on Wall Street, which had brought him great wealth, but the mayoralty is his first political office.
His bid for United States Senator from New York State was aborted by treatment for cancer and controversy over his affair with Judith Nathan. That town, at the southern tip of Manhattan, was called New Amsterdam (Nieuw Amsterdam), and was the main city of the Dutch colony of New Netherlands. The British renamed the colony New York, after James II of England, who sponsored the takeover and who was at that time the Duke of York. Patrick's Day was celebrated in New York City for the first time at the Crown and Thistle Tavern on March 17, 1756. By 1835 Manhattan overtook Philadelphia as the most populous city and established itself as the financial and mercantile capital of the western hemisphere.
The song gave its name to a film directed by Martin Scorsese (see New York, New York (film)[?]). Most of them had returned from a weekend pilgrimage, a tradition for many locals looking to escape the event that turns their beloved beach town into a circus.
Once done, fans got to share their experience on their favorite social network and receive some Samsung swag in return. One of the more eye-catching promos on site was the Koraloc Surfboard Carrying Backpack system. Fans of surfing, extreme sports, beaches, and bikinis alike all mark their calendars for the biggest shoreline spectacle since Noah loaded up the Ark. Some of the big names, the superstars from the previous five years, were no-shows and excuses were doled out accordingly. On the way to check-in on Friday morning I was even able to stop and chat with Kolohe Andino.
The skate and BMX bowls swelled with an audience as extreme athletes stole mainstream interest from the surf while purist wave watchers took their bird's eye position on the pier. It concluded peacefully around 1AM in time for everyone to pop a few Advil, knock out some z's, and awake in time to do the walk of shame home before catching the final day's heats. There is no other purchase that can immediately transport your senses back to the islands than that of the ukulele. But fiscal matters aside, a carefully selected ukulele is a treasure and a beautiful reminder of your time in Hawaii, whether your instrument came with a $99 or $1999 price tag. The convenient stores (Kalakaua Avenue and within the Sheraton Waikiki Royal Hawaiian) are the most welcoming on the island, with staff that exudes unparalleled aloha spirit.
You may be staying in Lahaina or Kihei surrounded by shops vying for your ukulele dollars but take a road trip to Wailuku first before making this important decision.
You'll need to slot in some extra vacation time to pull this one off as this ukulele building course spans 10 days, seven hours a day. While this shop has a significant collection of varying instruments than the above mentioned stores they have the largest selection of ukuleles on the island, even claiming to own the same title over the world (yet to be determined).
We'd be more than happy to pay them a visit, enjoy a strum, a conversation, and perhaps walk out with yet another addition to our growing office collection. With a line of sun rusted blocks that could easily pass for East Main Street in Stockton California, #Waialea_Avenue will not be a popular hashtag on Instagram anytime soon unless represented in the #urbandecay category. Leaving this landmark munching on a souvenir and onto Waialea I reached Coffee Talk Coffee House, a pop-culture conscious beanery cafe.
The pastries, smoothies, and wraps that dominate the remaining food and beverage options on the strip honestly offer nothing you can't find in either direction of the zip code. Perhaps the travel periodicals singing the praises of Kaimuki and Waialea know something I don't?
Instead we're simply narrowing our focus to feature unique activities, attractions, and foodie favorites throughout North America and the Hawaiian Islands.
Our noticeable bias towards island life will remain as evidenced by our strict attention to continuously updating our Best Tiki Bars in America and Best Hawaiian Shave Ice in the World lists.
Culinary variety and the style of eateries from where it is served from can tell you more about a place than any guidebook.
A sunset offers a better palate of orange, red, and purple hues when we’ve just hiked two hours to see it. In about two years or so I expect residents will see condos or some other eye sore in its place - Vancouver is not known for creating architectural aesthetic wonders. The Olloclip Quick-Connect Lens Solution for iPhone fills that void by allowing for fast attachement and setting to nail that perfect shot far away while maintaining the quality you've become accustomed to. Enter the Louis Vuitton City Guide - a fashionable LV marked guidebook available for renowned tourist destinations. We'll be adding this to our supplies on our next 11 mile trek along the Kalalau Trail to the NaPali coast.
These goggles are for off-piste adventurists, snowcat drop-offs, heli-skiiing psychopaths and hellcats. In our experience nothing makes us feel more "connected" to that power (no matter the name or face you place on "it") than travel. During layovers I would wander around Old Town Portland to grab snacks and kill time but my still adolescent eyes remained unimpressed by the Late Victorian architecture and vintage shops. A simple backpack stuffed with a rolled up beach towel, bottled water, a couple of protein bars, a book, and a journal. Barring old age senility those images will remain sharp in my mind and attached to an entire sensory experience for the rest of my life. I may not have any photos to share with you here or to enter into National Geographic's next photo essay, but I'll have  something that I can keep for myself, for old times sake. What if by some minuscule chance THAT very piece sparked this guy's interest in a similar product resulting in the cardinal sin against fins before me. You can't place an order at Kona Coffee Cafe off Ali'i Drive without waiting in line for 30 minutes - but it's worth it for the Donkey Balls.
Fold out chairs, towels, and blankets line the beach in the evening but face the roads instead of the water in efforts to cheer on a friend, family member, co-worker or entire onslaught of singlet adorned triathletes whom from a helicopter resemble an army of ants trailing along the blistering concrete towards their queen - the finish line. Even though fellow residents who happen to be participating in the triathlon are cheered on more than the rest, this is no sporting event where the visiting "team" is considered to be the enemy for the town hosting the affair. Before anyone jumps to conclusions about the achievement as if it refers to some uncouth male braggadocio conquest I'll nip that dirty mind in the bud. However, all it takes is one visit to Huntington Beach between the last weekend of July and the first weekend of August (the span of the event), in particularly for the finals, and you'll be heralding its praises as I am here, even if you've never stepped a slippery foot on a waxed epoxy surface. There are fashions shows, product demos, and a FREE live concert series with big name bands playing throughout the event.
But it's also a family affair as evidenced by kids perched on the weighted shoulders of dads, clutching on tight and enjoying a bird's eye view of the summertime spectacle while moms wonder why the hell they thought navigating a beach stroller through sand packed by thousands of flip flopped soles and souls would be possible. The United Nations headquarters is in New York City, giving some credence to the city's self-designation as "capital of the world". In addition, New York has been growing safer for most of the last decade--FBI data indicate that the murder rate in 2000 was the lowest since 1967. Bloomberg had been a Democrat until only a short time earlier, but switched to the Republican Party to run for mayor, in order to avoid a crowded Democratic primary.
He handled the aftermath of the World Trade Center disaster well, providing much-needed leadership, and greatly increased his popularity. The Dutch origins can still be seen in many names in New York City, such as Brooklyn (from Breukelen), Harlem (from Haarlem), The Bronx (from Pieter Bronck) and Staten Island.
The city grew northward, and remained the largest and most important city in the colony of New York. This holiday has since become a yearly city-wide celebration that is famous around the world as the St.
A nearly pure form of capitalism created a large upper-middle and upper class, but its need for manpower encouraged immigration on an unprecedented scale, with mixed results. Rabble rousers became rioters, windows were smashed, fires were started, teenage girls egged it on, and social media blazed as imbecelic participants posted their antics which ultimately resulted in their own arrests. Kolohe is currently ranked #9 on the ASP World Tour but number one as a heartthrob in the eyes of Orange County teenage girls, and their moms.
Fan focus was segregated and focused but that's what made it special, more intimate for enthusiasts.
Hundreds of thousands of spectators returned right on queue to send the US Open off right, ensuring that social media photos evidenced nothing less than a successful event. Even the exciting women's WCT contingent in 2014 will remain an afterthought to the one factor that would determine the fate of the US Open of Surfing - the lack of incident.
Run the back of your index finger tip down the G, C, E, A chords and you'll be smelling plumeria in seconds. For the newcomer unsure of the best fit for their next ukulele purchase the following list details the best place to buy a ukulele on each of the four main Hawaiian islands - Oahu, Maui, Big Island, and Kauai. You never once feel out of place in this happy little ukulele shop and browsing is absolutely encouraged. They have every right to boast of their expansive collection yet there is not an ounce of pretension in this ukulele haven. Notably, Waialae Avenue had been heralded in my most recent subscription arrival of Hawaii Magazine which was coincidentally backed up by the in-flight periodical en-route back to Oahu days later. Their delicious double shot espresso mocha woke me from my post-surf slumber and had me soaking up an atmosphere I only thought existed in the Pacific Northwest. The accolades of these two restaurants are no urban legend and thus Waialea Avenue deserves your footprints for off-the-grid fine dining on Oahu.
Perhaps Kaimuki is truly on the verge of revitalization and I should be jumping on board to stake my claim now as someone "in the know"?
Our dining recommendations will focus on food trucks, comfort foods, and daring (yet delicious!) culinary treats with regional flare.


That’s the reason why when narrating the slideshow to our friends back at home weeks later we find ourselves apologetically suggesting that the pictures do not do said sunset justice, no matter how many pixels our SLR captures. Instead, we simply picked 5 gift ideas that we felt could add to the experience of the traveler in your life - no matter who they are. Before your radar goes off against pretension remember that Louis Vuitton got its start well over a century ago in making high quality travel trunks and leather goods made to withstand all sorts of overseas adventures. Sometimes the even best need rescuing and the integrated GPS system of the Zeal Optics Z3 Transcend GPS Goggles offers a lost and found option that loved ones will appreciate, plus they just look really, really cool - apres ski club wear anyone?
Each experience was shrugged off with the nary a care attitude that could only be impressed by shiny objects - neon signs, waves, bikinis, laser discs. Multiply that fact by the millions of lathered up souls that enter the ocean everyday and we've got an ecological crisis on our hands. For a few extra bucks we should bypass the $4.99 tube of Coppertone and ask our local drug store if they carry chemical free ocean safe sunscreen alternatives. Half way through the third ring the owner picked up, somewhat embarrassed but not embarrassed enough for someone bringing a cell phone out into the open ocean sans boat. If not mine it was surely the work of some other well intentioned travel writer pushing to meet a deadline on the latest accessories for the wanderers of the world. Maybe his wife was due to have a baby at any moment but his dedication demanded he squeeze in a morning session nonetheless.
Many consider the act of bringing a laptop along on any trip enough to cancel out the experience all together - good for them. Instead the tally refers to my espresso based beverage of choice and the fact that a few months ago I vowed to sample a Cafe Mocha from every coffee shop I come across in my travels until I find the best in North America. Yes, there is some world class surfing by some of the world's best surfers going on at the Nike US Open of Surfing, but you can easily be on the beach in the event "village" for an entire weekend and completely forget to look out into the pacific to see wetsuit and contest singlet clad pros ripping the rippling beach break surrounding the HB Pier, much less hear the announcers commentating the event or witnessing acceptance speeches on the ocean front podium. Holiday Party, Office Party, Christmas Party, Divorce Party, Cast Party, Many Types Of Events And Parties. The island of Manhattan was in some measure self-selected as a future metropolis by its extraordinary natural harbor formed by New York Bay (actually an arm of the Atlantic Ocean), the East River (actually a tidal strait) and the Hudson River, all of which are confluent at the southern tip, from which all later development spread. The famed melting pot was brought into being, from which multitudes have since arisen in the successful pursuit of the "American Dream". The consensus from across the counter of both the cafe and retail space shared within Huntington Surf & Sport was the same - it was pleasantly quiet. What was deemed the greatest outdoor party EVER hours before was decimated the minute the first local business was violated. As our Cadillac sedan rounded onto PCH through Seal Beach to Sunset Beach our driver remarked on the unexpected lack of traffic as we passed Warner Avenue with ease. Inexplicably his blonde locks were not being swarmed by anyone other than me and my prying questions.
The event village was expectedly packed with inland teens looking for free swag, boys that think opening with "what's up baby?" still works on girls, and the girls that it actually still works on. However, too often malahine* end up with one of those ABC Store assembly line models with strings that unravel after one strum session, not that it would ever have been in tune in the first place. They even offer free daily ukulele classes which play out like an improv comedy show from time to time, depending on the crowd.
However the rewarding feeling of completing and taking ownership of a ukulele crafted by your own saw dusted fingers cannot be described. Visitors are welcomed with open arms to gander the inventory which without question has a ukulele option for those of any skill level, interest, and budget. Then as I slumped my carry-on bag on the coffee table of the condo that I had just checked-in to the visitor guide book I leafed through detailed Kaimuki's Waialea as if it was the SoHo of Oahu. Rejuvenated I continued on my mission to see what all the fuss over the new Kaimuki was about.
But alas it would be an injustice to send visitors to Waialea Avenue for anything more than coffee, dinner, and crack seed.
The only "all-inlcusive" statements about our accommodations is that they adhere to a criteria that lends to the culture of the area instead of injecting a generic resort brand stamp where guests cannnot differentiate their property from one city to another.
I’m no enemy of progress by any means but as most of you, I too believe in protecting important landmarks, especially ones that people still frequent in droves. Don't let the 5th Avenue Barbies ruin this eye catching and durable city guide book for you - Louis Vuitton makes a quality guidebook perfect for fashion forward travelers tired of kicking back in foreign coffee shops with bent cornered, weather stained publishings that don't stand the same test of time of its well traveled reader.
I should have put a disclaimer stating that the product not be used in this circumstance.
Climate proof equipment allows us to photograph, video, edit and post even the most extreme conditions and favorite moments while on the fly. They're  tourists that pay their dues with the blood, sweat, and tears falling on the concrete of the town and thus have every right to clog up the streets, cafes, shops and hotels before and after the event concludes. Considering I only allow myself the indulgence twice per week (vacation excluded) this mission may take some time. You can enter the village empty handed and walk out of there at day's end, bags in hand and looking like you just completed a shopping spree at Fashion Island, without the credit card debt. Have The Jellin Girls Introduce You To Other Great People In New York City's Top Night Clubs. Also of prime importance was the presence of deep fresh water aquifers near the southern tip, especially the Collect Pond[?]. But countless others failed to rise, or entire generations were forced to plough themselves under for their children or grandchildren to rise.
They wandered around as prepubescent zombies, complaining that "last year was so much better". This is an experience of a lifetime and is officially marked as the best way to get a ukulele, in the world. The consistency of the signals had me scribble a quick trip to Kaimuki into my immediate itinerary, to see something I had clearly missed on past passes.
I will however place it on my "Neighborhoods to Watch" list because I am certain that one day indeed Kaimuki will become exactly what everyone wants it to be. Two years ago we mistakenly attempted to be too many things for too many people which ended up stunting our growth in this industry. Our nightlife recommendations won't send you anywhere that requires a collared shirt or doorman palm greasing for entry.
Does talking story with a delightful Aunty Nita on a slow day at Halfway to Hana make the crumbs more moist and the banana flavor more evident? Food simply tastes better when we too have made the analogous (or literal) two hour hike to eat it. On any given weekend in Vancouver a line can be found in front of the Walkdorf Hotel, waiting in the rain to get into its toasty warm Tiki Bar to see whichever traveling band has made its way onto the basement stage or to simply sip from coconuts while surrounded by bamboo under the cover of a starlight dotted ceiling.
Portland also has an inordinate number of world class donut shops with one in particular that may or may not serve voodoo cursed pastries. Both are admirable and would bring praise from the surrounding morning crew that want to chastise him at this very moment. It enables us to connect to the friends and loved ones we actually do want to stay in touch with while on the road or to better connect with those we meet traveling along the same. They wait all year for this Triathlon and some competitors train their whole lives for this moment on the Big Island. With each stroke, peddle, and step they've earned a permanent place in the community and are welcomed back every year with open arms. In fact, there won't be a concluding piece on the topic unless I have the foresight to write it as I prepare for my death bed one day. Holiday Party, Office Party, Christmas Party, Divorce Party, Cast Party, Many Types Of Events And N.Y.
In the mid-1800s these antipodes could be found in the fabulously rich stretches of lower Broadway (wealth that would later take up residence on Fifth Avenue[?]) and the almost unbelievably squalid enclave of Five Points (abject poverty later to take up residence in the Lower East Side[?]). They're coughing up seven figures a year to see this kid mobbed by their target demographic. PCH bus stops between Main Street and Beach BLVD were packed by 3PM as they called the day early, dejected.
Our shopping section will gradually fill itself full of local businesses and marketplaces offering distinctive products and services that reflect the personality of the region.
Even something as common as a city aquarium offers up a twist in Portland by allowing visitors to spend the night with hammerhead sharks gliding by inches away behind sheets of plexiglass. Victory here makes you a true Ironman or Ironwoman, putting Tony Stark and his billion dollar toys to shame. If it does occur it will have nothing to do with surfing, action sports, or the beautiful people of Orange County. Our activity and attraction recommendations will likely send you outside of your comfort zone or at least make you view a destination in a whole new light, literally and figuratively. Why ruin the sensation by eating it back at home or present it as an edible souvenir to friends only to explain that it tastes better back at mile marker 17? How you ever dreamed of eating world class grilled cheese while seated on the second tier of a double decker bus that's been converted into an eatery? I'm building and incomprehensible database of travel photos to account for any editorial project that may come my way. If in some way the work of a deadline pressed editor placed this product in the subject's hand then I say yes, OK? This is country full of restless youth and a few bad seeds will always cave against the urge to break a window.
I can then expect that the souvenir peaking out of the hibiscus decorated Polypropylene tote presented to me contains something from the ABC Store around the corner from your resort. I’d rather give them a map to the place instead and inspire them to make the trek themselves. I have more photos of sashimi than any teenage Japanese girl on vacation in Waikiki - minus the two fingered peace signs.
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It will stand admiringly within the top left hand corner of the cupboard space above my refrigerator along with the odds and ends Christmas decorations that couldn't quite squeeze into the storage room. I don't care if the ocean and air temp meets at a perfect 80 degrees fahrenheit with off shore winds, glassy surf and only two or three bikini clad souls in the water. With all the bells & whistles that Nike brought came a slight pessimism from some locals (and visitors) that felt the soul of the event was tarnished by big corporate influence. But no night out on the town can start right without first getting an ala carte hairdo at a local chain of coed barbershops that serve beer and behave more like tattoo parlors.
Many will say Nike made the event better for the athletes (bigger pay day) and the visitors.
I cradle the mug with the same gentle care taken with a newborn kitten and slide into the bistro seating to stare off into nothing-in-particular and sip.
All of the above of course wouldn't be possible without support from the most eclectic population you'll find congregated in one place. Surf City USA may very well dole out its own brand of north side parking lot justice if that happens. The crazier the better because the people of Portland are some of the friendliest we've met. There are always three or four others engaged in the same, beating the post-dawn crowds to the setting.
We might exchange pleasantries about the weather, we may trade crumpled pages from the cafe's only newspaper, we may learn something about where one another is from and bask in the brief moments of peace before our families wake from the 11th floor of a 7 night packaged deal and make their way down with beach bags and towels slung around shoulders, or we may say nothing at all. They’re also the lead sponsor of the Triple Crown of Surfing on Oahu so it goes without saying that VANS knows surfing. VANS brings edge back to the US Open and as far as this writer is concerned that’s the only thing that was missing from the event in recent time.
The catalyst is in the coffee.In the same manner that I check the bottom of souvenirs pre-purchase for signs of the dreaded Made in China stamp I demand that my coffee is grown locally or at the very least imported from the nearest coffee bean sustaining climate within its radius.
If I'm on the Big Island I want to sip Kona Mountain Coffee off the slopes of Mauna Loa from a cafe in the old plantation town of Kainaliu. In Jamaica I want Blue Mountain straight from the plantation after waking and walking down from a Penny Hill guest house near Mavis Bank. To me and a million others, morning brew from a local cafe is part of what defines a vacation destination. It sets the tone for where the rest of the day takes you.While I won't be booking flights to locations based on their espresso any time soon it remains to be a part of my experience nonetheless.
My last trip to the Caribbean didn't place one in my grasp until I awaited departure at the airport gate cafe 10 days after arriving and the trip still went without a hitch.



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