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    Travel Diary: Oahu and Maui, Hawaii

    Jet lag is a real thing, guys. Which is part of the reason I’ve been MIA this week…I literally passed out on my computer while writing this post two nights ago. So, here we are. How are you? Are you having a good week so far? I know I’ll be having alll the coffee this morning.HawaiiIf you’ve been following along on Insta, you probably saw I was in Hawaii. My parents, my sister and I jet-setted to Honolulu and Maui for 10 days, and the trip was well worth its weight in pineapple soft serve and Spam (yes, I actually referenced canned meat in a blog post). Believe it or not, Spam sushi exists.

    Here are 10 things I learned from my time in the Aloha State. If traveling to Hawaii is on your bucket list, be sure to take notes!

    1. 30 SPF might sound like a good idea at the time, but mark my words: you will get fried. Does 100 SPF work? Is that a thing? If so, get some. Or maybe consider a full length body suit if you don’t mind stares or the likely onset of heat stroke. A wet suit might be more socially acceptable.

    2. Watching the sunrise from atop a volcano is the most incredible thing I’ve ever done. If you don’t mind an early morning wake-up call (2 a.m.), it’s a must. Hawaii7

    3. The next best thing? Coasting 22 miles downhill afterwards on a mountain bike. It’s part exhilarating, part relaxing, and it makes you feel lucky, free and so incredibly small. The world is a really cool place.Hawaii15Hawaii144. Kona coffee is the best kind of coffee. It’s dark and rich and the perfect way to start a day with nothing on the agenda.

    5. Don’t pack dressy clothes. Trust me, you won’t wear them. Dressing up in Hawaii usually means wearing a shirt over your bathing suit. It’s laid back in the very best way.

    6. If you find yourself in Maui, you have to drive the road to Hana. It’s a long day (10 hours or so), but so, so worth it. You’ll discover hidden waterfalls, colorful trees and black sand beaches. A bit of advice: pack a bathing suit, bug spray and good shoes for hiking. And don’t forget to download this app. Also, make it a point to stop at any fruit stand you can find. I tried dragon fruit, lychee and dragon eye (a.k.a. fruit you can’t find in Ohio). Hawaii97. No one does Hawaiian Ice better than the Hawaiians. Order it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the bottom. You’ll realize you have to have it daily.Hawaii5Hawaii4Hawaii168. Talk to the locals and listen to their stories. You’d be amazed how many interesting people you’ll meet. The type of people who take risks, sell everything they own and take a chance on moving 8,000 miles.

    9. Go to a luau if you can. I’d highly recommend this one. Just prepare to eat, a lot. Like, four courses a lot (not including dessert).Hawaii10

    When you go to a luau and eat so much you have to roll yourself home.

    Hawaii1210. Add “mahalo” (thank you) and “aloha” (hi/bye) to your vocabulary, as you’ll be saying both words more times than you can count. And trust me, that’s not a bad thing.

    Hawaii6    Hawaii2

    I'm in love wit da coco(nut).

    Pretty (beach) bummed about leaving Hawaii today. Until next time ✌️ #mahalo #nataliewashere

    Real Life, Travel

    Weekend in Photos #13

    Weekends are pretty great, aren’t they? And when the sun’s involved (finally), they’re even better. I forgot what it felt like to feel it on my shoulders. Apparently my skin did, too. I’m every shade of lobster red right now, guys. Note to self: SPF 30 is no match for the Hawaiian sun. Like, it failed miserably. If you have any tricks for sunburns, I’m all ears! My bottle of aloe vera is draining fast.

    DSC_0693But sunburn aside, Honolulu is seriously beautiful. We’ve been taking full advantage of all the fresh fish and bluer than blue waters.

    DSC_0660IMG_9577_editedIMG_9600_editedDSC_0688DSC_0721_editedOn Saturday, we drove to Pearl Harbor. It’s a place I’ve wanted to travel to for as long as I can remember. The memorial, located above the sunken USS Arizona, is a tribute to its 1,177 fallen officers and crewmen, and all others who lost their lives on Dec. 7, 1941. If you find yourself in Hawaii, I’d highly recommend visiting. DSC_0730_edited

    Pearl Harbor is a place I've wanted to travel to for as long as I can remember. The memorial, located above the sunken USS Arizona, is a tribute to its 1,177 fallen officers and crewmen, and all others who lost their lives on Dec. 7, 1941. If you find yourself in Hawaii, I'd highly recommend visiting. ❤️

    We leave Honolulu tomorrow for Maui where we’ll stay the rest of our trip. I’m so excited (and I just can’t hide it). Follow along on Insta and Snapchat (nataliefolchi) for daily happenin’s! We’re attempting to learn how to operate the GoPro…need to brush up on my (non-existant) video skills, stat.

    How was your weekend?! Anything crazy or noteworthy? You know I love a good story. Spill.

    Real Life, Travel

    NYC Bound!

    breakfast in nycAaaaaand we’re off! Guys, I’m so. excited.

    I’ll be in New York City for the long weekend, and I’ve already made mental notes of places I want to visit. Seriously, someone try to keep me away from the Birchbox store. I dare you.

    We’ll be meeting up with old friends, exploring and heading to Long Island for a family birthday party. There’s so much to do, and I want to make sure I cram every little thing in.

    This is why I’m a fan of caffeine, comfortable shoes and most importantly, city guides. I don’t know about you guys, but I nerd out over a good city guide. I’m all about experiencing each new city like a local, and if I’m being totally honest, that usually involves food. Grace listed some of her must-have spots, and I definitely plan on stopping into a few. Give me allllll the baked goods and shopping in SoHo.

    Hope you all have a nice, relaxing Memorial Day Weekend! Have you guys been to NYC before? What are some of your favorite things to see and do?

    (Shameless plug) Follow along on Instagram for random, daily happenin’s! 


    How to Pack for a Weekend Trip

    What to Pack for a Weekend TripHappy Friday, guys! If you’ve been following me on Instagram the past week, you probably noticed the abundance of beach pics. I spent a few days in Naples, Florida soaking up some (much needed) sunshine, and the trip was well worth its weight in gold and Sun Bum sunscreen. I really missed wearing shorts.

    If you’ve been on weekend trips before, you’ll probably agree with me when I say that packing can be a challenge. You want to have options, but you don’t want to over pack. Believe me, I’ve been there. I used to be the girl who’d cram her entire closet in a suitcase. My former method was inefficient, poorly-planned and weighed me down — literally.

    Luckily, my over-packing days are over. I’ve been on countless weekend trips over the years (including a spontaneous 3-day trip from Ohio to LA (crazy, I know)), and I’ve learned to pack smarter. I’m sharing my tried and true tips on Strong is our Sexy today, so be sure to stop by!

    Happy traveling — and as always, thank you for reading.

    This article first appeared on Strong is our Sexy.