Maui or Bust

Momma Higg celebrated her birthday in March. Her gift from Poppa Higg? A trip to Hawaii. Fortunately, I benefitted from Poppa Higg’s hatred of the beach and was asked to accompany Momma Higg.

My charge for tagging along? Use my incredible travel agent skills (otherwise known as Google and Pinterest) to plan the trip. The only direction I was given was to stay in Maui. So that’s where I started.

We chose the West Coast of Maui, on Kaanapali Beach near the old town of Lahaina. The Royal Lahaina looked good to me because it had beach access. And it didn’t look like a Motel 6. And it was a big fat guess. Thank goodness it was a winner.

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Funny thing about Hawaii is that there’s a 5 hour time difference. Meaning, when it was 9:30am in Texas…it was 4:30am in Maui. By 8:30pm, I was toast. I’d wake up at 5:30am, go on a run, and bring fresh coffee and a muffin to the room to be eaten on our patio overlooking a golf course and the waves.

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Nearly every day, Momma Higg and I set out to be beach bums by 8am. By mid-afternoon, we were exploring the Whaler’s Village or Front Street in Lahaina.

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One evening, we went to a Luau at the hotel, “The Myths of Maui.” I had never been to a Luau before so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Momma Higg was slightly disappointed that there was only one “fire dance.” I’ll try better next time.

One day, we took a quick plane ride to Ouahu to visit the Pearl Harbor and USS Ariozona Memorial in Honolulu. I’ve always been fascinated by WWII—all the bravery and love men and women showed to fight evil–so, naturally, I soaked up every minute at the memorial. Afterwards, we ate at Restaurant 604. Well, first we walked a half-mile in the wrong direction and finally Lyfted 100 yards in the right direction to the restaurant. The service was horrible. The food wasn’t terrible. Beer also makes food taste better.

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Being a beach bum was easier than I thought. Finishing two books and running into the ocean to take pictures of sea turtles kept me more occupied than I imagined.

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I think Momma Higg has decided that Maui will be an annual girls trip. Or maybe I’m trying to convince her.

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Stay tuned for the next beach babes’ vacay.

Boston Tea Party for Three

My love for Boston started when some family friends, Brandon and Julie, were living outside of the city after medical school. We were invited to visit one fall and I’ve been in love ever since. I’m not sure if it was the crisp breeze, autumn colors, or the amazing company that fascinated me, but regardless, I’m in love.

Last October, a few girlfriends and I were itching to take a trip when it hit us: Let’s go to Boston! I was thrilled to nominate myself as the tour guide (history is kind of my thing).

We dropped off our luggage in our Beacon Hill apartment and began our adventure in the North End.

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Naturally, we couldn’t say no to Mike’s Pastry, either. Calories DON’T count on vacation. It’s a scientific fact.

The next morning, Emily and I made it a point to find the Boston Marathon finish line on our morning run.

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Soon after, we began adventure on the Freedom Trail. I had created a “Skimm’d” version that included trivia questions of the historical sites to keep my friends entertained. For example:

At King’s Chapel and Burying ground

Why is Mary Clinton (buried here) famous?

  • She is related to Bill Clinton
  • She is related to Donald Trump
  • She was the first woman to step off the Mayflower
  • She was the first woman to make the chocolate chip cookie

How many kids did Paul Revere have?

  • 4
  • 8
  • 12
  • 16 There wasn’t much to do back then. 

Below: (The State House, Kristen and Em being dramatic outside of the Boston Latin School Site, Benjamin Franklin Statue, Old South Meeting House, The Green Dragon TAvern (our lunch stop), Paul Revere Statue, view from the Bunker Hill Monument, and Boston Harbor)

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We ended the day by visiting Harpoon Brewery and then grabbing drinks at the Top of the Hub. Newsflash: When it’s rainy/foggy, you can’t see anything at the top of the Prudential Center.

On our third day, we headed to Cambridge to walk through Harvard and then Fenway.

We ended the day by watching the Aggie football game with the local A&M club.

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Then enjoying a beer at Cheers. Because how can you not?

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Our final full day was spent driving up the coast to Portland, Maine. We visited the Shipyard Brewery (yes, breweries are a theme), ate a lobster roll, and shopped around town. We visited in October so pumpkin beers were running rampant. Shipyard starting serving their pumpkin ale with a sugar/cinnamon rim and it was actually delicious.

We could leave Maine without visiting a lighthouse.

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As we left Maine, we stopped by Smuttynose Brewery in New Hampshire because, why not?

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We ended the evening in Salem, Massachusettes. We were visiting close to Halloween so we had no choice but to go on a ghost tour. We saw a jail where Harry Houdini escape, the location of the first long-distance phone call a la Alexander Graham Bell, a few locations where Hocus Pocus was filmed, and even saw a ghost! Ok, maybe we didn’t see a ghost, but I had to throw that in there.

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Overall, the trip was successful but way too short. Our next adventure will be in Florida and Georgia in the fall so stay tuned.

Boston during the Revolutionary War: The quick and dirty

This is for my two dear friends who hate museums and boring history. We’re heading to Boston ( my favorite city) soon and  I wanted hit the highlights without boring them to tears:

Key Players:

Revolutionary War: America’s Fight for freedom vs. Britain.

King George: King of England. Never set foot on American soil. Punk.

Paul Revere: All-around bad ass.

George Washington: Virginian-born (not ‘Virgin’), general of the rebel army, 1st US president.

Rebels: Today’s average American.

Redcoats: British peeps with bayonets.

Underlined words: Locations we’ll see. SO MEMORIZE IT. Or I will push you into the cranberry bogs.

America…it’s been around forever, right?

  • No. Lots of peeps were here before us, but we act like that never happened
  • Columbus found this place when he sailed the ocean blue in 1492 (ie Florida)
  • Then the English set-up shop via the Mayflower in 1620 (re: the Plymouth Rock south of Boston)
  • Who? Mostly, English Settlers that were adventurous or looking to find religious freedom made their way to America–BYE, Church of England

Everything was gravy untilll….

  • Stuff went down. Re: The Stamp Act (1765). So, Britain said, “Hey, we want your money and you can’t say anything about it so suck it.” Colonists were like, “WTF?”
  • Enter no taxation without representation (ie Colonists had NO say in what money Britain took from them)
  • 1770–Colonists are pissed. Britain sends soldiers to get the colonists in line and it gets out of hand when British soldiers kill five colonists for NO DANG REASON (Boston Massacre at the Old State House)
  • Paul Revere gets SUPER patriotic and starts getting rebels (colonists/Americans) super pumped about hating the British

Can you pass the sugar?

  • Fanueuil Hall–A place where all sorts of town meetings happened. It’s also where they talked a lot about taxes, because Britain was greedy
  • 1773–Britain sends tea (per usual) to America and rebels say, “Screw you.” Tea, meet the ocean. Enter: Boston Tea Party
  • “Oh snap. It’s on,” says Britain
  • 1775–Americans readied themselves for the British to crash the party
  • Lanterns were to be hung in the North Church  to let citizens know if/how the British were arriving. “One if by land, two if by sea.” PS: They hung two lanterns
  • Battle at Bunker Hill: The British won this early battle in the war but Fun Fact: it was actually mostly fought on Breed’s Hill

Seventeen. Se.. se.. Seventeen. Se..se.. Seventeen Seventy Six.

  • Our Founding Fathers created the Declaration of Independence (re: 1776…July 4th-ish)
  • America says, “Bring it on, Britain pansies”
  • And it’s on. George Washington begins the fight in Boston and tried to hold down the fort with a bunch of stinky Americans (men didn’t like showers or laundry…that was women’s work). He set up shop at the Wadsworth House near Cambridge

October 1781

  • Battle of Yorktown: Defining moment because we crushed the British. The war was pretty much over after this point. Yay! This happened in Virginia, so yeah. We won’t see that

I know I didn’t catch everything so comment on any history highlights I missed. Get ready, Boston-Here we come.