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dorothyellise

If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine. It is lethal.

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Travel

Mt. Rainier Tour

My boyfriend and I celebrated our 5 year anniversary at Mt. Rainier! I bought tickets through Customized Tours that picked us up at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Seattle and drove us to and from Mt. Rainier. It was nice not having to worry about driving, especially since neither of our cars have AWD. It was absolutely majestic! During my daily commute, Mt. Rainier is a landmark I see almost every single day. However, being so close to it is a whole other experience. Something so beautiful that is constantly changing due to mother nature, made me feel some sort of way.

Being locals, it seemed silly to pay for a tour, but having other locals on the bus made us feel a little better. We spent the day catching waterfalls, taking in the views, and our tour guide even provided us with snow shoes to go snow shoeing around Mt. Rainier in Paradise. Also, my boyfriend had a Rainier beer on Mt. Rainier – that is something special.

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Catching the sunset off of Mt. Rainier

After spending our whole day at Mt. Rainier, we were able to relax and treat ourselves to room service (: Five years is definitely a milestone, but I can’t wait for what else our love has in store for us!

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Solo Adventure to Hawaii

One of my dearest friends got married to the love of her life in the most beautiful place in the world, Hawaii! I’ve never traveled alone to a place unknown, but decided to face my fears. Also, because it was for my friend’s big day ❤ In this blog, I’m here to share my experiences and traveling tips going solo to HI.

I booked a roundtrip ticket from Seattle, WA -> Kahului, HI -> Oahu, HI -> Seattle, WA for around $535.97. (I found tickets for $475.00 earlier on, but didn’t act on it fast enough… sigh). I spent 3 nights in Maui and 3 nights in Oahu to visit my friend Lyndsey (: Since I was going alone, I tried to make each day busy, filled with some type of tour or activity so I wasn’t cooped up in my hotel room.

I hate to admit it, but I am a princess when it comes to hotels. Since the hotel prices in Hawaii were expensive, I couldn’t be so picky. Especially since it was just me, I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on a room that I wasn’t going to spend a lot of time in. Since I bought my tickets through Expedia, they offered a hotel discount if I booked at least two days after I bought my airfare.

After the day of my friend’s wedding, I booked a tour through Mahalo Tours to do the Road to Hana. A tour that was 12 hours long that went around the whole island. Brutal, but so worth the sights! The tour guides were locals and were so friendly. They treated me like ohana! I paid a little more extra through this tour because of the great reviews from other tourists. It was a smaller group of people, it was a much more comfortable bus to be on, they provided fresh fruits for snacks, it included lunch at one of the best BBQ places in Hana, and the tour guides were awesome.

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Wai’anapanapa State Park (the endless coastlines had me speechless)

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These pretty flowers that smell amazing once you squeeze them!

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Near the end of the Road to Hana

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Waimea Canyon – Maui’s “Grand Canyon”
The Road to Hana was unbelievable. I was afraid of going alone because of what others thought of me, but my whole group was filled with super cute couples that were celebrating 40 or 50 years of love! They made me feel very welcomed and didn’t think indifferent of me. I was happy to take their pictures at every place we stopped at too.

Watching one of my closest friends get married in such a beautiful place was amazing. I cried during every part of it – walking to the venue, the ceremony, the reception, the first dance, etc. I’m so glad that I ventured out by myself to witness such a selfless act ❤

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Maui Sunset – that started off the night of my friend’s wedding!
In Oahu, I stayed at an Airbnb with a lovely family with an adorable 1 year old. I watched the sunset for the first two days at Ala Moana (the beach near my Airbnb) and my very last day near Waikiki Beach. Catching sunsets and sunrises were a crazy thing for me. Being a Seattleite, there are very few moments of seeing any sunlight because of it being so grey all the time…

My friend Lydnsey showed me all around Oahu! She picked me up around 4:30am to grab some McDonalds before we hiked up the Lanikai Pillbox Trail. Also, by the way… EGGS, RICE, PORTUGUESE SAUSAGE, AND SPAM FOR BREAKFAST?! I wish that was a thing on the mainland. Anyway, we went to Waikiki Beach where we swam and sun bathed, got some shaved ice at Waiola, malasadas at Leonard’s bakery, and hot pot at Sweet Home Cafe.

What a life it was for the past six days. Sun, beaches, amazing food (especially the poke from Foodland), the nicest people, and especially meeting up with my friends in a place I’ve only seen pictures of!

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Sunset at Ala Moana Beach

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Lanikai Pillbox Sunrise Hike

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The view on top of the Lanikai Pillbox

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Diamond Head
Overall total = $1,318.78

  • Airfare = $535.97
  • Hotel (Maui) + Airbnb (Oahu) = $484.32
  • Road to Hana = $139.53
  • Car Rental = $158.96

If you haven’t thought about it before, rent a car from Costco if you have a membership. I received a great rate for $15.06/day, but since I am under 25 years old, I got charged with a $75 young renters fee :/

I brought about $150-$200 for food, shopping, and souvenirs. So, for just about $1,500…I was able to do a whole lot! Unfortunately, since I packed only a carry on I couldn’t bring back boxes of macadamia chocolates. I think that the pricey thing about Hawaii, is getting yourself there. However, a lot of the activities around the island like scuba diving, sightseeing, snorkeling, luas, etc, are very affordable.

Traveling will be the most rewarding thing you ever do. Even if you go solo, you learn a lot more about yourself. You become more independent and find yourself empowering. When you are surrounded by sights you’ve never seen before and realize how beautiful the rest of the world is… You realize that there is so much more to life than work and bills. Life is a much greater journey and there are more places to get yourself lost in.

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Chicago

My first time being a bridesmaid and we got to go to Chicago for the bride’s bachelorette party! This was the first time that I booked a ticket to the Midwest. I mean, the furthest I’ve flown East of Washington state is probably Texas when I was still a little kid. I think the weirdest thing for me was realizing how there were no mountains or abundance of trees. Their background was filled with lots of skyscrapers and buildings with history behind each and every one.

Our agenda for the couple days we were there were jammed packed thanks to Rhianna! Chicago was an absolutely fun city. There was so many things to do and the food there was amazing. Bottomless brunch?! Freshwater lakes?! Taking a taxi to places?! Yoga sculpt?! Bar hopping in the city?! I definitely had fun celebrating with the bride-to-be and the rest of the bridesmaids. I also fell in love with Chicago ❤

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A comedy show we watched on our first night in Chicago called #dateme

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Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise
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That one time when we paddle boarded in Lake Michigan and did yoga

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The Bean!

Heather Lake

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I’ve been really sluffing on blogging anything, but here was one of my recent hikes to Heather Lake with some of my friends. Pictures can’t describe how beautiful this place was! So green and so peaceful (:

Lake Twentytwo Hike

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The weather has been so kind to us Seattle folk! Here are some pics of my most recent hike with my friends at Lake Twentytwo near Granite Falls!

Picture of the Day: Mukilteo Lighthouse

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Surprisingly, taken with my handy dandy iPhone 6! I was on the ferry heading back to Mukilteo from a day of crabbing on Whidbey Island. It was a cold day and it was suppose to rain, but the sun came out and made a beautiful appearance! My hands were numb from pulling up crab cages and wet from collecting water in order to keep the crabs fresh. We ended up catching fifteen crabs that day!

Poo Poo Point – Chirico Trail

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Poo Poo Point – Chirico Trail was about a 4 mile round trip hike. It is a shorter hike compared to the other trails, but pretty steep. Once you get to the top, there is a beautiful view over Issaquah, downtown Bellevue, and a view of the eastside. If you are familiar with Grey’s Anatomy, this is the same spot where Derek wants to build his dream house for him and Meredith. So, if you are a big fan of Grey’s Anatomy (like me) it is a spot to definitely visit. If you get there during a good time, you can see people get ready and paraglide off the mountain. Something that I personally wouldn’t want to do, but definitely super cool to see in person!

Rattlesnake Ledge

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My first hike ever in the great PNW! I have to say, it was pretty tiring, but it is a great hike for first-timers like me! Next time, wear my hiking boots -_-“

Snowshoe Experience: Mt. Baker

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Last weekend, my boyfriend’s snowshoeing class went to Mt. Baker and for the first time in awhile, I didn’t work on a Saturday. I’m usually not a nature type of person either, but wanted to snowshoe for the first time. I got some hiking boots that were on sale for $29 and rented snowshoes for $10 at Sports Authority. Great deal on the rental equipment, since REI cost $20 to rent only if you had a REI membership. The drive was quite a long one. It was a little bit passed Western University and then 50+ miles east. It was a great “hiking” experience and it got gradually harder when climbing higher in elevation. It was surprisingly warm up on the mountain and felt like I was able to get a tan. It was a great Saturday overall though (: Glad I was able to come!

Enjoy!

Dorothy ❤

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