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Weekend Wanderer

Wandering the Weekends in California and beyond

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Family

Lets GO – Chico

In the world of Birkenstocks and North Face jackets, I stood in my vans and RipCurl sweater. With Bruce – who was concentrated on where he could find the nearest Goodwill and look for some carhartt pants. We went up North as a Thompson img_0845Family + Bruce to cheer for the Chico State Volleyball team and celebrate Torey’s Senior Night. Back into the world of a small college town, I liked being able to park the car and walk around. We had lunch at what my sister Katey called a “Chico establishment”: Madison Bear Garden. Where we had our first round of Sierra Nevada, as Chico is the brewery’s hometown.

 

wait.

 

Can I back it up?

 

Let’s talk about Southwest airlines. WHERE I HAD NO IDEA YOU COULDN’T PRE ASSIGN YOUR SEATS. Thank goodness for Kasey whose ten foot long legs saved an entire row for Bruce and I.

Okay back to 50 degree weather and leaves falling from the sky: Chico was CHILLY. Not that we were expecting a heat wave, but it was nice to get away and wear sweaters and socks again.  Kasey and I stepped out of the airport, and immediately almost backed right back inside. The wind chill wall that hit you when you walked out was a 20 degree difference than what was in the airport…or in Newport.

There were no restaurant chains in the small town, seemed like most everything was family or small business owned. I love farmers markets, and the Chico Farmers market on Saturday mornings had some of the most produce I have ever seen at any farmers market. It was awesome being in an area where there actually are seasons. The leaves were on the ground, and falling as we were walking around. You HAD to wear a jacket outside at night or you would freeze you booty.

It was fun having the entire family all together, but I think if it was longer than a weekend – a few more arguments would have broken out. We kind of perfected the mean mug also this trip.

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I kinda of compare Kasey and Bruce’s friendship/relationship to that of Khloe and Scott. They’re more brother and sister than friends, and they’ll play tricks on each other, but then also team up against the rest of the tribe together. Especially, back to sharing a hotel room with them – the sassiness never stops.

Even though the weekend was centered around volleyball – it was also centered around having fun. With exploring the a new area, making jokes about one another, and playing games in the hotel room.

or shopping at the local Chico Wildcat apparel store – which by the way has Ugly Christmas Sweaters with the Chico logo on them. Epic.

 

We also took a Christmas picture. So that was chill. img_0858

Molokai – It’s About the People

I spent last weekend on my favorite island. Molokai. It may have only been for about 48 hours, but I got my fair share in of soaking up the sun, and breathing in the good energy from everyone. The Na Wahine O Ke Kai race is a 42 mile outrigger race for women from the island of Molokai to the Island of Oahu and it is more than just another channel crossing. It’s a Channel Crossing from Molokai to Oahu with girls from all over the world with one common goal – to get to the other side. make-horse-2

But before we even get to the race start – theres so much more to take in. Molokai is about the people. Not just the people in your crew, or the people in your friends crew but also the people of the island of Molokai. There are the families that take in paddlers, greet everyone in town and help make everyone feel happy. You can’t walk to the grocery store in town without someone waving at you. I meet new friends EVERY DAmake-horse-3MN TIME I get to Molokai. I mean, NAC may be a handful sometimes – but we always bring swag to give out! I’ve met women in my first crossing in 2010, that I may only see once a year but I still go and pick up with them like no time has passed! All because this race and this island has brought us back to together. It literally is the FRIENDLY ISLE. The friends that I have there, that live there, make me their home feel like my home away from home. Molokai is about respecting the beaches and the land around you, being thankful that you are able to continue year after year to visit this island for an outrigger race. I couldn’t be more stoked to stay a weekend on Molokai and I wish I had more time!

Each crew is it’s own family. They bond together, support each other, and get each other across the channel. I was lucky enough to have a super special crew this year for the crossing. My close friends, a mother and her two daughters, new friends and all around a great group of girls to cross the channel with. It was a challenging crossing, I don’t think anyone would disagree. But your crew makes it fun! You can’t have a good crossing without positive vibes all around and smiles!

Molokai is about the people, the friends and the family. We may have trained all year for this race – but the reward isn’t getting to Oahu. The reward is the time spend together on this island, playing and relaxing. It’s meeting new friends and catching up with the girls you only talk to on Facebook!

So take the time, breathe deep, smile more and enjoy everything and everyone around you.  Because you deserve everything the world has to offer around you.

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Lake Arrowhead – Last Minute Adventure

IMG_6564Sometimes the best weekend getaways are the ones that don’t take much planning. I’m lucky enough to have a family cabin up in Twin Peaks near Lake Arrowhead and a great tribe to travel with. This used to be one of the only “vacation” spots my family would regularly go to, with 5 kids it’s hard to go anywhere. It always surprises me how easy it is to head up the mountain, and every time I go up I’m stoked on the weather and surroundings. IMG_6598

What makes the weekend trips epic, are the people you travel with. Luckily we had a good vibe tribe heading up the mountain with us. The loop our cabin is on isn’t filled with AIRBNBS or VRBO’s, it really is a quiet family community. We barely get cell phone service, cable has a few channels and we’re forced to actually interact with each other and spend the night trying to figure out how to play pictionary properly. The mornings were the best time, I’d wake up first and let Biggie out for his morning roam. That was my favorite time of the day, when it was literally no other sound except for the pug snorting around the nearest tree. We’d make waffles and bacon, and within 37 seconds the entire cabin was awake by the smell of breakfast. Which really isn’t that hard, because you can stand in the living room and see into the other two rooms and bathrooms without rotating. Hey, everyone likes to be cozy.

But as usual, where ever we go, we find something to paddle and somewhere to paddle on. Lake Gregory  has a greaIMG_6567t spot to set up a chair and drop a cooler for a few hours while enjoying the fresh air and the lake itself. It’s one of the best kept secrets in the area, as most people spend their time on Lake Arrowhead or up in Big Bear. You can bring your own equipment, however they have a fee to launch. During the summer the water is super refreshing, which is convenient when your sisters try to flip your boy scout canoe!

Friday night the electricity went out, a power outage that affect the entire loop. It was about midnight and we were still awake playing board games, just like you normally would in any cabin setting – am I right? Once we got over the IMG_6487“OMG this is a horror movie waiting to happen” mode, we grabbed all the candles we could to lighten up the small cabin. But the best lighting we got was outside under the stars. Everyone laying down on the porch just staring up at the stars and watching them appear from behind the trees was one of the most relaxing moments I’ve had in months.

Lake Arrowhead has a killer summer set up for concerts at the lake ( http://www.lakearrowhead.com/village.html ) and also fun things to do all day. I mean, we just walked around, stopped for tacos and fed the ducks; but we totally could have spent the entire day there like we used to. We just wanted to head down the mountain (which took all of 20 minutes) before the sun went down.

Fresh hikes, fun days and a margarita to join the sunset. I need to spend more time up the mountain. IMG_6522IMG_6658

What I Learned in 2013

DCIM127GOPROAs the year comes to an end, I’ve looked back at it and thought about everything I’ve learned from the last 365 days.

-Pug Lyfe is real life

– Running ain’t Easy – half marathon #1 showed me that, and I always keep that in the back of my mind as I’m training for the next half marathon.

– Dreams and Ideas can come true with a little hard work – PIlialoha Designs is a great example of that and I can’t wait to see how 2014 pans out for us!

– Always be ready for a lifestyle change – 2013 threw me for a loop with a last minute move.

– Thank you notes matter – see last blog post

Kamanu Composites REALLY REALLY care about their clients – being a California Rep for them as taught me a sale isn’t done until the costumer is happy…no matter how many times they change their mind on colors

– Midori Sours – they’re magic.

– And you can get free midori sours even when you’re playing the penny slots – vegas was a trip

– Being self dependent is one of the greatest feelings in the world – knowing that you aren’t depending on anyone to make decisions for you and you’re capable of paying and supporting yourself.

– Taking pictures never gets old – same selfie different place

– There is a lot of satisfaction with meeting and surpassing the goals that you set – this was a big thing for me in 2013. Sitting down and writing out goals, then pushing myself to meet them whether they were personal, work related or athletic goals.

– Christmas Flys by a lot faster when you’re older – this also sucks.

– You can’t make everyone happy – but you can make yourself happy and that can infect others

– Chardonnay isn’t as bad as I thought – thanks Malia

– Don’t hesitate – if you want something go for it

– Don’t plan your day (or night) around people

– Twerking – the new drop it like its hot

– Last minute trips are the best trips – as much as my bank account hates them

 – Instagram is a marketing tool – ie @PilialohaDesigns , @NewportAquaticCenter

– GoPro has changed the way of my picture taking

– SnapChat is just as good as a text – and I usually respond faster

– Don’t believe everything you hear

– Don’t judge a book by it’s cover – as cliche as if sounds, I really learned to live by this , this past year

– Plane tickets do not drop in prices the longer you wait – $900 tickets to Kona for a race, that also sucks

– People move – try to stay in touch as best you can

– It’s okay to stay home and read – I have a great list of books I can share

– Karma is real – what comes around goes around whether it’s good or bad  karma 

– Mermaids are also real

– Be selfish with time, it’s yours and eventually it runs out.

What have you learned? I want to encourage everyone to share something they’ve learned in 2013 whether it be on their own personal blog, instagram or Facebook. Tag #ThingsILearned2013 , so we can all share together!

Thank You Cards – A Lost Art

“Showing gratitude is one of the simplest yet most powerful things human beings can do for each other. And despite my love of efficiency, I think that thank-you notes are best done the old-fashioned way, with pen and paper. ”  – Professor Randy Pausch 

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As Christmas holidays come to an end, lets not forget how to properly thank people for their love and presents. A nice note to Grandma for hosting Christmas dinner or a thank you note to an Aunt or friend for just a simple t-shirt.

I love thank you notes. I love writing them with a colorful pen and on pretty stationary. I love sending them in the mail. No email or text message. An old fashioned USPS snail pail letter! People don’t think about it like they used to. It’s a great way to express how you feel about something, and it makes the receiver feels special as well.

Not only is a thank you card just plain nice, it shows appreciation for something that someone may have put a lot of work into. It may not be noticeable, but a thank you note would make a big difference in someones day. They put in an effort to get you a gift or do something for you, you can put in the effort to thank them for it!

tumblr_loi68mUmTc1qb4ma1o1_500So this up coming weekend, take a minute, and write out a few thank you notes. Slap a stamp on and send them on their way. Don’t you like getting something in the mail? Happy Holidays everyone!

Pilialoha Designs

It has been OVER A MONTH since my last post. I’ve been super busy working, getting through the holidays and starting a new small business with my best friend.

It all started with a high school dance outfit, some painter’s tape and a can of spray paint. We were on a budget so we made our own shirts for all the themed high school dances. It then evolved into painting trucker hats and then eventually into designing shirts and paddling jerseys on the computer. We thought we would take this self-taught skill and make it into something bigger!

Pilialoha means friendship in Hawaiian. Malia and I  have been friends since junior high but outrigger canoe paddling sealed the deal. Our love for the sport as well as the ocean is expressed in the designs that we create.

We have three main lines: Dream, Create, Live. Those words also help us stay grounded for our day to day activities. I personally, and I know Malia as well, am always dreaming of the next big thing (in comes Pilialoha Designs). We create it! We live it!

It has been super fun playing around with different designs and being able to put them on hats and shirts. We love making the bath salts, adding colors and different scents depending on what people like. We’ve done our research! As we’ve learned that different essential oils mixed together have different benefits.

I think more than actually designing the shirts and making the products, we like seeing everyone else enjoy them. I love seeing people I know paddling in our hats. I love people having the light switches we design up in their house. The idea of being able to make things that people like is something I love. We have so many ideas, and want to do everything at once! But we know we gotta slow down, get our names out there and set up a base. 945838_325249557615948_1129692313_n 1455974_311672545640316_583703438_n 1459923_322845191189718_867414319_n 1488017_320510571423180_72616984_n 1530381_324930420981195_1942067211_n

Our website is http://www.pilialohadesigns.com and there is a direct link to our etsy store there as well! I can’t want to see how this takes off and what comes next! We’ll keep everyone posted!

Our instagram is: @Pilialohadesigns

Our Facebook is: http://www.facebook.com/pilialohadesigns

Wanderlust Wednesday // Whirlwind Weekends

So taking a cue from one of my besties over at MadDreamDesign , this will be my “Wanderlust Wednesday” post! Check out Maddie’s blog at Mad Dream Design as she is posting EVERY Wednesday about her awesome adventures and trips! As for me – I’ve been up and down Southern California these last few weeks for weddings and other fun festivities!

Went down to San Diego to watch my sister Torey from Chico State play!

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A couple Saturdays ago I had two weddings in one day, one in Dana Point the other in Newport Beach. Both couples are both very close to me and I was so happy that I was able to make both events! I loved how personal and yet simple both weddings were. They both in their own ways matched the couple perfectly, from the beautiful, romantic beach ceremony to the rowdy after party with all their friends!

Danny and Leah

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Danny and Leahs beach ceremony at Doheny Beach
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Mr. and Mrs. Ching!
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Me and my bestie Bobbie, who now lives on Maui.

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Ozzie and Beth

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Mr. and Mrs. Clarke !

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The following weekend was ALSO a wedding. This time in San Luis Obispo! So we packed up for a weekend of fun with old friends and watched an old high school friend tie the not with his college sweetheart!

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The girlies. Bobbie, Kelly, Malia
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The boys! Bruce and Will
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Oh he was NOT having the lipstick kiss!
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Avila Valley Barn

Unfortunately, I didn’t get many good pictures of the bride and groom. The only goods I got was them unwrapping their newly plastic wrapper rental car, and turning it on and getting baby powder flushed into their face through the AC! Gotta love older brothers right??

Whirlwind weekends and they don’t think to stop!

Motivation Monday

So I am starting something new and fresh. It’s called MOTIVATION MONDAY. Each week I’ll share something that motivates me, and I encourage others to do the same! It can be a person, event, quote or workout! Really anything! I want a set a goal each week and push my self to do it. Whether it’s a personal goal, mental goal or a fun goal! At least I’ll be working towards something each week to better myself in some way. #MotivationMonday

Motivation is defined as a reason one has for acting or behaving in a particular way.

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This week I want to concentrate on concentrating and keeping organized. I’m so easily distracted, either by a text message from Malia, Facebook post…or worse INSTAGRAM! I need to put my phone in my drawer, put some headphones in a just concentrate on work here at NAC. Answer questions that need to be answered right away, but other than that Malia is going to have to wait! My desk is a mess…this week I need to just work on making sure everything has a home! I know it’s a weird thing to post about and make a goal out of…however it’s something that’s important to me and something I need to work on (just ask the other peeps in the NAC office).

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Someone who motivates me this week is my younger (yet way taller) sister Kasey. She’s 19 years old and playing volleyball in Hawaii at HPU. This past week she was named Pac West Athlete of the Week which is a very big honor! http://www.thepacwest.com/sports/wvball/2013-14/releases/20131106nolult. Kasey has always been a big time volleyball player and works hard to get what she wants even though most of the time what she wants is to just sit on the couch and watch Duck Dynasty but really has to go to volleyball practice.  Or play with our dog Ashton who is 2000+ miles away #SadFace. Fortunately when Kasey has away games…most of the time she has to fly over here! (you can only play some many teams in Oahu so many times). So tonight I’ll see her smash it up in Riverside (gotta love that in land traffic vibe!)

I won’t have a person that motivates me every week…just thought I would share the good news of an up and coming Thompson girls making headlines (for good reason of course).

Start your week off with motivation. Pick something you need to work on and put effort towards it. No one is perfect and it’s such a great feeling at the end of the week to know that you accomplished something.

#MotivationMonday

We Are Ocean

IMG_7326This past Sunday I was able to spend my weekend with a great group of people.

We Are Ocean  is a non profit organization based out of Newport Beach. Their mission statement is  “to improve the lives of cancer survivors post-treatment. We take cancer survivors on ocean-based adventures. We teach survivors how to surf, sail, swim, fish, dive and paddle their way back into a healthy active lifestyle, post-treatment.” It is an awesome organization ran and volunteered by even more awesome people.

IMG_7303I was excited to be involved and bring over 6-man outrigger canoes for them to paddle. All had never been in a canoe before! They had just finished their SUP paddling adventure and lunch, they were ready for something new! I taught them a little bit about the culture and history of outrigger canoe paddling, followed by a quick 1-2 step on how to paddle. Then we were off! Everyone had a great time, no one cared that the person behind them might splash them.  They took such joy in something that I get to do everyday. It made me realize why I still love paddling and why I still love coaching. It’s not all about the medals and miles, it’s about the connection you make with the people around you on the water. Sharing that with people and seeing how happy they can get from an activity I take for granted (and sometimes dread on bad practice days!). A woman even had said “Well I can cross this off my bucket list!” when she got out of the canoe. MIND. BLOWN.

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IMG_7304I loved the smiles on peoples faces.

I loved the new excitement they had for water sports.

I loved all the effort that We Are Ocean put into this event.

That day those people were more than just the tagged “Cancer Survivor”. They were paddlers, yogis, athletes, and students. They learned that they can still go on day to day and learn something new.

They weren’t just Cancer Survivors. They were strong individuals showing everyone what they are capable of.

They were supporters.

I can’t wait to be involved with the next We Are Ocean event (if they’ll take me ha!). Until then I’ll concentrate on my own paddling and training, and remind myself that some people aren’t lucky enough to paddle everyday like I do.

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