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Weekend Wanderer

Wandering the Weekends in California and beyond

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10616484_10203692522207394_8978194062482821102_nI didn’t post at all in 2014. Maybe because I didn’t have time, or maybe I just didn’t have anything to share. Well, I always have something to share so I think I just didn’t find the time!

In just a few hours I’ll be turning 25, which is kinda surreal. Cause age really is just a number, but I don’t feel 25. Then again what’s 25 supposed to feel like? I’m five years from 30 (uh, crap) but I’m also at the same time five years for 20 ( I liked 20 ). But 25…blah.

I’ve decided to look back at the past 25 years, and remember what I’ve done.  I like to think that I set good goals for myself, and worked hard to meet them. I am a huge believer in setting goals and having something to look forward to or work towards. But i also like to think that I had some fun along the way!

25 things that I’m stoked on for the 25 years I’ve been on this earth. Hopefully one day I’ll be able to look back and be like “woah, I did all that before I turned 25?” And in no particular order…

1. I had my first job when I was 15. It may have been keeping basketball game scores at the local gym for youth leagues; but it was a job and I could make enough money on Sundays to pay for my lunch all week. 

2. My phone bill. I pay it myself. And have been since I was 20. C’mon. It’s a big deal.

3. When I was 19 I successfully packed my car and moved myself up to San Luis Obispo, and then ten months later I packed up again and moved myself to Santa Ana. 

4. My Junior Outrigger Team over the years has given me some of my best memories, trips and races.

5.  Surviving Molokai 2012, and then also placing in Koa division in Molokai 2014. 

6. My ability to problem solve. I’ve become very good at solving other peoples problems, I’ll work on my own when I get there.

7. Placing 3rd in Kona with my girls in 2012

8. I learned to drive a trailer because I found myself in a situation where a trailer needed to be driven and no one was around to do it. I also learned how to drive my own motor boat, because Sam told me that’d be the only way I’d get home after the Catalina race. 

9. The moment I got my first own canoe. God I love my boat #KamanuComposites

10. I was in the William and Kate movie back in 2011. It’s a hallmark film. Haven’t seen it? Its on Netflix. 

12. When I was in 7th grade, I read the most books out of my whole grade. I was really amped on that. 

13.  I’m proud that even though I hate flying, I still somehow get myself on a plane when it’s time for another adventure…or race. I’m not trying to sound cool. I really, really, hate flying. 

14. I’m proud of the work I do at NAC. It’s kinda a lot of hats to wear at once, but I’m happy with it. And couldn’t really imagine my life any other way right now. 

15. I won the Catalina Relay in 2010 with the best teammates ever. I also think that was the last time i did that race before the canceled it two years later. Guess I ended on a good note!

16. NAC went to world sprints in 2008; however it was just in Sacramento. 

17. I successfully beat the system and got rid of two speeding tickets on the same day when I was living in SLO.

18. The very first CD I ever bought was Offspring Americana when I was in 6th grade. 

19. In 2011, I jumped into a suburban last minute and didn’t look back for ten days. Traveled all the way to Tennessee for Bonnaroo Music Festival with 3 smelly boys and a lot of canned tuna. 

20. Senior year all we did was hand break turns at Bob Henry Park and donuts in the NAC parking lot. Not in my car of course. The blue bomber would not have survived.

21. Biggie, I think he’s grown up quite well mannered.

22. Maui to Molokai – Pailolo

23. I’ve made new friends on almost every Hawaiian island, and every time I travel I meet a new buddy. 

24. I can jump my own battery and check my own oil. Anything after that, I make a phone call to the right person.

25. I haven’t broken rule #1 ; #sjciii

It’s not everything; it’s also not my most exciting memories. If you were to sit me down and make me write out what I did in 25 years, that’s kinda what i come up with. But when I start thinking how weird it is to be 25, i also start thinking…imagine what I’ll do in the next 25 years.

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!

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

Kona 2013

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A video I made a few weeks back about our trip to Kona with the Junior Outrigger Kids! Enjoy!

Dads Center~ Queen Liliuokalani~ Catalina ~ Breathe!

The last month has gone by SO fast. I’m just now being able to sit down and reflect on how lucky I am to be able to travel as easily as I do (thankful for sisters that live in cool places) and race as much as I do! The last three races I just did were some of the most fun paddling I’ve ever had! I’ve finally had the time to BREATHE and recap on the past three events in my life!

 

Dads Center

I have NEVER done this race before! When my good friend Maddie asked if I had any interest in steering that race- OFCOURSE I jumped on it! Hello! A weekend in Hawaii with good friends, my sisters AND I get to paddle? I’m in.

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This race is on Oahu from Kailua Beach to Waikiki. Roughly a 26 mile change race. I had heard that there is all sorts of different water you encounter in this race. Flat water, rough water, big water and STUPID water. We had all and more. It was the biggest washing machine I had ever been in. I kept looking over at Jimi (our escort coach) and ending up telling Maddie “I just need Jimi to tell me it gets easier!”

By hour two of steering, Jimi can get close enough and say “It’s going to get easier Kel, but first it’s going to get a lot shittier.”1150505_10201889121413666_1145914327_o

I learned a lot in that race, not just about steering an and paddling. I learned that I can put myself in a tough and new situation and by staying calm and trusting the girls I have with me, we’ll come out on top!

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Thanks to Imua Outrigger for letting me come along for the wild ride!

Queen Liliuokalani 

This was my 8th appearance in Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii for the Queen Liliuokalani, and my 7th time accomplishing the 18 mile long iron long course. I’m serious when I say it gets easier every time! I got to spend this race with some my best friends!

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We had an open crew and a masters crew! We had another open crew which was filled with just juniors. It was awesome to coach these girls all summer and see them work hard. They set their goals and stuck too it. I’ve never been prouder of a crew I coached. And to see them all working together and having fun to make it happen- that’s the most rewarding thing as a coach in my opinion. When a crew comes together after months of hard work, I feel like there’s nothing better then pushing them off the beach.

My crew lucked out and got another unlimited boat! All wood, very beautiful boat! The unlimited category means that the boat can be of any design and way under the 400 lb weight restriction. The unlimited division starts 5 minutes behind the 400lb boats and crews. We ended up 32nd out of 133 crews and had a blast!

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Catalina 2013

Catalina! The race that means the most to us California people! A race from Newport Beach to Avalon, Catalina! Just about 27 miles! This is TOTALLY my favorite race of the season- and not just for the after party 😉1268510_10201612021996905_1446212873_o

Us girls all come together as one and get ourselves to Catalina! It’s what we work for all season! I love this race just because we know it’s the final race and we are going to give everything we got and leave it on the water!

This year was really challenging. We had a strong headwind and the swells were coming from the side. We couldn’t catch much, but we did what we could with what we had! And we had fun! We did better than the year before, and that’s all you can hope to do! We even made a new friend- Dana! A super awesome girl from Kauai who came in a helped us fill a spot!

We made it in 5 hours and 5 minutes. 1264107_10201612022596920_2004676474_o

We got 7th and at the end all I wanted was a root beer.

The next day, after a good nights sleep of course, I was able to help run the mens crews back. Usually I’m an escort for the second mens crew- but since Sam has that “no girlfriends allowed on escorts” blah blah blah rule, I couldn’t escort the second crew. Which means Sam was stuck with me helping him with the first crew!

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Now that all the racing has slowed down, I can finally breathe! Relax! Catch up on things I never get done during the summer! But I always find myself wishing that distance season wasn’t over. We always have the most fun!

xoxo

Kona Cruizin’

DCIM120GOPROI LOVE the big island. I’ve been going every summer since I’ve been 17. We fly over as a team at NAC for the Queen Lilioukalani race (except this year I spent five days on Oahu before…OOPS! But that’s in the last blog post). You can find out more about the worlds largest canoe race at https://www.kaiopua.org/.

Before I get into the race…I’m going to get into the fun stuff!!

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Okay, I dare you to try to get same to look at the camera during a selfie

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We take the kids to Waipio Valley which is an awesome beach with a gnarly hike down. A 25% grade hike that takes 45 minutes to get down, and an hour and a half to get back up! Brutal.

But the beach is totally worth the work!DCIM120GOPRO DCIM120GOPRO DCIM120GOPRO

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We end up taking the team to the Mauna Kea observatory every year after Waipio Valley. Mauna Kea is a volcano on the island of Hawaii. Standing 13,803 ft above sea level, its peak is the highest point in the state of Hawaii.

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Kahaluu Beach is a new beach we went to his year. It’s so close the hotel I can believe we haven’t gone before! It is definitely one of the best places to snorkel, dive and explore on the island. I could have spent hours there!

DCIM120GOPRO DCIM120GOPRODCIM120GOPROSouth Point  is the southernmost point of the Big Island of Hawaii and the 50 United States. South Point is also know as “Ka Lae” which means “the point.” The jumping cliffs can vary between 20 feet to 45 feet at any jump! But of course, there is always a way just to walk in and jump in the SUPER CLEAR and SUPER BLUE water! I can’t put into words how beautiful South Point is and the view you get. Just vast amounts of ocean on all sides! photo-15DCIM127GOPRO DCIM127GOPRO DCIM121GOPROIt was a great Kona Trip this year. I’m always making plans for next year! I love the scenery and I love the people! However, after my ten days in hawaii and my four plane rides, I was happy to hit ground in California and be home again! Until next year Big Island!

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Oahu Livin’

Good Morning Kailua
Good Morning Kailua

I’ve spend the last 5 days on Oahu beachin’ and livin’. Paddlin’ and workin’. Just having a good time cruising with my sisters and catching up with old friends I haven’t seen. I originally came over just for a race (post to come later) and have enjoyed the company I have and scenery around me much more than I expected. I remember how lucky I am to be given opportunities like this and to have the job that I have that allows be to take days of work to travel. Not to mention the boyfriend I have that is okay with the face that I left for a ten day trip during the time we are supposed to be moving out of our apartment. Ouch!

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Tristen’s first day of school

I’ve got one sister playing vball at HPU, Kasey, and one sister attending UH, Tristen. The main reason for this trip was to race the Dads Center Race on Oahu from Kailua Bay to Waikiki. (I’ll have another post just from that race in a bit). But a big plus about coming over here, was it was the weekend before Tristen had her first day of college so we had time to get some last minute school supplies and spend lots of time on the beach before she’s locked into a classroom. Staying with Kasey and her roommates Rio, Courtney and Cara has been awesome. It makes it easy to fly over when I have a free place to stay. However, I did buy them a new microwave to make up for it!

Rio, Myself, Courtney and Tristen on North Shore
Rio, Myself, Courtney and Tristen on North Shore
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Playing with the new go-pro at Kailua Beach Park

I’ve been to Oahu over a dozen times, and each time I find out something new about the island or about myself. I find a new beach or a reason to be independent and go to the beach alone while Kasey and Tristen have class or practice.

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We spent hours on North Shore off roading in Corys truck in search for the perfect secluded beach, and we found it! Getting the truck back up the rocks was a little tough…only a little set back though.

We watch the sunrise at Kailua. 

Walked up and down the Waikiki strip.

Ran out of gas on the North Shore.

Had really over priced drinks at Dukes. 

Cruisin' Waikiki
Cruisin’ Waikiki

I always make time to catch up with old friends when I’m on the island! I make this trip at least once a year and able to see people I grew up paddling with and miss seeing all the time! Tomorrow I head out to Big Island for yet another paddling race on Saturday!

 

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North Shore With Rio

Follow the next five days of my adventure on either Instagram (@KelThompson) or this blog! More posts about racing, playing, and having fun to come!

xoxo

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Ocean Inspired Jewelry

So I originally wrote this post as a guest blog on my good friend Maddie Dierkes’s blog. She runs an awesome craft, jewelry and really creative blog over at www.maddreamdesign.com and I suggest everyone check it out!

I am a HUGE fan of Ocean Inspire Jewelry, well really ocean inspired anything. I try to keep my blog related to the ocean life somehow, because that is my lifestyle. It is a big part of my life, and a big part of what I LOVE to write about! It just so happens that ocean inspired jewelry is one of my favorite things to discover!

One of the easiest ways to find jewelry with elements of the sea and ocean involved is ETSY. Etsy has a HUGE database of handmade good and jewelry that can be easily found by just searching for what you want!

A fun way however is to search INSTAGRAM. I personally post on my instagram (@KelThompson) everything I buy thats ocean inspired to support the small business I buy from! They women (I say women because it usually is) work day in and out to provide their social media followers with jewelry they think they will enjoy. Now one day, go and search #SeaGlassEarring, #ShellBangle, #TahitianPearl! This is what I found:

Mermaid Jewelry HI

Name: Sancel

Instagram: @MermaidTreasureHI

Website: MermaidTreasureHI.com

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I love her rings and shell bangles, I never take them off! The work she does with silver is amazing, and everything is reasonablly priced! I buy three a time!!

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A lot of the times jewlery you like you find at music festivals or even outrigger races. That’s how I met McKenzie of MCKMetal! And I absolutely LOVE her earrings!

MCKMetal

Instagram: @MCKMetal

Website: MCKMetal.com

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You could eaisly say I’m obsessed with her earring collection, and I love supporting small businesses!

Another way to find great jewlery is to just look towards your friends! Sometimes they’ll surpise you! My best friend on Oahu just started making jelwery a couple years ago and I’m her #1 fan! Her jewlery is simple and beautiful! It goes with everything!

BoMo Designs

Website: Bobbiepoppler.com

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I most defiently wear a piece of BoMo Designs with almost every outting I have to get dressed up for! She’s currently working on getting a website up and running for just her jewlery! So stay tuned on Bobbie Poppler!

As a bigger company, Bettys Belts has made quite a name for themselves as one of the larger ocean inspried jelwery business! Don’t forget to check them out! She does wonderful work with left over surf resign as well!

Bettys Belts

Instagram: @BettysBelts

Website: Bettysbelts.com

I love ocean inspired ANYTHING! Jewlery is just one of my favorite things! You can check out my blog

http://www.kelthompson.wordpress.com

or instagram

@KelThompson

or twitter

@KelThomp

as I move forward in my adventures to find the newest ocean inspired gems!

But for now, check out the people I mentioned above because they won’t disapoint you!These were all brief descriptions as I could go on for hours on each indvidual business! Just explore your social medias, etsy stores and local events to find the hidden treasures you may have passed over before!

Blogs on Blogs on Blogs

There are SO many different blogs out there…all about different things.

Blogs about cooking.

Blogs about running.

Even blogs STRICTLY on underwater basket weaving.

I write blogs because I’m convinced people love reading what I have to write. I think I do some pretty interesting things in my life – and basically I want other people to think so too. I love writing about my adventures and stories and telling people how my freakin weekend went!

But other than writing blogs – I read them. I enjoy them. I like reading what other people think, or what other people did with their Tuesday night. Maybe I’m just nosey? Or too concerned with others peoples business? But I think there are people out there too that like blogging as much as I do! Or just like to write about their personal life and think they do cool things as well.

I’m sure some of you bloggers have heard of the 52 LISTS PROJECT. My good friend (and former roommate) has been doing this project all year. Their is a different list each week and it prompts you to write different things. It brings people of all bloggin type into one category to write about! I think it’s awesome and may take it up even though I’m late in the game! Check her out at www.maddreamdesign.com – she also makes fantastic jewlery with a portion of her profit going to different charities depending on the jewelry.

I have another friend who uses her blog for mostly updates on her races! She posts her results, summaries on the race and pictures! It’s kinda like an online personal journal! You can check her out at www.sofiadewolfe.com

My best friend lives in Hawaii- BOBBIE POPPLER! She has an awesome blog in her hands, and she’s just starting to post more! She’s someone you want to follow. She JUST graduated yesterday from University of Hawaii as a journalism major. She post everything from personal notes to modern day hawaiian culture. www.bobbiepoppler.com has great reads! And I can’t wait to read more of what she comes up with! Remember her name- it’ll be big one day.

Those are just 3 examples of different blogs people can get into. Bottom line is though, every blog has something personal put into it. Someone is behind the keyboard spending time and effort into making their post mean something to them. Every blogger puts a little piece of themselves into their posts and waits for peoples reactions. They hope their readers like it and that they come back to read more.

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