About a year and a half ago, I got really into knitting. And like most things I take up, I did a pretty good amount of research, watched some YouTube videos, and dove right in. Did I start with a cable knit project? You bet I did.

The first few projects were pretty much crap, but I built up my skills and kept challenging myself, with the positive encouragement from friends and coworkers. My favorite feat thus far is a pair of fair isle socks, gifted to Emily because I accidentally made them too skinny for normal people’s calves. But she rocks them. I’m also a big fan of these fingerless mitts I made for those days when the AC is blasting in the office and I can’t feel my fingertips.

The first of my college friends just had her first baby last week, so naturally, I had to knit something for her! This pattern comes from one of my favorite knitting blogs, put together by the staff at Purl Soho in New York (they’re hiring… I had to unsubscribe from their emails because of my feelings about knitting and New York). This baby blanket is shipping off to Charleston this afternoon! Love you, Kels.

Yarn is Blue Sky Alpaca’s worsted cotton in shell.

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If you’re not already convinced by the time you get to my recommendations at the bottom of this post, read those. Kauai is a more rugged island, and the weather is usually iffy, but we lucked out and managed to get some nice beach days. It’s definitely an island for the adventurer; those of you akin to strenuous hikes with rewarding views and swimming under waterfalls, this place is for you.

And if you’re not already following along on Instagram, I’ll continue posting images there @gurrity!

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We stayed in an Airbnb in Kapaa — it was perfect for what we were looking for, but a little on the rugged side. It actually reminded me a lot of the Airbnb I stayed in when I visited Mexico, years ago now. But we really didn’t spend much time there outside of sleeping hours.

Must See

Shipwreck Beach

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We ended up spending the majority of our time here. The northern and eastern shores are generally pretty rainy and quiet, so on the rainiest days, we hopped in the car and headed south, to the Poipu areas. But our trip happened to be on a rare summer storm that engulfed the island, so we dodged rain pretty much everywhere. The sunny photos of surfers happen to be from Shipwreck beach, where we saw a spectacular sunset (and a few cliff divers, probably on the crazy side, given the surf report).

The Queen’s Bath

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A ridiculously beautiful sinkhole in a giant shelf of lava rock, with the bluest of blue waters. All in all, ocean porn. The hike down was short, treacherous, and very worth it. Julie was a bit apprehensive, but we were both awestruck by how beautiful the place is. And, to be honest, I had pinned a gorgeous photo of it years ago on Pinterest, so I was pretty ecstatic to learn that the place happened to be on Kauai. Go there.

Hanakapi’ai Falls + Ke’e Beach

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If you take the island road all the way north, the road will just end and drop you off at Ke’e Beach. If you feel like hiking for a few hours and want some spectacular views of the Na Pali coast, take the trail 2 miles to Haena beach, and then another 2 miles inland to the falls. This trail is not for inexperienced hikers — if you trek after a few days of rain (like we did), prepare to be scaling some slippery mud cliffs and climbing through boulders. No joke, couldn’t use my quads for a couple of days after this hike. But the swim into the waterfall was worth it. After you hike back to the trailhead, proceed immediately to the crystal clear waters of the ocean.

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Tunnels Beach

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Great for snorkeling, and my actual favorite spot to catch a good sunset. A perfect place to settle down for the day with a good book and great views of the water and the mountains.

Must Eat

Makai Sushi

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It’s more or less a counter in a local grocery store, but it’s a glorious one at that. Tell William I said whatup.

Kilauea Fish Market

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The best, freshest ahi wrap I’ve ever had.

Wailua Shave Ice
We tried to go here every day, but we were a little crunched for time. This is what shave ice should be. I wanted to buy a bro tank for spin class, but they were out.

The Happy Taco (aka El Taco Felix)
Ridiculously good taco truck in Kapaa. Open till 11 pm. We drank a pitcher of margaritas at the spot next door, and gorged on some tacos right after. Thumbs up.

Pono Market

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Amazing ahi poke lunch specials — you can get a container like this for just over $6. Go early, because they run out and their hours are short.

I just can’t with you, Hawaii.

While getting my flight to leave DC was a struggle, the struggle is definitely not real here. I arrived last night around 7:30, met Julie at our Airbnb (so many kittens around here!!) and we grabbed a quick dinner at a little spot called Mermaid Cafe. The stars were unreal on our walk home, so I had planned to go out and take some photos — but by the time I grabbed my gear and walked back out to the beach, it was pouring rain.

Thankfully, jet lag had me up again at 3 am, so I snuck out to the shore and caught a couple of good ones.

My phone will be on do not disturb mode all week. Not sorry.

Sometimes, a ladies’ road trip to a BBQ joint and a thrift shop are the perfect way to kick off a 3-day holiday weekend. Shaeda and I discovered a few favorite places in a little town called Winchester, by way of Sydney Lianne. If you ever find yourself out that way, check out Bonnie Blue Bakery — your biggest dilemma, as Lauren put it, will be “deciding between the plate with two meats or three.”

Life is good when you’ve got your ladies, a day off of work, and a two-bottle-of-wine-pit-stop in Middleburg.

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I’ve been blessed with incredibly beautiful friends, who have been gracious enough to let me photograph them. Check out their pretty faces. I’m obsessed with you all.

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