Guest Post! My Favorite Vacation: Nina of Living in 40

We’re catching our flight home today and I’m fifteen different sorts of weepy over it. Thankfully though, I haven’t had too much time to wallow as I’m struggling to fit all of the stuff I bought into my suitcase. Note to self: next time, bring an extra, empty suitcase to stash souvenirs. While we’re flying back over the Atlantic, here’s a relaxing story about the island of Kauai, brought to you by the same girl who sent me my Orla Kiely scarf (thanks, Nina! I wore it all over this trip).

Hello, I’m Nina from living in 40 and Erin invited me to share one of my most memorable vacation stories. I wonder where she is right now, still in Brussels, Bruges or Paris? Wherever she is in Europe, I bet she is enjoying herself! Can’t wait for her to share her stories when she gets back.

Do you have a happy place where you like to escape to when life is too hectic and overwhelming? I like to escape to Kauai, more specifically to Kealia Landing, a house where we spent a week in 2008. Our then landlords, who were also our neighbors and friends, asked us if we wanted to join them and three of their friends on a vacation to Kauai. We had enough airline miles saved up to get our flights for free, so of course we had to say yes. And off to Kauai we went.

When not hiking, swimming, snorkeling, hanging out on the beach I loved to sit on the terrace, which overlooked the beach below, and just watched the waves or the sky. So relaxing! Usually I’m a person who can’t sit still and have a hard time just to sit around and do nothing but being in such a beautiful place I was able to unwind and relax…I even liked to get up early in the morning to enjoy the sunrise and snuggle back into bed for another hour after. The sunrises and sunsets were amazing, I wish I could go again (any Hawaiian island would be fine) but until I am be able to make it back imaginary trips will have to be enough. All in all, the trip was just magical, great company, food and the island was just so lush and beautiful.

During two previous trips to the islands of Oahu and Maui I discovered that if I pronounce any Hawaiian word/name how I would in German I would be right in 99% of the cases. It’s the vowels that are pronounced like they would be in German but I can’t say the word Humuhumunukunukuāpua’a, the word is a serious tongue-twister. Maybe if you or I can say it three times in a row we will be transported to a nice Hawaiian beach.

What is your happy place? Where do you escape to if life is a little bit rough on you?

I’ve never been to Hawaii, but after two different trusted ladies recommended it so highly, I think I might have to make the trip! If only for those sunsets! Nina, you’re the best, thank you so much!

9 thoughts on “Guest Post! My Favorite Vacation: Nina of Living in 40

  1. Hi Nina (glad to see your post here) ….. Hi Erin (have a fun flight back!). I LOVE Kauai – it’s where hubby and I were married, on the beach. Such a magical place. I remember during the vows, the minister asking us to close our eyes as we held each others rings and hear the ocean waves then visualize our love transported into the rings .. then we exchanged the rings which she declared was our hearts. Ok, apart from the wedding Kauai is magical .. the trees .. the relaxed mood .. the weather. Oh, I want to pack my bags now. Nina … I need to save my airline miles like u! :)

  2. Ah how funny, I wrote on Theresa’s post about how much I loved Kuaui! We went the top of the volcano and it was just beautiful. All you could see were valleys of pink flowers. So pretty! That’s so strange about pronouning it in German. Wonder why that is!

  3. Even though I’ve always wanted to go to Hawaii, I always had a hard time figuring out which of the islands to visit.

    Thanks to you and Theresa (and Annie!), I have now narrowed it down to Kauai and Oahu – they both sound so heavenly.

    Stunning photography, by the way! I especially love the empty beaches curving away from view – bliss! :D

  4. I love the German thing! I have never been to Hawaii, and Neel and I continue to kick ourselves ten ways to Sunday that we didn’t go when we lived in Southern California. What were we thinking. I love how you wrote about how your favorite part was sitting on the terrace…it’s the little things, isn’t it? I love how those little moments stand out on vacation, and I’m always trying to find ways to make them stand out at home too. xo

  5. I’ve never been to Hawaii and choose closer destinations in Europe to escape for tranquility and a little adventure… my favourite would have to be a villa we once rented in the middle of Tuscany on top of a hill where you looked onto miles of fields… we had a fantastic swimming pool, a cooks kitchen and 3 bedrooms with ensuites for us 3 girls. It was magical. In the evenings we cooked and ate on the terrace and did not have a care in the world.

    I had another such holiday in Spain, same thing with beautiful villa and pool. Only difference is that we flew back on 9/11 as it was happening so that clouded that trip!!

    I love spontaneity and the fact that you had enough air miles to just up and go is cool. These days its harder to go somewhere last minute. The air fares are astronomical. So, when stressed and needing to get away, I hop on the scooter and let it transport me…..

  6. @annie, it’s a great place for a vacation isn’t it? Who knows why the pronunciation is similar to German? It’s probably just coincidence or everybody was too polite to correct me ;)

    @Lauren, yes, it’s definitely the little moments that make it special! Too bad Hawaii is so far away from the East Coast..

    @tina, Tuscany and Spain sound divine! I definitely need to explore more of Europe, maybe I can do so on my next trip to Germany and hop on a plane or in a car to go see another country. You’re so right airfare gets ridiculously expensive these days.

    @Erin, hope you had an amazing time and arrive safely back in Philadelphia! Thanks for having me on your blog :)

  7. Yay for another Hawaii lover! So, Nina knows what I speak of. ;) I’ve never been to Kauai, but I’ve been to Maui twice. I believe the way it works is the further away you get from the big island, the more peaceful and tranquil the island is, making Kauai is the most tranquil. Thank so much for sharing your beautiful trip with us, Nina.

  8. Ada & Chi I didn’t see your comments earlier, they didn’t show up when I looked. Weird!

    @Ada, Oh wow how cool that you got married there! I could pack my bags and hop on the next plane to get back…

    @Chi, Thank you! Yes you should definitely visit Hawaii. Probably all the islands are worth visiting, I loved parts about every island I visited.

    @Theresa, Hawaii lovers unite ;)

    Btw. this is the house we stayed at.

  9. I am with Erin- I have never been to Hawaii, but it is definitely on my list now. Your pictures are amazing and the thought of waking up, enjoying a beautiful and tropical sunrise, then heading back to bed- sounds like just what the doctor ordered.

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