on the road: bolinas, ca

after talking about it for months, jody and i finally took a winding, beautiful - albeit nauseating - drive to hike alamere falls trail.

there was no better day to escape the city than the day of bay to breakers, an annual footrace that takes place mid-may in san francisco. since the course falls right along my doorstep, we had to squeeze through throngs of the colorful, naked, drunk and bedraggled to reach our car. not a bad start to the day.

we'd been warned by everyone who'd gone to or heard of the trail to beware the poison ivy that lined the path.
common sense kicked in when we finally arrived at the trail to google an image of poison ivy but
as luck would have it, there is absolutely zilch phone service out in nature so we gave up and forged on.

to anyone who noticed that this post is missing images of the actual alamere falls... the truth is, we didn't make it.

although we didn't know we hadn't made it until i'd asked to see my friend's photos the following day of her visit and realized that alamere falls... was beach level.

we'd hiked two and a half hours to to alamere falls trail. 

we'd crouched through the dense, narrow, poison-ivy lined brushes and slid down the rocky hillside to the level right before the falls.

we'd laid down a blanket and spent an hour on the cliff overlooking the ocean reading Saveur and napping; relieved to have made it.

and we didnt. see. the falls.

regardless,  no complaints can be made about the scenes we saw both on the drive (excluding the nausea) and on the hike. 

the pacific coast is something we take for granted living city proper when a short drive 20 minutes north or south on highway 1 awards us with some of the most breathtaking ocean views i've seen anywhere.

to anyone planning to visit alamere falls, here are my suggestions:

  1. wear long pants and a light, hooded jacket.
  2. wear shoes with proper tread to navigate the climb.
  3. pack a picnic.
  4. bring a blanket.
  5. look out for a family walking llamas.
  6. climb down to the beach.

white out

photos by sarah wang

pacific heights is undeniably one of san francisco's top 3 swankest neighborhoods so on the drive home from work, we had to pull over and attempt a few photos with this fancy unit playing backdrop.

it's been a while since i've donned platforms and was quickly reminded of how damn comfortable they are. never mind that i barely avoided faceplanting as i shuffled downhill. i think with the incline and platforms, i was closing in on perpendicularity.

shirt | brandy melville ÷ jeans | zara 
shoes | jeffrey campbell ÷ backpack | auxiliary

on the road: kaua'i

÷÷÷

a long weekend on a slow island
photos | tiffany wang

despite my ostensibly dismal headline immediately above, there was nothing dismal, long, or slow* about our stay.

(*except the speed limits, oy.)

view from our balcony at the sheraton kaua'i

view from our balcony at the sheraton kaua'i

prior to my recent trip to kaua'i, the last time i had set foot on any of the hawaiian islands was nine years ago.

nine. years
.

i mean, honestly. i'm in san francisco. 
i don't even live that far!

3:30pm HST

3:30pm HST

5:45pm HST (beverly in an ideal shower setting)

5:45pm HST (beverly in an ideal shower setting)

let's back it up.

ever since my last trip to oahu (mainly honolulu), i've had no desire to vacation in hawai'i.
with its tourist hoards - myself included - strips of new developments and luxury retailers popping up like stalagmites, 
i couldn't really be one with the island. you know, like really feel like i was in a tropical oasis the way i
anticipate when i retreat for some R&R. 
thus, onward and upward. plenty of places i haven't seen.

i know. you can't judge a person by their relatives. but in this case, i did.


kaua'i moves slow.
45mph on the highway slow.
shops closing at 7pm slow.
hotel bar cutting off at 9pm slow.


catch my drift?

as for our group - a handful of city mice - showing up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed on the first day, combing "nightlife" options after a day spent lounging and consuming various libations on a half-hourly basis.. um, well, that just wasn't to be had.

thankfully jet lag kicked in around midnight (hawaii time, 2am pacific) and we threw in the towel.  

the island had handed us the itinerary with words spare your livers, calm your minds in big bold print at the top of the page. what could we do but acquiesce? 

the tone was set for the remainder of the weekend.

an overcast na pali coast

an overcast na pali coast

post-hike, i was defeated. butt kicked and handed to me on a platter. i lost my appetite for a good 12 hours thereafter but not my will to eat. 

the remainder of the weekend was spent as the island had intended for us. maximum rest, relaxation - okay fine, some drinks - and a whole snorkeling debacle that had me pawing for the beach. (rem, if you ever see this post, please know i am eternally grateful for your rescuing me from potentially drowning while drunk snorkeling.)

on our last day, beverly and i, last to leave, stopped in at the koloa fish market. seemingly having gotten used to ordering for five, we thus ordered enough for five and stuffed our faces as a family of chickens kept close watch. though not typically one for confrontation, i took the rooster for a quick runaround to show him who's boss.

as a last hurrah, our cabby took us on a detour en route to the airport. though we weren't nearly ready to leave, we brought home a piece of kaua'i with us... leftover lau lau and ahi poke.



saturday, we embarked on what i affectionately refer to as the most treacherous hike of my life.
why? because it was the most treacherous and simultaneously the hike of my life and will remain
 as such because i have no intention of undertaking another hike as physically and mentally challenging. if there is one way to test your body's limits, then i suggest you head to the north shore and hike na pali coast up to hanakapi'ai falls. 
in the rain.
with stilettos.

(i did not hike in stilettos but i am also less durable than the average human so stilettos would
put us on par.)

we all fared okay, some better than others, but not without a couple of close calls. no one bit it harder than beverly (whose bruise level is banana) when she slipped on sludge and landed forcibly on her hip atop a rock. her bruise took full form later that night resembling a mini galaxy, five inches in diameter**. kind of impressive.

**photo evidence can and will be emailed upon request.

tres zen rock piles halfway up the hike

tres zen rock piles halfway up the hike

recommendations...

stay | sheraton kauai resort
eat | fish express ÷ la spezia ÷ koloa fish market