. hawaii highlights – diamond head .

by Amanda @ .running with spoons. on March 15, 2013

I’ll spare you the graphic details of what I see when I look outside, but rest assured… it ain’t pretty. Spring is, what… less than a week away? Lies I tell you.

That being my current weather situation, I spent the majority of yesterday holed up at home drinking copious amounts of warm tea in an effort to stop myself my poor shivering limbs from flailing about wildly. I also decided to torture myself partake in a little escapism by starting to sort through some of the pictures that I took on our trip to Hawaii; and I figured it was just about time I shared them with you.

Since there’s no way for me to put all of them into one post without creating an epic photo-ladden monster that might threaten to overload your poor computers, I decided to start a mini series on Spoons that I’ll be calling Hawaii highlights, where I’ll devote the occasional post to talking about one of the bigger highlights from our trip. Sound good? Good stuff. So without further ado, let’s talk about… Diamond Head.

Diamond Head

Diamond Head Monument
Diamond Head Booth

Diamond Head is the name of a volcanic tuff cone on the Hawaiian island of O’ahu. It is believed to have been formed about 300,000 years ago during a single, brief volcanic eruption. The broad crater covers 350 acres, with its width being greater than its height. The southwestern rim is highest because winds were blowing ash in this direction during the eruption. Since the eruption, the slopes of the crater have been eroded by rain, wind, and the pounding of the sea. A coral reef now protects the seaward slopes of the crater. Today, Damond Head is the most recognized landmark in Hawaii. It was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1968.

In a nutshell, Diamond Head is a beautiful volcanic crater that makes for a pretty awesome hike and rewards you with gorgeous panoramic views of Honolulu and its surrounding areas. As an added bonus, it’s only a short drive away from downtown, so you don’t have to spend a lot of time stuck in a car to enjoy it.

Diamond Head Map

The hike itself isn’t too difficult, and only took us about 30 minutes to climb and a little less to descend. It’s a distance of 0.8 miles (1.3 km) and climbs about 560 feet from the crater floor, following a pretty tame and well-traveled trail. No huge boulders to scale; no trees to climb around; no brambles to navigate through; no steep muddy slopes to cling for dear life to. It starts out super easy…

Easy Trail Start

… gets a little bit more interesting…

Looking Up at Hikers

Diamond Head Trail

Looking Down at Hikers

… involves a 225 foot tunnel [that I don’t recommend for claustrophobic people]…

Trail Tunnel

… and offers a lot of beautiful views along the way…

Diamond Head Flora

Mid Diamond Head

Mid Diamond Head Honolulu

Mid Diamond Head Ocean

But the absolute best part? Definitely the views from the top…

Diamond Head - Ocean

Downtown Honolulu

Diamond Head - Honolulu

Diamond Head - Crater

Diamond Head - Lighthouse

Ah.maze.ing. Overall, it was a really enjoyable hike and I definitely recommend checking it out if you ever find yourself visiting the area.

Some tips:

  • Go early. Diamond head is a major tourist attraction and brings in some pretty decent crowds. The earlier you go, the less likely you are to get stuck behind a group of slow-going tourists. As an added bonus, the [slightly] cooler morning temperatures make the hike a little easier.
  • Wear appropriate shoes. Even though the trail isn’t difficult in a traditional sense, it’s still a good idea to wear a pair of running/hiking shoes. I saw people walking it in flip-flops and they looked a little goofy.
  • Wear sunscreen. Hawaii sun is no joke.
  • Bring water. I didn’t find myself feeling overly thirsty or dehydrated, but having water on hand is always a good idea.

. – . – . – .

Do you enjoy hiking? <3
What are your favorite snacks to bring on a hike?
Trail mix, dried fruit, and sandwiches. Anyone else notice that even the most boring, plain-Jane food tastes amazing when you’re hiking/camping? I swear I could eat bologna between two pieces of stale bread and think it was incredible.
Unrelated: are you celebrating St.Patty’s this weekend?
Aside from maybe throwing in an additional spinach leaf or two into my salad, I won’t be doing anything special. St. Patty’s isn’t really one of those holidays that I’ve ever celebrated, so it’ll be just another Sunday for me.

{ 61 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Khushboo March 15, 2013 at 8:00 am

You really do take amazing photos, Amanda…simply breath-taking! I’ve actually only been hiking once but that was way back before I remotely enjoyed being active…needless to say, I hated every minute! I would love to go hiking soon, though- I know I would love it! Actually backpacking through Far East Asia is on my travel list. I’ve never been to Hawaii so I’m looking forward to this series…thanks for sharing a glimpse of your trip with us :)!

No St. Patty Celebration for me either this weekend! If it wasn’t for the blog world, I wouldn’t even know that it was this weekend ;)!
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2 Amanda @ .running with spoons. March 15, 2013 at 3:57 pm

I’ve always wanted to try backpacking too, and I would have done it by now if it wasn’t for my allergies complicating the whole eating situation 😕 Pesky buggers.


3 Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers March 15, 2013 at 8:01 am

Stunning photos! I do love hiking. I rarely find time to do it on a normal weekend, but the hubby and I often find hikes on our vacations. So much for relaxation, eh? haha Looks like this was a winner!
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4 Parita March 15, 2013 at 8:06 am

Amazing pictures, Amanda! You make me want to hop on a plane and head to Hawaii right now!! Hopefully one day soon!

And when I lived in Tucson, AZ, I went hiking 3-4 times a week and fell in love. Before living there, I didn’t consider myself an outdoor person but now…well, I’ll take outdoor activities over indoor any day! There’s so much to be gained from spending time with nature. Love it!
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5 Amanda @ .running with spoons. March 15, 2013 at 3:58 pm

Definitely! I always find myself feeling so refreshed after spending some time outside… which is part of the reason why our long, cold winters are so hard on me!


6 lisa fine March 15, 2013 at 8:08 am

Great photos, and love reading about Hawaii. My fiance are thinking about going there for our honeymoon, so I’m definitely going to be saving these posts for ideas come this autumn.

And sadly, I bet my nearly springtime outside weather looks like yours. We had a bunch of snow yesterday and last night, and it is still below freezing here. Gah.
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7 Miss Polkadot March 15, 2013 at 8:14 am

These are the picture I was waiting for – gorgeous! Yet maybe I wasn’t because as you said they make being stuck in freezing temperatures even less enticing.
Hiking is something I thoroughly enjoy and have been doing quite a few times on family holidays. It’s the best way to explore the place you’re staying at in my opinion. Just being in calm nature, enjoying each others company and talking – that’s my favourite way of spending the days. Only once have I not enjoyed a hike which was on Naxos. Let’s just say that yes, I do like animals but no, I don’t fancy facing a snake just an armlength from where I’m standing.

I agree: Even the simplest foods taste fantastic on a hike or also a cycling tour. It was my dad getting me addicted to trail mix on one of our tours – that and granola bars.
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8 lucie March 15, 2013 at 8:24 am

Wonderful!! Absolutely love it. I was on a long hike on the Philippines where we could take a swim in a Lagune at the end which was incredible. I am not a big fan of hiking. As long as it is not more than an hour, fine with me. I am so lazy, I know :-)
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9 Linz @ Itz Linz March 15, 2013 at 8:39 am

gorgeous pix!! i’m in az now and can’t wait to go hiking!!
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10 Ashley @ Life and Fitness March 15, 2013 at 8:45 am

Hiking is no joke! I went on this rainforest hike in Puerto Rico on vacation and it ended up pouring! When we got the top, we couldn’t even see anything because of all the clouds/mist. It was a big fail haha.
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11 Amanda @ .running with spoons. March 15, 2013 at 4:00 pm

That sounds like the rainforest hike that I went to while in Hawaii as well! It was wet and muddy as heck, but absolutely gorgeous so I consider it a win :)


12 Caitlin March 15, 2013 at 8:56 am

Ahhh that looks gorgeous!! I really like to hike…not something i do often enough now that i think about it but i can work on that 😛 i love the same snacks you do (esp trail mixes…hello picking out all the chocolate and pb chunks :D) and we are celebrating my irish heritage by running a half in dc and then going out to play with some friends! I’m excited to say the least 😉
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13 Lisa March 15, 2013 at 8:57 am

I love Hawaii! It is absolutely gorgeous and the views are breath taking. One of my favorite places to travel for sure!
I do enjoy hiking, unless it’s filled with trees and bugs haha, which is a lot of the time;)
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14 Sarah @PickyRunner March 15, 2013 at 8:58 am

This is absolutely GORGEOUS! I cannot wait for the rest of the recap :)
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15 Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl March 15, 2013 at 9:02 am

My parents just recently visited Hawaii and hiked Diamond Head. I hear that it is tough, but that the views are so worth it. I hope to be able to do this sometime in the NEAR future! :)
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16 Alex @ therunwithin March 15, 2013 at 9:06 am

holy shiz. so I have never been to hawaii but boy would I dig that. my family is all about the outdoors adventures so hiking is right up there.
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17 Robyn March 15, 2013 at 9:08 am

oh that looks so amazing! I hope I can go there some day and use your great tips on exploring Diamond Head and enjoying Hawaii
Thanks for sharing your photos are gorgeous!!!
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18 Sonia the Mexigarian March 15, 2013 at 9:41 am

beautiful photos. :) i never got to hike diamond head when I was there (because Iwas 12 with my family) but it looks like a fun thing to do.

I love hiking, though haven’t done any recently. I tend to bring trail mix, some fruit and some Cliff bars. Last time I did a big hike was Yosemite Upper Falls trail and that was a LONG hike and climb for me. A good 5 to 6 hours with rest and picnic at the top. But totally worth it, the views were, overlooking the valley and Half Dome across.
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19 Amanda @ .running with spoons. March 15, 2013 at 4:04 pm

It’s been a good long while since I’ve done a long hike that big but I’m really hoping to get one in this summer up in our Rockies. I just hope no rock climbing is involved because I have little chicken arms 😆


20 Kate @ Quarter Century Southern Living March 15, 2013 at 9:52 am

This sounds so amazing! I would love to hike Diamond head. Hiking is one of my favorite things to do! As for weekend plans, one of my best friends and I are running a Shamrock Shuffle 5k tomorrow for fun. I’m excited! :)
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21 Amanda @ .running with spoons. March 15, 2013 at 4:04 pm

Squee! Good luck with your run 😀 Wear green!


22 cori @olivetorun March 15, 2013 at 10:25 am

Breathtaking photographs! Hiking is definitely one of my husband and my favorite activities to do together,
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23 Molly March 15, 2013 at 10:46 am

Those views are breath taking! And as far as st pattys day I’ve never celebrated so it’ll just be another Sunday over here too! Happy weekend!


24 Sam @ Better With Sprinkles March 15, 2013 at 10:52 am

That looks so beautiful! I love hiking but I don’t do it nearly often enough.

Considering that St. Patty’s is on a Sunday, I probably won’t end up doing too much either. I think I want to make Irish Soda Bread, but that’s about as festive as I’m getting.
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25 Amanda @ .running with spoons. March 15, 2013 at 4:05 pm

I kind of want to try my hand at making some as well because I’ve been seeing recipes for it everywhere, but to be honest… I have no idea what it is 😯 I’ve never had any before!


26 Sam @ Better With Sprinkles March 15, 2013 at 4:44 pm

I haven’t had it before either…probably why I’m so intrigued! :-p
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27 Karen March 16, 2013 at 3:32 am

It’s amazing! It can be white or wholewheat, and is kinda dense and cakey like in texture. Toasted, or warm from the oven, it’s great with some Irish Butter (salted). Its just flour, baking soda, buttermilk. Done.

Definitely try it!


28 Heidi @ Idlehide March 15, 2013 at 10:55 am

Gorgeous photos! As I look at the snow falling here in NS I am just a tiny envious;)
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29 Lauren March 15, 2013 at 11:02 am

I love the lighthouse pictures and places which lead you to BEAUTIFUL scenery. It’s like the gift at the end of a long journey. Totally worth the effort! I love eating trail mix when I’m hiking because it just feels like the only RIGHT time to eat it haha. You almost have to do it! I like the idea of doing a series because when people post it all in one post, I tend to not be able to focus long enough to see everything so I’m down with this idea!
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30 Ashley March 15, 2013 at 11:04 am

What beautiful photos! It must have been an amazing hike! My parents are off to Hawaii for two weeks today actually and I couldn’t be any more jealous. I will have to text my mom when she lands in Vancouver for their stop over to try and stop here.

I made your banana bread recipie you posted a little while ago. It was delicious! I was very hesitant about it because of the greek yogurt (cannot get on board with it haha) and the lack of sugar, etc. but it was awesome! It will definitely be my go-to recipie from now on. Thanks!


31 Amanda @ .running with spoons. March 15, 2013 at 4:13 pm

Squee! I’m glad that you enjoyed it! Thanks for letting me know 😀

Also, tell your parents that some other places worth visiting are Manoa Falls (another hike… in a rainforest) and Hanauma Bay (a gorgeous place to do some snorkelling with lots of fishes and reefs).


32 Carly @ Snack Therapy March 15, 2013 at 11:04 am

Oh wow, those photos are incredible! That tunnel makes me claustrophobic just looking at it though. I’ve only ever been to Maui so it’s fun to see pictures from different islands!
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33 Sara @ fitcupcaker March 15, 2013 at 11:06 am

I wish i could bear the flight to hawaii so I could go someday lol, I hate flying. I bet hiking was awesome there, amazing views!
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34 Meghan @ After the Ivy League March 15, 2013 at 11:15 am

Absolutely stunning photos! And great tips, if I ever make it to Hawaii (which I hope I do) I’ll have to keep them in mind! And for the unrelated question…yes celebrating St. Patty’s this weekend and pretty psyched! Hopefully it’s a good time :)
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35 Amanda @ .running with spoons. March 15, 2013 at 4:16 pm

Have some fun for me too! 😀


36 Liz (formerly VeggieGirl) March 15, 2013 at 11:22 am



37 Michelle March 15, 2013 at 12:42 pm

Love love love these photos! so pretty :)
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38 Rachel @ Undercover Diva: A Sitcom March 15, 2013 at 12:50 pm

I LOVED Diamond Head, but every time we went hiking in Hawai’i, I was always inappropriately dressed in my bathing suit and coverup.. The parents never warned us that we would be hiking. The views are GORGEOUS! I do like hiking, but I do not do it very often. I bring lots of water, granola, fruit, and peanut butter sandwiches.

Tomorrow, I’ll do a long run in the morning, then put on lots of green and drink lots of green beer 😀 Very excited!
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39 Jo @ LivingMintGreen March 15, 2013 at 1:15 pm

Love the photos – it’s on my to-do list when we eventually make our way to Oahu. Hiking is probably my fav vacay/summer activity. We did Kalalau trail (Napali Coast) on Kauai & Waipio Valley on the BI which were both magical. One of my fav Canadian hikes is Lakeshore trail in Waterton. 😀
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40 Amanda @ .running with spoons. March 15, 2013 at 4:18 pm

I can’t remember going on any good Canadian hikes, embarrassingly enough 😕 I hope to get some in this summer though! Do you know of any good ones in our Rockies?


41 Sarah March 15, 2013 at 2:22 pm

that looks beautiful! i couldn’t help but laugh when i read the last question. i remember going on 3-day school camping trip so we were pretty much only eating non-perishabe food the whole time. on the last day, they gave us stoned wheat crackers with peanut butter, topped with shredded cheddar cheese. we all thought it was the most AMAZING, ingenious, delicious thing we had ever eaten in our lives. needless to say, when i came home and tried it again, i was really confused. hahaha


42 Picky Nicky March 15, 2013 at 3:43 pm

Holy shit that beats any adirondack mountain ive ever climbed!
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43 Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin March 15, 2013 at 4:53 pm

What a gorgeous hike! I love hiking too, but I can’t say any of my hikes have been as beautiful as that one!

Haha it’s so true how food tastes better when camping. Back when I was younger I did 5 to 10 day canoe trips where we would be paddling/portaging for 8 hours a day and everything tasted amazing to me! I thought Nutri-grain bars were pretty much the best thing ever on that trip, but then when I got back and ate them, I didn’t like them as much. 😛
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44 Amanda @ .running with spoons. March 15, 2013 at 8:19 pm

Ha! It’s funny that you mention Nutri-grain bars because I’ve had exactly the same experience with them multiple times.


45 Nicole @ Fruit 'N' Fitness March 15, 2013 at 4:55 pm

That looks like so much fun, other than the tunnel. I have been hiking a few times the last few years and hope to get more into it again this summer. Its such a great way to spend an afternoon.
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46 Matt @ The Athlete's Plate March 15, 2013 at 5:30 pm

So jealous! Looks like it was a blast.
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47 Courtney March 15, 2013 at 5:37 pm

WOW sounds like such a pretty hike! I’d love to go to Hawaii someday :)
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48 Jessica @ Prayers and Apples March 15, 2013 at 8:10 pm

So pretty – but there’s *no* way I could ever do that tunnel! My palms started sweating just looking at the pic lol
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49 Ashley @ AlmostVegGirlie March 15, 2013 at 10:05 pm

Wow, I’m so jealous of your hike! Since I’ve grown up in Colorado, I’ve been on my fair share of hikes and the views are definitely the best part. I’m surprised that the hike you went on had such an ascent, but then again Hawaii isn’t totally flat! I’m not always the biggest fan of steep slopes though but it’s really cool to get to the top and see everything down below.
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50 Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli March 15, 2013 at 10:49 pm

You got some incredible shots, girlie! The last one is definitely my favorite! I LOVE lighthouses and I love hiking! I went on my first “real” hike (more than 1/2 a mile) at the Blend Retreat last year and had so much fun! And it is so true that food tastes like 100% better when outside…either on a hike, or a picnic, or even just eating out on the back porch on a sunny day! Ahh…sun, how I’ve missed you! I know it’s pretty frigid up in Canadaland (I swear my eyes bugged out of my head when I saw that you mentioned it being 1F yesterday…holy crap!) for you lately. It’s been really nice here this week, but I have YET to properly enjoy it since I’ve basically been banished to the couch indefinitely. But I DID hobble out on the front step today and just stood there on my crutches (because I had no idea how I would’ve gotten up if I had tried to sit down on the steps) and just soaked in about 5 minutes worth of some high quality Vitamin D…I swear it instantly brought a smile to my face…and actually made me forget about the pain of the crutches for just a few minutes! :)

I’m not really a St. Patty’s Day celebrator…but who knows I may go wild and throw some Bailey’s in a green smoothie or something! 😉


51 Sunnie@moderngirlnutrition March 15, 2013 at 11:00 pm

Everything is absolutely gorgeous! I love that there is so much to do there- hiking, beach, etc. Looks like a blast :) Happy weekend!
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52 Kristy @ Southern In-Law March 16, 2013 at 2:56 am

My goodness! Diamond head looks amazing! I’ve always wanted to go to Hawaii and I really hope Jesse and I get the opportunity to go one day.

I loveeee hiking – the more rural, the better (I’m a “bush walking” Aussie girl!). It always feels more fun when you’re not just walking on a path. My favourite snacks are energy dense things like dates, nuts and raw food bars.
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53 kaity @ kaityscooking March 16, 2013 at 6:38 am

hahah i just laughed at you saying how your just gonna throw spinach in your salad for st pattys day.. too funny! i always celebrated it because its my gpas birthday so no matter what year everyone in my family is always dressed in green and there is irish car bombs happening everywhere lol. I Loveeeee all of those pictures. Seriously warmed me up just looking at them, even though it’s no where near as cold as it is by you! Keep drinking tea! I’d probably have a minor flip out in that tunnel not gonna lie. I’m not really one who gets crazy in like elevators and stuff but if I don’t know where I am or I am going I get all paranoid. I always have nuts and pbj on a hike, your right my plain jane pbj taste the best it ever tastes on a hike!
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54 Amanda @ .running with spoons. March 16, 2013 at 7:12 am

Awwr! Well happy -almost- birthday to your grandpa!


55 Aimee March 16, 2013 at 7:02 am

Wow!! Looks like you had an amazing time – and what great shots to prove it!!
I have to admit it – I probably would be one of the”goofy” people wearing flip flops on the hike! I absolutely adore my reef flip flops and once the warm weather starts I basically live in them!!
Everything tastes better when eaten outside- some of my favs – raw almonds, granola bars, turkey sandwiches or the classic -PB & J!!!!


56 Kate March 16, 2013 at 11:02 am

Ahhh I’ve always wanted to hike Diamondhead! you’re right, the view from the top is just breathtaking….and your photos are incredible! I totally agree with you about food tasting so much better after/during a hike…..Something about being out and about in the fresh air and working hard!


57 Kat March 16, 2013 at 1:00 pm

LOOOOOVE. This was one of my favorite parts of our honeymoon. Im such a lover of nature, and I get really excited about exploring. I swear I should’ve been a girl scout, but my mom said no and threw me into a pair of soccer cleats. I guess it worked out for the best in the end 😉
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58 Brittany @ Delights and Delectables March 17, 2013 at 12:56 pm

beautiful!!! I need to e-mail you about Hawaii! They hubby and I are thinking of going there for our anniversary!
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59 Amanda @ .running with spoons. March 17, 2013 at 1:09 pm

Eee! It’s definitely a great place to visit, and I’d be more than happy to share some tips and recommendations with you!


60 Trudy March 20, 2013 at 4:21 pm

Definitely beautiful pictures. Now I’m even more jealous 😉
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61 Amie September 26, 2013 at 9:40 pm

Oooh! Love reading recaps of my home town :) great photos!
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