walking with dinosaurs

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Nothing says “cute lifestyle blogger aesthetic” like a series of photos of open-mawed animatronic dinosaurs, right?

Last weekend, I took a road trip four states over for an important family event–that also included an obligatory stop at a certain Pennsylvania attraction that we’d been eyeing for years. It’s probably no secret that, like the eight-year-old I am at heart, I have a soft spot for all things saurian, and this outdoor jungle of prehistoric beasts sent me into a glorious state of raptor–I mean, rapture.

(Also, yes, in case you were wondering: I did indeed wear my dinosaur dress.)

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north berwick beachcombing & bones

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Whenever I spend idle minutes organizing the hierarchy of my “Favorite Places on Earth” list (a frequent habit), the tiny Scottish seaside town of North Berwick always maintains its permanent place in the top three.

A week ago, I returned from a wonderful trip to Edinburgh, a brief six-day venture filled with unprecedentedly perfect weather, moderately tolerable air travel shenanigans, and exceedingly lovely company.  It was such a quick getaway that I sometimes am overcome with the sad sense that it was all a dream–but perhaps sharing some photographic evidence will convince me otherwise!

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postcard party

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Surprise: I’m traveling abroad today (and am posting this from the past in my usual time-hopping manner)!

Do you know what else travels? Postcards! (I kind of hope that I could get overseas faster than a postcard, but who knows?) By sheer coincidence, it seems like pen pals (and parents) have been sending me a plethora of postcards lately. I’ll let them take the lead today while I jet off to parts unknown!

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Penguin Post: How to Get Mail from Antarctica!

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So, folks, in my attempt to take a moderate hiatus from frequent blogging, I’ve been holding out on you: I’ve been sitting on the best incoming mail post of all time for the past few weeks. Before 2017, I had received mail from only three of the world’s continents – Europe, North America, and South America.

And now I can add Antartica to that thrilling list!

If you’re gazing at these adorable penguin postmarks and wishing you too could be so lucky to see them in your mailbox, fear not! Any citizen of the world can request up to two philatelic postal covers per year from the U.S. research station, McMurdo, down south. The entire experience has been utterly magical from start to finish – maybe you’ll join me and try it out yourself?

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monterey haul: here comes the sunfish

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An alternative title for this post could be “PLUSH MOLA, PLUSH MOLA, PLUSH MOLA.” In fact, I don’t know why I’m even bothering to write any content when I could just type look at this mola ad infinitum. Who is the genius responsible for mass-producing a cuddly version of the world’s heaviest bony fish?

My soft little sunfish, however, wasn’t the only treasure I picked up at the Monterey Bay gift shop! Hey, if people can blog about what they’ve hauled back from Disneyland or Sephora or whatever, why can’t I share the ridiculous souvenirs I picked up from my favorite tourist attraction? As one might say in a sea shanty–haul away boys, away!

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2016 in Wandering

gillette castle, connecticut  ♡ washington, dc ♡ the clark art institute, massachusetts 

west kirby, england  cinque terre, italy firenze, italy

the lake district, england ♡ home! (volcano, hawai’i) ♡ the national gallery, dc 

Happy New Year’s Eve-Eve! Since I’ll be kicking off 2017 by traveling to Monterey Bay Aquarium…I mean, California, I thought I’d revisit these past twelve months of adventuring. It will probably be a long time before I take so many trips in one year again!

As someone who tends to get anxious about traveling (that’s the blog-friendly, extremely understated version of it, anyway), I am very impressed that I pulled off two international voyages this year: to Italy in April and England over the summer. I also took the train all the way down the Eastern Seaboard to D.C. twice, and spent time in countless New England museums. And, of course, I am very happy to end the year back home in Hawai’i!

Though I doubt I’ll be crossing as many international borders next year, I do hope to visit at least one new state, country, or area. It would be fun to meet a pen pal or two in person, too! What are your travel plans (or wild hopes and impossible dreams rather than plans) for 2017?

Happy holidays!

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Whether you are celebrating Christmas today or just want to rejoice in the beauty of the ocean & terrible puns (I wish there were a holiday specifically for that purpose!), I’m sending you all my best wishes. Thanks for reading my blog!