The Dove Self-Esteem “Let’s Talk” Weekend has come to an end and what a great time we had! It was a great opportunity for my daughters and I to have a heart-to-heart talk about the importance of self-esteem.
Dove is committed to inspiring all women and girls to reach their full potential by caring for themselves and each other. The Dove Movement for Self-Esteem invited all women to join them in creating a world where beauty is a source of confidence, not anxiety. There were many ways in which women could take simple actions that build self-esteem in girls. It could have been as simple as inspiring the next generation with words of encouragement, spending an hour on a self-esteem building activity, or supporting self-esteem education in her town.
For our weekend, I decided to get the girls outdoors . . . away from the television, magazines, and video games. It was time to be one with nature and show them a different meaning to the word “beautiful”. When I told the girls of my hiking plans they were very excited. They’ve never really been on a hike before and they couldn’t wait to see what it was all about.
We arrived at the Makiki Valley Loop Trail and found that there were many paths to choose from.
Since I had Kaila (2) with us, I knew I would have to select the easiest path. That turned out to be a great decision because it allowed me to talk to my girls as we leisurely strolled through the forest. We talked about how they were feeling about our new family situation, things happening at school, and anything else that they wanted to bring up. It was then that Kacie (10) mentioned that some of the girls in her class had started a “popular girls” club and asked her to join. She said she wanted to participate since these girls were her friends but that she also didn’t like that the group excluded other girls that she liked as well. In the end she decided to decline so that she could be friends with whoever she wanted to.
I am so happy that we decided to participate in the Dove Movement for Self-Esteem weekend. Sometimes it takes an event like this to remind myself to stop and enjoy my kids while I still can. Pretty soon they’ll be all grown up and I’ll miss moments like this when they still turned to me for help and advice. This is my chance to teach them that character, confidence, and independence are important traits that will take them far in life.
This post was sponsored by Dove
The rigors of a routine can certainly catch up with you. With work, family, and bills presenting challenges on a daily basis, it can be difficult to find a moment to take for yourself. Despite the stresses that add up, Oahu never loses its splendor, and while you may have grown used to it over the years of living there, it is important to take a step back and unwind for a weekend. Whether it be for Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, or just a weekend you and that special someone agree upon, Oahu is teeming with spots that are perfect for a quick getaway. Taking a deep breath, sitting on the sand, and staring out at the Pacific is the best way to reconnect with what’s important in life. Here are a few ways to make your weekend unforgettable.
Book A Hotel
Even if it’s just down the road, booking at one of the luxurious island hotels is a great way to get yourself into that carefree-mode. Whether it be one of the many Waikiki hotels, such as the Lotus Honolulu, the Windward side in Kailua, or a bed and breakfast on the North Shore, packing a bag and letting go of household responsibilities will have an immediate effect on your demeanor. There isn’t anything quite like finding your bed turned down and ordering room service!
Go On A Tourist Excursion
Some people go their entire lives without exploring some of the tourist hotspots in their hometown. While this goes against the local mentality, grabbing a bit of culture–especially some as vibrant and eccentric as that of Hawaii–can help boost your pride in your area even further. Once you set your stuff down at the hotel, pick and choose from the huge host of cultural options available to you, such as the Bishop Museum, or the Honolulu Academy of Art. Living in an area that millions visit a year, it’s important to understand and appreciate the rich history of what surrounds you.
A Genuine Adrenaline Rush
Even if you feel completely familiar with the island, there are several activities that will help define your weekend tremendously: going skydiving is one of them. With you and your loved one hurtling towards the ground, the rush that you’ll experience is unlike any other. It is sharing experiences like this that strengthen relationships–and the 360 degree views of the island are pretty nice to boot!
Living on Oahu is a joy that shouldn’t be taken for granted. If your daily routine has you missing the beauty of your surrounding environment, or you just need a weekend to take a break with someone special, make it a weekend that will keep you going for a good, long time!
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With all the publicity Hawaii receives on TV and in the movies it’s easy to get a skewed picture of what the islands are really like. Hawaii’s diversity and varied geography allow for many different experiences; even stories you’ve heard from friends may paint a skewed picture. This article looks at some common misconceptions and will hopefully give you some ideas to plan a perfect trip.
Oahu and Waikiki
Waikiki, a suburb of Honolulu, is the most popular tourist destination in Hawaii. Dozens of inexpensive hotels, the bright lights of a beautiful, active and modern city, and the allure of Waikiki Beach combine to form an intoxicating cocktail that many tourists can’t resist.
But Oahu’s real beauty is found outside Honolulu. The scenic H3 freeway cuts through razor edged volcanic ridges and takes one from the west to east side of the island, revealing miles of beautiful beaches. You won’t find hotels or condos here, rather several nice residential towns like Kailua where President Obama and his family vacation over winter holidays. Oahu’s north shore is much less developed, and out in the “country” is where one finds a few of the most famous surf breaks in the world – the Banzai Pipeline and Waimea Bay.
So although Waikiki wins the prize for being the most popular destination in Hawaii, it represents only a fraction of what Hawaii or even Oahu has to offer.
Based on the popularity of Waikiki Beach one may expect the rest of Hawaii to be similarly crowded. Fortunately that’s not the case. Hawaii has over 100 great tourist beaches and on any island it’s possible to find one that’s virtually empty. This is especially true for Kauai’s north shore where you can count on many great beaches being visited by only a handful of people on weekdays. Every Hawaiian Island including Oahu can accommodate those who want to get away from big tourist crowds.
Hawaii caters to everyone including those on a tight budget. The best vacation value can be found in vacation rentals which allow for the possibility of inexpensive home cooked meals. Even on Maui, sometimes referred to as the playground of the wealthy, you’ll find condo rentals on the beach for less than $100/night at complexes like at Waiohuli Beach Hale, or from $150/night at places like Poipu Sands on Kauai.
Car rental prices fluctuate depending on demand. Rates of $30/day are common. Given how much there is to see and explore renting a car is highly recommended. Only Oahu has a good public transportation system.
Visitor Destination Areas
Hawaii has strict zoning regulations and it’s illegal to offer vacation rentals in many areas without the proper permits (permits are hard to get). Unfortunately this means you can’t rent an apartment or home in any residential area you want, particularly areas that are less touristy.
Fortunately several resort areas offer a nice selection of rentals including homes, condos and cottages and some resorts have a mix of residents and vacationers, particularly on Kauai which has a nice selection of condos.
Hawaii arguably has the best climate in the world. Winter time highs average about 78 degrees (25 Celsius), summer time highs around 86 (30 Celsius). Consistent winds prevent suffocating heat from ever taking hold. The ocean is always warm enough to swim in.
As wonderful as Hawaii’s weather is, from the perspective of a tourist who’s visiting for a week and expects the best, the weather can be frustrating. The same winds that make Hawaii one of the premier windsurfing destinations can also create unpleasant beach conditions, especially on east facing shores. Although the Pacific Ocean around Hawaii doesn’t see much rainfall, the topography of each island creates its own weather system, collecting and bunching up clouds. The result is a huge difference in weather in very short distances. For example, the wettest recorded spot on earth is on Kauai, but only 20 miles away it’s very dry, almost desert like.
The bottom line, residents of Hawaii are extremely lucky, but vacationers going for short trips need to plan winter vacations more carefully, selecting the driest region of an island to get the best possible weather.
Whatever you imagine Hawaii to contain in terms of scenery, you’re probably right. What other region of the world contains such a variety of landscapes stuffed into such a small land mass? Jungles, forests, canyons, jagged cliffs, meadows, deserts, baron fields of lava rock, red dirt, palm fringed beaches, snow capped mountains, volcanic craters, moonscapes, and waterfalls. No wonder so many movies are filmed in Hawaii.
To see the contrasting scenes you have to leave the comfort of your resort and do some driving. For example, flying into Maui you’re not going to see any evidence of lush tropical scenery. But drive the road to Hana on the south east coast and you’ll be treated to waterfalls and a million shades of green.
If you’ve seen anything on TV about Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island your impression of this area will be completely skewed. TV programs show a portion of the volcano up close at times when it’s spewing lava. Normally the volcano is simmering out of sight in a remote area of the park, and lava flow is below ground except where it enters the ocean.
Volcanoes National Park is an amazing area that should be visited. There are miles of hikes and interesting geology to explore. Just don’t go expecting to see lava. You may get lucky, but if you really want to see flowing lava you’ll need to take an air tour.
Traveling to Hawaii is probably the least stressful vacation you can take. You don’t have to worry about terrible weather, tropical diseases, crime, or contaminated food. Perhaps because there’s so little to worry about, some people start fixating on Shark attacks. There are sharks in Hawaii, but attacks are rarer than other beach destinations. Hawaii averages about 3 attacks per year making the odds of an attack more than 1 in a million. Instead of worrying about sharks, worry about dangerous ocean conditions. About 50 people drown every year in Hawaii.
Length of Stay
The islands of Hawaii are relatively small. Maui is 727 square miles, while Kauai and Oahu are less than 600. As such many people try to see several islands in one short trip. That’s a mistake because each island has so many attractions to explore, and although only separated by a half an hour plane ride, the reality of modern day airport travel means that jumping islands wastes a full day.
So although it’s technically possible to see all the islands in a couple weeks, the experience won’t be as deep or meaningful. The rule of thumb is to budget at least one week per island, if you’re a goal oriented sight seeing type. Feel free to spend several weeks on one island – you won’t regret it.
Unlike Mexico, the Caribbean or Florida, Hawaii doesn’t have a reputation as a party destination even during spring break. Most tourists are families, couples, and honeymooners. The time zone difference (PST – 3 hours, but no daylight savings) results in earlier bed times for most people including residents who sometimes have to sync up with mainland businesses. Lahaina on Maui does offer some after-hours entertainment but only Honolulu has any significant night life.
Hawaii has the most famous surf breaks in the world. Perhaps you’d like to see crazed surfers tackle Waimea Bay, the Banzai Pipeline, or Jaws. Or maybe you’re thinking of taking up surfing yourself, or at least, doing some righteous boogie boarding.
Before getting stoked about the surfing possibilities, there a few points to keep in mind. First, surf breaks are seasonal. The biggest breaks reach over 30ft in winter months, but struggle to top 2ft mid summer. And a number of beaches, especially on Maui, are situated such that they’re never really subject to any sizeable surf, even for boogie boarding. Finally, the best surf breaks are rarely suitable for novice surfers.
So if you’re considering a surfing or wave watching vacation you’ll want to research surf breaks and locations and time your trip. Kauai and Oahu have the best surf breaks for beginners although Maui does have several very mellow breaks. Spring is generally a good time for surfing with greater odds for nice sized waves that aren’t overwhelming.
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