In the New Jersey area, we have just emerged from a hurricane and are now looking at a snow storm. As huge flakes of snow stick to the grass and I sit here feeling really cold, all I want to do is get away to one of our favorite places, Oahu. There is something absolutely magical about this island in Hawaii. Each time we go there, we feel a massive surge of excitement and walk around with humongous smiles plastered on our faces and contentment in our hearts. Take a look at these pictures and you’ll know why all I want to do is go back.
How good can vegetarian chili get? In my eighteen years of existence, nothing ever beat the gratifying wholesomeness of homemade soup with the freshest ingredients from the local farmer’s market and prepared with mom’s love.
Sorry mom…but I think someone has finally come pretty darn close. Don’t yell at me! Go to Amy’s Bread and see for yourself. It’s divine to say the least.
Located in three culturally vibrant areas in New York City- Hell’s Kitchen, Chelsea Market, and the one I frequent on a cozy street in the West Village- Amy’s Bread boasts the most incredible selection of hand-made breads, desserts, sandwiches, and delicious coffees, juices, and breakfast foods.
Eating at the Bleecker Street location in the Village which is just a couple blocks away from the Hudson feels like you’re living the greatest of downtown city dreams. A small and homey European café feel married to slick modern lighting and diverse wall art simulates one of the most comfortable eating experiences I’ve had to date in the city.
The first time I went to Amy’s, I was coming down with a terrible cold and wanted nothing more than a simple bowl of hot soup. When I ordered the vegetarian chili (which came in several different combinations…I’ve never seen so many options for a simple chili on any menu!), I thought I would get either the typical plain roll breadstick or “rustic roll” included with the order. Instead, I was presented with a mouth-watering array of at least ten different types of hand-made breads and was able to choose between the heartiest of flavors including black olive twist, tangy sourdough, and semolina with golden raisins and fennel. If my taste buds were functioning and I wasn’t so sick, I would’ve broke the bank right there and taken full loaves home. I felt like I was back at the Piazza Navona in Rome. I haven’t ever felt that café intrigue replicated in the States till I walked into Amy’s.
And the orange juice, oh the orange juice…the freshly squeezed citrus goodness transported me back to the beaches of Oahu. Chili, bread, and juice- what should be the most straightforward of meals was among the most heavenly I’ve ever had. To find that kind of pleasure in something so simple speaks volumes about the quality and devotion of Amy’s Bread to the greatest of dining experiences.
So, if you find yourself at any of the three aforementioned NYC locations, treat yourself to Amy’s Bread. It’s beyond worth it.
Who? Anyone 16 years old and above interested in experiencing some of the most stunning natural landscapes on the island of Oahu while keeping their adrenaline levels high.
What? An ATV tour of the Kaʻaʻawa Valley (Kualoa Valley) that provides movie and TV lovers (especially Lost and Jurassic Park aficionados) with breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean tucked between the majesty of expansive hills and arguably the most vivid greenery on the island. The Kualoa Ranch has become a top destination for travelers for both its standout scenic qualities and its proud stamp as the home of several screen wonders. An ATV tour takes you to Godzilla’s real footsteps engraved in the mud, Hurley’s golf course from the epic sci-fi drama Lost, and the set of 50 First Dates among many other cinematic locations. You can choose either a one or two hour excursion. And the best part? After a brief ten minute introduction of the vehicles and some safety instructions, you’re the master of your Kualoa adventure, even if you’ve never driven an ATV before in your life.
How? Because the ATV tours fill up very quickly even in non-peak travel periods, it’s best to book your seat online ahead of time if you know you’ll be in Oahu on a certain day. The Kualoa Ranch website makes booking a simple process:
Toll Free: (800) 231-7321
Tour Desk: (808) 237-7321
We were fortunately able to call and reserve spots the morning of our ATV tour, but being one of the most popular Kualoa attractions, it’s easy to miss a spot when you want one. The one-hour tour is $69.00 and the two-hour tour is $99.00. Also, have some cash on you if you’re interested in taking home some photos of you on your ATV. When your tour finishes, printed images of you manning your vehicle are available for purchase.
Why? Oahu is hands down one of the most beautiful places we have visited. And those who’ve been on the island know that there is no shortage of excursions offered to take in the stunning Hawaiian scenes. But from helicopter tours to boat rides out into the Pacific, many of the island viewing approaches rely on someone or something else controlling the way you perceive the world around you. What’s incredible about the Kualoa Ranch ATV tours is that even within the structure of a “tour”, you’re driving and steering your own vehicle through some truly heart-stopping natural sites. The experience is the ideal marriage of energy and visual bliss, and is a must-do for anyone who wants to add a zealous punch to their Hawaiian adventure.
And if you’re not old enough for an ATV, the ranch also offers horseback riding, sailing tours, and movie site bus trips among a list of other options so that you can still explore Kualoa in all its glory.