travel photography

Honolulu - Where we ate food & drank coffee

Best Food & Coffee in Waikiki

Obviously we haven't been EVERYwhere in Waikiki, and there were a lot of places on our list that we didn't make it to. But our favorites are all listed here & we LOVE them. Lots of them we've been to MULTIPLE times & some of them were new on this trip!
Starting off is Olive & Oliver. It's in the lobby of the Surfjack Hotel & it is both a shop with curated goods as well as a coffee shop. Highly recommend! 

Visit Hawaii_Honolulu_OliveandOliver_AliHapperPhoto_24.jpg
Visit Hawaii_Honolulu_OliveandOliver_AliHapperPhoto.jpg
Visit Hawaii_Honolulu_Waikiki_AliHapperPhoto_
Visit Hawaii_Honolulu_WaikikiBeach_28.jpg

Our second stop was Arvo & we went there three different times on our trip. :) Yummy toasts, great coffee, GREAT vibes & of course, a beautiful floral shop ALL IN ONE. 
It's a drive from Waikiki, we took an Uber & it cost us about $15, but the neighborhood it's in is great! Lots of shops around & a great camera store that we bought a new camera from!

Visit Hawaii_Honolulu_Arvo_AliHapperPhoto.jpg
20180417_Visit Hawaii_Honolulu_Arvo_29.jpg

If you've ever heard Nate or I talk about Hawaii, you've heard us talk about Bills. We've been an embarrassing amount of times in Hawaii & also in London. You can't eat bad food there. & their Waikiki Location is so beautiful. We went twice this trip [we have problems..] & our favourite order was the calamari. 

Visit Hawaii_Honolulu_Bills Sydney_2.jpg
Visit Hawaii_Honolulu_Bills Sydney_7.jpg
Travel_Honolulu_Bills Sydney_4.jpg
Visit Hawaii_Honolulu_Bills Sydney_AliHapperPhoto.jpg

Last but very not least, I mentioned the Hideout in my post about our stay at the Laylow. We had one nice family dinner together & it was at the Hideout. Their patio is the most perfect ever & I could have lived there the entire trip & been perfectly content.

Visit Hawaii_Waikiki_3.jpg
Visit Honolulu_WaikikiBeach.jpg
Visit Hawaii_Waikiki_AliHapperPhoto.jpg
Visit Hawaii_TheHideout_LaylowHotel_AliHapperPhoto.jpg

Some other places we wantd to try but didn't get a chance to were Marukame Udon,  Morning Glass Coffee, Mahina & Sons

Hawaii Vacation - Where we stayed

Where to stay in Honolulu Hawaii - The Laylow

Nate & I travel a lot for a variety of reasons, but this trip was so special because it was a FULL vacation, no work, just us & my family. We had such a great time & we were in total chill mode the entire week, with no schedule or plans, other than sunshine, waves & eating food. AND WE DID ALL OF THOSE!!!! 
We started our trip off with a night in Honolulu, as we arrived a day earlier than my family, due to weather delays in Toronto. Nate & I have spent time in Honolulu three times & love it more every single time. We stayed at the Laylow, which is a small boutique hotel within the Marriott brand.

Our room was very spacious & I wished we could have spent more time in it, but...sunshine. Its not on the water, so the view is not anything extravagant, but can't win them all you know? I also asked Nate multiple times if I could take home the soap dish. I really thought about it. 

This hotel was by far our favourite stay on Waikiki for a variety of reasons, but the number one is the Hideout. It is the cafe/bar/restaurant patio that is connected to the hotel & I'd give it a 15/10. We even went back there with my whole family for dinner later on in our trip. They have a little indoor restaurant area which was beautiful & it connected right out to the patio. We walked along the beach for a bit & then went back to the patio for a drink. The next morning we had breakfast there & sat by the pool for a minute! Everything was so relaxing!

Our other hotel options were The Surfjack & The Modern, & in the past we've stayed at the Marriott Waikiki & the Hilton Hawaiian Village

A Weekend in Newport Beach - What to Do

Nate & I were in the OC area a few weeks ago with our friend Olivia who produced the shoot we were on & while we were there we spent our spare time in coffee shops, cute neighborhoods & eating food. Its the common theme in our travels, find the best food, eat at as many of them as possible. Repeat.

The first place we checked out was Common Room Roasters! We loved it because plants & good coffee. 

Some of our other faves are pictured below & are in order as follows, Neat Coffee, Kit, Pressed Juicery Freeze, Sidecar Donuts & Daydream Surf Shop.
I would HIGHLY suggest all of these spots, but without a shadow of a doubt, Sidecar Donuts was absolutely a unexpected fave of ours. Nate & I are NOT sweets people, it's never our first choice, but we heard they were good & were out with friends who wanted them. I COULD HAVE EATEN 10. They are the perfect amount of sweetness & the FLAVOURS. I mean. I could continue talking about them, but just know - if you're planning on traveling to anywhere in California, make Sidecar a stop. Also - iphone photos because sometimes that's all you have. :) 

There were a million more places I would have loved to go & see, it's never ending. But these were absolutely our faves & honestly, great spots!

Scottsdale Arizona - Hotel Adeline

Nate & I traveled to Scottsdale for a job with a sponsor of a Golf Tournament in February & we were lucky enough to stay at the Hotel Adeline for our first night in town! It had just barely opened, so we were one of the first guests they had! It's such a beautiful spot & has the most amazing pool & lounge courtyard area down the middle of the property. [psst, locals, they do an insane staycation rate during the winter months!!]
We checked-in in the early evening & walked down to Fashion Square Mall for a Shake Shack burger & then came back to our hotel for a drink by the fire! 
The next morning we grabbed an Uber to Four-til-Four Coffee & sat out on the patio [hiiii perfect weather!!!] before heading to breakfast at Farm & Craft. We spent most of the rest of our trip filming & photographing Golf Courses & events around the Scottsdale area, which is SO beautiful. Who doesn't love a desert cactus at sunset?
If you ever find yourself in the Scottsdale area, I highly suggest staying at Hotel Adeline! 

San Francisco on a Monday.

Nate & I traveled to Northern California for a wedding in early September, so we had a day to spend in San Francisco with our friends who were also attending the wedding! It was so fun! There was a 'freak' heat advisory the weekend of the wedding, so when we got back to San Fran we had one normal day in the city. 

I had driven over the Golden Gate before, but man it's a magical experience every single time. Also In-N-Out forever.

Sorry but HAD TO take photos of the sunrise & the insane shower at our airbnb outside of Occidental [which we loved]. It was so magical! & also coffee stop at Saint Frank


^^ photos of two of our best friends whom I love & take photos of whenever I get the chance. Because they are so beautiful. & also the sunlight at the ocean is the most ideal backdrop.

^^ I mean.. West Coast Best Coast. No question. Ever. 
Also I love Nathan Happer & I'm glad Chris took these photos of us. 

Just some photos in & around our hotel. Which we loved. Which we booked using old faithful, Hotel Tonight

We had all day Monday to be in the city. We went to Hayes Valley for coffee in the morning, Palm House for brunch with the whole crew and then Mission Dolores Park to chill & enjoy the weather! I enjoyed San Fransisco, but not quite to the point where I'm dying to go back. We were there on Labor Day Monday, which made it pretty quiet, but it was fun to spend a day there with our friends!!  

Palm Springs Vacation

Man. Palm Springs touched my heart. I know that sounds deep or extreme or whatever, but I loved it so so much. This blog post is more of a collection of memories & portraits than a 'How to see Palm Springs Travel Guide' which is okay with me. I can definitely give recommendations, but in this post you will get 1-to-3 of those :) 

I was so looking forward to driving from San Diego to Palm Springs & stopping at Salvation Mountain. It was definitely one of the most bizarre trips to experience, you drive through some weird towns & see a whole lot of nowhere to get there. It's not a destination. It hasn't become commercialized. It's made of dirt. That's what to expect. But it's stunning & beautiful & so peaceful. Highly recommend.  
I also wish we had time to stop somewhere & enjoy the Salton Sea, it was so beautiful to drive along, but we only had a day in a half in Palm Springs & I was not wasting a single moment!

We spent our time in Palm Springs at the Ace Hotel which we both loved. It is really a great place to stay [or just spend the day at the pool & enjoy the grounds!!] & it such a unique experience. 

I love taking photos & I love my beautiful friends. Here are some photos of my beautiful friends.

We ate food twice at the hotel & honestly, neither times met our expectations. The Kings Highway breakfast spot is beautiful, but we didn't love the food! That's okay though because there are 100 other options in town that we loved!

But the pool area is incredibly iconic [can I use the word iconic if it's only been there less than 10 years? I just did..] & relaxing and THE MOUNTAINS. I mean. I could live there forever.

We had SO MANY intentions to rent scooters or bikes or anything that wasn't our car, but it did not work out in our favor. Palm Springs has lots of rules about things happening past dusk & not riding scooters or bikes is one of those rules. So we drove around the neighborhoods & looked at the doors & the cactus' & the houses & fell in love. I did my research & followed the map from The Salty Canary including the ever famous 'Pink Door' & we were happy. 

ps. does anyone else go on vacation & feel so good about the amount of photos they take & think things like 'we drove around for 30 minutes & looked at all the doors!!' & then come home & realize they took 1 photo of 1 door? the balance of living life & documenting life is something I struggle with SO MUCH.

more photos of my beautiful friend Lauren. she is my person & she is also a total babe. 

After the doors we drove out into the nowhere land that surrounds Palm Springs & enjoyed the last bit of sun & took some photos [duhhhhhh]. 

& then again, my lovely friend Lauren snapped some photos of us. She's good & I'm glad she knows how to use a camera. & of course we took some good old fashioned selfies.

Is it even worth writing this little blurb about what photos are coming next? 
It's not. 
So I won't.

San Diego Vacation & Travel Guide

Here's the thing about San Diego.
I enjoyed it, but I'm not dying to go back. I felt very disjointed from the people there & couldn't quite place my finger on the culture of the city. Which is something that I really value when we travel. Were there some cool shops & pretty beaches & did I have fun? Yes. But I happily checked it off my list & don't care if I ever go back. #sorrynotsorry

First off. We took the train from Anaheim [where we were for work] to San Diego. 10/10 recommend. Very enjoyable. We upgraded to business class & got a snack back & a drink for $12. We went right along the coast & it was beautiful. 
We stayed in Ocean Beach in this Airbnb & although it was cozy, it was the perfect home base for us & our friends!

Communal Coffee was my favorite place in San Diego. Actually, it was probably a tie with Pigment, but Communal had.. coffee.. & flowers... so.. it wins.
 I really just wanted to take 10000 photos & buy every single thing they had. So that's why it wins. It also had yummy snacks & couldn't make me a caprese because one of the girls had just 'run down the street' to buy more tomatoes & that kinda stuff just makes me happy?? moving on..

Pigment was more of an experience. The little sections of the shop, divided up my color & concept was incredibly inspiring & I spent way too long looking at all the little details. Then I found the photo booth area & we took probably 15 photos there. I only posted a few because I don't need to punish you with any more...but it was one of those stores that if I had it in my city, I'd be there once a week for gifts. So beautiful, so inspiring.
& then we went around the corner to Aloha Beach Club because Nate loves that place & he happily bought a few shirts. We also got donuts at Nomad & looked into the window of Holy Matcha, but didn't have time to get anything [it was made for the sole purpose of Instagram].

Some of our other favorite stops were The Crack ShackJames Coffee Co [the Little Italy location] & Underbelly [the North Park Location].
Later that night we went to Ocean Beach for sunset. We sat on an outdoor patio & had a drink & then walked down to the water & along the pier for sunset. It was so perfect. Lauren took some nice [and also some very real] photos of Nate & I. The last one just shows how much Nate loves when I am being very cool. :| 

Watching surfers from the pier is one of the most relaxing things I do in life. & I do not live by the ocean, so that shows how often I'm very relaxed. kidding. sort of. 
But really, standing on that pier in total silence, watching the surfers & the sun go down is one of my favourite memories from San Diego.

When we went to London to see an NFL game. Part II

The next two days were just straight up football days. We had a Chiefs meet-up at a pub downtown that was really fun. & then the day before the game, we got a walk through tour of Wembley Stadium thanks to a relative, & the guys loved it so much. It really was super cool!

& then it was game day. The morning was sooo foggy, I was really nervous what it was going to be like for the game. It was fun to see people all over the grounds, eating food & buying NFL jerseys [any jersey you wanted!]. I got a really awesome Chiefs t-shirt that said City of Fountains. Even Visit KC was there representing.

Spoiler alert - the Chiefs won, but it was a really interesting experience in the game. Because it's hosted in the UK, there really isn't team loyalty, they're just excited to watch an NFL game. So there were SOO many jerseys & so many people excited to watch. Then during the game, everyone got excited when one of the teams scored, but it's not as fast paced as soccer, so you could tell it was quiet & everyone was a little bored. 
We started off on the field for practice & warm up. Again, the guys loved it. & I got a great pic of Travis Kelce. Great success all around.

Nate's parents went back to KC after the game & Nate & I spent 3 days in London. We both really love London & it was really nice to be in the city. We ate breakfast one morning at an Aussie Cafe we found, actually we went pretty far out of our way to get there, but it was so worth it. Do I remember what it was called or where it was? no! but it was delicious.

Our home base was in Kensington, we stayed at The Ampersand, which we booked through our usual, Hotel Tonight. From there we basically just walked around neighborhoods, found lunch in whatever neighborhood we were in, got coffee & took photos. We LOVED Shoreditch, Notting Hill [Granger & Co is THE BEST. Hands down.] & just being in Central London. One night someone told us that we could use our Tube pass to take a Cable Car over the river & O2 Arena. So we made our way down there, of course it was the night of the U2 concert, so Nate was almost ready to buy us tickets. But really it was a cool view of the city & you can just go over & come right back!