We spent the afternoon in Honolulu, looking at some cool, independent boutique stores in Oahu to stock our journals. After meeting and talking to some of the cool creators and owners of these stores, we left not only with some amazing stores that will now be stocking ‘Swept away by Wanderlust’ & ‘My Bucketlist’, but also with a tonne of local tips and adventures that we must do whilst in Oahu. With Ash’s nickname being ‘Coco’ she was over the top to start with the hardest one – ‘Koko Head’.
Koko head is a trek on an old railway the leads straight up a crater of an old volcano. Climbing over 1,048 stairs (or railroad logs) the Koko Crater Railway Trail takes hikers up 1,028 feet via its old railroad ties or “steps.” With many regulars clocking in at less than 30 minutes to the summit, it is a convenient stop for a tough morning workout. We decided to go in the middle of the day – and of course wanting beat the time of some fellow climbers we met! 17 min later our legs were burning and sweat dripping but we were on the top and the view was absolutely spectacular! A must on the Hawaii bucketlist!
Woke up at the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa with this beautiful view and the salty air tempting us to run out in the surf…
But first we had to check out the great complimentary schedule of activities and started the day with a morning pilates class – best start of the day and a perfect warm up for surf time! Went down to the beach and grabbed some longboards and went for must in Hawaii – surfing Waikiki with all the local Hawaiians… and their dogs! So cool how many locals bring their dogs out on their boards here! Love it.
When we returned to the hotel we were spoilt with a tour around the Marriot and learnt that it’s located on the grounds of former Queen Lili‘uokalani’s summer home in Waikiki! This island really have some interesting history. We were treated with a tour into the gorgoeus Queen Lili‘uokalani Suite t00 – inspired by the legacy of the queen herself and her love of flowers and plants it blends contemporary design with that of the Victorian Era. Located on the 25th floor, the Suite boasts a majestic view of Waikiki Beach and offers 1,880 square feet of flexible interior living space as well as a 520 square foot balcony. Now put that on the bucketlist! 🙂
The Marriott is located in a really great spot at the end of the main strip. It’s location allows for a break from the busy foot traffic of the main area, which makes for a real ‘holiday feel’ without all of the tourists. Also, the activities are endless with all the rad stuff they have on offer, and the gym is perfect! It’s large and has all the equipment of a commercial gym; you have space to work out, a far cry from your usual one treadmill hotel gym. They have definitely catered for you here! In the Spa you will dream away, only thinking of coconuts and palm trees.
The Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa blends the global Marriott tradition with the Aloha Spirit, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere with genuine Hawaiian hospitality and royal service. With the resort recently completing a major renovation and beautification projects. guests are delighting in beautifully appointed guestrooms offering the Marriott “Revive” bed and linen collection, private lanai (balcony), and upgraded amenities and new guest services. We highly recommend it!!
Cruising the Hawaiian Islands in a Jeep with your best friends and your hair blowing in the wind = Wanderlust!
This was a bucketlist item for me (Ash) and courtesy of the awesome crew at Hawaiian Jeep Rentals, this exciting bucketlist item could be completed. In Australia, we drive on the left side so when it came to driving on the complete opposite side, it was… errrr… different to say the least! I was super nervous, excited and scared all at the same time. With Axel and our friend Maria in the back (both from Scandinavia who drive on the right hand side of the road), they were worried with me driving- to say the least. It was hilarious! But after urgent on the road classes in which way to look, and with the top down, we cruised up to the North Shore to check out the awesome surf town of Hanalei and back around the whole island with great success! Found the best vegan cafe – Beetbox – a must if you are in town! Also found an awesome waterfall hike with our pilot friends, bunch of cute stores, a macadamia farm (Yum) and the best local fish place on the island with the coolest bartender & Miss Hula Oahu ever – Whitney at Buzz’s. If in Lanakai – go say hi to her, ask for her fave fish dish with the amazing salad buffet and enjoy some of the best shaken drinks & Hawaii stories on the island!
Drive a Jeep in Hawaii – TICK!
Today, we were invited to Apres Yoga which is part of the Hawaii Food & Wine festival and yoga together with the renowned Masterchef of Masterchefs himself – Graham Elliot!
Juri Ko Edwards from Core Power Yoga and owner of the rad new ‘Shaka’ pressed juice bar in Honolulu, ran the session at the beautiful Outrigger Resort. Unfortunately, we got hit by a heavy hurricane and rain, and the beautiful beach yoga setup that was planned had to be moved inside – but nevertheless, we had a great session and loved being part of taking Graham Elliots yoga virginity – it was his first class ever! This guy has gone through an incredible weightloss (lost almost 200 lbs); we could barely believe how big he’d been! He was such a friendly guy and invited us to come and eat at his reaturant in Chicago – another stop to fit into our two month road trip!
After the amazing yoga session, we enjoyed delicious lychee pots and Ty Ku Sake drinks (Sans savasana morning sake is defiitely new to us!) and came out to the beaming sunshine – definitely the most beautiful start of the day! This place is truly magical!
Palmtrees, sunshine and sand between our toes… Oh how we longed for this feeling during the Aussie winter! With the deep green volcanic mountains as a backdrop to a shimmering emerald surf, Hawaii is just the paradise we have longed for.
After finally clearing customs, we checked into the New Otani Hotel where we were greeted with a big ocean-front balcony to breathe in the salty air and get lost in the most beautiful view. Grabbing our beach towels we quickly ran down to jump in the water on our doorstep.
With a full schedule for the next 2 weeks in Hawaii, we truly enjoyed a first blissful day of relaxation galore!
We just want to say a BIG thank you to all our supporters all around the globe! Since the release of ‘My Bucketlist’, we’ve had great success both in Australia and Europe and we’re now thrilled to say that we are just about to launch both our books in the U.S.A!
From Sep 9 to Nov 4, we’ll be doing a massive tour around the States starting with 2 weeks of summer fun in Hawaii to surf, swim and experience the best of the island for a new upcoming project…
We’ll then go on an adventure that’s on both of our Bucket lists – a big road trip across the country from San Fran to New York City!
We have teamed up with a great distributor (Cardinal Publishing Group) and an amazing PR agency (Olive PR Solutions) to spread the word about our books, and would love to hear any tips from our beloved followers too! Our trip is all about finding the coolest concept stores, book shops and fashion boutiqes around the country to stock our books. It is also to experience all the great things to do in the U.S.A for our upcoming project ‘The Wanderlust Bucketlist’ … And of course to tick off our bucket lists along the way – like drive down route 66 in an open cadillac, skateboard down Venice beach, dance at a roof top party in New York, learn to play a song on the guitar and swim with turtles in Hawaii and so much more…
Hope you enjoy our adventures! xx
Ten Quirkiest Bookstores in the World
Laced with the love letters of great men, the musings of brilliant minds and literature of monumental importance, the walls of bookstores are home to more than just the books that populate their shelves. Bookstores are home to the stories of the people who visit them, of the memories that have been lived there and the discoveries that have been made there. With the numbers of independent bookstores throughout the globe dwindling they are now, more than ever, a destination in themselves. We have made a list of 10 bookstores that are so beautiful that it is hard to believe that such monuments to literature exist. The perfect marriage of books and scenery at its most spectacular, these book nooks are worth crossing oceans for as you are likely to find more of your story on the journey.
1. Atlantis, Santorini
Possibly the world’s most beautiful bookstore, Atlantis Books in Santorini offers a classic book shop experience with one incredible difference; the backdrop. Atlantis is a destination that should populate every bucketlist, reminiscent of something only seen in movies. From the quotes that adorn the front of the shop through to the self-started publishing house at the back of the shop, travellers and bibliophiles will become intoxicated with the undeniable magic of this place.
2. Book Town, Norway
Set near the largest glacier in Europe, Norway’s Book Town spans 4km over numerous types of buildings that have been converted into book shops. Old sheds, pigpens, houses, a hotel – Book Town is up there with the quirkiest bookstores of them all. During the winter, book sellers and visitors travel between stores by kick-sleds and toboggans. The Book Town in Norway is a must for travellers who want to immerse themselves in the peculiarities of a country and experience something completely out of the box.
3. Bart’s Books, California
There is much more to this bookstore than its inaugural title of being the largest outdoor, independent bookstore in the whole of the United States. An outdoor maze of shelves filled with books, Bart’s is a mystifying venue that stays with you long after you leave its doors. Comfortable outdoor settings are laced among the sun-kissed shelves making for one of the most beautiful book browsing experiences imaginable. Bart’s Books is humble and honest, and the eclectic décor and continued use of the honour system only adds to what has to be one of the most unique bookstores in the world.
4. Libreria Alta Acqua, Venice
If ever there was a store that encouraged reading as a sensory experience, Libreria Alta Acqua is it, in its most perfect form. With books escaping the confines of their shelves and a gondola perched in the middle of the store, there is something to fall in love with in every corner of this quaint bookstore. A beautiful chaos, there are piles of books stretching towards the ceiling throughout the store and yet nothing feels out of place. Alta Acqua is a hidden refuge, a sanctuary. Head to the back of the store and you will be met with open double doors, the water from the canal beyond lapping at the edges of the doorstep and the perfect place to perch yourself for a long afternoon thumbing through the pages of whatever treasure you have found.
5. Tell A Story, Portugal
Tell A Story is based in a van, free to travel and roam the world. It could be parked at the end of the main road, or just around the corner because the Book Van was designed to take stories anywhere and everywhere. This quirky bookstore was created specifically to take authentic Portuguese literary pieces and books, translate them, and make them available to the greater public. What began as a desire to enlighten tourists and travellers alike on the great writers of Portugal has quickly become a passionate philosophy.
6. The Montague Bookmill, Massachusetts
With large windows that frame the Sawmill River, scuffed floorboards and décor that will make you feel like you have arrived home, The Montague Bookmill offers “books you don’t need in a place you can’t find.” There isn’t much more of a magical promise out there. The converted mill is home to over 40,000 publications and one rushing waterfall. Year-round, visitors browse the warren of bookshelves before perching themselves in an armchair, or on a bench overlooking the valley for the afternoon. The Montague Bookmill is one of those rare places that genuinely feel like a home away from home, whether you are a regular there, or simply a regular nomad.
7. The Old Butcher’s Bookshop, Paris
“Blink and you’ll miss it,” the old homage goes, and it is true of The Old Butcher’s Bookshop. Nestled on the corner of one of Paris’ longest streets, what was once a butcher is now a beautifully maintained boutique bookshop. Piles of antique books brush the original meat hooks from its first life that hang from the ceiling. Undoubtedly Parisian, The Old Butcher’s Bookshop opens from lunchtime until midnight adding to its allure. Within its walls, there is almost too much to take in what with details like the original butcher’s tiles and a spiral staircase that looks to lead to nowhere. This bookshop is one for the Pinterest boards.
8. The World’s Smallest Bookstore, Toronto
Spanning only 3.5m², The World’s Smallest Bookstore sits at the end of a road that is several times longer than the shop itself. Employing the honour system, this beautifully tiny space is home to books that are only $3 a piece. The scenery on the way to the bookstore is worth crossing oceans for, and you are guaranteed to leave with more than you expected.
On your way out of the cabin, visitors can pick up handmade sheets titled, “Why I Love Books” which lists the simple pleasures that books can bring. You will want to add your own reasons just to feel a part of the charming World’s Smallest Bookstore.
9. The Last Bookstore, California
The Last Bookstore is far more than its ironic name suggests. A hub of activity, The Last Bookstore is a welcoming space for creative souls and literary folk alike to collaborate and inspire one another. The books are a collection of new and pre-loved, with many of them playing a role in the structure of the building itself. A curved archway of books, a labyrinth of $1 publications and a section of hardbacks arranged by colour, The Last Bookstore completely engulfs you in its magic. Instilling curiousity and wonder in its visitors, the majority of the shelves are a beautiful mess inspiring visitors to peruse the shelves in search of titles.
10. Gertrude & Alice, Sydney
A block up the road from Sydney’s Bondi Beach, lays Gertrude & Alice, arguably one of the most beautiful marriages of café/bookstore in existence and our own local fave. With the backdrop of the beach, the café welcomes locals and travellers alike. As soon as you walk through the doors, you are transported into the world of every book that sits upon the shelves. The interior is warmly lit; lounges and armchairs are squeezed into the corners of the shop where you can lose yourself for hours on end, the generous stock travels through to the back of the store including every nook and cranny. Whether you are searching for a particular title or happy to browse the floor to ceiling shelves, Gertrude & Alice will have you feeling nurtured and nourished within its walls, and this is where lots of hours were spent designing both our own BUCKETLIST & WANDERLUST journals!
We are super stoked to announce that our ‘My Bucketlist’ book is now stocked in our all time favourite concept store – Urban Outfitters! We absolutely love their eclectic mix of hipster fashion, retro housewares and kitschy accessories and we can’t wait to see both of our books frolicking amongst the cool titles on their awesome shelves! With 43 stores across Europe you’ll be sure to find one in every metropolis – we love the Stockholm store that is actually set in an old movie theatre with the cinema front still in place (see pic below). A massive bucketlist tick and big dream come true!
We need someone with a fun & positive attitude and really enjoys all life have to give and wants to work in their field of passion. Our offices are Sydney based but location can also be world wide with today’s technology. You will be involved in everything if you are the right person. So are you?
The role is for immidiate start, commencing 4-8 weeks with opportunities for extension or paid work in the future. Please spread the word and to apply – email your resume and cover letter including your social media handles. Looking forward to hear from all the Wanderlusters out there!