A fresh perspective on Travel from an Entrepreneurial Mom, with a MBA, sharing tips to extend your dollars and heighten your travel experience. Artist Point on Mt. Baker is a steep climb with a gorgeous view. Join us in the Adventure. Enjoy Life. Make A Difference.

photo credit

Photo courtesy of Tom Dempsey.

Tuesday, October 18

Artistpoint360: 3 Must Do's in North Shore of Oahu

Having traveled to Oahu several times in the past years, some activities are definitely on the '3 Must Do's' along the North Shore. Adventure and eating go hand-in-hand while vacationing in this paradise island.

1. Surfing on Waimea Bay

Whether you're a pro chasing the big waves around the world, or a first timer on a surf board, Oahu offers the best in surfing. Top surfers head out to North Shore for the 18 foot and bigger waves that Waimea offers in the winter time. Beginners come out in the summer when the surf is tamer and lessons are available at Haleiwa, the historical town on the North Shore.

2. Snorkeling at Shark's Cove

The locals led us to this enclave off Kamehameha Highway in the Waimea area. It is a wonderful reef where a large variety of marine life frolic in their natural environment of coral and rock formations. 

Turtles frequent the cove, along with the occasional white tipped reef sharks who are not aggressive. It's advisable that they not be approached. As the reef can only be accessed during the calm seas, the best time to snorkel is from March to October. Shoes are recommended along with your snorkeling gear.

3. Macky's Shrimp Truck

All the outdoor water activities will inevitably make you hungry. Voted #1 by Trip Advisor in 2011, Macky's Shrimp Truck is off a dirt road on Haleiwa offering delightfully tender fresh shrimp in a special garlic sauce. They offer 3 types of shrimp, with the the butter garlic shrimp as the tastiest option at $10 a plate. With covered picnic tables and a faucet to wash your finger licking hands, this little piece of heaven will cater the kids and the kids in all of us.

Here is the recipe and accompanying YouTube link for your enjoyment.

1/3 cup Olive oil, garlic, 1 lemon juice, salt, pepper, 1tbs paprika, ten cloves garlic, chives (optional) and 1/4 cup dry white wine (use mirin for substitution). These are all for marinating.1 1/2 pounds large shrimp (about 16)

1) In very hot pan, fry shrimp first until half cooked and pink. Set aside.

2) Let pan cool down and set stove to 3. Add in chopped garlic and sauté slowly without browning them. Use the smell whether you over cooked the garlic. Once garlic is nice and soft, add in the shrimp. Add in the rest of the chopped garlic for crunch.

Courtesy of Chef Tips on 

Tuesday, October 11

Scenic bike rides

Riding your bike to get to Point A to Point B doesn't have to be boring. Here are a few scenic routes to get you inspired.

1. North of San Francisco to Mt. Tamalpais
The birthplace of mountain biking, Mt. Tamalpais and the surrounding areas in Marin County, California offers magnificent views. The peak at 2,571 foot (784 m) overlooks the azure San Francisco Bay. 

'Mount Tam' short for Tamalpais can be reached from the new bike path that guides cyclists over the Golden Gate, through Sausalito and Mill Valley into Mt. Tamalpais State Park. Continue climbing the Panoramic Highway to Trojan Point to fully witness the great Pacific. 

The journey to Sausalito via the Golden Gate Bridge offers postcard worthy scenery. For an excellent photo opportunity, look over to the east to see the San Francisco skyline. A little coffee break can be taken at any of the numerous cafes in Mill Valley before the ascend to Mount Tam. The last restroom stop is at the Park Ranger Station. This 43 mile biking expedition is for the more advanced cylist.

2. San Juan Islands in Washington State
Another beautiful scenic bicycle route is on San Juan Island. Upon departing the ferry from Friday Harbor, one can immediately go on a bike ride on a quiet road with fairly light traffic and views of Turn Island, Jackson Beach, and Griffin Bay. It's a short easy ride, and can be combined with a trek to Lime Kiln State Park to view the orcas, which is why it's called the 'Whale Watching Park'. 

For those wanting a greater challenge which offers even more spectacular view, the Roche Harbor route through numerous farms and Lime Kiln State Park is a 28 mile trek. You'll see alpacas at the Krystal Acres Alpaca Farm and the purple wonders of Pelindaba Lavendar Farm.
Bicycling Magazine - Mount Tamalpais

REI - Turn Point Pear Point Loop

Island Bicycles - Roche Harbor Lime Kiln Route

Tuesday, October 4

Carmel: Driving the Pacific Coast Highway

A Beautiful Drive to Carmel

Carmel, a small city in California, is a must destination for those traveling the West Coast.  The image that is conjured in my mind is the sole tree swept by the winds of the Pacific Ocean. The pine tree is on its own, but, it's not lonely. It's accompanied by the waves, the flavors of the town nearby, and the golfers at Pebble Beach.

I can still remember the drive from San Francisco on the Pacific Coast Highway as if I took it yesterday. I was so in awe of the natural beauty of Monterey Bay. From downtown on Union Square, the drive took about 2 1/2 hours, counting the numerous picture taking stops along the way. 

Memorable moments included discovering a gem of a restaurant which offered you a fresh cup of coffee instead of refilling your coffee cup, and the 1920's English cottage with the beautiful gardens enclosed behind a decorative wooden fence.

For ideas on what to see and do in Carmel, the Carmel Chamber of Commerce has a list of itineraries at