Sedona in the spring is magical! It’s coming back to life with colorful green trees and cactus blooming every once in a while. Bella + Johnny met in Flagstaff but are in love with the Sedona red rock setting. It was a must for their engagement session!
They met years ago while both working at a local salad/sandwich shop. They hit it off. He says she is truly his best friend. They do everything together! She is the sweetest human with a hint of spunk and drive. He is gentle and constant- not moving while things get hard. Together they make a beautiful match that will stand the test of times.
As much as I love beaches, it’s the waters that the beaches offer I’m drawn to. After years of exploring all the Hawaiian Island- these are the set of my FAVORITE beaches. I have fond memories at all of them. Your reasons for going to a beach may be different than mine. I do not sun bath often and if I am- I’m reading. No no, I go to the beach to swim.
Most of these photos are mine- besides the obvious ones taken from above / I didn’t get a good shot because I was swimming!
1.Green Sand Beach (PAPAKŌLEA)- Big Island
OH my my this beach is my favorite in the whole world. It’s a HIKE to get out there. 2.5 miles to be exact. I hiked out there the first time I visited years and years ago with my friends for sunrise. Now the locals offer rides for $20 and cuts down on your time. I suggest going EARLY in the morning before it gets too hot to hike and the crowds come. The first time I went- no one was there. We had the whole beach to ourselves- turtles and all. The sand is in fact GREEN and shimmery- only four beaches in the whole world that are considered green sand beaches. You’ll find some chill waves to play in during the winter months.
2. Waianapanapa Black Sand Beach – Maui
If you drive the road to Hana- this is the best spot for a good swim and sunset. The black sand beach with lush green palm trees and views make it my favorite beach on Maui. The black sand is a bit more rough with tiny little black pebbles. There are caves to the right that you can swim in during the right time of the tide. The last few times I’ve gone it wasn’t too busy but this last year in February 2019 it was INSANELY busy and not very enjoyable. It’s not the biggest beach but I did have a lovely swim and could even hear some whales underwater.
3. Ke’e Beach – Kauai
Can you even?! At the very North of Kauai you will dead end into this amazing wonderful beautiful beach called Ke’e. It’s where the start of the Napali coast trail. Unfortunately, due to the flooding the road was closed in 2018. I was there in January 2019 and the road was still closed. You will need to do research on this to find out if it’s open or closed.
Be aware of the land in all of Hawaii. It’s not our land and yet we treat it like it is. We trash it and expect the Hawaii Islands to give us what we want when we want it. But nature does not work like the way of humans. Don’t be upset if you cannot get to what you want to in Hawaii. Be at peace you were meant to see what you were meant to.
4. Baby Beach, Sprecklesville Area – Maui
I’ve only spent one evening at Baby Beach BUT ITS one of my favorites. I mean look at those views of the mountains and sunsetting behind. Come on. It’s called baby beach because it has this break line that creates the perfect shallow little bay for babies to play in. Along with LOTS of turtles! It’s perfect for a picnic dinner and drinks to watch the sunset or take the kids to swim without fear of big waves. Oh Maui!
5. Kua Bay- Big Island
THIS BEACH is glorious. With the CLEAREST of blue waters and amazing big waves during winter months, it’s a must when visiting the Big Island. Located on the West Shore, it’s about 25-30min drive down downtown Kona but so worth it. I’ve had some of my most favorite swimming days (6-7hrs) out in those waters in perfect waves. Sometimes the riptide can be really strong, so just watch what the locals are doing and trust if they are not going out far than don’t.
6. Waimea Bay- Oahu
This beach is one of my favorites because it’s on the North Shore of Oahu and I’ve swam in the BIGGEST waves of my life there. It’s home to the world known surfing competition called the Eddie, so def beware in the winter months about large waves. I’ve definitely gotten myself into a little trouble with massive waves there. But have also had some amazingggg times laughing and swimming with friends. It has a large beach- so if you don’t want to swim it’s a good sun bathing location. Parking can be very hard- I’d suggest going up North to the left and parking on the side to walk down to beach if there are no spots. You can also cliff jump when the water is calm enough. Sometimes the lifeguards won’t let you jump if the waves are too big.
7. Kalalau Beach – Kauai
You can only reach this beach by hiking in from the Kalalau Trail . I have not been there but only seen the beauty of it from a boat tour. Capt Andy’s Boat Tour to be exact- amazing. I’ve heard this beach is insanely beautiful but my captain told me to not swim because the surf is so strong. IT’S SO worth going on the boat tour though. wow.
8. Makena Beach (Big + Little) – Maui
I spent much time here while in Maui. Great break for wake boarding or just swimming. Very clear waters!!! The beach goes for miles so you can always find a good spot to camp out for the day. There is a hidden little gem off of Big Beach though. It’s called Little Beach! It’s a nude beach that is worth going to if you are into that. I’ve never felt so free in my life swimming in the deep blue ocean waters as I did while visiting Little Beach. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen if you take part in the nude. Also, you must climb over a rock during the right time of day to get to little beach.
9. Lanikai Beach – Oahu
My last visit to Oahu I lived with a friend for a month and spent every single day at Lanikai Beach. It resides off a dead end part of SouthEast side of the island in a residential area. This part of town doesn’t have any hotels or air b and b’s- it’s purely residential. Which makes it more private. Although, it gets VERY busy, it’s a very long beach so there is always room. Miles of WHITE power sand and pure blue waters makes Lank Kai truly paradise. No fish, no shells, no rocks, no mess. It’s perfection. Sunrises here are the key. This is a view from the Pillbox hike just above early in the morning.
10. Pipeline Beach- Oahu
The final most amazing beach in Hawaii- voted personally by me- is Pipeline!! It’s on North Shore of Oahu with a wide sandy beach to play on. Pipeline is known for their world famous surf competitions during the winter. The waters can be too rough in the winter to swim but worth going to watch the surfers surf. These photos were taken on my 26th birthday while watching the sunset eating Acia bowls.
Flagstaff Proposal!!! Roy set up a whole day for Peyton. They met in Flagstaff but moved to California. On a recent trip back to Arizona Roy decided to proposal and she was completely shocked. He set up a scavenger hunt day with special people and special places where monumental things have taken place in their relationship. Her last stop was their first kiss location. I was hiding behind a tree when Roy took her out to the spot. He said some beautiful words and got down on one knee asking for her life and heart.
SHE FREAKED OUT! It’s the best part of proposals are the freak outs.
On a warm and sunny March morning at 6:30 am, Thea Louise Shelp came into this world. She is tiny, so sweet, and beautiful. Her parents are some of my best friends in Flagstaff. It’s like they were made to be parents. It comes natural to them like loyalty of a dog. Few days later I was able to photograph their sweet little family in their home. I cannot wait to see who this little one becomes.