My 101 in 1001- Check In #5

Well I definitely am more than a little late for the 5th 101 in 1001 check in, but better late than never, right! The last couple months of 2016 and the first couple of months of 2017 were mostly filled with holidays and not much else, so I didn’t really complete much on my list, except in the life category. Hopefully I’ll get more things crossed off before the next check in!

The Wandering Weekenders- 2015 A Year In Review


60. Do not go shopping for one whole month (except for groceries and necessities).
I wrote a post about this two weeks ago, and even though we still technically “bought” a few things, we did a really good job of not going on shopping for the whole month of January. So I’m saying that this is definitely a completed item.

61. Read 100 books. (73/100)
So far, my reading game has been going strong in 2017, and I think that I might actually complete this before the end of the year is done! Since my 101 in 1001 started I’ve read 7 books in 2015 and 56 books in 2016 and 10 books in 2017. I’ve set a goal to read 55 books this year, and I’m hoping that I’ll be able to blow it out of the water!

66. Have a Hobbit marathon weekend.
After we found out the news about Dart, Chris and I really just wanted to spend some time at home relaxing and trying to get as much time together as possible, so it totally made sense to have one of our movie marathon weekends. I still hadn’t seen the last Hobbit movie, so we decided that watching all three on a Saturday would be perfect! Now I really want to watch them again and LOTR too!

67. Finish watching the whole series of Friends. (Season 7)
We actually started watching Friends last year, and during the winter break from our normal shows, we flew through several seasons extremely quickly. Right now, we’re in the 7th season, and my goal is to finish the series before Thanksgiving next year, so we can watch all of the Thanksgiving episodes in a row!

74. Send out birthday cards on time for 1 year.
Done and done! I always love getting snail mail, especially on my birthday, so I wanted to make sure that friends and family felt extra special on their birthdays too. I’m definitely going to try and continue sending the cards!
The Wandering Weekenders- 29 Things For 29 Years


In Progress:
Travel- (3/25)
Houston- (1/10)
House- (1/20)
Life- (2/20)
Food- (0/10)
Health, Fitness & Beauty- (3/10)
Blog- (0/6)
Total- (10/101)

Travel- (14/25)
Houston- (4/10)
House- (9/20)
Life- (5/20)
Food- (5/10)
Health, Fitness & Beauty- (4/10)
Blog- (5/6)
Total- (46/101)

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My 5th Check In for my 101 in 1001. Not a lot of things got checked off the travel list, but I got a few checked off the life list!

What To Expect When Biking Down Haleakala

I’ve only been to Maui twice, but one of the things that I will continue to do every single time I visit and will hands down recommend time and time again is watching the sunrise over Haleakala and signing up for a bike ride down the volcano afterwards. It is a beyond amazing experience and so extremely peaceful, even it’s an extremely early wake up call. Today I thought that I’d break down our experience with Mountain Riders, so you can know exactly what to expect when you experience your own sunrise over Haleakala.

The Wandering Weekenders- What To Expect When Biking Down Haleakala

Haleakala National Park

First of all, I guess that y’all are probably wondering what in the heck Haleakala even is! Haleakala is an active volcano on the eastern side of the island of Maui, but don’t worry, it is  currently dormant. Besides being an active volcano, Haleakala also happens to be the highest peak on the island and can be seen from pretty much anywhere on the island.

The Wandering Weekenders- What To Expect When Biking Down Haleakala

Because Haleakala sits on the eastern side of the island, the sunrises over the crater of the volcano are beyond spectacular, which is why the Hawaiians named this volcano Haleakala which literally translates to “House of the Sun”. The Haleakala volcano is part of a National Park and offers not only access to beautiful sunrises, but some hiking trails as well.

The Wandering Weekenders- What To Expect When Biking Down Haleakala

Know Before You Go:

Go on your first day in Maui

Believe me when I say that seeing the sunrise over Haleakala is not to be missed, but in order to see the sunrise you have to wake up extremely early. And I’m not talking 4:30 early, I’m talking 2:00 in the morning early, which is why I very much suggest experiencing Haleakala on your first day in Maui.

The Wandering Weekenders- What To Expect When Biking Down Haleakala

The Wandering Weekenders- What To Expect When Biking Down Haleakala

The Wandering Weekenders- What To Expect When Biking Down Haleakala

Most tour groups will you pick you up at your hotel, and depending on where you’re staying, you could have a potential hour drive from your hotel to Haleakala. And that doesn’t even count getting fitted for your bike, grabbing all of your safety equipment, and signing all of your waivers! But don’t worry, your tour groups will have coffee waiting for you, so you can be at least a little perky before the sunrise.

The Wandering Weekenders- What To Expect When Biking Down Haleakala

The Wandering Weekenders- What To Expect When Biking Down Haleakala

Wear warm clothes

Remember when I said that Haleakala was the tallest peak on the island of Maui, well that’s about 10,000 feet above sea level, and the visitor center where you can watch the sunrise is almost that high above sea level as well. So what does that mean for you besides an amazing view? It means that it’s going to be very, very cold!

The Wandering Weekenders- What To Expect When Biking Down Haleakala

Dressing in layers is definitely the key when it comes to watching the sunrise over Haleakala because it’ll be cold when you watch the sunrise from the summit, but you’ll be back in the warm and balmy island weather once you’ve ridden your bike down to the bottom of the volcano. To give you an idea of what to expect, we visited in July and the average lows at Haleakala are in the upper 40s and the average highs are in the mid 60s, so it will be cold!

The Wandering Weekenders- What To Expect When Biking Down Haleakala

Most of the tour groups will give you some gloves and a body suit to wear, but you’ll still want to make sure that you wear jeans, closed toed shoes, and probably a jacket. There will be stops along the way so that you can take layers off, but the last thing that you want is to be miserable watching a beautiful sunset over the top of the tallest volcano on Maui!

The Wandering Weekenders- What To Expect When Biking Down Haleakala

Go with a tour group

I’ve mentioned it several times already, but I highly recommend using a tour group when you go to the top of Haleakala. Not only will you not have to worry about driving that early in the morning and trying to navigate around an island and a National Park that you’re not familiar with in the dark, but you won’t have to deal with trying to actually get into the park and find parking and dealing with all the entrance fees as well.

The Wandering Weekenders- What To Expect When Biking Down Haleakala

Most of the tour groups will pick you up from your hotel, drive you up to the top of the mountain, help you navigate down the mountain, provide you with breakfast afterwards, and take you back to the hotel. It’s actually a very good deal, considering that your entrance fee to the park, bike rental, and transportation are all considered.

Bike down Haleakala

Now I know that the idea of biking down an active volcano doesn’t exactly thrill everybody, but trust me if I can do it, you can too! I definitely am not the one that has the best balance or is the most active or even can really ride a bike, so if I was able to do it, you can too! I mean I might have crashed my bike in Europe, but I managed to not fall off the volcano in Hawaii, but trust me that’s a story for another day.

The Wandering Weekenders- What To Expect When Biking Down Haleakala

When I say that you don’t have to be active to bike down Haleakala, I literally mean that you probably won’t even pedal the whole time that you’re on the bike. The bikes that are provided to you are a special kind of bike that are weighted to help you literally just glide down the volcano, plus you factor in the incline of Haleakala and yep, you won’t even be moving those pedals at all by yourself! It’s definitely a very different story if you try to bike across The Golden Gate Bridge, you will have to pedal your butt off in that situation!

The Wandering Weekenders- What To Expect When Biking Down Haleakala

Now besides not really having to work in order to bike down the volcano, choosing to bike down the volcano will also give you the opportunity to take in all the amazing sights of the island while also getting to experience a range of ecosystems as well. It truly is an experience that you don’t want to miss out on!

The Wandering Weekenders- What To Expect When Biking Down Haleakala

If you’re still sure that biking down the volcano isn’t for you, there are several tours that will drive you to the top of the volcano for the sunset and then drive you back down afterwards. It’s still gives you the opportunity to see the sunrise without having to deal with all the chaos that I mentioned before.

Overall though, you really don’t need much in order to enjoy a trip to the top of Haleakala, just your eyes in order to remember an unimaginable experience. Because believe me, it will truly be an experience of a lifetime that you will never forget! I’m linking up with these Wanderful Women from some Wanderful Wednesday- Lauren of Lauren on Location, Van of Snow in Tromso, Isabel of The Sunny Side of This and Marcella of What a Wonderful World!

Have you ever biked down Haleakala? If not, have I convinced you yet that you need a trip to watch the sunrise over the House Of The Sun?

Other Hawaii Posts

My First Trip To Hawaii- Maui
My First Trip To Hawaii- The Big Island
10 Things I Learned While Visiting Hawaii
Hawaii In Instagram Photos
Which Hawaiian Islands Should You Visit?
How To Spend 9 Days Exploring Maui and Kauai

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Everything you need to know and what you can expect when you're biking Haleakala in Maui.

Show Us Your Books- What I Read In January

The Wandering Weekenders- Show Us Your Books- What I Read In February

Happy Valentine’s Day everybody, and happy Show Us Your Books day with Steph and Jana because let’s face it, there’s no better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than with some book recommendations! With December being such a light reading month I didn’t know what to expect for January, so I was definitely very surprised when January actually turned into a great reading month for me. Not only did I get a great start on my reading challenge for 2017, but I also managed to finish up the SCWBC16 and got a good start on Erin’s Book Challenge as well! So let’s get into some book reviews, shall we!

The Wandering Weekenders- Show Us Your Books What I Read In January

Grey by E.L. James ★★★ 3 stars

I’ll be the first to admit, I totally loved the 50 Shades of Grey books and read them all. I even saw the first movie, even though it wasn’t very good at all and Chris and I spent the whole time laughing at it. So when I saw that the book from Christian’s perspective was released, I totally downloaded it and couldn’t wait to read it, except that I did wait to read it because I got sidetracked with other books.

To be perfectly honest, I was kind of hoping to like Grey as much as I liked 50 Shades of Grey and hopefully a little bit more since I would be able to get inside Christian’s head, but I ended up liking it less and liking Christian less. I know that the whole story is totally unbelievable, but it just ended up seeming even more so after reading it from Christian’s perspective and I ended up finding Christian more of the creeper type than anything else. Definitely not one of my favorites, but if you’re fan of 50 Shades of Grey still give it a try.

The Wandering Weekenders- Show Us Your Books What I Read In January

Mary, Mary by James Patterson ★★★ 3 stars

I’m a huge fan of James Patterson, so reading the next book in the Alex Cross series is a duh for me. Most of the Alex Cross books are set in Washington DC, where Alex lives with his family, but while Alex was on vacation at Disney Land with his family he gets called onto a case where movie stars are being murdered.

In true James Patterson fashion, the book kept you glued to the pages and turning them as fast you can, but I just don’t know what it was about this book and the story that didn’t make it my favorite. It’s the usual book “junk food” that my mom likes to call it, you read it super fast but it’s not exactly satisfying at the end. If you’re an Alex Cross fan, still pick it up and read it.

The Wandering Weekenders- Show Us Your Books What I Read In January

Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler ★★★★ 4 stars

I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

I have to admit I’ve never read Shakespeare’s Taming Of The Shrew, but I was very much obsessed with 10 Things I Hate About You in High School which is another retelling of the famous play. So even though I never read the play, I got the gist of the storyline, a girl that’s hard to love or be with ends up falling in love with a man that’s pushed on her.

While Vinegar Girl is definitely no Shakespeare, I really enjoyed this retelling a lot. Even though Kate was very abrasive throughout a lot of the book, I enjoyed her no nonsense type of attitude and how she she was fine being herself. I also really thought that Bunny was very annoying, as I’m sure that the author wanted us to. I also liked seeing the love story grow between Kate and Pyotr and loved the Epilogue at the end so you could see how everybody ended up years later. Overall, if you’re looking for a light and chicklit type of book to read that has its base in great literature, this is the book for you. It was very cute and I really enjoyed reading it!

The Wandering Weekenders- Show Us Your Books What I Read In January

The Girl Before by JP Delaney ★★★★ 4 stars

I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. 

If you’re looking for a good thriller that will keep you guessing until the very end, then this is the book for you. It’s like The Girl On The Train except that you actually like the main characters (at least one of them) and are actually rooting for them. The way the book is written is very interesting in that each chapter is written from Emma’s perspective (the girl before) and then Jane’s perspective (the girl after). It really worked for this book and for some reason I felt like it was easier to keep track of than other books that do it, like The Girl On The Train.

Both Emma and Jane are going through a very tough and very different situations in their lives when they decide to move into One Folgate Street that is owned by the mysterious architect. As they both move in, their lives start up on the very same projectile, but will they both have the same tragic end? Definitely pick this book up if you’re looking for a good thriller!

The Wandering Weekenders- Show Us Your Books What I Read In January

The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway ★★★ 3 stars

I never read Ernest Hemingway in school, but I thought that it would be interesting to read one of his books, especially after reading Z last year and knowing a little bit of his background. From the description of the book, I was expecting a little bit of a love story in this book, but man was I wrong.

The book basically picks up while a group of friends is in Paris and follows them as they head south to Spain for the famous Running of the Bulls for the holiday of San Fermin. While I loved the way that Hemingway described Paris and Spain, it really felt like you were there, I didn’t love how there was no character development and no plot line either. It just felt like they were all just going along their way drinking and having a good time without having an actual point to what they were doing. I know that they’re supposed to be The Lost Generation because of WWI, but I felt like he just didn’t write the book in a way to give me any empathy to the characters for what they had been through. Needless to say, I’m probably not a Hemingway person.

The Wandering Weekenders- Show Us Your Books What I Read In January

Are You There Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea by Chelsea Handler ★★★★ 4 stars

I have vivid memories of my friend recommending this book to me in college, but I never had a chance to pick it up. I’ve read a few other books written by comedians, but they just didn’t turn out to be my favorites for some reason. So I’m kind of surprised at myself that I liked this book more than Tina Fey’s book, but I think that honestly was because I hadn’t watched a lot of Tina’s shows and her book revolved heavily around 30 Rock.

While I haven’t watched much of Chelsea’s show, you definitely didn’t need to have watched it in order to enjoy this book. Chelsea was really funny and totally not PC during the entire book, but the way it was written made it seem like she could have really thought that, which is one of the reasons why it was so funny. There was no real point to this book, other than funny stories from Chelsea’s life, but I enjoyed it. It was also a good book for me to read right now with everything that’s been going on with Dart.

Overall, I was really surprised that I was able to finish up the SCWBC16 because I had to read six books in a month, which I definitely don’t do very often. But maybe with December being so light, I decided to kick into gear in January. Anyway, the books I’d definitely recommend that you pick up are Vinegar Girl, The Girl Before, and Are You There Vodka? It’s Me Chelsea. The other ones were just ok, and would be good to pick up if you’re interested in the author at all.

Have you read any of these books? Do you have any good recommendations from this past month?

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Show Us Your Books- 6 book reviews from the month of January! From The Girl Before and Vinegar Girl to Mary Mary and Grey!

My SCWBC16 Challenge Choices:

My SCWBC16 Challenge Results:
5 points: Freebie! Read any book that is at least 150 pages long.
The Curious Charms of Alfred Pepper by Phaedra Patrick (331 pages, 4 stars).
10 points: Read a 2016 finalist (longlist or shortlist) for one of the following literary prizes: National Book AwardMan Booker or Man Booker International.
Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson (192 pages, 4 stars).
10 points: Read a brand-new release (something published between November 1, 2016, and January 31, 2017).
The Girl Before by JP Delaney (320 pages, 4 stars).
15 points: Read a book featuring a main character who is of a different race or religion than you.
The Secret Book Of Kings by Yochi Brandes (416 pages, 4 stars)
15 points: Read a book by an author of a different race or religion than you.
The Pearl That Broke Its Shell by Nadia Sashimi (452 pages, 5 stars).
20 points:Read a modern retelling of a classic Submitted by SCSBC16 winner Kaity.
Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler (237 pages, 4 stars)
25 points:Read a book with an alcoholic beverage (neat or cocktail) in the title. — Submitted by SCSBC16 winner Kerry.
Are You There Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea by Chelsea Handler (264 pages, 4 stars).
30 points:Read a book with a character that shares your first or last name  Submitted by SCSBC16 winner Ericka.
The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway (256 pages, 3 stars).
30 points: Read two books: a nonfiction book and a fiction book with which it connects— Submitted by SCSBC16 winner Bev. (And remember you must finish both books to get the 30 points! No partial points will be awarded.)
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls (288 pages, 5 stars)
The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney (353 pages, 3 stars)
40 points:Read two books: one by an author whose first name is the same as the last name of the author of the other book— Submitted by SCSBC16 winner Jamie. (And remember you must finish both books to get the 40 points! No partial points will be awarded.)
Grey by E.L. James (576 pages, 3 stars)
Mary, Mary by James Patterson (413 pages, 3 stars).


My Erin’s Book Challenge 6.0 Choices:

My Erin’s Book Challenge 6.0 Results:

5 points:  Freebie – Read a book that is at least 200 pages.
The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney (320 pages, 4 stars).
30 points:  (Submitted by Peggy) Read a “Rory Gilmore” book.  The character of Rory from the Gilmore Girls was shown reading over 300 different books throughout the series.  Choose one of them from this helpful link:
The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway (256 pages, 3 stars).
30 points:  (Submitted by Stef)  Read a book from a genre that you’ve never read (or rarely read.)
Are You There Vodka, It’s Me Chelsea by Chelsea Handler (264 pages, 4 stars).


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