Beyond Words- A Man Called Ove

Happy last Friday of February everybody! I swear this year is literally flying by so quickly, and it doesn’t look like it’s slowing down anytime soon. I’m very excited to not only be linking up with Carolann and Christy to talk about The Beyond Words: A Blogger’s Book Club book for the month, but also to be linking up with Olya and Mattie for their second annual Galentine’s Day Blogger Exchange.

The Wandering Weekenders- Beyond Words A Blogger's Book Club

I know that I probably sound like a broken record, but one of my favorite things about blogging has been getting to connect with other people that have similar interests. It’s so much fun to talk about books and see what other people think, and also to send and receive snail mail from some girls that you feel like you know, just because you read their blog. Anyways, let’s get onto A Man Called Ove and my goodies from the Galentine’s Day Blogger Exchange!

The Wandering Weekenders- Galentines Blogger Exchange

The Wandering Weekenders- Beyond Words A Man Called Ove

A Man Called Ove

So I guess that I have to say that first thing’s first, I actually didn’t vote for this book when Christy and Carolann put up the poll on Goodreads, not because I didn’t want to read it, but because I selfishly had a copy of one of the other books and wanted to read that one instead. Well, thanks to everybody that voted in the polls for A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman because this book is easily one of my favorite that I’ve read in a long time.

Last year when I first started joining in the Show Us Your Books linkup with Steph and Jana (next one is on March 14th by the way), it seemed like A Man Called Ove was all anybody could talk about. I read the review and added it to my Goodreads, but for some reason I didn’t ever pick it up. Now I see why everybody couldn’t stop raving about it, and I’m kind of kicking myself for not picking it up earlier.

Ove is an older gentleman that is very used to the same routine. He wakes up at the same time every morning, has his cup of coffee, walks the streets in his neighborhood for his usual inspection, and then works on things around the house. Ove has very strong principals and is very strict about following the rules, and when the rules are broken Ove makes sure to inform those who broke the rules and then tries to fix them. Ove’s world is literally turned upside down when some neighbors move in next door, and they start showing him that everything isn’t as black and white as he’d like it.

When I first started reading this book, it reminded me a lot of The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper, but as the book progressed, I saw that the only real similarity was the fact that both Ove and Arthur were widowers. While Curious Charms was about Alfred trying to understand and find out more about his wife, A Man Called Ove was about opening up a man to the world around him.

While Ove’s character didn’t really change much during the book, he still had that rough and prickly exterior throughout the entire book, I love that his outlook changed, and one of the biggest ways that you saw that was the way that he addressed people. After a few short exchanges with Parvaneh, Ove stopped referring to her as “The Pregnant One” and started referring to her by her name. The same thing happened with her husband, Ove started thinking of him as Patrick instead of “The Lanky One”.

Another thing that I loved about the book was the way that the author managed to almost seamlessly transition from the past to the present. Sometimes it can get really confusing when you almost time travel back and forth in books (He’s Gone that I finished up in this month was like that), but it was perfect in A Man Called Ove. Plus, I felt that the time travel really helped to show the character development of Ove and why he did some of the things that he did.

I could literally go on and on about why I loved A Man Called Ove, but I think that you get the point, it’s a fantastic book, and you should go pick it up immediately! I gave it a 5/5 stars on Goodreads, and I’m very much looking forward to reading more books by Fredrik Backman.

Galentines Blogger Exchange

I think that I’ve mentioned it before, but Valentine’s Day isn’t that important of a holiday to me. Yes, I love getting to say an extra “I love you” to Chris, but we don’t really like doing anything too over the top on those days. We prefer to just have a nice meal together.

Galentine’s Day on the other hand, is something that I’m in full support of. Any excuse to get together with your girlfriends or give them presents, is alright in my book! So of course, I was really excited when Olya and Mattie announced that they would be hosting their Galentine’s Day gift exchange again and signed up immediately.

This year I got to buy Mattie her gift, and I kind of had a hard time deciding what I wanted to get her. When I remembered that she had commented that she hadn’t read a Sophie Kinsella book, I figured that a cute RomCom book would be the perfect way to celebrate Valentine’s Day so I sent her Can You Keep A Secret, which happens to be my favorite Sophie Kinsella book. I also knew that she was loving reading all of the Harry Potter books at the moment, so I thought that a fun coffee mug would be a fun gift for her too. I hope that you love them Mattie!

I was super excited when I received my Galentine’s Day gift and found out that it came from a fellow Texan that I love, Erin from Tex Erin in Sydneyland! The Amazon boxes arrived right after we had ended our No Spend January, so I had to make sure that I told Chris that I didn’t order my gifts for myself, especially since they were so perfect!

Erin not only sent me a really pretty Essie nail polish in Chinchilly, but also some wine glasses and wine stopper that are absolutely perfect for Galentine’s Day! I basically squealed with delight when I opened up my packages!

The Wandering Weekenders- Beyond Words A Man Called Ove

The wine glasses are stemless, which I love and covered in conversation hearts, and you’d better believe that I had my glass of wine in one of those cute glasses on Valentine’s Day while I watched The Bachelor! It was perfect, minus Nick being a dummy on The Bachelor, but I feel like nothing’s going to solve that problem. Anyways, Erin thank you so much for my perfect Galentine’s Day gift, and I’m pretty sure that I’ll be drinking wine out of them until my birthday because they’re just too cute!

Have you ever read A Man Called Ove? Did you exchange gifts with your Gals for Galentine’s Day?

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Beyond Words: A Blogger's Book Club- A review of A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. A beautiful story about how people can change.

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.

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