Get paid to hike Hawaii

Swapped out my winter coat and boots this weekend for a bikini and some flip flops! I figured that if I had to work a little more that I might as well make it fun!

This week/weekend 2 of my flight attendant friends and I decided we needed a little getaway, but we also all needed to work, so what other option did we have other than picking up a trip to Kauai?! We all had the time off and figured we could spend a day in LA with our friends who live out there, and then work a trip with a 24 hour layover in Lihue.

We all met up at LAX around 9:30am on Wednesday and headed to our friends apartment to settle in before going out for some sushi for lunch, followed by the best ice cream sandwiches in Manhattan Beach! We enjoyed the warmth and sunshine out on the pier for awhile before retreating back for a pool day and late-night BBQ hosted by our friends, a.k.a. my friends brother-in-law and his roommate, before my best friend’s husband was able to fly out and join us!

After a relaxing day in California, the girls had to get ready to go to work the next morning. I am still trying to figure out if working to Hawaii with your best friends can ever really be considered work, but hey, I’ll take it! My friend’s husbands was also able to join us on our half-empty flight and we all become friends with one of our pilots and agreed to met up for a day of adventuring in the morning after we arrived!

Now, I know I have posted about some pretty awesome outings while on my layovers, but if I am truly being honest, most of my experiences are a result of sheer-dumb-luck. Before meeting our first officer we had all planned to simply have a beach day, which would have been amazing and was how I spent my last Lihue layover, but our FO said he had rented a car and invited us all out to do some hiking. When we saw the forecast with limited sunshine, we thought what a better way to explore Kauai, than with some awesome hikes and an experienced guide?!img_1365

We begun our day at the Beach Hut for breakfast where we all had an inexpensive (in Hawaii prices) traditional Hawaiian breakfast and then drove out to hike the Sleeping Giant. This was a fairly easy hike and it didn’t take us too much time at all. However, we didn’t make it to the very top of the mountain due to the trail conditions from all the rain that they had gotten that week in Lihue. We were so close, but had to turn around after about an hour after the trail turned to straight mud.

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After our hike we set out in search of some waterfalls and we came across this waterfall that was only about 20 minutes away from Sleeping Giant. We weren’t able to go to the base of the waterfall, but the view from the top was more than enough for us! Even better, we were able to met a sweet little pet pig that one of the locals had by their fruit stand and love on him a little bit! We wanted to make the most out of our day though, so we didn’t spend too much time at the falls before heading over to Waimea Canyon which was an hour away.

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Waimea Canyon is known to be the Grand Canyon of the Pacific and I can see why! This beauty was something that caught me completely off-guard since I had never seen this side of Hawaii before! The contrast between the red rocks&dirt, with the vivid greens and waterfalls was absolutely breathtaking! Although you can hike this canyon, we opted to just view it from the top due to being on a time-crunch! Even though we had 24 hours, we got in late, needed to sleep, and then had to wake up and fit in our agenda before napping and preparing to work a red-eye flight out! If we had more time this is something that I would have been interested in exploring further, however the hike did seem to be a bit intense for beginners and I am not sure if I am ready for that!

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After the canyon we all agreed to head back to the Beach Hut for a late lunch before grabbing some chocolate covered macadamia nuts and calling the layover! It was about 3 pm when we all got back to the hotel and our quick little Hawaiian visit was over just like that! We arrived back in LAX around 5:30am the next morning and we all went our separate ways! For myself, my vacation seemed to be just beginning as I was able to catch a free flight to Chicago to spend some time with my family for a few days! It might be cold but who wouldn’t want to spend some time with this sweet boy?!

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I will be here for a few more days and then it is back to work for me! I have a couple of days on-call, so keep your fingers crossed for another fun-filled layover!

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