Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Back from Hawaii!!

We spent our 10th Anniversary in Hawaii. It was the most wonderful trip ever! The kids behaved, mostly. We visited the Volcano National Park, rain forests, went whale watching and spent a ton of time together as family. No internet in the hotel for the first time ever on a vacation LOL It was really the most amazing experience. I have tons of pics but I will chose one or two from each activity to keep it manageable and also interesting for you!

Day 1 and 2: The day we were leaving for Hawaii, Aanya fell sick. She had fever and was not happy during the flight. The flight was long - 2 changes (DC to TX, TX to LA, LA to HI). It was the most awful part of the entire trip. Once we got there and slept the night she started feeling better. No more fevers Yay.
We started the morning easy and took a tour around the hotel. We stayed at the Hilton resort in Waikoloa. It is so awesome I can't even describe it in words. It encapsulates what Hawaii is all about..lots of vegetation, ocean, and birds! We woke up to the chirping of birds every day.

View from our balcony. First view of the ocean in Hawaii

Hotel had boats to go from one tower to another or you could take a monorail. Once or twice we went on foot and it took at least 15 minutes. We decided monorail was the easiest with the stroller. 

The Big Island has white sand, black sand and green sand beaches. Black and green are due to the volcano activity. Wherever we went on the island, there was TONS of lava rock. Big island has the only active volcano in Hawaii. We went to the Wapio Valley overlook. This overlook has view of the wapio valley and the black sand beach.

Breathtaking view of the valley 

 We continued on to visit the Hawaii National Botanical Gardens. Along the way we saw snow capped mountain Mauna Kea. It has snowed the previous night and it was a picturesque view. We barely made it to the botanical gardens in time for the last entry of the day (4pm)! As soon as we entered the trail was a bit steep and it had been always rains in this part of the island every day. I fell. Nothing hurt except my pride :) Lots of beautiful tropical plants and trees here.

Inside the Botanical Gardens


The Hawaii Rainforests are absolutely breathtaking. I would stay back and take all the sounds in. It's an experience like no other. I very much wanted to do a zipline but turns out it was an 8 zipline tour for which I would need to with the group to another location and do the tour and come back. If it wasn't for the kids Girish and I would have gone but I didn't want to go by myself. Oh well, next time for sure!!

On day 2, we stayed back at the hotel and went to the pools and took it easy. It was great to get into the water. Aanya and Mehul really love the pool.

Aanya's favorite floatie

Loving my new sarong

To the pool


Best friends!!
Day 3 and 4
We had tickets to the 'Breakfast with Whales' tour. Getting everyone up and dressed before breakfast is no easy task! Somehow we made it to the hotel lobby from where we were picked up to go to the tour. Whales were all around us. So close that it was scary and cool to think about it.

Let's go!

Mehul spotted a whale

One of my favorite pics from the trip

Waving bye

Awesome experience!
In the afternoon Girish took Mehul to take the submarine tour. The submarine goes 105 ft underwater and they had a fantastic view of the coral reef. This was the highlight of the trip for Mehul. He still hasn't stopped talking about the submarine. There were a couple of sunken ships that they were able to see. Aanya could not go on the submarine (5yrs +) so I stayed back with her and we hung out by the pool.

Next day we went to the Volcano National Park. It rained off and on the entire day and got a little chilly. Thank goodness we had jackets on us because of how cold it was in DC when we left! Upon entering the Volcano National Park we first got to see the steam vents. There were holes opened up in the earth and steam was coming out. Out of curiosity I stuck my face over the steam and why yes, it was hot! LOL! Lava facial!
This is the only active volcano on the island. Here is the Crater and volcanic gases coming out of it. There is a trail that takes you much closer to the crater but we were in no condition to hike with the stroller and the pouring rain so we stayed on the outlooks designed for viewing. Part of the area was closed due to the gases being blown around due to weather conditions.
Jaggar museum overlook
Sometimes lava flow solidifies quickly on the top while it's still running inside (like eggs over easy), it forms a lava tube. One such tube which is open from both ends so you can walk inside.
Lava Tube
Lava from 1974 flow on the roadside. I collected some rocks from here.

Day 5 and 6 Feb 21, 2012: Our 10th Anniversary! It was the most perfect day so far in Hawaii. We took it easy and hung around the pool and shops in the morning. In the evening, we were booked for Luau - Traditional Hawaiian Feast. It was an evening full of festivities. I wore my dress I had been looking forward to wearing the most! I had a flower in my hair, Lei garland and all!!
I can do the hawaiian girl think all right :)
Mehul loves his shirt too

While shopping earlier in the day, I came a fabric store and I had to pay a visit. OMG! Thousands of prints and excellent prices. I was in fabric paradise. I got some hawaiian prints that will be made into something very soon!! They have a website I am very tempted to order more but I will use up the yardage I bought already. I have a very well stocked craftroom and these were a nice addition ;)
Discount Fabric Warehouse in Kona, HI

We had been in Hawaii for 5 days and not visited any of the beaches yet. Now finally we went to the beach. The Hapuna Beach is a white sand beach not too far from the resort area. It was marvelous. Perfect beach weather, blue waters and silky white sand.
Mehul making craters in the sand
Postcard view

More to come later..

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

And something for him

Ok - we all know girl clothing is just too cute to resist buying or making. But my big boy is not without mamamade clothing either. I made him 2 fleece hoodies last year. He helped by selecting the fabric combos and the shield applique. Everytime he puts one of these on it puts a smile on my face. Finally, something for my boy! There is another one in red and grey but I don't have a picture online for it.

The hoodie pattern is from the book 'Sewing clothes kids love'. It is actually a great book for children's clothing inspiration, patterns are really good and fit my petite kids very well. Sizing is European so you do need to figure out which size to make but information is all included in there. One of the items on my 52 things list is from this book - 'Feliz' which is the ultimate ruffly super twirly girls dress with an underlayer and an overlayer.

Few from last year

Last summer I was making Aanya a nice summery wardrobe. There are so many cute girl dress patterns that I have a hard time chosing which one to do. One such pattern is Summertime Dress. The designer is from a sewing forum I frequent and she is just as sweet as this dress is! I bought the pattern right as it came out and made the dress. It is adorable. I'm sad that it is too small for her now. I plan to make at least 2 more this summer.

(ignore the unfinished hem. this was try it out time)

Aanya had this simple knit frock which is way too cute on her. I traced the lines on paper and just recreated the pattern. It actually fits and looks cool! I made her 2 of these last year. Bonus points with this one because she can wear these as tunic over her jeans this year. Yay for knits!

I haven't done much sewing since last post. I have been tasked with coming up with pirate costumes for 7 kids from DS's Odyssey of the Mind program. It's not much, just vests made of felt but this project is actually preventing me from doing any sewing at all. There's so many things cut out and ready for attention but I am preventing myself from working on anything else. I will be glad when they're done.