Wednesday, March 31, 2010

big island hawaii - day six

Warren from the Native Guide Hawaii picked us up early Friday morning and drive us over to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. We started off at the Kilauea Visitor Center and Warren drove us all through the park taking us to various spots including the steam vents, Kilauea Iki Crater, the Lava Tube, Halema'uma'u Crater, Holei Sea Arch and other points on the Crater Rim Drive.

This is a steam vent where rainwater sinks through the ground and is warmed by rocks which carry heat from the lava below. Hot water then rises through fissures to condense in the chilled air.

photo credit: Paul & Kelly

"Foam like" rock found on the ground. Super light and rough to touch and Ohi'a lehua flowers (red) above.

I have to admit I was a little hesitant at first. Robert had booked the tour himself and I wasn't too sure what I was getting into. We didn't get to see any flowing lava, but I loved it and our guide was fantastic! It was a private tour and I highly recommend it. Warren was very informative and took us off the beaten path. He showed us the Caldera, gave us a great introduction on what it was and walked us through eruptions from the 1970's. He showed us pieces of molten lava found on the ground that had been hurled into the air forming droplets (Pele's tears) or glassy filaments (Pele's hair). Pele being the Hawaiian volcano goddess.

This is an image of a Hawaiian fern, Hapu'u. It can be found throughout the Big Island, but I think that we've seen the biggest plants at the Volcano National Park. A "hair like" substance can be pulled off from the top which has been used as pillow stuffing or an alternative to what we know as fiber-fill.

Monday, March 29, 2010

big island hawaii - day five

(black sand beaches)

We flew out of Honolulu early Thursday morning over to Kona. Which, by the way, has the cutest outdoor airport I have ever been to! We couldn't find much information about a ferry service between the islands. We actually don't even know if they have anything as we have never seen anything advertised, but there must be some way to get vehicles around. So, where we would hop on to a BC Ferry, here, they hop on a short flight to get around. Our trip only took 30 minutes. Enough time to hand us a juice and map.

Once we landed, we rented a car and headed 3 hours up the coast to the village of Volcano. We are literally staying in the Hawaiian jungle right now. No cell service * gasp * ! Thank goodness for wireless internet though. This may be as rural as I have ever experienced. Ha! We are staying on a property with 3 cabins. I'm going to take pictures and post them soon. It's so quiant here. Sleeping last night took a little to get used to. It was so quiet. Just the sound of frogs during the evening and the chirping of birds in the morning.

Cat colony that was at one of the rest stops on the beach. There were actually 10 in total.

We booked a personal guide, Warren from Native Guide Hawaii, to take us to Volcano National Park. Pictures coming tomorrow!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

honolulu - day four

We met up with Angela and Domi from Photobooth Vancouver for breakfast today. They both previously lived in Honolulu and travel back here often. So, it was extra fantastic to know that they were going to be here the same time we were! A & D took us to Mac 24-7 at the Hilton Waikiki Prince Kuhio Hotel for one of their famous pancakes. You may think to yourself... "I didn't know Hawaii was known for their pancakes?" .... well, you have to watch this episode of Man vs. Food.

So, we didn't order the massive pancakes. This was apparently the regular sized version * holy * and I must also tell you about my new love.. coconut pancake syrup - yum! I will surely be stocking up before we head home.

Honolulu has these beautiful trees everywhere that I believe are Baobab trees. Can anybody confirm?

Geeky wedding planner moment. Aren't these arrangements divine? They were inside the Moana Surfrider hotel (pictured above).

My new dress from the Liberty collection at Target. Folks, the Honolulu Target's Liberty items are virtually untouched with many sizes available. Go now!!

I love rainbows!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

royal canadian mint pavilion

photo credit: Richard Wolak

I know it's a little late, but I meant to post this article about the Royal Canadian Mint that Kim Werker wrote. Robert and I worked in the pavilion during the Olympics overseeing the set up, tear down and the day-to-day operations. Originally, the plan was to allow 200 people a day to see and touch the medals. People would go into the medal room, watch a video on how the medals were made, be able to ask questions to an Engineer that actually worked on the medals and then be able to touch and take pictures with them. Well, that went out that window after day one. The Mint expected an attendance of 60,000, so when over 110,000 people came through during the two weeks of the Olympics, they were blown away. With an average wait time of 5 hours and a peak of 10 hours on the weekend, the pavilion was just incredible. Of course, why wouldn't it be? It was one of the few pavilions that were free... one of the only ones with a children's area where they could strike a coin and receive a goodie bag... a coin exchange... interactive displays with a photobooth... pins... the million dollar coin and gold bar exhibit... and of course, the medals.

Due to the overwhelming response, the Royal Canadian Mint reopened a smaller pavilion as part of the Paralympics from March 12-21st, 2010 at the Vancouver Public Library. Scroll to the bottom of Kim's article to read what I had to say about my experience of spending 28 straight days witht he Mint during the 2010 Olympics.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Etsy Finds Friday

Etsy Finds Friday is a speckle of random things that have caught my eye on Great ideas and lots of inspiration for your upcoming wedding or to add a little handmade love to your life.

photo credit go to the respective shops listed below

(From left to right)
Top: Vintage Avocado, Yellow Goat, Jane Bon Bon

Middle: Amy Jo Tatum Bridal Couture, Shelf, Bazaar Latino

Bottom: Sprout Studio, Shop Good Grace, Sunshine and Ravioli

Thursday, March 25, 2010

honolulu - day three

When we first arrived at the hotel, there were notices all over the building alerting guests that there would be a low flying helicopter on Tuesday between 7:00am to noon. We headed out this morning for our iced coffees and when we were walking past the lagoon towards the hotel, the PA told us that the walk ways were closed for the next 20 minutes as they are waiting for the helicopter to fly past. Turns out that our hotel is where they filmed the original Hawaii Five-0 (the part where they show Jack Lord) opening sequence and they are filming it today for the remake. Cool!

Hawaiian high school

Of course, I didn't have my camera with me, so you will just have to settle with these images...

The view up at Tantalus lookout in Puu Ualakaa State Wayside Park with Punchbowl Crater off in the distance.

A brief visit to Punchbowl National Memorial Cemetary of the Pacific ...

We ended up in Ala Moana Shopping Center for lunch. Usually, I cringe at food courts, but everything here looked so delicious! From shaved ice to noodle bowls to fresh dim sum... Yum!

(My udon soup and katsu don with a side of pickled veggies)

We decided on a Japanese lunch at Donburiya DonDon. Each picture was just over $7.00!

(Rob's tempura cold soba noodles, oyako don, miso, pickled veggies and a side of macaroni salad)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

pinwheel love

I was in Honolulu driving down the street when we happened to pass by a Kate Spade store. Pinwheel love right?

photo credit: Knock Knocking
Well, I just happened to be going through my blog bookmarks and came across this post by Knock Knocking! Aren't they scrumptious? Beautiful pin wheel brooches made of felt and buttons. You can purchase them from her Etsy shop and they are a steal at $5.00 each. I should know. I just bought the one above!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

speaking panel @ MOV

Yay! Our first speaking panel!

The Museum of Vancouver hosted a screening of Handmade Nation last Friday to a diverse crowd consisting of DIY crafters and members of the Museum.

Following the screening, the MOV held a guest panel to speak about the DIY movement in Vancouver and answer questions raised by the audience. The panel consisted of Robert from Got Craft? and lotus events inc., Kim Werker from and Erin Bonniferro from Collage Collage and facilitated by Amanda Gibbs from the MOV. Topics covered included the growth of DIY and craft fairs in Vancouver through the last couple of years and how they have changed, the difference (if any) between the DIY movement in the US vs. Canada, the difference in crafting for a hobby and crafting for a living, DIY vs. fine art, gender in the craft movement, to name a few.

Read more over on the Got Craft blog

Monday, March 22, 2010

honolulu - day two

The last time I was in Honolulu I was 3... maybe 4 years old. The only things I remember are:

1) My mom having a stomach ache, so my grandma took me to buy some chicken for dinner
2) My aunt, who was sharing a room with my mom and I, slept on a cot that collapsed in the middle of the night
3) I visited the Polynesian Cultural Center and they taught us how to weave baskets

So, Robert and I basically started from square one by kicking off day two by taking a road trip and driving around South Oahu, up to East Oahu, over to North Oahu and down back to Waikiki through Central Oahu. The guide said it would take between 3 to 6 hours, but we ended up spending most of the day checking out the beautiful scenary. Hawaii is absolutely stunning!

This may be the beginning of a new tradition .... spending the winter in warm, tropical places!

I wish I snapped a better picture, but we were cruising down the street. Check out the windows on this house! Apparently, this style is pretty popular as it helps with air circulation during the hot months.

Check out the pineapples growing on the side of the road. I believe this is a part of the Dole plantation.

A wild cat "hunting" on the beach.

Doesn't it feel so LOST? Well, that's because Lost is filmed on the Kualoa Ranch. Does anybody know if they are still filming season six?

Thanks to poppytalk for the great ramen suggestion and to Jeanie for the excellent Oahu suggestions!

honolulu - day one

We left for Oahu, Hawaii bright and early this morning only to discover that our flight was delayed! Thank goodness for flying WestJet! They gave us $20 in food vouchers to spend during our two hour wait. So nice and unexpected right? Usually, we get a 'sorry', but that's about it. Once, our flight was delayed with United Airlines and we missed our connector which was also the last flight out of Chicago to Florida. After a lot of back and forth, we were finally put up in a hotel for the evening and given a whopping $4 each for breakfast and maybe a little more for dinner. Crazy eh?! That barely even buys you a meal from McDonalds!

Anyways, here are pictures from day one....

Beautiful flora during our walk

Our hotel, Waikiki Marina Resort


Beach walk.. and yes, the water is warm.

The Hilton Hawaiian Village is next door which has a mini Japanese courtyard with ramen noodle cafes and animal exhibits including large pools of koi, flamingos (Hawaii's state bird) and a penguin colony (below).

Friday, March 19, 2010

Etsy Finds Friday

Etsy Finds Friday is a speckle of random things that have caught my eye on Great ideas and lots of inspiration for your upcoming wedding or to add a little handmade love to your life.

photo credit go to the respective shops listed below

(From left to right)
Top: Parsimony, Artful Beginnings, Nest Pretty Things

Middle: Unless Someone Like You, Wunderlust, Nelle

Bottom: One Little Dove, Vessels and Wares, Cyberoptix Tie Lab

Thursday, March 18, 2010

eating :: recipe :: caesar dressing

Apparently, the need for cooking from scratch comes with the handmade lifestyle. At least, this is what Robert has told me when I mentioned that I wanted to start making my own salad dressings. Caesar is one of our favourites and is enjoyed many times throughout the week. Throw in some homemade croutons made from this bread recipe and this caesar dressing recipe posted by post grad hair cut and you have some green leafy heaven!

1/4 cup fat-free or low fat mayonnaise
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste (you can buy this at the grocery store, its pretty cheap)
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (I used regular)
1/8 teaspoon dry mustard

Whisk together. Add garlic to taste.

Instead of adding lemon juice to the dressing, I just squirted over the entire salad. This recipe makes about 6 salads depending on how much dressing you use. I found the results quite watery at first, but it tastes fantastic and makes it easy to spread.
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