May 31, 2006

Weekend in Southern Oregon

We stayed at the Weasku Inn on the Rouge River in Grants Pass, Oregon. The weather was cold, and rainy. It surprised me the weather was so bad because normally southern Oregon is much sunnier than the Northern part of the state. The Inn was very nice and cozy.

Our room had a fireplace and also a patio that over looked the River. Here is the King size quilt that was at the end of the bed.

Jacksonville Oregon

We landed at the Medford Airport. This is a very small airport and it only had one conveyor belt for the baggage claim. Lets just say it is small. After getting our rental car we decided to walk around the near by town of Jacksonville Oregon. I had never been there before. I loved it.

Walking along the streets of their downtown area was so picturesque. Here is an Inn that had peonies lining the white picket fence. Breathtaking.

We checked out Llamas & Lambs Boutique. This was a great little shop that had a quilting room, wool room, & a weaving room. I think that if I ever had a little shop I would have something like this that encompasses many different crafts. I was proud of myself I did not buy one thing. It was great just to look at every thing.

I did come across this wonderful shop named Country Quilts Inc. As you can see in the photo they had a bench outside which was perfect for Chris to watch pedestrians while I went inside. When I walked in I knew I was in trouble they had a bunch of Jim Shore Figurines all over the store. I am a huge fan of his work.

I narrowed it down and bought this lovely figurine from the Heartwood Creek series titled “Peace in the Valley”. It is about 5” x 6 ½ “. Jim Shore does a lot of holiday stuff also plenty of Christmas and Halloween decoration & ornaments. Under the Heartwood Creek label he has all kinds of different series, dogs, cats, lighthouses, Jazz musicians, tea pots & on & on. I just love his style and coloring.
Here are two more examples of his work.

Count Your Blessings

Let the Magic Begin

Visit with Grandma

We had a nice visit with grandma. We went to their Saturday market. Grandma wanted some of her favorite turnovers. She also got some fresh asparagus. We picked up an assortment of jams from local farms. We took grandma to a plant nursery. She wanted a maidenhair fern. I helped her pick out a beautiful cobalt basket shaped pot and two maidenhair ferns to plant in it. It was a stunning look with the soft green leaves of the fern against the deep blue of the pot.

Overall Grandma was doing OK. She was on lots of medication but did very well and was very sharp witted. We took her to dinner and pretty much wore her out for the rest of the weekend.

Oregon Caves

Since Gram was tired from the day before we let her rest and Chris and I went to the Oregon caves.

There is a Chateau at the Oregon Caves Monument. Here is a photo I took of it, pretty rustic and old. The cave you go through with a tour guide. It is about an hour and a half trek through the cave. It was amazing to see.

Overall we had a nice little trip and were grateful for the chance to see Chris’s grandma one last time. These are wonderful memories we will keep with us forever.

May 25, 2006

Lilies in Bloom

The lilies have started to bloom. This is their third year blooming. They never disappoint. The color each year seems to be more vibrant than the last.

Summer Reading Challenge

I signed up for the summer reading challenge. I am challenging myself to read the first and second book of the Outlander series by Diana Gabolden.

Outlander- 627 pages

Dragonfly in Amber-743 pages

Although I have already started Outlander they are both very long and this will definitely be a challenge for me to read them both by the end of the summer. I am relishing the challenge because I am only a little over a 100 pages into the first one and it is very good. So if you have been meaning to read some books and never seem to have the time. Pop on over to challenge your self to make the time. Sign up HERE.

Wrap Progress

This is as far as I got on my wrap. I am enjoying the pattern and the yarn. I was hoping to be further along but steady as she goes.

Memorial Day weekend

Chris and I are spending the holiday weekend with Chris’s Grandparents. They live in Southern Oregon. A small town called Grants Pass. We will be staying at an Inn that is on the Rouge River.

Chris’s Grandma has been diagnosed with Lung cancer and has been given a 3 to 4 month life expectancy. This has been shocking news to all of us due to the fact she has never smoked. It will be great to see them and spend time with them in their little neck of the woods.

Have a Great Weekend!

May 22, 2006

Baby Alpaca News

We finally got word that Tasha had her baby. A baby alpaca is called a cria. She had a dark brown female. Isn’t she darling? We are so proud of Tasha. We hear she is being a good mommy to her new baby. Baby is doing well and nursing regularly.

Here is a photo of Tasha with her baby.

Time for a meeting

Members of the family are accounted for and are sitting in their asigned seat and this meeting has begun. We are racking our brains for a good name for the new addition. Haley is starting to crack under the pressure. Brandy would like to go lie down. Cosmo thinks there is too many girls in the family and would like a brother to pal around with. Cosmo's thoughts have been noted and has been told to stay focused on the task at hand.

May 19, 2006

Our Hawaiian Vacation

Chris and I had never been to Hawaii before and it is one of those places I had always wanted to see. My grandparents on my Dad’s side use to go there on vacation. Grandma would wear those flowered dresses all the time during the summer months. I knew some day I would see Hawaii.

Chris and I decided a year ago that we would take a Hawaiian Cruise. We thought that would be the best way to see all the islands and decide which one we would like to go back to for future vacations.

We chose the Norwegian cruise line. They had just started a few new ships that went around the islands. The newest one at the time we booked the cruise was The Pride of America. We chose a 7 night cruise that took off from Honolulu. My Mother-n-law & Step Mom also booked the cruise with us and made it a family vacation.

Chris and I landed in Honolulu on Friday around 12:30 pm. We caught a taxi to our hotel Outrigger Waikiki

When we checked in they had upgraded us to an ocean view. SWEET! We stuck the bags in the room and headed down to Duke’s Canoe Club for lunch. We had the crab wontons and each ordered the fish tacos. I had a drink called Tropical Itch that had an actual back scratcher sticking out of the glass.

That evening after a nap we walked along the beach, it was hard to believe we were in Waikiki and would be starting our cruise tomorrow.

Next Day

We did not need to be at the ship for embarkation until 1pm. We were up early and walked to the Honolulu coffee Co. It was about a block from the hotel.

Here I am sitting in a window seat. It was a great place to watch early risers getting their morning jog or just not use to the time change like us. The coffee in Hawaii is very good. It is known world wide for its flavor.

We walked back to the hotel in time for the Hula Grill to open for breakfast. Since we were one of the first to arrive we got a great ocean view seat to watch the sun rise.

This is the view from our table.

Chris got the Waimea Bay Omelet and I got the Crab Eggs Benedict. He drank fresh Guava Juice and I had a Guava Mimosa. This breakfast was so scrumptious. I could have cried in the moment of how wonderful everything was.

After breakfast we decided to walk up and down the street and check out the shops.

There are lots of these Banyan Trees. Banyans are a species of fig tree.

After shopping we still had some time to kill before we had to be on the ship for embarkation at 1pm. So we put on the swim suits and headed down to the beach.

Here is Chris in the water. He is the one in the center. He had a great time out there with the waves for about an hour.

I chose to sit out on the beach pushing my toes into the sand and reading my Outlander book. Great book so far. I highly recommend it. A little bit of a slow start but once she starts to time travel it really gets going and you will be hooked from there on out.

We washed up checked out of the wonderful Outrigger Waikiki hotel and took a taxi to the pier. The ship was huge docked at the pier. Once on board we headed to the buffet for a little lunch.

The buffet is at The Aloha Café. We chose a seat outside and here was our view while we ate a nice lunch.

We headed to our room on deck 11. To our surprise there was a birthday cake for Chris and I along with a bottle of champaign and some tropical bouquets around the room. These were gifts from my MIL & Step Mom. Both our birthdays were in April.

We met up with the ladies for dinner and ate at the Teppanyaki Restaurant. It was one of those Japanese restaurants were the chef cooks your meal in front of you. It was lots of fun and good food. Chris and I shared the Lobster and steak meal. Tastey.

The ship left port and headed out around 8pm. We went to bed shortly after unpacking our suitcases. The boat was booking it and you could really feel the movement of the ship. I had started taking Bonine (for Motion sickness) that morning and would continue to take it every day for the remainder of the ship. Last cruise I took I had gotten sea sick and know I need to take it.

Docked In Hilo

We arrived in Hilo Sunday morning. Hilo is on the East side of the big island. As you can see it was rainy, wet & windy.

We had breakfast at the Skyline Restaurant. This is the main dinning room and we would eat most of our breakfasts here.

Chris and I rented a car and planned to go to see a botanical garden and some waterfalls, but when we got in the shuttle to the rental car the driver told us the road we would have taken was flooded and closed. So we decided to take another rd and check out the volcano.

Here is the crater. When we drove down to get a closer look, the fumes kind of stick in your throut and make you cough a little. It was very interesting.

I found it amazing to see a plant growing out of the lava rock.

We even ventured into the lava tube. It was wet and scary. We were glad we brought the windbreakers.

We headed back to the ship. I decided I did not care for Hilo too much rain and miserable conditions. Back to the sanctuary of the ship. Of course the ship had a couple of shops to explore before dinner.

Newbury street shops on board

We had dinner at Jefferson’s Bistro. It was the ships version of a French restaurant. All four of us met for dinner. Soon after appetizers my step mom was feeling sea sick and had to leave to rest in her room. She took motion sickness pills from then on out. We all felt bad for her, it is a miserable feeling.

Maui, Kahului

The ship would spend two days in Maui and as you can see the weather was very nice. We were glad to see the sun again. Chris and I rented a car in Maui also.

On Monday we head out to the west side of the island and checked out Lahaina.
We went to several of the little shopping areas.

At this point Chris was starting to realize there are many Quilt shops in Hawaii. I hit just about every one we passed. Here is my loot.

There are four quilt patterns, one turtle pillow pattern, & two books. The first book is Hawaiian Quilting made easy by Milly Singletary. The second book is Contemporary Hawaiian Quilting by Linda Arthur. This last one is more of a book for inspiration.

I have been planning on making a Hawaiian quilt since I booked this vacation a year ago. There was not many patterns available here on the mainland at least not that I could find. I was very pleased to see all the quilt stuff available.

Lunch at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co

This was an awesome lunch.

We decided to just have drinks and appetizers. We had the Calamari, Shrimpers net catch with garlic spice, & Hush Pups (made with shrimp, Mahi Mahi). Scrumdiliocious!

The waiter would ask you trivia from the movie Forest Gump. The menu was even on a ping pong paddle. There was also a sign on your table to let your waiter know if you need him you put it on Run Forest Run. Lots of fun. I came away with a drink glass that lights up on the bottom and I also bought a pin that says “stupid is as stupid does”.

Outside the restaurant there is a photo seat where you can pretend you are on the park bench just like Forest in the movie. You know life is like a box of chocolates you never know what you are going to get. I love that movie and it was lots of fun eating at the restaurant.

Dinner at the Luau

We went back to the ship got changed and picked up the ladies for the Luau. We booked the Luau a couple months in advanced. We did some research and found that the Old Lahaina Luau is one of the best.

We got to the Luau and it was the most gorgeous setting. They put a flower lei around your neck and hand you a Mai Tai. Then escort you to your seat. We booked a table seat thinking that it would be uncomfortable to sit on the ground for a couple of hours. Here is a shot of the different seating.

The stage was in the center with all the tables around it with the beach and ocean to the back of the stage.

We had a great view of the sun setting as the evening progressed.

The food was good and the best was the Kalua Pua’a. That was the pig that they cooked underground. Very good. Also it was an open bar.

Here are some photos from the Luau

Here is a photo of the four of us taken by our wonderful waiter whom wore only a skirt. 8)

Next day in Maui

Chris and I decided to take the road to Hanna. This is a wonderful road that winds and curves through the plush seroundings heading to the east side of the island. You will hit many waterfalls and touristy things along the way. The end of your trip sets you in a small town called Hanna. Hanna is not much to see it is the journey there that makes it so great.

We stopped at the Garden of Eden First. This was an unbelievable garden that was very large. We actually got lost and trekked around up and down meandering through the trails.

Water falls

Lobster Claw

Torch Ginger

Chris walking with Peacock friend

When we made it to Hanna we stopped at a corner store for some beverages for the long ride back. I spotted these lovely horses.

I think they are living the good life with this awesome view of the ocean.

We headed back to the ship to relax before Dinner.

Tonight was formal night and we met the ladies at the John Adams Coffee Bar for a couple of drinks before dinner. I did not get a picture of the ladies all dressed up. I wish I had. Chris and I were slightly more casual. We did the tux and ball gown a couple of years ago on our last cruise and did not want to deal with it again this time.

Dinner was at the Lazy J Texas Steak House. I think I ordered steak and lobster again. Every thing was great. I think we turned in early. The ship was heading to a new port for the morning.