Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sunset Cruise

On our last night in Kauai we took a sunset dinner cruise.
Jesse was at home on our little catamaran, but the long ride and big waves made me queazy at points.
We got close-ish to the Forbidden Island (a super-secret privately owned island).

And saw the Na Pali coast from an entirely different vantage point.

This part of the coast is inaccessable except by boat/kayack.

Cool caves appeared in numerous places (apparently there are dead Hawaiian royalty stuck in there)!

Waterfalls dotted the shoreline.

There is this one spot where a bunch of hippies camped back in the day. They eventually became so numerous that they cause sanitation problems and were kicked out!

Very King Kong with the mist . . . no?

And although the clouds obscured our sunset, the view remained stunning!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


I know, so many Hawaii posts already and there is still so much more to share! We stayed right next to Hanalei, which has really cute shops and fun places to eat.

Most importantly, Hanalei has beautiful scenery that you can see while driving in your jeep! (Oh yes we did let the car rental guy talk us in to one!) The jeep made it easier to drive on the rough roads (maybe too easy -- at one point Jesse plowed through a mud puddle so deep that mud splattered in through our open windows!) It was worth it because Jesse had some fun driving this monstrocity around (when it was my turn at the wheel I was more terrified than excited).

While driving around Hanalei we stopped numerous times to sink our feet into the soft and fine sand.

In this picture you can see the famous crescent shape of Hanalei Bay:

Not only do you get great ocean views, but when you look inland, you see TONS of green!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Better Living Through Scrapbooking

Exciting news -- I am October's guest designer at Better Living Through Scapbooking! (You can see the announcement here They are a challenge site that gives you 4 super-challenging (and rewarding) challenges a month. This week's challenge is to create a layout about your favorite color. This is my layout of my favorite color (well one of them anyway) green:

Monday, September 27, 2010

Kee'e to Hanakapi'ai Hike

Not only did Jesse run a total of 20 miles on our one-week trip, but he also dragged me on a hike. Not a one-mile lazy hike, but a four mile up a mountain hike along the napali coast. I guess this is my punishment for not doing La Luz again this year! Joking aside, it was hard but it was the prettiest part of our trip.
In this picture you can see how close the coral reef is to the beach (which is why you can simply put on a snorkling mask and stick your head in the water and see beautiful fish -- we did that a couple times!)

This is me smilling at the beginning of the hike (less and less smiling occurred as we progressed).

A nice hiker took pictures of us together.

This is me taking a well-deserved break.

In this picture you can see the napali coast pretty well.

There were a number of waterfalls and streams along the way which, although pretty, made the trail slippery and muddy!

See the lushness! (I think a huge theme of our time in Kauai was its extreme lushness!)

After two miles, we made to to Hanakapi'ai beach. Jesse thought it would be fun to take off our shoes and walk along the beach. I thought that was silly because then we would have wet sandy feet to put back into our shoes and hike 2 miles back so I said no thank you! He "made" me walk along the beach with my shoes on though, and made sure to keep me away from the waves . . . or not!

The tide was coming in and some of the waves were really strong and one freak wave came in and drenched us! I ended up with SOAKED shoes, socks, and sand everywhere! To add insult to injury, Jesse thought it would be funny to take a picture of my misery.

The worst part? Jesse's shoes and socks, which I carefully placed on a rock for him, were completely dry. (He was sweet enough to let me wear his socks on the treck back though, so he isn't heartless!).

Here is the waterfall that we had to cross twice (once to get to the beach and once to get back). Amazingly, we did so without falling in!

It was certainly beautiful!

If you want the details (how far, how fast, and an arial map of where we went), click on this link: Kee'e to Hanakapi'ai hike by jessedavidthomas at Garmin Connect - Details

Sunday, September 26, 2010

New Challenge (Win a Gift Certificate!)

The (paper) Trail Makers Challenge Blog has a new challenge up today -- check it out at

You have two weeks to create and upload a layout that includes a list of 10 things (any ten things) in your journaling. If ten or more people participate, the design team members will vote and award a $10 gift certificate to the winner! The store is bursting will brand new items (check out the pre-sale section) that are all on sale!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Kauai Runs

As if one 10-mile run weren't enough, Jesse got another 10 miles in (in two shorter runs) while in Kauai. You can check out the deets here:

Easy 4 by jessedavidthomas at Garmin Connect - Details

Hot and Humid 6 by jessedavidthomas at Garmin Connect - Details

Friday, September 24, 2010

Jesse's Waikiki - Diamond Head Run

Remember I told you that Jesse did something else "fun" in Waikiki? Well, he got to see the entire Waikiki beach and Diamond Head because he ran the whole stinkin way! Our first morning in Oahu Jesse woke up at 6am (jet lag!) and decided that it would be fun to get a 10 mile run in. So he started at our hotel (on the far west side of Waikiki beach) and ran along the entirety of Waikiki beach all the way around Diamond Head (and then some) and all the way back!

When he first told me that, I was like um, that's really far. Are you sure you know where Diamond Head is? I almost didn't believe it until he uploaded his run and I saw it on this map (click on the link -- it's really cool to see!):

Waikiki - Diamond Head by jessedavidthomas at Garmin Connect - Details

Jesse said it was one of his favorite things he did in Oahu. To each their own I guess. This is how I saw all of Waikiki beach:

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Back to School Layouts and More

It is fall and I know that a lot of you have back to school layouts to scrap from this year, or last year, or the year before . . . so The (paper) Trail Makers Challenge Blog is challenging you to get it done! As you know, I don't have a little tyke going to school but I do have pictures from last summer's tour around Yale that Nicole and Matt took us on.

Nikki Sivils's Henry's Brilliance collection is perfect for back to school layouts! I used the Henry's Attire and Henry's Cut Ups papers and added Scribble Scrabble's Haley's Collection Keylime paper to mat my pictures. Embellishments from Jenni Bowlin (Bingo Chipboard Buttons) and Blue Hills Studio (felt ribbon buckle) were the perfect finishing touches. One technique that I utilized in this layout was distressing. Although I liked the colors of the pattered paper, I thought they were a little bright for the layout so I took some sand paper and gently rubbed it across the whole sheet. Not only did this turn the bright orange into a lovely muted orange, but it gave the layout a relaxed distressed look.

I also just realized that I never posted my layout for the last challenge! My project went live when I was on vacation and in my frenzied effort to share at least some of my vacation pictures I totally forget to show you this layout:

The challenge was to use 4-6 pictures in a single page and I used 4 wallet sized pictures in this one-page 8.5x11 layout and framed the picture group by stitching around one side and placing Fancy Pants Rusted Sun Buttons on the other. I love the way the Little Yellow Bicycle - Clothesline - Come Together 12x12 Double Sided Paper has that space for a title on top!

Sunday, September 19, 2010


We spent the bulk of our vacation in Kauai and stayed at the Hanalei Bay Resort. Despite its name, the resort is not in Hanalei, but instead in Princeville, which is the cliff area to the east overlooking Hanalei Bay. When we got to our room we were treated with a welcome rainbow (we also saw a rainbow shortly after we arrived in Honolulu).

The view from our room looked even better at night.

The grounds, like all of Kauai, were incredibly lush.

Our room was cute and tiny (note how this adorable resort bed takes up 80% of the room!)

It was a lovely little place to retreat to.

The resort itself boasted an award-winning pool (5 waterfalls drain into this large, winding, saltwater pool), which has unobstructed views of Hanalei Bay. There is also a sand-bottomed section of the pool and a sand-bottomed jacuzzi with its own waterfall.

I especially enjoyed playing in and reading by the pool.

Our resort was not the only one in Princeville. We were next door to the St. Regis (a hotel we would have loved to stay at, but it would have cost five times as much as we spent per night for the pleasure). I heard great things about their breakfast and we splurged one morning. Let's just say we were not disappointed. First of all, the views from this opulent balcony where they served breakfast was perfection.

(This hotel is a big fan of infinity edge pools and fountains).

(Do you see the waterfall?)

We also noticed that rainstorms spontaneously appear and disappear throughout the day.

Aside from the vistas, the St. Regis had the best coffee ever and the most decadent food (I, for example, had banana bread french toast with spiced macadamia nuts on top!) Certainly a treat!

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Our first stop in Hawaii was the lovely Oahu.

We spent a day touring the Arizona Memorial, the Missouri, and Punch Bowl cemetary with Pua, the most lovely tour guide.

We got in a lot of relaxing beach time and enjoyed eating at lovely resturants in and around the hotel (and what tropical vacation is complete without a mango daiquiri?!?)

We were lucky enough to stay at the Hilton Hawaiian Village and, once we saw a Louis Vitton in the lobby, realized we might be a bit out of our league! As you would expect, the grounds were beautiful, stocked full of fancy shops, resturants, flowers, pools, and even penguins (who knew?) We even had a private lagoon and were next to a harbor with cute boats.

Jesse also spent some time doing something he really enjoyed, but I will leave that for him to tell!