Hawaii – Flora, Fauna & Fabric

Aloha Y’all!  We have just returned from a sun filled week in Hawaii.  I want to post some of the 1677 pictures we took.  We did all the very typical touristy Hawaii thingsHawaii-Flower-1.  We took in two islands – Oahu and Maui.

Oahu is the home of Pearl Harbor, Honolulu and Waikiki. This is a bustling, urban, big city area!  We stayed in Waikiki for just a few days with a little bit of beach time, a tour of the city with a visit to Pearl Harbor, some fireworks on the beach and a wonderful Valentines dinner at the Fresco Italian restaurant.

We stayed at the Hilton Hawaiian Village and our room on the 24th floor had a nice view!

Oahu-viewMy toes were happy!

happy-toesPearl Harbor is not to be missed!  Very moving!

Pearl-HarborThe hotel had a brief but fabulous fireworks display on the beach:

FireworksOn Sunday we took a quick flight to Maui.  Such a beautiful island!  Much more laid back and relaxed than the Waikiki/Honolulu area!  We rented a jeep so we could tool around the island and, of course, take the infamous Road to Hana!

Road-to-HannaFull of hair pin turns and very narrow single-lane bridges, the Road to Hana is a challenge but worth some of the most stunning views in the world.  Here are a few of the road-side waterfalls:

road-to-hana-waterfallroad-to-hana-waterfall-2We were definitely ready for an adult beverage when we returned to our hotel.  This was our view from the balcony in Maui:

Maui-viewWe stayed at the Royal Lahaina Resort.  It was wonderful!

I did find some quilt shops on Maui!  The first was The Maui Quilt Shop in Kihei. This little shop is jam packed with Hawaiian prints and patterns.  The lady who helped me said they were “a large shop in a small space.”  I found this Hawaiian Sunbonnet Sue pattern (called Aloha Sue and Aloha Sam) and some pretty fabrics which I will use for their clothes.

Aloha-Sue-and-Aloha-SamAlso found a cute pineapple pattern.  I have a lot of batiks already, so this will be a fun use of some stash!

Pineapple-PatternThe second Quilt shop was called Sew Special.  This shop is in the Queen Ka’ahumanu Center in Kahului.  It is a huge shop with lots and lots of fabric.  It was a little overwhelming!  But I found a pattern using the Sashiko technique of needlework.  This should be fun to try out!

SashikoOne other quilt shop called Quilts n’ Fabric Land is in the Wharf Cinema Shopping Center in Lahaina.  This is a very busy, touristy area and we had a heck of a time finding a parking place.  I did get a bit of the Hawaiian fabric shown in the Aloha Sue picture above.  Not far down the road is Cheeseburger in Paradise – I would highly recommend this for a break from all the quilt shops!  After all, you don’t want to get peckish shopping for fabric!

There used to be a quilt shop in the Hyatt Regency in Lahaina, but it has sadly been replaced with some sort of teeny weeny bikini shop.  After Cheeseburger in Paradise, that is out of the question. 😉

One of my favorite activities during our vacation was the Whale Watching Sunset Dinner Cruise we took on the Pride of Maui.  This was an awesome adventure!  We saw lots and lots of whales splashing around.  It is hard to catch them with a camera but here are a few pics:

Whale-tailwhalewhale-tail-2We had a great dinner with ribs, chicken, lots of shrimp and strawberry shortcake.  And the sunset was beautiful!

Oahu-sunsetOn the last day we had to check out by 11am but our plane didn’t leave until 6pm, so we drove up to the Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm.  While most of the lavender was not in bloom, there were many beautiful blooming flowers in the garden.

Hawaii-Flower-2I’m sure this is even more amazing during the summer!

lavendar-farmsOnward to a incredibly delicious late lunch at Mama’s Fish House – a Maui must!

So, I hope these warm tropical pictures will help you stay toasty during all this nasty winter weather.

Aloha!

Blooming Blog

This past Tuesday, we made the trek over to the Dallas Arboretum for Dallas Blooms.  It was a little bit cool and Spring is a little bit late this year (ok, a LOT late) but it was the perfect time for the tulips!  They were simply gorgeous!

PathwayThey were everywhere!  And in every imaginable color… yellow and orange:

Yellow-and-Orange-TulipsPurple and White:

Purple-and-White-TulipsPinks galore:

Pink-and-White-TulipsHere is a close up of a few pink tulips.  Doesn’t that just look like Easter?

More-TulipsOther flowers as well.  Many bright yellow daffodils amongst the tulips.  And these were in containers at the entrance.  I think they are peonies.

PeoniesThere are two large “peacocks” with fabulous “feathers”….

PeacockAs well as these mystery yellow flowers – maybe lilies of some sort.

Yellow-FlowersEven the hyacinth are still in bloom:

HyacinthSo, if you are in the North Texas area, be sure to check out Dallas Blooms!

Happy Spring, y’all!

I Need a Vacation From My Vacation

I haven’t blogged in a while because I’ve been on vacation!  We had a wonderful time in Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon!  It was certainly a fun filled vacation but now I need a week with nothing to do – another vacation!

Welcome-to-Las-VegasWe flew into Las Vegas, rented a car and the next day drove to the Grand Canyon.  There is nothing like the first time you see the Grand Canyon in person.  Driving along on a relatively flat plateau, arriving at the park gates, parking your car at the first overlook you can find … walk down a path and then – WOW!  Totally blows you away!  Pictures do not do the the amazing grandeur justice, but I must show you some of my favs.

Grand-Canyon-2At one point we saw a helicopter and it was positively miniscule – looked like a gnat!

Grand-Canyon-4The weather was gorgeous!  Below you can see a bit of the Colorado River in between canyon walls.

Grand-Canyon-3

Grand-CanyonUnbelievable!

Mule Ride – The next day we went on a mule ride.  No, this mule ride did not go down into the canyon – those trips now take 2 days and we didn’t have that much time.  This was the “Three Hour Tour”.  And believe me, my bottom is very glad we opted for the short version!

Mule-rideMy mule’s name was Willow and she was a sweetheart.  Although she did like to stop for a little green snack now and then.  David’s mule liked to snack so much they put a muzzle on him.  We rode in a line through the woods to The Abyss Overlook.

Riding-thru-the-woodsWe got pretty hot and dusty and I really don’t understand why they don’t pad those saddles!  I walked funny for days (ok, I walk funny anyways – so I walked even funnier for days)!  But we had a great time and I wouldn’t have missed it for anything!

Rafting – Next day we were up early for a smooth water rafting trip in Glen Canyon.  A bus took us upstream to Lee’s Ferry and there we boarded pontoon rafts for a day on the river.  Early on we saw a wild horse overlooking the Colorado River:

Wild-Horse-on-Rafting-TripThe water was crystal clear and like a mirror.  My favorite picture of the whole trip:

RaftingHow cool is that?

Rafting-2We stopped twice at little beaches.  At the first stop we took a little hike to see petroglyphs.

PetroglyphsPetroglyphs-2Our second stop was at a beach where we ate a yummy sack lunch.  I got brave and took my shoes off for a bit of wading.

rafting 3It was probably 100° outside but the water was about 46°!  Brrrr – that water was cold! When the raft picked up some speed on the river, the spray felt fabulous!  And dried almost instantly!

rafting-4A long bus ride home, but it was a good chance to take a nap!

The next day we drove back to Vegas.  On the way we did stop in Kingman at a Connie’s Quilter’s Hideaway.  Cute little quilt shop on Beale Street.  They don’t have a web site, but if you are in the area, be sure to stop.

Now Vegas was having a major heat wave.  I know, it is usually hot there in June, but not this HOT!

HotWalking up and down the strip was not high on our priority list!  So the next day we went to Hoover Dam for the Dam Tour!

Hoover-DamThe last time I was there this awesome bypass bridge did not exist:

Memorial-BridgeThe inside of the dam is really interesting.  The power plant:

Hoover-Dam-Power-PlantThe art deco Terrazzo floors – I see quilt patterns… do you?

Hoover-Dam-Terrazo-FloorsHoover-Dam-Terrazzo-Floor-2And art deco sculptures:

Hoover-Dam-Art-Deco-SculturBack to Vegas again for one last night!  We went to The Blue Man Group show!  Super fun!

Blue-ManGambled – all of $5 in a slot machine (gambling is just not my thing – I have other things to spend my money on, like fabric!).

And we saw the fountains at the Belagio.  That is the Paris Hotel across the street.

Belagio-Fountains

I was ready to head home the next day! I did get a bit of stitching done on the Inklingo COTSG project in the plane:

Stitching-on-the-plane

We sure did pack a lot of adventure into our vacation!  It was great!  Now… I think I need a nap….

Take care, y’all!

A Blustery Day!

It’s a blustery day here in North Texas and the wind seems to be blowing good fortune my way!

I found out this morning that Barbara Brackman featured my Civil War Sampler on her Civil War Quilt Blog – how cool is that?  I am truly honored!!!

And Barbara’s current Grandmother’s Choice Block of the Week is a school house block – a fun and favorite!  The block is called The Little Red Schoolhouse – not a speck of red in mine but with such a blustery day I have owls, flowers, little birds and dragon flies in abundance.  The wind is even whistling through the door and window:

I’m off to watch the TCU Horned Frogs play Kansas State this evening.  Between the wind and Kansas State’s standing in the polls (#2), it will be a challenge!  Maybe the good fortune will continue to blow my way!

Go Frogs!!!

Bluebonnet Bonanza

The bluebonnets in Texas have been simply stunning this year!

We’ve had a mild winter and finally some decent rains so mother nature has provided us with beautiful views along the roadsides and out in the pastures.

I’ve always loved bluebonnets and back in the dark days before I found quilting, I stitched this little piece.  Seriously, that is what the fields around here look this year!  They are just covered with blue as far as you can see!

My bluebonnet quilt below hangs in our dining room – a bright and cheerful place with a constant reminder of the beauty we are blessed with each Spring here in Texas – especially this Spring.

I hope you find your Spring to possess a beauty as splendid as ours!

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