Friday, April 29, 2011

More of our Hawaiian adventure!!

Our adventure has been so full! We are really managing to accomplish so much while here. Most importantly, we've enjoyed the relaxation of the beach and pool. However, there have been times where I've needed to attend to the liveliness of my 4 year old! His energy surpasses that of a handful of 12 year old tweens at a Miley Cyrus concert. He does not slow down. Thankfully, I've had my sister and my mom pick up where I drop off (like at the side of a ravine ready to jump off)! That said, all in all our trip is truly magical!

Slightly loony at this point! We've had our fair share.

We took a morning to drive to a coffee plantation for some 'true Kona coffee.' DELICIOUS! We ventured over to Mountain Thunder Coffee Plantation in the hilly region of Kaloko, which is about 3500 ft above sea level and considerably cooler temperatures (by about 20 degrees). What a beautiful place! We had a tour of their facility where all the beans are sorted and then roasted (and organic). We also tasted coffees and reveled in the smells of the beans roasting (boy do I love a good cup). What a treat! We headed into their coffee store to purchase coffee which ended up being about $350 dollars worth, between the three of us (included coffee beans, cremes, candies, and tea for ourselves and friends to be shipped to our home). Yikes! So worth it tho, supporting this small producer and farm!

Newly roasted beans spilling out of the roaster.

Still hot, the beans make a popping sound, (its the oils)!
Here the beans are being swirled to cool them down.
The beans also continue to expand in size.

My morning breakfast: oranges, papaya, lime and pineapple.
Unfortunately that beautiful coconut sitting there still hasn't been opened
as we don't seem to have a machete lying around.

We arranged to see a Lu'au at the neighboring Hilton Waikoloa resort. Henry was ecstatic about the performance. His favorite parts were the loud drums and the fire dancer! It was a night of Hawaiian food and culture!! :)

Bright eyed!

Hen and Nor with the fire dancer!

Hula dancers

We took another morning to drive through two towns. The first being, Hawi (pronounced Ha-vee) is a cute little hippie town, with jewelry stores, good organic eats and coffee and Kava cafes (more on Kava later).

This is the view from the road on our way from Hawi to Waimea.

Cute town of Hawi!

Waimea is a larger town and more established with the history of Parker Ranch, one of the largest cattle ranches in the United States. Think Hawaiian cowboy! We hoped to have visited some of the original homesteads but were disappointed when we learned they had been closed due to the economy. They are hopeful to re-open. To learn a bit more about Parker Ranch, read HERE.

Hen and I relaxing on the patio!

Signing out, but more to come!

Monday, April 25, 2011


We're here, (today is our 4th day)! Touching down in Kona was beautiful. Seeing the rivers of dry lava marking the land made it seem if we were landing on the moon. What a beautiful place!
After renting our car, we drove about 20 minutes north along the coast line to Waikoloa Beach Resort.

Highway 19

Lava along highway 19

Waikoloa Beach Resort is somewhat displaced among the majority of western coast of Kona, it is kind of like a little oasis. Greenery, palm trees, grass and flowers grow in abundance on the resort grounds. It's a little bizarre but beautiful. There are walking trails within the lava rock rivers (imagine a river of wet lava that runs like twisty streams and has hardened) these streams of lava rock weave throughout the Waikoloa Beach Resort. My sister and I attempted to run them but discovered quickly that it was a potential ankle breaker. We ran instead the perimeter of the resort as well as on highway 19, which made me think of all the amazing triathletes who do the Ironman each year on this road. It kind of made me shutter as Sarah and i ran in the early morning and being surrounded by all that lava rock made the heat billow. I couldn't image running on that road mid-day-talk about being cooked!

Our first morning waking up was magical!

The view from the balcony off my bedroom

We went to Anaehoomalu Bay beach, which isn't far from where we are staying. It is considered one of the best beaches here in Hawaii. It has a rare turtle cleaning station (an area where the turtles come to have the little fishies clean their backs).

Hen and Nor at A Bay Beach, Day 1

Can u spot the turtle?

Yesterday, it was another day at the beach and a dinner out (Merrimans Cafe) where I experienced my first Hawaiian Mai tai! Yum!

Hawaiian Mai Tai!

We have loads of activities scheduled for the rest of the week that we are here.
Today it will be a day at the pool. Tomorrow it will be a trip to see one a coffee plantation and a lu'au!

Stay tuned!

Friday, April 15, 2011

China Seas and Rooibos Tea!

Tonight I prepped some yummy french-pressed
rooibos tea for the hubby and I.
It was a such a treat!
I combined the tea with frothed almond milk and cinnamon.

The wallpaper in the background is a sample from China Seas.
Plan is to wallpaper a section of my kitchen.
Check back for the transformation! ooh la la!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Adventures on the horizon...

Yesterday, I was surprised by my mom with a vacation to Hawaii with her, my sister and niece. What excitement! It was even more eventful when I called my sister last night to surprise her with the news. I can't wait to see my sister!! We'll hike, kayak and swim together!
The trip to Hawaii from the east coast will be a long one with a 4 yr old. However, I am not too worried as Henry has had quite a few long flights under his belt. I'll be sure to equip our carry-on with snacks, new books, coloring books, new ipod shows, and some games. I'm looking forward to this as I've never been to Hawaii, but have always wanted to go.
Henry and I will hop on the plane next Thursday, the 21st to San Diego to meet up with my mom, my sister and her daughter Norah. We'll then all head together to Kona the following day.
My mom and sis rented a townhouse on the west coast of Kona Island at the Waikoloa Beach Resort. I am looking forward to this vacation getaway with 'the girls' and Henry. Will be sure to take some pics and update these adventures that lie ahead.

Today involved yet another adventure, of a slightly different nature, but one that I have been pining for, acupuncture. It been a long time coming! When I lived in San Diego I had regular acupuncture visits. It grounded me, it prepped me for childbirth, it kept my body in-tune. DC living can be stressful, busy and full of life, especially while working, being a mom and wife. Keeping in balance in DC is extra difficult to do. I realize now after having been gone some 11 yrs, that most people living here are not that in-tune with nourishing their bodies. So in conjunction with my yoga study, I've started a self adventure with acupuncture. I'm building my community of holistic go-to healers! Taking the time to taking care of me!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Week off

Downdog-self study

Today marks one week since the end of my first segment of the year long yoga teacher training with Shannon von Burns. I have been on the mat only briefly this week as I feel like my body needed some rest as well as time to mentally take in all that we experienced. I've started on some of the workbook exercises as well as study questions on Ayurveda. Currently I am reading a book called Prakriti by Dr. Svoboda, which is all about Ayurveda and how to better understand the three dosha's (vata, pitta and Kapha) that make up your Prakriti (nature). It is extremely interesting and it is amazingly spot on. More on my personal dosha's later as that will be a post within itself.
One of the most interesting aspects of this training, is that it definitely is a journey to better understand ourselves as yoga individuals before we start to delve into understanding others peoples bodies and personalities. This practice of yoga self study (our bodies and behaviors) will be giving us the tools to better understand others in their yoga process.
This self study is quite extensive and will definitely open windows that I have neglected to look through. I look forward to the adventure!!

Monday, April 4, 2011


This past week has been incredibly transformative for me! I enjoyed an entire week of yoga teacher training in Hatha Vinyasa. It has been both energizing and exhausting!
I am blessed with the opportunity to train with one of the most impressive yoga teachers out there, Shannon von Burns, who has been teaching Yoga for over 10 years. She comes with a huge background not just in yoga, but Ayurveda and massage therapy to name a few. This past week marked the start to her year long teacher training course called The Journey Home.

This training will be opening my eyes to the skill of teaching by asking us to look, listen, understand, ask, follow through, accountability and looking from within. Methodically. Throughout this week, I've done a lot of listening. I've opened my eyes, ears, mind and heart to Shannon and also have done meditation which has helped me to look into myself to understand my weaknesses as well as my strengths and how to even all these parts of me out.

There are things during this week that I realize I need to work on: stop-completely to listen to others fully, respect time (others as well as my own) and to take better care of myself. There is a lot for me to work on both on and off the mat, but this week has given me the fresh start, the rebirth so to speak, the SPRING!