Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Travel RoundUp

Now that I have wrapped up our most recent trip to Hawaii what do I have to blog about?!
I guess I will do a Travel RoundUp, it’s been a while since I have done one of those.

1 – This video of some Orca whales is AMAZING! It just goes to show you that what was documented in the film Blackfish is correct.

2 – With the merger of American Airlines and US Airways, American Airlines has become the largest airline company. In honor of the several smaller airlines that helped create the company, AA is releasing retro amenities kits! Take a peek!

{American Airlines, Source}
3 – Have you ever wondered what the true cost of First/Business Class perks? How much did you pay for that seat? And they only spent about $6 on your food?! Check out the details here.

4 – Boeing 787 Dreamliner is nothing but the best!

{American Airlines, Business Class; Source}

{American Airlines, Economy Class; Source}
5 – This whale was in distress and needed some help. Check out the video!

6 – Visiting a Disney park any time soon? Well their ticket prices just went up – the price for a one-day entry for anyone 10 and up is nowat $105!

7 – Check out these perks at some of America’s best airports.

8 – Ever wonder what it’s like to be a flight attendant? This lady spells it out for you!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Maternity Monday

I am back to work today after having to take 2 sick days last week :( boo! Getting sick while being pregnant is NO fun. I also can't believe that February is almost over and in less than 3 months we'll have a little baby girl :)
Today I wanted to talk about parenting classes. Has anybody taken them? So far we have taken two that are offered at out hospital. Breastfeeding and Prepared Childbirth (and we have Newborn Care next month). Breastfeeding is pretty self-explanatory - expect to see a lot of educational videos where women just pop those suckers out!
Side note, I took this class then saw Fifty Shades...enough nudity for one day that's for sure!
Prepared Childbirth is kind of like what some might call a lamaze class. Although we only spent about 30 mins on "breathing" the rest was informational on what one's options are for birth and what to expect. I wouldn't even call it "breathing" it was mostly how to take your mind off the pain of a contraction. Our goal was to try and ignor the handful of ice we were holding for 60 seconds.
So do I feel more prepared to give birth?! I feel more educated but I don't think anything can truly prepare you for giving birth or prepare you for being a parent.
Each hospital's classes are going to be catered for that hospital so its helpful to take them at your hospital if you can.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Hawaii 2015 Recap

All-in-all I am happy we went back to Hawaii before we had out little one. I wish we would have stayed on Maui the whole time and seen more of what that island has to offer. We wanted to go back to the Big Island to do more hiking but since I haven't had the most active pregnancy it wasn't an option. But I am glad we slept in and truly relaxed. 

My highlights are the whale watching, watching the sunrise on Haleakala, visiting Molokai and seeing the recent lava flow.


{flowers of Hawaii}

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Volcanoes and Lava!

On our last full day in Hawaii we headed all the way to the other side of the island to go to Volcanoes National Park and to Pahoa to see the latest lava flow (from November and December 2014). Once we got the national park and took some pictures of the crater we found out that you could actually go and see the freshest lava accessible by road. So off we went!

After viewing the lava (which is only open from 10am to 4pm and guarded by the National Guard) we headed to Hilo to check out their famous Farmers Market. I wasnt too impressed with it, it was the same as most others you'll see on the islands. But I did love the Filthy Farmgirl soaps and we picked up a few onesies for baby girl. 

To get back to the hotel we took Saddle Road which passes by Mauna Kea. We experienced some pretty weird weather on our way back...some sort of weird fog phenomena.  

When we got back to the hotel we watched the sun set and watched the 20+ foot waves crash against the lava cliffs that line the hotel. (unfortunately my husbands camera took all of these pictures and that is the SD card that got corrupted)

{good night Hawaii}

Monday, February 16, 2015

Maternity Monday

On Friday I was looking at my baby registries and realized that our little one will be here in less than 100 days! WHOA!!!!

Today I wanted to talk about maternity clothes. When I got pregnant I didn't know what to expect and certainly didn't think I would need to buy maternity clothes at 12 weeks but I did. She seemed to be developing right where I needed to button my pants and so it just wasn't happening. First I just wanted to buy some regular jeans but just a larger size and I did that. But after about a week of wearing jeans that only fit in the waist and baggy everywhere else I knew I had to hit up the maternity story.

The only maternity store near me is Destination Maternity, which has two stores in one. It has Motherhood Maternity on one side and Pea in the Pod on the other. Motherhood is less expensive and regular quality and Pea in the Pod is more expensive, designer style and really good quality. My first stop in there I think I bought 2 pairs of jeans, 2 pairs of leggings, and 5 tops.

Target – Don’t buy them from here. I feel like they are made with extra fabric in all the wrong places.
Pea in the Pod – LOVE them! They pretty much take designer jeans and cut the waist off and add the belly band. You still have part of the belt loops and your front pockets. But they are hella expensive.
Motherhood – These have a good cut to them but you have faux front pockets and they seem to sag a bit more than the Pea in the Pod ones. They are WAY more reasonably priced.

I’m sure other places have great jeans but these are the ones I have had experience with.

After talking to the employees in the store they pretty much told me that all the jeans are going to start to sag throughout the day because denim is just a heavy material and its heavier than the belly band. Makes sense.

Target – Hit or miss. I have 2 tops from them, both bought on sale - one fits great, the other not so much (no, I didn't try them on before I bought them).
Pea in the Pod – Great tops, love the extra length they have. But again, they can be expensive.
Motherhood – Same as above but at much better price!
Old Navy - I bought some tank tops here before we went to Hawaii and I love them, I know I'll be wearing them more once the warm weather sticks around for good. 

I love the tops at Destination Maternity, either side is great. They are really long and expand in all the right places for your growing belly.

{Target, Old Navy, Destination Maternity, A Pea in the Pod, Motherhood Maternity}

Friday, February 13, 2015

Waipio Valley

While we were on the Big Island we woke up every day and had breakfast out by the water to watch the whales. After we had our relaxing morning we made our way to Waipio Valley. 

Waipio Valley, known as the 'Valley of Kings', is inhabited by 50 generations of Hawaiians for over a thousand years, The valley is of premiere importance in old Hawaiian legends and lore, this mystical place was once the political and religious center of Hawaii, the birthplace, home or burial grounds of Hawaiian royalty for a millennium. In the back of the valley is the 1200-foot Hi‘ilawe Falls, Hawaii's highest single-fall waterfalls, Which you can see in a post from our first trip here

{Waipio Valley}
After we viewed the valley from the lookout (I wanted to hike down but we thought better to play it safe being 22 weeks pregnant and all) we headed to a little art gallery near by and had the lunch we brought with us. And then it was back to the hotel for some pool time before we hit the spa for a couples massage!

{Snow capped Mauna Kea}

{tropical flowers}

{hotel pool}

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Hapuna and Relaxation

The plan on the Big Island (aka Hawaii Island) was to have no plan. Instead of our wake up go, go, go routine we do on most every vacation we slept in every day and didn’t really have a plan.

On our first day back on the Big Island we made our way to Hapuna Beach State Park ($5 entrance fee per car). There is a place to rent beach equipment and gear on site for $10 per item for the whole day – Matt rented a boogie board. While he played in the water I relaxed on the beach. After about an hour and half of that we went on our way. We stopped at the Queens’ Marketplace for lunch and on our way back we stopped in Kona for some shave ice and to walk around the shops.
{Hapuna Beach State Park, we did not see these signs the last time we were here}

{Hapuna Beach}

{more shave ice!}
After that we went back to the hotel to relax and freshen up before dinner. We ate at Bianelli's Pizza and Pasta and it was delicious! 

Monday, February 9, 2015

Maui to the Big Island

This day our last on Maui so we slept in and then started to pack. After we were all packed I took some pictures of the beautiful garden and we headed on our way. We walked around Kihei and I found the juice shop I wanted to try, Wow Wow Lemonade. It was amazing and I got my aloha mason jar! We headed back to the Ho’okipa Beach Park overlook to see some of the huge waves and the surfers doing their thing. It’s amazing to watch!

{airbnb's host garden, beautiful}
{Wow Wow Lemonade} 
{Ho'okipa Beach Park}
After that we made our way to the airport. What was fun about island hopping is that when you are taking off and landing you can see the whales from the plane! It’s pretty cool!

We landed and had a hellish ordeal getting our rental car (part of it was my fault) but waiting over an hour at Dollar Rentals for our car was absurd! And there were only 4-5 people in front of us!

{hotel room view}
We finally made it to our hotel to check in but we were too late to see the sunset. So we just grabbed some food from the bar and relaxed for the evening.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Haleakala Summit & Whale Watching

We woke up very early this morning so we could catch the sunrise from the top of the world. Well, at least from 10,000 + feet elevation. We arrived at the park by 6am and parking was already filling up. So they had us park in the bus parking, bumper to bumper. Does anybody know what was running through my head at this time… How the hell are we going to get out of here?!?! I think the park needs to have an someone re-address their parking situation up there.

Sunrise was at 7am and we hiked up a little path to get a good view and waited…in 40 degree Fahrenheit weather…for an hour to watch that sun peak over the clouds. It was beautiful.

With the help of our parking neighbors we were able to wiggle our way out of the parking lot around 7:45/8am and head back down the twisty-turny switchback road. We made a pit stop for some shopping and a snack before we headed back to our rental to change for some beach time. We headed to Makena State Park (which is apparently one of the most injury-prone beaches in Hawaii) where Matt took in the waves and shore breaks at Big Beach and I just took in the sun.

We had a reservation with the Pacific Whale Foundation for some whale watching. We left from Maalaea Harbor and found a group of male whales trying to attract the attention of a female. It was pretty incredible to see these large creatures swimming around our boat, breaching, and playing. I have some video below for you but our SD card that had all of our pictures is corrupted (sad face). Please check out the professional pictures from our trip. All whale photos by Erin Lodi.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Molokai, Hawaiian By Nature

We had decided that we wanted to take a day trip to Molokai (see my previous post here) to see the tallest sea cliffs in the world. Molokai is about as close to native Hawaiian living as you can get without getting the special invite to Ni’ihau (the island where only natives Hawaiians live and speak Hawaiian). We started our day with a 90 minute ferry ride that was full of whales breaching and playing in the Pacific.

We arrived in Kaunakakai and headed straight to the airport to pick up our rental car (this was included in the package we paid for: ferry + car rental). We drove up to Palaau State Park to view the Kalaupapa Overlook and see a glimpse of the 4,000 ft sea cliffs (I think next time we’ll try and see them by air).  In this same area you can view an accent Hawaiian relic…a phallic rock.

{Kalaupapa Overlook}

We then stopped off at the Molokai Plumeria Farms to get a quick sneak peak of their farms and what a tour consists of. For $25 a person you are “let loose” on their farm to collect fresh plumerias and once you have a bag full you meet under a shade tree to make your own Hawaiian lei! How fun! They let us wander their farm and pick some flowers before we headed back to Kaunakakai to have some lunch. 

{in the picture where he is holding the flowers the one on the left is good for lei making!}
If you didn't already know, Molokai doesn't have any fast food chains;  our options for lunch were a burger place and a pizza place. We choose Molokai Burger for lunch. The food was good but I thought the staff could have been a bit nicer, you could tell they didn't really like tourist.

After lunch we headed to One Ali’i Park and enjoyed some sunshine. After being there for about an hour we headed back into town and bought some coconut twists from Kenemitsu Bakery – they were delicious! With nothing really else to do we went back to One Ali’i Park to enjoy the rest of the afternoon and our treats.

{One Ali'i Park}

After the ferry ride back to Maui we had dinner in Lahaina at Kimo’s. I picked Kimo’s because they have my favorite dessert Hula Pie! Yum, yum! But before I could enjoy it my nausea got the best of me and we had them wrap it up to go and made it back to Kihei. (don’t worry, it didn't melt and I enjoyed it the next day!) ** Travel Tip: Lahaina isn't the best place to view the sunset since the island of Lanai is blocking the view.
{non-alcoholic drink, view of Lanai, Hula Pie!}

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