Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

(and go Phillies!)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Our Master Bath Re-Model

Last New Year's (yeah, we're going back), Pete and I noticed a really nice leak coming from our master bathroom. We had the plumber come out to take a look and we found out it was a structural problem - not plumbing (which meant our home warranty wouldn't cover the expense). We decided instead of ripping out the tub and floor to figure out where the problem was coming from we'd just use our hall bathroom. Which we did. For 8 full months.

While in the midst of saving for our wedding, we made sure to save some money to remodel the bathroom. We figured, if they have to remove so much stuff anyway, we might as well do it up and get what we want - which is exactly what we did.

We scheduled our contractor to do the majority of the work while we were on our honeymoon so we wouldn't have to live with the demolition, nor have the dogs going crazy with the workers in the house. We couldn't be happier with the final result.

The Before:

(it's the best shot I have from the day of inspection, and FYI that tacky plastic mirror 'frame' was ripped off the day we moved in... terrible) The Leak: The After:
The shower tile (pre-custom glass doors)
Shower stall with frameless glass doors...
Our contractor likes to refer to it as the "Borgata Bathroom". Everyone was a little sketchy of my color choice (SW Argos), but I think it looks great against the neutral natural stone tiles in the shower and floor, as well as the new java double vanity.

(It's actually more grey in real life, but it does have a light blue undertone)
We finished it off with brushed nickel fixtures from Pottery Barn that look great above the double mirrors.
I also decided to save our old bathroom "art" by sprucing up the frame. Originally, the cherry wood Ikea frame coordinated with our bedroom furniture, but it now looked out of place with the dark wood vanity. I went to Lowe's, spent $5 and saved the frame with a coat of espresso colored spray paint. Ta-da!
(I love that picture!)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Hawaiian Honeymoon Adventure: Day 11 (Return to Reality)

The title says it all.

Day 11 was long... very long. We left the cottage early so we could drive the 2 1/2 hours back to Kona. We walked around the Bay, stopped into some tourist trap shops, and then made our way to the Kona BrewPub for lunch. We read great reviews on their pizza, and naturally, their beer :)

Grumpy... (not to mention Mountian Man - check out that beard!)

Beer's here!

Grumps be gone.. Happy Pete is home :)
Can Kona please export to PA??

Since our flight to Honolulu wasn't until 4:30, we had some major time to kill. The airport was 10 minutes away. We happily ate and drank away our last day in paradise.

The adventure from Big Island to Honolulu to Newark to Newtown Square (in hurricane rains) to pick up some very happy pups to Collegeville to a very messy house still in the midst of a master bath remodel is too annoying to even type out, and I'd rather end this Honeymoon recap on a cheerful note.
Our trip to Hawaii was the best trip we have ever taken. Not only because we were in OUR pure paradise of gorgeous weather, landscape, and adventure all in one, but because we were with each other. A trip like this wouldn't be the same without your best friend.
Thanks for reading.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Hawaiian Honeymoon Adventure: Day 10

Wednesday was our last full day in the Big Island. Being cooped up in the rainforest and volcano for 3 days now we really wanted to get some sun and actually see the temps go over the mid 70s.

We headed 30 miles west (and +20 degrees warmer) to visit Punalu'u Black Sand Beach.
No Black Sand souvenirs for us....

First monk seals in Kauai, now sea turtles!!!

Shoreline (gorgeous)...
Found a few little tide pools
...which was this little guy's hang out

"Hey there guy!"

Finally, another self portrait (aka: "castellano pic") for the collection...

After checking out the turtles we decided to stay a while and soak in some sun...

Here's where we set up shop...

Again, another sand shot... so much cooler than "white sand"

I've titled this shot, "The Tourist"
add another endangered species to our growing list, Hawaiian Nene (geese)
On the way back we stopped at the Caldera one more time to say goodbye to Pele (and thank her for not erupting during our stay)...

Oh yeah, lastly I wanted to share my battle scar from our bike trip two days prior... that A'a lava is no joke... sharper than glass I tell you.

Hawaiian Honeymoon Adventure: Day 9

Tuesday (Sept 8th) started with sleeping in, which was glorious. We had been getting up "early" almost every day and I think we had finally gotten used to the time zone, so it was nice not to have any set plans.

Once up, we headed back over to VNP and decided to hike the Kilaeua Iki Trail. This trail starts in the rainforest near the Thurston Lava Tube, but winds down into and across a crater. It looks like the moon when you're finally on the crater floor. The hike was approx 4 miles.

Trees growing out of a tree!
again. across the floor of the crater - it was very cloudy and misty in there
Pile of lava rubbleTrue scale of the lava pile... see me?
Fault line within the crater

From the other side

Pete wasn't feeling well after the hike so we headed back to the cottage. Took some naps, watched a dvd and went to an early dinner at the Kiawe Kitchen. This was our second night there and for there only being a handful of places to eat, this place knows how to cook a mean pizza. We got the hummus appetizer (with olives, tomatoes, portabella mushrooms, and pita -naturally) and a white thin crust pizza to share (with portabella mushrooms, onion, and tomatoes). Not being ones to leave dinner without dessert, we shared coconut bread pudding with vanilla ice cream on top - SO GOOD!