Friday, 1 January 2016

Christmas in Sri Lanka

Happy New Year everybody! I hope you all had a great Christmas and New Year! We had a very different Christmas holiday this year as we went to Sri Lanka!

If you have read my blog before, you will know that my little family and I are living and working in Dubai. Its a fantastic life and we are absolutely loving living here! We do miss our families though, the only draw back of living abroad for us. Normally we head back to the UK for Christmas but this year it was just going to be too hard. Long flights, splitting time between two families and about different three locations, let alone coping with the jetlag when all three of us are at school again on the 3rd January! So we decided to have a family holiday to  Sri Lanka instead. It is only 4 hours flight from Dubai and can be really cheap to stay there!

Our first stop was just outside of Bentota on the West coast of Sri Lanka. Our hotel was right by the beach. It was owned by an English couple and had such a relaxing, easy atmosphere. Great food, amazingly friendly staff, it suited us and William down to the ground. It allowed us to just relax and chill, to recover after a very  much term at school! The hotel was called Whispering Palms and I would definitely recommend it.

While we were there the Perahera (full moon festival) was happening. This meant an exciting late night trip into town on a tuk tuk to see a parade featuring fire performers, dancers, musicians, and of course elephants dressed to impress! It was an amazing experience. The locals were having a fab time and it was so nice to be able to be part of it.

Our second stop was Hikkaduwa on the South West coast, just one hours drive from Bentota. I booked 5 nights at the Huma Terra Green Lodge. It looked beautiful in the photos online and the correspondence with the owner via emails beforehand was very good. The accommodation comprises of 5 tree houses, all overlooking their very own rice field. Well, our driver took us on an interesting journey to get there, down windy dirt tracks and gravel roads. I looked at my husband and he looked at me.... what were we thinking... where on earth is the driver taking us we wondered.

We needn't have worried. Once we walked the last 50 meters through the jungle into the property, it opened up the most spectacular views. For the first three hours we just could not believe we were there and were literally speechless, we didn't know what to say about it! The tree houses were exactly as pictured online, but much better!The view over their rice field was breath-taking! We had known that Sri Lanka was beautiful but this was another level! You felt like you were in the middle of no where, surrounded by wildlife, the sounds of birds chirping, the smell of cinnamon and the wooden treehouses.

In the centre of the property was a small infinity pool, with fresh salt water, no chemicals. The restaurant was a large open air decked area with cosy seating and tables for meals.

In the evening you could listen to the crickets and frogs while watching fireflies dance across the field. The food was really nice too. Owen enjoyed wok fried prawns a number of times! The couple who had set up Huma Terra were from France and had only opened it in January 2015. They were the nicest, kindest, most thoughtful hosts we have ever come across. Literally nothing was too much and they were so helpful and considerate of William too. I wish them all the luck with this venture as they work so hard and really deserve to do well! And I am sure it will!

While in Hikkaduwa we hired a tuk tuk and driver for a couple of days and ventured out to do a little exploring. We visited temples, beaches, a beautiful majestic lake, a turtle sanctuary and other attractions nearby. Sri Lanka is full of fantastic sights and we have barely scratched the surface so I do hope we will have the opportunity to go back again sometime soon!

I'll leave you with a few more photos...

Creative Corner: Crochet Unicorn Hat

I was recently asked if I could make a very special hat for a lady's daughter. I've made tons of hats before, but this one was super cool! After I finished making the first one, she was so pleased that she ordered another two for her other children!

The pattern can be found here at Repeat Crafter Me. Its very easy to follow and has some lovely photos!

There seems to be a craze over unicorns at the moment! I made this crochet unicorn a few months ago and everyone seems to love it!

It doesn't end there! I also have a unicorn lovey to make this week. Laura over at Life with baby kicks, ran a competition to win one of my custom made crochet loveys. The lucky winner was another Laura, who has chosen a unicorn as her special lovey character.

My crochet hook seemed to be working on overdrive just before Christmas! I had quite a few new projects and patterns to try, including a TOP SECRET one! (how exciting! I promise I will show you as soon as I am allowed!)

Have you been up to anything creative lately? Please show me! I'd love to see!