let's relax

Gotta brag on husband for a minute. He came home from class the other day and told me he asked around and found out about a spa that has "great ambiance" that he wanted me to go and spend an afternoon at. He said that I deserved to relax since he knew it must be uncomfortable carrying a baby. He wanted me to get this certain 4 hour package that has all these cool treatments and sounds really expensive, but in reality is a fraction of the cost in the US. But naturally I couldn't get a lot of the massages and treatments because of being pregnant, so he gave me a price range and just told me to go and pick! So today, I went to this very soothing spa and got foot reflexology, hand reflexology, and a neck, shoulder, and back massage. It was pure bliss. Since I was well under his price I did what any pregnant woman would do - after the massage I stopped in at Haagen-Dazs and had a scoop of Banoffee ice cream! My hubby sure knows how to pamper his wife - what a great husband!

Yes, let's!


tour of northern thailand

A couple of weeks ago we took a day trip through some touristy spots in Northern Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar (Burma). It was lots and lots of riding around in a van (we were gone 13 hours!) but we did get to stop and do some interesting things. And as I mentioned on the baby blog, our baby is a well traveled fetus, having been "carried" into 6 different countries now. :)

On our tour we saw many, many buddhas, one of which cost about $3 million to build; took a boatride over to Laos where we had 45 minutes to shop (we bought a wooden vase that had "Laos" carved into it) and mail off a few post cards; we rode that same boat past a Burmese casino that wouldn't even let you in unless you could show them you had in cash 20,000 thai bhat (almost $700); ate a buffet Thai lunch and tried to engage our fellow travelers into conversations to no avail; drove to the northernmost province of Thailand; the two of us had to walk over to Myanmar, get our passport stamped and pay for a Burmese visa, then turn around and walk back to Thailand to get our new updated Thai visa, all fast enough so that our fellow travelers wouldn't get bored while waiting on us; drove to a Hill Tribe village to look around and walk up and down very steep hills; husband took the hike over to the Long Neck Village (seriously that's the name) while I sat waiting for the group because they felt that someone as pregnant as I am should not be hiking (?); my "so pregnant" self sat and watched some of the villagers interact and felt very sad to realize that these long neck women only wore the rings on their necks because of tourists like us, and I vowed to research things better next time; drove back to Chiang Mai, making a nice pitstop at a 7-11 along the way.

Headed to Laos, home of Khan Souphanousinphone!

Snake and Scorpion Whiskey in Laos

Million Dollar Buddha

Province of northern Thailand

Hill Tribe Village

Long Neck Girls. The guide told husband that historically they wore the rings to protect their necks from tigers.

View of Long Neck Village from Hill Tribe Village


thailand food, not to be confused with thai food

We always get really excited about coming to Thailand because of the food! We're not fanatics of Thai food, we actually rarely eat it while here. Instead, we eat all the American/Western food we can get. I know, I know, that sounds horribly ethnocentric, but we only get Burger King, Starbucks, Steaks, Fried Shrimp, ribs, hot dogs, pork, etc, biannually, so you better believe that's what we eat. And it helps that I'm not a huge fan of Thai food anyway.

BUT...Thailand has awesome fruit! I can't believe I'm admitting this, but before moving to South Asia, I never knew the wolrd had more varieties of fruit and vegetables than what we could get in the States. So, in honor of my ignorance, I decided to put pics of just some of the fruit we eat here in Thailand. And yes, I realize this is pretty dorky. The one famous Asian fruit I don't have a picture of is the durian. It has the most horrific smell and is even banned from most hotels. I think my camera, myself, and the entire internet would smell permanently if I got close enough to a durian to take a picture, so I declined.

Do you know the names of any of these?

Husband calls these "Jewish mangoes":

I think these are the most stylish of fruits, with their hot pink, white and black colors:

The "hairy strawberries":

And these aren't fruit, but they are my new favorite candy. I don't
even know what they're called or what they're made out of, but I love them. Most have the same flavor despite their different colors, kinda like a coconut, with other flavors like peanuts or something mixed in.



My friend from Paris days, Christine (weird calling her that, I knew her as Chrissy :) tagged me on her blog, so I'm being faithful in my re-posting duties.

8 interesting (or not so interesting?) things about me:

1. I've walked on sandy paths and mountain roads and the filth of South Asian streets, but the one place I can not stand to walk on is wet grass. Something about it really disgusts me.
2. After hearing the horror stories about worms on this side of the world, I am terrified that one day I will sneeze and a worm will come out my nose.
3. I love that living in the Himalayas for a year taught me how to cook almost anything from scratch. But I still can't master a simple omelet.
4. I loved Encyclopedia Brown books growing up, and thought he was a genius. I never could figure out how he could recognize the tiniest, most insignificant detail and solve a crime. Husband found a used one and gave it to me on my birthday, and I read one story to him to amaze him with Encyclopedia's skills...but we both solved it immediately. I was sad the mysterious days of Police Chief Brown's genius son were over.
5. I do not like to shop. But I can bargain with the best of 'em.
6. I haven't driven a car in 2 years, and I'm scared I have forgotten how to drive.
7. I'm a huge dork when it comes to spreadsheets and organization. (and probably lots of other things) I create spreadsheets for no real reason, with charts and graphs and pretty formatting and things. Seeing spreadsheets in Times New Roman font and black and white colors bore me.
8. I never, ever read non-fiction books.

I tag: Sarah, Alison, Andrea, Alicia, Husband, Julie, Beki, Janet


the thai boathouse

I guess I can retire Jaya's reminder post now. But don't stop thinking about her and her family!

So we're about halfway through our stay here in Thailand. It's been quite eventful so far, but will be slowing down a lot starting next week when husband's schooling starts. I'm pretty sure my remaining days here will be filled with scrapbooking, swimming, and Starbucks. After our 10 days of meetings, we went on a really cool weekend getaway with some of our friends from Capital - another young couple and a family. We stayed in a boathouse on a lake that we never learned the name of. After the entrance fee incident, we loaded our bags on a long tail boat and sailed the waters to our humble abode. Soon we understood why they told us the boat ride to the house was about $5 a person, but a car ride there would be free. I'm sure that's quite the running joke at the national park.

Our rooms were simple - we had no electricity, save for the generator that ran from 6pm to 5am so we could have a fan on while we slept. It also
turned on for about 20 minutes right after breakfast so we could fill up our barrel of water for the day. Yep, no running water either. And I couldn't begin to list the amount of items that dropped into the lake never to be seen again. But we had beautiful scenery, a lake to swim in, high dives to jump off of, inner-tubes to float around in, a little rickety rowboat, 3 tasty meals cooked for us, and so on. All we were missing was my dad and his boat, pulling us on skis, kneeboards, and tubes all day. It was a lot of fun, and we would definitely do it again. Although this time we'd bring a battery operated fan with us.

I'll blog again real soon about our day tour of the Golden Triangle.