Shadow of Angkor

I could use a bit of Diane’s chicken soup, right about now. Facing our last three of 13 days  in Siem Reap and I’m a bit frustrated. Between miles and miles of temples, great restaurants, a river, a lake, and more temples, I feel like I’ve just had time to sample a small bit of it all. For the past week I’ve had a stomach bug and for the past three days it has gotten seriously annoying. I’ll have a visit to the doctor today to get it sorted out. In the meantime, I’m, well, tethered to the hotel room a bit. On the bright side, I watched Nadal win the quarterfinals at the Australian Open.

Enough whining, give this girl some luck and peace. IMG_0160Thanks! Continue reading

First night

We landed in Chiang Mai after a one-hour flight from Bangkok—a much easier journey than the overnight bus trip I took to reach the northern city back in 1989. The flight was delayed so we landed at rush hour and faced long lines, and a 45-minute wait, for a taxi into town. As we pondered our options, a cabbie approached us and asked if we need a ride! Such luck, and we paid only 50 bhat more than those in the queue. (32 bhat=$1US). Money well spent. Clara took the wait in stride.

imageOur hotel is in a garden in the middle of the old city, sandwiched between two gold-plated temples.


After we checked into our mosquito-ridden yet lovely hotel room, we again walked out of our hotel grounds without any idea where we were on the map. imageThis seems to be John’s style, and it definitely adds a layer of excitement to our excursions. We decided to turn right from our driveway. We snapped a picture of the sign a the end of our alleyway, or soi, and hopped on a motorcycle with a covered seat in the back, called a dtuk dtuk.

An ancient wall, built in 1296, surrounds the old city, and our hotel, Chompor Lanna. A moat-like canal surrounds the wall. At each point of the compass, there is a break in the wall, called a gate. Each gate seems to have a specialty market, featuring either food stalls, flowers, fish or full-blown sell-a-thons that feature everything from fruit to fish, to Hmong handicrafts on certain days of the week. imageWe were hungry so, after some waffling (on my part), we ended at the market at the south gate. We didn’t know it was south at the time; we were just winging it. We walked around the food stalls crammed onto the traffic median, between the road and the canal, until one smelled so so so good, I couldn’t help but order. Pad Thai, as it turns out.

imageNot such an exotic dish, but it was especially delicious when cooked in a wok about two feet from the table. Clara was wide-eyed and still a bit overwhelmed by eating anything after her day two stomach troubles. She shrugged it all off by putting her head down and resting amid the chaos.

imageWe picked up some ramen noodles from the 7-11 across the street, which she ate a few sips of once we arrived back at the hotel. The next day we headed out to explore our surrounds.

Now to be clear, John’s work required him to travel to S.E. Asia. Clara and I are tagging along. But that doesn’t mean there is no time for family fun. On our first full day we oriented ourselves on the map and we took just a short walk from our hotel. Some 50-odd wats populate the city (Good band name, 50-odd Wats), and we visited about five of the temples in a couple of hours.

Here are just a few highlights our favorite, Wat Chiang Man. A lot more temple pictures to come, don’t you worry!



Soup and nuts

Grand Palace Selfie

After nearly 24 hours of sitting upright in 18-inches between the arm rests of  a coach seat while flying over land and sea, John, Clara and I arrived exhausted but without incident in Bangkok at 11:55 p.m., New Year’s Eve.

We cabbed to our Riverside hotel, then wandered around the streets, which were lively because there had been a massive fireworks display Continue reading

Pony up

It’s time to pony up with a post.Pony up too

My unannounced summer blog break has rolled into fall. Since I last wrote, we road-tripped up the eastern seaboard and back for a month. Vacation: Bedtimes were non-existent. The schedule was not mine to control. I watched the world swirl around me before it swung me into the melee. A delicious square dance full of friends, beach, boats, swimming, islands, food, family and many, many miles. And then, the world left me in Florida and headed off with a new partner.

August in Florida described in a word: sticky. Should be spelled Augh-ust. Continue reading