Friday, June 28, 2013
Saturday, June 22, 2013
Hi all--sorry that things have been a little sparse around here. Since we flew to Madagascar in mid-April, we've been going at a breakneck speed, and with little and/or very bad internet. But great transportation.
We do have some news, however. We bought a ticket home. We fly from London to Denver on July 23rd. We know some of you are very happy we'll be home (Hi Moms!), and some of you will be disappointed that the journey is over.
And while we're not sure that the journey is over, we're very weary of packing our bags, and moving them. We're weary of restaurant meals and the same six sets of clothes. We're worried that we're not as excited about seeing things as we used to be. And that means it's time to come home.
But we still have a month in Europe and lots to tell you about what we've been up to in the last few months and we'd like the time to do it properly. We'll catch up when we can, but we just wanted to let you know where we are (Krakow, at the moment) and that we're fine, and that we have lots more adventures to share!
Monday, June 10, 2013
Outside the tea house, they had a section of tea plants growing, which were quite pretty.
Saturday, June 8, 2013
Friday, June 7, 2013
In Bali, we got sucked into exactly the kind of look-and-buy “workshop” tour that we hoped to avoid. We had rented a tiny villa outside Ubud—8 minutes outside, by car, but about 45 minutes on foot. We had prearranged a transfer from the airport to the villa through the owner, and the driver lived nearby, and was available for day trips, or just a drive into town. The driver seemed great, and after he dropped us off, we arranged a day trip for the next day, to see some of the sights around Ubud. We had an idea of what that was going to be like; it did not overlap much with his idea of what it would be like, and his fluency in English seemed to decline whenever we were trying to communicate that we weren’t interested in buying paintings, sculptures, furniture, etc. Our first stop was at a painting factory, where the demonstration portion was essentially paint by the number. After walking around the gallery in horrified stupor, we tried again to explain what we wanted to do. Our next stop was at a bird and reptile park, which sounded good, but wasn’t—imagine a petting zoo from the early 70s. We won’t dignify it with any more description. We had a quick conference together on how we’d turn the day around, and went back to the driver, resolute. David has since ridden on a donkey, and the struggle for directional control is not that dissimilar—if you are persistent, vigilant, and quick to react, you can mostly go where you want, at the speed you want. Tour guides don’t have ears that rotate towards the tasty greens—or passing donkey flesh--they want to chew on, so that makes them a little harder to anticipate than donkeys.
However, we did get to see a batik fabric workshop that we really were interested in. Aside from our stop at a grocery store, it was the only redeeming factor in his tour.
Handmade batik is beautiful; it was neat to see the process in person:
Thursday, June 6, 2013
My SuperFeet insoles are showing some pretty heavy wear, though it’s not visible here.
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Dried pig haunches? Anyone? The streets around our hotel, in Hong Kong, were filled with curious dried things. Nominally, we were in the dried seafood market, but the items certainly weren’t limited to the sea.
Monday, June 3, 2013
Sunday, June 2, 2013
The next installment in our meals around the world includes: Bali, Singapore, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand. We had some amazing meals, in Hong Kong and Vietnam in particular. We were no strangers to Asian cuisine, but were surprised by the difference that local ingredients and regional variations made. We were also surprised by the variety of delicious, cheap fruit smoothies, and you'll see we had them with most meals. That may be what we miss most!
Here is the slideshow version: