Monday, November 14, 2011


"Life is a process of becoming. A combination of states we have to go through."
-Anais Nin

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Opening up

A spring breeze
and a breath of fresh air
The unfolding and blooming of
a flower
Warmth and sunshine

Monday, June 20, 2011

Heart-shaped rock...

Heart shaped rock <3
Picture text I received yesterday. <3

Sunday, June 12, 2011


"Give all to love.
Obey your heart."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, June 03, 2011


"And that's where the power of love comes in. Because when we love, we always strive to become better than we are."
-The Alchemist, Paolo Coelho

Thursday, June 02, 2011

To Dos, Spring/Summer 2011 Edition

I'm on a mission to live a better life and be a better me. One of the things I have been trying to do lately (and it's probably one of the hardest) is to take a step back from my work life. No, I'm not slacking on my work, I'm just not letting myself get overwhelmed and engulfed by it. I'm cutting back on staying long hours, stressing out on my days off, and constantly checking my email. I'm basically just trying to take and enjoy my personal time, to focus on myself and take care of myself. So, I have a list of to dos for the next couple of months...

-Go to the dentist (get those teeth cleaned!)
-Go to the optometrist (need new contacts)
-Get a haircut (my hair is getting way too long, it's currently at my waist)
-Buy new running shoes (my feet will thank me)
-Run a 5k race in July (considered a 10k but I think I'm chickening out, will do a 10k at the Turkey Trot in November)
-Join the Wednesday night running club (I've been wanting to do this for a while)
-Buy new sunglasses (as everyone around me knows, mine were completely scratched up and I've been needing new ones for a while, I now need a new pair more than ever because I've just lost the other pair. It's a sign.)
-Go on a Meetup outing (I need to get out there and do something new, meet new people.)
-Ride my bike more (especially since gas prices are so high and we have new bike lanes in town)
-Get another tattoo (this has been on my list for years, I think it might be time)
-Cook more often (I enjoy cooking, but have not been taking the time to do it that often. Maybe I'll even finally put my Vietnamese cookbook to use?)

There are also some things that cannot easily be tracked or checked off, things that will be an ongoing process and that I want to be a part of my everyday life and who I am...
Love and give more, practice patience, forgive better, open up, make connections, be positive, live fully...

Wednesday, June 01, 2011


"Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second's encounter with God and with eternity."
-The Alchemist, Paolo Coelho

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Longing to be in the Pacific Northwest...

My new favorite hangout in town, Congregation Ale House, hosted a Rogue event last night. I decided to dust off my long-abandoned bike, pump up its tires, and went on an enjoyable evening ride on our new bike lanes to the bar. Great beers from Rogue Brewery + yummy cheeses from Rogue Creamery + hanging out with my awesome friends= a fun night out!

Rogue Brewery night at Congregation
Rogue creamery cheese platter
Shelby & Pat!

Drinking Rogue beers makes me think about my time up in Oregon, which makes me long to be back up in the Pacific Northwest. Thinking I might have to take another trip up there soon...

Pacific City Beach
Drive to Indian Beach
Peter Iredale shipwreck

Monday, May 23, 2011


Cuatro Casas Sunset
Camping in Mexico years ago. Oh, to be on vacation again...

Monday, May 16, 2011


"just a kiss on your lips in the moonlight
just a touch of the fire burning so bright
and i don’t want to mess this thing up
i don’t want to push too far
just a shot in the dark that you just might
be the one i’ve been waiting for my whole life
so baby i’m alright, with just a kiss goodnight"
-Lady Antebellum, Just a Kiss

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Relaxing weekend

Beautiful day camping in Idyllwild!
Just got back from camping this weekend at Mt. San Jacinto State Park, a nice little camground within walking distance of the adorable sleepy town of Idyllwild. It's always lovely breathing in the crisp mountain air and being surrounded by trees. The weekend was enjoyable and relaxing, we didn't do much except walk around town, nap, drink beer, play cards, and chat.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


"I'm gonna start a fire
You're gonna feel the heat
I'm gonna burn for you
You're gonna melt for me
Come on, come on, into my arms
Come on, come on, give into me"
-Give Into Me, Country Strong soundtrack

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Farmers market, Mekong styleWhat's for sale?

I love going to my local Sunday farmers market to pick out fresh and delicious produce, so it was fun experiencing a twist to that while we were on the Mekong Delta. This photo is from the Can Tho floating market. Each boat advertises what it has for sale on board by tying the items to a pole, a kind of "produce flag". It was funny and awesome.

Monday, May 09, 2011


"There's a new wind blowing like I've never known/ I'm breathing deeper than I've ever done/ And it sure feels good to finally feel the way I do/ I wanna love somebody, love somebody like you"
-Somebody Like You, Keith Urban

Thursday, May 05, 2011


"Every moment of your life is infinitely creative and the universe is endlessly bountiful. Just put forth a clear enough request, and everything your heart desires must come to you."
-Shakti Gawain

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Oh my, it's May!

Time has flown by far too quickly once again, and I haven’t been able to keep up with the blogging. So here’s a summary snippet of what I’ve been up to since getting back from my trip at the end of January…

Went to Mammoth with Staci & her family, and attempted snowboarding again after 5 years off the mountain. Frustrating at times, but fun and it was beautiful!
Beautiful day on the mountain
It's snowing outside!

Organized anther Night Dive event and it was once again a fun successful evening! The theme was "science fair" so here's the photobooth we set up for people to take free pics at.
Night Dive Photobooth
Night Dive Photobooth

Went hiking to a pretty waterfall. Wish I had time go hiking more often. I will have to try to make it a priority...

Joined a Monday night bowling league, our team name is the “Waves of Fury”. Although we have lots of room to improve, it has been tons of fun drinking beer and bowling with friends.

Went on a mini vacay to visit Ann in Monterey (she's back in California!) and the MRods in San Francisco. We visited the Monterey Bay Aquarium and California Academy of Sciences, two awesome facilities.

Unfortunately, my car was vandalized while parked in Golden Gate Park. Boo. Thanks to "team broken window" for helping me deal with it all, you gals rock!

Also hosted a Grilled Cheese challenge with friends at my place. We all made different types of grilled cheese samples to share and judge. The winner was dill havarti & tomatoes on rye grilled with mayo instead of butter--yum!

Went on our 6th Annual Camping trip. Drank beer, played laddergolf, went to the beach, took a walk, sat around, the usual...

I've also been busy and hard at work. (With a little bit of fun, of course.)

There you have it, February, March and April summed up in a post!

Friday, April 01, 2011


Rae: "She's half black, half white, and half asian."
Me, confused: "Wait, that's three halves."
Us: cracking up because Rae doesn't know her fractions.

Thursday, March 17, 2011






"Thick, sinewy and ghostly white, soaring into the sky, they signal nature's dominance over man. The trees of Angkor tower over the great temples, their roots twisting and crushing them in a grip more powerful than stone.

It is a mortal embrace. Starting as seedlings dropped from the sky by birds, the roots have dug their way so deeply into the monuments that they hold them at their mercy, binding them even as they rip them apart."

-New York Times article by Seth Mydans:
Trees Bind Angkor Temples in Perilous Grip

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


"The important thing is to be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become."
-Charles Dubois

Monday, March 14, 2011

Food Trucks

Tracking down the Coolhaus truck
Food trucks are all the rage in LA right now. I had been wanting to try the Grilled Cheese Truck for over a year, and was finally able to do so with some friends last week. The bread was grilled to perfection!

Then this weekend, we hunted down Coolhaus, which serves up gourmet ice cream between specialty cookies. I had the dirty mint ice cream with snickerdoodle cookies. Yum! It wasn't the mint-flavored ice cream you normally get, but ice cream with real mint in it. Unusual, but tasty.

Next truck? I really want some lobster rolls! We normally can't find that goodness out west, but thank goodness there's the Lobsta Truck.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Tsunami hits Rainbow Harbor


Nature is fierce and it is amazing. Even across an ocean and past one of the world's largest breakwalls, we were able to witness the tsunami's effects in our little nook of the harbor. There was quite a bit of commotion at work yesterday morning as we all stood around to watch. People strolling along the boardwalk were unimpressed, but being the ocean nerds that we all are, it was a very neat thing indeed. Here are five photos that I took over a span of 14 minutes, the water came in and out like this several times.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


"...I started to think about time, and how it keeps moving and draining and flowing forever forward, seconds into minutes into days into years, all of it leading to the same place, a current running forever in one direction. And we're all going and swimming as fast as we can, helping it along. My point is: maybe you can afford to wait. Maybe for you there's a tomorrow. Maybe for you there's one thousand tomorrows, or three thousand, or ten, so much time you can bathe in it, roll around in it, let it slide like coins through your fingers. So much time you can waste it. But for some of us there's only today. And the truth is, you never really know."
-before i fall, lauren oliver

Friday, February 18, 2011


Saigon evening rush hour traffic
Saigon, evening rush hour.

Sunday, February 13, 2011



Beautiful day at East Mebon. Angkor ruins, Cambodia.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I heart this song

I love this clip and wish the whole thing was in the movie. Also, Garrett Hedlund makes a hot country singer.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011



Profile of faces at Bayon. It was one of my favorite ruins at Angkor.

Monday, February 07, 2011

2010 Books

This 2010 roundup is coming a little late, since we are already partway through February, but I still wanted to post my list. I ended up reading a tad more than last year, 18 books in total for 2010. Really enjoyed Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. The Hunger Games was FABULOUS, and I was able to convince quite a number of friends to read it also. I don't care what anyone says, I heart young adult novels. Couch was quirky and funny. And for the record, I absolutely DID NOT LIKE The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I have no clue why there is so much buzz and hype around the book, it was awful.

A question to YOU, my readers (I'm being hopeful that I actually have readers out there): what did you read in 2010 that you loved? I'm always looking for book recommendations.

2010 books, in the order I read them...
-Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, Gregory Maguire
-Coraline, Neil Gaiman
-Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Barbara Kingsolver
-The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
-Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins
-The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows
-Prodigal Summer, Barbara Kingsolver
-Couch, Benjamin Parzybok
-The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Steig Larson
-The Help, Kathryn Stockett
-The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner, Stephenie Meyer
-Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins
-The Missing: Book 1: Found, Margaret Peterson Haddix
-Touching the Void, Joe Simpson
-The Last Summer (Of You and Me), Ann Brashares
-Durable Goods, Elizabeth Berg
-Zero Regrets, Apolo Ohno
-Three Willows, Ann Brashares

Monday, January 17, 2011

Until Next Time

After a while, you adapt to being in unfamiliar surroundings, to moving from site to site and town to town, to unpacking and repacking.  After a while, the wandering and exploring becomes the rythm of your days.  I wish my days could continue like this, but it's sadly time to close this chapter of traveling adventures.  Our three weeks is up, and we must fly home tonight. It has been wonderful. Goodbye Vietnam & Cambodia, until next time!      

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Thoughts on traveling

Yes, it can get tiring--living out of a bag, being constantly on the move, pushing the limits of what I'm comfortable with.  But that is why I travel, it's part of the experience, to jolt my senses and see, feel, taste something new.  To be awed, to step outside of my routine, to know that there is more to life and the world than what I normally witness everyday.  

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Other travel blogs

Sorry I haven't been able to update much. I would love to share more details and photos, but lack of time and Internet access has limited my ability to blog as much as I would like. I also decided to leave my iPhone at home and no longer have my dad's laptop to load pictures from my camera to, so I've only been able to blog and share from the iPod touch that Justin lent me (thanks Justin! It's been awesome having this handy iPod to connect to wifi when I can!). I will share more when I get back home, so in the mean time, here are some other things you can read...

For another (and much funnier) perspective on our Vietnam & Cambodia trip, check out Rae's blog. She brought her iPhone, so has been able to take & share a lot more photos and videos than me:

Also take a look at Cat & Nick's blog, read about their time with Rae & I and check in to see how the rest of their world trip is going:
Cat & Nick

Friday, January 14, 2011

Back to the motherland...again

Wow, I can't believe our 10 days hanging out with Catherine and Nick have come and gone so quickly.  I'm so happy that plans worked out and that we were able to meet up with them during their world trip.  It was so much fun being able to explore and travel with a group of friends!  They flew in the night of January 3rd and we've done so much during the past week and a half--Saigon, Cu Chi tunnels, the Mekong Delta, Phnom Penh, and Siem Reap & Angkor.  Today is our last half day in Cambodia, Rae and I are flying out to Hanoi this evening to finish the last leg of our trip in Northern Vietnam, back to the motherland once again. 

I've been pleasantly surprised by Cambodia.  Besides the Angkor ruins, it has never been on my must see list of travel destinations.  I was just going along for the ride, it was more of a "why not?" rather than a "I have to go there!" detour out of Vietnam.  In the end, I am so glad we came here, even though we had to sacrifice the Central Vietnam towns of Hue & Hoi Anh, which I still really want to visit (next time!)  In our initial planning stages, we were only going to stay in Cambodia for three nights.  But in the end we also had to cut out Phu Quoc island, off the tip of the Mekong Delta, since it would be too difficult to get to in such a short period of time (next time!).  So we stayed here for six nights instead of three, and now six nights still just isn't enough!  I would happily stay longer if I could, but alas, we have other adventures calling us in Hanoi & Halong Bay.  

Tuk-tuk driver to Angkor: $9 for the whole day
Buffet dinner & Aspara dance show: $10
Can of Angkor beer: $1
Cambodia souvenir shirt: $2
1 hour traditional massage: $8
Great adventures with friends: priceless!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Funny Shirts, Part II

Okay, here are a lot more of the funny rediculousness. We were having a grand time roaming the market stalls and laughing about these...

Eat Babe For Face
Alternate get trick for fun

This was the whole phrase on one shirt. Really?! It makes no sense!

Beautiful love
What's in your jeans?

This was also the whole phrase on a shirt, haha.

I'm superstar

Ape should never kill ape

Life is worth when you see the world of life

Sheep happy time, this is a happy bear
Another completely random one, what do sheep and bears have to to do with each other?

Always breathless confusion

I heart drugs

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Funny Shirts

We've been finding some hilarious phrases on shirts here. Might have to buy one of them because they are so random...

My whole life is bad for my nerver
Not sure what nerver is, but I don't think I want bad nerver either.

On a bright yellow woman's tank top:
I am king of a beautiful woman

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Back in Saigon

We've been enjoying more of the city the past couple of days...

-1 1/2 hour massage for $5, what a deal!
-Getting a hair wash & head massage, only $2!
-Eating homemade dinners cooked by Co Hoa, YUM!
-Catherine & Nick made it from Australia, yay friends!
-Figured out the rest of our trip itinerary, whew, no more worrying!
-Cu Chi tunnels-realized there's no way I could've been a VC, that shit was scary!

Sunday, January 02, 2011

On the Water and Into the Highlands

12/31: Nha Trang
The first part of our morning in Nha Trang was spent walking along the beach and park, the main strip is a bustling place that reminds me of Waikiki. We sat down at a cute little place for some coffee for breakfast. Vietnamese iced coffee is the best stuff, WAY better than the lattes I usually get back home. Sweetened condensed milk is the key, and although I'm sure I will pay for it dearly later on (who wants to go to the gym with me?!), I'm going to enjoy as much of it as I can here. My dad chartered a private boat for us, so we spent the rest of our morning and early afternoon exploring the islands around Nha Trang. Hopping in the water for a snorkel was on the agenda for the first island stop, but it turned out to be too windy to be enjoyable. Luckily, the man in the colander boat came around to offer us the glass bottomed view of the reef. It was so unusual and funny and I think it ended up being more fun than a snorkel would have been. We've many snorkeling many times before, but it's not ever day that we get to ride in a bowl-shaped boat. On our next island stop, Raelene wanted to try parasailing but didn't want to do it alone. Since I was too chicken to go with her, my dad decided to do it so she wouldn't miss out on the opportunity. It was hilarious to watch them gear up and go, especially because it happened so quickly with no safety talk and little instruction other than to run when they said "run." It all turned out fine and they had fun, but it's still not my cup of tea. After taking a dip in the warm waters, we headed off to lunch on another island. We were first dropped off at some floating fish pens, where we had to choose what we wanted the restaurant to cook up. I do eat seafood, but it was a little sad looking at all those doomed animals, knowing that I will be sentencing one of them to their deaths. There was a lot of cool marine life in there that we refused to eat, including remoras, bamboo sharks and especially the whole pen of huge cuttlefish. Oh, POOR CUTTLEFISH! They are one of my favorite animals and it was heartbreaking to see that people were going to eat such beautiful creatures. In the end, Rae and I were okay with picking a red snapper to cook up and my dad and Co Hoa also ordered some snails. A commonly eaten fish and some gastropods, I think our conscience can live with that. We took a raft over to the restaurant and enjoyed a delicious freshly cooked lunch. Half of the fish was fried, ca chien, and the other half was put into a sweet and sour hotpot soup, canh chua ca. After lunch we headed back to the mainland and spent the afternoon checking out Nha Trang's aquarium, the Oceanographic Institute. For our New Years celebration, Rae & I had some beers at the local brewery, Louisianne, then called it an early night at 10pm. It was the most excitement we could handle, with the jetlag still hanging around.

Relaxing out on the water and enjoying the boat ride...
Relaxing on the water

Fish pens aka the lunch menu...
The fish pens that we chose lunch from

Raft ride to our restaurant...
Raft ride to land

Oceanographic Institute...
Large tank

Crazy room of preserved sealife. Makes me think of the ministry of magic...

New Years eve beers...
New years eve beers

1/1: Nha Trang to Dalat
Next morning we hit the road to check out Dalat, a town in the central highlands of Vietnam. The drive was beautiful and you could definitely feel the difference in the elevation change--the air was so fresh and cool compared to the warm humidity we had been in. Again, long slow roads meant that we didn't get into town until later in the day, so we were only able to do a couple of things when we got there--checked out a cute flower garden, then walked the markets and shopped. Co Hoa is great at bargaining, so I walked away with an adorable coat for $15, very exciting.

1/2 Dalat to Saigon
Before heading back to Saigon, we visited a couple of places around Dalat.

Visit to the Crazy House in Dalat
Crazy House, designed by architect Hang Nga, was indeed crazy but also very cute and tons of fun. There were so many nooks and crannies to explore and get lost in, and was kind of like being in a huge fairy tale treehouse. Great for adults who are kids at heart!

Bobsled track
Datlana Falls was cool, but the most exciting part of this stop was our bobsled ride down to the falls. We bought tickets and hopped on without reading the instructions other than "ride at your own risk." It was like a roller coaster, except you control your own breaking. This meant you had to make sure you don't ram into the bobsled in front of you, and hoped that the people behind you are just as careful. It made for an exciting and hilarious ride down the hill. Video to be posted shortly.