Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Open Letter to tkdot.com

Open letter to tkdot.com.  Please immediately remove my blog link from your site!!!!!  You are a disgusting site and I will report you if you do not remove me immediately!!!!! 
For all my normal friends and readers please spread the word about tkdot.com and if you have a blog please check on your stats for referring sites.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Siem Reap, Cambodia

 Heading towards the border.
 The border crossing between Thailand and Cambodia.
Yes that's a casino!  Gambling is illegal in Thailand and it's illegal for Cambodians to gamble but Thai can cross into Cambodia and gamble in Cambodia!  ???
 My first Cambodian meal.
It didn't taste bad but there was still bones in the chopped up chicken.
Beautiful school, medical center and training restaurant.
 Neighborhood near New Hope.
 Having a good time in the sewing center at New Hope.
 Here's where some heartbreak comes in.....this lovely little guy, whom I nicknamed "My Shadow" died just a few short weeks after my visit.
Me in front of New Hope.
New Hope was the benefactor of my Cupcakes and Cocktails fundraiser, thank you so much to all of you who donated.  This school is doing amazing things for the people of Siem Reap.
Most of Cambodia lacks basic infrastructure.  So there is a lack of basic needs such as education, medical care, and jobs.  Despite the country's horrendous past and their current challenges, the Cambodian people seem optimistic and happy.
That was one of my life changing lessons.....here in the US we seem so unhappy with so much and yet the Cambodians seem so happy with so little.
Some of the school's teens during their English lesson.

Children at New Hope's shelter for battered and abused women.  New Hope pays for a 24 hour guard to project the women and their children from the disgruntled spouses.
Facilities at the shelter are very basic.....they could use lots of help both financially and physically improving the shelter.
Crock....the ATM guard!
One of the night markets in Siem Reap.
Lots of seafood.
Now that's what I call fresh.......
The night market is beautiful.
Dried meats.
Night market.
Oh my those egg rolls were fantastic!!!!!
Angkor Restaurant in Fresno has egg rolls that are a very close 2nd to these.
Kari and I in my favorite mode of transport.....tuk tuk.
Cambodian Apsara dancers.
An Apsara is a female spirit of the clouds and waters in Hindu and Buddhist mythology.
Tomorrow we are off to Angkor Wat!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Bangkok, Thailand

This is a wee bit late but as I am sitting here planning my next trip to Southeast Asia I thought maybe I should share some of my photos from my trip last summer.  I will share a different city every day.  This was such an amazing wonderful beautiful experience.
My life was forever changed after this trip.
I feel in love.....with Asia, with travel, with experiencing something so far outside of my own little box.  Fell in love with the true cultural experience of travel vs. just a "vacation".  Yes, the trip was a little trying at times, I am completely OCD after all, but I do like to push myself.  And boy did this push my every limit....emotional and physical.
Even though at times it was tough I wouldn't have changed a single minute of any of it.
 "The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”
Augustine of Hippo
I want to read every volume!  ;) 
 My first tuk tuk ride!
Much like Mr. Toad's wild ride at Disneyland but with traffic whizzing around you in every direction.
Oh how I loved it!
 View of the city from our hotel room.
Bangkok is a HUGE city!!!!
 Bangkok is sometime referred to as "Venice" of the east.
Rivers & canals throughout the city.
We took a boat tour.
 Street food vendors.
These are everywhere.
Pull up a plastic chair and dine like the locals do.
 One of the many beautiful Wats (temples).
 Stilt house neighborhood.
 Wat Arun.
 The locals believe it is good luck to feed the fish.
Taking care of the fish that feed you....good Karma.
 Floating market vendors in the canals.
More street food vendors cleaning up for the day.
 The guards at Wat Phra Kaeo.
In 1782, Rama 1 established the capital in Bangkok, where he built Wat Phra Kaeo to house the country's most precious Buddha image.  In 1784, he had the Grand Palace built, which became the home of the royal family.  No king has resided here since the early 20th century.
 The Grand Palace.
 A group of novice monks touring the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Keao.
 Wat Phra Keao.
The reclining Buddha in Wat Pho.
Inside Wat Pho is one of the most famous Thai massage schools.
I had the absolute best massage I have ever had......for $5!!!
Tomorrow we visit Siem Reap, Cambodia!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Spiced White Hot Chocolate

Today was the perfect day for a little hot chocolate!
Rainy, cold outside but cozy and warm inside by our woodstove.
I love this recipe!
Spiced White Hot Chocolate
To a saucepan add:
3 cups milk
(we used coconut milk)
2/3 cup finely chopped white chocolate bar
(I love Divine fair trade white chocolate)
1 cinnamon stick
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Slowly bring to a gentle boil stirring constantly.
Remove cinnamon stick & serve.
Sprinkle a little cinnamon on top & enjoy!
If you don't know much about fair trade chocolate here are 7 reasons to buy fair trade!