My husband Aquinas and I went to Phnom Penh, Cambodia during his break week.
While there, I drank a Kingdom Pilsener. The label says:
Cambodia’s lush, mysterious jungles hide more than the splendours of Angkorian majesty. Deep in these green bastions rare beasts roam wild. The elusive clouded leopard, the strange plated pangolin, the stalwart kouprey—if not mythical, at least immensely difficult to find. Kingdom Pilsener, Cambodia’s first truly premium beer, celebrates this enigmatic empire. Singular in flavor and a little hard to track down, Kingdom’s rare quality is well worth the adventure.
On this trip to Cambodia, we forwent the Angkorian splendours. We did not see any clouded leopards, plated pangolins, or koupreys, stalwart or otherwise. I don’t even know what a kouprey is! (Google says it’s a forest-dwelling bovine—you’re welcome.)
We visited the royal palace, the national museum, a Buddhist temple, and the Art Deco market; we patronized a spa and a couple of handicraft shops; we relaxed in the hotel cafe and ate at two of the best restaurants in the country (one French and one Cambodian). That’s it!
Below are 25 photos, mostly from the palace grounds.
Continue reading Phnom Penh (September 2016)
When you think of Singapore, you don’t think of cacti, and an airport is pretty much the opposite of a garden, right? Yet Changi Airport boasts a cactus garden.
How do cacti even survive outdoors in Singapore? My guess is they’ve worked out the right kind of soil to drain water away from the plants, but what do I know. My thumbs are about as green as a fire engine.
Below are 10 photos I took of the cactus garden at Changi Terminal 1 while waiting for the gate to open for our flight to Phnom Penh.
Don’t make fun of the “wildlife” tag on this post. Obviously, this garden is the opposite of wild. I guess I’m just using the tag as shorthand for “plants and animals (and mushrooms, which aren’t even plants)”.
Continue reading Singapore Changi Airport T1 Cactus Garden
My husband Aquinas and I flew to the US together for his brother’s wedding in Maine. We stopped overnight in Beijing on the way there and the way back to avoid the utter misery of traveling for more than twenty-four hours in a row. The weather for the wedding was amazing, and I enjoyed meeting and talking with the new in-laws of my in-laws. While in the US, Aquinas and I also visited some friends in New York, had a couple of nice dinners in Portland, and walked part of the Freedom Trail in Boston.
See below for a selection of 100 photos from the trip, including snapshots of NYC skyscrapers, empty Maine landscapes, and a spectacular sunset.
Continue reading Maine (July 2016)
Books and rocks are just about the heaviest things one could imagine bringing back from a vacation, and yet books and rocks are exactly what we brought back from our latest trip to the opposite side of the planet.
In fact, bringing back books and/or rocks from trips is fairly typical for us. What made this trip’s haul particularly absurd was that the books were about rocks.
As is my habit, I brought back coins and bills from my trip.
I’m now only missing one out of 100 state quarters collected from circulation since 1999 (one for each state and for each of the two mints, the one in Philadelphia and the one in Denver). It was always harder for me to collect Denver coins when I lived in the Southeast and the Northeast, but unsurprisingly, in Denver there were a lot of Denver coins.
I made a bunch of squashed pennies in tourist machines in various places.
I traded with my mom’s friend who we were staying with to get money from Uruguay, Brazil, and several other countries.
I purposely did not go in any used bookstores while I was in the U.S. (though I admit I was tempted). Still, somehow I wound up returning from Denver to Singapore with these 21 used books. I bought them at two thrift stores where I went to buy pants. (Trousers? Whatever.)
These books cost me less than US$23.00 in total. (For the sake of comparison, note that the website of the most prominent bookstore in Singapore, Kinokuniya, lists new copies of the hardcover Four for the equivalent of about US$19.00.)
From a content standpoint, the book I’m most excited about is probably the psychology textbook. From a collecting standpoint, I’m most excited about Wolf Wing and the Percy Jackson books, because they match books I already own.
When I was a kid, I thought flying from Atlanta to Los Angeles, which I did maybe twice and which takes about five hours, was unimaginably far, because the flight from Atlanta to Nashville, which I took many times, only takes about one.
These days, if I don’t watch five or six movies, the flight feels like it’s over as soon as it starts.
Below is a list of the movies I watched on United Flight 1 from San Francisco to Singapore on June… actually I don’t know what day it was, technically, since we left on the 16th, flew for more than 16 hours, and arrived on the 18th.
- 13 Going on 30 (2004)
- Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989)
- Capture the Flag (2015)
- Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
- Independence Day (1996)
Below are two dozen photos of a weekend trip to Bangkok. We stayed in Chinatown, tolerated the inevitable traffic, ate good Chinese and Thai food, visited the Suan Pakkad Palace Museum and window-shopped.
Out the window, I glimpsed a Ronald McDonald statue making the traditional Thai greeting (pressing his hands together); a business sign saying “Creative Accounting” that my husband finds particularly amusing; and a mural depicting two aliens in a lotus pond, one of whom looks like a wookie and is holding a popscicle (?!).
Fortunately, I spotted the alien mural while we were at a stoplight and took a photo, so you can see it, too. (The longer you look at it, the weirder it gets.)
Continue reading Bangkok (March 2016)
Below are 32 photos (out of 350!) from a trip I went on with my husband to Vientiane and Luang Prabang in Laos.
(The Buddha Park must be seen to be believed. Or rather, even after you’ve seen it, it’s still unbelievable…)
Continue reading Laos (December 2015)
Below are 27 selected photos of a brief trip with friends to Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Continue reading Siem Reap, Cambodia (November 2014)