Catching up

Hi friends.  I know it’s been quiet around here lately.  I’d like to say that will get better, but with the kids out of school in a few days, all bets are off.

This is what we’ve been up to lately.

Continue reading

What to do when it all goes wrong

Cruising on Ha Long Bay before it took an unexpected turn . . .

It’s 10:00 pm.  Instead of being tucked up on my swanky ship for another night of cruising around Ha Long Bay, I’m sitting in a van by the side of the highway to Hanoi.  We’ve been pulled over at a police stop.  Our driver is now nowhere to be seen.

We love to travel.  We really do.  Have we had bumps in the road?  Absolutely.  It’s a part of the game.  This is what we do when things don’t go according to plan.

Continue reading

How we Pack

So we went to Penang Island in Malaysia last week.  It was incredible.  Definitely recommend.

As we prepped for the trip, I realized we have gotten into a packing formula of sorts.  Not only that, but we’ve honed our division of labor on who packs what.

So here is our formula.  This is how two adults pack themselves and two kids into two duffels and two carry-on book bags.

Continue reading

How Satisficers and Maximizers Plan Trips

So James and I have a travel planning system.  (And I don’t just mean the system where he wishes I would do more travel planning.  I’m working on it!)

Usually, I’m the big picture person.  I think about what general location would be good and when we should go.  Then James drills down into the details like flight, hotel, restaurants, and what to see, etc.

If it sounds like James does more, that’s probably accurate.  In my defense, I do a lot more planning on our local adventures.  Although not in my defense, I just tell James “I want to go to X” and then he stares at maps and figures out how to get there.  So I guess it’s exactly the same.  #sorrynotsorry

This is why I was so proud of myself when I planned an upcoming trip.  The whole thing!  But it didn’t quite work out that way . . .

Continue reading

Christmas in the tropics

Hi friends.   I haven’t done this in awhile so I just wanted to catch up on everything that has been happening.  Brain dump commencing.

The Christmas season has been interesting so far.  There are plenty of holiday decorations around.  If you go to a mall, there is some sort of massive display and almost every store has a tree or wreaths or something.

Continue reading

One perfect day (for us!) in Rome

We miss Rome.  No bones about it.

What a strange phrase that really is.  I mean, I know what it means, but why on earth, right?  I just looked it up:

To make no bones about something means to say something in a way that leaves no doubt, or to have no objection to it.

The expression comes from fifteenth century England…if someone wanted to show that they were dissatisfied with something, they would find bones in it – a reference to finding bones in soup, which was not a pleasant discovery!

Therefore, finding bones was bad, and no bones was good. If you found no bones, you were able to enjoy the meal with no objections!

And now we know.

Anywho.  We miss Rome.  And it’s not just our friends there who we do miss very much.  That little slice of Italy got under our skin, and we’ll never be quite the same.

The other day at dinner we brainstormed on what we would do with just one more day in Rome.

You might be surprised.  It’s not glamorous.  But it is real, and it’s what we really loved. Continue reading

Two Month Ta Da list

So we are closing in on two months in our new home.  We’re starting to feel settled.  It’s a work in progress, but it feels good.  Even if the kids do still ask when we are going back to Rome.

The other day I mentioned Gretchen Rubin’s Ta Da list.  The idea being that instead of focusing on the never ending To Dos, to reflect on everything you have accomplished.  Ta Da!

Especially because I worry we are never doing enough or trying enough, I thought it would be fun to look back on everything we HAVE done.

Continue reading

I don’t feel safe (and it bums me out)

So we considered a lot of factors before we decided to move here.  Air quality.  Schools.  General quality of life.  Food.  Ease of travel to other places.  Cost of living.  Transportation.

No, we didn’t have a set list.  We didn’t tick the boxes.  These were just general concerns swirling around in our heads.

Safety.

This was definitely on the list.

Continue reading

Why I finally decided to do corrective eye surgery (PRK) and why I LOVE it

Some time when I was a little kid, I remember hearing about this magical surgery where they could fix your eyes.  You wouldn’t need any glasses at all.  I don’t remember if it was the news.  Advertisements.  I don’t know.

This may have stuck out to me because I heard about it around the time I got glasses.  I HATED my glasses.  I got them in 6th grade, and I would keep them on my desk and only put them on to read the board.  Basically I walked around blind most of the time.  Awesome.

But there was this AMAZING surgery that could fix all of that, right?  Well, besides being expensive and something they probably don’t do for children, I remember having a conversation about it with my dad.  He wore glasses.  Maybe he should do it?

I’ll never forget what he said.  (For the record, I don’t think he remembers this conversation at all.)  He said that he used his eyes to earn a living for his family and he would never jeopardize that.

OK.  Game over.  No LASIK for me.  Don’t want to be blind.

Then I got contacts in 8th grade and everything was pretty much OK so I sort of forgot about it.

Continue reading