Tuesday, February 19, 2013

an adventure tale is long overdue. india, turkey, paris, nepal, thailand, were all amazing. headed to panama next. will report from there!

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

The List, Updated March 2011

"One day, your whole life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching."
Places I have visited since 2001, in roughly chronological order (parenthesis if visited more than once, random American cities thrown in if I feel they're exotic enough):

Paris (3)
Lyon
Marseilles
Iles du Frioul
Cassis
Barcelona (2)
Mallorca
Cinque Terre (2)
Amsterdam (4)
Lisse
Siena
Prague (2)
Vienna (2)
Rome (2)
Venice (2)
Florence
Austin
Scottsdale
Sedona
Shanghai
Guangzhou
Hangzhou
Suzhou
Shenzen
Taipei
Kaoshuing
Hong Kong (3)
Macau
Lantau
Cheung Chau
Bangkok (4)
Phuket (2)
Phi Phi (2)
Ko Chang
Siem Reap (Angkor Wat)
Luang Prabang
Vang Vieng
Koh Samui
Koh Phangan
Surat Thani
Chiang Mai
Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
Nha Trang
Guatemala City
Antigua, Guatemala (3)
Amatitlan
Santa Cruz la Laguna, Lago Atitlan
Panajachel, Lago Atitlan (2)
San Pedro La Laguna, Lago Atitlan (2)
Jocotenango (2)
San Jose, Costa Rica (2)
Alajuela
Tortuguero
La Fortuna (Volcan Arenal)
Bocas Del Toro
Tikal
San Salvador
Granada, Nicaragua
Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica
Puerto Nuevo (10+)
Rosarito (10+)
Mexico City (4)
Guanajuato
Tulum
Cancun
Punta Allen
Oahu (2)
Russelville
Miami
Key West
Nassau
Guadalajara
Puebla
Cholula
Zacatecas
Morelia
Puerto Morelos
Vancouver
Cartagena
Bogota
Istanbul
Olympos
Kas

gobble gobble

Email I sent out to friends about my trip to Turkey back in March:
hello all.

where do ı begın? the last tıme any of you got one of these from me was probably two years ago ınvolvıng rıdıng elephants ın the jungle. so much has happened sınce then. hope everyone's doıng fabulously.

ı am currently reportıng from olympos. a bıt of a sudden decısıon but one that ı defınıtely don't regret. olympos ıs on the medıterrandean coast of turkey. landed today ın the coastal town of antalya wıth perfect sunny weather and took a bumpy bus rıde along the breathtakıng coastlıne where mountaıns seem to come rıght down to the sea, and then up a wındıng mountaın road where ı could catch glımpses of bubblıng streams and small waterfalls through the trees. back down a road, whıch turned ınto a dırt path. forged across a shallow rıver (ın a van!) and arrıved ın olympos. thıs place ıs pretty darn close to paradıse. roman ruıns overgrown wıth trees tumblıng onto the turquoıse pebble beach. hammocks. treehouses. thıs ıs where the chımaera are - eternal natural gas flames that have been burnıng on these rocks for thousands of years.

touched down ın ıstanbul last frıday and spent a few leısurely days wanderıng around the cobblestone streets and vısıtıng the major sıghts, gettıng lost ın the grand bazaar. you can read about the blue mosque, taksım square, the palace, etc. etc. from google, but what touched me the most about my tıme here ıs how often ı am remınded, each tıme ı travel, that ıf you sıt stıll and waıt, the most magıcal thıngs happen.

ı've been dreamıng of vısıtıng the hagıa sophıa for thırteen years--from the moment ı studıed ıt ın art hıstory. several days ago that dream came true and ı found myself under a massıve glass chandelıer suspended ın a space so large my guıdebook says the statue of lıberty could do jumpıng jacks ın here.

ı clımbed up to the gallery and sat ın the lıght of a wındowsıll, and started to wrıte ın my travel journal. each tıme ı do thıs ıt remınds me of all the other places where ı have stopped and sat and wrıtten--so sıttıng ın the hagıa sophıa ı somehow felt so close to angkor wat, the sacre couer, tıkal, atıtlan, the rooftops of hong kong... all such unspeakably beautıful memorıes.

the fırst person to come up to me as ı sat there was an old man. he approached me and asked. are you wrıtıng poems? no. ı saıd, ı'm wrıtıng ın my travel journal. he smıled and saıd, ıt's all poetry...and turned around and walked away.

the second person was a mıddle aged korean man who came, sat down next to me, and asked ın haltıng englısh what ı was doıng. ı told hım ı lıke to sıt and wrıte at the places ı vısıt. wordlessly, he reached ınto hıs bag and pulled out a pıle of papers, all handwrıtten ın korean, some on the backs of envelopes, hotel statıonery, backs of advertısements--each wıth, wrıtten ın englısh, the name of the place--places all over the world--where he too had been sıttıng when he wrote these thıngs. you should have seen the smıle on both of our faces. then, ı got up and walked away. ı lıke to thınk he stayed a lıttle after ı left to add another chapter to hıs story.
well. the hammock under the orange tree beckons. tıll next tıme. ;)

happy traıls,


attached: the beach and roman ruıns at olympos.

p.s. thıs ıs an annıversary trıp of sorts. my passport expıres ın june so that means ıt.s been ten years sınce ı started that fırst, wıld, unforgettable trıp to europe wıth my dad's borrowed backpack. my best frıend. and a few hundred bucks ın my wallet to last me a month and half. you know that lıst ı carry around wıth me everywhere of all the cıtıes ı,ve traveled to sınce then? ı sometımes post ıt on facebook. ı had never counted the lıst, and today ı dıd. ı always thought ıd be somwhere ın the 50's and was astonıshed to fınd that olympos ıs my number eıghty four (!!!!)
when ı hıt 100, wherever ı am ın the world, ı'm throwıng a party and you're all ınvıted ;D

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Did I really let an entire year go by without writing here? 2009 was a year of extremes: expreme happiness, extreme heartbreak, upheaval, beaches stared at through glass but un-frolickable in, early morning coffees, and taking the farmers market for granted.
I didn't think I would feel so in-between for so long. I wonder when adulthood will arrive - or is it already here, and is this it, this constant
worrying and feeling frozen, like one of those dreams where you run harder and harder but you can't seem to be able to move faster than molasses?

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Chiang Mai

From my travel journal, 6/14/08:

We arrived the day before yesterday in Chiang Mai and spent the evening wandering the night market.

The next morning, we piled into a pickup truck to go jungle trekking. Our guides call themselves James Bond and Jack Sparrow, and they very much live up to their nicknames. Both of them carry 2 1/2 foot-long machetes which turned out to be surprisingly versatile. James used his to cut me a bamboo walking stick, make a waterpipe out of a gourd, and make dinner.

When I signed up for this trek, I didn't quite appreciate how tough it would actually be. I imagined something like the hike up Volcan Pacaya in Guatemala, or perhaps my jungle treks in Tikal--but instead, this hike was, oh, about 10 times harder. We trekked with all our gear in 90 degree weather with 100% humidity, through red mud, alongside and across streams, hopping rocks to keep from falling in the water, and through jungle foliage so dense that at times it brushed against my body on both sides (which helped wipe off the sweat that was running in rivulets down my body), and over paths so lightly trodden we were still stepping on live grass. I don't think I have ever hiked or exercised that hard in my life. Two hours into the hike, I was soaked through from head to toe in my own sweat, laboring to take the next step and leaning heavily on my walking stick. James Bond and Jack Sparrow, on the other hand, sauntered along barely even breaking a sweat (Jack was wearing rubber flip flops), entertaining us with whistled pitch-perfect renditions of favorites from Bob Marley, the Beatles, the Scorpions, and the Lion King.

We finally arrived at a hill-town perched in the clouds in the middle of the jungle. We enjoyed a dinner, cooked by James Bond with the aid of his machete, of red curry with fish balls, tofu with bean sprouts, and stir-fried veggies.

That night, we gathered around a campfire and listened to our guides play the guitar and sing.

It's morning now. I am sitting in a hut on stilts, literally inside of a cloud on the jungle hillside. All around there is no other sign of civilization. The only noise is the crackling of the fire behind me as our guides cook breakfast, and the occasional rooster crow.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

the List, updated (again)

Places I’ve been in the past six years, in no particular order (times in parenthesis if visited more than once):

Luang Prabang
Vang Vieng
Koh Samui
Koh Phangan
Surat Thani
Chiang Mai
Mexico City
Guanajuato
Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
Nha Trang
Guatemala City
Antigua, Guatemala (3)
Amatitlan
Santa Cruz la Laguna, Lago Atitlan
Panajachel, Lago Atitlan (2)
San Pedro La Laguna, Lago Atitlan (2)
Jocotenango (2)
San Jose, Costa Rica (2)
Alajuela
Tortuguero
La Fortuna (Volcan Arenal)
Bocas Del Toro
Tikal
San Salvador
Granada, Nicaragua
Paris (3)
Lyon
Marseilles
Iles du Frioul
Cassis
Barcelona (2)
Mallorca
Cinque Terre (2)
Amsterdam (4)
Lisse
Siena
Prague (2)
Vienna (2)
Rome (2)
Venice (2)
Florence
Shanghai
Guangzhou
Hangzhou
Suzhou
Shenzen
Taipei
Kaoshuing
Hong Kong (3)
Macau
Lantau
Cheung Chau
Bangkok (3)
Phuket (2)
Phi Phi (2)
Ko Chang
Siem Reap (Angkor Wat)
Oahu
Puerto Nuevo (10+)
New York City

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Pasdena is Awesome.


I've moved to Old Town Pasadena. What a beautiful, wonderful neighborhood. I'm in love. I have found one of the rare places in LA where you don't need a car to get around and it's safe and fun to walk at night. Amazing. More later.

Friday, August 31, 2007

it's been awhile. life just sort of sucks you into these miniature vortices of mundanity and each day melts into the next, and it seems like you blink and a year has gone by.

bar results come out tomorrow. i can't believe it's been a year since i found out i passed. this time last year, i was just a wreck. not as bad as the few weeks before the test, but a wreck nonetheless. this time last year i was doing temp work as a receptionist at a law firm. a client came in one day and said to me "oh you're new here aren't you? they should keep you here. you're pretty."

so much has happened in a year's time. i've not traveled as much as before, but i've learned a lot about strategy, and how to deal with adults like i'm one of them. it is strange working with people twice my age. my bosses are really cool, but some opposing counsel look at me like i'm a kid. and to them, i am.

i am seriously thinking about starting a wedding photography business on the weekends.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The List, updated

Places I’ve been in the past six years, in no particular order (times in parenthesis if visited more than once):


Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
Nha Trang
Guatemala City
Antigua, Guatemala (3)
Amatitlan
Santa Cruz la Laguna, Lago Atitlan
Panajachel, Lago Atitlan
San Pedro La Laguna, Lago Atitlan
Jocotenango
San Jose, Costa Rica
Alajuela
Tortuguero
La Fortuna (Volcan Arenal)
Bocas Del Toro
Tikal
San Salvador
Granada, Nicaragua
Paris (3)
Lyon
Marseilles
Iles du Frioul
Cassis
Barcelona (2)
Mallorca
Cinque Terre (2)
Amsterdam (4)
Lisse
Siena
Prague (2)
Vienna (2)
Rome (2)
Venice (2)
Florence
Shanghai
Guangzhou
Hangzhou
Suzhou
Shenzen
Taipei
Kaoshuing
Hong Kong (3)
Macau
Lantau
Cheung Chau
Bangkok
Phuket (2)
Phi Phi (2)
Ko Chang
Siem Reap (Angkor Wat)
Oahu
Puerto Nuevo (10+)
New York City

Guatemala again...again!

Alright. I just can't help myself. It's an addiction.

When I see a $50 each way flight to Guatemala I just CANNOT stop myself from taking it. So on labor day weekend, I'm headed to yet another Guatemalan excursion.

This time I am trying my hand at tour-guiding and leading a group of 9 other people. It's a bigger group than I've ever traveled with, but I think it will be fun, especially since it's only for 3 nights.

More pictures, of course to come.

But first... VIETNAM! I leave in exactly 10 days.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

guatemala, here i come again!

Two weeks ago Spirit Air had a sale. LAX <--> Guatemala City, nonstop, $88 each way.
If you've been reading me long enough, you know how fast I was all over that.

I'm leaving, with my love, four friends and my cousin, to spend one night on the shores of magical Lake Atitlan, a quick jaunt up a volcano, and two nights in the old colonial town of Antigua, nestled between three volcanoes. We'll be staying here and here.

I can't wait!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Stop. Listen.

In this astonishing article, the Washington Post wages the experiment: In a banal setting at an inconvenient time, would beauty transcend?

What happens when you take one of the world's most acclaimed classical musicians, playing a $3 million Stradivarius, and have him play at a subway station during rush hour? How much money do you think he'd make? How many people would stop to listen?

Read the article and watch the video clips.

Consider: how often do you, in your rush to fulfill the banal, repetitive obligations that take up your days....how often do you stop and listen, observe, watch? How much of our lives do we simply let slip by unnoticed?

Monday, April 02, 2007

alanis morisette covering fergie?!?

This is rather hilarious--i never knew alanis morisette was such a good sport!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The Promotion

I was a dog in my former life, a very good dog, and, thus, I was promoted to a human being.

I liked being a dog. I worked for a poor farmer guarding and herding his sheep.
Wolves and coyotes tried to get past me almost every night, and not once did I lose a sheep. The farmer rewarded me with good food, food from his table. He may have been poor, but he ate well. And his children played with me, when they weren’t in school or working in the field. I had all the love any dog could hope for. When I got old, they got a new dog, and I trained him in the tricks of the trade.

He quickly learned, and the farmer brought me into the house to live with them. I brought the farmer his slippers in the morning, as he was getting old, too. I was dying slowly, a little bit at a time. The farmer knew this and would bring the new dog in to visit me from time to time. The new dog would entertain me with his flips and flops and nuzzles. And then one morning I just didn’t get up. They gave me a fine burial down by the stream under a shade tree. That was the end of my being a dog. Sometimes I miss it so I sit by the window and cry. I live in a high-rise that looks out at a bunch of other high-rises. At my job I work in a cubicle and barely speak to anyone all day. This is my reward for being a good dog. The human wolves don’t even see me.

They fear me not.

~James Tate

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

new year

it's strange, this feeling of starting something entirely new--again. usually when i pick up and move somewhere, it's to someplace very far away from home, in another country, across the globe--but i know exactly when i'll be coming back. now, i'm up north of L.A. at a new job and in a new house and sometimes i feel like i'm living someone else's life.

it's also so weird having an answer to the question: so, what do you do? what kind of career are you in? i'd always been working towards something before...but suddenly, i find that i have arrived. it's jarring, and not a little surreal. a beginner again.

Monday, December 25, 2006

winter reading

Picked up a pile of books at Borders the other day. Can't wait to snuggle in bed and plow through them.

Veronika Decide Morir (original Spanish language edition)by Paulo Coelho

Reefer Madness by Eric Schlosser

Aloft by Chang Rae Lee

Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, by Helen Fielding

Infectious Greed, by Frank Partnoy

The Millionaire Mind by Thomas J. Stanley

Mrs. Dalloway, by Virginia Woolf

Friday, November 17, 2006

I PASSED!!!!!

thank you god. thank you, everyone, for your support, and for believing in me. thank you thank you thank you thank you.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

clean sweep

The House. The Senate. Rummy leaving. I am so, so relieved--and for the first time in a long time, optimistic about the future of this country.

Monday, October 16, 2006

too much food network!

I have been cooking up a storm since I've been back.

Dinner last night:
Fish stew (tilapia, red snapper, clams, squid, veggies in a clam chowder, sauvignon blanc and creme fraiche base)
Butter and garlic pan seared giant scallops
Sourdough for dipping

Dinner tonight:

Tagliatelle bake with sweet italian sausage and ground turkey and four cheeses
Roasted fennel and carrots in herbs and shaved parmesan
Polenta, pan fried in garlic and then topped with shredded parmesan and baked until parmesan is crispy
Butternut squash soup, made from scratch (my friend Mat made this and it was delicious)!
Balsamic glazed raosted brussels sprouts
Columbia Crest Two Vines Shiraz

Here is the recipe for the Butternut squash soup, which is absolutely scrumptious.

BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP

1 Butternut Squash
1 whole head of garlic
Chicken stock
Olive Oil
Salt
Pepper
Nutmeg
Curry Powder

Cut squash into quarters, remove seeds and membrane. Rub with oil, salt, pepper, and a little curry powder and nutmeg. Wrap in foil. Cut top off of head of garlic, drizzle with oil, wrap in foil. Place squash and garlic on BBQ grill, close lid, and grill for about 40 minutes, or until squash is roasted and soft. Let cool a little. Remove from foil, scoop out squash and squeeze out garlic from casing. Puree in small batches in blender with chicken stock. Transfer to pot, re-heat, sprinkle some more nutmeg if desired. YUM!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Photo album is up!

Here it is, 101 photos of Central America. Click to view!

Central America, Summer 2006
Oct 10, 2006 - 101 Photos

Monday, October 09, 2006

Mayan temple, Tikal, Guatemala

That's me way at the bottom!  Posted by Picasa

The List, updated

Places I’ve been in the past five years, in no particular order (times in parenthesis if visited more than once):

Guatemala City
Antigua, Guatemala
Amatitlan
Jocotenango
San Jose, Costa Rica
Alajuela
Tortuguero
La Fortuna (Volcan Arenal)
Bocas Del Toro
Tikal
San Salvador
Granada, Nicaragua
Paris (3)
Lyon
Marseilles
Iles du Frioul
Cassis
Barcelona (2)
Mallorca
Cinque Terre (2)
Amsterdam (4)
Lisse
Siena
Prague (2)
Vienna (2)
Rome (2)
Venice (2)
Florence
Shanghai
Guangzhou
Hangzhou
Suzhou
Taipei
Kaoshuing
Hong Kong (3)
Macau
Bangkok
Phuket
Phi Phi
Ko Chang
Siem Reap (Angkor Wat)
Oahu
Vegas (10+)
Puerto Nuevo (6)
New York City