Posts/July, 2008/

Thanks Mom and Dad!!!

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

For this fantastic print you just gave me for my birthday!!!  (It will arrive at your house in 3 days)

Pigtails, by Julie Meredith

Artist’s website: Etui

Julie has made several prints similar to this one that I just adore!!!  Click the link above to check them out.

(I found these treasures for the first time last year at Tilde in Portland, OR)

Lazy Saturday

Saturday, July 26th, 2008

Today was a very typical day for Nik and I.  We woke up around 9, drank coffee and ate yogurt with muesli for breakfast. Then we both sat down at our computers.  After a couple hours browsing and reading the news, we opened the window shades…and oh my goodness it was actually a nice day!!!  The sun was shining and the clouds were perfect little cotton-balls and the sky was an amazing blue.  And you know how much I love blue skies!!

We couldn’t justify staying inside with weather like this, so we packed up and headed to Pun-Pun, a restaurant within Wat Suan Dak that Nik’s friend Eh introduced us to last week.  We had lunch in the garden as we watched the monks walk past to their various classes, and ants crawl along the brick planter collecting food.  Our meals were delicious and we both had refreshing glasses of iced tea.  Mine was ginger and Nik’s was lemon-grass.  I have also developed a habit of eating the ice here with my straw!  The straw fits perfectly into the little cubes so it is like a little game.

We had great plans of visiting another temple today, but as we finished lunch it started pouring rain.  We found cover at a nearby temple to waited it out.  20 minutes later we were on our way to the fruit market to pick up bananas, mangoes and dragon-fruit for breakfast tomorrow.  Then since it was still wet and gloomy, we came back to the apartment for some more internet browsing, a game of gin rummy, more browsing, a game of internet Settlers of Catan, guitar playing and blog posting.

I know that we will both look back fondly on days like these.  We do exactly what we want at our own pace, and love every minute of it.  I hope you guys have a great weekend!!

Oh, and Nik found these iPod sleeves made by Fabrix the other day on Gizmodo.  They look just like the one I made for Nik’s iPod Touch last September.  I think they stole my idea!  But at least it’s a good one.

made by jamie

made by fabrix

My birthday wish

Saturday, July 26th, 2008

27 years ago my parents brought me into the world, and I promise you that they never expected me to spend any of my birthdays in Thailand!!  I wish that I could celebrate every new year of life with my entire family, throwing a big birthday cake, ice cream and presents party like my niece Reagan had recently. But I suppose we all grow out of that phase where everyone wants to watch us eat cake and open presents (much less give us presents!!). Instead I have found myself making birthday wishes for new experiences.  I like to go places and see things with the people I love.  This time, I wanted to go somewhere I had never been before.  So that’s what we did.  Nik took me on a trip away from the city, and we rode our motorbike to see places we had never seen before.

Our transportation

Our transportation

The route

The route: 200km (125mi) Hwy 107N, Hwy 1260E, Hwy 1001N, Hwy1150W, Hwy 107S.

On Thursday morning, we left Chiang Mai around 10:30 with the intention of driving towards Phrao to find accommodation by nightfall.  We knew it was about 100km, but we had no clue what the roads would offer.  For all we knew, they might be dirt or gravel the entire way…so we gave ourselves plenty of time. It turned out that the roads were nicely paved 2-lane highways.  There were a few places that went over and through the mountains, but we were in valleys for the most part.  The roads were gentle and fun to drive on.  Perfect for our first big outing.

Also, the weather cooperated handsomely.  The outside temperature was probably 75-80ºF, partly sunny and dry!!!  No rain the entire drive, even though we saw several storm clouds in the distance.

These gates appear every once in a while, this one was on our way out of the the gate, the adventure begins!!

Leaving Chiang that gate, the adventure begins!!

we stayed to the left

we kept left

I tried to photo this woman who was riding with at least 6 huge bags of rice, but I was too slow.  Luckily I was able to catch the back of her motorbike with a couple typical roadside buildings.

I tried to photo this woman who was riding with at least 6 huge bags of vegetables, but I was too slow. Luckily I was able to catch the back of her motorbike with a couple typical roadside buildings.

ultra green rice fields

ultra green rice fields

Nik eating corn.

Nik eating corn.

An extra gift was bits of blue sky!

I love blue skies!!

Beautiful white gate to an out of sight temple.

Beautiful white gate marking a temple which was out of sight.

We reached Phrao just before lunch time, and found a pleasant restaurant on the corner where we could watch the activity of the daily market across the street.  We had fried rice while the owner nicely spoke to us in Thai.  Nik understood a few things, but I didn’t understand anything so I just smiled and nodded.

We had lunch in Phrao, a sizable town in the middle of the mountains.

Our lunch spot.

After lunch we took a rest near an irrigation ditch which happened to be accross from a longanberry orchard.

After lunch we had iced coffees near an irrigation ditch which happened to be across from a longanberry orchard. I wish we could have had longanberry desert!

Since it took us just a couple hours to reach Phrao, we decided to finish the loop and try to make it home by sunset.  The first part of the drive home was similar to the trip there, beautiful mountains and farmland for as far as the eye could see.

Hay bail stacks near the rice fields. Photo by Nik.

Hay bail stacks near the rice fields. Photo by Nik.

Corn fields and rice fields and banana trees and lime orchards!!

Corn fields and rice fields and banana trees and lime orchards!!

Those are storm clouds...pretty ominous, huh?!

Those are storm clouds...pretty ominous, huh?!

Then there were more blue skies!

Then there were more blue skies!

Then about 40km outside of the city, we got on the busy Highway 107 that travels between Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai.  Driving was more stressful, our butts hurt, the scenery wasn’t nearly as nice, and it looked like rain.

We made it back to town around 6:30, and we sat down for dinner right before the storms hit.  Perfect timing.

Dinner menu.

Luckily, we made it back just in time to sit down for dinner at the outdoor market under an umbrella as the sky dropped.  The rain was fast and hard, so when we finished eating 30 minutes later it was clear and dry for our short ride home.

It is hard to find birthday cake in Thailand.  They don’t have bakeries on every corner, and the bakeries don’t sell cakes.  So we were pleasantly surprised when the French couple that lives on our floor had slipped a note under our door asking us to join the for dessert that evening.  They knew of a great ice cream parlor, iberry, about 5 minutes away on Nimanhemin Road, so off we went to have ice cream!!  Unfortunately I didn’t take my camera.  Iberry is a great little dessert shop owned by a famous Thai artist.  The interior atmosphere was creative and trendy.  There were great sculptures and light fixtures made out of everyday thai objects that I will have to go back and photograph.  In addition to the great space, they had great ice cream, but they also had CAKE!!!!!  Nik and I both ordered a slice while our friends did the ice cream/cake combo.  I wish I had thought of that!  We chatted for an hour or so before I became so sleepy that I could hardly keep my eyes open.  It was time for my day to be finished.

Birthday 2008 is one for the record books.  I was able to talk to my family on Skype, see places I had never seen before and eat birthday cake with new friends.  I am a lucky girl.

Nik’s blog: Day Tripping, Toe Jams, Confused Pizza Boy

Archives for July, 2008
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