Teak Boat Tours

 

 

Hello Friends,

Our first day in Bangkok we rose early thanks to jetlag. Bangkok is 14 hours ahead of California, so our bodies hadn’t quite caught up yet to our location here halfway around the world. 5:20 am my brain was wide away, so Annie and I showered and got ready for the day. Luckily there is both a Starbucks and a 7/11 on the same corner as our hotel, so we popped down for coffee after getting dressed. I tried to order my usual, but I’m not sure that the barista understood my order as I got some fruity green iced tea instead of my normal chai. It was tasty though not what I expected.

 

We had a teak boat tour scheduled for 8:30, so we left the hotel and took the river taxi down to the local metro called the BTS, and our stop was the  #7 Saphan Taksin Station. Each station was labeled by numbers as well.

Annie had taken the canal tour before and had secured the same tour guide named Nui for a 5 stop tour. We would explore a floating market, a pagoda, a garden temple, the orchid farm, lunch and an artists studio.

Our first stop was at the Wat Sat floating market, that due to flooding in the canals and the consequent building of flood locks was permanently moved to land. We were blown away by the exotic fruits they had: mangosteen, rambutan, pineapple,dragonfruit, lychee, and longan.

They also had people cooking and making prepared foods, like grilled meats, bananas and rice in a banana leaf. There were various rices in large bags and tons of flowers. We tasted the grilled banana wrapped in rice, as well as a freshly cut pineapple.

From there we hopped back on the teak boat and drove through the canals to the temple Wat Paknam, which is a popular attraction in Bangkok. Wat Paknam is a large, royal temple where many come to meditate.

We saw many monks dressed in bright orange as they went about their practices. We saw many golden Buddha statues and one large statue of a former abbot, but my favorite was the 5th floor glass statue and the ceiling. Airy and brilliant with color, you can also walk the balcony’s to get a great view of the city and the various canals.

From there, we jumped back into the teak boat and went to the garden temple. It was a totally different feel, very quiet, but closer to nature. Nui explained the Buddhist principle of karma, which is the closer relationship between cause and effect of the individual.

It was a warm day, roughly 88 with humidity, but the cool air and light spray from the water was great on the boats. Standing still and listening to Nui at each spot was a little warmer. My hat kept me cool and shady, but we had to have covered knees and shoulders for the various temples. The sun slid in and out of the clouds as we tried to stand in the shade of the trees. From the forest temple we jumped back into the boat, and on our way to the next stop, we passed some boats that were cooking food. We stopped and tasted two different dumplings: chive and taro with a chili oil sauce. The dumplings were steamed and then pan friend right before eating to ensure a crispy taste. They were served in a banana leaf bowl and were delicious! I almost wanted a second one, but I knew there was more food coming.

Then we continued on in the teak boat along the canals over to the orchid farm. It was rows upon rows of different flowers and different types of orchids. Apparently the farmer cuts of the top orchid and sells that, and the plant continues to grow more flowers. They had a tiny concrete walkway in between the rows for us to walk on. Nui kindly snapped a few pictures of us among the flowers.

At this point in the orchid farm it was far less breezy and pretty warm. Annie had gifted all of us with these mini fans for Christmas, and us two got them out. They were a lifesaver!

We jumped back into the boat and Nui and our boat driver steered us over over to our lunch spot. We had the best cashew chicken I have ever had in my life along with a tasty Panang curry. I had a pineapple smoothie, but Annie got a passionfruit one which had better flavor. Our coconut soup was delicious.

From there we walked down the walkway and over to the artists studio for a puppet show about Hamuman the monkey king and his love of this mermaid.After that many people took pictures with the puppets, but I was too shy. I instead took photos with the statue by the water. We drank iced coffees and Nui told us about the history of Thailand and King Rama.

From there we went back to our drop off point and walked to catch our train. Nui was absolutely the best! She told us funny jokes, took so many pictures of us, and directed us to all the best spots and food.

Nui handled all the talking, ordering and purchasing of everything. I totally recommend booking a tour with her if you are ever in Bangkok. Also she walked faster than any of us and was the smallest!Love her!

-S

on my radar June

Hello Friends!

Here is what’s on my radar for June. A few fun videos (Adele!) and two things on my wishlist. Enjoy.

 

Watching:

Carpool Karaoke! I’ve loved all the videos, but I think this one is the best one yet. Adele is such #goals. She is so down to earth, but still amazing. Apparently they drove around for a couple of hours and cut it down to this. I love her little laugh in the middle of the first song, and didn’t know she played the drums.

Norwegian Ad: This ad was so sweet and so well done.

Alike: This super creative film also brought me to tears.  The ending is perfect.

 

Wanting:

Onzie Yoga Bra’s: I’ve been going to hot yoga pretty often now, and am finding that a few of my workout clothes needed a refresh. This one has a pretty back, which I usually go for in my yoga tops. They have a bunch of cute ones, like this pink one, this black criss-cross one. I have to hold myself back from ordering every single color!

Pendent Necklace: I tend to like every basics for jewelry, but this little necklace on Baublebar caught my eye. Might be a perfect back to school present in the fall!

How’s your June going so far?

Love,

-S

A Weekend at Clear Lake Video

Hello Friends,

I had so much fun at our friend’s house at Clearlake, it was probably my favorite weekend of summer! I loved how warm it was there, which made me want to get in the water the whole time! I had so much fun in the boat, tubing and just how great everyone was the whole weekend. I snapped a few videos, so I hope you enjoy this video. Tell me if you like it in the comments, or if you want to see more videos!

 

Have you ever been to Clearlake? Or been to a lake house? Have you tried boating or water skiing?

Love,

-S

Summer 2016

Hey!

Since you guys loved the Nantucket Video I made so much, I made another little montage of all the great things I did this summer. Since today is my first day with students at my new school, I created this early knowing I wouldn’t have time to write posts this week. I hope you like it!

It was one for the books, with travel, good times with friends and family! Are there any more videos I should make? Any topics you’d like to see covered?

How was your summer? Did you do anything you’ll remember in 20 years?

Love,

-S

Pittsburgh in the Summer

This gallery contains 7 photos.

A few days after visiting the Marin Civic Center, my mom and I flew to Pittsburgh to visit my grandfather. One of the first days we were in Pittsburgh, we ended up Yelping for a bakery to bring some sweet … Continue reading

Nantucket Day 5

Thursday was a day of sunshine, wind in your face and gorgeous ocean views. We started with breakfast at Downyflake, where I had delicious doughnuts, eggs and bacon. A breakfast of champions for a busy day. My dad brother and … Continue reading

Nantucket Day 4

This gallery contains 6 photos.

Wednesday morning was cool and crisp with a morning full of fog. We started off the day with an hour or two at the beach, and then explored Bartlett’s farms. If I lived on the island, this would be one … Continue reading

High Style

About two weeks ago, my mum and I drove up to SF to see an amazing exhibit with our friend Lisa at the Legion of Honor museum.  Quite possibly one of my favorite museums, (next to the Met) we were interested in a couture fashion traveling exhibit on loan from the Brooklyn Museum.

The exhibit included ball gowns, day wear, bathing suits, and accessories from major designers (think french couture and some American woman designers) from 1910 to 1980. Everything was beautifully lit, and all the costumers were still in great condition. I had seen some of these items in fashion coffee table books, but it was pretty cool to see some of these iconic pieces in real life.

Legion of Honor Legion of Honor Legion of Honor Legion of Honor Legion of Honor Legion of Honor Legion of Honor Legion of Honor Legion of Honor Legion of Honor Legion of Honor Legion of Honor Legion of Honor Legion of Honor

After a long morning at the museum, we drove to lunch at the Beach Chalet. I had a delicious carbonara pasta with an amazing pomegranate blueberry lemonade.

Beach Chalet Beach Chalet Beach Chalet

We had an amazing view of the beach and the water as we ate. I would eat there so often if I lived closer to SF.  It is only a 1.5 hour drive up to the city but i don’t go every often, so every time I go it feels like a fun treat!

Love,

-S

Provincetown, Massachusetts

After two rainy days in Portland Maine, my father and I drove south to the Cape. We stayed in Hyannis Port, and explored a few of the local towns. One of my favorite days there we spent visiting Provincetown. We happened to visit on a sunny, warm day. We walked the downtown section easily, and then spotted the Pilgrim Monument. I am delighted by all things historical and old, so I explored the museum and monument on my own while my dad took a break in the car.

Construction on the Pilgrim Monument began in 1907 when Theodore Roosevelt laid the cornerstone, and the monument was completed in 1910. The museum and monument was built to educate the general public about the Mayflower Pilgrims arrival to the New World in 1620.

Pilgrim Monument Pilgrim Monument IMG_4832 Pilgrim Monument Pilgrim Monument

I climbed about 116 steps and walked up 6o ramps to reach the monuments viewing platform at the top, which stands 252 feet tall. It was a beautiful view.

From there we drove back to Hyannis Port where we picked up fish and chips to go, and watched a beautiful sunset on the beach.

Hyannis Port Hyannis Port

I love days spent in the fresh air, listening to the beat of the waves. I could have easily spent a week in Hyannis Port playing on the beach, eating delicious seafood, and exploring all the little towns.  To me, beach days and the smell of the crisp ocean air are summer.

Love,

-S

Chili Cook-off, Gingerbread Houses and Christmas Trees

On Saturday, we invited a few friends over to bake cookies and have a chili cook-off. We made two chili’s, a coworker of mine brought a white bean chili, and two family friends brought two other chili’s. We had two different types of cornbread, and enjoyed one tasty meal! We tasted all of them, and then voted. My dad’s house chili won hands down! I was so proud.

Our Chili Cook-off Group

Our Chili Cook-off Group

On Sunday we baked our family breakfast pastry, called Nuthorns. They are amazing. My brother and Roomie tackled making a gingerbread house to beat all houses. Being an engineer and math teacher, they created a structurally sound but still beautiful house.

 

We had a tasty dinner last night of raclette, and enjoyed dinner just as a family last night. Today we had aunts, friends and neighbors stop by to exchange presents. I lucked out this year! More on that later.

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Now we are preparing dinner for the group of us; honey mustard salad, grilled kebobs, potatoes au gratin, an onion grape  tarte, lemon sorbet and apple pie! I am looking forward to a yummy family dinner.

I hope everyone is enjoying time with their family, I know I am. We played lots of wii today, and hung out with four pups!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Love,

-S