Monday, September 8, 2008

Beijing, China - Top 10 List

Finally found an internet cafe today, that Chairman Mao is not a proponent of the First Amendment! 

Top 10 things I've learned in China:
1. Crossing the street is an extreme sport.
2. Acting out a chicken while ordering food is no guarantee that you will get served chicken.
3. You can find almost anything fried on a stick.
4. It's perfectly acceptable for little kids to poop on a busy sidewalk. (not sure what the lesson is there but thought it worth mentioning)
5. The great wall is in fact, great.
6. There are no fortune cookies in China.
7. Pei Wei is still my favorite.
8. Fried bumble bees taste gross.
9. Why walk on the sidewalk when you can walk straight into oncoming traffic?
10. China really put the "POW!" in kung pao chicken. 

China is an amazing place, but smelly.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Costa Rica - I'm a Street Food Junkie


thought i would send one more update. we got 30 minutes free internet at our hotel, named si como no. which means yes, why not? that is our new favorite spanish phrase.

yesterday was rapelling which was amazing. 5 rapells thru the canyons and waterfalls. wait until you see the photos! these faces were huge and so steep! we have a couple mean rope burns to prove it!

Today i surfed. i can actually say that becuase i was so surprisingly good. Generally, I'm not exactly what you'd call "highly coordinated." i had no idea i had such balance. jodi and i took a 2 hour lesson today. some of the waves were so giant. i really struggled with board management as far as getting back out deep bc the tide was so strong. at one point we got in a rip tide and had to do the whole swim sideways thing. I always enjoy the chance to put something I learned on Man vs Wild to good use! Hmmm, I may have picked that tip up from Baywatch. Anyhow - aside from the fear of my board whopping me in the face as i swam back out, i absolutely loved it. i definitely want to go again but somewhere the waves are a little smaller.getting up is so fun, i rode one wave for about 30 seconds, i could hardly believe it. i did take some crazy nasty falls at high speeds, ive never swallowed so much salt water in my life. afterward we were so exhausted, it is a crazy hard workout. we found this random street vendor with a grill and picnic tables and ate chicken kabobs, rice, beans yucca and plantain. YUM!!! it was this huge feast for $5. here's to hoping those Africa vaccines are still working!!

we are resting now and tonight going to a discoteca/bar. its noche senoritas. so we thought, si como no?

tomorrow is a 2.5 hour hike thru manuel antonio national park (assuming i can move all my parts), then the afternoon at the beach.

My brother TJ has always said my closest animal relative is the sloth. I saw a sloth napping in a tree today and let me tell you, my closest animal relative is quite cute.



Thursday, April 24, 2008

Costa Rica - Not Enough Chemicals

Intro:  I went to Costa Rica with two friends - Shala and Jodi - in April 2008. We started off in San Jose, then went up to the Arenal volcano area, then flew in a banana leaf down to Quepos to check out Manuel Antonio national park.

It was a great trip and we learned a great life lesson - when you have a chance to try something new, say Si como no?


We are in an internet cafe after quite a day. i needed to check my work email and was pleased to learn today that one of my biggest deals for the quarters got a yes from the customer. i should go on vacation in Q4 more often!!!! it wouldn`t be a trip with out an update!

just wanted to drop a note. while only a 4 hour flight, costa rica feels like its on the other side of the world. all i can say is wow, what a place! and we haven`t even been here 24 hours yet! our hotel is amazing, tabacon. it`s right at the base of the arenal volcano and today was clear so we got to see the top of it as it erupts. after we got to the hotel around 10am we went to the hot springs pools area. wow, again. it is paradise. there we indulged in a ridiculously expensive lunch of sandwiches and lounged in the pools, springs, and waterfalls.

we just finished our first adventure. it was awesome. i mean, a third wow. first we rode horses 3km thru the jungle and countryside up to where the canopy tour starts. the views were so beautiful, the landscape here is gorgeous. then we did 10 ziplines over the cloud forest. it was such a rush. i wasn`t really scared except on one that was 3000 feet long and i was going super fast and ended up going backwards so it was crazy!! what i didn`t expect was the ridiculous amount of straight up hiking. i am in terrible shape. the zip lines were so much fun. we met a french girl who is traveling alone right now, it was just the four of us on our trip. our guides were a riot. on the last one, he asked me if i wanted to go last. so i said sure, then he said do you want to do something fun. Again i said sure and he said he will make me supergirl. so he changed up my belay so i my last zip was hanging upside down, basically supermanish when i pulled myself up. it was quite the adrenaline rush!!!!!

one of my favorite things about foreign travel is the people you meet, the locals specifically. on the horse ride back, which deserves whole other story, he and i were talking. he told me in his broken but impressive English  that he was engaged, but he broke it off because there just were not enough chemicals. so cute! i explained the term "chemistry" to him.

so hopefully our butts aren`t so sore tomorrow from the hiking and horseback that we can't go on our next adventure. we get picked up at the hotel at 7am for the canyoning and rappelling trip, then will spend the afternoon at leisure at the hot springs.

we are about to meet up with the frenchie and go find a restaurant here in town in la fortuna. it really is amazing how different a place like this feels from my usual flavor of mexico.

adios and amor,


Shala took this picture right outside our hotel room - I think we qualify for "room with a view"!