Sunday, February 13, 2011

works in progress...

1. First ever quilt!

My mom and I decided to take a quilting class this winter.  We've had two classes and one more in March where we'll learn the final stages of quilting the quilt.   So far I've finished the top of the quilt.  I have a lot of respect for women of the "old days" sitting around quilting by hand.  It's time consuming, tedious, and takes a lot of patience.  So far, I'm happy with how it's turning out.

2. NEW job!  Friday I started my new position as Special Education Preschool teacher at Fort Wayne Community Schools.  I love it!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Cabin fever & Southeast Asia Recap 3

These past few days being stuck inside and feeling the chill of the weather has made me really think about how much we've moved around the past few months.  Though we left Taiwan just 4 short months ago, we've seen and done so many new and exciting things that it's hard to wrap my mind around it all.  It's overwhelming.  Today I've begun sorting photos from our S.E.A. trips again - that in and of itself is exhausting but cool in how it brings up memories of our time in Asia.  There were so many interesting people to talk to and places to see, here I feel stuck in a bubble, seeing the same people and doing the same routine every day.  While that is the way of our American lifestyle, I'm stills struggling to adjust.  I miss new things.  Maybe it's the weather, or maybe just the flashing images of a warm climate and history, but I truly miss Southeast Asia.

Today as I look through these photos, I can't help but want to share every one, to share every story, and to somehow allow others to experience this part of the world [and re-experience it again and again].  Unfortunately, my blog isn't equipped to hold the amount of photos we took during the 7 weeks of our trip.  So, I'll just have to stick to the highlights for now.  If there's a photo that catches your eye, please ask about it as there are loads of other photos I'd love to share with you.  Also, if you're interested in any photos that you might like to have a copy of, please don't hesitate to ask!

You can see our photos from Singapore, Bali, & while traveling here and here.

On to Malaysia.

We arrived in Kuala Lumpur following our trip to Bali.  Mostly KL was a pit stop, we really wanted to check out the Petronas Towers and a few other cultural sites.  We were only there about 48 hours then caught a train into Thailand.

Once in Thailand, our first stop was Railay.  Getting to Railay wasn't an easy task - it definitely tested our patience and frustration in communication styles.  One frustrating experience that we laugh at now was the trip from the train station to Railay beach.  We met a few backpackers during the train ride who were all headed to the same beach so after leaving the train station we wandered around the town in search of a bus to the port.  We set out in search for the bus station which no one seemed to know where it was located.  After about 30 mins we ran into two American girls who had already reserved a seat on a van leaving at 1pm and suggested that we try to get on their van.  We asked the desk worker and were told that the van was full but we could catch the 2pm van.  Okay, we can wait.  But then our new friend Diego walked by and said that he also had a van reservation with a different company at 1:10pm.  So we walked over to that desk worker and were told the same thing "van full, but you can catch the next one in an hour."  Okay, well we had an hour to kill, so we decided to take a taxi and find the bus station, figuring that the buses would be cheaper than the vans anyways.  The bus station turned out to be about a mile away and we immediately were offered a van ride at a much cheaper rate than the previous two, and it was leaving NOW!  So we went with it.  When we opened the back of the van to throw in our bags we were surprised to see not only our two American friends, but also Diego already in the van!  Apparently the van picked up the Americans, drove around the block and picked up Diego, then drove around town for about 30 minutes until finally picking us up.  We all paid different prices for the same trip.  It turned out to be quite a pleasant trip and offered us the opportunity to share other travel stories.  The two Americans even went in with us to find a super cheap bungalow to spend our time in Railay.

We ended up spending more time in Railay than perviously expected due to it being rainy and Dan had a stomach virus.  If we had to spend extra time in one place, Railay was a great place to do just that.  It's pretty remote and low key, we were able to take leisurely walks to the 3 nearby beaches and do some simple hikes (Dan's energy level was quite low, but he pushed through!) and even spend a day kayaking to a nearby islet.  Because there were so many photos to share I have yet again another slideshow.  Feel free to click on the slideshow to see the pictures full size.

Stay tuned for more photos... Until next time.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snow Day!

High speed winds resulting in below zero temps kept us inside most of the day,

but this afternoon I couldn't say no to those sad puppy dog eyes!

So she got to go out on the balcony and enjoy the snow...

while I stayed in...

and enjoyed a hot bowl of our homemade Cheddar Broccoli Soup!