17 April 2014

A Beautiful Day In My Old Neighborhood

Even though the day started out raining cats and dogs it didn't damper my outing to our old neighborhood of Prachaniwet, Nonthaburi. We made our first home there when we first moved to Thailand. Bruce decided that I should go out and have a ladies day out. That was very kind of him. So off I went and met my friend, Nuan I had made since almost six years ago. We love to eat and chat about deep things and drink coffee (what else).

After having lunch of stir fried morning glory and crispy pork with rice  we had our iced espresso on the go to the Thai massage place that one of her friend opened up. I was curious about the coffee mixture scrub. And decided on for a body scrub. This place was the first place that have a real sauna! I assumed it was the plastic box kind where you step in and sit on a bench and zip it up to your neck so your face is the only thing being exposed. Anyway, when I came out of the closed sauna closet I looked line a ghost! My friend didn't even tell me. We had a good laugh though. 

Who would want to be in a sauna with this heat, you ask. Well it's a different kind, one is for beauty which I'll take anytime. And one is annoyance I'll try to avoid but can't, ha! After about 15 minutes of having my pores open I was finished as the iced expresso kicked in with heat and made my heart beat way to fast. The scrub wasn't at all pleasant but the aroma was. It really cleaned and made my skin softer. 

It rained when it was time for lunch so we walked across to a popular boat noodle shop and ate two bowls of beef and stewed pork tendons. It really hit the spot! 

We continued and end our day with a traditional Chinese foot massage (reflexology) at the same place. Now that was a much needed foot massage! And a much needed day out in my old neighbor for sure. 

Got jackfruit? This tree has in abundance! 

Lunch of stir fried morning glory and crispy pork. Yummy. 

A real wooden sauna closet. 

Me and the runny eyeliner after coming out of the sauna. 

The coffee scrub mixture. 

Chan, our masseuse and my friend Nuan 
My bowl and loved the pork rinds with the noodles. 

A huge wok of fried garlic! 

The boat noodle shop. 

16 April 2014

Happy 60th Birthday Mae!

This picture was on Bruce's birthday last year in Tulare. 

Yesterday was my Mom's 60th birthday. I love this picture with my Mom in it as she loves food and travel. She loves to dress up and have a good time too. I think she deserves it. My Mom is a very soft spoken person, ready to help and give to others. Such a emotionally strong woman, who was determined to take me 8 months old and cross by boat on the mighty Mekong river to a refugee camp in Thailand to reunite with my Dad. There were thousands of people who got killed and kidnapped during that time of crisis. We were the fortunate ones and so thankful that we got there safely. I miss her on her birthday. Which usually, not a big deal but since she's been living with my sister and her family, birthdays are now a big deal. I don't mind it at all since it involves lots of delicious food from my sister!

My Mom and I in Laguna, California 2013

She loves to be with Tessa in any way she can. 

Read with Tessa 

My Mom's first time on a train to San Diego from Del Mar, California 2009

I love this picture of my Mom! She got all shy from being in the same picture as the statue in San Diego.

Cheers to many more years of travel together and a blessed year of travel, health and love Mae!

11 April 2014

Hello Hello

We'll be in downtown Bangkok for two days. Since Tessa has therapy appointments that are not her usual timings it's best that we stay back. And take this opportunity for a short break as a family. 

As usual, we would stick to a mall where it's nice and cool. I know, pretty adventurous huh? Before we  the mall I had a short stop at Phahurat Rd, known as Little India, to stock up on the Indian masalas. I love that area as it's the best place to get your Indian food fix. Now I can't wait to cook my own Indian food at home. Yes, I'm thinking chicken tandoori, rajma and the rest if the curries!

A selfie at Central World Mall

We had a quick lunch of Thai Chinese food. Bruce had chicken cashew nuts, I had spicy vermicelli   with seafood and Tessa shared the fish maw soup. She loved it! She would have eaten more if the restaurant had a high chair. Anyway, the food there was blasé. 

I'm having a bit of time to read from my Kindle. Nothing line holding a real book but this will do. Tessa is still taking her nap and it's almost 7pm! Oh, we're in a short holiday;). Well, I'm going to log off and get dinner and a bit of pampering. Have a good weekend. 

08 April 2014

Korean Sesame Spinach Salad and a Family Photo Bomb

Two days ago,Tessa has been under the weather. So she's been loosing her appetite a bit. Today, I decided to finally make this as I bought just over a kilogram of spinach. I tell you this dish really spiked Tessa's appetite for dinner. But she was feeling better in the afternoon already. It was so delicious and I don't know why I didn't make it any sooner. Tessa had her's with the sardines that I made for lunch and I had it with rice only. Of course, Bruce wanted something more American so he had a  tuna sandwich with chips

Korean sesame spinach salad here.

This is our family picture. One of us is so not into taking pictures these days, ha! Or only when she's eating. Just like her momma:)

05 April 2014

And Then It Was Bali

I really don't know where to begin but got to as it's been a week since May and I left for Bali. Like my other traveling journeys I don't want this one to to be not written down. It was a whirlwind of non stop road winding trip for sure. To not drag on, May and I met our friend, Christine in Bali. It was a plus as Christine is Indonesian and she help us bargain and over all hosted us there. Bali has this unexplainable charm to it. The people, culture and surrounding just makes me want to jump on the plane and baste in it's beauty for the longest time that I can get. Basically we had one and a half day to do most of the tours as there was a national holiday call Nyepti. We were bummed but I got to see what I would normally skip. There's always next time, hopefully soon. 

We had our late lunch at the Suckling Pig. A super local joint, which is a good sign, where you have some parts of the pig come in many forms: sausage, grilled or fried. The crispy skin was the best with the galangal chutney. I found the Balinese food a bit to bland for my taste. May and I kept saying we need fish sauce to the dishes!

Christine and May at the Suckling Pig

Our second lunch at Naughty Nuri

BBQ pork ribs
I didn't have the lime tasting part but got the chili sauce at the end. I was getting full already and it was finger licking good with a hint of Chinese five spices. 

The Uluwatu Temple is a Hindu Shrine set on a cliff bank. This view was breathtaking for me. The ocean waves thrashing in the coral cliff bank forming a turquoise hue color. I could've stand there the whole day. We also got to see the Bali traditional Kecak Dance or the Monkey dance. It was a bit long but love the graceful dance moves of the dancers.

Taken from the back seat as most of my photos are. The women are carrying offerings to the temple or shrine.

Stopping to buy some fruits after a windy road drive. Here you can choose from the passion fruits hanging on the side shop or strawberries. May and Christine made it through after being car sick.

Getting our java before going on a hike to the waterfall which was a easy breezy hike.

The highlight of the Bali trip was definitely getting to know the spices that are being sold. I was in spice heaven! The Dutch new what they were doing when they came for nutmeg. I was stoked to see  that the  nutmeg grew from a tree and if it was kept fresh in the hard shell it can last up to 15 years. I saw vanilla pods being dried in the sun, had tried fresh cocoa seeds that tastes like mangosteen busting in the your mouth. Oh and I saw a mangosteen tree too! The lady, which we forgot to ask her name spoke excellent English and she learned it talking to foreigners! She was so friendly and went out of her way to show us more about the spices and fruits.

Dried saffron in the middle of the top shelf. And vanilla pods in the middle shelf.

Nutmeg tree

The lady lead me to her backyard to pick a cocoa fruit. I thought I would have to go to South America to see one.

May is enjoying buying her gifts and overall shopping.

Ah, the mangosteen fruit and tree. We got to taste a not so ripe on but still so sweet of a fruit.

Our lady's daughters, I think or at least one of them.

Oh the beautiful smile!

Yeah, this traditionally dressed Balinese man was cool to let me take a picture of him.

 It was raining when we got to see the Temple of  Crater Lake. So we stayed there not more than 30 minutes there.

One of the Ogoh-ogoh's going to be burnt that night. We did march along for the burning but kind of had it about an hour after. It was a long tiring but fun day. And we needed to get food for the silence day. To which we got pizzas and bread to have with peanut butter and jam for the whole day. We wish we had bought more of the banana chips. They were so good!

The day of Nyepi (Bali's Day of Silence) we enjoyed being in the pool for a little while. And we basically had to chill out the whole day. Which we took the advantage of getting more sleep and kind of catch up the social media.

 Part of the reason why we were late to the airport because we took time to have durian that our driver Baht Alit, bought for us. But we thoroughly enjoyed it except May. I love the hospitality in Bali. Again, hopefully I can be back again. Thank you Christine for the arrangements and hosting us. And for May, who let me tag along. Here's to more adventures and travel in the future!