Sunday, October 31, 2010

New Zealand

Picturesque Queenstown, a quaint town surrounded by mountains. The town is full of backpackers, trekking shops and restaurants. Can't wait to start our first multi-day tramp (aka hike) tomorrow!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Killer tree

This curtain fig tree started as a little plant on another tree's branch. Its roots slowly extended to the ground, at which point it strangled its host tree to death. The host tree rotted and the fig tree collapsed on another tree. The curtain are the roots of the fig tree.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Muggy Muggy Beach

Spent the early afternoon on a beach with no one in sight.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Fed the wallabies some weird duck/kangaroo pellet food. Their fur feels like a dog. Also hand fed a duck, which pecked me (not as fun). Fed and touched an emu, which was like petting gross wet hair.


Koala's are very soft, but have sharp nails. It was fun holding one!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Hard to see in the photo, but a bat hanging upside down in a tree. Wingspan on the bats are about 2-3 feet and you can see them flying around town.

Great Barrier Reef

Saw an amazing number of fish, both big and small. The coral was also colorful and of different shapes and sizes. Also saw 2 sea turtles!

Bush lunch

A delicious lunch of emu (tastes like steak), kangaroo (even more like steak) and crocodile (like chewy chicken) with a Cold beer.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Friday, October 22, 2010

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Thai cooking class

Photo: Papaya salad and green curry chicken. Also made egg noodles and banana fritters. On our way to becoming international chefs!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


A foot scrub on one of Phuket's finer beaches.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Welcome to Paradise

We have had a great week in Phuket, thanks in large part to the wonderful Indigo Pearl Resort. After nearly three weeks of intense travel and activity in China and Hong Kong, it almost felt wrong staying in one place and relaxing poolside. As you can see, though, we have embraced this life of luxury. Beautiful beaches, quiet pool areas, inexpensive massages and delicious food make the transition so much easier!

Elephant trekking

An elephant's back is surprisingly hairy. ..

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Dinner by candlelight

Power outages are a regular occurrence. Steak dinner tasted great. I THINK the presentation was also excellent, but not too sure... we had to take turns looking at our food with the limited candlelight.

Welcome to Phuket

On our drive from the airport to the hotel, we ran into some sort of religious parade. The bamboo in the photo is going THROUGH his cheek.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

China recap

It was sad to say goodbye to our China tour group, since we became close with the leader and members.

Favorite experiences/memories:
- Great Wall
- Terracotta Warriors
- Biking through the countryside of Yangshuo
- relaxing in mudbaths and hot springs in a cavern
- trying exotic foods (chicken feet, duck neck, snake, pig tongue, fish eye, star fish)
- cooking lesson
- traditional Chinese food (especially Peking duck)
- meeting people from around the world

While we enjoyed our trip to China, we look forward to relaxing in Thailand!

Hong Kong

As seen from Victoria's Peak.

Basket carrying

Woman carrying fruits and vegetables.

Cooking lesson

We learned how to cook eggplant, pork dumplings and sweet and sour pork using a wok.


A scenic boat ride in Yangshuo.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Automatic mahjong

Played mahjong on our boat cruise using a machine which automatically shuffled and stacked the tiles. Very cool.

We attracted a Chinese crowd who helped us with our strategy.

Train snack 2

Duck neck and tongue actually turned out to be ok. It was slightly spicy and well flavored. But still little meat on the bones.

Train snack 1

Jen and I tried the massive chicken foot below. My first bite I got a toenail, which I quickly spat out. Not the beat thing we've eaten... mostly bone and fat.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Shanghai skyscraper

Standing on the glass floor of the world's highest observatory deck.

Terracotta warriors

Sleeper trains

66 beds per carriage, the sleeper trains are packed!

Street litter

Beijing and Shanghai tourist streets were mostly clean. However, in Xian someone apparently decided to discard a chewed pig's foot on the stairs.