On Saturday night, my cousins’ rock and blues band, “The Bunks” performed at a local restaurant. I was so impressed at how talented they’ve become! They are about the same age as my brother, who is nine years younger than me, so to me, they’re still the babies of the family.
A part of me is having a hard time dealing with how fast time is flying – it’s overwhelming to think about how grown up my brother and my cousins are now! Thinking of them as “kids” keeps me rooted to the past, and seeing their performance, thinking of my brother graduating college this spring, is really shaking the ground from under me.
I guess there’s no stopping time, there’s no stopping life from simply happening. I am just happy to have my family, to be in their lives, to support them in their dreams, and celebrate their talents.
Here are a few photos from the show.
We braved the heat and “mean streets” of Ayutthaya to visit Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bophit, Wat Phra Si Sanphet, and Wat Mahathat.
We originally planned for Ju and Tata to travel with us into Northern Thailand. Unfortunately, they both had work commitments, so we were on our own (so to speak). For the two days while we were with them in Bangkok, we collected as much Thai as we could, nervous about the next two weeks ahead. While I think we would have had a fantastic time if our local friends did join us, I’m almost glad we were on our own. It would have been too easy with them – they would have served as our “crutch”. Being left to fend for ourselves forced us to learn the language, converse with the locals, and to merely rely on ourselves.
We were at Bangkok Train Station and just bought tickets to our next destination: Ayutthaya. With our backpacks in tow, I felt both fear and excitement. This wasn’t a guided tour like our other trips. We had a general plan, but we were really just “winging” it.
We were out on the platform, confused about which train to board. The fear and anxiety was building inside me. I scanned the train cars on the track and remembered a line from the book I was reading at the time.
All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow.
Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy
I realized I really had nothing to fear. The anxiety was all part of this adventure. We were on our way to visit some of the most beautiful locations of this country, and the journey was part of that beauty.
One should never underestimate the view from a window seat. Just some shots during last year’s flight to/from Phoenix.
Last year, my friend Alisha and I packed our bags for an impromptu getaway to Arizona. Both of us were actually getting over the flu/cold at the time, but we were determined to have a memorable girls weekend!
It didn’t start off well. I almost missed my flight, making it to the gate just as they were closing the doors of the plane. My friend actually missed her flight, but was lucky enough to get a seat on the next flight out only a few hours later. By the time she arrived in Phoenix though, it was almost midnight and we had a two hour drive to Sedona. Poor planning on our part – as that drive would have been more enjoyable in the daytime – especially since we rented a convertible.
Despite the rough start to the trip, we had a fantastic time in Sedona. We had rattlesnake for lunch, tried a cactus infused cocktail, took a bumpy Jeep ride through Sedona National Park, bonded with our driver, and watched the sun set over the red rocks at a vortex point. I wish we spent a few more days in Sedona, but we had spa and shopping plans back in Pheonix. I’m ready to go back.
When are we going to finally evolve as humans and begin to fully embrace political, ideological, and spiritual pluralism?
Saddened by the loss of talented lives from this act of terrorism against Charlie Hebdo, but the response from around the world is loud and clear. Vive la liberté de la presse!
When I was promoted this past October, I was invited to attend a training forum in either Chicago or Orlando. I almost chose Orlando for the sunshine, but I’m glad I ended up choosing the Windy City. I visited Chicago a few years ago with my cousins, but it was over the summer – so I didn’t really experience the “Windy City” in its full glory. After our intense training program, I stayed in town for a few extra days to recoup, reflect, and rejuvenate my soul with Chicago’s skies, skyscrapers, and deep dish pizza (of course!).