This past Spring Break the kiddo and I journeyed to Cairo, Egypt and Rome, Italy. And what a journey it was. We had no idea what to expect from Cairo, but I made sure to fit in as much as possible without overdoing it physically, as well as, financially. This was going to be a 12 day trip and I needed to make smart budget decisions so that we wouldn’t be in any kind of uncomfortable situations, you know…like unable to eat. Lol. Nonetheless, Cairo did not disappointment and we had a great time. Continue reading “Seeing the Pyramids in Egypt- Khufu, Khafre and Menkare”
Don’t you hate when you read a title or headline of a blog or article telling you how they did this amazing thing for just a little bit of money? And so you go on to read the article or blog expecting to learn all of these fabulous tips about how you too can have this fabulous experience for a only one dollar and you find that the author has used ridiculous or unrealistic (for you) ways to have said fabulous experience. Well, I hate that too. And with that being said, I’m going to tell you upfront that had I started this journey from the United States instead of China, the title would probably read “3 countries, 2 weeks, 2 people, less than 4k total.” Now, if there are two people splitting the cost that’s still pretty darn good, but when it’s a single parent footing the bill, less is best. So, I’m going to do something I don’t usually do and be completely transparent about the amount of money I spent to have this fabulous, yet budget friendly experience with my mini me. Continue reading “3 countries, 2 weeks, 2 people, less than 2k TOTAL. Bam!”
One of the most important factors that I have to consider when traveling or living abroad is my quiet, reserved, yet very opinionated teenage daughter. Adjusting to living abroad is one thing when you’re solo, but when you’re a parent, and especially of a teenager, it adds an extra layer to the already challenging dynamic. My precious one agreed, albeit somewhat begrudgingly, to go on this journey with me. I thought the least I could do was give her a platform to share her thoughts. These are her words, raw and uncensored.
I’ll be the first to admit that I was truly worried about how the mini and I would spend our first major holiday abroad. Despite my best efforts to spend the day surrounded by people we were familiar with eating food that fed our souls as much as it did our stomachs, nothing seemed to be working out. The plans that we did make fell through, well sort of…but that’s another story. Nonetheless, I was left trying to make sure we didn’t spend the holiday sad, depressed and alone. So I had to put on mommy cape and get to work. Not only did we have a decent Thanksgiving dinner surrounded by good people, but we were so busy that we didn’t have time to think about all the glorious food and family time we were missing back home. Continue reading “Thanksgiving in Foshan- Food for My Soul”
Forgive my reference to the tacky, yet hilarious, 2000 movie staring Aston Kutcher. But just like the movie, my search for and expectation to receive packages sent from the U.S. are both futile and absolutely comedic. First, in order to get anything done in China, you MUST speak the language. There is simply no way around it. Well, I don’t speak the language. Therefore, I have to garner the assistance of Chinese work colleagues to assist me with things as simple as tracking down my packages. Continue reading “Dude, Where’s My Mail?”
I’ve tossed and turned and had many a sleepless night on Skyscanner, Ctrip, TripAdvisor and Facebook trying to decide where the mini and I should go for the December holiday break. Of course, I’ve come up with a multitude of destinations. All of which would be new or newish to both of us. Yet, I still cannot make a final decision as to where to go, so I’m asking for your help. I’ve created a poll and I need for my readers to tell me where they think I should go. I chose places based on access to a beach, duration of flights and cost of visa. If you feel I’ve overlooked a destination, please share it in the comments. Soooo…where should we go??
I remember asking some people how much time one should plan to spend in Bangkok and being told two days max. Admittedly, my perspective of Bangkok was a bit skewed due in part to the stories and feedback of others’ and largely the Hangover movie. I had a picture in my mind of a place with tons of garbage and grunge and lady boys and lots of sex for sale wherever you turned. I got the impression that absolutely anything goes and that two days was more than I could take in a place that offered up cheap booty and anal invasions even to those who weren’t the least bit interested. Needless to say, I was wrong and hella glad of it. Continue reading “To Bangkok with Love Part 2- A Happy Surprise”
Thailand has been on my “list” since my first experience with Thai food at this cute, quaint Thai restaurant several years ago in Atlanta. I wish I could remember the name of the place, but it escapes me at this time. Nonetheless, I remember thinking to myself that if the food was this good here in Atlanta, then it would have to be 100 times better in the local area of Thailand. So…yes, food fueled my desire to get to Thailand and well, their epic Full Moon party, but that’s another story. Needless to say, the moment I confirmed that I would be living in China for the at least the next year I started planning our trip to Thailand. Initially, it was going to be our Christmas holiday trip, but when the Mid-Autumn Fall Break rolled around, I decided I couldn’t wait to find refuge in a different foreign land. And I desperately needed a place much different than my current country of residence. Bangkok gave me all that I needed and then some.
Familiarity and Nostalgia
Our first night there we discovered a comprehensive dining guide in our modern and well-appointed rental apartment which was located in Circle 12 Condominiums on Sukhumvit Soi 12. It wasn’t my intent to do much restaurant eating as I am a street food fanatic, but my daughter saw that there was a Krispy Kreme in the Emporium shopping center and, being the doughnut aficionado she is, nearly lost her mind. At that moment, our mission became to find the doughnuts, after eating dinner and getting massages of course. So we officially began our trip with dinner at Stable Lodge where indulged in traditional Thai fare, followed by two wonderful full body scrubs with massages from a little place on Soi 8 called Relax…and something else. Honestly, the name doesn’t matter much. It was the only place on the street that did full body scrubs. Now, as far as extras, I don’t know anything about that, but our place seemed legit and while it was a bit shabby, the body work was the bomb and the price was super cheap.
One of the great things we discovered, soon after arrival, is that navigating Bangkok was 10 times easier than navigating Foshan. We didn’t face the same language barriers, the public transportation system was easy to understand and use and there dozens of familiar shops and restaurants. Krispy Kreme just happened to be one of them. So after we bought the Krispy Kreme we explored the multitude of shops, restaurants and stalls in Emporium and Terminal 21. We saw everything from Louis Vuitton to Sephora to Payless Shoes to Wine Market and even a boutique grocery store in the mall. The food courts in these places were absolutely amazing. Fine dining to fast food to stalls that resembled those at the night markets were all there. It was shopping and foodie heaven!
But the thing that made us miss home the most, the thing that caused the throat knot and the misty eyes, was the sight of Krispy Kreme. I don’t know how the Creator knew that we needed that little piece of home, but it was right on time. Honestly, Bangkok was right on time in many more ways.