Sep 30, 2010

Waffles in Belgium!

Belgium was only a mere hour from Amsterdam and on our way to France, so we decided to take a nice stroll through it's capital, Brussels...which also turned out to be the capital of the EU.
After spending the night at a truck stop, whose rhythmic traffic put me fast to sleep, we headed off into the city. Adam wanted to take the wheel to ease all the pressure off me, but at the end of a tunnel ride entering the city, the passenger side mirror has a meeting with a guard post... Thank goodness the post was plastic and just gave us a scare, I took over the wheel again, we were both a little nervous at that point.

Red Ride, driving an RV....

We've now been in the RV 5 nights and 5 days... Slept in camp sights, rest stops and now a port. We've cooked 12 meals, 7 pots of coffee and emptied the you know what once. We've also clocked 1000 km already.
She is definitely tough to drive in the cities, must be a country girl. But, her great style, design and colors have grabbed quite a few looks.


Naturally, a trip through the Netherlands would not be complete without a visit to her famously naughty city, Amsterdam.

Dieppe, France

Our first stop South of the Netherlands was the cute port town of Dieppe. We arrived after dark and pulled directly into a parking lot in the harbor. Adam found a powerpole with a plug, so he plugged us in and hid the cord below the guard rail.
We made some Mexican for dinner, had some wine and tried to get some sleep; although both of us slept very lightly due to the strange sounds of the fishing boats loading and unloading all night. Plus, we were both a bit anxious that the local authorities were going to get some sort of a ping from the power grid and come shut us down.

Sep 27, 2010

Now….we RV.

Off topic….Dutch radio is the coolest. Its kinda like they found my mp3 player from college and decided that it rocked so much that a radio station should be made to showcase it…really, its that good. But more from the Dutchies later.
For now lets catch us up on the latest happenings from across the pond. After our few days of Euroshock in Frankfurt we began what will be our 7 week adventure via RV through Europe.

Sep 24, 2010


Well Europe, we are here. You look different, sound different, taste different, smell different than anywhere we have been before. Your temperature is perfect, we actually had to go out immediately and pick up some new clothes to adapt to your fall. Your languages, we can't understand, pronounce or really read since there are so many letters in each word. Your food is not spicy, but full of flavors and ingredients that are new to us. For breakfast we were given a fruit, cheese and bread was such a welcoming change. Adam and I are in love with your cars, in one traffic light line up, it is nothing but Audi, Mini, BMW, Mercedes, VW, smart cars and Alfa Romeo's.

Sep 21, 2010

thanks for the memories Asia.....

Sitting over what might be our last Asian style cuisine in an Asian country for quite some time, Nicole and I have begun to feel in a way I probably could not put into words, the enormity our experience here has had on us. From our first steps into Incheon airport almost a year and a half days ago, to our final moments in Singapore, we’ve learned to appreciate, embrace, struggle, be patient with and be profoundly inspired by the differences we’ve found in the eastern world.
Sometimes we’ve been glared at, many times smiled with but always accepted and for that we will always remember our time here in a fond light. The life you live as a foreigner in a foreign land is never the same twice and although some things may seem routine, they really never are. Each and every day we woke up knowing that the days, minutes and seconds before us held within them lessons and realities that we could never previously comprehend or begin to guess at.

Sparkling Singapore

Singapore has been our last stop here in Asia, and what a way to end. It is a tiny little island south of most of the other Asian countries and seems to have one of the best economies and ways of life. The city would be one that I would compare to a hollywood movie in the future. People drive fancy cars, live in million dollar high rises and shop at stores that I couldn't even afford to use their bathroom. The city is full of rules: no smoking, no chewing gum, no spitting, no jaywalking... and everyone seems to follow the rules very well.. The consequences tend to be very high fines that must be effective enough for people to listen. People are encouraged to only drive new cars as old cars are taxed up to 100% . The bus system runs double decker buses to cut back on the amount of pollution as well as having a 4 line subway system that is most effective and very affordable.

eatin fresh all over Asia.....

Yes, we like rice and yes, I sincerely do miss eating Kimchi on a daily basis. There is a very distinct and healthy flavor to most Asian cuisine but sometimes, just sometimes...I need more.Where do I find more....Subway, like any good minded individual. Fortunately for us, the kind people at Subway have forced themselves into just about every market on the planet and for that, I am forever grateful.

Sep 20, 2010

Tolerance and Respect

Your opinions of the world and people is greatly affected by how you are raised and the “talk” that surrounds you. A few years ago, I went to Egypt. I found myself very scared in the city of Cairo, based on my own prejudices. Surrounded by dark smoking men, in crowded streets and dark roads, I found myself highly on guard, looking accusatory at people and wanting to hide out in my hotel room.
Two months ago, we were in Thailand. On our airplane to Bangkok from Penang, many of the other passengers were wearing robes and head pieces. I found myself scared and curious at the same time.

Sep 19, 2010

Kuala Lumnpur, Melaka and The "Man"fred......

I'm slightly distracted by the prepubescent kids i'm surrounded by in this internet cafe but i'll try and do my best to run down the events of the past week as we made our way to Malaysia's mainland to visit Kuala Lumpur and meet up with a new friend.

Sep 14, 2010

The Red Inn ....... Penang, Malaysia

As Nicole explained earlier, our stay in Penang was fantastic. This was due in part to the excellent stay we had at The Red Inn. We don't usually do a blog solely on a hotel we've stayed but this experience was unique.

Sep 12, 2010

almost like home...

Penang has turned out to be the perfect city, at the perfect time in
our trip. What I mean is, after leaving Bangkok and now having to
transition back into “modern” society from  mainland SE Asia, Penang
was a great landing spot.
I personally, after leaving the Secret Garden and switching to the Red
Inn, after the hectic noise of Bangkok, all the traveling, food,
emotions, experiences, and people were catching up with me and I was
beginning to get homesick or more than that…comfort sick. I was really
at the point of major Nicole Freak Out. The inability to be in the
same place for a period time, the inability to eat home cooked food,
the inability to just relax on a couch. As a traveler I was getting
kind of nutty….always on the go, always “seeing” what the tourists
come to town to see and really going a bit nuts at always eating out,
having crappy showers or uncomfortable beds or noisy neighbors or
smelly busses or….
Anyway, Penang rescued me.

Sep 11, 2010

walking tall on 9/11......

Traveling has been a massive education for Nicole and I. We have learned much about the places we visit, but more about the people who live there. Coming from the United States we are constantly reminded by new friends we meet of what amazing circumstances we were born into. Yet, the pride our foreign friends have for their countries trumps much of anything I’ve seen at home. It’s certainly not unanimous, but many across the Southeast Asian countries see the United States as the benchmark, the standard, the goal to which one day they may come to reach. However, they maintain a sense of national pride in their country that its absolutely powerful.


Sep 8, 2010

Penang, Pink Floyd and Shirley......

As assumed, our departure from Thailand was right on time for the two of us. Malaysia, a recent addition to the travel itinerary would be but a 26 hour bus ride away.Penang, a small island to the northwest of Kuala Lumpur would be our first destination as it gave us a few days to kill before meeting some new friends in he capital later in the week.The city was named a UNESCO World Heritage city in 2008 which keeps much of the cities architectural history intact. The city is also a cultural melting pot as most of Malaysian cities tend to be. Within the city you'll find people of Chinese, Indian, Arabic, Malay, Achehnese, Siamese, Burmese and European backgrounds all living and working here everyday. Certainly that makes for some good eats and an eclectic scene that we are both excited to check out.

Sep 5, 2010

The bars are temples but the pearls ain't free....

Being back in Bangkok after our lengthy bus ride from Chiangmai served as in instant reminder of why it’s fallen low on my list of “likes” in Southeast Asia. The fine mix of trendy Jason Mraz hat wearing backpackers along with the smatterings of homeless and relentless tuk-tuk drivers was a far cry from our experiences in Laos a week or so ago. Bangkok is a very interesting city. Loads to see, hear, smell...and touch if you're brave enough. It’s no surprise either that it’s a faster growing economy than the other surrounding countries either. When you consider the fact that within this city you can find and buy most anything you want, it becomes a very real draw to the outsider with cash to spend.   

Sep 1, 2010

Thai Cooking Skillz.....

Eating is my favorite. It is. It inspires me everyday to remove myself from the bed I so adore and venture out into the world in search of anything that will quench my burning desire for food. Its that serious, ask Nicole. Since we left the states a year and a half ago that desire and burn has grown to include a vast array of ethnic food. It has bee a bit of a struggle doing without Kimchi since our departure from Korea, but southeast Asian cuisine has done quite nicely in filling the void. Thai food in particular had been a fan fav of the two of us and after we left Thailand for Vietnam, we had both been fairly excited about our return to Thai cuisine in Chiangmai.

Our Sponsors