Sunday, April 13, 2014

Birthday Adventures




Hello! Nik and I went on a little adventure yesterday, birthday adventures to be exact! We took the tram (!) over to Roosevelt Island, and spent a few hours wandering the island. It's mostly residential with parks, and an abandoned, kinda-spooky old smallpox hospital. Fun! Spring finally showed it's face, so it was nice soaking up some sunshine. 

Nik took me to Hangawi for dinner afterwards, and we splurged for the Emperor's Tasting Menu. Insanity! Course after course came out and it was so fun. It's not a super-fancy place, but they have so many subtle, nice touches to everything and the food was just so PRETTY (and super-delicious!) He, of course, embarrassed me by having the staff come out and sing "happy birthday" to me, complete with a big gong. My face was bright red and the whole restaurant was singing, clapping, and staring. Just wait until his birthday, I say...



Queens
Obligatory selfie on the tram crossing over to the island.

Pretty floating candles outside Hangawi


Pretty chocolate-y things from Lagusta's Luscious that Nik got me. Berry box is ceramic!


Birthday brunch. 







Thursday, March 27, 2014

Honeymooning: Koh Lipe, Part 6



So, we had ourselves a little adventure on Koh Lipe. It took a plane ride, a filled-to-the-brim van ride, a long choppy speedboat ride, and a little golf cart ride to get there, but we were rewarded with paradise. Koh Lipe is a tiny island in the Southwest of Thailand, in the Andaman Sea, close to the Malaysian border. We had ourselves a cute little beach bungalow that was about 100 feet from the ocean. Crystal teal water and the dark shadows of coral in the distance. We were so excited to explore this little island and snorkle/kayak to surrounding ones, but the weather was not on our side in the slightest bit. It was the end of the rainy season there, but one last mega-storm reared it's head the entire time we were there. Seriously, we had one sunny afternoon, and saw the hardest downpours I have ever experienced. I thought our little bungalow was going to wash away into the ocean one night during a raging thunder/lightning storm. We still managed to swim a bit (the ocean was so nice and warm!) when it was only lightly raining, but didn't get to do any snorkling or kayaking. Super-bummer! Most of our time was spent at our cute little bungalow and their cafe (which was actually pretty tasty and vegan-friendly!) Lots of reading and sketching and eating. Nik and I are definitely more of the adventure-let's-do-stuff vacation types, so it was hard to just relax and do very little, but it turned out to be a nice contrast from the packed schedules we had in Chiang Mai and Bangkok.

Things I don't recommend: Leaving Koh Lipe at 9am, taking that speedboat, that packed van, and that plane back to Bangkok, arriving around 5pm, and then having time to kill with all your luggage before your plane departed later that evening (morning?) at 1:40am to head back home on a 21 hour flight. Definitely a scheduling oversight on my part, and we were in rough shape when we finally landed in NYC.

Worth it!

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

Hammock time!


Sunrise with all the stray beach pups. 

I made a friend.

Our little bungalow. Ocean is behind me. 

Massaman Curry and Rambutan smoothie.

Green Curry and another Rambutan Smoothie

Breakfast Congee and coffee

Tom Kha Soup

Where we spent most of our time. Downpour of course.

View from bed!

Sketching.



The walking street in the middle of the island was flooded from the rain. 

Our one moment of sun.

Such a great trip. 


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Honeymooning: Chiang Mai, Part 5

Doi Suthep Temple

So where were we? Chiang Mai still! This is my last big photo dump of Chiang Mai and then I have one more post on the little island of Koh Lipe that we visited, to round out my Honeymooning posts. Thanks for sticking with me here!

So what else did we do in Chiang Mai, outside of the Lantern fest? Night markets, lots of yummy food, walking everywhere, drank a million fruit smoothies, and visited some more temples (though we did get templed-out after a certain point.) We also went on two different excursions outside of the city! One day we randomly signed ourselves up for a kayaking trip, neither of us having any sort of experience in a kayak before. They put us in some kayaks on a slow-moving river, and let us go! It was about 4-ish hours I think? Most of the time I was drifting by myself in silence, although I did slow down and wait for Nik a few times (slowpoke.) It was a small group of us and it was mega-fun! 

The second out-of-town was the popular Flight of the Gibbon zip-line excursion. They picked us up bright and early, and before we knew it, we were flying through the forest. Even saw an actual Gibbon Monkey from afar! Don't have many photos from this or from the kayaking, since we left all camera's and phones in lockers. 

Chiang Mai was definitely my favorite place of the three that we visited. Loved the more laid-back atmosphere, the more outdoorsy things that we could do there, and the Lantern fest was such a special event that I'm so glad we could be there for. 


Hi!

Hello pollution! View from top of Doi Suthep.

tuk-tuk ride.

Adorable. 

My breakfast at our little hotel everyday. They even had coconut milk for me! 

Fruit plate at Blue Diamond.

My eyes popped out of their sockets when this vegan mango pancake was brought to me at Blue Diamond. Highly recommend!


Fruit smoothies for life. 


Zip-line time!

Weird funghi in the jungle. 


After zip-lining, they led us a short hike through the jungle.


The river we kayaked down. It's brown because of the clay, not because it is dirty. I loved the section that was kinda jungle-y. 

Nik's a pro.

...Until he lost his flip-flop in the silt bottom of the river and couldn't get it out. 

Bright sun selfies. 


Puffy little clouds!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Little Bear-rito



Sooo...I've been a bit absent around these parts lately! Come mid-September, it will be a little bit more evident why, as Nik and I welcome our first little one into the world! We are super-excited and a bit relieved to finally spill the beans about this secret we have been keeping for the last few months. We told our family and friends this week and it was so fun! So yeah, I've been pretty tired lately, but otherwise okay in the pregnancy-sickness department. I'm 14 weeks today, so I'm pretty psyched to enter the 2nd trimester!

Promise to finish up my Thailand posts (just two more left, I think) this coming week and I'm going to try to get back into posting regularly here (and no worries, this will definitely not become a baby blog!)

xoxo,
Michelle

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Happy Vday!




Belated, but I hope you had a love-filled day yesterday! I made some homemade Spinach-Mushroom-Tofu-Ricotta ravioli's (heart-shaped of course), and a key-lime pie for dessert.  I used Vegan Dad's pasta recipe and just kinda made up my own tofu ricotta with added mushrooms and spinach. Key-lime pie from Vegan Pie in the Sky! Delicious!


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Honeymooning: Chiang Mai, Thailand Part 4


So, Chiang Mai was downright magical. We arrived right before the Lantern festival began, or Yi Peng. Loy Krathong and Yi Peng coincided with each other, so it was actually two festivals in one that we were about to experience. You know all those photos you see on Pinterest with hundreds of lanterns being released into the night sky at once? Yeah, it's not really like that when you stay in Chiang Mai. If you want to see that, you find your way to this college outside the city, pay the tourist price because this isn't the real festival (they set up a separate festival, strictly for tourists, apart from the actual religious ceremony.) We decided to skip that because a) traffic is terrible and b) we wanted to stay where all the action was. So glad we did! 

There were crazy parades multiple nights in a row, with magical glowing orbs floating above us like little golden stars. Thailand takes their parades very seriously, and even when it down-poured one night (like holy crap, tropical downpour), they still marched on like nothing was happening. 

Also, there were lots of fireworks! Not like here in the US where things are set off by pro's and you just are a comfortable distance away. No, everybody and their bro were setting off firecrackers left and right. Attaching them to their lanterns (!!!) or just sending them into a crowd of people. So yes, watch your back! It was (a friendly) mayhem on the streets and it was AWESOME. 

Sunday Night we went down to Tha Pae Gate for the night market and found the entire (giant!) street shut down for the biggest craft fair I've ever been to. So, we bought all the things. Quite the magical night strolling with hundreds of other people underneath a full moon and little golden orbs. Lots of food stalls set up (I found a strictly veg Pad Thai cart set up and another little cart with mini coconut pancakes that were adorable and quite nom-able) and lots of people-watching was had. After shopping our little hearts out, we walked down to the riverfront, where people were releasing their lanterns into the sky and their little flowered krathongs into the river. We released a lantern (harder than it looks in the wind!) and just wandered around soaking in all the festivities. It was nuts. 

It was hard to take photos of the lanterns in the sky. I didn't bring a tripod with me, and there were some harsh street lights everywhere, so at some point I just put the camera away and just tried to commit it all to memory, which is what you should do anyways, right?



Parade watching. Little lanterns in the sky overhead. Also, full moon at the top of the pic. 









Had to get the 7-11 in the shot.

Floating orbs.




Motorbikes whizzing by and lanterns in the sky.

Everyone was watching a lantern that had gotten stuck in a tree and had caught on fire. This happened a lot and no one seemed to care? The fire eventually tapered out, but I was generally feeling a bit anxious every time I saw it happen. 

Night market was CROWDED. 

Outside Tha Pae Gate.


Releasing our lantern!