Friday, May 30, 2008


This pretty much sums up how I feel about Thailand in an nutshell, but below I will share some stories on what has been probably one of my favorite vacations ever. Thailand is the land of paradise, relaxation, great food, beaches, nice people, beautiful Temples, and Adventure. What more could anyone want out of a vacation? Not to mention everything is so reasonably priced in Thailand. Pure Bliss!
I have always wanted to Parasail and I finally got my chance. It really does feel like you are flying over the water. Loved every second of it!
Riding an Elephant has been a dream of mine for like forever. I could have spent all day at this elephant park. These animals are my favorite and I think they are truely amazing.
Contrary to the elephant I give you, the giant cockroach. Yep, right in our hut on Phi Phi Island and he brought friends. We named him Henry. Yuck! Just imagine three girls screaming at the top of their lungs all frozen on the matress for protection. You can picture the scene I am sure. Kind of hilarious now that I think about it, but at the time we were mortified. We all slept on the same matress with the lights on because Christine mentioned that these bugs like the dark. We weren't taking any chances.
And here we method number one to get rid of Henry the Cockroach. Camille came up with a tampon and a Pringles can. Pretty creative and it worked! We scooped him in an viola...threw him out and slammed the door shut. That was all great til we lifted the suitcases and found three more. Only slept two hours that night.
Don't be turned off by the name of this bakery. I walked in, ordered and experienced an oasis in my mouth. A perfect pineapple pancake, three doughnut holes, and a mango smoothie. Marathon was over so who cares about dieting right?
This is the most relaxed I've been all year. Never wanted to leave!
I think I should have been born on an island. This is me on the boat and I was in heaven!
Need I even say anything about this pic...just enjoy it.
This is a visual of the liquid delight we experienced with every meal and inbetween meals. We must have tried every flavor of these smoothies and don't you just love how the Thai's make them so pretty?
Can you tell how rediculously hot outside it was in Bangkok from this pic? It was taken at The Grand Palace.
This is where we wish we stayed. We walked a long the beach and found this little paradise resort. We did have breakfast here so the manager let us use the pools. So nice!
Can't get enough of these elephants.
James Bond Island
Climbing the Caves on James Bond Island was so much fun. It's been a while since I've had the chance to just be adventurous. I loved it.
Just hanging out at the hut (pre Henry the cock roach episode)
How often do you get to just collect coconuts on the beach? I mean really.

The Grand Palace in Bangkok. This is such an amazing place. It was quite a site to see these temples made of gold and mirrors and tiny little tiles. Every detail was exquisite.
I went snorkleing for the first time and I fell in love with the fish. I could of spent hours in that ocean.
Does anyone watch LOST? Go to Phi Phi Island and you will feel like you are there. And quite frankly, I wouldn't mind at all being lost in Thailand.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

conquering the great wall

The Finish Line.

I just returned from one of the most amazing journey's of my life! Camille, Christine, and I traveled to China and Thailand for two weeks to run The Great Wall of China Marathon. We trained all of spring, but I don't think anything could prepare us well enough for this race. We arrived and read the itinerary for the race. It's starts with a 4.5km uphill climb, then you hit about 1.7km of The Great Wall which is up and down steep stairs, and then you have 13km to run through an old Chinese villiage. Definatly proved a humbling experience for me, but alas I finished and at that point, finishing was all I was worried about. There were so many great parts to the race, especially running through the villiage where small children were cheering us on, giving us high fives and flowers. For my first race, this was a great experience and I am only happy that the races in the future will probably all be easier than this one. I have already signed up for another marathon in Connecticut next month and two in South Africa next year. The feeling of finishing is addicting. By The Great Wall Gates, still happy I finished the dang thing!

The Great Wall is SO Amazing!

One of the greatest parts about the race was meeting runners from all over the world. We had the opportunity to really get to know them. Some had run over 70 Marathons. I'm so inspired by the people I met, they are just amazing.
Part of Our Tour Group

At the Celebration Dinner

Chinese Dragons to Congradulate Us

This area of the world is beautiful. Another favorite part was meeting people from all over the world. This race is unique because runners are put together in tour groups and you basically spend the whole week together. I loved that. Was way awesomne. Beijing was an interesting city. You can tell from my pics that the air is think and it makes it difficult to see. That wasn't way awesome. Christine and I at the Forbidden Palace

Also, take notice of the interesting cuisine we ate: scorpions, coconuts, Peking Duck, a traditional meal at a Chinese Families house. I have to say it's not quite like going to Italy where all the food is more than delicious, but I don't think you can get to know a culture, without trying the we did.

Drinking Coconut Milk, Mmmm.

Yep, That's a Scorpion.

At Our Peking Duck Lunch.

I must also add that it was great to do this with Camille. We've traveled so many places together and this journey was probably the most challenging. While I only did the half marathon, she completed the full, and I am pretty darn proud of her! It's so nice to have a friend who will travel literally anywhere in the world with me and who pushes me to do better and strive for more!

For anyone thinking about this race I would highly encourage it. What an amazing experience!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

to a mom who rocks

I could spend an entire day writing about how wonderful my mom is, but...I kind of don't have an entire day so I will leave you with a good top ten list although most of you who know her wouldn't need the list cause you already know she's amazing.
1. My Mom is always willing to help anyone with anything. Whether it is scrapbooks, weddings, dinners, rides, cleaning, moving...doesn't matter.
2. My Mom makes the BEST dinner rolls. Everyone who's been lucky enough to try one knows what I am talking about.
3. My Mom listens to me on the phone for hours and finally figured out how to use google chat so we can talk even more. I'm so proud.
4. My Mom is the queen of the bundt cake. I don't remember a Sunday Dinner without them.
5. My Mom taught all of her kids to be self reliant and to work hard.
6. My Mom has a beautiful testimony of the Gospel and has always remained faithful even when things got tough.
7. My Mom is dedicated to her marriage to My Dad and I am so grateful for that example.
8. My Mom has this way of making each one of her kids feel like the favorite. (but I know that I am the real favorite!)
9. My Mom loves holidays and everybody knows it because she makes them so special.
10. My Mom is one of the least judgemenatal people I know. There is a reason why she has so many friends.

I love you Mom and hope you have a sensational Mothers Day!

rice to riches update...

Camille, Lynsie and Joey came to town this weekend so Jess and I decided to take them to one of the most of the most fabulous finds in New York for dessert! So fabulous, I dedicated a previous post in October just to this place. Words really can't describe how delicious this stuff is. Rice Pudding in 30 different flavors. The Almond was Amazing, the Cheesecake was Charming and the Raspberry was Rediculous. Whoever thought of this idea is brilliant. Not to mention you get it in these super cool bowls. Lynsie (being the frugal monkey that she is) took home a whole set of the rice bowls, one in each color!

thank you

to all of my adorable cousins, aunts, parents, uncles and siblings for this T-shirt and your Good Luck wishes for the marathon. I have a feeling I am going to desperatly need it next weekend. Wish I could take all of you in my suitcase. I love and miss you all! And as a side note: will NOT be thinking of your beard to help my cross the finish line. If you look closely you will see Steven's drawing of himself and the beard he tortures me with! Love you baby brother!