Thursday, June 25, 2009

Back in Nebraska and Back to Blogging!

After quite a long hiatus from blogging and about a year since I was last stateside I am back to blogging. I would love to use the excuse that the country in which I reside cut off internet access to both Blogger and Flickr, which is entirely true, but I was so busy in the spring that I do not think it would have been possible.

We returned to Nebraska this past Monday and I am so happy to be here. I think the most exciting thing about being here (other than seeing my Dad) is that I am bound and determined to take it easy and have a relaxing 4 weeks here. I have caught up on reading my friends blogs, practiced yoga and started reading "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society ". I just keep I can keep on the relaxation route for the next 4 weeks. So far so good!

Friday, March 06, 2009

Shark's Fin and Sichuan Pepper by Fuchia Dunlop


Tonight I am over the moon with excitement! I have been asked to moderate the book talk of Fuchsia Dunlop the cookery book writer from England. As most people know food is my passion and I have found a new affinity for Sichuan Cooking! Although I have dabbled a bit in Sichuan cooking the past 3 1/2 years since we have lived here "Shark's Fin & Sichuan Pepper" by Fuchsia Dunlop has given me much inspiration for this sassy food. I have been on an eating adventure the past month while reading this book and cooking many recipes from her "Sichuan Cookery" book. I looking forward to spending the next couple days at moderating Fuchsia's book talk and attending a lunch at her favorite Chengdu restaurant Yu Jia Chu Fang (Yu Family Kitchen). This will be my third trip there and I am looking so forward to hear an in depth discussion on what we are eating and how it was prepared.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009



Chinese New Year is just around the corner and we are getting ready to head to Koh Tao, Thailand for a week of rest and relaxation. Koh Tao was just listed in the new Lonely Planet's 2009 World's Best places as one of the top places to visit in the world. From what I understand from others who have been there and the Lonely Planet is that this little island is unspoiled and excellent for diving and snorkeling. The kids are looking forward to it because you can snorkel right from the beach.

Angus has 2 weeks off from school so the two of us are staying on a bit longer and heading to Yoga Thailand for a few days. If you haven't gathered by the amount of Thailand pictures from my blog I call Thailand my home away from home away from home!!! I can't say enough good things about Thailand and highly recommend putting this amazing country on your travel list! Especially for those of you who are foodies like myself.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Swimming with the Fur Seals on New Year's Day

Happy 2009 to everyone!!! We have been really enjoying our time in New Zealand and I hope to get my pictures and commentary posted sometime when I return to Chengdu next Monday.

Today we were scheduled to go whale watching at 11:45 am. It was beautiful outside, but when we arrived at the place of departure they told us that children under 5 were not allowed on the trip. We were pretty disappointed and rescheduled for later in the day. We decided to check out what other activities we could do instead of our whale watch and we found out that we could go swimming with fur seals. I had already seen some of these beautiful creatures on the way down from Picton and was able to get up close to these friendly seals. I was thrilled to hear that we could swim with them and the kids could go to.

We all suited up in wet suits for the trip. The kids actually had to wear 3 suits to keep them warm and buoyant in the water. We took a 10 minutes boat ride to the place we were going to swim with the seals and it was quite bumpy. Angus was quite freaked out by all the splashes and bumps, so this didn't really get him in the mood for the swim. Gemma didn't mind the boat ride, but as soon as we got in the water both the kids were too cold to swim. We put them on the raft and they were able to see the seals on the rocks and swim by them in the water. Jonny and I were able to take turns snorkeling and checking out the sea life in the ocean. The seals were incredibly playful and they would come right up to you as if they were going to swim right into you. One of them got really up close to Jonny and grabbed his flipper with his mouth as if he wanted to play.

After swimming for about 20 minutes the seals seem to get bored with us, so we tried a new area. Unfortunately I think most of the seals were bored with us and we didn't see anymore in the water. It was really great to get so up close and personal to nature and to have the kids see it first hand.

Tomorrow we are hoping to go on our whale watch, but it all depends on the weather. We heard that after we were turned away today that the cancelled all of the tours for the rest of the day due to rough waters. I hope it is smooth sailing tomorrow!