Category Archives: Asia


It feels like ages ago that we went to Shanghai, probably because it really was.  Who knew it would take me this long to share the pictures?  (Can I keep blaming this procrastination on pregnancy?)

I loved the city, it was great to be in a big city with lots of green space and parks (something we miss the most here in Manila). 

We stayed at the Pudi Boutique Hotel, and I highly recommend it!  It was amazingly comfortable and convenient to a lot of restaurants.


We pretty much walked everywhere from our hotel, Shanghai wasn’t nearly as crowded as I was expecting.  And seeing trees everywhere was quite the novelty after living so long in Manila.



Believe it or not, despite being pregnant and dying to pee, it’s amazing your body’s capacity to hold *just a little longer* so you can avoid a smelly squat toilet (I’m leaving Asia in a little over 3 months, and have been successful in avoiding them completely!  It helps that they’re not the norm here in the Philippines).









It was a short trip, but we had a great time!  I definitely hope to be able to visit again someday!

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Filed under Asia, Pictures, Travel, Traveling in Asia, Trips!

Where I’ve Been–Updated!

After months and months and months of procrastination, I have finally updated my Where I’ve Been page!   I was a bit sad deleting the line “Trips planned for this year” and not replacing it with actual trips planned but there is nothing, since I’m officially banned from air travel until this baby gets here – and then who knows if we’ll get a chance to travel with baby in the last two months, considering she won’t get a passport until the birth certificate arrives, and just that takes 6 weeks!  (Have I mentioned we’re moving 2 months after baby, so just the thought of that stresses me out a *tad* – and yes, that is a total understatement).

But anyway, up to 33 countries/territories, not bad considering I arrived in the Philippines with those numbers in the teens!

Here are some of the pictures I added from recent trips – I may have gone overboard with a few of them, but sometimes it’s hard to choose favorites.  (And yep, still planning on blogging all about the trips I haven’t shared yet, it will be nice reminiscing about them!)

Australia:  Sydney and Blue Mountains

Blog - Australia

Vietnam:  Hanoi (can you tell the weather was very gloomy?)

Blog - Hanoi

MalaysiaKota Kinabalu

Blog - Kota Kinabalu

Marshall Islands:  Majuro

Blog - Majuro

Cambodia:  Phnom Penh

Blog - Phnom Penh

Federal States of Micronesia:  Pohnpei

Blog - Pohnpei

China: Shanghai

Blog - Shanghai

This one from right here in the Philippines, our weekend trip to Subic to swim with dolphins!

Blog - Subic

Laos:  Vientiane

Blog - Vientiane

I also added some pictures to much older trips (pre-blog), like my trips to Greece, Spain, etc.  (Pretty much anything I had digital pictures for were finally included!)

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Filed under Asia, Philippines, Pictures, Travel, Traveling in Asia, Trips!

Our International Christmas Tree!

I set up our tree early in November, this being the Philippines and all and Christmas decorations were already out, so I joined the fun! 

I bought the tree last Christmas and been collecting ornaments during the year, buying things from different places we visit and even converted a few key chains into ornaments.  It could have gone horribly bad, but I like the end result (these are all iPhone pictures, so the quality is a bit subpar):



So here’s a few of the ornaments close up…

An elephant from Thailand, and a star from Marshall Islands…


Another elephant and giraffe also bought in Thailand, both converted key chains (got lots of elephants on that tree…).



Gecko and turtle bought at the market in Cambodia…



Of course, the US of A gotta represent, so I have some ornaments bought at our trip to Guam last year.


I bought this elephant in Singapore


And this monkey (that Karl thinks looks like a sperm) in Cambodia.  The ball next to it was bought in Thailand, but I think it comes from India?


Why not have Chinese new year’s stuff decorating a tree?  This was bought in Singapore.


These are obviously key chains too, both the seahorse and the crab are from here in the Philippines!



This mask is from Indonesia…


And another item bought in Thailand that wasn’t really from SE Asia.


Despite my husband being a bit of a Grinch when it comes to Christmas decorations, I got the Starbucks mug for him (he’s a bit addicted…).


The butterfly was bought in Vietnam!


And more Chinese new year’s stuff bought in Singapore!


I’m not naïve:  I know that, perhaps except for the ornaments I got in the Marshall Islands, odds are everything else was made in China, but it’s the thought (and the memories!) that count, right?

Plus seeing all the elephants decorating my tree makes me insanely happy!


Filed under Asia, Foreign Service, Philippines, Pictures

Currently in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

I write this from my iPhone, in our hotel room in Phnom Penh, while the rainstorm outside is no joke (we have had beautify sunny hot days, stormy nights).

Tomorrow we’re off to Vientiane, Laos, for a couple of days, and a couple more in Hanoi, Vietnam, after making our way back home to Manila.

I miss Lily and Lucas terribly, and have to admit I’m looking forward to January when I’m officially banned from air travel and am forced to stay put for a bit! Specially now that traveling is so damn uncomfortable!

Pictures, pregnancy updates (I’m suddenly huge) and more to resume after we get back!

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Filed under Asia, Travel, Traveling in Asia