Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Turkey Day!

Happy Thanksgiving readers!  I hope this finds you comfortable at home with family and friends with wonderful aromas throughout the house.  Then, gorge yourselves and take a well deserved nap :).  Leave those dishes for later....

Or, follow my lead and eat out on Thanksgiving!  I wouldn't really recommend this unless you're outside the U.S.  I mean why wouldn't you want home cooked food??

My Thanksgiving was rescued by a fellow American, arrived only a few weeks ago.  She arranged dinner for 10 of us expats to have Thanksgiving buffet at a very nice, well known hotel here in Singapore.  While it was named Thanksgiving and there was turkey....we can only conclude that no Americans were consulted :).

Missing: mashed potatoes, stuffing, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, can-molded cranberry sauce (although real, warm cranberry sauce was there) and green bean casserole (or any casserole for that matter).  The only potatoes were German potato salad...not screaming Thanksgiving.

However, present was: assorted cheeses and breads, sushi bar, oysters, hot fudge (ice cream too), black pepper crab, nutmeg pumpkin soup, smoked salmon, cinnamon squash, crème brûlée and more!

Sorry - was caught up in great conversation and forgot to get pics.  Enjoy the long weekend!!  

Friday, November 19, 2010

My favorite Bali

So I've only been there twice, but man if you are looking for a great get-away, Bali is it.  I will have to visit again during my stay here.  It has been my only vacation of pure pool-side laying out, reading and sleeping.  I know I've been lazy lately and not keeping up with posts - but here's some pics from my October vacation (I had to put in a couple of the cows from home....those are not in Bali :)!)

The black one in back - yeah that will be me basking in the sun in a couple days. how do I get out??
The low tide was at 10am, so it was weird in the morning to see the water recede.

The Bali Dragon ;)

My pool-side club sandwich and pineapple juice.

Yes, I was actually up at 5am one day to watch the sun come up and water run out.  Believe it!

Almost stepped on this bad boy while wading out into the water.

Locals would go out fishing or crab hunting or something.  
I think you could walk all the way out to the reef and only be chest deep.

View of one of the hotel buildings.  Bali Hyatt - very nice.

Lounges in the gardens and in towards the pool.  I quickly learned that the garden ones were under trees with birds.  Almost pooped on....returned to the pool quickly.

WHOA! See the giant lizard that snuck by me??

More snail friends.  No rain, so he was all curled up.

Monday, November 1, 2010


I had a fun last couple of weeks - I was on vacation!  My original vacation plans to India and Thailand fell through about a week before hand, so I decided to go to the Maldives.  Stranded in the middle of the ocean south of India and West of Singapore - each island is its own resort.  Awesome right??

Wouldn't you guess's uber-expensive.

I searched for an affordable hotel but then gave up, maybe a splurge for the big 3-0??.  Next was Thailand or another beach nearby - but monsoon season had the weather forecasts calling for stormy 

By two weeks ago Sunday I'd decided to go home, but didn't tell anyone.  This would be a fun surprise ;).  Monday morning I bought my ticket for Tuesday and arranged for the rental car.  I avoided talking to Mom so I wouldn't give it away.  By Tuesday 2pm I had landed at O'Hare.

I headed out to the farm, planning to have my Dad call my Mom at work and surprise her at dinner out.  He wasn't home (not surprising).  Went to Grandma' answer there.  I mean c'mon people, it's no fun surprising if you're not there!!  :) 

Well Grandma was there, but she didn't have her hearing aid in and was in the back room with the TV up loud.  So I snuck in, hoping I wouldn't give her a heart attack from a home invader.  I didn't and she said, "Oh, hi" like it was normal I should be there.  Then I think it dawned on her :).  Surprise #1, success.

Grandma and I are catching up and I find out Mom is getting her hair done in the next town over....should we surprise her? Yes! Grandma leads the way and we walk in on Mom getting a perm - staring at the wall perpendicular to the doorway.  I think she'll see me, but it's not until I said something that she heard my voice, popped around, jumped out of the chair to come over and hug me - tears streaming down her cheeks of course.  Mom's a crier.  Surprise #2, success.

We wait for her hair to be finished and then head home, hoping Dad's back by now.  Lights are on, he's on the phone.  I think he went a little speechless when I popped around the corner, but couldn't tell because he was just finishing and hanging up.  Definitely was surprised though.  Surprise #3, success.

My Aunt and Uncle from IN happened to be coming to town Wednesday, Mom took off work and we spent the day together and Dad joined for dinner.  It was a wonderful day spent with family.  Too bad sister and brother are so far away (SC and TX) - would have loved to see them on this trip!

Spent Thursday morning loading up at the outlet mall, then to Peoria for the evening with friends.  Friday was a wonderful Panera breakfast with Shaun - oh how I miss bagels!! (or the sweet goodness known as bagels - cinnamon crunch and pink ribbon)  Lunch and afternoon was with work colleagues.  Back for dinner and party at the Party House - tons of great food by Shaun & Mandi.  Fun evening of karaoke! :) 

Saturday I got to visit a cute little munchkin after family pics, then Shaun and I shopped some more (lots of things to buy!).  Headed back home Sunday evening - got lost on the back roads north of Princeton...duh!  Took an extra 45 minutes, but made it in time for beef tenderloin that was delicious.  Sunday was church and an appreciation dinner for Pastor's service - 30 years I think.  Then to see two more cutie munchkins.

By Monday morning, it was time to pack up and head to the airport.  Had a quick detour to Target on my way there.  All that shopping wouldn't fit in the bags I brought with me, even after leaving some clothes for goodwill with my parents.  Flight was delayed two hours, but that meant my connection in Tokyo was literally off one plane and right onto the next, no wait.  Made it home and to my own bed.

Sorry - no fun pics this trip.  But when I woke up, immediate plan was to figure out what beach to spend the rest of my vacation on.  Beach side pics to follow on the next post....