Sunday, July 29, 2012

more offerings in Bali

Offerings... 5x's a day

The Hindu religion and culture is throughout all of Bali and in all parts of Balinese life... the most apparent to me was seeing the daily offerings on the sidewalks... everywhere! Offerings are made five times a day and can consist of many things... usually flowers and some kind of food (cookies, fruit, rice, etc.)... I thought they were beautiful and enjoyed taking pictures of them while attempting not to step on them!  :P

Cigarette offering...

Fish sauce offering...?

Thursday, July 26, 2012


I liked the Legian area. I'm glad I traveled to other areas as well... but I ended up staying in Legian for the day and enjoyed it!

After breakfast I took a walk... and realized what wonderful gems can be found on every turn in Bali!

A tailor's shop...

Hahaha, nice.

The BEACH! (Beautiful entrance...)

While on my walk, I heard from Jam - the brother of a friend in of mine in Ho Chi Minh City! Jam grew up in Jakarta and went to an international school there... he is in Bali for his 10-year high school reunion and stayed after to get some surfing in.

Jam picked me up at the hotel and took me to lunch with his friend Ricki. It was great to hang out with a couple people who knew their way around the island... and lunch was delicious!

LEGIAN - 1st night in Bali

I got into Bali around 9:00pm and had booked myself a place for the night in Legian (around the Kuta area)... known to be a big party and clubbing area... so I intended to just stay the night and then head on my way to another area.

The hotel I booked through turned out to be great! 
Very modern and nice... Jocs Boutique Hotel:

It's located on a main road... but was great... as I could walk to the market and other shops... as well as the beach being just a 5-minute walk down the road!

 ...And a pool in the middle of the hotel!  :P

thank goodness for nice people

I had a 5-hour layover in the Kuala Lumpur LCCT airport on my way to Bali.

I picked up lunch... went to pay... and really confused the cashier with my payment method...

Apparently I was trying to pay with Thai Baht instead of Malaysian Ringgit! Whoops!

...Thank goodness the nice man behind me offered to pay for my $2.00 lunch!

This changed my plans a bit... as I thought I had almost $80 worth of ringgit... but it turns out that it was only about $12. Hahaha. ...I found a place to convert the money and then found a seat with my Kindle and a drink...

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

my BALI trip in MAPS!

I'm currently sitting in the Kuala Lumpur airport on a layover... Heading back to HCMC after a week vacationing in BALI! :D I booked myself a week in BALI, INDONESIA when there was an Air Asia sale last spring :)

I then put together an itinerary that includes 3 different areas of the island and is as follows:

Legian, Kuta - 1 night
Sanur, Despensar - 1 night
Ubud - 3 nights
Seminyak, Kuta - 1 night

Below are some maps (from Google Maps) that show more...


The island is small enough that It's super easy to get around to each area. I really, really enjoyed this trip and look forward to getting back there (TRACY BISHA!!!) great culture and great views :) and more details to come!

Friday, July 20, 2012

street market veggies and fruits!

I woke up early one morning and walked down the street to get some fruits and veggies.

The following collection not only includes great colors... but cost less than $3.00 total!...

...And then used some to make deliciousness...

THEN I went to an expat grocery store and spent hundreds of thousands of dong on oatmeal! Ha!

cu san - yam bean

When I first got back to HCMC, I stocked up on veggies... wanted an onion but wasn't finding one in the street market anywhere! Hmmmm... didn't think it was that difficult to get an onion in Vietnam (it's not.).

I ended up finding this...

Bought it for 2,000d (about 10 cents)... thinking, wellllll, maybe this is just an onion with dirt caked on it. Uhhhh no. HA! I looked it up once I got home (from what the lady wrote on the receipt, cu san)... and 'cu san' means 'yam bean'.

I haven't found a use for this yet.

BUT... I did find onions! (All over now haha... at least I know where to go.)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

tambiet Denver... hen gap lai!

(or)... goodbye Denver... see you again!

Ahhhh it was such a mix of emotions to leave Denver and begin the journey back to Vietnam for another year. Definitely not as emotionally difficult (or scary!) as a year ago... this time, at least, I know where I'm headed and what it looks like. Oh - and I have an apartment to go back to... know my way around the city... even own a cute little scooter to cruise around on... and so much more.

I wish my time in the States had been longer. BUT... I'm also excited to be heading back to SE Asia with a few weeks left in my summer break -- so I can travel to BALI for a week and then my MOM gets in to Vietnam after her month-long adventure in Japan!!!! It's been an amazing summer, that's for sure.

But for now... goodbye Denver. I will miss you ( much so that sometimes it hurts).

Denver, CO --> San Francisco, CA --> Narita, Japan --> Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

aaaand annual last night pizza night!

Ahhhhh I love homemade pizza!

Definitely a favorite of mine growing up... my mom makes awesome pizza.

And definitely still a favorite of mine now... Lenny makes awesome pizza.  


Lenny even makes homemade dough in the bread machine! THEN... him and Lexey make 5 or 6 different mini-pizzas with various toppings. All = Awesome.

If the backyard party is 'annual'... then so is a Pizza Night on my last night before leaving for Vietnam (or... as I'm going to term it now... any big trip / other country).

Lunch with the Lovely Leroy Ladies!

My last day in Denver felt busy. Awesome-busy... but felt like I had lots to do.

The hi-lights of my day included lunch at Einstein Bagels with a number of the awesome people I worked with at Leroy Drive in Northglenn, CO...

The other (hi-light) was a scooter date with Julie!  :)  We had some errands to run around the city... and THEN had an ice cream date in Lenny's backyard with Andy Lynes.  :)  

My time in the States felt filled with amazing friends and family!  <3

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Annual Backyard Party @Lenny's

Lenny and Lexey put together a wonderful get-together at the house on my 2nd-to-last evening in Denver. It was the perfect way to get our friends together... awesome people in one backyard is pretty... awesome.  :D

I enjoyed the invites that were sent out... calling it my 'annual' backyard party... 2nd annual so far... and I suppose only time will tell how many more there will be!

Can I just mention one more time how GOOD it felt to see all of these awesome people?!?!  (Well,  just did.)

Rob with his beautiful blues!

Hahaha... Krista checking out Lenny's greenhouse while biting into one of his handmade green chili cheeseburgers.  :)

With Sam...  :D

Great to see Becky and Caroline!!!

So good to see Mr. Marc Hughes.

<3 Krista!

Once the party started to wind down, a few of us walked to Sweet Action for dessert :D

Wendy is my Candy Buddy!! seen below showing the proper enthusiasm for my about-to-be-eaten lemon cookie with lavender ice cream!!! Yessssss.

Pho Duy! - Denver

Lenny, Lexey, and I did make it for a pho breakfast at Pho Duy on Federal Blvd. in Denver...

It was weird being in a room filled with Vietnamese being spoken all around me!

I attempted to order both my vegetarian pho and ca phe sua da in Vietnamese... but the guy didn't really understand me   :P   D'OH!

It WAS great. ...Different from the pho I can get in Vietnam ...mostly because when Lexey and I ordered vegetarian pho, it was actually made with vegetable stock instead of chicken or beef... AND filled with yummy veggies!

We even had ca phe sua das.  :)  Mmmmm.

As we were walking out of Pho Duy, Lenny was behind both Lexey and I, and heard a young boy (about 2 or 3 years old) point at me and say, "THAT'S A MOVIE!" Hahahahaha. Awesome! (...Assuming that comment was in reference to the animated movie currently in theaters, Brave. ...Which we had just seen the afternoon before!!)