Where in the world am I now?
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Hey, blog readers! I notice when I get this blog in my email it only seems to show single pics. Some of the sections of most posts have a slideshow imbedded. Please let me know if you are seeing the slide shows. If you are not, try viewing the blog in your browser. This is easy to do by clicking on the title of the blog in your email.
You can always visit our website- www.sailgirldesign.com and check out the last page of the site which is the blog.
Thanks!! Just wanted to make sure you were seeing all the fun pics.
Peggy and Corey
Well, Corey has been in Thailand pretty much full time for over a year. I have finally caught up with him and even remain employed by CareFusion! My new title is Clinical Application Manager- Asia. Basically, I'm doing pretty much the same things as I did in Asia before I relocated but now I'm officially- here. I will be based in Singapore but traveling back and forth to Phuket, Thailand (to hang out with Corey) pretty much weekly, as well as working all over Asia. So, we are now officially transferred out of Australia and living quite near the equator. Pretty exciting stuff! If you are looking for a hot, humid vacation come visit!
This picture is from our recent live aboard dive trip. We spent the 4 nights over Christmas on a boat in the Similan Islands of Thailand. It was a fabulous trip! Kath, our tour leader and the entire crew were amazing! Plus, we had a great group of divers aboard. A few photos are below. The trip started in Chalong, Phuket Island and as we motored out of the harbor the crew set off firecrackers to frighten away any bad spirits or bad luck that may affect our trip. There was also a wonderful banquet and flowers presented on the bow to ask for safe travel and blessings. It must have worked as we had great weather, smooth sailing and beautiful diving. Corey took more of the underwater photos this trip and we were having some equipment challenges. At least I got some fun topside pics. The topography in the Similans is quite unique. Lots of big boulders both above and below the multi-hued water. Our fireworks must have also spooked the whale sharks that had been sighted recently. No worries, Kath took us to her favorite spots and I now can't wait to go back for more.
Before I jump too far ahead to Asia, I have to talk about leaving Australia and it was downright hard to do! I have made friends for life in both Australia and New Zealand. I absolutely will miss everyone and I hope that we meet again, sooner rather than later.
After returning from America, I was basically "homeless." This was a non-issue as many people offered me a place to stay. I house sat for Maree for almost 2 months which was quite an opportunity. Her cute little house was just down the road from where I was living before, so it made getting around easy- I just continued to ride my bike! Then after Maree returned, I bunked at Stephen and Louise Devine's. Living at the Devine's was DEVINE! Louise is a great cook, they love good wine, and have a nice warm pool... what else could anyone ask for. Oh, did I mention they are a lot of fun! Part of the time I was there, it became a bit of a hostel as I roomed with Josie. So much fun and many, many laughs. Thanks for everything Louise and Stephen.
Oh, and just before leaving Australia we took a quick trip to Byron Bay. I LOVE that place! The friends I went with made it extra special. In addition to a lovely trip to Byron, I had party after party to attend. Christmas parties and going away parties. Also squeezed in a couple big dance nights at the Mon Komo and as much yoga as I could... I'm so missing my yoga on the beach and particularly my yogi friends!
I really can't say enough about everyone I love in Australia. The people truly made it feel like home because it is a long way from where I'm from. I miss you already but know I will see you soon! That is why I really couldn't say goodbye, I stuck with "See Ya Latah." Hopefully done in my best Aussie accent.
Corey has become the first person to ever jump a tandem skydive over Phuket. He also was part of another air show and did a solo skydive, landing on Patong Beach, one of the main tourist beaches in Phuket- See below. Stay tuned, Skydiving in Phuket in slowly becoming a reality. In the meantime have a very happy New Year's Celebration where ever you may be. Here's to a happy and healthy 2014- Cheers!
p.s. I have more pictures to load but am out of patience tonight. Keep checking back for more!
A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to take a business trip to Queenstown, NZ. What a spectacular place! Many people had told me that I "just had to get to Queenstown" while in this part of the world. I am so happy I was able to do so. Queenstown is famous for being a thrill seeker's paradise. Adventures from skiing, skydiving, parasailing, jet boating, to bungy jumping and more are all available. If I had more time I would have liked to hire a car to drive around the lake. Lots to do and see!
First off, flying into and landing in Queenstown is a bit of a thrill, especially on a windy day. As you swoop down into a valley between snow dusted mountains the plane shudders and wiggles as the pilot attempts to wrestle it to the earth. The actual touchdown wasn't the softest but I was glad to feel the wheels touch ground.
As an American that has grown up in the NW, lived for 5 years in Colorado, but prefers the tropics- I wasn't sure I'd truly appreciate the mountain scenery especially with the chilly weather forecast. Queenstown certainly did NOT disappoint, in fact, it felt quite familiar and I often found myself smiling for no apparent reason. Seeing mountains rise out of gorgeous blue water reminded me of past hikes and good times. My visit to Qtown was short but the days were sunny, the air temps brisk, and views of distant peaks crystal clear.
One of the best parts of Queenstown was the food, and of course, the wine. I had a tasty lunch at the BathHouse- see the pics below. Toasty warm in a windowed sunroom, I sipped wine while watching waves of Lake Wakatipu slap the shore.
For dinner one night I had salmon and a Marlborough Pinot Noir at Pier 19. If you are in Qtown I highly recommend this restaurant. The service was as excellent as the food. The Empanada Kitchen is an open air, cart style food venue that basically just serves… yep, you guessed it- empanadas. I tried lamb with green olive tampenade, yum!
My trip across the lake on The Steamship Earnslaw (TSS Earnslaw) felt like a quick trip back in time. The boat has been taking passengers on Lake Wakatipu for many years. It was the only way to travel around the region early in it's settlement. A pianist inside at the bow played sing-along folk songs. Luckily the songs reminded me of home and family reunions past and kept thoughts of the Titanic from the forefront of my mind. I just can't resist getting on a boat when I have a chance.
Walking through town I happened into the Ivan Clarke Gallery. His work is quite unique as it is portraits of dogs that are uncannily humanlike. His original work started from the love a pooch, a long haired dachshund.
Enjoy the pics and don't miss the captions. Maybe you will feel like you took a quick visit to Qtown too- or at least make you think twice about adding it to your bucket list, along with a bungy jump, of course!
Well, I finally resigned from my current position after spending almost 10 years with Alaris products. I had hoped to be transferred in some manner to SE Asia but it just hasn't happened. I will remain in Aussie for 2 months fulfilling my contract obligations as to the resignation notice. While finishing up I will be lucky enough to visit Hobart, Tasmania and Queenstown, NZ as well as spend a week in Singapore. No moss grows on my tail!
We will see what happens from here but I do plan on being with Corey for the holidays. That will be awesome!
I had mentioned that Corey is currently in India and has been sending me snippets of his experience by email. Sorry I don't have any pictures but will add when Corey posts some. Here are bit of what he has shared. Enjoy!
Email 1) "I got to Delhi without drama. My host picked me up about an hour late, thank Buddha my Thai phone worked on roaming for incoming calls........ then we went to a food court for supper. All kinds of foods I have never seen...mostly bread and vegie pasty stuff and some salty minty flavored broth to drink like clear soup... surprisingly good.
I am staying at the family mansion..... in the guest room. there is a mum and dad, a couple of brothers and my host.
Tomorrow it is road trip to our destination.
Email 2) "I just had lassi made from fresh milk they bring a cow to the door every other day they boil the milk make butter make oil and drinking milk lassi is made from the curd add water and sugar-- very tasty!"
Email 3) "It is now daytime and the world of India has changed from congested world city to countryside farms. Colorful brick and cinder block structures all mounted with rollup metal garage doors.
Animals everywhere…. Cows delivering fresh milk… yes … warm and fresh.. some offer diy option. Camels instead of donkeys pulling carts loaded with colorful textiles and metal building materials. Goats on the tether waiting to be purchased for Sunday dinner…. Pigs over 200 lbs snorting as they scour the discarded garbage for a bite to eat.
None seem undernourished….
A Hindu tradition is to offer a small bit of food to stray animals before eating a meal. In the city the devout will put a bite on an altar for birds or a small plate outside for the larger creatures. Even a drop of scotch is splashed before enjoying a drink.
Drove through Jaipur--the pink city… buildings made from local stone are all natural pink. Then suddenly the landscape is wide and open… white and maroon temples are perched on the peaks of low barren mountains which ring the valley… a lake with reeds, not a tree over 5 meters, rocky boulder hillsides remind me of Simi Valley California.
Handmade fences or walls separate the horizon into irregular plots showing the human need for boundaries…
I see in-progress construction/destruction everywhere…. The two lane highway winds over the hills, now only a hundred miles south of Pakistan.
9 am—uniformed children marching in groups, some crowded onto tuk-tuks… some waiting expectantly for the Monday ride to school…..
Getting gasoline again…. The first gas stop involved a complex merging into lanes for cars for filling, then an exit queue back to the road that included air filling for the tires payment and payment for the petrol.. during the wait we noticed the debit card was not to be found… this minor problem was solved when a brother brought a spare card from the home.. just as we reached the front of the line…
Next stop did not accept any credit or debit cards… the atm machine was closed ( roll up garage door) onwards to another village…needle on E.
How many blind curves is one allotted in life??? Passing every vehicle the driver swerves along the highway…. he owns the on-coming lane and relies on the quality of Toyota engineered suspension systems... Speed increases….the kilometers start to click away……
Suddenly, traffic stops.. brakes squeal… steering wheels spin… a young camel looks left moves right…. IMPACT… metal bends…. The unfortunate humpback flips away. The old man in white robe and turban, his face aghast with surprise. The driver hesitates, then drives on. The old mans face changes to rage….his walking cane aiming for glass finds a rear view mirror. The driver is relieved to not have a view of the fading carnage.
We drive on awhile…. I am in shock at the hit and run. I say nothing. It is time to wear Buddha Luang Poo and my closing pin for better luck .
Finally, at the destination… Deesa….. try Google maps… not far from the southern border of Pakistan.
This town and my assigned room is exactly what I expected from India…. 1 star…….loud ( I brought earplugs and meds)…. Good thing I brought my own TP. Now to buy some water before brushing teeth…. More later…. It has been a long day and I need forgiveness for a young camel……"
Email 4) "Today I will begin to open my mind to new things..... When I asked where to buy some TP... I was told that people in India do not use TP.
And there is no bidet hose......... No shit !!!!! Only can hold out so long....... I am not shaking anyone by the hand again..."
Email 5) "Everything you have heard about India's lack of sanitary facilities is under reported. Even the very weathly (like millioniare old money rich) used the bushes today.... enough said
It has been a good experience, and interesting nightlife as this a dry state and a vegetarian only state. What would you expect from Ghandi's home area.... I am still a strange sight to most people, it is my 15 min to be a rock star.. I will take what I get... but not someplace I want to live much longer.
I have had garbonzo beans and tomatoes every way you can imagine. Tasty but still garbonzo beans ... and the side dishes are made from potatos and lentils. Everything is served with a think bread like a tortilla with grease..... I have learned to like buttermilk and milk curd yogurt... very cooling. Today I had a treat-- bananas!!!!!! I got two.... yeah! the first fresh fruit since I got here.
The people are really nice and my hosts are generous ..... I have been to some Hindu temples, a couple of festival dances and tomorrow is a major holiday (breaking a 9 day fasting for the whole country and particularly this region) so you see I am finding the spectacular things in the fog ..."
Stay tuned for more from Skybaduba and Sailgirl... aka Corey and Peggy
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