In 2013, Ashley and I have been rather busy. Between her photography business (Ash & James Photography) keeping her hard at it from sun up ‘til sun down, 7 days a week, wedding planning for us (May 31, 2014, save the date!), and me working, marathon training and pursuing a doctorate, all while making sure … Continue reading
Hello, friendo! It has been awhile… I would like to talk a little about the proverbial soup strainer, the moustache. The once symbol of dignity, stature, and manliness has since been phased out due to a recent cultural metamorphosis pushing the clean-shaven into the ooh-la-la category and the Rhett Butler-types to the fringe. However, be … Continue reading
First of all, my heart goes out to those affected by the horrific event that took place yesterday in Connecticut at Sandy Hook Elementary School–what an incredibly sad and frustrating thing to happen. Just unimaginable. —————- I didn’t sleep much last night, as my thoughts were elsewhere. From my Facebook observances yesterday, it’s really disheartening … Continue reading
The conditions were perfect for gazing up at the celestial show; the air was cold, the sky was clear and the moon was new—waned to the point of non-existence; not even a visible sliver. The only light disturbance came from a distant radio tower and a yard light on a small farm across a large, … Continue reading
I was excited about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) from the get-go. The U.S. desperately needed this reform. Compared to other First World countries, the U.S. is far behind in providing adequate social safety nets for its citizens, especially in regards to health care. For instance, 137,000 people died over seven years … Continue reading
Well, friends, I’m home, back in the good ol’ U.S. of A. Surprise! For the random passer-bys or for my acquaintances that don’t know already, I have Crohn’s Disease—diagnosed in 2005. While in China, the disease flared-up, which unfortunately forced me to return stateside. To be precise, Crohn’s Disease is an autoimmune disorder, which is a … Continue reading
Here are the remainder of our Vietnam pictures that we wanted to share with everyone. Like the previous blog post, these are the randoms–pictures that didn’t fit into one of our themes, but are too good not to put out there for eyes to see. As for a little update: Ashley will be heading back … Continue reading
These are the oddball pictures — the inbetweeners. They never fit into any of the previous Cambodia blog post themes, but we’re giving them a chance now. These are a few pictures that were taken on the off days — the days we were not at the Temples of Angkor, taking the Bamboo Train around … Continue reading
Bac Ha is a quiet highlands town in northern Vietnam, about 120 km from Sa Pa. On Sundays, a market transforms this once peaceful place into a crowded bustling center of commerce. There are 10 different Montagnard (Hmong) ethnic groups scattered around this area of Vietnam’s northern highlands and every Sunday they come together to … Continue reading
During our visit to Bắc Hà, Vietnam, the Sunday market was in full swing. Sheltered from the haggling and bantering by dilapidated tarpaulin, this little girl enjoys a piping hot spoonful of her sultry noodle soup.
Sa Pa is a quiet mountain town in northwestern Vietnam. During this time of year its skies are overcast and air a bit chilly. When we first arrived via the overnight train from Hanoi the cloud cover was so thick you could not see 20 feet in front of you. We were so immersed in … Continue reading
A lonely bánh mỳ stand on a quiet street in Hoi An, Vietnam. All was quiet until a scooter came zooming by, leaving a ghostly, streaky figure.
First of all let me say, Vietnamese food is good, I mean, really, really good. I used to think Chinese food — by which I mean the food found in China, not at the Panda Buffet found at your local mall — was the best. But, traveling around Vietnam for the past couple weeks has … Continue reading
There comes a time when you stumble across a place that you don’t ever want to leave. A little happy place, if you will; a place that has everything your heart desires. Naturally, it’s subjective and not for everyone to agree with, but nonetheless, these places exist. Ashley and I frequently come across travelers saying, … Continue reading
An inquisitive onlooker as I was getting a street-side shave in Phnom Penh.
If you’re in Peru, you go see Machu Pichu; if you’re in Egypt, you see the Pyramids; if you’re in China, you see the Great Wall. So on, and so on… Well, if you’re in Cambodia, you go see Angkor Wat—one of the most magnificent and mysterious historical sites in the world—and the surrounding Temples … Continue reading
Merry Christmas, friends, family and random travel blog enthusiasts! Ashley and I are sending much love back home via the blog. We miss the whole lot of ya and wanted to wish everyone a happy holiday. Now, what have we been up to, you ask? Well, since departing Cambodia on the 20th, we’ve been in … Continue reading
Snapped from a moving tuk-tuk on the outskirts of Siem Reap, Cambodia, this picture shows a way of life that is all but uncommon for this part of the world.
The locals call it a nori. The French call it a lorry. But, we’ll call it a bamboo train. Around Battambang, Cambodia, these trains are useful, efficient and a blast to ride. Powered by a 6 HP generator engine and constructed mainly from bamboo, the bamboo train transports villagers, supplies, livestock (our “co-conductor” was holding … Continue reading
Tonlé Sap—“The Great Lake”—is the largest freshwater lake in S.E. Asia. It’s also a UNESCO biosphere, which aids in conserving its biological and cultural diversity. Thanks to the Mekong River, the lake has huge seasonal depth variations, around 30 feet (9 meters). It is said, during the wet season you can go onto the middle … Continue reading
Yesterday, while I was busy being awestruck at Angkor Wat’s grandeur, Ashley was busy asking a Buddhist Monk if he minded his picture being taken–he didn’t. Hope you like it! Coincidentally, he was touring the same temples as we were with his little brother and mother. We saw him first at Angkor Wat, then Angkor … Continue reading
Genocide–totaling an estimated two million deaths. That’s what happened when Pol Pot, the radical Marxist and Khmer Rouge leader, attempted to achieve his dream of an agrarian utopia at the dawn of “Year Zero.” On April 17, 1975 immediately upon seizing control of Cambodia, the Khmer Rouge forcibly evacuated all cities, sending all the residents … Continue reading
In the French Concession area, and right across the street from our new apartment, lies a hip little place called Tianzifang–Shanghai’s “Art Street”. It’s also known as Taikanglu, for the road that runs past it, or as The New York Times refers to it, Lane 248. Deep into the narrow alleyways, unseen from the streets, Tianzifang is … Continue reading
Well, it was quite a Monday. We didn’t even have to leave our block for this day to be eventful and interesting. Here’s a list of the happenings: – sneakily recorded a kung fu fight with the iPhone between an upset customer and China Mobile security – gifted with a 2 gallon jug of cooking … Continue reading
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! There is definitely lots to be thankful for on an individual level–Ashley, our supportive families, our good ol’ friends, our new apartment, soup dumplings, NBA players not getting what they want, et cetera. But also, it is important to note there are happenings on a much greater scale to be thankful for, … Continue reading
And…we’re back! And…we’re here! Ashley and I arrived in Shanghai a day late due to “mechanical problems” out of St. Louis, which resulted in a night in New York City. Nothing too exciting to discuss there. It was raining and our luggage was elsewhere, so there was not a whole lot to do. No Les … Continue reading
A good friend once proudly, even slightly giddily, informed me that a men’s fashion blog he routinely reads coaxed him into buying something that would, among other things, add a little class and badass-ness to his bathroom shelf. His purchase? A Merkur 34C Double Edge Razor. That’s one blade, with two sharpened edges, which is to … Continue reading
Welcome, all! A week from today Ashley and I will be embarking on our fourth trip to Asia – jetting to a place we’ve grown to love and crave to experience more. This time around, though, it’s a bit more permanent. We are moving to Shanghai, a multi-cultural metropolis that just so happens to be … Continue reading