I'm not an everyday blogger... If I have something to say...this is where I will say it. You will also find links to my specialized blogs.

Live your life in such a way that when your feet hit the floor in the morning, Satan shudders and says... 'Oh shit....she's awake!!'

""Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!""
— Unknown

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Thailand–A Private Island Resort

View from Naka Island ResortLet me first say that this was one of the most beautiful places that I have been. As I was lounging in the pool looking out over the sea, my only thought was that John and I should come back…if only it didn’t take 26 hours to get there. Hopefully, some of the photos below will do it justice. Naka Island is a short boat ride from Phuket. Phuket was hit hard by Japan tsunami in 2011. Naka Island is on the Andaman Sea and escaped damaged.

Day 1. Upon arrival, our reservation was slightly messed up in that they had one king size bed for 3 women when we requested a cottage with 2 beds and a rollaway. That took a little bit of sorting out so while they readied a room for us, we hit the pool. After changing rooms, we had a little work to do. 3 women, 3 laptops, 3 iPads, 3 smartphones, 2 Kindles…well, honestly that can only tax the systems. As I was unplugging one device to charge another, I got a little shock. And we blew a fuse. Who knew! We thought we would have them fix it later. As we went to turn out the lights that night, the light over the door would not go out…no matter what we tried. We called the resort and the poor woman on the other end of the phone asked if we had tried the switch on the wall, we assured her that we had and so she offered to send housekeeping to show us “how to work the switch.” The woman from housekeeping arrives, tries the switch, assesses the situation and calls maintenance. By this time, the three of us are hysterical. Maintenance arrives and is perplexed. Their first choice is to unscrew the light bulb but it is difficult to reach and has been on all day and is very hot. So, with the power on, they disassemble the fixture. Lights out and we crawl into bed. About 30 minutes later, the lights come back on. Apparently, they fixed the blown fuse since they were there.

Day 2. I decide to get up early and catch the sunrise. I mean I lugged by Nikon D50 camera all the way with me…I might as well go out and use it. Unfortunately, it is a hazy morning and there is no sun “rise” to speak of. But I’m up so I’m determined to get some photos. After that it is a day at the pool and an all you can eat lobster buffet. (Unfortunately, by the time we got to dinner I wasn’t feeling all that well. Probably too much sun.) I decide to get some sleep so that I can get up at sunrise on Sunday before we leave. Cynthia and I are sound asleep when the bells outside the cottage ring indicating that someone from the hotel has arrived. Chaos then ensues. Turns out Lori fell and hurt her arm on a trip to the bathroom. She didn’t want to wake us but called the hotel for assistance. Cynthia got to learn how much help (NOT) I am in a medical crisis. My best approach is to stay out of the way so that I don’t pass out and there is someone else who needs attention. Ultimately, Lori didn’t want to make a trip (by boat) to the hospital on Phuket so we arranged for the nurse to stop by when she arrived in the morning.

Day 3. After the excitement of the night before, I skipped the sunrise. We hit the pool then checked out. The hotel had told us what time we needed to leave in order to make our flight…which everyone kept referring to as a domestic flight because we were flying to Bangkok then on to Phnom Penh. They were wrong. After standing in a long line to check in, we had to head to immigration and even longer lines. At 10 minutes before our flight was scheduled to depart, we finally got someone to move us through the line. Even then I thought it was unlikely that we would make it. Once through security, they had someone waiting to take us through the hidden passages of the airport to get us on a waiting bus that took us to our plane. AMAZING!! Unlikely, that would happen in the US.

[Update 1/30/2012] In Phnom Penh on Monday, Lori went to the clinic…it wasn’t good news.

[Update 3/29/2012] Lori finally had surgery on her arm.

[Update 3/30/2012] The photo at the top of this post was selected as a winner in the Verizon Wireless 30 Tablets in 30 Days contest. The photo was taken with my HTC Incredible 2.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Laos - Vientiane

We also have an office in Laos so I headed there for a few days to meet with the team. Met some great people! It was Chinese New Year and there was a lot of celebration going on.

I found Vientiane to feel like a college town. While not quite as easy to get around as Phnom Penh, it was still easy. Even though our first food attempt did not work out as expected, we still found some great restaurants including an outdoor Korean/Lao BBQ place and a great French restaurant.