Thursday, October 28, 2010

Love & Barn's

The trend this year seems to be get married and have a big party in a barn. I must admit, I kinda like it.
I flew to Utah to celebrate love and marriage with my girl Aly. Here are some pics to document the day...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My brother is the Bomb!

Greg is in his 5th and final year of Architecture school. He is amazingly talented and is keeping a blog to track his final year. This being his thesis year he has to come up with an idea and create. I personally am a bit jealous of all the artsy fun. I have secretly always wanted to be a designer. Instead I chose a creative outlet in designing beautiful hair. :) Here is what I helped my bro design when I was home visiting CA last week.....
All the pencils, partly my idea! Yep that's right I'm taking credit for the great art project that will begin his thesis.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Nerd Alert!

I just finished this amazing trilogy of books. The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay. I couldn't put these books down. I think I finished all 3 in a bout 2 weeks time. They are fun reads that leave you wishing there was a fourth. Katniss, Peeta, and Gale live in a barbaric and crazy time when survival and love are crucial to live on.

I am a sucker for teenage fictional series, i.e. Harry Potter, and I hate to admit the Twilight books. This series has been fun. Please read them and let me know what you think.

This month my book club is reading Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. I highly recommend this read as well.

Friday, October 8, 2010


This is a little tribute to a state I love! I am coming in about 2 weeks. Everyone knows that this current New Yorker is really a CA girl always and forever, but we can't forget about the 3 years of my life I spent in UT. This is were it all began. At age 18 I ventured far from home with one of my best friends. We grew to become like sisters over these growing up years in UT. We enjoyed the mountains, we made new friends, and had so many many adventures.We got our first apartment, first out of high school crushes and heartbreaks. I learned my trade and did haircuts in the kitchen. We learned how to drive in the snow, I learned how to snowboard. We laughed and cried and loved. I usually come back to these mountains every year hang with my girl, mountain bike hike and swim. Now I am coming back to celebrate this best friends wedding! Here are some photos to the state that will always hold a special place to me...

Me and Aly at the 4th of July fireworks in P-town. giggling as usual :)

I am also excited to see this girl! My cute little sis. Who 10 yrs later is living it up in good ol Utah!

Monday, September 20, 2010


Some people are just fabulous bloggers. These are the people who inspired me to create my own blog. I would like to pay tribute to just a few I have been spying on lately.
First is my cute friend Aly. She is getting married soon and I love spying her blog!

I also my friend Brigham's blog is always up to date and entertaining. He and I love to eat! And we are especially snobbish about the best places to eat in NY. If we don't mind saying so ourselves, the best places are all downtown. Unfortunately he made the long haul move uptown, but will always be a true downtowner at heart. We have been on a few eating adventures lately that he has blogged about. Please read....

I also love this one too....
This is not a friend, though, I wish I was! This has been a fun and inspiring blog for me in fashion. I love the things I see on the streets of NY everyday and this blog really captures it all.

Enjoy all the little blogs that I enjoy.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Life After Travel...

I have so much rolling around in my brain right now that it is honestly hard to sort it all out. Sometimes when this happens the best thing to do is just write it out. I am a big believer that blogs should be mostly pictures and silly fun things. Remember my very first post about how my blog would in no way ever become an online journal/diary.....well, maybe I lied just a little bit. Enjoy what's rolling around in my little old head right now, or don't, and wait for some more pictures!

A very wise and dear person in my life asked me awhile ago if I ever thought about the opportunities that have been brought into my life through all the travel I have done. Have I ever thought that there is maybe a purpose for all the life experiences that I have had through exploring the world. I really enjoyed this question, because up until the moment she asked it, I was just planning trips and going along for the ride. Not ever thinking about why I do it, or if there has ever been a reason. Or am I just a free spirit with an itch for adventure? Sure, of course I was learning about new cultures and new people, new customs, ect. But was I really thinking about how all of my travel could affect me or the people around me after the trip. Or should I be taking less selfish trips in the furture, and start doing humanitarian trips and serve others?

I have read a lot of travel magazines, books, and memoirs from kindred travelers. One thing that I love to read is how traveling opens our eyes to things unfamiliar to us and teaches us so much that we could never learn in a book or read in a magazine. Traveling can make us more open minded, or perhaps closed off. It can make us drop stereotypes that we once formed about a culture. I find that almost everywhere I have ever been I end up falling in the love with the whole country.

As I just recently traveled through Asia I learned so much about people and human nature that I just can't re-tell in a way to fully give you the same feelings and emotions that I felt being there. When I told a friend of mine who had been to India that I was traveling there the first thing she said was, "Leslie, I can't really describe India. It's just something you have to experience." And yes my friends that is an absolutely true statement. Multiply times during the trip Caroline and I would see something and just look at each other and say, "How do you explain that. How do you even tell people and have them believe that this is actually happening."

I am humbled by the kindness and love that poured out of people in India who were with almost nothing. The Adam Chew's of Malaysia. The smiles on the peoples faces in Thailand. The constant concern about how we "felt" in Vietnam. The old man on the subway in Hong Kong, and the reaction I received from those around me as I stood up to give him my seat. These are moments and emotions that will stick with me forever. Sure these countries have shady sides and a seedy under belly, everywhere does, but there is so much goodness and vibrancy out there. I find that the culture, and customs, and nature, and clothes, food, and all the things that define a place and make them there own are all fun. But what I remember in each place are the people. The small interactions I had with the children in India or a tour guide in Peru who told us where church was on Sunday.

So in conclusion to my random thoughts about travel. I find that if anything, the purpose of all the travel in my life is to hopefully make me a more understanding, loving, and less judgmental person. And to teach me that the world is much smaller then we think. Although these are all things that I am constantley trying to work on, I hope that the more I see, and the more I live the more I become a reflection of the goodness I see in the people of the world.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Hong Kong is the Bomb!!!

I haven't been a good blogger lately. I was good in the beginning, but 5 weeks of travel and spotty WiFi connections make it a bit hard. Plus, who really reads this. :)
So, here is the deal. 5 weeks 5 countries and more memories and stories than I know what to do with. Never in my life have I embarked on such a journey. Never in my life did I think I would hold up so well. I finally reached my breaking point last week on week 4 in Vietnam. Long day of traveling with no AC and and everything going wrong makes you snap. Sorry Caroline! After a great but long week in Nam we headed to Hong Kong to visit our friend Jon on the last leg of our trip. We have had an absolute blast. There is such a difference from staying in a different hotel every night to just chillin with a good friend in there apartment. Jon me and Liney have stayed up way too late every night, laughed so hard tears have literally poured out of our eyes. We have beached it up, toured it up, lazed around and have been ending this trip in style. Thanks Jon for saving our sanity at the end. Here are a few pics of fun times...
Thanks Asia! I will miss you and all of fun I have had. On Thursday I am back to reality....

Friday, August 6, 2010

A day with Adam Chew

Adam was our tour guide all day Friday. He was a great man who loved
Australia more than Penang. The first thing Adam told the three of us
when we got in his car was that the Islams controlled Malaysia and
that he loved Australia. We were all confused at why he was a tour
guide and then he informed us he was just a driver who did not have a
program planned for us today. So what did we do?! We laughed and he
continued to drive. His first stop was at two Buddah temples which
were actually quite interesting. The first one was the largest
reclining Buddha in the world. Next stop was Penang hill but don't get
to excited the train up the mountain was broken so we took a jeep up
the steep mountain. The view from the top was spectaular. All in all
Adam turned out to be a great guide with his over zealous personality
and his endless tastings of local food that he offered us.

Yes, I must agree with Caroline. Adam was not the greatest guide in
the world. In fact Adam new relatively nothing about his own country
or city. Yesterday started off with me waking up completely sick. Soar
throat and a bad cold are not fun ways to spend your vaca! Not only
that, but I have planned this whole second half of the trip. Which
puts an added pressure to make sure things go the way I had
invisioned. Both of these factors added together made me a bit of a
big B-word yesterday. And upon meeting Adam our 'driver' I was
probably not the most pleasent person to be around. But as the day
proceeded and as we saw beautiful Penang and ate some amazing food my
attitude changed and I put a big smile on my face.
Thank you Adam Chew!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Surviving India on granola bars and fried rice

Hey All!

I know Caroline and I have been a little crazy posting everyday. But we are kind of using our blogs as our travel journal for now. On our trip we have asked our friends to be guest bloggers. First up is Tom! I know it's long, but if you choose to read anything read this! I almost peed my pants laughing at his funny trip notes. Please read, please enjoy, and please don't judge me and Liney!


- An important pre-cursor to keep in mind is that the only "research" I did prior to this trip was watch Slumdog Millionaire. No books, internet, or anything else. This makes me probably the least qualified person to jot down random thoughts about India.
- With the vast number of cows roaming the streets of India, I can't help but wonder whether cow tipping really works, or if it's an urban legend. Really tempting to try to find out, but probably not a good idea.
- Also not a good idea? Trying to eat concealed beef jerky on a plane bound for Delhi. They can smell it. This would have been the biggest scandal to hit India all week, had it not been for Caroline's "rinsing" incident. She is now the Heidi Montag of India.
- Manhattan cab drivers have got nothing on Indian drivers. There is a blatant disregard for traffic laws, lanes, and general human safety on the roads over here. No "oh crap" handles to help you out either.
- Based on a scan of the Matrimonials section of the newspaper, and discussions with our tour guide, turns out the key to landing a hot wife in India is to be a movie star, athelete, or doctor. Just like America.
- Personal observations reveal that in India, if you're a blonde gal with big... err... brains, you can also get whatever you want. Also just like America.
- Indians love curry. Not a surprise. What's truly impressive is their creative use of curry, which can be found in everything. Including veggie burgers.
- Caroline is reportedly a cover stealer. Make sure you use the "tuck-under" technique, or you will be left out in the cold.
- Leslie is also a cover stealer. Which creates an interesting dilemma. Should a guy, a) snuggle in close to get under the covers as to not disturb her sleep, but risk a potentially awkward moment when she wakes up? Or b) try to steal back the covers so that you're not left out in the cold, but risk waking her up and earning the wrath of a tired woman the whole next day?
- I recommend c) snuggle in closer, and then in the morning, completely overplay how cold it was when she stole the covers so that she feels guilty, thereby earning you sympathy credits, which you can maybe parlay into a massage at a future time.
- Note to Leslie's mom, who reads this blog. I was just kidding. Your sweet, innocent daughter slept in an all-girls wing by herself every night, and she loves you dearly. But she did claim to "do every guy in the ward".
- Note to Leslie's dad. I am not in her ward. And she was referring to hair.
- The Hindu religion believes in three main gods: a Giver (creator), an Operator, and a Destroyer of the world. Clever acronym. I can understand the first two, but why would you worship a destroyer? I like it when someone creates (bakes) a cheesecake for me. I like it when someone operates (serves) that cheesecake for me, preferably with fresh strawberries on top. But I'd be peeved if a third person came along and smashed their fist into my cheescake and destroyed it.
- Also interesting to note the three main Hindu gods have wives, or goddesses. They represent power, wealth, and intelligence. We now know who wears the pants in those families.
- What walks around on four legs but has no ears? Mike Tyson's dog. Found in the gossip section of an Indian newspaper.
- I would have imagined the combination of curry, humidity, aversion to deoderants, and generally dodgy living conditions would not be conducive to hooking up. The population density here seems to indicate otherwise.
- The Maharaja is the original player. He had twelve wives, each in a different apartment within his palace, and he built secret passages that allowed him to go from one place to the next without being seen. The kicker? The wives were forbidden from talking to each other.
- Elephant droppings are huge. But don't smell near as bad as human feces on the streets.
- Two men holding hands is perfectly acceptable, and very common, in Indian culture. However, a man and a woman showing affection in public is frowned upon. Not quite sure what to make of this.
- Three men riding on one motorcycle is a sight that will also make you do a double-take.
- Indian men love to take photos of white American girls. Some try to do it without them noticing. Others are far more blatant, and will follow the girls around snapping photos, papparazzi style. It's all fun and games, until you a take photo of them taking photos of the girls. Then they get all confused and upset.
- Leslie has no heart. And Caroline is the little devil that sits on her shoulder, whispering into her ear. Together, they're one bangle-tastic pair.
- Not a revelation, more a re-affirmation. People aren't always completely rational when something is on sale. Logistically, it's pretty hard to use three quilts when you only have one bed.
- It's interesting how we'll spend 30 minutes haggling down the price of a souvenir by $3.50 when we're overseas. This works out to be roughly the equivalent of minimum wage. Yet, there is such satisfaction to be derived from this perceived success. I like to think of it as time well wasted.
- Everybody loves K-Ci and JoJo.
- Due to the cast (or class) system in Indian culture, people of lower casts such as our bus driver are not allowed to enter the hotels or restaurants we go to. This makes me feel really bad. The interesting thing is, I had a chance to have an hour long conversation with him while the others were shopping. Turns out he is a very happy and content man, and loves his job of driving tourists around, then going home to his wife and 7 year old twins in Punjab. Further proof that happiness is really not about having what you want, but rather wanting what you have.
- Traditional Indian garb for women is very colorful and looks really comfortable. It was also unexpectedly attractive, in an odd way. The girls on the trip rocked their outfits. Traditional Indian garb for men, on the other hand, was very rigid, hot, and uncomfortable.
- I have seen an inordinate number of Indian men peeing on the sides of the streets all over India. Yet, I have not seen a single woman needing to relieve herself. Until Caroline.
- Our bus got a flat tire in the middle of a rural town. Luckily, we were right near a tire store. I was impressed by how willing to help out the locals were. Not so impressive? About five different workers each took turns looking at the tire before transferring it to the next guy, thereby taking an hour to resolve a routine issue. Note that many call centers are also located in India.
- We did not see a single tiger on our safari ride through the tiger preserve. However, off-roading through the jungles of India is a spectacular experience that should not be missed.
- The number of Indians that can fit onto one bus is truly impressive. Yes, I meant "onto", not "into", because they literally put people on top of the bus once the interior is jam packed.
- For cheap amusement, wait until Leslie falls asleep. Then quietly sneak into the room with a small twig, and imitate a bug crawling from her neck up to her face. She's a screamer.
- Customer service at its finest out in rural India. In the morning, a dude knocked on our door. "Good morning! This is your wake up call! Weather is beautiful! It's raining outside!". Except we never ordered a wake up call.
- Kudos to Caroline for being so willing to embrace local customs. She has eschewed cutlery and now eats rice and curry using just her right hand. I just hope she hasn't taken on all local customs, which would explain why she couldn't use her left hand.
- As an act of diplomacy, I recommend the US donate and plant one billion venus fly-traps in India. It would improve US foreign relations, while saving tourists from feeling like a giant piece of poo. Not to mention, those plants would feel like a fat kid in a candy store out here. Win-win all around.
- They're not messing around with their garlic naan out here. Ask Leslie. She may have a hard time finding a roommate tonight.
- Best meal of the week? Pizza Hut.
- It costs 20 rupees for a local to visit the Taj Mahal. Foreigners? 750 rupees.
- The Mogul King, Shah Jahan, built the Taj Mahal in loving memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died giving birth to their fourteenth child. The palace took 22 years to build and is one of the most breathtaking sights I have ever seen anywhere in the world. This ultimate monument to love is the pride and joy of the entire nation, and rightfully so.
- I especially love the fact that, as far as I know, the Taj Mahal is the only world monument built to celebrate someone other than the builder or ruler of the land. The selflessness really hit home for me upon entering the main tomb, where Mumtaz's marble coffin sits in the absolute center. Shah Jahan had his own coffin placed next to her's upon his passing, so that they could be together forever, in paradise, which is what the Taj Mahal was built to represent.
- Nice work, Shah Jahan. Way to make all other men feel like schmucks. As if we didn't feel enough pressure already.
- Little Indian boys can be surprisingly confident and charming. Pretty good negotiators too. That's why they are given the job of trying to sell stuff to tourists. A couple of particularly persistent young boys did a number on "Kelara" and "Lassie", and almost got themselves American girlfriends.
- This week has been a life changing experience that is truly beyond words. Among all the vibrant colors of the handicrafts, to the awe inspiring architecture of the majestic temples, the one memory of India that I will never forget is the spirit of the people. India may be an impoverished nation, but its people are rich on pride and tradition. Living in the humblest of conditions with seemingly little hope for a better tommorow, the people remain upbeat and congenial, even to outsiders. They exhibit such strength and perseverance in their everyday lives, while remaining true to their culture, beliefs, and family. Here's to hoping some of that rubs off on me.

The Taj Mahal and the Raj Mahal

Today we visited the beautiful and larger than life Taj Mahal. This 7
wonder of the world does not disappoint. It's perfect symmetry and
size make it an architectural marvel. It's possible to be the worst
photographer in the world and still snap a good shot. We really
enjoyed running around and having a 2 hour photo sesh! Caroline and I
also met the cutest kids trying to hustle us there merchandise, but
then we became friends. The 10 year old proposed to me. I don't think
he minded the 18 year age difference. ;) So cute!


It took 22 years to build one of the most pristine edifices on this
earth. Seeing this wonder is a life changing experience. Once spotted
one cannot look away from the Taj for a few minutes until they have
taken in the full view. Learning about the Taj was fascinating
for me because the love that the emperor had for his wife is a love I
hope to have for my own husband one day. The perfect symmetry around
the whole building is incredible he wanted the building to be perfect
for his wife. He accomplished this and it led to millions coming to
view this edifice from all over the world. Everyone wants to come and
see and feel the love that he had for his wife.

My experience at the Taj today was amazing. I was able to walk around
and learn about the history and share moments with friends that we
will cherish for the rest of our lives. The pictures were incredible
the moments awesome. Everyone needs to make a trek to India and see
this special place in Agra.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Sari's & Bangles

Jaipur today has been quite the success for shopping and for touring the city palace. This city is all pink and was founded in 1776. The pink is a welcoming color and comes from a natural sand. It's been an eventful
day with bollywood movies, shopping, and curry. We have another full program tomorrow that includes elephants and forts.

Hi All!
It's Leslie! As if you couldn't tell with all the exclamation points and emoticons! ;) we are having a fabulous day in Jaipur. We have been shopping and site seeing way too much. But the prices are so cheap we really can't resist. With 4 weeks still to go we better buy an extra bag. ;)
More tomorrow...


Elephant shmelephant

Have you ever ridden up a hill on an elephant to a fort or bought three linen blankets in one day? That's what's happens when you come to india. We all can't get enough of the bangles in Jaipur either especially Leslie. Ask her about her 7th bangle today. You only need 6 for a set. Today was super humid at all of our different spots but that didn't stop us from taking a million photographs and eating curry until we can't anymore. We had our first east coaster get destroyed last night poor Seth threw up 6 times. Tomorrow we are headed to another tiger reserve hopefully this time we will be successful and actually see one.

Hi all!
We had a rad day today in incredible India! We started off early with an 8am start on our bus up to the Amber Fort. We rode elephants up to the top of a huge switchback hill which led to the fort. Riding an elephant is a bumpy journey. They are so giant. We are also riding elephants in Thailand. Which we are looking forward to. Then after touring we headed to lunch and shopping. Now back at the hotel for a little R&R. Then we are finding a Pizza Hut tonight for some much needed American food. I must admit I am a little tired of heartburn and curry! ;)


Agra and all its beauty

Today we drove 6 hours from the tiger reserve to Agra. The drive was pretty entertaining driving through all the small cities and being haggled by beggers. Leslie even had a monkey come up to her window.

Once we arrived in Agra and checked into out hotel the raj mahal we took off to the fort to check out views of the taj and to learn more history of incredible India. We finished the day with more shopping and then had a pizza party back at the hotel. All 9 of us were super excited to eat American pizza and to have a break from curry.


Hi all! It's Leslie! First off, ignore the nasty pics of me that Caroline just posted. Haha! Hot sweaty India equals no hair or makeup for me. Which means lots of pics with my sunglasses.
Loving this whole trip so much. I can't wait to tour the Taj tomorrow. From the fort the views were great, but up close and personal will be fabulous!


Incredible India!!!!

Hi All!!! I am sending a quick blog post from the hotel we are staying at right now in India. The Raj Mahal! Too funny. I don't have much time to post and tell all of the stories from this unbelievable country. I am going to be remotely blogging via email over the next few weeks with my friend Caroline. We are doing joint blog posts. I am going to give you the link to her blog so you can look at the posts and pictures we have already been posting.


Enjoy!!! And everyone please comment and send me emails!!! It's always fun while I am traveling to here from you all!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

New Adventure

I can't wait to go here!
And here....
and here....
and here....
and here!

India, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Hong Kong! South East Asia for 5 weeks here I come!
Adventures and stories to follow.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Book Club....ahem, I mean Literary Society!!!!

Last months book was very good, and very very deep, and intense. I loved it though! Please read Little Bee. It will open your eyes to new thoughts and feelings and deep emotions. I am known as a bit of a crier, and I cried a good few times while reading this. Once twice on an airplane while trying to hide the tears from fellow passengers. Oh well, a good book brings out my emotions. I highly recommend this book. Enjoy your reading, and let me know what ya think!

Little Bee [Book]

Magical Peru

I must admit, I am a little bit obsessed with South America! After visiting Peru I would love to explore Brazil, Chile, Argentina, ect...
I fell in love with the scenery, the people, and the culture. of course, it also helped that our money is still worth a lot there, and the trip was very affordable. Here are some of my favorite pictures and moments from a land just 7hrs (on a plane of course) south of here.

A little market we stopped at on the tour of the Sacred Valley. Who wouldn't love a tiger blanket?!?!
The children were so adorable here. Children everywhere are so sweet, but I really loved seeing the children in Peru dressed in the traditional way.
This stuff is pure sugar and tastes like a mix of cream soda and cotton candy and bubble gum all wrapped into one. Everyone else loved it. Needless to say I only ordered it once.
Joe made friends with this kid in Cusco who was trying to hustle some of his merchandise on us. He ended up being way cool. We hung out with him and watched fireworks that night.
I loved the old colonial architecture around Cusco.
Saqsaywaman!!! Or Sexy Woman!!!!
Hmmmmmm, what is the oppsite of Sexy Woman?!?!? ME getting ready to start the Inka Trail, me on the Inka trail, me after not showering for 4 days at Machu Picchu! Ding ding ding!!! It's what happens when you are a tough nature girl like me. (hahaha)
We don't mind getting a little gritty every once in a while.

Us on the inka trail with our guide Alex!

Dinner time in the food tent!

Our fabulous crew of porters and cook! WE heart these guys!!!
Magical!!! You really can't explain this until you have experienced it! The Andes mountain range was one of the most beautiful I have ever been in. I just love this photo and the way you can see the rays of light coming down.

The very top of Wynupicchu mountain. So glad we did the extra hike to get the best view point of Machu Picchu. I am sitting at the very top!!! Taaadaaaa!

I can't wait till the next adventure! For those of you who don't already know, I am going to take the biggest trip I have ever been on! 5 weeks in south east Asia!!! India, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Hong Kong! I am meeting some friends over there and we are going to have an adventure of a life time! Can't wait.