Washington D.C. in (lots of) Pictures

A couple of weeks ago, I jetted off to Washington DC to visit my wonderful friend Shaida who is living there and generally being a badass.  Time for a photo dump.  Settle in, friends.


 

The Jefferson Memorial.  The Washington Memorial.  The White House.  The Lincoln Memorial.

Monuments

MY FACE. HEY.

IMG_5884

Peanut butter gelato (OMG) with peanuts (YES), Reese’s (GIMMIE), and sea salt (LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL).

IMG_5912

The Holocaust Museum was incredible. I love this quote so, so much.  It’s beautiful.  We need to stand up for each other’s rights, or else who will stand up for ours?

IMG_5981

Founding Farmers was AMAZING, so thanks to everyone who recommended it.  There was a hell of a wait, but I was by myself so I was able to snag a seat at the bar.  I started off with this chicken salad salad.

IMG_5920

And finished with this brie, apple, and onion jam-topped grilled bread.  I love brie.  Did you know that?  Not sure if I’ve ever mentioned it before…

IMG_5921

Hot is right.  Also, how old is too old to SnapChat?  Part of me feels like it should be restricted to the pre-teen set, but the other part of me loves having another social media outlet to waste time express myself.

IMG_5998

Um, Matchbox Pizza has my heart.  We got the arancini (fried risotto balls) for an appetizer and they were basically heaven, if you could fry heaven and slather it in marinara sauce.

IMG_6001

Then I got a pesto chicken pizza with ricotta cheese (<< my own addition; it was genius of me) that was charred and crispy and chewy and creamy and chickeny and… Yes.

IMG_6009

Out on the tizzown, bitchez.

IMG_6015

We also went to Georgetown, which is probably the cutest place ever.  AND… AND… We found this giant marble thing at Georgetown University that said “Davis Center” which was real exciting because we all went/go to UC Davis.

IMG_6124

IT’S LIKE HOGWARTS!

IMG_6087

A Baked & Wired cupcake that reminded me that I don’t really like cupcakes.

Cupcake

Burgers for lunch!

IMG_6082 IMG_6050

CHOCOLATES.  Chocolate hazelnut, caramel apple, lavender caramel, and key lime pie.  No, I didn’t share.

IMG_6104

On Saturday night, we stayed in, ate Mac & Cheese and Doritos and watched Saturday Night Live.  Nothing bad about any of that!

IMG_6129

On Sunday, we went to the Taste of DC.  Basically, food trucks and restaurants set up vendors and you pay $1-5 for small tastes.

IMG_6165

Clearly, I use the term “small” relatively.  Clockwise, we have phyllo cups filled with short ribs and ratatouille; a samosa with some kind of sauce on top; mac & cheese; a gelati, which had strawberry ice and vanilla custard.  I WAS STUFFED AFTER THIS.

TasteofDC

Farmer’s market schtuff.

IMG_6141

We headed back into Georgetown for dinner at Farmers Fishers Bakers.  Or was it Bakers Fishers Farmers?  Wait… Fishers Farmers Bakers?  I don’t know.  But the Moscow Mule was awesome.

IMG_6192

Pretzel sticks to start.  The dipping sauces were pimento cheese, sour cream & onion dip, and BBQ mustard.

IMG_6199

And for my entree, a veggie sandwich with brie.  Plus fries.  Because obviously.

IMG_6203

I had the greatest time in DC.  It is SUCH a fun city with so much amazing food.  Thanks for havin’ me, Shaida!

IMG_5918

 

IN THE COMMENTS:

What’s your favorite big city?  DC was awesome, but I think San Francisco might be my #1.

We’re Doing It Wrong

You guys.

You know this whole “let’s love our bodies and ourselves because fuck the media’s unrealistic ideals” thing?  Yeah.  We’re doing it wrong.  It seems that everywhere I look or listen or smell (?) these days, there’s some kind of body shaming going on.  Sometimes inadvertent, sometimes not, but either way… STOP IT!  Shit, the world is a hard place to be sometimes and we need to start looking out for each other.  

Let’s stop it with the (really funky, really catchy) songs about how guys only like girls with big asses.  In fact, let’s stop with all songs that teach people that their worth comes from another person finding them sexy.  Find yourself sexy, dammit.  Draw yourself a bubble bath and pour a glass of red wine and get all fresh with yourself.  But not too fresh because it’s only your first date and even though you really like yourself, you still have to play hard-to-get, because people totally dig that.

Let’s stop it with skinny shaming masqueraded as “fitspiration.”  Strong is not the new skinny.  Strong isn’t the new anything.  Also, skinny and strong aren’t either-or things, but that’s another rant for another day.

Let’s stop calling plus-sized costumes “fat girl costumes.”  Not cool, Walmart.  (Although, this does give me another justification for shopping at Target even through Walmart is totally cheaper.)

Let’s stop putting ourselves down, especially in front of other people.  That can be really triggering for somebody who struggles with body acceptance and it can make him or her question his or her own appearance.  Just don’t.

Let’s stop letting other people determine what’s beautiful or good or desirable.  That’s our job.  That’s your job.

Why can’t we just lift each other up instead?  This isn’t a college biology course; we aren’t graded on a curve.  We can all be beautiful and happy and FABULOUS.  What’s that Buddha quote?

Fabulosity is like a candle: you can light shittons of other fabulous candles with one single fabulous candle, and the life of the single fabulous candle isn’t shortened.”

I’m paraphrasing here, people, but I think I’m getting my (fabulous) point across.

Instead of tearing your fellow humans down, think about what you’re posting.  Know that the words you say have power.  Start consciously thinking of ways to make other people feel included and worthy and, you know, fabulous.

IMG_4092

Also fabulous? Mexican food in Thailand. QUESO IN MY FACE.

Sound good, friends?

P.S. I think you’re fabulous.

Truths

Truth: I just spent the weekend in Washington DC and it was awesome.  I’ll probably post a recap soon(ish), but until then you can see about one-fifteenth of the food that I ate on Instagram.

IMG_5868

The most phallic structure in all of Washington D.C.

Truth: I haven’t responded to all of your amazing and thoughtful comments in, uh, forever.  Your words mean so much to me and while I hate taking forever to respond, I hate responding in a rushed, hurried way even more.  It’s on my list.  I’ll get there.

Truth: I just took on two new volunteer positions.  Those coupled with my nannying job just made my year “off” a whole lot busier.

Truth: My diploma came in the mail!  And it only cost tens of thousands of dollars!  What a bargain.  In all seriousness though, I can’t wait to get this sucker framed.  So exciting.

IMG_5511

The most expensive piece of paper I’ve ever owned.

Truth: Grad school applications are starting to come together, but I think I’m getting my first wrinkles in the process (<< exaggerating; I still have at least 5 years of good skin left).  It’s just so overwhelming!  Resumes and letters of rec and personal statements and volunteer verification and transcripts and GRE scores… For eight schools.  AHH!

Truth: I’m not going to say which schools I’m applying to because (a) I don’t want to jinx things and (b) rejection is hard enough without everybody knowing about it.  I’ll let you guys know when/if I get in and what my choices are (if I have any)!

Truth: I’m dying for some RAIN!  California has been in a severe drought for about a year now and we need it bad.  Do a rain dance for us, okay?

IMG_5546

Blue skies and sun, all day every day. What a drag.

Truth: I don’t get the pumpkin obsession.  It’s a squash.  It’s orange.  It’s a vegetable.  Yeah, it tastes pretty good, but really.  CALM DOWN PEOPLE.

Truth: I can take or leave Halloween, but I’m already excited for Thanksgiving.  It’s the only day of the year when it’s socially acceptable to bathe in gravy.

IMG_5905

Last year’s joint Hanukkah/Thanksgiving celebration. Ever had latkes with gravy? Yeah.

Truth: I still suck at Twitter.  Seriously.  I just like Instagram SO much more.  Tweeting is confusing and weird and I can’t get into it.  I have no thoughts that can be summed up into 160 or 180 characters of whatever.  All of my thoughts require a hell of a lot more space than that.  I’ll keep trying though, because I’m not a Twitter quitter.

Truth: I don’t think I have a future as a poet (see: “Twitter quitter”).

Truth: I got a parking ticket today.  $43 of bullshit (<< not really, because it was a two-hour zone and I was there for, like, four hours.  But accepting responsibility is for goobers and douches.).

Truth: I had a super productive day and I’m feeling hyped up on life…

Truth: … Except I’m also really tired.

Truth: It’s 7:52pm.

Truth: I’m gonna go eat ice cream (probably), shower (maybe), and watch TV (definitely).

BYE!

IN THE COMMENTS:

Share a “truth.”  Make it a juicy one.

A Body Image Monopoly?

“Oh my god, stop complaining about your thighs; you are seriously sooo skinny.  Look at me!  Compared to you, I’m a whale!  You’re not allowed to bitch about being fat in front of me!  It’s not fair!!”

Sound familiar?  If you’re anything like the people I know, then you’ve probably had a pretty similar conversation before.  Some people simply feel more entitled to have shitty self-image than others.

But guess what…

There isn’t one group that has a monopoly on body image issues.

Body image.

Nearly everybody has some kind of body image and from my completely unscientific research, it’s often quite negative.

Women.  Men.

Girls with big boobs.  Girls with small boobs.

Curvy ladies and the thin ones too.

People who wear a 00.  People who wear a 24.  People in between.

Really old people.  Really young people.

People with light skin or dark skin or skin with warts all over it.

People with a thigh gap.  People with chafe-y thighs (*hand raised*).

People with tiny elf feet and people with Paris Hilton feet.

Blondes and brunettes and redheads and the hipsters with that grayish lavender hair color like Kelly Osbourne.

EVERYBODY.


 

Every single person is allowed to feel shitty about the way he or she looks.  Just because, in your probably not very humble opinion, that person has it better than you, does not invalidate his or her right to feel bad.

When we make each other feel bad for feeling bad, it creates this really awful cycle of guilt.  We hate the way we look >> somebody tells us that we shouldn’t hate the way we look because we actually have it good >> we feel guilty and irrational and stupid for letting a poor body image rule our lives >> we get so caught up in trying to minimize those bad body feelings rather than dealing with them that they get worse >> the cycle repeats.

Ain’t nobody got time fo dat.

This kind of thinking also assumes that self-image issues are based in reality and rationality, when they aren’t.  (This isn’t to say that these issues aren’t “real” or that only irrational people have body image issues, because that definitely is not the case.)  Just because you think somebody looks pretty/sexy/desirable does not mean that they automatically feel good about themselves.  Conversely, just because you think somebody looks ugly/too thin/too large does not mean that they should feel shitty about themselves.

Body image issues know no size, no color, no height, no gender.

But wait!  There’s good news, too.

Body confidence also knows no size, no color, no height, no gender.  There’s also not any group that has a monopoly on body confidence.  There is no upper limit of people who are allowed to feel good about every part of themselves.  Every single person is allowed to have complete confidence in his or her entire self.  You are allowed.  I am allowed.  Your super hot friend is allowed.  That girl puking in the dirty bathroom of the bar is allowed.  6-year olds and 60-year-olds and 106-year-olds are allowed.  Everyone.

So let’s stop negating peoples’ bad feelings about themselves, even if we’re trying to give them a compliment in the process.  Let’s stop judging people who have confidence even though they don’t conform to our standards of perfection.  Let’s support and love and encourage each other because life can be really hard and really shitty sometimes.  Let’s try to make one another feel good ’cause at the end of the day (the beginning of the day, too) we’re all wonderful and beautiful and worthy, even if you can’t see it right now.

Sound good?  Great.

Girls’ Weekend

This past weekend, I spent a night in gorgeous South Lake Tahoe with a few girlfriends.  But now it’s Sunday night and I’m tired and lazy so let’s skip this whole words thing and just focus on the sub-par iPhone pictures.  Seems like a decent tradeoff, yeah?

Lunch on Lake Tahoe.

IMG_5542

 

Hiking!

IMG_5645 IMG_5557 IMG_5546 IMG_5641 IMG_5561 IMG_5656 IMG_5680 IMG_5657

 

CHEESE PLATE HOLLLAAAA!

 

 

 

IMG_5567

 

Getting ready for a night out.

 

 

IMG_5668IMG_5664IMG_5675IMG_5589IMG_5670IMG_5586

 

Won big at the  casino!  Just kidding, I lost $5 in quarters.

 

 

IMG_5669

 

Arty the Party (a South Lake Tahoe DJ at one of the casinos).

 

 

IMG_5611

 

Sometimes you have to grab the deer by the ears.  Or something.

 

 

IMG_5677

 

Oops, the room got a little bit messy. 

 

 

IMG_5579

 

The morning after breakfast.  I hope I ate enough carbs!!

 

IMG_5694

 

Oktoberfest festival. 

 

IMG_5696IMG_5695

 

A kid’s scoop.  KID’S SCOOP!!  WHAT?!!! 

 

 

IMG_5699

 

“I quit…” 

 

IMG_5703

How I Let Go

I get a lot of questions about how I gave up the unrealistic body ideals and diet mentality that used to control my life; a lot of questions about how I learned to be happy in the body I have now.  

I never know what to say because the real answer is so simple: I was tired.  No, I was more than tired.  I was so incredibly exhausted; exhausted to my core; exhausted by the life I was leading.

My brain space was constantly occupied by thoughts of calories and serving sizes and muffin tops (the food variety and the fat variety) and BMIs and weights and inches and disgust and frustration and sadness and questions.  So many questions:

Why didn’t I lose weight this week?

Is that guy over there not hitting on me because I’m too chubby for him? 

Why can’t I have the same willpower as people who don’t eat anything?  

Why am I bingeing? 

How many calories can I burn today?

How do I stop my hip fat from hanging over my jeans? 

How many calories in that pack of gum I just chewed? 

When can I eat another sugar-free Jell-O? 

Am I bigger or smaller than that girl over there?  What about that other one over there?  Am I prettier, too? 

Why am I so disgusting?

Will I hate myself forever?

Will I ever be able to eat like a normal person?

Those questions clouded my mind.  They took priority over most everything else.  Those questions made me so damn tired because I didn’t have answers to them; because they were stupid and meaningless.  But not to me.  No, to me, those questions were really, really important.

Until they weren’t. Until one day, I hit a point where I couldn’t do it anymore.

I couldn’t compare my weight and height and body fat to other people, trying to see if my numbers were higher than theirs.

I couldn’t measure out another quarter cup of almonds (raw – because salt is the devil’s seasoning because bloating).

I couldn’t spend another morning agonizing over my weight because it went up or didn’t go down enough.

I couldn’t research another diet, become enamored with the success stories and then fail.  Again.

I couldn’t continue give the control of my happiness to a measuring tape and a scale and a pants size.

I couldn’t do it.

I couldn’t, so I didn’t.  I had no other choice but to try to make peace with food.  So I did.  It took time and it was uncomfortable and difficult, but guess what?  I’m here.  I did it!  I made it!  I didn’t die!  I didn’t gain 1,000 pounds!  I didn’t eat only bagels and ice cream all day, every day (only some days)!  I re-learned how to eat intuitively and it was hard and sucky and awesome all at once.

And now here I am on the other side of that crazy obsession.  Yes, the number on the scale is higher now.  I had to buy new pants.  My ass jiggles when I dance (and when I twerk…. and when I walk… and when I run…lol jk, I don’t run).  But DAMMIT, it is all so, so worth the weight.

I just want to remind you that there is a light at the end of the diet-obsession tunnel.  One day, if you hit the point where you’ve lost all faith in diets and pills and magic fixes, just know that you have the capability to repair your relationship with food (I’m sorry; I feel like a douche referring to a “relationship” with food, but just go with it).  You have the capability to like yourself and love yourself and the way you look.  You can get to a place where you feel at peace and happy with yourself.

You can.  I promise.

And you should totally try, because it’s freaking awesome.

Since I’ve Been Home

I’ve been home from Thailand for about 2.5 weeks and I’m finally starting to get my life in order.  I start a 20-something hour/week nannying job and I’m buckling down with grad school applications on Monday.  I’ll hopefully also be volunteering several hours per week, but I’m still sorting out the details of that one.

But to be honest, I don’t want to talk much today.  I just want to dump a bunch of random pictures on you.  All have been taken in the couple of weeks since I got home. Cool?  Cool.

It was so so great seeing my little brother, Jesse, once I got home!  He’s in college now and he took me to a really cheap really amazing Mexican restaurant near his dorm.  He gets me.

IMG_4936

Salads.  Cheese and sunflower seeds are NOT optional.

IMG_5026

Baking.  Graham cracker crust, caramel center, and chocolate ganache top.  The recipe is from here.  I only used about 1/3 tsp of espresso and it was perfect for me.

IMG_4955

Weird sunsets.

IMG_5062

Good sandwiches.  Oh, I sure missed those in Thailand.

IMG_5008

My friends and I attended a showing of Frozen at a park.  We were surrounded by kids under age 10.

IMG_4997

Dad and guitar and the kitty.

IMG_5054

I PAINTED MY NAILS!  Oh you fancy, huh?

IMG_5014

Brunch dates with a really dysfunctional group of people.  Also, SnapChat.

IMG_5013

Shopping, heyyyy.

IMG_5069

Birthday drinks (<< it didn’t end well).

IMG_5181

Cheese.  Duh.

IMG_5128

That’s all I have for you today.  HAPPY WEEKEND!

This Body.

This body is the result of my healthy relationship with food.

This body allows me to dance my ass off until sunrise.

IMG_4517

This body is broad-shouldered and hippy.

This body rocks it in a bikini.

DSCF0349

This body cannot, for the life of it, rock a monokini.  It just doesn’t work.  Nope.  Same goes for crop tops.  Uh uh.

This body has long legs and the stride of a gazelle, so for god’s sake, please don’t walk slowly in front of me.  And please don’t put your airplane chair all the way back for the entire 10 hour flight.

IMG_6650

This body has big toes that look like astronauts (don’t ask).

This body can sleep on a couch or the floor or a dirty old futon without hurting in the morning.

This body walked across the stage at graduation (without crying, GO ME!).

IMG_2617

This body handled eating curries and noodles and rice and pancakes for seven weeks straight without revolting.

This body lets me eat cheese and peanuts and lots of other delicious things that some people can’t eat.

IMG_4836

This body has grown and shrunk and grown again.

This body hates heels (even though I love them).

securedownload5

This body sweats an abnormal amount.

This body hates the cold and responds to the cold dramatically by shaking and shivering and chattering.

This body has zero hip-shaking ability.

This body can twerk it ’til the cows come home.

IMG_83951-1024x1024

This body has been pierced five times, and has managed to hang onto three of the five piercings.

This body jumped out of a plane and off of a 160-foot platform.

PicMonkey Collage

This body doesn’t fit into the jeans I wore in high school, because this body has junk in the trunk.

This body can handle a good workout.

46802468bfc211e2a65322000a1f935c_7

This body can handle not doing a “real” workout for almost two months (hello, Thailand).

This body can’t lift super heavy weights, but is strong nonetheless.

This body requires a $70 bra.

This body sucks at getting over jet lag.

This body is rarely represented in the media.

This body has been called “womanly,” “curvy,” “chunky,” “thick,” and “busty.”

IMG_0196

This body only fits into double-digit jean sizes.

This body is the only body I will ever get.

This body is loved.

This body is mine.

And I’m so thankful for that.

Reasons to Skip the Gym

IMG_5326
1. You got an invite to happy hour that coincides with your usual Bootcamp Booty Blast class.  And then happy hour runs long and you’re too drunk to go to the gym after.  I’m pretty sure you can get arrested for ellipticalling under the influence and we wouldn’t want to risk that.  (Side note: You’re also probably too drunk to drive home so just take a damn cab, okay?  I don’t want to have this conversation again…)
2. Any injury.  Don’t push it.3. Diarrhea.  Don’t push it.  Literally.

4. You got no sleep the night before due to Instagram stalking-induced insomnia (ever looked up #bagelandcreamcheese?  How about #unlikelyanimalfriends?  What about #chocolateseduction?  #shoeshopping?  Well now it’s 3am and you haven’t slept at all.)  Sometimes (usually) (always) sleep is more important than a workout.  You need a pre-dinner nap more than you need an hour spent on the stationary bike watching Food Network.

5. You forgot to bring your gym clothes to work.  Don’t be that person throwing around weights in jeans and bare feet.  It makes the rest of us feel weird.

6.  You got a new kitten.  Those things stay tiny and cute for approximately 8.3 seconds and every moment you spend at the gym is another moment that creature moves further from squishable cuddle bug and closer to angsty teenage feline murderer.

7.  You tore an easy-access hole in your only pair of workout pants.  Nobody needs to see the goods through the crotch hole in your LuLus..  Although I can think of one other form of exercise you might be able to use those pants for ifyaknowwhatimean.  Nope.  Weird.  Sorry.

8. Free pizza giveaway on the side of town opposite that of your gym.  GO GET THE PIZZA!

9. Free cookie giveaway on the side of town opposite that of your gym.  Free food always always wins.
10. The cast of Orange is the New Black gets lost and knocks on your door for directions and then wants to hang out with you all night.  Unless Porn ‘Stache is there.  In that case, please leave your house quickly and discreetly.

11. You accidentally drank too much last night and saw that hot personal trainer from your gym out on the town and might have serenaded him with a sizzling rendition of Olivia Newton John’s “Let’s Get Physical” and then puked mozzarella sticks all over the stage.

12. Your body and your mind and your sore legs are telling you not to go.  If you decide to skip a workout, it doesn’t mean you’re making excuses or that you have no willpower or that you’re not committed to your health.  It just means that you’re a grown ass human who can make his/her own decisions.  Sometimes you gotta push through and get that workout in.  Other times?  No.  And that’s okay.

IN THE COMMENTS:

Reasons to skip the gym… GO!

Home from Thailand

I’m home.  I made it from Koh Phangan to Koh Samui to Bangkok to Tokyo to San Francisco to home.  Being home is lovely and comfy and so, so weird.  How is this trip over already?  How have the past 7 weeks gone by so quickly?

I’m just a bundle full of questions lately…

How do I recap this trip? How do I put into words all of the ups and downs I experienced? How do I tell you how much I loved the kids at the school and how challenging the teaching was? How do I tell you about all of the times I felt overwhelmingly lost in another culture’s rules? How do I articulate the astounding (sometimes unnerving) kindness of complete strangers? How do I explain the homesickness that coexisted with my love and attachment to a new place on the other side of the world? How do I describe each person I met in a way that conveys his/her hilarious quirks? HOW? This blogging shit is hard, you guys…

This whole trip feels a little bit like an extended “you had to be there” moment and I hate it. I want everyone to fully understand my experience, but if you all understood it, then it wouldn’t be my experience anymore, would it? So the best I can do is share my favorite pictures, ramble a little about each one and hope to capture even the tiniest spark of my Thailand trip.

Some of these have been shared in previous posts, but oh well.  I want to share my favorite pictures and moments from this amazing experience.

The Grand Palace Temple in Bangkok.  Walking around and seeing the temples was such an incredible experience.  Not only were the temples beautiful, but it was pretty empowering (and surprising) that I could manage to get around a foreign city by myself.

IMG_6906

So, so many selfies were taken.  Despite the totally unflattering angle, I think this picture really captures my excitement and joy.  What it doesn’t capture is how fucking HOT it was.  The denim jacket was a bad choice, but also a necessary one due to the temple dress codes.

IMG_3163

 

My view from Wat Arun, the Temple of Dawn.  The steep hike up about nine billion stairs was so worth this view.

 

 

IMG_3242

Enjoying (<< actually “choking down” would be a better description) a bucket with some backpackers on Khao San Road.  I’m so glad I met other travelers in Bangkok.  I was really starting to get sick of being by myself.

IMG_3288

My first view in Koh Phangan.  A pretty good start to the trip, don’t you think?

IMG_3422

Part of me really wanted to ride an elephant, but the other part of me knows how horribly the elephants are treated, so I didn’t.  Seeing an elephant walking down the street was a fair compromise.

IMG_3476

Our first Koh Phangan party — The Half Moon Festival.  We had SO much fun (and didn’t make it home until about 6am).

IMG_3939

The kids!  This was class three (my favorite, but don’t tell anybody that).  I sure miss them.

IMG_4105

Our weekend trip to Koh Tao and Koh Nangyuan.  I can’t believe that views like this actually exist in real life.

IMG_7225

Longtail fishing boats.  So colorful and sassy.

IMG_7163

Oh, how we loved the fire dancers.  I found them totally mesmerizing.  I also did fire limbo on this night and completely failed at it. So go me.

IMG_3872

Grade one girls hamming it up for the camera.

IMG_0313

One of my favorite parts of the entire trip was the night market.  I absolutely loved being around the hustle and bustle of tourists and locals eating cheap, delicious food.  One of my favorite snacks was this giant fried potato thing.  I’m gonna miss you, potato twister.

IMG_4292

The dogs!  Oh my god, the dogs.  There were stray dogs everywhere.  For real.  EVERYWHERE.  Hundreds of them.  Like a dog army.

IMG_4502

There were even dogs on the backs of motorbikes.

IMG_4095

Hitching a ride into town!

IMG_4539

Grade three again, because I love them.

IMG_4564

Nothin’ not to love about a sunset, amiright?

IMG_0616

Not naked, I swear.

Or am I?

Nope, I not.

DSCF0142

BUNGEE JUMPING!  Such a fun adventure.  I’m so glad I did it!  I never thought I would, but now that I’ve done it, I honestly think I would do it again… Eventually.

IMG_4321

Gettin’ it going for the Full Moon Party.  Thousands and thousands of travelers come to this crazy beach party.  It was the greatest.

IMG_4354

Our day to Angthong National Park!  It was definitely one of the best days of the trip.  I mean, just look at that!  Holy shit!!

IMG_4683

The cove for snorkeling.

IMG_7270

Loving life.

DSCF0384

Our favorite restaurant in town, Mama Pooh’s, was run by a parent of one of our students.  Although the parent spoke no English, after one of our meals, she brought out this plate of fruit for us to enjoy as a “thank you.”  So cool.  And the fruit (rambutans and mangosteens) was amaaaazing.

IMG_4909

My cooking class!

IMG_7425

‘Member when I ate bugs?  Me neither… I’m trying to block it.

IMG_0452

THE KIIIIIIIDS!!

IMG_4545

 

I met a buffalo at Jungle Experience (another party).

 

 

IMG_4307

AND THEY LET US WEAR THE MUAY THAI GLOVES.  So, so cool.  I mean, not really because they smelled like B.O., but still.

IMG_4343

There was this fancy resort right near our bungalows and they had free kayaks for guests.  Except there was never anybody there manning the kayaks, so nobody knew that we weren’t guests.  Don’t tell on me.

DSCF0412

Maxine’s birthday dinner!

IMG_4853

Oh, there’s that rainy season everyone has been talking about.

Settle a bet: do we look more like aliens or giant condoms?

IMG_0843

Grade 5.  They gave us some trouble but clearly loved us in the end.

IMG_4536

Am I… Am I allowed to pick them up?  Again, please don’t tell on me.

IMG_0806

Our last day.  One of the English-speaking students (one Thai parent, one Western) gave us a little “thank you” speech on behalf of the school.  It was the cutest, most wonderful thing basically ever.

DSCF0508

Each kid came up, two-by-two, bowed onto our knees, and said “thank you, teacher.”  I couldn’t stop smiling.  It was one of the most memorable moments of the trip.

DSCF0510

One of the teachers presenting us with gifts (which ended up being these beautiful elephant tapestries).

DSCF0513

 

Our last picture!  SO MANY EMOTIONS.

 

DSCF0516

We did it up fancy for one of our last meals on the island.  HEYY-O!  I’m really gonna miss restaurants with floor seating.  Who doesn’t love lying horizontal while eating?  It reminds me of eating Dominos at 11am in my room while watching Netflix… Not that I ever did that or anything.

IMG_0695

Saying good-bye to Eiu, the woman who owned our resort and helped coordinate the volunteer program.  Gonna miss her!

IMG_4800

Our last dinner together.  We were in Koh Samui (the island with the airport) at this point.  The food was okay, but the night was awesome.

DSCF0551

Good news:  On the last night of our trip, we finally found somebody who finds us funny.  Only took 7 weeks of searching.

IMG_4856

AWWWWW!  Last night out.  Sad.

IMG_4965

Okay, when can I go back?  And who’s coming with me?

%d bloggers like this: