Monday Montage: More Heat

It’s getting hot here in Phuket. Up until a couple of weeks ago, the temperature here averaged around 32 degrees Celsius (90 degrees Fahrenheit) with a nice mellow humidity level. I think that is the best kind of weather, and I refused to use the A/C in our house until bedtime. That was until this week. All of a sudden the heat us upon us and it is roasting outside. Last night at 10:00 the temperature was 38 Celsius (100 Fahrenheit). It was much hotter during the day, but I don’t know the exact temperatures, as I couldn’t hold my phone to check, it kept slipping out of my sweaty hand.  No, not really, but it could have been for that reason.

All three of us love and enjoy hot, sunny weather. But we are also thankful for fans and our air conditioning. How’s the weather been where you are?

Here are the pictures for this week. Thanks for reading! And if you haven’t already, please like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter.

Election posters on the street.

Election posters on the street.

This was the check out area at a outdoor/indoor shopping market called Super Cheap that we visited in Phuket Town. It was crazy and hot and hot and hot...

This was the check out area at a outdoor/indoor shopping market called Super Cheap that we visited in Phuket Town. It was crazy and hot and hot and hot…

The swimming pool that is a couple of blocks from our house. It costs 70 baht ($1.75) per adult and 50 baht ($1.50) per child. We love it.

The swimming pool that is a couple of blocks from our house. It costs 70 baht ($1.75) per adult and 50 baht ($1.50) per child. We love it.

This is a very popoluar cleaning supply company here in Thailand. I do not think they know how wrong this is. :-/

This is a very popoluar cleaning supply company here in Thailand. I do not think they know how wrong this is. :-/

A gas station squat toilet. It looks dirty but was actually fairly clean. Just old. This look is pretty common for public toilets though.

A gas station squat toilet. It looks dirty but was actually fairly clean. Just old. This look is pretty common for public toilets though.

A public bus here on Phuket Island. They run from town to town without any kind of schedule. If you are able to find one and flag it down, it only costs 20 baht per person.

A public bus here on Phuket Island. They run from town to town without any kind of schedule. If you are able to find one and flag it down, it only costs 20 baht per person.

Friday Food Review: Hua Soi – The Best Place for Lunch in Phuket

I love food. I especially love Thai food. I know that comes as a surprise to all of you. But food drives most of my days. Thinking about where we will eat for lunch or dinner is most often the highlight of my day. So for the next few Fridays, I am highlighting my favorite places to eat here in Phuket.  Be warned, you may not want to read this while hungry.

We have tried many places that make phenomenal Thai food here in our area of Phuket, but my favorite lunch place by far is Hua Soi in Chalong.

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Hua Soi is located in front of the Chalong Police Station, right near the Chalong Circle. It is a small place with 7 tables situated around a coffee bar. The owners, a husband and wife team, cook all the food and serve the food. There are a couple of other ladies that work at the coffee bar and help take the orders. It is a small family run restaurant and I love supporting the locals.

The dining area of Hua Soi.

The dining area of Hua Soi.

The menu at Hua Soi is only Thai food, and is not as extensive as some, but they have an “al a carte” menu that offers lunches (main dish plus rice) for 50 baht! All the other food is offered for less than 120 baht a plate. The coffee’s and fruit shakes are also fair priced at 40 baht.

Ok, now to the food… I am glad I just ate dinner because otherwise I would probably be drooling. I have tried many of their dishes and have not had a bad meal yet. Their Som Tam (papaya salad) is fresh and spicy.  The green, panang, and red curries are perfectly blended with meat that is cooked to perfection. The pad thai is the best I have ever had. My personal favorite though, is the chicken with cashew nuts. The flavor is slightly spicy, sweet, savory, and pretty much tastes like a piece of heaven in your mouth. I always have to resist the urge to lick my plate.

 

The Pad Thai.

The Pad Thai.

The Chicken and Cashew Nuts.

The Chicken and Cashew Nuts.

I always leave Hua Soi feeling full and satiated. I also leave happy because our bill is never over 350 baht (about $12). And then two days later I go back for more (seriously, we eat here about 3 times a week).

If you visit Phuket (or live here) make sure to eat at least once at Hua Soi. You can thank me later!

 

**I was not asked to write this review or given any free food in return for it (darn it!) and all the opinions are my own. If you try it and do not like it, you must lack taste buds I take no blame. Please see my page of Disclosures, Disclaimers, and Other Legal Stuff.

Wednesday Write-Up: Waging War on Giving Up

There are many things that I have gladly given up at one time or another while traveling. For example, freshly dried clothing-like in a dryer (isn’t sun-dried so much better anyway, well except for towels I think), or all-natural Tom’s toothpaste, or makeup that matches my skin tone, or even being able to bake (no ovens in Asia for the most part). There is only one thing that I truly (truly truly truly…) miss.

My fun hair color and style.

That's me with platinum blonde hair and purple bangs (fringe) hamming it up with Zoë.

That’s me with platinum blonde hair and purple bangs (fringe) hamming it up with Zoë.

Yep, I know it is completely vain, and that I am on the trip of a lifetime, and I am safe and healthy, and living in Thailand. I am so thankful for all these things and more. But I miss my well-coiffed, straightened, platinum blonde (plus what ever other crazy color I felt like) hair.

For the back story, you can read my original post, Breaking Up is Hard To Do about what I had planned to make traveling easier. In short, I was going to dye my shoulder length hair a normal color and then let it grow out naturally as we traveled.  I did not think that I would be able to find hair stylists that could bleach my hair correctly (I turned out to be right about that actually).

We left in April of 2013 and I had shoulder length red hair, I continued with that until we had been in Portugal for a month or so. My hair started looking more and more like a mullet. It would not grow longer in the front and the back kept getting longer. I had done too much damage throughout the years bleaching it and it was telling me it was time to start over. So I chopped it off, well, a rad hairstylist we met in Lisbon, cut it off. I left her house with a pixie cut. I had never had that short of hair before and I loved it! It was easy, my curls were almost non-existent because it was so short, and I found out that my ears were not as big as I had thought!

 

My red hair before we left the States.

My red hair before we left the States.

Good-bye hair!

Good-bye hair!

My pixie cut in red.

My pixie cut in red.

Then I got bored with the red hair and decided to dye it black in Budapest. Bad idea! Black is impossible to get rid of and very hard to grow out.

My short hair in black.

My pixie cut in black. Wow, there’s the ears!

I kept getting my hair trimmed along our travels, never really running into any problems. Until Thailand. I decided to get rid of the two-tone hair that I had at the time (black and my natural roots) and cave and bleach my hair and get it cut. I needed something more trendy. More me.

I came out of the mall hair place (yes, I went to the mall and stupidly thought that the hair place there would be good) with  three tones of hair and a pretty bad haircut. That is when I decided that I was going to grow it out. For reals this time. I haven’t touched my hair since.

I took the picture from a good angle, it actually looks good here.

I took the picture from a good angle, it actually looks good here.

And now I am getting to that point, that point that everyone goes through when they are growing out their hair. It’s the dreaded “in-between stage”! I am doing my best to get through it, but now that we are heading home to visit next month I am feeling more and more that my “travel hair-style” is not working for me anymore. I am going to try to power through, but you may start seeing the pictures of me in this blog sporting pink or blue hair or something. I am going to try to win this war, even with every morning trying to do something with my hair is another battle.

People pay good money for ombre like this (or so I am telling myself). Also, I am so thankful that there are not many people that can see the top of my head.

People pay good money for ombre like this (or so I am telling myself). Also, I am so thankful that there are not many people who can see the top of my head.

Getting longer.

Getting longer.

Wow, who knew I could write so much about my hair. Leave a comment and tell me what have you done to make it through the “in-between stage” with your hair? Or better yet, tell me a time when you got a really bad cut or color to make me realize my hair isn’t that bad.

Thanks for reading, and be sure to follow the blog,  follow me on Twitter, and like us on Facebook.

 

Wednesday Write-Up: Pondering the Present

Thailand is full of surprises as I mentioned in my last post. But most often they are good surprises.
Our lovely landlords here in Phuket live two doors down from us and are the sweetest, most helpful people. For example, today they had a third air conditioner installed in our house. We now have a whopping three a/c’s in our house. I can now officially keep meat frozen in almost any room of our house. My dreams of a being a butcher are close at hand! Ok, not really, but now there is at least the possibility. I am so thankful that we have such conscientious people renting us their house. It’s a welcome surprise after our previous landlord in Hua Hin, who was much less than helpful. I doubt that we would be without running water for 12 days in this house without some sort of help from our new landlords.
One of the things I have read on the internet about the people of Thailand is that they often are late, just that culturally it is not as important to be promptly on time for anything despite its importance. This is another area that I have been surprised by. We have taken the “Thai time” into account twice now and have actually had the people show up early! I am sure people are often late (as they are anywhere) but so far I have yet to experience it. I guess one shouldn’t assume about a whole culture just by reading some blogs posts or forum discussions…. Who would have guessed?! True experience is the only way to really know what a place and it’s people are really like. (I already knew this but sometimes I need reminding.)
Right now I am writing this post while laying on Nai Harn beach. And it is a beautiful sunny day with a timely breeze. I am again surprised that this is our home for now. I am just incredibly thankful for our trip so far and that we have been so blessed to be able to fully immerse ourselves in so many different cultures along the way.
I am continually surprised that this is my life. It’s a dream life. I am thankful.

What were some of the surprises that you experienced when you settled into the place that you live?

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Monday Montage: Full of Surprises

It rained for about 20 minutes the other day here in Phuket, Thailand. It was a wonderful change of pace as the days are getting hotter and hotter here (so far the hottest was about 35 degrees Celsius or 95 degrees Fahrenheit). We have actually had to turn our A/C on occasionally as the fans just weren’t cutting it. March, April, and most of May are the hottest times of the year here in Phuket, and so far the heat is right on schedule. Except for that 20 minutes of blessed rain that broke the 4 month drought that has loomed over the area, and gave us about an hour of much cooler weather. Oh, yes, and it also shorted out the electricity in our town and others near it. Oh, Thailand. One really never knows what to expect from one day to the next, except that there will be one or two surprises in store.

Oh… and Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all you lovely folks out there, have a pint and some corned beef cabbage for me! I can’t go out as I am not wearing green and I cannot stand to be pinched.

Zoë and her friend, Mimi, at our favorite restaurant Hua Soi.

Zoë and her friend, Mimi, at our favorite restaurant Hua Soi.

At the Jungceylon Mall in Patong Phuket they are having a kind of art show to bring awareness to the plight of Thai elephants. This was the sign for it and Z loved it.

At the Jungceylon Mall in Patong Phuket they are having a kind of art show to bring awareness to the plight of Thai elephants. This was the sign for it and Z loved it.

These clocks have His Majesty the King of Thailand on them. I think they are pretty cool looking.

These clocks have His Majesty the King of Thailand on them. I think they are pretty cool looking. Every one here in Thailand has at least one picture of the King in their home and businesses.

Obama Blended Spirits. Funny name, not bad tasting though.

Obama Blended Spirits. Funny name, not bad tasting though.

I could hardly contain myself when I found out that there is a Payless Shoe Source here in Phuket. For those of you that don't know, they sell shoes in the States at pretty low prices. I pretty much ran into the store to see if they have my humungous size shoe.

I could hardly contain myself when I found out that there is a Payless Shoe Source here in Phuket. For those of you that don’t know, they sell shoes in the States at low prices. I  much ran into the store to see if they have my enormous size shoe.

And look at that!!!!! Size 11 USA! My life is now complete here in Phuket and I will lack for nothing! Hallelujah!

And look at that!!!!! Size 11 USA! My life is now complete here in Phuket and I will lack for nothing! Hallelujah!

Wednesday Write-Up: Making My Home

This past week we have been settling into our new place here in Phuket. I have actually had to clean my own house since we have moved in. I know it sounds like I truly have been spoiled to the point of rottenness, but I am telling you it is so cheap to have a housekeeper here that the attitude of most expats is a resounding “why not?”. In fact we had one that came weekly while we lived in Hua Hin, she was included in the rent. To be honest this is the first time I have had to really do any true housekeeping since we had an apartment in Lisbon, Portugal at the beginning of our trip. It has been months. Believe me, I am certainly not complaining about the luxury of having someone clean my house for me, but I am enjoying taking care of my own home again.I thrive on feeling the accomplishment of a glistening floor, or freshly laundered clothing on the line drying. I know some of you are silently hating me or wondering when I hit my head that made me crazily want to clean my own house when I really don’t have to, but I guess it makes me feel more like this is “MY” home. I feel so blessed and thankful to have the choice. Living in Thailand is better than I ever expected. (So come visit already!)

What do you do to make your house feel like your home when you first move in? Leave a comment and tell me! Thanks again for reading, following, and sharing!

Monday Montage: A Not So Normal Life

This week has not been that exciting, we haven’t done anything that’s worth a blog post really… Except that we currently live in Phuket, Thailand! The joy and surreal feeling that we are livings here blows me away again every day. What a blessing to be on this adventure.
We have been gone from our hometown almost a year now, in fact our trip back to visit family and friends almost coincides with our anniversary of the day we left. I will be so happy to catch up with everyone back home, and be able to write blog posts about our home town!
Until then, my posts are about our new home town, Phuket. Here are the pictures from this week. I’m sorry there aren’t more, I will make up for it next week. Happy Monday everyone!

Chad and Zoë on one of our sunset walks.

Chad and Zoë on one of our sunset walks.

Finally, a playground that encourages pole dancing?! Huh!?

Finally, a playground that encourages pole dancing?! Huh!?

Street signs, Jaofa 16, Chalong, Phuket, Thailand.

Street signs, Jaofa 16, Chalong, Phuket, Thailand.

We just had fiber internet installed in our house. These men are using bamboo ladders to run the wire to our house.  Lightening speed internet from here on out at the Mitchell house!

We just had fiber internet installed in our house. These men are using bamboo ladders to run the wire to our house. Lightening speed internet from here on out at our house!