Tag Archives: laundry

One Year

One year. That’s how long we have lived in Seattle. Want to hear something even crazier? It’s been almost a year and a half since we made The Decision and officially left New York.

When we first moved here, friends and family kept asking us if we were happy…if we made the right decision…if it felt right. After one year of living here, we are proud to answer yes to all three questions. (No, it didn’t take one year to figure out the answers, but it’s more dramatic and powerful if you think that it did.) Life is easier here: we can throw a boatload of groceries into the trunk of our car, we can do laundry while watching TV in the comfort of our own apartment, and we can let those dirty dishes pile up because, hey, we can throw them in the dishwasher! Be jealous, New York friends.

In the year that we’ve lived here, we have had lots of family and friends come to visit, and two remarks are always made: a) “Oh, we didn’t realize how hilly Seattle is!”  b) “Seattle and its surroundings are truly beautiful.” We love it here. Mike loves his daily view of the Cascade Mountains from the top of Queen Anne Hill as he drives to work, while Hanna loves seeing the snow-covered peaks of the Olympic Mountains as we drive to the grocery store.

To be fully inducted in the Pacific Northwest Club, we had to do one of three things: 1) buy bikes, 2) fall in love with hiking, or 3) join a rowing club. Since Hanna hates hills, we chose option #3. We did a learn-to-row class back in November and December, continued with a five-week trial, and are proud to say that we are now fully-fledged members of the crew club. (We never said that we were good; we just said we are members.) We row three times a week, and we love our time on the water. It’s been a great way to meet people, and we haven’t fallen in…yet.

Why are we writing this post now? Well, the one-year mark seemed as good of a place as any to officially wrap up the blog. We have put it off long enough. Do we miss our time on the road? Sure. Do we like our not-so-new life in Seattle? Of course. We’ll still pay for the domain of this blog next year. Who knows? Another travel adventure could be around the corner. (It isn’t…but why not leave with some modicum of fake suspense?)

Advertisements

What $52.82 Will Get You in Bangkok

We are assuming that all of our faithful readers remember this post from our last trip that detailed all of our expenditures in a single day in Bangkok. No? You don’t? You’ve failed us, friends.

We have received the countless emails and comments that requested us to do a similar post this time around in Bangkok. Here we go:

Private Room with Air Con in Hostel: $15.28. Not the Plaza...But Clean.

Private Room with Air Con in Hostel: $15.28. Not the Plaza…But Clean.

Chilled Coffee Drink for Mike: $0.40. He Enjoyed Drinking These on the Roof Every Morning.

Chilled Coffee Drink for Mike: $0.40. He Enjoyed Drinking These on the Roof Every Morning.

Laundry: $0.61. We Sprung for an Actual Machine Instead of Doing It by Hand.

Laundry: $0.61. We Sprung for an Actual Machine Instead of Doing It by Hand.

Brunch Consisting of Banana Shake and Omelet over Rice for Mike and Orange Juice and French Toast for Hanna. (Not Pictured: an Order of Toast.) Such Artistic Lighting.

Brunch Consisting of Banana Shake and Omelet over Rice for Mike and Orange Juice and French Toast for Hanna (Not Pictured: an Order of Toast): $4.28.   Such Artistic Lighting.

Books Bought at a Used Book Stall on Khao San Road: $3.36. We Figured We Needed More Beach Reads for Our Upcoming Ten Days in Krabi and Phuket.

Three Books Bought at a Used Book Stall on Khao San Road: $3.36. We Figured We Needed More Beach Reads for Our Upcoming Ten Days in Krabi and Phuket.

Huge Bottle of Water: $0.40. 7-11s Are Everywhere, and Their Generic Brand Tasted Just Fine to Us.

1.5 Liter Bottle of Water: $0.40. 7-11s Are Everywhere, and Their Generic Brand Tasted Just Fine to Us.

One-Hour Thai Massages for Each of Us: $9.17. Yes, the Clean Place by Our Hostel WAS That Cheap. Jealous?

One-Hour Thai Massages for Each of Us: $9.17. Yes, $9.17 Total. The Clean Place by Our Hostel WAS That Cheap. Jealous?

Big Bottle of Chang Beer for Mike: $1.62. He Quite Enjoyed Drinking a Beer on the Roof Before Sunset.

Big Bottle of Chang Beer for Mike: $1.62. He Quite Enjoyed Drinking a Beer on the Roof Before Sunset.
One-Hour Thai Massage for Both of Us (Round Two): $9.17. We Met Two Canadian Guys Who Wanted to Get Massages, So We Went Again. Awesome, Eh?

One-Hour Thai Massage for Both of Us (Round Two): $9.17. We Met Two Canadian Guys Who Wanted to Get Massages, So We Went Again with Them. Awesome, Eh?

Dinner of Pad Thai: $1.83. We Each Got a Plate from a Street Cart. (Yes, Even Hanna.)

Dinner of Pad Thai: $1.83. We Each Got a Plate from a Street Cart. (Yes, Even Hanna.)

Nutella Pancake for Hanna and Peanut Butter Pancake for Mike: $2.14. Yes, We Paid More for Dessert Than for Dinner. We Love These Things.

Nutella Pancake for Hanna and Peanut Butter Pancake for Mike: $2.14. Yes, We Paid More for Dessert Than for Dinner. We Love These Things.

NOT PICTURED:
Groceries: $4.56. We bought some very essential groceries (two boxes of cereal and a sleeve of Oreos) in preparation for our time at a fancy resort in Krabi. We forgot to take a picture. Don’t hate.

Now you know. We felt like we had a super full day, and we are proud to say that we spent $2.52 LESS than we did on a comparable day on our last trip. We’re so amazing.

Munich! Laundry! Beer!

Well, the time finally came: we did laundry. We were woken up around 8am yesterday by loud roommates who were checking out, and we couldn’t fall back asleep. There’s no time like the present, so we threw a load of laundry in and waited for an eternity for it to wash and dry. We are all for German efficiency, but someone needs to work on faster washing machines and dryers. (Wow, our blog has gotten so boring that the first story is about…laundry. )

At a million o’clock, we finally left the hostel where the wind greeted us. The sun poked out for a bit, but it was still pretty chilly. One reason Hanna wanted to come to Munich was to see the world-famous Glockenspiel:

Where the Show Takes Place.

Close-Up of the Performers.

The show began…meaning the statues moved around in a circle, and some bells rang. Hanna’s attention was held for about two minutes, and she then asked if we could go. Mike complied.

Next up was lunch. Fries with mayo was on the menu for Hanna, and Mike had bratwurst with the most delicious sweet ‘n’ sour sauce:

Could We Have Any More Condiments on Both?

We’ve discovered that there’s not all that much to do in Munich. Mike kinda forgot this fact. Four days is too long here, especially when it’s quite chilly. Our solution? Head to a beer hall. Not just any beer hall…the beer hall in Munich: the Hofbräuhaus. We figured if we were going all out, we might as well go to the primo tourist place. By “going all out, ” we mean that Mike would get a liter of beer…and Hanna would watch him drink it:

Bigger than His Head.

Before viewing the video below, please know that Hanna hates beer. She has never drank a full can in her life and has probably only had about seven sips total. Enjoy her reaction to trying Mike’s beer:

She enjoyed the band though. Mike finished his massive glass, and we headed on back to the hostel for a nap for Hanna and more laundry for Mike. We must say that our clothes smell mighty fresh.

Clothes Washin’

Today was laundry day. After a month of hand-washing clothes in hotel sinks, we decided that we needed to take our clothes to be cleaned in an actual washing machine. Because we only take our clothes to a laundry place every so often, we have everything washed. There are always one or two articles of clothing that we haven’t worn that don’t need to be washed, so they become our outfit for the day. We always look ridiculous on laundry day. Hanna’s outfit wasn’t too bad today…just a t-shirt she’s never worn and a pair of shorts. Mike, however, was a different story:

Unabomber Chic.

Let us remind you that it is around 85 degrees with almost 90% humidity. Here Mike is seen sporting a fleece jacket. No shirt. Sexy. His other options for t-shirts included Hanna’s bathing suit, her sports bra, or a sarong.

The kicker? Our clothes won’t be ready until tomorrow afternoon. Luckily it rained pretty much all day today, so we holed up in our hotel, napped, and watched a Harry Potter marathon on HBO.

Movie and Laundry Day

Our big outing on this cloudy day was going to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows–Part One. It cost us $12 for two tickets and an extra-large salted popcorn. That was the only size they had. The snacks at the concession stand included shrimp-flavored popcorn, about two candy bars, and a plethora of chips. We stuck with the tried and true.

Quite a comforting feeling watching a familiar movie in a huge, uncrowded theater…and yes, today was opening day here too. The movie itself was great. Eerily quiet throughout, leaving you with a feeling of anxiety and foreboding. We don’t want to wait for the second part.

Because we saw the movie on opening day, they gave us a free mini-poster. We have totally made ourselves at home in our hotel and have decorated our wardrobe with said poster. The maid must think we are nuts.

Our post-movie dinner was at a Japanese restaurant that we had passed by a million times and always assumed was expensive. It wasn’t. While we were waiting to look at the posted menu, we made a dear friend. This old German woman was slowly flipping through each and every menu page…and was coughing on each and every menu page. Like hacking-and-might-die-any-second coughing. We caught her in the act:

We Love Now Having Tuberculosis.

We wandered back to our hotel in the rain and had a wild night of doing laundry in our jacuzzi:

Hanna Doin' a Woman's Work.

Hopefully we’ll have a non-rainy beach day tomorrow.

Annoying Night, Great Day

We went to bed around midnight. Well, rephrase that…Hanna went to bed around midnight.

Our stretch of beach has a few different little bungalow complexes. Two doors down from us is a small beach bar. That’s all it is: a small open-air bar with about six barstools. Despite no one really being here, this lovely beach bar was playing pounding techno music all throughout the afternoon. We didn’t think much of it…until it was bedtime. The music got louder and louder, and it totally felt like the following battle should occur:

Hanna was somehow able to sleep. Mike was not. He tried all of the tricks in the book: earplugs, listening to the Away We Go soundtrack on his iPod, counting sheep. Nothing worked. He went out to investigate, and there were maybe three people drinking at this bar. No dancing, nothing crazy. Mike the Old Grump was really annoyed. Everything we read about Koh Lanta stressed what a quiet and laidback island it is and how families and older couples travel there for peace. Not at our stretch of beach. The last time Mike checked his watch, it was 2:45am. He finally fell asleep sometime (who knows when) after that. Not a pleasant night of sleep.

Our clothes have a certain stank from our moist Koh Phi Phi bungalow, so we dropped off our laundry and decided to rent a motorbike for the day.

Some quick background information: the last time we rented a motorbike together was in Rome 2003, about three weeks after we met each other. Along with our friends Jordan and Betina, we cruised the mean streets of Rome and somehow got lost out by the Olympic Stadium. Mike was driving his Miss Daisy around. That’s a lot of trust, especially so soon after meeting each other. Let’s just say that Mike is not the best scooter driver in the world: while picking up the bike over a high curb, he accidentally gripped the throttle, and the bike almost did a complete flip. No one was hurt, but Hanna was a little wary of Mike’s skills.

Cut to today. Mike was driving again. Hanna was a bit nervous, but the marriage certificate states that the wife must always trust her husband no matter what. Mike did a lot better this time around, and we had a great time cruising up and down the one paved street that travels the length of the island. We stopped along the way at our own private beaches:

Abandoned Rowboats.

Our Own Perfect Beach.

We also stopped at a German bakery…twice. They had the most delicious blueberry crumble and doughy ciabatta that was the best bread we’ve had in ages. We went back for more crumble, but alas…they were out. Apple strudel was a good substitute.

What a relaxing and carefree day….well, relaxing and carefree until we stopped at another bungalow complex for some fries and beach time. We were sitting on a covered wooden raised platform, and Hanna turned around to see a bungalow groundskeeper bludgeoning something with a stick. Oh yes, he was killing a small snake. Hanna maintained her calm, but we surely hightailed it out of there.

Mike’s sunburn is currently in the non-hurting peeling phase, and our tans are coming along nicely:

Obligatory Tourist Shot.

Ditto.

Please Note Our Motorbike Was "Hello Kitty"-Themed.

Our day ended by eating dinner at an outside restaurant and listening to a mediocre soft-rock band.

Lazy Day #75

Today marks our 75th day on the road. It’s really weird to think that we’ve been gone for two and a half months. Some days we look back and think that it doesn’t seem like that long, while other times we think, “Man, Japan felt like ages ago.” What are you buying us to celebrate this special day?

When one goes to bed around 9:30pm, one usually wakes up early, right? Not us. We basically got twelve hours of sleep last night. Yes, twelve. Guess being professional and accomplished scuba divers entitles you to a long night’s sleep.

After checking out of the dive resort, we headed the fifty feet back to our previous accommodations. We like this place: ridiculously close to the beach, the Internet works in our room, and we don’t even need air conditioning.

The big task for the day was taking all of our clothing (except one outfit) to a laundromat. (And by laundromat, we mean some woman’s house that has a lot of laundry machines…) Total cost for them to wash and dry a lot of smelly laundry? $4. We haven’t used a proper washing machine since our first go-round in Bangkok, so this was totally worth it in our book. Don’t worry: we have been washing clothes by hand along the way.

Not much else to report today. We split a pizza for lunch, relaxed on the beach, and went swimming for a bit:

Today's Beach View.

The weather is definitely turning more towards rainy season. It’s not cold by any means, but it’s very windy and overcast. It rained sporadically throughout the day. We both somehow managed to get a bit sunburned on our shoulders. The sun comes and goes as it pleases.

Our plan was to take a ferry to Koh Samui tomorrow, but all transportation off the island has been canceled indefinitely. Yes, we are marooned on a beautiful island. Pity us. They estimated that the ferries would hopefully be running in three days…who knows? The only thing that’s tough is that our Thai visas expire in about 3 weeks, and we want to see more of the islands. We are just thankful we don’t have a plane to catch or a destination we HAVE to be to in the next few days. Hanna is just thankful to postpone the bumpy boat ride for a few more days.

Hey, even if it does rain nonstop, we hope the Internet still works so that we can catch up on more TV. (We’re all caught up on Modern Family and are working our way through The Office. Just wanted you to know.)