Wednesday, October 31, 2007

En route to Suva

I survived the dorm room; although, I was the last one in and the first one up. I had a luxurious hot shower as a result and right now I am in the only person using the internet--another bonus. I have liked how internet friendly Fiji is and have really enjoyed receiving e-mails and blog comments this past week.
Today we are going on a 3 hour trek and eventually, we will end up in a mud bath, I think. Perhaps that is tomorrow's activities. ALso, tomorrow I will be in Volivoli in search of the perfect dive. Wish me luck...

Grandma Emma's Spaghetti

Michaela and Jade--
do you remember visiting Grandma Emma in the summer and eating fried chicken, meatballs, danish and enjoying them? Well, then you must remember the one time we made a mistake in asking her to make us spaghetti. Keep in mind, she was our great grandmother and so she was a farm girl and skilled at what she knew how to cook. Spaghetti wasn't really in her repetoire. We insisted that she make it for us and so she tried. We got a plate of noodles tossed with tomato soup. I remember trying not to be sick, but she made us eat it. We never ate that shitty meal again.
Well, you didn't have to. I just did. I was so upset about being locked in the room that I forgot to mention my meal tonight. I ordered vegetable lasagna and it tasted like Grandma Emma's spaghetti. I should just get accustomed to eating curry or fish and not try to eat normal food. The tomato soup doesn't do it for me! I still ate it due to hunger and envisioning that it was wonderful.
The Rumble in the Jungle refers to Mohammed Ali and George one at my trivia table believed me. Not many groups got that one right. Until tomorrow...I am hoping to survive the bugs, the locked doors and the fact that I haven't had one glass of red wine since Saturday!

Grandma Emma

Bathroom issues....

NOt really, but I knew that it would catch everyone's attention. At this dorm, that I hate by the way, there is no way to get out of it once you latch the door. Unknowingly, I returned to the room to write, knowing that I needed to use the bathroom and then I am stuck inside the room. I try not to panic, but I can't help it. I start yelling for help and this couple looks at me like I am crazed. I knew that there was a cleaning woman nearby and so I asked her to show me how to get out of the room. Still, I haven't used the bathroom and she locks us in. I know that she felt confident about her abilities until she couldn't get us out. Finally, she is able to unlatch the room and she tells me to leave the door cracked. that I can sustain more mosquito bites...FANTASTIC. I really don't know if I will sleep much tonight. No, I am not intoxicated just afraid that I will get locked in the room without the ability to get out and use the bathroom. Doesn't something like this always happen to me?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Mango Bay, Fiji

THe first stop of the day was the ocean. It was glorious, clear blue water, warm, sandy beaches and we had a bbq. I ate bratwurst on white bread with butter. I would have loved some mustartd, but it wasn't offered. Next, we went to a traditional village where we watched customs and learned their way of life. Oh, did I mention that I had to buy a sarong to enter the village? We sat in the old Chief's burre and I was animated by three small children. THey were hilarious, but had jacked up teeth and kept biting a photo.
Afterwards, we stopped in a town to use the facilities and then made our way to the sand dunes. Apparently, Fiji is the only country in the Pacific that has sand dunes and so we slid down them at will. When I am able, I will download the photos of me flying down the sand dunes.
Now, after a shower, I am off to a feast with the group of people that I came with--two AUssies, One Irishman, me, and about 9 British--of course, there had to be multiple British. I like the Aussies, they just got married and the Irishmen, James, is traveling to New Zealand like me. I think we might check out some spots together, who knows? He is traveling on holiday and he teaches English in the meantime. Fiji is amazing and I have arranged to go diving on Saturday night on the north coast. I think I will spend 3 days up there and then return to Nadi and island hop, maybe some more diving.
TAke care of yourselves and keep me up to date. I need to find Mexican food, but don't think that I will be able to. I miss chips and salsa. I took some great photos for Kellen's class, too.

Traveling around Fiji

So, I leave in an hour to jump on a bus and head south to Mango Bay. I can stay there until Saturday and return to the bus at which point we will go to a village. I figure that I should extend the countryside/coast since Nadi doesn't offer much outside of a way into the country. I hope to dive either in Bequa or on the northern coast. I will figure it out once I get there.
No, I haven't dined with anyone yet. Fiji is about backpackers and honeymooners. It would be odd to dine with a newlywed couple and so I am making my own way and enjoying the solitude. Plus, my mind is drifting.
Jade, take care of your voice and enjoy the U of O game--Go DUCKS> Where is KU ranked now in football? They are still undefeated, right? Hailey, how is the pregnancy going? How is Andrew? Well, I must conclude this for now.
Take care--

Monday, October 29, 2007


So, I am a little bored right now, thinking, too much in my head and I know that it is like 11 pm there. First, I am bummed that I didn't get my Christmas letter out this year. I worked on it, was proud of it and then I ran out of time. I talked about the importance of food, travel, friends and healing through massage, qiyong, yoga, pilates, etc. Maybe when i return, I will send it out for fun. I really liked it.
I have been listening to espn in my room and so I know that the Broncos lost to the Packers. Oh, and I have nick at night...during the mornings, I believe it is the BBC. Curious, no.
Right now, I am about ready to take this bloke out who is the lab with me, on his phone, speaking loudly and extremely interruptive of my thoughts. If I log off, though, I lose minutes.
I miss my phone and the ability to call anyone at any point. I know that I drive my sisters crazy, at times, but they never answer. Michaela is the "Screen Queen" and Jade works nights and has to sleep during the day. I enjoy when my niece answers and then doesn't tell Jade that I called. Jasmin is hit or miss since her phone seems to be off a lot of the time.
I forgot to mention my last meals in L.A. On Saturday morning, we ate at Urth Cafe where they close down to shoot on location. It was an organic, trendy hot spot on Melrose. I enjoyed it since it was bustling with movement and the food was healthy.
Later that day, we ate at Las Cabanas in Venice Beach. I know that I make much better margaritas, but they had all these different salsas that I loved. It was fun and the perfect sendoff. I am going to be so happy when I get to South America so that I can eat rice, beans and salsa. I am going to miss mexican food tremendously.
While I walk around Fiji, the men openly stare--who wouldn't since I stick out? I mean, everyone here is either Indian, Fijian, or Polynesian, dark hair/skin and wearing long skirts. They are extremely friendly and open. I do like that. It reminds me a little of my summer in Guadalajara when i was a guera. I definitely stuck out there due to my height/hair color.
Well, until later. I probably will check this later tonight/tomorrow and then it will be hit or miss until I end up at another hotel with an internet cafe attached. I should be island hopping and diving eventually. I can't wait. Keep in touch and keep me updated on you.

Two drinks later...

I had a tropical drink since I am now in a tropical country. Of course, you can't pass up the pina colada; however, I opted for a smooth lady. It was nice, hit the spot and I probably won't drink another until I go to Australia.
Fiji is beautiful, truly and the food is great. I have been enjoying the curries and the bread. I haven't had Indian in quite some time and so I am enjoying it.
Shari, for your dinner, I think that you should opt for a nice Australian or New Zealand wine since that is what I will be drinking for the next few weeks. I have always liked Penfold's Koonunga Hill or Craggy Range is a winery that I will be checking out in New Zealand. Jade, next time you e-mail Dave, will you remind him to contact TJ for me? I will be in New Zealand on November 13th. I know that you talk to Dave, my boss, frequently via e-mail. Tell him hello and cheers from me.
Also, I like Black Opal shiraz and there are a number of options available. Tell your sisters hello for me.
I am ready to ditch my backpack which a friend of mine suggested. He told me that he traveled for a few years with a t-shirt, a pair of shorts and one pair of jeans. I am not that simple yet, but soon.
Take care of yourselves and please, somebody update me on my team. For once, the Jayhawks are actually good in football and with basketball around the corner, I need updates. Oh, I follow the Arizona Wildcats in Bball too. Could you have Smitty let me know how our team is? Sorry, Hailey, I like U of A too. My allegiance is to KU, first and foremost, but I do like the Wildcats.
Until later--

Fiji Travel adventure

Tomorrow, I will head off on a 7 day around the mainland adventure. My first stop will be Mango Bay and then I will make my way around the mainland with a few brief diving stops. I opted to do this since I really don't have any plans. I will go trekking, see the schools and land in a mud bath. We'll see how it works out. I will check this when I can, but know that I am fine and enjoying life. I need to figure out if I can live without my big bag or if I should lug it with me. I think that I should be able to make it around without it. Fiji is beautiful, similar to Costa Rica with the mountains, rain forests and green. I am adjusting to the temperature and trying to survive the bugs.
Take care all. I will send postcards shortly.


I made it safely to Fiji, despite the horrible flight. I had this man in front of me, who pushed the seat back into my knees the entire 10 1/2 hours. I couldn't sleep, couldn't stretch out and so yesterday, I slept at my hotel. It is quite nice and they upgraded me to the right room. I have two double beds, a seperat shower, a tv--yes, I can watch sports center and it is heavenly. Not really, I am enjoying the beauty of the country. Everyone is nice and generous and says--Bula to greet. Oh, on my hideous flight, I watched OCean's 13 like 4 times. I think I could star in it if I had to. I wouldn't want to play a cougar, though.
Thank you to everyone for checking my blog and making sure that I am okay. I am and I look forward to where I go next. I think I planned to stay in Fiji a trifle too long. I suppose that I could dive multiple times.
Jan and Tom--thank you for seeing me off. It was wonderful to spend time with you. Take care all and I will update you later.

Saturday, October 27, 2007


I decided to include some photos from this past summer as a way to include the people that have supported my adventure. I have pictures from Phoenix with Jan, Tom, Sandy and Shari. Vegas met us in July for a few dinners where he behaved himself. He wasn't spouting off nonsense of his attire. I included pictures from Connie, Shari, Hannah and Kellen's trip in June where the girls met my aunt and cousin, Beau.
Also, I wanted everyone to know how many going away meals I had with Steve and Pocketsize, Jimmy, Tiffany, and G.Q. I had a wonderful lunch with the Bull & Bush ladies that I didn't have a picture of unfortunately. Jimmy met us eventually and had a ham sandwich.
As I have time, I will update the pictures at will. Of course, they will be censored! Thank you all for the continued love and support of my life. Next time I write, I will be in Fiji!!! Let me know how you are and how Denver is. I appreciate everyone. Love--Harmony

Sunset Blvd...

So, Jan and Tom made it to LA in time to eat. We went to the sidewalk cafe on Venice Beach and it basically sucked, but sometimes, food is food. We had calamari--I know, I broke the golden rule of no calamari outside of Solera in Denver. Anyways, we had chips, calamari and a few beverages. We checked out the Santa Monica Pier and Tom cozied up to the chef at Bravo Restaurant and we tried their take on stromboli.
Next stop, Sunset Blvd. We wanted to go to the Viper Room, compliments of Johnny (New Glarus Johnny), but since I look like the permanent Michelin Man, we couldn't get in. Instead, we opted for a new restaurant, Amarone. We knew it was new since they brought us an amuse bouche and an appetizer. Plus, Prosecco to start the evening.
The risotto was awesome and we checked out a few salads in addition to the ricotta raviolis. We chatted up the owner and he brought us dessert wine--yes, Steve, you would have loved it and a few desserts. I have learned that it is always good to work the restaurant connection. Overall, it has been the best meal that I have had in L.A. and I applaud the establishment for its generosity and tenacity.
I guess, if you make it to LA, go to Amarone. It is a true find.
I should hopefully be posting pictures tomorrow of my finds and of Flat Kellen. Yes, we ate ice cream.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Venice Beach, take two

I had dinner at an Italian restaurant near my hotel. I felt like comfort food and I never pass up minestrone. In this case, I should have. I have decided that not only will I document my travels, but also the food that I encounter and consume. I think that it will keep me honest in my posts, right?
Plus, I have been following the World Series and I keep wondering when the Rockies will show up.
Be positive and tomorrow I should have some more updates on my life especially since Jan and Tom will be here to entertain me. I always have a story after traveling with them.

Venice Beach

I decided to seach for post cards and am about 10 minutes from Venice Beach. Of course, I was hungry and stopped at this Baja Cantina. Sometimes, it is better to find a better option especially when I found the board walk with all these taco stands, empanadas, smoothies. Anything would have been better than what I ate at that cantina.
Nevertheless, the board walk was fantastic. I saw many people who were shirtless that shouldn't have been. I saw a snake charmer with actual snakes and a little thong on and of course, there is the muscle beach section. Plus, there are people selling their cd's and multiple blown glass shops where you have to be 18 to enter. Most of those were playing Bob Marley as I passed by. I was tempted to check out the bongs/pipes.
I am scouting out a place to eat with Jan and Tom tomorrow. Yes, they are making the drive to LA to see me off--thank god! Although, it is wonderful to not have a set schedule or a definite place that I have to be. I welcome company and appreciate that Jan and Tom are driving from Phoenix to say goodbye. Until later....

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

So, I made it to LA and so far, I have decided that I have to detox for at least one month. My body wants to reject alcohol--too much red wine--and rich food. My friends in Denver are amazing and I am sure that they are happy that I left. I think that I became an expensive habit/going away gift for most.
Thank you to Jimmy, Tiffany, Pocketsize and Steve, GQ, Fosh, the staff at Elway's, Fruition and the Falling Rock, Johnny, Doug and their group of friends, plus all of the people that made it to my going away at the Bull and Bush. I wasn't too influenced by shots...I survived. I'll be here to Saturday night and then off to the islands.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Getting prepared

One week away and so much to do. I am ready to sit on the beach and sip a pina colada. I always feel like those drinks only when I am in a tropical country. Otherwise, I loathe making them and drinking foo-foo drinks. 12 days and counting...

Sunday, October 7, 2007

The beginning

On October 27th, I will be departing for the adventure of a life time. Please join me as I discover a new world. Comment, question and make suggestions--I appreciate it!