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hilton labriz

3 Jun

after breakfast and mini-grounds tour yesterday we took a ferry over to silhouette island. while it’s the third largest (something about 6 kilometers) there are only 100 inhabitants.

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I need a bumper-sticker  that says “I break for crabs” there is a crab and a sea cucumber in this picture. where’s waldo?

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goodbye mahe!

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hello silhouette!

we got a mini tour of the village on our way to our hotel where they had a school, restored plantation house, and community center. the labriz is a true resort with a lot of amenities and restaurants but not fully occupied.

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as soon as we got in we threw on our suits and headed to the beach. we walked all 10 ft from our villa to the ocean and spent the morning laying out and wading in the water. the ocean was a bit rough yesterday and the tide rose pretty quickly so we grabbed a bite to eat by the pool then tried the beach again.

Labriz Room/Beach Tour

 

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the coke light’s are imported for UAE. I think I am going to start a collection of international diet coke photo’s. I feel like that’s acceptable art.

then we got restless and hopped on bikes to explore a bit of the island. we found the giant tortoises (this is only one of two places in the world that they live in the wild. the galapagos is on my other 1000 places to travel list).

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alex asked me about 50 times if I like bike riding (he’s trying to get me to buy a bike) and assured him I did – because there are no cars here. you don’t hear a lot about bike/golf cart accidents. Smile

 

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it was a pretty tough trail when we ventured off the resort but there were some great views. we made dinner reservations at the tepanyaki restaurants (aka hibachi) and had a lovely, albeit overpriced, dinner.

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we’re off this morning (monday) to the breakfast buffet and then on a two hour hike.

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the world’s BIGGEST market

12 Sep

allegedly.

 

I actually buy into that.

 

I met up with a co-worker on Sunday morning for a run around Benjasiri Park next to our hotel. it was muggy. it was painful. but it happened.

 

we decided to visit the Grand Palace and then on to the Chatuchak Market. it’s 35 acres filled with everything you could imagine. you name it, they sold it. and then some.

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we had a very tough time negotiating with cab drivers getting one to take us there. we were told the grand palace was closed for lunch and that we should go directly to the market. and by directly he meant that we had to stop at some jewelry expo so that he could get a kick-back. awesome.

 

we finally made it to the market and we were just overwhelmed. when we started walking around we realized how massively huge this market can be.

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there was food, high end clothing, low end clothing, fabric, metal goods, shoes, purses, junk, jewelry, beads, and then some. just wow.

 

this little guy was jamming and I used our newest toy, a little video camera, to capture a little bit of the sounds and sights:

Tara and I at the market

 

after some delicious coconut ice cream and a foot massage we bargained our way into going to the Grand Palace. Or so we thought.

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Our cab driver dropped us off and we soon realized that he must have just been tired of the traffic because it was not the grand palace. it was a nice giant buddha, but no palace.

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so we got conned into going to two more kick-back locations and THEN to the Grand Palace. But by the time we did all of this, the Grand Palace was closed. we were sad pandas.

 

I took some photos of the outside but we were not allowed inside.

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we negotiated another cab driver to take us back to our hotel and we planned on meeting up again for dinner. when we met up we realized how bad jet leg was hitting us and we went back to bed!

 

today (monday) was an extremely long, tough day so I’m thinking a massage is in order. yes, for those of you counting that is number three. for a total of $20. Smile

is business class really better?

27 Jun

normally this would get a big fat “NO!”

 

often enough, my status gets me bumped up to domestic first/business class. it gets me free booze (but I think I might have taken them up on that 3 times in my 5 years of travel) and better snacks. if you’re really lucky, you get upgraded on a flight to LA where you get a hot meal. very exciting.

 

I could care less about drinks or meals. I really like the free movies on long haul flights.

 

but as a surprise (that really wasn’t a surprise because it involved changing our flight times) for our trip to mauritius, I cut our travel segments from 6 to 4 and upgraded a leg.

 

I was giddy with excitement. seriously. it was our last leg from paris to atlanta and 11 hours. and we had spent a significant amount of time in the air france lounge eating croissants. which really are better in france.

 

and it. was. awesome.

 

two quick fun facts:

1) there is a difference between business and first class internationally.

2) the people on this flight probably thought I was a freak taking a million photos but I was darn excited.

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first you get a menu. a for reals menu. not tofu or mystery fish option.

and just as a reference, here’s a coach meal on air france.

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not bad, I like that they assumed we needed merlot.

 

but here’s round 1 and 2 (of 5) with air france business class

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next up, we chose our main course and then our cheese course. that’s right, a cheese course. the french don’t play. they know all about my love for brie.

 

alex had the risotto while I opted for the venison.

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and then I couldn’t decide what I wanted for dessert. so I asked the flight attendant to surprise me, he gave me one of everything. I might have chosen Courvoisier as an aperitif.

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we got a few pretty serious snacks and then were served a “light meal”

 

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I was borderline uncomfortably full the entire trip. and I loved every second.

 

so will we ever fly international business class again? not likely that I would every pay for this (it’s at least 3x the coach price) but I might splurge on another point redemption.

4th week in LA = check

23 Mar

this was supposed to be my last week in LA for this project. but life (and namely work) happens and i have two more weeks on my schedule coming up.

we caught up on all our old favorites: chaya, bottega louie, yojie, big man bakes

and we tried out a few new places, too.

all of my co-workers were raving about the edison. it’s a good walk and usually my feet hurt after work so i’ve managed to whine my way out of going. until this week.

it was once a power plant and they’ve kept the vintage vibe with a speakeasy feel. the servers and hostesses wear flapper costumes (but not in a kitschy halloween way, in a cool retro way). the give you a token for a 35 cent cocktail which is always helpful for a girl on per diem. loved it. one of the best bowls of mac n’ cheese i’ve ever had. my cocktail tasted very much like zima but i blame that on my choice — there were tons of yummy cocktail options.

andrew and i both had flights on the red-eye so we opted to rent a car so we could take our time leaving. we’ve planned for weeks to go to a recommended thai restaurant that boasts their very own thai elvis. sadly, thai elvis called in sick. and we had some extra time to kill, and heck we were in hollywood, so we drove to groughman’s chinese theater. as many times as i’ve been to LA i’ve always skipped out on the major tourist attractions.

 

my hands are smaller than hermoine’s!

 

for some reason they were giving out sundrops. we took them because they were free. now i know why. bleh.

and then we caught our flights. lax is getting a much-needed remodel and this sign tickled me.

 

extra princess goodness

14 Mar

due to some technical difficulties i was not able to upload any of the photos from my camera. here’s a little extra goodness, mostly to make you laugh.

pre-race posing:

post-race disney:

all i wanted was a turkey leg. and what princess wants, princess gets.

a bug’s life

our tour jeep broke down on our “safari.” we were stuck next to this mechanical elephant for a good thirty minutes before staff could come and fix our jeep.

harry potter world!!!

BUTTERBEER!!!!

in front of the hogwarts express

this is a race/mini vacation that i can’t wait to do again. 🙂