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Laos Photos

I just wanted to post a quick note to remind you to have a look at the photos from my recent trip to Luang Prabang. One of the things I love about living and traveling in Asia is the burst of color and the numerous exotic plants you see almost anywhere. A number of photos appear in my album from Laos.  Have a look!

Have a look at my photos from Luang Prabang – more than just exotic flowers! Here’s a tease on some of the flowers, though!

Rainy season is good

One of the things I love about the Kamu Lodge (one of the properties in the portfolio of the hospitality group I work for) is the gorgeous nature surrounding the accommodations. It takes three hours by boat to arrive at the Lodge; it’s located on the banks of the Mekong River int he Lao forest.  The Kamu Village, an authentic and ethnic village, share the grounds with the lodge, and I always look forward to a visit to the village, as well.

I went to Laos to oversee the photo shoot of all three of our Laos properties. I really wanted to spend more than one night at the Lodge, but didn’t due to our boat schedule and other activities happening at our sales office in Luang Prabang.  It’s such a shame, as I loved taking pictures of all the green rice fields, the butterflies, lotus flowers, other bugs and plants….all the lovely nature which is so lush and lovely during rainy season….so green!

Itty bitty gecko

I’m a bit worried tonight about this tiny little gecko (no bigger than my pinky finger).  I came home and found him on the wall.  Camera was nearby and I took a photo.  Had some dinner, watched some TV and then came back to my room to my desk to do my computer stuff.

I walked over to my bed to get my cell phone out of my purse, and there he was, lounging on my sheets!  I have to say, I actually like geckos. The fact they can walk on walls and ceilings is a skill I highly admire.  I even like the way they make their little chirping sound.

So while most chicks would scream and freak out that a gecko so tiny was getting comfortable on their bed, I was more concerned that if I let him stay there, I would smush him sometime during the night.  So I tried to steer him down the side of the bed, which ended up with my left hand having a tiny gecko stuck to it.  In an effort to get him to safer ground, I slowly turned around and started to put my hand on the floor.  But being significantly smaller than me, and I’m sure a bit panicked, he jumped.  And he landed on his little suction-cupped feet.

Two hours later he’s still on the floor and I’m pretty sure this little gecko is injured.  He’s barely moved at all.  I put a plant on the floor in case he wants to crawl into it and look for some bugs.  I don’t know what to do!  I sort of believe geckos to be lucky and I’m super worried that in my efforts to save him from imminent death in the middle of the night tonight and a squished gecko in my sheets, I’ve sent him to his doom a few hours earlier.

Have you ever accidentally killed a creature that you were trying to save? Ever wanted to get rid of a creature and couldn’t?

I’ll let you know if this little dude is still alive in the morning.  I hope so.  I’m so worried!

I love this plant!

I recognize I’m a total geek and a bit nerdy to post a photo of a plant – BUT – This plant (quite appropriately a banana tree) has been in my apartment since I moved in…I negotiated “potted plants” into my contract.  I only got this one, but it is quite large and beautiful.  I think it’s happy in front of this window, too.  An it sort of serves as my divider between my kitchen and living room areas.

So this morning when I woke up and came out to the main room, I was delighted to see that a new leaf unrolled itself during the night.  Isn’t it beautiful?  Welcome new leaf!  I really love this plant!


Caught in broad daylight

Walked in the bathroom when I got home today and found this little guy running across the top of the bathroom wall.  I quick and got my camera.  And here he is!

With my apartment being more sound than my last one, I don’t have many geckos inside my apartment.  This guy lives behind the water heater, so I don’t see him much, but I can occasionally hear him chirp.  I consider geckos kind of lucky, and so I’m glad that I have this guy in my house.  They eat mosquitos and bugs and it’s a tell tale sign that you are NOT in San Diego!  ;p  I love them!


p.s.  Here’s a photo of the kind of gecko I just love.  Beautifully ugly and curiously cool.

Rock climbing 101

The intention was to go out to Halong Bay for a site inspection for a program we want to add on our tour.  The result was me strapped up in climbing gear, reaching the end of the rope with a big smile on my face.

Onslo greeted me at the pier and after hopping on the second boat, we veered in a direction where most boats don’t go.  The smaller boat allowed us to get much closer to the cliffs which jet out of the water in the most extraordinary formations.  Arms length away, I could easily see why this would be a climber’s playground of paradise.

After navigating through the floating village, we reached the beautiful cove where the team was set up and enthusiasts were getting intimately familiar with the limestone’s nooks and crannies, navigating higher for a spectacular view.  A few minutes later, I was strapped up and Onslo was giving me a basic lesson and teaching me the commands, reminding me to relax and breathe.

When I was a little girl, our home had a nice big tree in the front yard which I just loved to climb. The one in the back was fun too, but the higher branches weren’t so sturdy and I just never gained the affection for that tree as I did for the one in the front yard.  There was this one branch in particular which forked at one point, creating a perfect chair for me and the perfect arm rest.  I’d get all cozy in that nook and hang out there for hours, me and the tree.

I tried to be that little girl for a few moments while climbing this massive rock, the girl who had no cares or worries, no reason to climb up, just the wherewithal that I could and it was fun to do so.  And with that enthusiasm, I climbed the first bit of the cliff pretty easily, although enjoyed the reassurance from Onslo, who’s calm and encouraging voice served as super motivation to keep moving.

Then I got stuck.  There was a bit of a round boulder which had just enough of a curve outward that I couldn’t see my feet.  And so I couldn’t figure out which foot to step up with, nor where to put it.  Onslo could see that I was “in a moment” and reminded me to breathe, that I was safe and even if I totally let go, I wouldn’t fall and that I just needed to turn my body to the right and step up, that I had to trust that my right foot would find something to push off of.  A few minutes past and I finally sucked up enough courage to do so.  My muscles at that point were a bit shaky, as well as my nerves, as I had gone way past my comfort zone in physicality and in height.

I’m stubborn, though, and I was not about to quit.  And so I silenced the “What are you doing?” voice in my head and finished the route, reaching the top of the rope and taking Onslo’s advice to admire the view. Woo hoo!

The rest of the inspection included a tour of the island, some nature walking, and another view of adventurous people climbing up really big rocks.  Separate from the work stuff, I was glad to get in touch with the little girl in me to never had fears, who never questioned why, who just skipped out the front door, and randomly, for no reason at all, jumped up in her favorite tree, swung over branches and pushed her way higher to hang out in “her” spot.  My muscles may hate me today for the torture they received on that rock, but I’m so delighted with my experience, I just can’t stop smiling.  It was a GREAT day!


Part of the adventure is the journey through Halong Bay. Here’s a shot of two men who live in one of the numerous floating villages. Fascinating to think of that lifestyle!


My First Pet

For anyone who has traveled through SE Asia, this is a familiar sight.  I love these little geckos.  I was delighted to come home tonight and find one tucked up near the corner of my living room wall.  He was a tiny little one, not even as long as my index finger.

There must not have been enough bugs around – he was gone in the morning.  Bummer.  I hope he comes back.

On the Bright Side,



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