March 2009

Druk Air in Bhutan Photo by Nathan Choe

Druk Air in Bhutan Photo by Nathan Choe

Egads!!! It’s countdown time and I’m sooooooooooo excited and anxious and nervous and running around the house making sure i’ve got everything, and feeling guilty about leaving my Kismet and Roxie  (but they have a wonderful house-sitter, and will go to uncle Ken and Terry’s for play-dates with cousin Hank).

Willy and the Boys is packed and ready for a high adventure with lots of photos. In the 15 years that he’s traveled with us, he is most excited about this trip.  (But he say’s that about every trip!)

The Trekking company that we’re using sent me an email update this weekend. Michael J. Fox is in Bhutan right now making a documentary about finding happiness. (And as you know, Bhutan measures it’s wealth by Gross National  Happiness).  Also, a 2008 poll in Travel an Leisure voted Bhutan’s (only) airport “second best in the world (behind Singapore), but the #1 scariest runway!!!!!!!  YIKES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  is 9:00am too early for a valium??  Here’s a link to the article, with other fun facts about Bhutan.

I look forward to returning home to share on JulesRules all about my trip and my birthday–a BIG one!!!  (Give me a shout-out on April 4th!!!!)


Until Then,  Tashi Delek

Springtime in Atlanta

Springtime in Atlanta

this morning i woke up in a totally great mood and sprang out of bed to a totally blue-blue sky and lots of buds and little baby leaves on the trees.  my bed faces an open sitting room that is 3 walls of windows looking out over our back yard, and as i watched the birds (and squirrels) having their breakfast buffet at the birdfeeders, i thought to myself, self–new beginnnings are upon us. soon the new nests that have been built in the trees will be full of baby birds, the dogwood trees and azaleas will be all budding out and the color explosions of spring will surround us.  On a bike ride this week, the songs of the spring peepers drowned-out the noise of nearby traffic.

the days are getting longer, too, and we’ve had daytime temps in the 60’s and 70’s. at the same time that i’m packing for my big trip, i’m banishing all of my corduroys and heavy sweaters to the attic!   t-shirts and shorts, come out of hiding!!!!! i’m shaving my legs, getting a pedicure and headin’ out to TJMaxx, ’cause mamma needs a new pair of shoes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ahhhhh…Springtime in Atlanta.  it doesn’t get much better than this!

As promised, here are some more tidbite about Bhutan.  Just reading about it gets me soooo excited!  Less than a week to go!

Bhutan is often referred to as the Last Shangri-La due to it’s isolation and unspoilt beauty.  It is one of the world’s most isolated nations, only opening to tourism in 1974. There are less than 1 million people living in this kingdom, whose area is roughly the same as Switzerland.  Violent storms  coming off the Himalaya give the country it’s name, Druk Yul, which translates to  “Land of the Thunder Dragon”.

72% of Bhutan is covered in forest, and the government is active and serious in maintaining it’s ecological diversity. It will never be allowed to contain less than 60%  forest land.  26 % of the land has been declaired a nature preserve, and is a haven for several rare animal species, including the black-necked crane, red panda, takin, (ooohhhh–i love this animal!!) and the snow leopard.

Bhutan is impressive in its effort to remain green.  Plastic bags are not allowed to be used in the country–yeeaaahhhh!!!  Smoking is against the law (although marijuana grows wild in abundance everywhere— it is used to fatten up pigs (munchies??)

Archery is the national sport, and the only sport bhutan has ever competed in in the Olympics. (They did not win).

Check back, more to come. Tashi Dalek!

Tiger's Nest Monastery

Tiger's Nest Monastery

OMG!!!!!!! In a week, honeykins and I are leaving for the journey of a lifetime! We’re going to Bhutan, to celebrate my 5-0!  Many people, most, in fact have the same initial reaction. “Where?”  Exactly!!!!!!!!  That’s why we’re going there. We love to travel off the beaten path, and Bhutan is just that. And more!

So I thought that before we leave, I’d share some facts about Bhutan with you. (more…)

I’ve said it before, recently in fact, that there’s just something about opening your home to share food, or “break bread“, that truly warms the cockles of my heart. Last night, H.K. and I hosted a cooking demonstration at our home.  We had about 22 people, several of them arrived at our house as strangers, but left our home as friends. 

The restaurant that was generous enough to demo their fare was Atlanta’s Peasant Bistro, owned by Maureen Kalmanson.  Chef Russell Hays cooked up a menu to die for, including Peasant’s famous French onion soup, a Belgian endive salad, Kurabuto pork loin w/ grits, topped off w/ lemon poppy seed cake and elderberry ice cream. OMG!!YUM!!  Different wines were paired with each course, supplied (most generously and liberally) by Highland Wine and Crystal.  AHHHHHH.

With the economy as it is, each of these establishment is offering up specials that are easy on the wallet and easier, still, on the taste buds. Please check them out and look at the specials offered.  You won’t be sorry!

And to our friends, old and new,  that enjoyed the food and fun with us, Bon Appetit, Y’all!

Cookin' up some fun

Cookin' up some fun

Me, skydiving on my 40th

Me, skydiving on my 40th birthday

Life is Good.  But it can be even better.  Have you ever actually taken the time to write down the things that you really want to do before you “kick the bucket”? Before watching the buddy-flick starring Jack Nickolson and Morgan Freeman, I have to admit that I had not put a lot of thought in to it. Following the movie, however, I said to myself, “self, what’s on your list?”  So I made some mental notes, and now I’m ready to share with you, dear readers, what I want to do before I kick-it.

1.Travel to every continent. (I have 3 left)

2. Meditate on a regular basis.

3. Climb Kilimanjaro.

4. Be really fluent in a foreign language.

5. Live in another country-at least for a year.

6. Write/Publish a book.

7. Let go of the past.

8. Hang glide

So, as Morgan told Jack at the end of the movie, “find the joy in your life”. Then share with us what’s on YOUR bucket list.