PHEBESS's SparkPeople Blog PHEBESS's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Hong Kong Retrospective We had a great two weeks in Hong Kong - and found a few more interesting things going on during the first few days of the Year of the Goat. <BR> <BR> Plus we had two Chinese roommates who were a source of amusement and introspection. Not that they meant to be. No, they didn't know how to use a shower curtain, and they locked themselves out of their own room. Phebe and Richard to the rescue! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>2/farewell-to-hong-kong.html </link> <... Wed, 25 Feb 2015 03:35:21 EST Fireworks Extravaganza!!!!! This was, hands down, one of the all time best fireworks displays we've seen! Three barges blasting fireworks into the sky over Victoria Harbor, with some huge percentage of Hong Kong's 7.2 million residents packed along the coastlines watching and oohing and aaahing in a medley of languages! <BR> <BR> The whole thing was like fireworks on double time, and the grande finale was an endless explosion of sound and color!!!!! <BR> <BR> Absolutely wonderful! <BR> <BR> <link>rollingluggagers.... Sat, 21 Feb 2015 09:56:21 EST Lunar New Year Parade! So, along with not knowing if this is the Year of the Goat, Ram, Sheep, or whatever, it doesn't have a number. Not like 2015, for example. Or 5775. But it definitely is the year of the Fuzzy Animal With Horns! Also the Year of Cute Children in Brocade! And the Year of the Dancing Dragon! <BR> <BR> As well as the Year of Phebe And Richard Can't Find The Parade, LOL! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/what-year-is-it-really.html </link> <BR> <BR> <img src="htt... Fri, 20 Feb 2015 02:37:00 EST The New Year is almost here! The shopping frenzy continues - not us, the people around us! Tons of pop up markets on the side streets, flowers everywhere, and people rushing to finish getting ready for the Year of the Goat. Or the Year of the Sheep. Or maybe the Year of the Ram? Or the Lamb? <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> And his mama: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Here's the full story: <BR> <BR> ... Wed, 18 Feb 2015 09:39:13 EST Peach blossoms, temples, fans, and where to eat We're having fun in Hong Kong, exploring our general neighborhood and learning about the history of this place. As well as celebrating Valentine's Day and gearing up for the Lunar New Year. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/from-valentines-to-new-year.html </link> <BR> <BR> Some Valentine's cookies that are almost scary: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Me pretending I can fly with fans: <BR> <BR> <img sr... Tue, 17 Feb 2015 10:27:59 EST The BIG Buddha We went over to another island in the Hong Kong group, and visited the giant Buddha statue, some 34 meters tall. Gorgeous views, amazing Buddha, and just an interesting experience. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/that-is-really-big-buddha.html </link> <BR> <BR> Here's a view of the Buddha from a distance: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> And while I don't pose for photos very often, the giant Lucky Cat w... Sat, 14 Feb 2015 05:04:50 EST Hong Kong! We've walked 10 miles in 2 days, taken the subway, train, ferry, and tram, and covered only a fraction of this fascinating city! Things are gearing up for the Chinese New Year, and we're excited to be here! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/hong-kong.html </link> <BR> <BR> And my new favorite photo: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Wed, 11 Feb 2015 11:53:25 EST Good bye Vietnam We're packed and ready to head to Hong Kong for two weeks - meeting friends who will be there, and then celebrating the Chinese New Year (called Tet in Vietnam). Should be exciting! <BR> <BR> Here's the wrap up on Hanoi, until we return later this month: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>2/flowers-flowers-everywhere.html </link> <BR> <BR> And a few photos, because I can't resist a little kid in a bear outfit! <BR> <BR> <img src=" Sun, 8 Feb 2015 23:55:35 EST My New Career If we retire to Vietnam, I can be a fruit vendor! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Yeah, I was just an innocent bystander, and this happened to me: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>2/i-may-have-found-my-second-career.html </link> <BR> <BR> <BR> Wed, 4 Feb 2015 06:12:20 EST Oranges on the Road It's chilly, but people are gearing up for the Lunar New Year - Tet in Vietnam, the biggest holiday of the year. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>2/driving-orange-tree-down-road.html </link> <BR> <BR> And this was our view while riding in a taxi to the medical center this morning: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Tue, 3 Feb 2015 09:04:23 EST Working on getting over pneumonia Yeah, this is a drawn out process - best antibiotic is an IV drip, which takes forever. <BR> <BR> But Vietnam continues to delight and intrigue us, so despite my forced regimen of med center/hotel/med center, it isn't as horrible as you might think. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>1/aligning-flag-of-five-elements.html </link> <BR> <BR> And one of my favorite street scenes: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Fri, 30 Jan 2015 11:53:12 EST Published story - more fashion! Another fashion blog - just so you know what to wear when you visit Malaysia. (We REALLY liked Malaysia!) <BR> <BR> <link><BR>n-malaysia/ </link> <BR> <BR> Just a note, these aren't my photos, she just used my narrative. The clothes I put together as samples may have been unavailable. (I liked the dress I picked better, though, LOL!) Thu, 29 Jan 2015 07:54:52 EST Couples Are Like Chopsticks At least, that's a Vietnamese proverb: "Wife and husband are as inseparable as a pair of chopsticks." <BR> <BR> The need to work together, right? Can't pick up anything with just one chopstick! <BR> <BR> I had a wonderful visit to the Vietnamese Women's Museum, dedicated to the lives of women in this country - one entire floor dedicated to fabric arts and ethnic clothing! (Fashionista heaven!) Another floor to heroines of the country and the revolution. Another to child bearing and edu... Wed, 28 Jan 2015 04:33:09 EST A Mango Emergency Yeah, not the kind of emergency where I needed a mango. <BR> <BR> No, I'm horribly allergic to mangoes. Anaphylactic shock and all that. Not good. <BR> <BR> It took us two different hospitals and several taxi rides, as well as 4 hours in the ER, but things are all okay and I'm alive and breathing. Taking a day off to rest and recuperate. <BR> <BR> Full story here: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>1/malicious-malevolent-mangoes.html </link> <BR> <BR> These ... Mon, 26 Jan 2015 03:58:27 EST Hanoi! We've been in Hanoi for a few days, have seen either a real or fake or practice wedding as well as a few temples, walked around a lake twice, wandered the night market, and enjoyed the charm of this lovely old city. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>1/25-january-2015-we-arrived-in-hanoi-<BR>on.html </link> <BR> <BR> And if that was a real wedding, these are the bridesmaids. We think. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <... Sun, 25 Jan 2015 05:24:22 EST Hué, the old capital Had a wonderful three days in Hué, including a visit to the Imperial Palace and Forbidden City, a cruise on the Perfume River in a dragon boat, and walking around another bridge designed by Gustav Eiffel and company. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>1/dragon-boats-on-perfume-river-hue.html </link> <BR> <BR> Then a 15 hour train trip to Hanoi - but that's another blog. <BR> <BR> This is the view from the train: <BR> <BR> <img src=" Fri, 23 Jan 2015 12:26:32 EST A Fire-Breathing Dragon! Here's the full story on our Dragon Bridge, complete with his history, how he was built, and photos (from a distance) of him breathing fire!!!!!! Major excitement! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>1/dragon-fire.html </link> <BR> <BR> Dragon close up: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> And the fire: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Mon, 19 Jan 2015 06:23:10 EST A wedding, a museum, a bodhisattva Finished our time in Danang - had an interesting museum visit, bumped into a wedding, and found another temple with wonderful statues. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>1/danangs-west-bank.html </link> <BR> <BR> And my favorite statue of the day: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Sun, 18 Jan 2015 09:59:11 EST Danang, Halfway Up/Down the Vietnam Coast We're having a great time exploring this smallish city, which is located on the Han River. Interesting history, lovely museums, amazing bridges, and friendly people! This place is full of color and culture, and we're having fun walking everywhere - including across some of those bridges. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>1/danang-and-amazing-technicolor-dream<BR>.html </link> <BR> <BR> And a few scenes of my favorite bridge, at night: <BR> <BR> <img src="http:/... Thu, 15 Jan 2015 09:43:47 EST Our visit to Nha Trang, Vietnam Had a great time in Nha Trang, though it was too cold to swim. But a beautiful town right on the beach. <BR> <BR> We're now in Danang, and busy exploring this small city with technicolor bridges. I need to blog about all of that, but here's the Nha Trang blog: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>1/sculpture-by-beach-nha-trang.html </link> <BR> <BR> And here's a preview of Danang at night: <BR> <BR> <img src=" Tue, 13 Jan 2015 11:59:27 EST Train trip from Saigon to Nha Trang Finally got the blog written - I took close to 3000 photos on the 7 hour train trip, so had a WHOLE lotta culling and editing to do! In between exploring a new town, seeing what's exciting and interesting, walking the beach, getting in my steps. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>1/where-dragonfruit-grow.html </link> <BR> <BR> And a cute little rural temple, in a rice field. Looking colorful, quaint, and just so Asian! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkp... Sat, 10 Jan 2015 09:21:57 EST The Eiffel Bridge in Saigon We got in a good walk going over to the Eiffel Bridge, walking across it, and walking back. Met some interesting people, watched some people fishing, and saw a few brides and grooms posing for photos, both on and off the bridge. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>1/eiffel-bridge-is-alive-and-well.html </link> <BR> <BR> And my favorite photo taken from under one end of the bridge: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Mon, 5 Jan 2015 23:29:25 EST I'm ready for Sports Illustrated, swimsuit edition DH doesn't often take a good photo of me, but this one is a keeper. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Fri, 2 Jan 2015 11:17:33 EST New Year's Eve Fireworks, Vietnam style We had a crazy time climbing over a mass of motor scooters to get to the river, where we watched New Year's Eve fireworks in Saigon. <BR> <BR> And, following the new trend, the fireworks were shot off the top of a building, so it did that exploding building look. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>1/new-years-eve-in-saigon-2015.html </link> <BR> <BR> No photos for you, but links to some youtube videos from last night! <BR> <BR> Thu, 1 Jan 2015 11:33:20 EST A MOST Adventurous Morning Walk Two days in a row I had adventures while walking the beach. One day I was battling the sea to get great photos of our dad's hat on some sea stacks, and trying to talk to a Russian rock climber. All while I didn't have my shorts on. <BR> <BR> The next day, I helped fishermen haul in their net and examine their catch. Sort of. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>2/photo-and-fishing-adventures-on-phu-<BR>quoc.html </link> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkp... Sat, 27 Dec 2014 12:07:32 EST Junior Santa At The Night Market Had a nice day on the beach, got in some walking, and met an adorable little guy. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>2/junior-santa-at-night-market.html </link> <BR> <BR> Here's my adorable little buddy: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Thu, 25 Dec 2014 10:36:33 EST Christmas Eve on Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam We have no idea if this is a Vietnamese or an island tradition - but they light big beach bonfires on Christmas eve!!!! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> It was kind of crazy! But romantic after dinner, sitting on a beach lounge snuggled up with DH and watching the fire. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>2/phu-quoc-christmas-eve-druid-solstic<BR>e.html </link> <BR> <BR> Though I think I like the beach better... Wed, 24 Dec 2014 11:26:30 EST This might be my fave menorah ever We're on the island of Phu Quoc - haven't seen it in daylight, but the photos we've seen all show white sand and aqua seas. So we're in a bungalow just a 2 minutes walk from the beach, and we'll see what it looks like in the morning. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>2/chanukah-in-sand-phu-quoc-vietnam.html </link> <BR> <BR> And I improvised with a menorah, because I didn't want to bother bringing the menorah for just one night. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos... Tue, 23 Dec 2014 10:39:32 EST Holiday Cheer in Vietnam Santa babies on motorscooters. Glowing arches. Santa security officers. Plus a museum, flower delivery on motorcycle, coffee coffee and more coffee. We're having a great time in Vietnam! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>2/21-december-2014-our-time-in-saigon.<BR>html </link> <BR> <BR> And here are a few of the people we've met in yesterday and today: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://pho... Sun, 21 Dec 2014 11:11:43 EST An Emotional Museum Visit I visited the Ho Chi Minh City Fine Arts Museum - and while the buildings were wonderful and the art interesting, there was a great deal of art from the period of the Vietnam War, or from artists who lived (or died) during that period of time. <BR> <BR> So it was sad and depressing, despite being very interesting. Just emotional. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>2/an-emotional-roller-coaster-of-museu<BR>m.html </link> <BR> <BR> And just one piece of art showing ... Mon, 15 Dec 2014 11:54:41 EST Wow, Saigon! We're having fun exploring Saigon on foot - great city for walking, since much of what we want to see is within several miles or kilometers of our hotel. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>2/saigon-study-in-contrasts.html </link> <BR> <BR> And as in much of SE Asia, the art and history and culture are everywhere, just part of everyday life. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeop... Sat, 13 Dec 2014 06:52:01 EST Hello Vietnam! We've been here just over 24 hours and have visited the busy and crazy market, navigated the absolutely insane streets, enjoyed great food, and walked around our neighborhood in one direction. <BR> <BR> This is an interesting country full of friendly people, gorgeous produce, beautiful flowers, and some of the most frenetic traffic I've ever seen!!! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>2/10-december-2014-we-saw-giant-peanut<BR>-m.html </link> <BR> <BR> And a few phot... Wed, 10 Dec 2014 11:03:17 EST Malaysian Christmas Preparation, and More Baby Cat We're finishing our time in Malaysia, a place that continues to surprise and amaze us. The stores, restaurants, and hotels are decorating for Christmas - I really like the giant Santa tree! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>2/leaning-on-dashboard.html </link> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Mon, 8 Dec 2014 10:31:04 EST Baby Cat, Elephants, and a Cat-Child It's been a busy week, and I've summarized most of it in our travel blog. <BR> <BR> But I'll share a story here that I couldn't put in the blog. DH liked the idea of painting batik panels as a gift for his brother and sister-in-law, so one rainy afternoon we went down to the shop at the market and picked out two coordinating designs. Now, DH is a big, ex-football-playing attorney, who is musical but not exactly artistic. But the batiks already have the wax painted on the fabric, creatin... Fri, 5 Dec 2014 09:58:32 EST Kitty cuteness I ended up having breakfast with the rescued kitty - they got him out of the pillar, and he's being well taken care of. I suspect he'll end up absolutely spoiled - but he's extra cute, so that's a given. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>1/breakfast-with-kitty.html </link> <BR> <BR> And this is how tiny he is: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Sat, 29 Nov 2014 00:12:15 EST Fabulous salad, new sandals, and another kitty saga Nothing too exciting, but sometimes the everyday activities in a new place become more adventurous than one might expect. <BR> <BR> Here's the blog: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>1/a-week-in-life-and-more-kitty-drama.<BR>html </link> <BR> <BR> And here's the gorgeous salad I had at the Italian restaurant: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> It would be easy to replicate, and I include a description in the b... Thu, 27 Nov 2014 10:28:28 EST G-20 Summit Koala Diplomacy I predicted this over a year ago - really! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>1/koala-diplomacy.html </link> <BR> <BR> Any similarities? <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> And how cute is this one??? <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> LOVE!!!!!! <BR> <BR> Mon, 17 Nov 2014 09:33:31 EST Keeping busy with artwork I designed a batik with the lion dancers, had my buddies at the batik shop draw the image with resist, then painted on the dyes. Great fun, only took me two afternoons to design and then paint. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>1/my-own-lion-dancers.html </link> <BR> <BR> And the final piece: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Sat, 15 Nov 2014 09:24:24 EST On having a know-it-all sister I just need to vent. <BR> <BR> My sister is 16 months older than I am, and has a history of mental health issues. As in being childhood schizophrenic and who knows what else. I know that, I accept that, and I move on. <BR> <BR> But she drives me crazy, even half the world away. <BR> <BR> There's always sibling rivalry, right? We all want to shine on our own and be noticed for what we do well. <BR> <BR> But with my sister, it always is a competition. She always knows the right way to... Wed, 12 Nov 2014 10:39:39 EST A Carnival and A Concert There was a fun carnival sort of event outside our hotel - more like a food fair with some music and some sports stuff. Today, we went to an orchestral concert which was fabulous, all music by Rachmaninoff, held in the gorgeous Petronas concert hall. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>1/from-roti-to-rachmaninoff.html </link> <BR> <BR> And my favorite photo from the carnival, some guys selling handmade tie dyed tee shirts that were loosely based on the Malaysian fla... Sun, 9 Nov 2014 08:43:22 EST And the final part of the travel fashion series Capsule travel wardrobe for transitional or mixed weather - three long sleeved tops (include a sweater); three short-sleeved tops; jeans, slacks, and a skirt; and a short-sleeved dress. Add a blazer, maybe a rainjacket, shoes, purse, accessories. Good to go! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ng-list-for-women-over-40-mixed-weathe<BR>r-travel/ </link> <BR> <BR> I'm planning to switch back to this smaller bag next summer, and practice what I preach! (My transition... Thu, 6 Nov 2014 08:18:16 EST Part 3 of the fashion blog! This is my take on a wardrobe for hot weather - 6 tops, 3 bottoms, a dress, a sweater - two pair of sandals - a purse - and of course undies. Maybe a scarf. And jewelry. Good for a few months in a hot climate! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ng-list-for-women-over-40-hot-weather-<BR>travel/ </link> <BR> <BR> And a photo of what Malaysian women wear - I'd melt in these outfits, but the women always look comfortable: <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkp... Wed, 5 Nov 2014 08:09:34 EST Part 2 of the fashion blog is up! We're starting with a cold weather wardrobe - 6 tops, 3 bottoms, a heavy sweater/jacket, and a raincoat, that's all you need to mix and match. Well, two pair of shoes, and toss in a purse. Probably a scarf, so you can stay warm. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ng-list-for-women-over-40-cold-weather<BR>-travel/ </link> <BR> <BR> Doesn't it make you want to go travelling? <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Tue, 4 Nov 2014 07:26:17 EST I'm a published author! My article was published at Travel Fashion Girl - it's travel fashion tips for woman 40 and over (because really, we don't dress like we did at age 20-something). <BR> <BR> Here's the link: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>-tips-for-women-over-40/ </link> <BR> <BR> And an appropriate photo from Philadelphia: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Mon, 3 Nov 2014 04:58:52 EST Banana leaf restaurants Have you ever used a banana leaf as a plate? And what would you do without silverware? <BR> <BR> This was my lunch: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> It was delicious! <BR> <BR> And here's the blog about it: <BR> <link><BR>0/the-banana-leaf-restaurant.html </link> <BR> <BR> Fri, 31 Oct 2014 11:11:41 EST Calorie Cutting, and My Malaysian Haircut I ended up at Starbucks for lunch, and had a chicken salad sandwich that was on three slices of bread. I really didn't need all three slices - usually, I would take out the center slice of bread and put the top, bottom, and filling together. Not so easy with chicken salad. However, the filling didn't go all the way to the edges of the bread. So I just ate the parts of the sandwich, and left the empty edges of the sandwich. I lined them up on the plate, and I think I easily managed to avo... Mon, 27 Oct 2014 05:36:15 EST Deepavali Continues This is a great time to be in Malaysia! Color everywhere, music and drums, and random firework shows at night! (Only one set of firecrackers that woke us at 4 AM this morning.) <BR> <BR> And monsoon season? Well, we get great thunderstorms in the afternoon, several times a week - not every day, nor all day rain. Just enough to make the thunder and lightening shows pretty spectacular. We get out each day, and often spend our evenings closer to home, in our spacious deluxe hotel room. (A... Sat, 25 Oct 2014 06:21:55 EST Happy Deepavali!!! We arrived in Malaysia, safe and sound, in the middle of monsoon season so we had rain and wonderful thunder and lightening! <BR> <BR> Turns out the Hindu festival of Diwali has just started - but for some reason, here it is called Deepavali. <BR> <BR> With fabulous floor designs in colored sand or gravel! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>0/happy-deepavali.html </link> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <im... Thu, 23 Oct 2014 00:03:38 EST Leaving Japan We leave Japan tomorrow morning, so we're mostly packed and ready to leave quite early. The airport here in Osaka, Kansai Airport, is on an extended island out in the sea! Okay, not too far out to sea, just a bridge connecting it - but still! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/21-october-2014-this-is-our-last-day-<BR>in.html </link> <BR> <BR> So you won't hear much from me tomorrow, but I'll try to sign on in the evening, when we're settle at our usual hotel in K... Tue, 21 Oct 2014 09:47:21 EST Osaka food, tombs, and temples I finally caught up with the blogs - we've been busy with our time in Osaka! Found an area full of cafes and food shopping, though my favorite part was the giant food statues used to advertize the food! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/osaka-1-home-of-big-food.html </link> <BR> <BR> Then we visited a 1500 year old tomb that is larger than the footprint of the pyramids!!! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/osaka-2-ancient-tomb-of-nint... Sat, 18 Oct 2014 11:46:05 EST