Happy Birthday Lina!


A tribute to a fantastic year.

To the best travel planner I know.

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We started in Burma, flying business class from San Francisco, for less than $30 each! Go United Mileage Plus!

No wonder it took so long to get to Yangon. The plane couldn't decide what direction to go!

Roaming the streets of Yangon.

Traffic, palms, Lina, cars, buses and Monks

To it's golden temples.


And the people's love and yearning for democracy.

Lina, Obama and Hillary at the bus terminal

To boat trips on incredible Inle Lake.

our boat driver hopping around to the other side of the engine
last fish of the day in Inle Lake, Myanmar

To the ruins that over look it.

Looking out over the stupas of Inn Dain

To the tribes that live around it.


To the desert of Bagan.


To its oasis.

a much recommended day trip to the aureum palace hotel

To being surrounded by motorbikes in Mandalay. Motorbikes with Monks.

Pedestrians definitely don't have the right of way in Burma

And the countless Buddhas. In caves.

Lina in a cave full of Buddhas


From the streets of Bangkok.

Lina craved corn. Lina gets corn.

To its palaces.

Wat Phra Kaew

To interesting perspectives.

orb fun

So an elephant walks into a bar...

An elephant walks into a bar...

But some just roam free.

he's afraid of cars, so was a bit hesitant to come onto the road

Or just be a hipster artist.

elephant painting his self portrait

That love Lina.

To making the best of "standing room only" train rides.

enjoying a beer in the bar car with our 3rd class "standing room only" tickets

From the innocent.

feeding baby tigers

To the ferocious.

different tiger. not as scary as it looks though!

From farm.

time to move our bundles of hard work. notice the workers under the umbrellas?

To table.


To discovering a late night ceremony.

enjoyed by many monks (Wat Mahathat)

After a glorious sunset.

sundown at Wat Mahathat

It just gives me the butterflies.

running through a pack? of butterflies


From what began with Beer Lao

First beer in Laos!

Really opened up Lina's dance moves at an Akha Wedding.

Lina doing the local version of the electric slide at an Akha tribe wedding outside of Muang Sing

But what really made her popular, was her ups.

and Lina got them all to jump… well almost.

Lina just had a magnetic effect on the children of Laos.


Monks appreciated her tutoring.

this novice monk highlights words he doesn't know in Steve Jobs' biography and brings the book to Big Brother Mouse tutoring center to learn English

And lined up in droves. (j/k)


But she really knew how to pick a good fruit.

durian. what we later discovered as our least favorite fruits

No an actual good fruit.

Lina and a normal bunch of lychees on the plain of jars site 3

But only when she looked in the right places.

nope… nothing in here

Bomb craters.

bomb crater just outside the cave

To caves made into shelters.

stairway to the cave entrance

To caves that were once the only link between two towns.

had to pull the boat up a shallow waterfall

To exploring 4000 Islands on a river?

on our way back to the "dock"


To finding waterfalls.


On our motorbike.

a motorbike's perspective: a windy mud road

Sugar cane drinks.

Lina enjoying a drink pressed from raw sugar cane. Man in background, chopping up more sugar cane.

To getting close with some locals.

This family got here too late for a boat, but we showed them what we could from the pictures I took

Being thankful we weren't this close.

load up the van!

Getting lost in Angkor Wat.

Lina facing the Bayon at Angkor Thom

To eating it up in Siem Reap.

Lina and I with a delicious meal at Touiche

To learning history. Truth. If only history doesn't repeat itself... in the bad ways that is.

children were beat to death on this tree

From learning how to explore the under water.

stepping off the dive boat

To knowing how great it still tastes on land.

Lina eating what Kep is famous for… Crab marinated in a delicious Kampot pepper sauce

To great beaches.

Lina enjoying Long Beach

With a BYO sunset happy hour.

Enjoying a beer at sunset on Long Beach on Koh Rong

But wherever we go, Lina makes great friends.

Lina found a new island friend


Walking across the border.

welcome to Vietnam!

Enjoying french bread on the Mekong

Lina enjoying fresh bread. Bought from a boat of course!

Touring its lush delta.

a small wobly stream crossing

And finally, real coffee.

real brewed coffee does exist in Asia. Welcome to Vietnam!

Enjoying Clinton fanfare in Saigon.

Lina and another Bill Clinton photo

To exploring the Ho Chi Minh tunnels.

Lina in the Cu Chi tunnels… barely able to kneel

To the dunes of Mui Ne.

Lina presents the white sand dunes of Mui Ne

To a sea food feast on the beach in Nha Trang.

Eating fresh caught shrimp, lobster and clams

To the lanterns of Hoi An.

Lina in front of a Hoi An lantern shop

To bia hoi (fresh beer) in a bowl.

Enjoying Bia Hoi on a boat in Hoi An

Local transport.

On the ferry to Cam Kim island across from Hoi An

To explore local life.

a shipyard on Cam Kim island
riding past farmers planing rice

To the best rest stop ever.

most luxurious bus rest stop ever… between Hoi An and Hue

From the Citadel of Hue.

Entrance to the Citadel in Hue

To meditation in the city's royal tombs.

Lina meditating at the meditation house on the Tu Duc Tomb grounds

To getting woken up at 4am by case loads of Heineken being loaded onto your sleeper bus.

In the middle of the night, workers loaded cases upon cases of Heineken into our big sleeper bus… Even more random was we took some dirt road to get here. Why was all this beer in the middle of no where?

To spending time on Halong Bay.

Enjoying the deck of our boat on a cruise around Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

And kayaking through famous movie sets.


To the first of many jumps.

Lina jumping off of our boat

To eating the streets of Hanoi.

pick your skewers to be grilled

To the rice terraces of Sapa.

enjoying the scenery
Lina picking rice to be replanted

With tons of mud.


To the mountains of Ha Giang.

pulled up a rock to enjoy the views

To the Hmong that reside there.

Lina loves these traditional Black Hmong outfits


To the Chocolate Hills.

Lina wins

And low low tides of Bohol.

reflections of Lina

To sunset happy hours.

Camiguin sunset

And giant clams of Camiguin.

clam bigger than Lina's head

To cliff diving.

One small step for man

And relaxing in Siquijor.

Lina hanging out at Casa de la Playa

Lina is the big fish.

Big Tuna

That loves a good beer.

Happy hour!

That doesn't mind a fruity drink.

Enjoying fresh mango and rum cocktails

While watching the sky.

rainbow forms without the rain


From seeing proboscis monkies.

ready… set...

To a swimming elephant.

breathe with your nose! wait… trunk!

To spotting orangutans in the wild.

spotted: wild orangutan high up in the tree

To their statues.

Rastafarian Orangutan doubling as a garbage can

And at rehab.

Orangutan thoughts: that was delicious, but I must defend my food from the monkies so I can have more
baby orangutan thought: I really am enjoying this snack

To casting off her cousin and maid-of-honor's first dive.

Dina ready to dive!

To the underwater oasis of Sipadan.

Looking up at a school of barracuda
bumphead parot fish in Sipadan

At sunrise dives.

Dina enjoying the sunrise, Lina, so happy to be here

And more jumps.

replaced with Lina

Before conquering altitude, sky high.

Lina in a meditative resting state


Me, Lina and Dina at Low's Peak on top of Mt. Kinabalu

On what felt like the surface of the moon.

hello! we are happy because there is more air down here

Requiring effort to get down.

The rope came in handy much more frequently on the way down

To making it.

We made it! Kinabalu in 1 day!

But feeling like this after that 1 day Kinabalu trek.

monkey food coma
what you feel like after climbing Mt. Kinabalu in one day


From relasing turtles on Bali.


To being turtles?

something is a bit fishy about these turtles

To Bali beaches. Or its weapon tourism?

beach weapons?

Ok, ok, the real beaches.

believe it or not, our secret beaches were very close to this hopping beach
Uluwatu beach, Bali
secret beach

To lost surfers.

a man searches for the other half of his surfboard


thick shells on these coconuts

And rich culture.

Lily garden in front of an Ubud temple
blessing eachother before entering an ancient temple complex

To the falls of Lombok.

our favorite Senaru waterfall

And its amazing volcano.

Lina strikes a pose with Rinjani

To Komodo dragons off of Flores.

The largest Komodo dragons are the size of this statue... They really are modern day dinosaurs

In the flesh.

look at that Komodo dragon tongue and those claws!

To hot springs galore.

Just enjoying the Mengeruda hot springs

Not to mention Flores has many volcanoes of its own.

Lina in front of Kelimutu volcano

Local crafts(wo)men.

Lina and Juwita with traditonal ikat

And future sculpture artists.

Lina and a bunch of local kids with their sand statue of me

And even a blue stone beach.

blue stones in all directions!

Checking out Bromo on Java at sunrise.

Bromo as the sun rises

And the rides that get you there.

awaiting customers... scenic horse


From the city lights of Kuala Lumpur.

Kuala Lumpur

And its Hindu pilgrimage site.

Kuala Lumpur

To foodie Penang at breakfast.





char kway teow… wide noodles with egg, pork, and shrimp. And vegetables…

High Tea.


And upscale dinner.


To an Indian feast with bread as big as Lina's head.

"Big Bread" as big as Lina's head!

Oh Penang had art too.

Art Walk in Penang

But tea plantations are where the real relaxation lies.

Cameron Highlands Tea Plantation


Where cows are holy and everywhere.

Olga with a cow
A cow smiles at Olga

To religious men.


On their phones.

Sadus check out one of their mobile phones

To big red forts.

Agra Fort

With a view of the Taj Mahal.


Did I mention the Taj Mahal?

Reflections of the Taj Mahal

From forts accessible by elephant.

Amber Fort elephant ride

And their walls.

finally in Amber Fort!

To luxury forts and grand welcomings at Suryagarh.

and sprinkled with flower petals

To camel rides.

camel safari to sundown drinks! Olga looks surprised

And having a private dinner in the sand dunes complete with musicians and a full sky.

our private dinner in the sand dunes couldn't have been complete without the traditional music

To the deserted temples outside of Jaisalmer.


To the blue themed city of Jodhpur.

Jodhpur, the blue city in India

To its own fort. If only it was blue.

Blue city and the Mehrangarh Fort, one of the largest in India

From tuk tuks.

Street art and auto rickshaw

To palaces on water in Udaipur.

Lina and Udaipur's palaces

To its grand sunsets.

Lina salutes Udaipur's sunset

From the bustling streets of Old Delhi.


To its religious land marks.

Lina in her Jama Masjid garb


From the birthplace of Buddha.


And his followers.

Buddhist monks exit the compound after the Chinese dignitary left

To biking.

Biking around Lumbini

To its monuments.

World Peace Pagoda at Lumbini, closer, with two Buddhist monks

Through high grass.

biking from temple to temple

To the cafes of Kathmandu.

Lina and Olga enjoying real espresso drinks most likely at Himalayan Java

To its serene temples.

Lina and Olga in front of Monkey Temple

And to the final cast of of a great 3 week stint with Lina's mom.

Fancy traditional dinner and dance at Thamel House
Thamel House meal

Now on to the Everest 3 Passes Trek. But is this the highest Starbucks?


These mules wouldn't know.


To long walking bridges.


To amazing wakeup views of Namche Baazar.


To the Himalayas popping out.


To espresso at the world's highest bakery.


From the Gompas.


To the glacial lakes.


To crazy birds at Everest Base Camp.


To sunrise on our way to Kala Patar.


To getting to Kala Patar.


And making it.


Feeling good.


To new lifelong friends.


And coffee with a view.


To snowy passes.


Remember what goes up must come down.


To snow angel breaks.


Did I mention Himalayas?


To view point yoga.


And coffee (yes, more!).


To prayer flags.


And more snowy descents.


All for sweeping views.


And even what may be the highest beach in the world.


From the innkeeper that summited Everest 13 times.


To the serene valley that waited for us below.


New Zealand

From nostalgic greens and blues of the Otago Peninsula.

Lina smiles as I am nostaligic about the Windows XP background

To its penguins.

are we there yet?

We enjoyed our beach time with trusty dogs on loan.

St. Clair beach in Dunedin, New Zealand
The dogs we were house sitting in South Dunedin. They love the beach!

Countless sheep.

sheep are lining up at the lover's leap view point

To the falls of Milford Sound.


To Lupines with mountain views.

Lina with Lupine flowers
Lina with Lupine flowers

To lake views.

Lina with Lupine flowers in front of Lake Tekapo

From hiking to glaciers.

Glacier in front of Mt. Cook

To pushing boulders.


To wine tasting in a desert?


To taking pictures in front of warning signs that I usually send to my parents... Finally with my parents.

Avalanche Warning sign

To more hikes to glaciers.


To fields of wild flowers.


To massive glacial lakes.


And mirror lakes.

lake near Fox Glacier

From lake view rooms.

Our room in Queenstown: BreakFree The WaterFront

To the thrill of freefall.

Lina doing the Nevis Bungy jump
Please join me in wishing happy birthday to Lina!

Her birthday marks quite an amazing year!