Yellowstone – Exploring

 

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A Quick trip to Cambodia

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 We had a three days in Cambodia over Thanksgiving weekend. We like to travel smarter, not harder, and maximize our time wherever we are. This  means avoiding crowds, when possible, and being prepared so we can swiftly get through the airport and into the city! Here are some tips that helped us on our visit.

  1. E-Visa 
    Since our trip to Cambodia wasn’t decided until we got into Thailand, we didn’t get a visa from the U.S., instead we applied for a visa online. This included taking a photo with our camera and uploading it with our application. It takes up to 3 days to approve.
    Total cost $40
    If you don’t get a Visa online, you can apply for it as soon as you land. So you wait in line for your Visa, then another line for customs. When we arrived at the airport, we only had to wait through one line since we had our E-Visa’s.
  2. Ankor Wat Sunrise
    The building to purchase an admission pass to Angkor Wat is 10 minutes away from the temple itself. To go straight from your hotel to the temple in the morning, its best to purchase your admission ticket the afternoon before your sunrise. We were picked up at 4:40am, and arrived to get Angkor to witness the sunrise. 
    $20/ 1 day pass
    $40/ 3 day pass
    $60 / week
    Rates might increase significantly by February 2017
  3. Bring Cash USD
    The currency for most tourist places, like Siem Reap, is the US dollar. Have smaller bills to carry for tips. We use our Charles Schwab debit card when abroad because we get reimbursed for the ATM transaction fees.
  4. Transportation.
    The driver we got from the airport was very nice, and offered to be our driver for the rest of our trip. We agreed, and he had good tips on certain sights. He had an SUV with A/C. If you don’t mind not having A/C, and want a more Khmer experience, tuk tuk drivers are also available for hire.Always, always ask how much a tour or ride is going to cost before agreeing to get into a vehicle or go on a tour guide, unless its a metered car.
    For more clarification, ask how long a trip take. Efficiency is not common in developing countries, and communication with a language barrier can be a problem.Speak simply, listen well, and enjoy your time!

Cheers to 1 Year!

This past weekend Mr. Brown & I ventured to the Santa Cruz mountains. Not only is it one of our favorite places to visit, it’s a special place to us!

It started off with a recommendation from my sister, The Cremer House. The salad and soup combo was delicious, mixed greens paired with a beet, and ginger soup. Brown got the Cremer burger with bacon. We shared a flight. That was fun. A mix of IPA, pale ales, and even a plum cider. My favorite were Dread Brown & Death and Taxes.

The ambiance is nice and simple with a historical feel. If you appreciate beer, you should visit!

Afterwards we walked around the New Leaf Market, and caroused the bulk section for snacks. It was great. From teas to honey, and granola, I could’ve stayed in there for hours. We took our snacks and ventured right down the street to The Abbott. It’s a thrift store with everything from clothing to furniture, and even a store cat. (Score!)


We decided to kill time and go to Quail Hollow Ranch for a hike. This was my first choice for a wedding venue. The only downside was it accommodates 100 people max. While making the decision to book, it became unavailable. Which was totally fine, we got married 6 miles away at Highlands House & Park.

My heart sunk a bit when we walked around Quail Hollow because it is so.stinkin.beautiful, and part of me wished we got married here instead. I think it’s more our style. The bright side is we can visit anytime we want, and at our 10 year mark: vow renewal. he he

It’s a historical house built for farmers, and later owned by the owner of Sunset magazine. There’s original wall paper, and issues of Sunset magazine displayed, with photos attached to storylines of history. There were also stuffed bobcats, mountain lions, birds, owls, and snakes (that I didn’t take photos of).

The “backyard” leads to different trails. We chose one and it went around the corral. Brown found a friend, and snuck in some handfuls of grass to feed him.

More walking along the trail. This trail was paved. I stopped to take a couple of photos here and there. A snake was nearby, and I freaked out a bit. Andrew ran after it. And yes, running after and befriending animals happens quite often on our adventures.

And to spice up our day, we somehow managed to meet the dead end of our trail. We turned around and found this was in fact, the way to go. The tree fell and blocked our path. So we climbed through it.


We made it out okay, with only two snake sightings, and 1 piggy back ride.

Afterwards, we ventured to our Airbnb.  On our way we saw this Farm Stand. It works on the honor system so you must have cash. Prices are marked, and you leave the money on the counter in a locked box. There’s plenty of space to sit and enjoy the day if you want to stick around for awhile.

We finally made it to our Airbnb, and I didn’t know what to expect. True to his nature, Brown just knows. Accompanied with outdoor space to relax, a grill, fire pit, badminton net, and a walk down to the creek,  it was perfect.  The cabin is small and has a restricted occupancy, so it’s a great visit for 1 or 2 people.
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The inside had everything we needed: kitchenette (we  microwaved our pullet eggs into an omelette), bathroom with shower, queen size bed, small table, TV with dvd player, and some board games.

A fully stocked kitchen with spices, steak rub, coffee, tea, and even hot cocoa mix. There were jars of little chocolates, and homemade bars for us.

The view outside the windows look like this:

Brown programmed the coffee maker so in the morning we woke up to the sound of coffee brewing, filling the entire place with its aroma, the sound of a faint rooster crow, water streaming behind us, and looking up to a window in the roof with a view of: more leaves and branches! Incredible.
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A great start to a two day celebration. Cheers to one year of marriage, and soaking in God’s goodness.