… or maybe it should be "Dripping in Gold" now that we are in the land of the Golden Pagodas…..

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Yangon is heating up!

It's getting hot in Yangon, daily temperatures are around 37 C.  But Yangon is heating up in other ways  too…. In less than a week the Thingyan Festival (Water Festival) starts.  It is the Buddhist New Year that nowadays has become a total water "madness".  We have been told that the city goes totally crazy, it is absolutely not possible to go outside without getting soaked. Shops, businesses, restaurants, even golf courses are closed - it's THE big holiday in this country.  The Water Festival is also celebrated in other south-east Asian countries and water plays an important role everywhere.

 Young children performing during Thingyan

 Not getting wet is not an option…

 The beautiful flowers of the Padauk tree is a symbol of Thingyan

 A more solemn water ceremony in the province of Rahkine

Water madness

There is already more traffic in town, they are building stands along main roads for people to stand on and throw water on everyone who passes by, there will be music and dance and WATER….and more water….

The Water Splashing ceremony, however, is more than just good-natured fun; it also contains a religious element: water is regarded by the Dai as a symbol, firstly, of religious purity, but also of goodwill among people. Therefore, splashing a fellow human being with water during the Water Splashing Festival, whether a close neighbor or a fellow villager, or even a stranger, is an expression of the desire for good luck and prosperity to that person. (Wikipedia)

All photos curtesy of internet as we will be fleeing the country……

Happy New Year everyone!!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

The sky is weeping...

It's a grey, rainy day in Palo Alto, the weather sort of fits my mood….. I'm packing to leave my Sunshine and Cupcake and go back to the land of the Golden Pagodas….  I don't like this leaving thing….  I'm happy for California though, they really needed the rain.  It has been a severe draught here this winter and California is supplying the rest of the US with up to 90 % of vegetables, berries and fruit!!!  I'm also looking so much forward to be with hubby again.

These two have totally captured my heart !!!

 Now that Cupcake is bigger they (sometimes) have so much fun together!

But, for sure I will miss the beautiful lands of the Bay Area, but I'll be back…. again and again :-).

Farewell for now, until next time

With love,

Monday, March 24, 2014

Palo Alto at a glimpse

Palo Alto is an old city in the Bay area and home to the famous Stanford University and Stanford Hospital.

Stanford Univeristy

It is also the one of the chosen places to live for people working in Silicon Valley, Larry Paige, co-owner and founder of Google lives here, Marc Zuckerberg of Facebook lives here, Steve Jobs of Apple used to live here and so does the many thousands working in the tech industry.  The cost of housing in the popular neighborhoods is high, very high.  But then again, many people here have money…. mostly because of the high earnings in the tech industry the last 10-15 years.  The area houses all the big names in tech- and computer-related industry….  even the Norwegian Opera Software has an office here.

Beautiful old house in downtown Palo Alto

But walking the streets and seeing the cars does not give the impression of "super-rich" or people buying haute-couture.  On any given workday most ladies you see on the streets are in stretchy yoga-pants, a tank-top, a Lululemon jackets and colorful sneakers,  men are in jeans and a hoodie-sweather.  Jogging, walking, cycling and doing yoga or other gym-related exercise seems to be very popular.   Most cars are small compacts or smallish SUV's, occasionally you'll see a sleek Mercedes or Porsche.

A couple of typical outfits you'll see on Palo Alto streets.

Most of the shops in Palo Alto are not shops (there are a couple of big shopping areas outside the city center), but rather restaurants and coffee bars, eating out and drinking coffee is big here!!!  And people are very peculiar about their coffee, and the most popular are coffee bars that sell coffee from one of the local roasting houses like Blue Bottle, Ritual or Verve. In the morning or at lunch time you might have to wait 10-15 minutes for your coffee.

 University Ave. is the main road in down-town Palo Alto.

Nearly every evening the restaurants are rather packed full and the selection
of restaurants is enormous - from Thai to Indian, Mexican, fusion and Italian, organic, vegan, 
vegetarian, steakhouses and so on….name it and you will find it!!!

The whole city and area is very relaxed and laid-back,  probably because it's an university town and the general population is rather young.  Parks and playgrounds are filled with couples and their children.

If you happen to pass by here on a California road-trip it's worth while to make stop, take a stroll, sit down at one of the cafes for a coffee or lunch and just take in the atmosphere……

Photoes from internet.

Lovin' it!!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

I love California

I've been to a few other places in the US, but nothing beats California…… There is just something about the climate, the scenery, the people, food and many other things here that has captured my heart….

We spent a long weekend in Carmel Valley and Carmel by the Sea this last weekend and everybody had such a good time.  We were so lucky that summer came these 4 days;  the kids were swimming in the pool and playing on the beach, we went for hikes on Carmel Valley Ranch, watched the turkeys and deer, ate good food and had very good local wine.  The sky was a cerulean blue and all the flowers of spring and summer were out in vivid colors.

I can easily see myself retire out here somewhere, where there is an eternal spring and summer with a splash of autumn.  There is so much to see and do, from yoga, golfing and hiking to all kinds of courses if that's what you want to do.  The distance from the mountains and skiing to the beaches is relatively short and then the beautiful city of San Francisco is very near.  Maybe one day…...

Dreams are free aren't they???

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Home….away from home

San Francisco/Palo Alto has become one of my "homes away from home".  Part of the family is here, and a very important part - the grandchildren!!!

I just love this area, the climate, the greenery, the proximity to the ocean, the variety of cafes and restaurants, the casual and healthy lifestyle and all the possibilities for walking, hiking and YOGA !!!!   There are yoga-studioes "everywhere".

Did you ever dream of Spring, turning into early summer, the grass, the flowers and the smell of the ocean?
Did you ever dream of a field full of calla lilies, so proud, extending towards the sky?

I don't have to dream, it's all here - right in the neighborhood…… I feel so fortunate to have the possibility to come here and the more I am here - the more I love it!!!!


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Eating out Yangon style

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” 
― Hippocrates

A lot has been said about food, but the fact is we can't live without.  And eating out in a good restaurant and a beautiful setting is actually one of life's pleasures.  In Yangon there is actually quite a few good restaurants, not only good, but excellent!!

One of these is L'Opera, an Italian restaurant on the shores of Inya Lake.

The restaurant is in an old, colonial style house and run by an Italian lady who's been living here a long time.  The restaurant is very popular and serves a wide variety of Italian dishes from pizza and pasta to meat and fish.  The garden and the view of the little part of the lake is beautiful and so tranquil…..  I visited in the day-time, but I think having dinner here at night, in the garden must be awesome (and so romantic…).  Have to bring hubby next time :-).

Todays "Curiosities":

1000 Kyat (the Myanmar currency) is US $1 is NOK 6…. guess how many thousands I carry around when shopping…?

A simple meal of pasta, a glass of wine and a coffee at this restaurant will set you back Kyat 20.000 or about NOK 120.  Not cheap in such a poor country, but the restaurants are importing a lot of their food-stuff and wine themselves….

I'll get to other restaurants as I visit them, but probably my next post will be from the other side of the world as I'm going to visit my two adorable "grand-drops" and their mom and dad…..

Cheers to good food!!!

Sunday, February 23, 2014


or welcome to the most prominent destination Yangon - the Shwedagon Pagoda.  A stunning complex set on a little hill, the Pagoda covers an area of about 120 acres, pagodas, temples, Buddha images, a park and pond.  This place is a "must see" for all visitors to Myanmar.

For the Buddhist people of Myanmar this is of course one of the most important places of merit-making and paying respect to their favorite Buddha image.

The first of the Pagoda was build in year 600 BC when relics (hair) from the Buddha was brought to Yangon, 3 other relics was also obtained and Shwedagon means something like the "shrine of 4 relics".  To understand the whole history and it's importance it will take a lot of study……  In the meantime I will just enjoy watching this magnificent place….

There were several monks on the Shwegadon Pagoda grounds of course and I managed to capture this monk in solemn contemplation and prayers.

Hope you enjoyed this little "tour",