Sailing in Thailand Pt 1

Just as I promised, I now get to tell you about our adventures in sailing!

As part of my search for the perfect ending to our trip to Korea, I scoured the internet and found YachtPro, a sailing school in the cool (as in “interesting”, definitely not cool as in “weather”) location of Phuket, Thailand. The first 3 days were sailing ‘school’. This is when we would start each morning with a latte at Yacht Haven Marina, go to the boat to learn some stuff, come back to the marina for lunch and then go learn more stuff on the water. And mostly in the rain.

rainy justin

Our boat for the first 2 days was a 26′ S80 and our skipper was John. We little boat 1spent 2 wonderful days in the rain learning and getting quizzed about all the pieces, parts and functions of a sail boat. Most of these things were taught for my benefit since I had not really been on a sailboat before. We were taught how to attach, raise, lower and reef the sails as well as how to approach/leave a dock/buoy. We were also taught how to tie some essential knots, which I have yet to master. In fact, I still had to go back to the resort and study the American Sailing Association textbooks just to make sure that all of the information was making sense and sinking in. This was aided by some wonderful local food and beverages (I think I mentioned the Mai Tia’s in my previous post).

Day 3 of sailing took us to the big boat, a Beneteau 343, and our new skipper Gunnar (Goo-na). The goal for the day was to learn about our new boat and chart our course for our upcoming 3 nights in Phang Nga Bay.


So we checked out of our hotel and onto the boat with much anticipation of what we would experience over the next few days….

Stay tuned for the final leg of our sailing adventure!



The Mountain Fortress City of Namhansanseong

Shannon and I had a free day as the rest of the family was rather tired of walking everywhere and Heather *gasp* had to work. We decided to take advantage and explore something not on our normal list.

We had discovered the fortress during our research of things to do while in Korea two years ago, but we never made it. Turns out it was a TON of walking, but some of the more beautiful old buildings we had seen. We walked for hours around the South wall and city fortress buildings. It was especially nice to see the clear(ish) sky being slightly above the ever-present smog around Seoul.

Namhansansseong Fortress

Adventures in South Dakota


Since we spent Christmas in Oklahoma this past year, we went to South Dakota for spring break. We were overdue for some quality time with the Pond Family. And what better way to spend time together than all 6 of us (Justin and I plus Grandpa Bud, Jay, Deb, and Laurie, Deb’s friend) loaded into the Bud’s Buick and touring the Black Hills. We did a big loop, starting in Rapid City, turing the hills and lakes. We took some quick shots of Mount Rushmore and did hiking around a frozen Sylvan Lake in the Custer State Park. When not in the car, we shared stories, champagne, and many a meal with extended family members and Deb’s BFF’s. After a rousing game of Cards Against Humanity, it was time to pack onto a plane and head south for the winter. (Shannon, March 2016)

Adventures in Utah

From the moment I had car, I would drive the back roads of Oklahoma to clear my head. Now that I have a long daily commute, I rely on special places to bring me back to center. Since I am now in SW Colorado, I have my pick of places that can be visited year-round. During the warm months, I venture into the mountains with Justin and our trusty canine companions for a long weekend of backpacking or we pitch a tent along a roaring river in the mountains around Silverton. In the cooler months, the Utah Desert calls our name. Justin introduced me to the desert not too long after we started dating (almost 6 years ago) and I have been hooked ever since. When it is just us, we have a handful of very private camping spots that we prefer, far away from the road and noise of others. The solitude is rejuvenating. It takes us away from our technology and back into our relationship with ourselves and with each other.

We arrived at night and set the following into motion: beer/wine toast (Hooray, we are in the desert!), tent and kitchen simultaneous setup (divide and concur), get the fire raging, put hobo dinner in fire (chicken surprise), eat food (everything tastes better when camping) and sit by the fire and relax (add more beer/wine and maybe a flask of some Utah or CO whiskey). Justin had prepared the Chicken Surprise prior to our departure. It was a lovely mixture of chicken, potatoes, onions, and butter to keep it from sticking. He even made mine with some bell and jalapeno peppers. Just wrap with foil, throw it in the fire, add some cheese and chow down!

The next morning, we planned out our day over mimosas and a tasty blend of eggs, bacon and cheese. This particular trip, we decided to load the dogs and hop into the Tacoma for a little 4 wheeling and then a bit of hiking. We were wondering where road 25 leads and how it intercepted other known roads in the area. We went exploring and found that my Keen sandals became a great sand collection device. Once we determined that we had a good mental mapping of road 25, we headed back to the truck, and bounced down the road back to camp. We even found some wild horses on the way back. After a quick sandwich, Justin decided he would take Lopa for a run. Pete and I decided to lounge in the shade. Having forgotten to put new books on my tablet/phone, I went on a winning streak with Plants vs Zombies. With night approaching, we got the fire raging once again and started our Dutch Oven Taco Casserole: Layers of black beans, homemade tomato sauce, ground turkey, spices, tortillas and loads of cheese! Did I mention that everything tastes better when camping?

Sunday morning, our Taco Casserole leftovers were used to make the most disgusting looking but the most amazingly tasty breakfast concoction when thrown together with eggs. We, and our mimosas, decided to leisurely pack up our gear since we didn’t really want to head back to civilization. Ever so slowly, we packed… (Shannon, March 2016)