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Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

To wrap up our 3 1/2 month honeymoon, we decided to head back to the beach. An hour flight from Ho Chi Minh City, and just a few miles off the Cambodian coast, Phú Quốc Island has been described as what “Phuket used to be”… lots of countryside, few tourists, and very little development. Staying [...]

Saigon, Vietnam

Our journey from Bali continued with a brief layover in Singapore, and a flight onward to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. I have to admit, I felt a little anxious about visiting Vietnam, given America’s history with the country. Would we feel welcomed, or scorned by the local people? Would we always have to be [...]

Bangkok, Thailand

Our Thailand adventure began with a mistaken hotel booking outside the Bangkok city center. I had managed to mix up which hotel we were to stay at, and had our taxi drop us off in the Ramkhamhaeng neighborhood, not too far from the airport. But what had been a mistake became a blessing, as we [...]


After picking us up at the airport, a quick lunch, and a two-hour drive around the city, my friend Yong said, “Well, that’s it! That’s Singapore.” There may not be too much more to do in Singapore, but it was fine with us. We loved every moment. I had known Yong and his wife Kitty [...]

South Africa

Our round-the-world journey began with an overnight flight to London, where after a couple days of the obligatory experiences such as Big Ben, the Tower, and meat pies, we were met by my sister, Suzie. As an exercise of endurance, Suzie landed, met us in London for a few hours, and then as a group [...]

Cologne, Germany


On one hand, Cologne is an incredibly romantic city. Sitting by the Rhine River on a Saturday night, dining al fresco, listening to the rumble of the trains as they roll into the city across the bridge under the shadow of the darkly beautiful Dom Cathedral. On the other hand, you have countless bachelor and [...]

Brussels, Belgium

This morning I took the two hour, high speed train from Gare Paris Nord to Brussels, Belgium. I had a map of my hotel’s neighborhood, which appeared to be just outside the train station. But when I was unable to find the correct street, I went back in the station, where I could not find [...]

Le Cordon Bleu (Day 15)

I can’t believe I’m already at the halfway point of my course. We just completed Lesson 15 of 29 yesterday. I feel like the classes are getting a bit more manageable. My initial impressions of the chefs were that they were pretty tough. I learned that my only responses to one talking to me should [...]

Burgundy, France

On Sunday, I visited Dijon and Beaune in the Burgundy region of France. The day didn’t start too smoothly; first my Paris metro train stopped two stations short of where I needed to transfer to get to the train station, Gare de Lyon, because of construction. Then when I got to the train station via [...]

Le Cordon Bleu (Days 5-6)

Friday was day one of my “macaron” mission. I’m a huge fan of the macaroons from the organic artisanal Miette bakery in San Francisco, and I had learned from their website that the owners tried to replicate the best recipes of Parisian bakers, including Pierre Hermé. Today I was joined by several fellow culinary students, [...]