OMG THAI FOOD OBSESSION

Koh Samui Thailand

I have a major addiction to Thai food, well many styles of Asian cuisine to be honest. No, it’s not just cause I saw Anthony Bordain eat some really great stall food during one of his episodes of Parts Unknown. It definitely has something to do with working on cruise ships all over the world though. People who have a chance to eat in the crew mess on board a ship never look at or taste food in quite the same way. Not to mention the days when you get shore leave and are able to eat something truly local and unique.

Travel Thailand

Travel Thailand with advice from Lonely Planet

 

I’m missing the days we sat on the beach in Pattaya, Thailand with Jon & Kat while it downpoured on the umbrellas over our heads. There was steam coming off our giant glasses of icy cold Chang beer.

Chang Beer of Thailand

We just kept ordering more food from the locals passing by. There were sweet rice balls with fresh mango slices. Lemongrass steamed prawns that some random guy was just carrying in a basket down the walkway between the vendors, guests, chairs and the beach. How he delicately balanced the baskets on the pole across his shoulders, smiling with that typical mischevous look in his eye. (If I were my Mother, I would have worried about food poisoning.)

Lemongrass Thailand Travel Buy a Taste

Wonder what that unique fresh flavor is in Thai cooking? It’s Lemongrass & you can order it from Amazon here.

 

Oh my, what fabulous memories of the swealtering heat and the cooling effect spicy food has on your insides. For me, contrary to popular belief, that’s how hot food works. On a 99% humidity and a 99 degree day, all you need is a spicy Tom Yum or a nice Red Coconut Curry and rice. Awe, yeah.

Key Thai Cooking Ingredients Shipped Directly Fresh from Amazon

Wonder how you can make these tastey Thai recipes at home? Key Thai Cooking Ingredients Shipped Directly Fresh from Amazon.

None of my homoginized descriptions of Thai food are in the Pok Pok book. He’s put way more originality, research and ingenuity into Ricker’s offering to the home cook.

Koh Samui Thailand

You can see the humidity hanging in the air
Koh Samui Thailand

After hanging around on ships with various friends from Thailand, I felt lucky to spend a few days amid their beautiful vistas, lounging on beaches and taking in the funky, fun, and in some ways outragous activities that make up their daily lives. While I was surfing on the web the other day for Thai inspired cookbooks, one really caught my eye, Pok Pok by Andy Ricker @pawkhrua on twitter. Not only does he own several restaurants in both NYC and Portland that are supposed to be stellar, he also wrote a book about Thai food. (I’m putting the Portland Pok Pok locations on my list for a soon to be planned USA West Coast Adventure.)

Pok Pok on Amazon by Andy Ricker

Get a copy o Pok Pok by Andy Ricker on Amazon

Now that I have this beautiful hard cover book in hand, I can’t wait to try some of these recipes out. If Pok Pok & Ricker are out of reach for me, I have a fall back plan from the folks at Lucky Peach.

101 easy Asian recipes

Lucky Peach and their sense of humor are also offering this homage to all Eastern influenced foodies out there, 101 Easy Asian recipes.

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I can never have enough Mexico in my life

Since we left cruise ships, many folks ask where my favorite destination was that we traveled to. I honestly can tell you that it’s way too difficult to decide. I’m definately a fan of Europe, the Baltic Sea, the Caribbean, Austrailia, New Zeland, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, the French Polynesian Islands, Hawaii Alaska, the West and East Cost of the USA. I think you get the picture. Basically, I really love to travel and can find the absolute best there is to offer in any given destination.

Need travel tips for Cancun Mexico, get them here.

I do have one thing to say though about my travels, I LOVE MEXICO. Something in the water there that makes me want to go back, over and over again. (No it’s not Montezuma’s Revenge either.) Seriously, the people in Mexico are amazingly kind and friendly. I know what the news organizations share about Mexico, it’s all violence, drugs and gangs. Well, just like every country they have their problems that are always a bit over dramatized in the press. Don’t get me wrong, there is danger… but that exists EVERYWHERE, so as a traveler, a person has to be aware and no place themselves unwhittingly into a dangerous situation. Look around, don’t drink too much, and definatly, do not buy anything in Mexico at the asking price. That entire culture is a hagglers dream.

Handy hanging travel bag for your toilet supplies

Handy hanging travel bag for your toilet supplies.

The Gulf side of Mexico has crystal clear Caribbean style sandy beaches, beautiful dive spots, secluded resorts and hot spots in the center of glamourous urban oasis. Yes, I used the word glamourous in conjunction with Mexico. Along side the fabulous beaches and loads of tequilla, they also have beautiful pottery and some pretty nifty shopping options too. In Cancun they have a full on high fashion shopping mall, personally I don’t go to Mexico to shop, but hey, if you gotta use that plastic burning up a hole in your pocket they have lots of places to do it.

Trouble sleeping on planes? Try this.

Trouble sleeping on planes? Try this.

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street art series

All over the world artists choose to create directly on the walls, buildings and streets. This series is dedicated to those works of art that eventually get painted over. Generally this artform, graffiti aka street art is unappreciated and thought of as a disfiguration to the wall it’s placed upon.


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Chicago, Illinois, USA


Chicago, Illinois, USA

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Get Some Great George Clinton Graffiti Art For Your Pad

Chicago, Illinois, USA



Cancun, Mexico

Brooklyn, New York, USA

Gamla Stan, Stockholm, Sweden

Warnemunde, Germany

Cobh, Cork County, Ireland

Tallinn, Estonia

Saint Petersburg, Russia

Saint Petersburg, Russia

Oslo, Norway

Oslo, Norway

Tallinn, Estonia

Rostock, Germany

Christiansand, Copenhagen, Denmark

Christiansand, Copenhagen, Denmark

Christiansand, Copenhagen, Denmark

Glasgow, Scotland

Williamsted, CuraƧao

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Seven Sisters Waterfalls in the Fjordlands of Norway

One morning, early for a musician, my cabin phone rang a few years ago and it was my buddy DJ JT. He’s been cruising for several years now and has “been there done that” just about everywhere on the globe. When you’re on a ship and JT calls with an idea to do something, you get up and just go. No questions asked.


Our trip up the Northwestern coast of Norway was just one of those situations. JT had been there and knew of some of the best things to see and do along the way. In a cruise ship environment, often times it’s the crew around you that make or break an entire contract, not just one day.

When JT called, I could still hear the engines and thrusters going and I really didn’t know why I needed to race up to the open deck. But I put on a warm sweater, my name tags and trainers and ran up to deck 17 to see what all the fuss was about.


The ship was sailing down a somewhat narrow channel between two very large cliffs. There was a fine mist and a light fog all about us. On the shore you could see a tiny bright yellow cottage standing all alone against the cliffs and the shores. Breathtaking. JT grabbed my by the shoulders and said, I’m not showing you that little house. Look over there, and he spun me around just as the ship was nearing these gushing roaring waterfalls. It was the Seven Sisters… called such because there are seven tightly woven paths that each of these waterfalls followed down the cliffs to meet the fjord below. As the ship got closer, I could feel their icy mist hitting me in the face, coating my sunglasses in a dense thick mist.


We walked miles circlingf deck 17 many times taking in the natural beauty of the falls and fjords. (In general walking around a Princess cruises ship 1.5-2.5 times, it’s a mile.)

Norway really is a nature lovers paradase. The entire country is interlinked with hiking and biking trails, different rail lines that take you out into the far reaches of their country.

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