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Indonesia: Flores, Kanawa, Rinca

Last but not least.
IMG_2569Jurassic Park

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Trekking around Rinca Island in search of Komodos.

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The stick that is supposed to protect us.

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Fay and Ty were extremely excited to see some dragons.

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Komodo Dragon in the distance!

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Tough to get a good shot…the guides wouldn’t let Ty get any closer. Odd.

IMG_2522Incredible snorkeling here.

IMG_2465A few of the 17,000 islands comprising Indonesia.

IMG_2513Watching the baby sharks from the dock.

IMG_2579We spent a lot of time in the water.


IMG_2510Kanawa Island 

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The End of our 100 day journey.

Komodo National Park: This refers to a greater marine national park that encompasses several islands and a whole lot of ocean. We stayed on the island of Kanawa (only one bungalow resort on the island, nothing else) and from there took several excursions snorkeling, diving, and of course, searching for Komodo Dragons. 

The Ocean: Ty was shooting himself for not having an underwater camera here. We were shocked at the beauty of the underwater landscape. The colorful hard and soft corals were so abundant we felt like we were swimming in a well-manicured aquarium. We saw hundreds of new fish, octopi, turtles, sharks, dolphins, sting rays, and 8 manta rays. Ty even saw a manta ray breaching! All in just a few snorkel and dive excursions, not bad. This was Ty’s favorite place of the entire trip. Where else can you see Komodo dragons after going on the best dives and snorkeling excursions of your life?  It would be the perfect place, except the ocean here can be quite dangerous. Strong currents are the norm, and down currents are not uncommon. The nearest hospital is a one hour boat ride to Flores, followed by a 90 minute flight to Bali, so we advise not getting hurt or deathly ill here.

Komodos: We took a guided hike on Rinca Island (mandatory) in order to fulfill Ty’s quest of seeing Komodo Dragons in the wild. We saw 6. The highlight of the excursion was watching a mother patrolling her nest with her long slithering forked tongue. Ty loved every minute of our trek and couldn’t have been more pleased. Sloane, on the other hand, did not share Ty’s sentiments. She was too busy stressing about Fay’s safety (of which the guides indeed expressed their concern) and dealing with hordes of mosquitoes. 

The End: This was the last place we visited before making the long and arduous journey back to Utah. Is this the end of the blog? Not quite. We haven’t even started waxing philosophical yet.

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A Week in Bali

IMG_2283 Entering the Monkey Forest
IMG_2320Ty & Fay stroll around while Sloane is treated to a pedicure.

IMG_2328Exploring temples around Ubud

IMG_2339Sarongs were mandatory in temple areas, so Ty used Fay’s baby blanket.

IMG_2342The Landscape.

IMG_2303Fay loved watching the monkeys.

IMG_2264Hotel grounds.

IMG_2344Checking out some ruins.

IMG_2350 IMG_2356Bathing in the holy springs temple.

IMG_2379Civet-ingested-digested-fermented-excreted coffee beans. Very expensive.

IMG_2388Kintamani volcano

IMG_2392Rice terraces.

IMG_2458The Legong Dance

IMG_2311Fay says bye bye to her little friends.

Bali: We spent most of our time around Ubud, a city located near the center of the island. Bali has the most rich and enchanting culture we’ve experienced, and we barely scratched the surface. Perhaps it’s because we’ve never spent time in areas where Hinduism is so prominent, but we found everything extremely fascinating to learn about. We constantly pestered the locals with questions- “What’s that flower petal behind your ear? Why do you have an offering on your dashboard? Can you tell us more about Brahma, Shiva, & Vishnu? What is that person wearing? Why are they sprinkling water on our heads? What’s this giant parade all about?”  The list goes on and on.  We loved immersing ourselves in the art, music, dance, architecture, and history of the region. Not to mention the beautiful landscape.  

Our Hotel: Our bungalow hotel was completely integrated into the top of a steep jungle ravine about 15 min. from Ubud.  The bungalows were very nice, the food was delicious, the landscaping was incredible, and the views were surreal.  Sloane was very excited to get out of this place. Why? Because like all jungles, this one was home to many other things besides our hotel. We saw more new species of insects there in one day than we have in the past 20 years.  And someone in our little family whose name starts with an “S” has arachnophobia.  Poor little ‘S’ slept in constant fear for 5 nights straight. (The fear wasn’t completely unwarranted, we did see large spiders on a daily basis, including one that could easily wrap around our heads). 

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Christmas in Singapore

Ty surprised Sloane by taking her to Singapore for Christmas. 

IMG_2213Orchard Road

IMG_2247Typical shopping mall. 

IMG_2222 Acting like a big girl
IMG_2227 Gardens by the Bay
IMG_2209 Chinatown
IMG_2219Christmas at the Hyatt

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IMG_2260Writing our wishes for the New Year

Singapore: Wildly different from the rest of Southeast Asia. Singapore is the closest thing to Utopia we’ve seen. The city is literally sparkling clean. Every inch is manicured to perfection, both above and underground.  We proudly toted Sloane’s 12 year-old Jansport backpack around as we strolled past stores like Gucci, Coach, and Prada every 2 seconds. Ty thinks you can travel across the entire city without ever leaving a shopping mall. Though the sheer amount of consumerism can be a bit nauseating, Singapore is so classy we didn’t seem to mind. Best window shopping of all time (Ty explicitly forbid any real shopping). 

Christmas: Singapore was a very nice and comfortable place to be for Christmas in Southeast Asia. However, the magic and special spirit surrounding the holidays was quite noticeably absent. Nothing  compares to being surrounded by snow,family, and church Christmas activities. Obvious conclusion: home is always the best possible place for the holidays.

Tickets Home: From about December 21st- December 27th we were seriously considering coming home early. Ty decided to claim he had three diseases attacking him at once, causing a chemical imbalance of the brain and leaving him quite useless as a husband and father. Fay contracted Hand, Foot, & Mouth disease and was sleeping even worse than usual, and Sloane was extremely fatigued trying to deal with it all.  We were completely drained of all physical, intellectual, and emotional energy. Luckily we pushed through though, and the challenging times gave way to some of the best experiences of our trip. 

Public Service Announcement

Sorry folks, our internet connection here in Bali doesn’t have what it takes to upload a picture to the blog. We’ll start posting again in 2 weeks. If you’re lucky, we  just might be patient enough to sneak a photo onto Instagram in the meantime. 

-Ty, Sloane, and The Monster

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Party in Ko Lanta

At long last, visitors! 

IMG_2065Party time with our cousins and siblings. 

IMG_2101Ladyboys singing Happy Birthday to Brienne. Easily the best birthday song of all time.

IMG_2092Men.

IMG_2116Fay & Ollie were best friends. 

IMG_2128These two loved playing on the dive boat. 

IMG_2135 These moms deserve an award. 
IMG_2137Brienne & Kelsey at the dive site. Beautiful people. 

IMG_2171Fay struts her stuff on our way to dinner.

IMG_2159Klong Dao: hard to beat the beaches on Ko Lanta.

IMG_2146A rare moment of tranquility.

IMG_2144Fay dead asleep in the middle of the ocean.

IMG_2080Happy babies= happy parents.

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Visitors gone. They left us too soon! 

Visitors: The stars aligned and a few of our favorite people came to visit! We would like to publicly thank Brienne & Kelsey (Ty’s cousins) and Kara (Ty’s sister), Taylor, and Ollie for making this week an absolute blast. We can’t even begin to describe just how good it was to share this experience and spend time with family. We love you guys! We regret we didn’t take more pictures; too much fun talking and playing.  

Highlights: 

1. Cramming all 8 of us into a truck and exploring the island.

2. Dinner at the beach every night. 

3.  All day dive trip to Ko Haa.

4. Relaxing at some of the best beaches in Thailand. 

5. Brienne’s birthday dinner. She will never receive a birthday song of this caliber again.

Fay & Ollie: Fay was quite excited to see her cousin Ollie after all this time apart. She treated him like gold, except she always tried to pull the long blonde locks out of his head. Must be Hair Envy. Ollie is just the happiest baby on the planet, so he loved playing with Fay and anyone else who wanted to say hello. We loved the fact that Ollie was a source of entertainment for Fay. We also LOVED Kara & Taylor’s Christmas present to us: A night of babysitting Fay. This allowed us to go out to eat by ourselves for the first time since September. Pure bliss. 

Ko Lanta: Ko Lanta is a refreshingly family-oriented island, and is home to some of the best beaches in all the land. We’ve never seen so much sand. Klong Dao was the perfect beach for Fay: huge and flat with a long, gentle slope into the ocean. She could run around in circles on this beach for hours. Ko Lanta is the best place we’ve stayed for complete relaxation. It became everyone’s vacation within a vacation, since we’ve all been on overdrive trying to see everything over the last few weeks. It felt great to just sit back and drink coconut shakes on the beach with our family. Life is good. 

Fay

We’ve received requests for more pictures. Here are a few NEVER BEFORE SEEN pictures from the last 75 days.

IMG_1096 Just chillin’ in Pai
IMG_1070 Testing the waters.
IMG_1060New pants. 

IMG_1030Decides to be happy after a small meltdown.

IMG_0742We’re losing hair because of this.

IMG_0785Getting to know Boon.

IMG_0821Surveying lunch. Yes, we ended up buying that shirt.

IMG_0869Warming up to her new friends.

IMG_0718New hand sign. Not sure what it means yet.

IMG_0639 IMG_0627Rockin’ out. 

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IMG_1727Comparing hairstyles. 

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See you guys later! 

Fay: She is so dang cute. You can begin babysitting January 10th. Please. 

Ho Chi Minh City


IMG_2000SaigonIMG_2014Nap time.

IMG_2018Starting off our tour of the war remnants museum. 

IMG_2020The Fay Exhibit.

IMG_2021 IMG_2023Trying out a new form of transportation. 

IMG_2027The hotel owner gave Fay this new hat. 

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A lovely propagandist film to start off the Cu Chi Tunnel Tour

IMG_2033Viet Cong traps used against the evil Americans.

IMG_2043Mandatory Cu Chi Tunnel Selfie.  (Sloane and Fay opted out)

Ho Chi Minh City: Saigon is one of the most vibrant cities we’ve ever been to. It’s a perfect blend of old & new, and it’s teeming with life. Crossing the streets of Hanoi was a good stepping stone to prepare us for Saigon traffic. Simply amazing to watch how the flow of traffic functions here. We ignorant Americans were honestly surprised at just how alive and progressive this city is.  Saigon is just a cool city to experience. 
The Vietnam War:  Or, to the vietnamese, ‘The American War’.  It was quite interesting to look at the Vietnam War through the communist Vietnamese lens. Visiting the war museum and cu chi tunnels  made the war very real to us. The museum is quite propagandist, but it was extremely eye-opening and informative at the same time. 
Misery: It is safe to say we are at a low, low point in our journey. Through a series of unknown and unfortunate events, Ty ended up with a mean-looking rash that made its way through his entire body. Sloane thought Ty was being his usual dramatic self as he wallowed in sorrow and laid in the hotel for 3 days straight. But finally, at about hour 72, she conceded to his pleas to go to a clinic. Ty now has some real meds that have helped to significantly contain the rash, though he still has a long road to recovery.  Meanwhile, Fay was just having a grand old time running around the lobby like a crazy woman:
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Hanoi & Ha Long Bay

On to Vietnam.

IMG_1785Wandering the Old Quarter of Hanoi.

IMG_1794Walking through a typical intersection

IMG_1811Fay sheds a tear after a solid faceplant on the boat to Ha Long Bay.

IMG_1823 IMG_1840Touring Ha Long Bay

IMG_1873Kayaking with our tour guide.

IMG_1906 IMG_1908 IMG_1945A visit to the pearl farm. Sloane and Fay left very happy.

IMG_1995The view from the ‘Amazing Cave’.

IMG_1990Amazing indeed. This cave was massive.

IMG_1999Fresh seafood for sale.

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IMG_1963Wait for it…

IMG_1964BAM! 

Hanoi:  The Old Quarter of the city is full of character, and it was fun to experience a brand new culture. Walking across the street takes some getting used to, but the broad philosophy is quite simple: Just start walking and the traffic will flow around you. It’s a great way to get the adrenaline flowing and it literally keeps you on your toes. The narrow, crowded streets were also unfortunately full of cigarette smokers (a filthy and extremely inconsiderate habit) so we were more than happy to move on after a couple days.

Ha Long Bay: We took a 3-day boat cruise through Ha Long Bay and enjoyed every minute of it. When we first saw our boat, Ty immediately began to question the seaworthiness of the vessel. Luckily, it was quite nice (just in need of a new exterior paint job). The oncoming monsoon season enshrouded the bay with a slight mist, making the experience even more surreal. We visited several small islands, caves, and villages, and anxiously awaited the incredible sunsets every night. The bay’s thousands of islands were truly breathtaking. Ty’s favorite part was kayaking through caves leading into bays only accessible at low tide. The whole experience was perfect…except for that time when three drunk Australians in the cabin next door got into a crazy fight in the middle of the night. 

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Cambodia: Siem Reap

IMG_1767Touring the countryside via ox cart

IMG_1754 IMG_1748 IMG_1714 Our tuk tuk driver took us to his local village.
IMG_1717 Duck embryo. We watched our driver eat the whole thing. 
IMG_1615Visiting a Buddha carved on top of a giant boulder.

IMG_1537 The land mine museum was eye-opening. 

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We loved watching all the kids running around.
IMG_1305Floating village on Tonle Sap lake. 

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IMG_1312 This is how the 4-year olds get around in the floating village.

IMG_1319Pet croc

IMG_1518 Fay loves water. 
IMG_1591Goodbye Cambodia. You will be missed.

Cambodia: Our experience in Cambodia was beautiful. The country is beautiful, the people are beautiful, and the temples are beautiful. Our week here was perfect in so many ways. If we only had one week to come out and visit southeast asia, we would choose Siem Reap. Perhaps one of the main reasons for this was the place we stayed: V&A Villa.  The owners really helped to provide an authentic experience and a strong connection to the Cambodian culture. 

Rough History: Cambodia has had a rough past. Just read up a little bit on The Khmer Rouge and you’ll understand why. In addition, the U.S. dropped millions of land mines over Cambodia during the Vietnam War & the country still has hundreds of deaths each year from leftover unexploded ordnance. Cambodia is just barely ahead of Myanmar in terms of poverty, and currently has one of the worst rankings for government corruption.  It truly is amazing to see just how friendly and happy the people are here despite their circumstances. 

Cambodia: Angkor Wat

Dozens of temples.

IMG_1371The Big Daddy: Angkor Wat

IMG_1348Fay begins wandering around the inner sanctum.

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Tha Phrom (Tomb Raider Temple)

IMG_1383Angkor Thom: Bayon

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A bunch more temples.

IMG_1445 Fay gettin’ blessed.
IMG_1495Kbal Spean river carvings

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Ty’s History Lesson: The temples were built by Khmer kings a long time ago.  Some temples are Buddhist, some are Hindu, and many are a combination of both. The end.

The Experience: We spent three very full days exploring the temples surrounding Siem Reap, and we barely scratched the surface. Cruising from temple to temple in the Cambodian tuk tuk’s was a great way to enjoy the scenery and was Fay’s favorite part of the whole experience. It was extremely difficult to capture in photographs just how impressive  these temples were (we spared you about 150 other temple pictures, you’re welcome). The temples of Angkor really do have a special mystique about them, and they definitely lived up to all of the hype.

Excuses, Excuses: Sorry for the short post folks. There are two reasons for this. Reason #1 : We’ve been bouncing around a lot lately with very little time. Reason #2: The magnificent author of this blog currently has a rash covering his entire body and is not in any mood to write anything more. Saigon has not been very kind to us.