30 April, 2010

The reason I'm here.

A glimpse into what drew me back. Reviewing these photos not only made my heart ache with both love and sadness but also drove me to follow my dreams. 

Today I feel the effects.

A mixture of delayed Jet Lag, PMS and the fact that Jake has taken off for a few days to go to San Diego with Aaron, leaving him unreachable really kicked up my homesickness. 

Once I have everything set up here, I know I'll start to feel that heart, that drive, that purpose. But today... I feel sad. I don't feel like doing anything and I am incredibly tired but can't sleep. 

I know I made the right decision. I know that I'll find my way back to my true path in life. And these days will happen. However that doesn't make it any easier. 

It's funny, because half way through my thoughts of sadness I realize I'm being irrational. I can feel myself continuing the sadness but in my mind I know it'll be over soon. Tomorrow's a new day. 

And I'll always remind myself that: 

Surprisingly, I cant wait...

For the holiday to end! With Eric being gone and a majority of my friends on holiday as well I'm starting to get bored out of my mind! 

Today marks the actual day the Vietnam war ended. This is a pretty big trip to think about for me, but to every one else here it's cause to party, for everyone to go out at once. So it's wise to kind of take a chill day and stay in if I can! 

I'm really looking forward to everything going back to normal and hopefully to start working soon. Once I have the security of income, I can get out there and start volunteering with my whole heart. I've found this incredible sight that lists tons of different humanitarian groups, tons of orphanages that I can visit and a few housing and community based projects as well. 

But for now, I'll be doing a lot of this: 

And I'll continue to try and tan up this pasty skin: 

28 April, 2010

Tried to get lost...

...but ended up finding familiarity at every turn. I ended up at all of my old haunts,

Our old apartment: 

Myself, in my helmet: 

Jake's old work: 

My old work:

Our old Market: 

The Notre Dame Cathedral: 

The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf: 

(Wait a minute....since when has there been a Coffee bean in Saigon??) 

Lei Loi + the Tax centre:

I enjoyed a little afternoon relaxation after a few hours of driving: 

Grew a little frustrated with the Vietnamese spam on my phone: 

Was happy that I could remember the art of finding my motorbike in this: 

And came home to shower, relax end enjoy some lunch: 

This shot of the beer is for you Jake. I actually enjoyed more of the 333 beer than the expensive Zorok, but I couldn't help but giggle and say my name in a funny accent: Cori Zorok.

And here's a tour of the new digs: 

It's funny, and this may sound weird considering how much time I have spent complaining of the frustrations of living in Vietnam in the past, but I feel so good here. At peace, at home. 

That being said, I do miss my husband and my pup very much. Luckily I see them on skype twice a day : ) It's funny, since I feel everything is so familiar, I find it hard to take pictures of everything...I feel like I've seen it all before (in a good way) but I remember that all of you haven't. So I'll do my best to keep an eye on sharing my Vietnam with all of you.  

Dr. Dog

Livin a Dream

Was this a dream I had
Or is this for real?
Where did I go from here
And how did it feel?

You only get one piece of time
And one space to take up
'Cause on the day that you die
You don't have to wake up.

Nothing is quite like it seems
When you're living your life in a dream.

2nd shower of the day.

First shower was right when I got here- to wash away the 23 hours of traveling, the Second... purely to cool off before I start settling down for the night. It's 10pm and it's over 80 out there! 

So let's recap the last 2 days of travel. 

Lets See, my last day in SoCal started out by sleeping in and being lazy. Well, to be honest, Jake slept in and I laid in the bed with him watching movies. I had the whole 'Christmas Morning Syndrome' happening! 

We followed that up with a bike ride to forever21 where I returned a pair of shoes and received two items in return : ) We also stopped and got juice on the way home. 
This was followed up with a short lived reunion with Aaron and Miranda (well, short lived on my part- Jake gets to hang with them all week). We were able to reminisce and touch base just hours before I had to take off. 

We then had BBQ with my two best girlfriends- Mel and Emy here: 

So much food, so very delicious! 

Did I mention I'm not good with goodbyes? When we had to part ways with Emy and Mel, I literally ran off after the final hugs because I began ugly crying. 

This lead to an emotion filled next few hours. We headed back into the apartment and just sat on the couch in a long embrace. Once I composed myself and looked over the apartment for miscellaneous objects that I definately left behind (camera battery charging in the wall) we headed out to the car for the trip to the airport. Pupster came along, which was both sweet and bitter. She looked so confused. 
I got to my gate with just enough time to pop on the computer and say goodnight and goodbye through skype to Jake and Maddie.

When I booked my flight it asked if I would like any specific type of meal. I chose the low fat, low cholesterol option... I had no idea that this would mean me receiving my meals about 10 minutes before everyone else! The two large chinese men sitting next to me weren't that happy about it! 

I arrive at the HK airport with a little over 2 hours before my connecting flight. Kind of the perfect amount on a layover. I had time to relax a little, skyped with Jake, enjoyed an aloe and wheatgrass juice and a full dragon fruit (which I only had a plastic spoon to eat with so I kind of had to convert it into a bowl)
Then, after I was all relaxed and ready to board my final flight... they changed the gate! Not only did they change the gate 20 minutes before boarding, it was a gate across the entire airport! So I had to run- well speed walk actually, to make it in time. Luckily that flight went really smooth and fast and before I knew it my huge daunting 'time to destination' was getting shorter and shorter.

So thank god there would be no more of this:

...for at least a couple of weeks : ) 

Once I arrived in the SGN international airport I honestly felt as if I never left. I got in line for my visa pickup and laughed at all these frustrated westerners who didn't prepare themselves very well yet took their frustration out on the Vietnamese staff: "What do you mean I need to bring a passport size photo for my visa?" Who travels to a foreign country without looking into the rules and laws?! 

Then it was time to meet up with Eric. Felt like I had just seen him! Even though it was 5 months since him and Linh came to visit us in LA. We stepped out of the air conditioned airport and straight into the hottest, most humid air that smelled so familiar. The last time I was standing at that airport, the olympic torch was being ran through Vietnam which caused for a very stressful departure! 

We dropped off my gear, I took a quick shower and we were off to tool around town. First things first, we picked up a new helmet for me. Amazing, exactly like my last one but pink : ) then we headed out to sushi (delicious) and just biked around getting familiar with the area. 
We came back to the apartment, had some cafe su da's and played old sega games on his xbox until we were ready to head out for dinner. 

We went out to dinner at one of my favorite places ever, Coriander...amazing thai food! Then we sent Eric off to Nha Trang, the trip I was supposed to go on but realized it wouldn't be that smart to burn through all my money the first week I was here! And I took back to the streets driving Eric's motorbike home. 

I was nervous to get back on the bike and go head first into the craziness but it was SO easy, and so familiar! I came home, relaxed and am heading to bed at 10pm! 

** Update** Made it through my first night without waking up at 4am (which is my usual Jet Lag ritual). 

Now I'm up, ready to take on my first full day by myself. I'm just going to get pleasantly lost, take lots of pictures, walk around and head home around 7 for dinner with Linh. 

So far so good. Loving life. 

26 April, 2010

Last trip before the move

Joshua Tree. An epic place to take a short or long vacation. 

I think this has been one of the best send off's Jake and I have ever had. We drove Wednesday when Jake was done at work, crashed at a motel since we got in late- then headed into the park and tooled around for two amazing days! 

We even took a quick peek at pioneertown, a wild west town built by early hollywood. Pioneertown was built in 1946 as a movie set for western movies, including the movies of Gene AutryThe Cisco Kid, with Duncan Renaldo, Annie Oakley with Gail DavisJudge Roy Bean with Edgar Buchanan, Range Rider with Jock O. Mahoney, and Buffalo Bill Jr. with Dick Jones. 

All in all a pretty darn good way to spend the last few days with my husband and my pup. 

It's still surreal. I'm sure it'll be about 6 hours into my flight when I finally think 
"oh. ok, I'm ready now : )  "

22 April, 2010

Joshua Tree National Park

Tonight we leave for Joshua Tree National Park... all three of us :) I am SO excited to have a few days of camping with my husband and pup. I think it is much needed one on one time- especially right before the big bad trip! 

Today I officially closed the book on Peet's Coffee and Tea. What a roller coaster the past year has been working with Peet's. What I thought would be a carefree fun job turned into one of the biggest challenges of my life. But, as it sounds- what doesn't kill you makes you stronger! I'm glad its over, I'm thankful for the challenge and I think starting today I can sleep soundly through the night.

I'm looking forward to this new challenge, this new adventure... and I can't wait to start it tonight! 

More pictures and stories to come, but for the next two days I am technology free!

19 April, 2010

Sunday- Definitely a fun day

Yesterday was one of the best Sundays I've had in ages. That's what weekends must be like! 

I'm loving the fact that I will be pleasantly unemployed for the next 3 to 4 weeks! However, I do only have one more week left with my love and my pup. 

We are already making the most of it though, yesterday we got up early (well relatively early after going out Saturday night) and headed out to the good old Ihop with my best friend in Cali. The three of us ate so much- we all had to go home and take naps : ) 

After a lazy day around the house, Jake and I headed out for a hike and experienced a new hike, new scenes in nature, and new flowers. It was breath taking. 

And we rounded out the day with a delicious salmon dinner and a movie at the cheap theater. Can't get better than that!

Three days to pack

Wow, I made it through my two weeks at work... I have my ticket.... I have my visa.... 

I have to pack : ( 

Packing is one of my least favorite things to do- usually I have Jake do it. 
Unfortunately, this is my move. My responsibility. 

I kind of have a head start, I've got a good amount of clothes packed already- I only need to buy a few things and I'll be set to go! It's just getting the motivation to actually sit there and pack... 

So. Why the three day limit you ask? Doesn't she leave in one week from today, you say? 
This timeline- or goal if you will- is set for a couple of reasons: 
1. I will not have to worry about packing for my last few days with my husband and pup. 
2. I will have Thursday, Friday, and Saturday to pick up those last minute items I realized I have forgotten while packing.
3. Jake and I will be camping in Joshua Tree Wedensday and Thursday night. 
4. Friday night one of my closest friends has a show
5. Saturday night I have a huge get together planned with the friends I've met here in SoCal. 
Good things eh? I usually leave packing until the last minute- but anyone who knows me knows that I leave things behind and forget key components.  

I'm hoping to make this a smooth transition. An easy start to this new life I will be creating for myself. 


"(What's the Story) Morning Glory"

All your dreams are made 
When you're chained to (your) mirror with (your) razor blade 
Today's the day that all the world will see 
Another sunny afternoon 
(I'm) walking to the sound of your favorite tune 
Tomorrow never knows what it doesn't know too soon 

Need a little time to wake up 
Need a little time to wake up wake up 
Need a little time to wake up 
Need a little time to rest your mind 
You know you should so I guess you might as well 

What's the story morning glory 
(you) need a little time to wake up 
Wake up well 
What's the story morning glory 
Need a little time to wake up 
Wake up 

Morning Glory

A Morning Glory cloud is a roll cloud that can be up to 1000 kilometres long, 1 to 2 kilometres high, and can move at speeds up to 60 kilometres per hour.

Morning glory is a common name for over 1,000 species of flowering plants in the family Convolvulaceae, whose current taxonomy and systematics is in flux.

(What's the Story) Morning Glory? One of my favorite albums from one of my favorite bands.

Morning Glory- My breakfast this morning with one of my best friends and husband.