Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Cherry Picking

One of the most important fruit-growing centers in Canada, Osoyoos produces irresistible soft fruits like peaches and cherries.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Osoyoos, British Columbia

Osoyoos is a town in the southern part of the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia near the border with Washington state.


The far southern reaches of the Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys are the far northern reaches of the Sonoran Life Zone and include semi-desert landscape species found nowhere else in Canada, including scorpions. While the area is not technically desert, it is part of a threatened ecosystem in Canada known as shrub-steppe.


There are two museums dedicated to the dry landscape of the area, both of which label the area as "Canada's only desert", even though it's not technically desert and other areas of BC are similarly dry and hot.


Tuesday, June 5, 2012


A “tuk-tuk” in Thailand is a three-wheeled cabin cycle. The basic tuk-tuk configuration resembles a motorized version of the traditional pulled rickshaw or cycle rickshaw: a cabin compartment attached to a motorcycle. Auto rickshaws are an essential form of urban transport in many developing countries. Its compact shape and nimble performance makes the tuk-tuk a popular choice of transport in traffic-ridden Thai cities.

(I didn’t actually drive the tuk-tuk… the tuk-tuk driver just had me sit in his seat to take the picture.)

If you want to get a feeling of what it is like to drive around Chiang Mai in a tuk-tuk, watch the video that we recorded below.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Som Tam

Papaya salad, or “Som Tam” as it is known in Thailand, is a spicy salad made from shredded unripe papaya. It was listed at number 46 on “World's 50 most delicious foods” compiled by CNN Go in 2011.

Som Tam stand at the side of the road in Chiang Mai

To prepare Thailand's most famous salad, pound garlic and chilies with a mortar and pestle. Toss in tamarind juice, fish sauce, peanuts, dried shrimp, tomatoes, lime juice, sugar cane paste, string beans and a handful of grated green papaya.

When you take the salad “to go”, it is put in a plastic bag. (We still can’t figure out how they are able to inflate the bag like a little balloon when they seal it with a quick spin and elastic band.)

You have to be very careful when you request the number of chilies to be added. “Thai spicy” brings tears to your eyes.

Som tam is one of our favorite Thai dishes and we would look for stands along the streets wherever we would go.

After witnessing how much we enjoyed it, even Gabriel and Naimah started eating it!

While explaining the delectable wonders of Thai cuisine, CNN Go sums it up well:

“The Land of Smiles” isn’t just a marketing catch-line. It’s a result of being born in a land where the world’s most delicious food is sold on nearly every street corner.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Lay's Peking Duck with Sauce

The different flavors of potato chips in Thailand.

Nori Seaweed Lobster Hot Plate
Baked Bacon Cheese with Seaweed Peking Duck with Sauce
Hot Chili Squid  

And you can wash them down with a Coke or Sprite.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Joy’s House

Back in Chiang Mai, we stayed at a guesthouse called “Joy’s House”.

Breakfast outside
Trying out some bikes
Playing in the pool
Relaxing by the pool

While we were sitting by the pool, some of the locals introduced us to a fruit called “Champoo” (or “rose apple”) that were growing on the trees around the pool. Based on its outward appearance, it could easily be mistaken for a small pear, although the skin is quite waxy compared to pears. Champoo are eaten skin and all. The texture is somewhere between a watermelon and an apple, as is the taste. There are several varieties of Champoo, with the most common in Thailand having a light green skin. This green variety is available almost year round, while the seasonal variety that we ate vary in color from apple red to almost black.

Monday, April 23, 2012

A Day in the Life at the Shelter

Our room
Preparing meals
Saying goodbye