Friday, March 2, 2012

life (layhf) | postcards from themfdre

Hi, you've reached Defining Tabitha and I'm currently on my babymoon.  While I'm out I've asked some friends to blog sit for me.  Over the next few days you'll read great posts that have a travel theme embracing topics that each blogger is an expert at covering. 


Today meet Andrea from theMFDre.  She's got a strict running regime, is much more of an adventurist than I am and covers it all on her fab blog.  She's traveled to some fab places not just checking out the traditional sights, so it's only fitting that she share with you some of her favorite adventures while traveling.  Enjoy!

Hi I’m Andrea, sometimes better known as the MF Dre. I’m a Wild Child Creator, Obsessive Runner, Baker, Dog Rescuer, Travel Lover and Energy-Crazed-Can’t-Sit-Still-Adventurer.

The Mr. claims that one of my worst problems – if you can call it a problem - is that I do not know how to sit still.  I am the girl who always says YES! Want to go here? YES! Want to try this? YES! Seriously.  If I’m sitting on the couch a) something is probably wrong or b) the Bachelor is on. {I know. Don’t judge.}

The result of this so-called-problem? Some pretty kick-butt adventures.  So while Tabitha is off on her own babymoon/adventure-before-the-adventure-of-kids, I thought I’d share a few of my own adventures from around the globe – Beijing, Tibet, Brazil, Thailand and Los Angeles.


Love from Beijing
Clockwise from top Left: 1. Carving of Peking Duck  2. Forbidden City  3. Chairlift Ride to The Great Wall  3.  Strolling around the Shichahai Lakes in Behai Park   4. Climbing the Great Wall  5. & 6. Bobsledding down the Great Wall of China

 

Only in Beijing for 3 days last year, I focused on eats, feats and shopping treats.  Yes fashionistas, you must spend at least a full day at the Silk Street Market for the best deals on custom made clothing, handbags and jewelry (I.cleaned.up.big.time). Shopping makes you hungry so you must eat Dim Sum at the famed dumpling house Din Tai Fung and/or Peking Duck at Duck de Chine where they teach you the art of cutting the duck into exactly 120 perfect slices.  However, my two greatest adventures in Beijing were the day I wandered the streets alone, visited the Forbidden City, ambled through Behai Park and used my very broken-mandarin to navigate across town and the day I visited the Great Wall of China.  There are multiple sections of The Great Wall, most famous being the Badaling.  Skip it and instead head to the Mutianyu section. It is even more beautiful, has fewer tourists AND after taking a chair lift up, hiking the wall and enjoying the view, you get to bobsled down!

 Love from Tibet
Clockwise from top Left:  1. Monk blessings 2. Climbing The Potata Palace - the Dalai Lama’s home 3.  Base Camp, Mt. Everest  4.  Jokhang Temple – the most scared & important temple in Tibet  5.  Frayed prayer flags on the road to Mt. Everest  6. Buddha Statue, Potata Palace  7. Mt. Everest from a distance 8. Sakya Monastery - largest monastic training school in Tibet. 9. & 10. Pictures from the road to Everest.

 

If you think you know altitude, you’ve got nothing on Tibet.  From 12,000’ to a peak of 18.192’ at Base Camp, getting to Mt. Everest is no small feat, even for the seasoned athlete.  It takes about 4 days by van to get from Lhasa to Everest – there are no planes.  It is a long.windy.days-long.altitude-sickness.filled.journey, but a journey that will leave you breathless – literally and figuratively.  We stopped along the way, visiting many of the brilliant temples (and to make sure we had some major Dalai Lama lovin’ and blessings on our side) and took time to bask in the small graces of prayer-flag-tunnels and yoga atop limitless peaks.

Love from Brazil

Clockwise from top Left:  1. Speed Boat ride under Iguazu Falls 2. Cayman Spotting, Amazon 3. Surfing in Rio 4. Greeting Iguazu Falls 5. Pirhana Fishing, Amazon 6. Rappelling down Iguazu Falls 7. Swimming/Feeding Pink Dolphins, Amazon 8. White Water Rafting, Iguazu Falls 9. Bird Park, Iguazu Falls 10. Hang Gliding over Rio

Visiting Brazil is a lot like visiting the US. From LA to NY to Chicago, each city offers something unique.  I spent a few weeks in Brazil – Rio, Iguazu Falls, Jericoacoara and the Amazon – each providing tons of adventure.  For the thrillist, head to Iguazu Falls – the Garganta del Diablo (devil’s gorge) will mesmerize you and you can spend days hiking, rafting, rappelling and adventure touring through the falls.  The Ariau Tower Hotel in the Amazon is the largest tree-top hotel in the world and the ultimate place for eco-tourism. I spent days and nights cayman spotting, swimming with pink dolphins, trekking and piranha fishing (yes, I even ate them!).  Then I headed to Jericoacoara – the fishing village/sand dune national park and mecca for kite & wind surfing.  As the sun sets each day, it is tradition to hike up the dunes and watch the sun drift down past the horizon, then sandboard (think snowboarding on sand) down the dunes and into the breaking waves.  Jeri is a hidden gem in Brazil and probably my biggest MUST VISIT for anyone going to Brazil. 

 

Love from Thailand


Clockwise from top Left:  1. Maya Bay, Thailand (where “The Beach” was filmed), 2. Frolicking on Kata Beach, Phuket 3. Water Ferry, Bangkok 4.  Thai Cooking School, Chiang Mai 5. Feeding Monkeys, Monkey Beach, Phi Phi Islands 6. Elephant Spotting, streets of Bangkok, 7. Bamboo Rafting and Trekking, Chiang Do  8. Elephant Riding, Chiang Do 9.  Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Bangkok

My best recommendation – get in and out of Bangkok.  You MUST go, but no more than 48 hours – serious.  Temples, Thai Massages, Tuk Tuk’s and move.the.heck.on!  Chaing Mai is the largest and most culturally significant region in Thailand and thus offers SO much more – elephant sanctuaries, waterfall treks, local villages, bamboo rafting, cliff diving, artisan shops, and the best local food and thai cooking schools in the country.  In fact, we spent a day at the Chiang Mai Thai Cookery School and let’s just say, it was so good, I’ve never ordered Thai food in the US since.  (Luckily I brought home the cookbook).  Phuket is magical –I hopped the islands and discovered the most surreal beaches.  I’m convinced Maya Bay was what made Leonardo DiCaprio and The Beach famous, not the other way around.   

Love from Los Angeles

Clockwise from top Left: 1. Urban Lights, LACMA 2. Beer Tasting, Fathers Office 3. Flying to San Francisco 4. Trail Running, Santa Monica Mountains  5. Beach Running, Santa Monica Beach  6.  Coastal Motorcycle Ride, Venice Vintage Motorcycle Club 7. Art in the Streets, MOCA 8. Dressing up as Rafiki, Disneyland 9. Flight to Santa Barbara for Foster the People’s first show 10. Great Urban Race, Downtown LA 11. Snowboarding, Big Bear 12. Buttonwillow Raceway Park

Despite my love for travel, I wouldn’t be a true adventurer if I couldn’t have an adventure in my own city.  Even to someone who has lived in the same city for almost 23 years, I find new ways to uncover Los Angeles all the time.  Scavenger hunting, Art Exhibits, running new trails and beaches, riding new tracks (the Mr. races cars!), day trips to Big Bear, San Fran and Santa Barbara and even dressing up in character for the Disneyland Parade!

I’m sure it is possible to have an adventure sitting still, but living in an imaginary dream world has never quite done its thing for me. Luckily, I don’t plan on changing my mind about that anytime soon so feel free to follow all of my adventures at The MF Dre.

Thanks Tabitha for letting me guest post!  Happy Babymoon!

{MF Dre}

2 comments:

Jessica said...

You've visited incredible places! I'm even more set on going to Thailand now. Each time I see photos of its beaches, I swoon.

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