The Sunday List (13)

{Hong Kong Blur}

Hello lovely friends and readers.

It’s been a while since I published a Sunday list of things I am reading, loving and listening to. Here we go…

1. Hotels recommendations for international travellers
Trip Advisor has just released their annual Travelers’ Choice Awards 2011. My favourite category of these annual awards is the Bargain Hotels.

I was really happy to see that Pak Chiang Mai in Chiang Mai, Thailand was listed at Number 4 in the Top 10 Inns in Asia. We’ll be staying with them again in February when my mom and cousin come to visit. Their level of service is consistently impressive; I e-mailed them yesterday regarding an airport transfer and cooking classes and heard back from Khun Noon and Khun O within two hours.

2. Favourite new travel blog: Mr and Mrs Globe Trot
Seattle natives Julia and Yuriy Manchik are on a six-month trip around the world. (If I were cooler, I would call their adventure a RTW!) Their photographs are absolutely sumptuous and their writing is lovely – direct and personable. I am especially loving their posts about Turkey which are awakening a desire to visit. You can read about their travels to Cappadocia here and here and travel, vicariously, to Istanbul here, here and here.

3. The a.m.a.z.i.n.g. Melody Gardot
In 2003, at the age of 19, American Melody Gardot was hit my a car and spent a year recovering from serious head and spinal injuries. During the year in which she was hospitalized, she used music therapy to help her recover. She learned how to play guitar and began writing songs. Consequences of her neural injuries include sensitivity to light and sound as well as short-term and long-term memory loss. You can learn more about her here and here.

DP and I first learned of her when we watched a documentary called Live from Abbey Road in which Melody Gardot sings the Beatles’ Because. Brilliantly. Her music has provided the soundtrack for my weekend; I just cannot get her gorgeous voice out of my head.

4. “New Year, New Hair”… and a new mix
When we were in Hong Kong for Christmas, I got my hair cut. This was not some timid little trim either; I asked the lovely Phillip to chop off six inches of hair perpetually pulled up in a ponytail in order to make the Bangkok heat tolerable. I wanted to look like my old self… my pre-Thailand self. I am very happy with my new bob. (Don’t underestimate the power of a new haircut for a women; it is our single most important accessory!)

One of the lovely secretaries in our main office also had her hair cut during the vacation and when we returned to school in January, we admired each others’ new looks. “New year, new hair!” she said. Indeed!

The Mix:
I decided to use that fantastic phrase as the title of my newest mix. Here’s the recipe:
a) Buy the following albums (all of which are available from i-tunes)
– Andrea Simms-Karp – Sleeper (a fellow Ottawa-girl!)
– Stacey Kent – Breafast on the Morning Tram
– Priscilla Ahn – A Good Day
– Sara Bareilles – Little Voice
– Ingrid Michaelson – Everybody
– Rosie Thomas – Only With Laughter Can You Win (Take out the speaking tracks… they’re a little too precious)
– Melody Gardot – Worrisome Heart
– Melody Gardot – My One and Only Thrill
b) Hit shuffle
c) Play
d) Be inspired. Go for a walk. Write great things. Fall in love… again.

5. Around-the-world summer
As always, we’ll spend some time in Canada this summer and we’re thinking about going home the long way around. (Is there any other route when flying from Bangkok to Ottawa?)
Here are some possible stops:
– Istanbul and Cappadocia, Turkey
– Sofia, Bulgaria
– Budapest, Hungary
– Vienna, Austria
– Dubrovnik, Croatia
– Berlin, Germany
– Paris, France
– Ottawa, Canada
– Calgary, Canada
– Yokohama, Japan (Those last three are non-negotiable)

It’s all good… I’m just dreaming out loud here!

Where would you go if you had a few weeks and a bit of money?  Where do you think we should go?

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