Hello Cambodia-Siam Riep

To continue where I left off we made it to Cambodia after a 29 hour, ferry/bus trip from Ko Tao (Thailand) to Siam Riep (Cambodia). The trip wasn’t as bad as it sounds, it was an overnight arrival into Bangkok and then to the border with similar people (westerners) a slight fight with corrupted border officials on the actual price of visas and one more nonairconditioned very dusty and a little bumpy bus ride to Siam Riep with our new westerners clan.

Day 2 (first full day in Cambodia) We decided to just relax and go see the downtown a bit. Adam,a new friend traveler from Chicago and myself decided to go have lunch which consisted of our new found diet rice, vegetables, noodles, vegetables, maybe some meat for Adam..Yep I have gone vegetarian again. The new diet has took to both of us THANK GOD! Knock on wood neither of us have gotten sick from any of the food. Oh yeah going to the city from our "Hilton" Hotel (They must know how good a hilton is back home to have named the nice…but not hilton nice hotel we were staying at) we took a Tuk Tuk carriage covered scooter ride with our adopted tour guide Tom. That was interesting, very interesting. The traffic around here is just mass chaos. Basically anything goes, and no one looks behind them. They make left turns by crossing traffic and then just weaving through oncoming traffic until they can get to turning left. Its pretty unnerving at first now its no biggie. Foreigners were not allowed to rent scooters so we were all safe in our Tuk Tuk.

After the adventure around town, we all decided to make or way up to the infamous temples for sunset. The three of us along with 500 of our closest mostly Asian friends watched a beautiful sunset sitting atop Phnom Bakheng. Pictures hopefully posted today…

Day three in Siam Riep was a duesy, Tom our local tour guide took us to Prasat Kravan, Pre Rup, Ta Som, Preah Khan, Ta Prohm (which is famous for being on the Tomb Raider movies), Ahgkor Thom, and the biggest of them all Angkor Wat. 7 hours of temples, you could say we were all templed out! Although quite an impressive thing to see and experience, we were all very happy to have seen one of the seven wonders of the world. Check that off…only 6 to go.

The beginning, and hardly the end of the trek arond east asia

Day one to now I have seen things I never though I would see in my wildest dreams…well at least not by the age of 24. I arrived into Bangkok just two weeks ago after 20 hours of travel, and one wrong itinerary emailed off to Adam we some how managed to find eachother in the airport. We are all allowed blond moments once and a while right? After a few strolls down Khaosan Road (Backpackers unite and buy anything imaginable), and a hot walk around some temples in Bangkok,we were wisked away on an overnight bus to Koh Paghnan. After arriving to our destination paradise of Hat Rin Nai we skipped the much needed showers of a 12 hour excursion and headed out to the beach for an also much needed beer. We spet a few days around the area, with a one day tour to Anthong National park-such a beautiful place! To paint a picture since I am having no luck with my pictures-Islands everywhere, great snorkeling, kyaking, hiking, Thai lunch buffet on the beach, just an all around beautiful day.

After a pool party, and a skip on the black moon party we made our way up the north coast of the island to my new favorite place Bottle beach. Where the people were as welcoming as the place.  One vertical hike up to a lookout point, and many many hours playing cards and soaking up the sun, after three days we agreed if we didn”t leave soon we could stay forever.

A short ferry ride and we were in Koh Tao-Diving capital of east asia. I’m not much of a diver so we skipped out on the diving and just enjoyed our little beach where our bungalo was propped. The beach is something we can both agree on at any point of time, but to be honest thats not exactly why we both made the trek half way around the world. So we were off once again.

Probably-and hopefully-our longest trip of the two month holiday we finally made it to Cambodia. Which is where I will stop at right now and describe when I am not sitting in my own pool of sweat in this internet cafe in Siam Riep Cambodia. We are off to meet some fellow backpackers we have met on our 27 hour journey here-to enjoy 1 dollar margaretas.

Miss u all, and hope that not everyone else is suffering from the epidemic flu my poor family has just gone through. Fam. I hope your all feeling better!

Chapter closed, Chapter open

       I am proud to introduce your newest college graduate, myself. Six years almost to the month of when I started I am finally finished with my college chapter. Thanks to the greatest Operations Manager and Club owners I was able to do my internship this summer managing the coolest, bestest, Anytime Fitness club in the country. During my internship I realized what I kind of already knew- Sales, Data entry, and desk work is not my forte. I tried it, I worked at it, but it just didn’t do it for me. So two weeks ago I quit there, I quit my cocktailing job (at Stella’s Speak Easy, the best bar around for good drinks and live music) and bought a plane ticket to Boston, and then South East Asia. I am heading to Boston for about ten days to see some special people.  Then it’s off to Bangkok where a friend of mine from a previous travel adventure is meeting me on the other side and we are going to backpack around for the next few months. Our destinations are unknown, just spontaneous, crazy (w/in reason of course), good old backpacking funness.

          Leaving before was always easy, I knew I had to come back sometime sooner rather than later to finish school. Now, I don’t have that to come back to. Thank god! If I spent any more time getting my undergrad, my parents would be broke, and I would be the first girl Van Wilder (or Jonny Lechner for all u UWW peps). After my two months in East Asia exploring Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam I am flying back to Boston and going from there. My agenda is clear, and I am free to roam. Of course I will be finding myself back here on occasion to see how many quick inches my wonderfully, adorable niece has grown. Off the record, that’s probably going to be the hardest person to say goodbye to here. Its funny too, she’s the only person who has no idea who I am, and will..hopefully..be the only person who will not really notice I am gone. J

       No sob stories this time, life has been good to me this year. I hope the same for everyone else too as the year slowly is coming to an end.  I am going to try my damdest to keep my blog updated while I am out and about. My phone will stay the same for right now with the exception of it being off while I am out of the country. If anyone is going to be in any exotic places hit me up, maybe I’ll meet u there. Chapter College closed, Chapter Unknown opening…..

New day, New way, New Island= New katiestravels adventure


      For those of you who don’t know I finished up yet another non-graduating year at University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Doing ok in some fields and better in others I finished up almost a full year including fall, winterm, spring, and summer classes. So naturally I had to get out into the world again aka out of Wisconsin. Not because of the people whom I miss them all dearly, I needed to see the deep blue once again.

      To complete my back track before I move forward with my newest adventure, I spent a week visiting my middle school buddy Ryan whom is doing EOD training in the panhandle of Florida, along with that I took 10 wonderful days off of school and flew back to Antigua. While I was there I was able to hang out with the best people I met in the Caribbean, the Fitzmaurice family, Gavin and Suzie, Cassy, Tom…to name just a few….. And learn a new sport I am pretty much obsessed with from here on out, Regattas (Sailboat racing). I also met the Poynter family while in Antigua, both Annabel and Henry remembered me THANK GOD! and of course the Poynter’s were arms and hearts open and let me race on Blue Beach with them. It was a slow start for us day one ended before it started with technical difficulties on the mainsail fuller (we almost lost the very very heavy, very very expensive Mainsail), the next few days were a battle to the finish. There is nothing more intense and invigorating than 65,000+ pound boats feet away from smashing into each other with people hopping, running, ducking, resetting, resizing ropes and sails to get the most wind the possibly can squeeze from the air. Like I said….HOOKED! Blue Beach finished with a satisfying 2nd in its class, only trailing by 1 point!

     Of course I cant not say anything about some of the hard times that have gone on in the last few months,  over winter break I along with many others had to bury my second mom, RIP Cindy, mother of Molly (my unwritten adopted little sister), after a freak accident which should have never happened. Easter Sunday one of my best friends from high school, Melissa Speich was involved in a drunk driving accident (4th offense drunk driver blew a stop sign) destroyed her and the Toyota she was driving home from the grocery store. After 12 of the longest days of her friends and families lives Melissa age 22-23 passed away on 4-20-2007 RIP Melissa. All happening while I was away, and somehow Melissa whom always encouraged me to travel waited till two days before I came home from Antigua to pass away from her 12 day coma. This then allowed me to be there for whom I though her friends and family but mostly for myself at the funeral. I did two things I though I could not, and would never do, I read a eulogy at her memorial service in Minnesota in front of over 350 people and managed to make it through without crying. Needless to say I  made up for it at other times. Almost done, one week after that we put Molly the family dog of 17 years (13 with us) to sleep not because of her getting hit by the car some years ago, or the rat poison she decided to eat on July 4th 2003, and not even her accident with the stairs, molly was 17, old and ready to pass. 

      So as you can see I was in need of a new adventure, 9 months almost to the day of being back in Wisconsin, 45 credits in 8 months, 3 deaths, and just the itch to get out I moved to Nantucket, MA. For those of you who don’t know where it is…LOOK on a map 🙂 Just kidding, its a small island off the coast of Massachusetts below Cape Cod. I have been here two weeks tomorrow, and it feels like a summer has already flown by. I am living out here with a friend of mine from home Eric, Thanks Eric!!!! I spend my working days at Miacomet golf course checking in golfers and making tee times. I haven’t made it out on the course in fear that I will hurt myself, or someone else on the course, however I will make it out sometime…I think. The crew at Miacomet have all been a great addition to my list of people I have met while traveling. We work, we bbq, we watch movies, we party like rock stars, and we go out to dinners together…its GREAT! They all are GREAT! I have not gotten any pictures of the Miacomet bunch, but I’ll try and keep ya posted!

     Eric and have very different schedules so seeing each other is a bit of a task sometimes, but we have managed to buzz around the island on his new bright yellow moped. As the pictures show, we went to a sunset one of my first days here and of course I took way too many pictures, goofed off (pretending to be like a Baywatch babe.. lacking in coordination, and other things of course) There is a video, but I am working on learning how to post it :).. And of course deciding if I should :). I am usually done around 2 pm from work so one day we decided to go fishing. Carrying two poles sitting on the back of a moped is quite a challenge especially when you are going through brush! Don’t worry mom, dad, and Adj we were going slow! I though I was a seasoned fisherlady until I somehow got three huge individual snarls in my line, lost a lure…due to lack of line tying skills by none other than myself, and just about throwing my back out trying to cast further than Eric. I finally just gave up and wrote in my journal.

    The last group of pictures are with some other Islanders I have met recently, Bubba (mike), Adam, and Bazhen. I didn’t participate but two of them tried water skiing…choppy, windy day, a few beers to celebrate bubba’s birthday… made for a hilarious show from the boat. Adam managed to get up and ride for a little bit, Bubba struggled just a little bit and just couldn’t get up on the skis. So some of the pictures all you see is a big splash….that’s them waking up the fishes with their bodies smacking against the water from an unplanned dive.

    So far the island has been good to me, a bit chillier than I would like, but the summer is young and I’m already havin fun. I’ll try to keep a better log of my activities for those of you who actually are still reading…I know long blog, next time it will be a bit shorter!  

Midterms just passed and I am still alive, an accomplishment HELL YEAH! For those of you who know the credit system I have 19 credits, for those of you who dont, 19 credits is one credit more than the max allowed, a very large load of classes. I got a coushy job in the computer lab 11 hours a week which is prime time for doing all the great homework my classes give me. Much to many peoples dismay I love school so much and am so glad to be back! It took me a few weeks to get back into the swing of things, but now I’m doin just great. Its good to be back with my friends and family here in Wisconsin, but I dearly miss the family that took me in. The Poynter family, their family, and their friends were so great to me leaving was really hard :(. But by the sounds of it they are all doing very well.

Its starting to get very cold here and that doesnt fly too well with me! Its a darn good thing I spent so much time outside last year, because this winter is going to be a LONG one! I should have some picures up of the last few months of festivities in Whitewater so go take a look!

Aaron and Katie Road Trip Part 4 (pictures and Video Included)

Day 6,7

We have done so much and so little in the last few days it seems like a week has gone by just in the last two days. Aaron and I worked on our tans for a few hours, well I worked on my tan…Aaron worked on getting burnt. When Mike was able to astray from work we trucked over to JTC and the famous site of Modevia, their webhosting company.

After stuffing our faces with yummy nonauthentic Mexican food we headed for the Metro. Talk about a clean train system, I was much impressed over its cleanliness over the Boston Train System.  We didn’t arrive there till after 3 but we managed to cover so much ground and of course their are pictures to prove.

Wanting to get out of the sun for a few minutes and settle our dehydration we very quickly decided to hop into a bar. Now Im not sure if I believe in fate but something brought us to this bar for a reason. We had just planned on having one drink and very quickly that turned into an appetizer and more drinks. Im not sure how it all started but we started talking to a girl whom was sitting by us Sibu was from the Greater Boston area and was such a character. Tony from Pennsylvania joined the conversation midevening and quickly became one with our "corner of the bar" group. We had such great conversation..nothing of which had any meaning whatsoever but none the less it was a very eventful enjoyable evening.

The night ended as all nights should, Mike broke his sandal at the bar and honestly I dont think I’ve seen anything as funy as that before. I took way too much video footage because it was just so damn funny I couldnt help myself. He had to gimp around D.C. with a broken sandal because he needed it to get on the metro. We made it back, broken sandal and all. By the time we finally hit Manassas and did what all people do after leaving the bars, hit up the Taco Bell.

Day 7

We Lounged around the pool for a few hours in the morning and headed back into D.C. to finish seeing what we missed the day before. Arriving late afernoon we again hit up many more interesting sites. Nothing makes you feel more patriotic than breating down glass of the Magna Carta, Constitution, Decleration of Independence, and the Bill of Rights. The rest of our stops are  all documented by photographs so please do look.

Day 7 ended with a feast of 4lbs of crab legs and baked potatoes prepared by your very own, me.

Aaron and Katie’s Road trip Part 3 (pictures, Videos included)

Day 4 and 5

The Tour was a success, we walked around for nearly 5 hours hitting
up much of the Freedom trail and stopping to take pictures along the
way. We even made it to my first home in Boston, 8 Otis of Beacon hill.
Next was a walk through the Public Gardens, Boston Commons ( home of
many many bums, and many memories of feeding Henry lunches and
dinners), a trip to the craziness of Faneuil Hall for some good ol’
Aaron sunglass shopping, lunch in Little Italy on the North end. A
visit to the USS Constitution, Bunker Hill, a very enjoyable ride on
the infamous T ferry/water taxi through the Boston Harbor. And finally
a scavanger hunt to find my stuff in a storage compartment.

Since we had to drive through and around Boston, New Haven, New
York, New Jersey, Phili, Baltimore, D.C. and finally Manassas VI. We
decided to leave later in the evening and drive through the night. 9
hours of driving can do funny things to you especially when you do it
with not even a drop of caffeine ( Didn’t indulge in any, Aaron however
had 3 Mountain Dews). Our final destination was met with only two
stops, when the clock hit 3:30, 472 Miles later bringing our overall
trips milege to 1700 we were greeted by wide awake Mike in Manassas
Virginia. Not exactly sure how, the three of us stayed up till around
4:30 when I had to be a bad guest and retire to the guest room. I dont
even remember my head hitting the pillow, actually I really think I was
already asleep when I was changing into my pj’s.

Finally for the first time since probably Easter I slept past 9am,
and did absolutly NOTHING. Waking at 10:30 I stumbled out got dressed
and did the best think next to sleeping worked on my tan at the pool.

Here are a few pictures from the trip so far. I do apologize now for
how my voice sounds, If I do sound like this normally I really do
apologize…especially for the amount of talking I do.

Just click the link thats aarons blog and then click each video and
pray that it works 🙂 Just kidding Aarons a genius….and enjoy.


Aaron and Katie’s Road Trip Part 2 (Pics Included)

Day 3
Getting soaked was an understatement..we were drenched! But thanks to our complementary ponchos we stayed relatively dry…pictures are there to prove! We thought The Falls were beautiful at night, they were breathtaking in day time.
After taking about 95 pictures we were on the road again….on the road again, I cant wait to get on the road again.. :).sorry couldnt help myself. Anyway.. We drove another 475 miles bringing our overall mileage up to a hefty 1300 marker, ending up in my favorite place in the US. BOSTON!!
Getting here at night we of course got a bit lost, totally expected in the curvy streets of beantown.
We met up with a Austin a local Bostonian (from Missouri) and his visiting friend Jacob…or Jason (sorry 🙂 ) Chilled at his house for a few and enjoyed a N/A Bloody Mary..yumm… (Thanks Austin)
Being back in Boston hit me like a ton of bricks, I love this city because of the memories I have of it. Most of those memories are with a family that I will not see for a very long time. Seeing simple places like a toy store we shopped at, and a childrens barber that we had many good and bad memories at while getting Henry’s hair cut sent me to tears. But life goes on and I will keep a smile on my face as I play tour guide to a Virgin Bostonian (Aaron).

Aaron and Katie’s Road trip Part 1 (pictures included)

My good friend Aaron….from college…and I decided to take an end of the summer road trip. We left on Saturday the 19th with two destinations Boston and Virginia days unknown…return unknown. Not much of planners we are but so far it has been to our advantage.
Day one.
We departed Stoughton, Wisconsin after getting within centimeters of taking out an unresponsible child on a bike. SOO SCARY! I the driver was scared out of my mind after that but made myself keep driving. I drove so long 462 miles later we ended up in Sandusky Ohio at Lazy J’s Campground.
In record time I put up the tent under the light of the headlights and a glow stick.

Day Two
After some careful…(quick)..planning we decided to make our destination 2 Niagara Falls. Driving 277 miles we ended up in the Town..yes there is a town (Aaron and I were Surprised too) called Niagara falls. A much needed nap was apon us so we zonked out for a good hour or so. After regaining cosciousness with my nifty internet surfing skills I found information on the Falls. Thanks our nonplanning skills we lucked out and were able to see a fireworks show over Niagara. Absolutly beautiful place at night..check out the pictures!
Now we are off to get all wet at the falls with a boat tour. After getting soaked our 3rd destination- Beantown!!