It’s Jordon’s graduation from AUD and there’s a plan in place to surprise him. Follow Shawn as he plots his journey from Michigan to Dubai for the big event. All video captured on Shawn’s Android or my iPhone. All musical credit goes to the talented musicians of Odesza (song: iPlayYouListen).
What a fantastic way to spend the end of 2014! I loved every minute I spent exploring Qatar with Gavin, Jordon, and my Mum this December.
To celebrate the end of the year and commemorate our trip together, I put together a fun little video of their visit. All video captured on my iphone. All musical credit goes to the talented musicians of Woodzsthlm.
During the Summer of 2014, Jordon and I spent three weeks exploring the history, architecture, sites, and (absolutely delicious) food of six different cities in Italy. We took the train to many of our day-trip destinations (including Tivoli, Lucca, Pisa, and Civita Di Bagnoregio), with our nights stays spent primarily in Firenze and Roma.
Ghibli Museum is an absolute must-see for anyone visiting Japan. Located on the west side of Tokyo, the museum showcases the work of Japanese animation studio Studio Ghibli. We made sure to book our tickets in advance, knowing that there is limited capacity in the building to avoid over crowding.
Continue reading “Ghibli Museum in Mitaka Japan”
Twenty miles south of Kyoto sits the quiet city of Nara, a location wholly unique from the other cities we visited in Japan. It feels like a shrine to days past with rolling hillsides, preserved temples, and nearly 1,200 tame deer roaming the streets.
Continue reading “Omizutori and the Water Drawing Festival in Nara, Japan”
During our stay in Kyoto, Japan – we had the unique pleasure to stay in the Village Kyoto Hotel located in the Nakagyo Ward. The hotel is a charming accommodation with friendly staff that speak English, a lovely onsen, comfortable rooms, and breakfast delivered to the room each morning.
Continue reading “Village Kyoto Hotel Japan”
On our fourth day in Kyoto we roamed through the city, finding our way to the Nijo Castle, Imperial Palace, Nishiki Food Market and Teramachi Street. The Village Kyoto Hotel was perfectly located for this leisurely day of cultural discovery on foot.
Continue reading “Nijo Castle, Nishiki Market, and Teramachi Street in Kyoto”
Monkeys, Monkeys, Monkeys!
During our daylong excursion to the Arashiyama District of Kyoto, we visited the Iwatayama Monkey Park – a scenic plateau located on Mount Arashiyama.
Continue reading “Arashiyama Monkey Park in Kyoto”
My first trip to Japan started out like a dream. Perhaps it is the amazing design work, the gorgeous kimonos, or the birthplace of sushi – but I have always wanted to visit. For that reason, it was a surreal experience to find myself on a plane headed to Kyoto, knowing that I would have the opportunity to explore, eat, and photograph to my heart’s content.
Continue reading “Western Kyoto and the Arashiyama District in Japan”
What is it like teaching at VCU in Qatar so far? Fabulous! With a beautiful campus, outstanding facilities, and dedicated faculty – there are plenty of opportunities for creative innovation in design practice and research.
We love our new accommodations in the Diplomatic Area of West Bay, Doha. Ironically, we are located on the 26th floor of the building – the same floor as our Manazel Al Safa address in Dubai. This similarity made us immediately feel as if the apartment were ‘meant to be’ our next home.
Continue reading “Dareen Tower – West Bay, Doha”
“We are moving to Qatar!”
Believe it or not, these five simple words have been met with a range of contrasting reactions. Our friends and family back home were overwhelming supportive of our move to Doha, although understandably disappointed that we were not yet heading back to the States. Friends and colleagues in Dubai were sad to see us go and their outpouring of love pulled at my heart strings again and again. Continue reading “From Dubai to Doha – Let’s Get Movin’”
I have some good news to share! In January of 2014 I will be moving to Doha to teach within the Graphic Design Department at Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar. I am absolutely thrilled to begin working with the talented and dedicated faculty at VCUQ, but at the same time, it has been extremely difficult to say goodbye to some of the most loving students and wonderful friends I could have ever hoped to meet while living abroad.
Continue reading “A sweet good-bye to Dubai”
My final post about my trip to Hong Kong is a tea exhibition. You might be wondering why the focus on tea? To be honest, it reminds me of home and all the things I miss about home sweet home. I enjoy drinking tea everywhere I visit, from the sweet minty taste of Moroccan tea to the saffron infused flavors of karak chai. But, there are particular memories that I relate specifically to tea.
Continue reading “Tea in Hong Kong”
To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect of Hong Kong. Would it be a city filled with cultural elements similar to mainland China? Would it be a place thrust into the future with vertical sprawl reminiscent of movies like Total Recall? Would it be a space that felt strangely like home with smells and tastes reminiscent of a childhood lived with parents who practice Acupuncture and Oriental medicine?
Continue reading “Hong Kong”
In honor of Jordon’s 30th Birthday this year, we decided to celebrate with a travel adventure to Muscat, Oman. This quiet city was a welcomed refuge from the stresses of school and work… not to mention the big city sounds of Dubai. The short hour-long flight also made it an ideal weekend getaway to help avoid travel fatigue.
Continue reading “Jordon’s birthday weekend in Oman”
There are moments in life when u feel more cared for than you ever expected. When friends step up for you in the most thoughtful and unexpected ways. When you feel more loved than you ever thought you deserved. I feel so very thankful to recognize when I’m in the midst of one of those moments. In this moment, I want to thank our family, friends, and all the others who helped us on the road to recovery. Thanks for the warm messages, the delicious food, and the many miles of travel.
But where did this all begin? What happened to Jordon?
Continue reading “Motorcycle Accident”
Crystal Mountain is a hidden jewel in Thompsonville Northern Michigan offering a family retreat for all seasons. As first time visitors, we were impressed by the amount of activities the resort offers including golf, nature trails, alpine slides, skiing (in the winter), kayaking, yoga, movie nights, indoor and outdoor swimming. It’s like the ultimate camp for families!
Continue reading “Crystal Mountain Resort & Spa”
One of the highlights of our trip to Mackinac Island was a sunset sail around the straights of Mackinac. Chartered by Captain Dave and first-mate Mark, our sailing adventure took us across choppy waters during a light misty rain.
Continue reading “Sunet Sail”
This is our second summer vacation to one of my favorite locations in Michigan – Mackinac Island (aka Mackinaw Island). The island is located in between the Lower and Upper Peninsula of Michigan with wonderful views of the Mackinac bridge that connects the two together.
Continue reading “Mackinac Island”
Touch down Detroit! I’m not actually a huge Lions fan, but I am a fan of my home state of Michigan. No matter how old I get, there is just nothing like driving through the familiar neighborhoods of my childhood, the expansive blue skies overhead, and the peerless comforts of home.
Continue reading “Home (Bitter) Sweet Home”
Family vacation in Michigan is something I look forward to every Summer. Not only do I appreciate the lovely mild weather of this Northern State, but the relaxation that comes with being taken care of by family while visiting home.
Continue reading “Pure Michigan”
During my trip to Norway this May for the DRS // CUMULUS 2013 Conference, I had the opportunity to do some sightseeing through the beautiful city of Oslo. Although the weather started out cold at the beginning of the week, we ended our journey with 80 degree days that had me rummaging through my suitcase to find something to wear that wasn’t woolen and warm. Continue reading “Oslo Norway”
Wondering what I did on the “tourist side” of things during my trip to Norway? Here’s a whirlwind view of some of my favorite sites and attractions in Oslo including the Vigeland Sculpture Park, Botanical Gardens, Vår Frelsers graveyard, Oslo Opera House, Oslo Cathedral, Viking Museum, and the Norwegian Folk Museum.
Continue reading “Oslo Sights and Attractions”
The Norwegian Constitution Day is the National Day of Norway and it is an official holiday observed on the 17 of May each year. We all felt really lucky to have been able to spend this special day of the year in Oslo where it is popular for men, women, and children to wear local traditional outfits, called bunad. The children also make a lot of noise shouting “Hurra!” while singing, blowing whistles, waving flags, and shaking rattles during the Children’s Parade at the Royal Castle.
Continue reading “National Day in Norway”
The Norwegian city of Oslo weaves together classic architecture with contemporary design into a rich fabric of visual culture. Surrounding this potent mix of of stylistic approaches is a wonderful array of graffiti and street art. What designer wouldn’t love traveling through the streets to discover something new around each corner? As the saying goes – there was so much to see, in so little time.
Continue reading “Graffiti and Street Art in Oslo”
During my recent trip to Oslo Norway for the DRS // CUMULUS Conference, I had the unique opportunity to attend a series of exhibitions. In addition to the wonderful presentations, workshops, and keynote speakers we saw creative approaches to the design of chairs, lighting, and a public installation in the middle of Oslo square.
Continue reading “May Exhibitions in Oslo”
One early morning last week, I boarded a bus with my class for a day long adventure to Al Ain to study a living oasis and understand approaches to sustainability using local resources. As part of the trip, we visited the Al Jahili Fort, along with a spring in one of the seven (!) breathtaking oases of Al Ain. We also visited a camel farm that produces camel milk and chocolate as a way to understand approaches to local food production.
Continue reading “Field trip to Al Ain”
We had a blast at the 2013 Middle East Film & Comic Con (MEFCC) in Dubai this Saturday afternoon. Exhibitions, contests, activities, creativity, and fun costumes make it the largest pop-culture and entertainment festival in the region. Yes we’re nerds… and proud of it! But seriously, the event is for everyone – “whether a committed cosplayer, a crazy collector, a casual comic reader, a gung-ho gamer or even just a connoisseur of creativity” there is something for everyone.
Continue reading “Middle East Film & Comic Con”
It seems like this always happens. We cook up a yummy dinner (like last nights coconut curry chicken) and we are faced with sooo much leftover rice. This is mostly because our rice-cooker only allows for a minimum of 3 cups of rice… and there is two of us… so the math doesn’t exactly work in our favor. Needless to say, I am always in search of a good way to make use of the the leftovers. Wouldn’t you know it, my friend had a yummy recipe to share!
Continue reading “Leftover Rice with Mushrooms”