His Travel Weakness


Phong is a delight to travel with. He makes me laugh, is willing to play the same card game with me for upwards of four hours, always lets me have the window seat, and never eats the last cookie, chip, or piece of candy.

We’ve traveled by car, plane, train, boat, and bus and over the years I’ve noticed his one travel weakness. Phong always falls asleep.

I’m not sure how he takes the city bus on his own because I’ve seen him fall asleep on a five minute bus ride before.

20140327_183107On a train.

IMG_4374In the car heading home after camping.

20150313_145026On a bus for all of five minutes.

20150925_101046Train. And taking these pictures isn’t easy either. He has a sense for when a camera is pointed at him. Quite often he’ll wake up abruptly and pose.

20150911_153953Train. Repurposing his jacket and my scarf for a neck brace.


Car in California. The first sleeping travel Phong picture I ever took, about 10 years ago.

He might not always stay awake while we travel but he does hold my hand while he sleeps so it evens out.



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A Boy And His Statues

IMG_1577(Helsingborg, Sweden 2012)

While going through the last handful of years of pictures on my computer I noticed something curious. Over all those years and trips, Phong has interacted with more than ten statues/sculptures and I have photographed him.

IMG_3933(Helsingborg, Sweden 2011)

moose(Lycksele Zoo, Sweden 2009)

IMG_1550(Garden in Malmö 2012)


IMG_1537(Turns out Phong likes kissing)

IMG_0512(Trying to move the turtle in Umeå 2010)

z3(Riding a lion at the San Fransisco Zoo back in 2009)

z2(The lions won)

IMG_1480(Becoming a seal in San Fransisco 2009)

castle(Royal Castle in Stockholm 2014)

As you might imagine, life with Phong is pretty fun.

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Things that happened when I got my own place~

Things that happened when I got my own* place~

*meaning without family or roommates or any shared common areas but still with Phong. What can I say, I didn’t exactly move to Sweden to NOT live with him.

1) Became obsessed with the whereabouts of my keys.

2) I immediately realized that we own nothing useful. I still don’t have a garlic press though I did finally get an egg slicer. We own one bowl, otherwise we use large mugs. And for at least half a year we only had two sets of silverware and chopsticks. Phong was more than a little bummed when I brought home a full set.

3) I started drinking from the carton. Juice, milk, doesn’t matter. I stand in the glow of my fridge and drink from the carton because the only beverage I need to drink in quantities large enough to warrant a glass is water. The exception to this is, of course, tea. I have too many teacups not to use them AND I have not yet thought up a reasonable way to make and drink tea from a kettle. Oh, and the occasion milk in a teacup for dunking cookies. Yes. I am an adult who on occasion needs to dunk a cookie.

4) During a blackout I discovered that I have never had to figure out what to do in a blackout. Sure. I owned matches and candles. But where were they? And don’t I have a little flashlight somewhere? Was I supposed to call someone? Don’t these things usually just fix themselves? After calling the landlord we opened a window, managed not to die from natural light, made some sandwiches and played boardgames. Turns out, adulthood is not so difficult after all.

5) Developed feuds with my neighbors. Yes, alright, so these feuds exist entirely in my head but somehow I’m certain that the nosy lady and the guy that leaves cigarette butts everywhere know they’re on my list.

6) For the first time in my life, I’m person that has to worry about whether or not we closed all the windows before leaving town. Gotta say, it’s not a great feeling BUT coming home and finding that you haven’t been robbed or invaded by rats is a strangely satisfying one.


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Christmas Round ONE!


We decorated our houseplant this year. We’re planning to go to Umeå for the holidays but I didn’t want to skip over christmas decorations at our apartment all together. Phong and I have a habit of exchanging presents early. We just get so excited when we both have gifts to give the other. This year we made it all the way until December 6th before unwrapping them! We even put on christmas music.


I had absolutely no idea what Phong got me this year even though he told me that he had Nymla make it. We had seen her at a craft market in Umeå in September and loved her things so much! If you have a chance, check her out. She has a shop on Etsy too and, as it turns out, she does commission work!


My super amazing christmas gift from Phong! He had a bookend made with pages from the book I wrote and the wolf! I absolutely love it. It was thoughtful and one of a kind and all mine!

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Phong Time Travels – aka – Västerbotten Open Air Museum!


If you’re ever visiting Sweden and find yourself in Umeå, check out the Västerbotten Open Air Museum. It’s a great collection of buildings (Swedish as well as Sami) and it’s free. You get to wander around and take a look at the amazing exhibits.



On this occasion, I got to take my mom and my aunt and there was even a crafters market going on on the paths between the buildings.


I convinced Phong to knock on this tiny door and we both kind of freaked ourselves out thinking about if something were to knock back. I should explain that we watch a nearly grotesque amount of horror flicks. Nothing knocked back. But how great would it be if something had?


The little red house to the right was an outhouse and according to the plaque, it was called the “house of secrets”.


Oh, and Phong tried out stilts!




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