We’re baaaackkkkk! Yet again, another few weeks has flown by here at love and noodles with almost zero posts to show for it. Part of me is continually frustrated at myself for going MIA on this blog so often, but on the other hand it makes me smile to think that the reason I’m never at a computer is because we’re truly making the most of our time here with so many adventures!
I wanted to give y’all a quick run down of where in the world we’ve been the last almost-month. As usual, it’s been a whirlwind, and I’ve loved every minute!
Where in the world is LOVE AND NOODLES?
Oct 26 – Oct 29
WHERE: Shanghai, China
WHAT: exploring (Emily) and working (James)
James had a work conference in Shanghai, so I tagged along and took the opportunity to explore a new city. I adored Shanghai! I was wowed by the awesome architecture, from skyscrapers to temples; the pleasant climate (I wore a JACKET, people! It’s still 90 degrees in Singapore, so feeling chilly was a welcome change); and the best xiao long bao I’ve ever had. I could truly see us trying out the expat life in Shanghai in the future.
Poor James was stuck working the whole time, so I was solo exploring in this city except for on our last night. Missed my best travel buddy, but it was also nice to flex my solo traveler muscles again – something I loved on trips to Morocco, Spain, and France in the past. And since James didn’t get much time to try out Shanghai, it just means we’ll have to go back!
Oct 30 – Nov 5
WHERE: ALL OVER Singapore
WHAT: playing host & hostess to the best visitor!
We had a huge treat for a week in Oct/Nov. One of my best friends came all the way to Singapore to visit! Celia and I met on the first day of our freshman year of college and we’ve been friends ever since. Spending time with someone from home and having a really close girlfriend here for the first time was amazing. And she was here for my birthday!
James and I took Celia to our favorite Singapore spots (Palawan beach, Haji Lane, DIN TAI FUNG!), and she and I also explored some new places that I hadn’t gotten the chance to see yet (Little India, Gardens by the Bay). Of course, a ton of her visit was devoted to showing her exactly what Singaporeans do best – eating and shopping!
Playing host to a visitor was interesting for me. Showing someone around and being “in the know” about a lot of things made me feel very at home here, but at the same time I was constantly reminded me how much of Singapore is still uncharted territory for us.
WHERE: Taylor Swift 1989 Tour, Singapore!
WHAT: FREAKING OUT
For years and years I have been a MASSIVE Taylor Swift fan. Like, buy every new album on the first day it comes out, know all the words to every song, tweet @ her frequently, you know, extreme fangirl stuff. My go-to karaoke song is You Belong With Me. And I truly believe James is secretly also a massive T Swift fan himself. (We’ll see how he responds to that one :).)
Anyway, James gave me the best birthday surprise EVER this year – tickets to Taylor Swift’s 1989 tour here in SG! Our seats were phenomenal and her performance was amazing. I may have teared up from the overwhelming happiness I felt at seeing one of my favorite artists live, especially someone who feels so much like home to me when I’m so far away. Overall, BEST NIGHT.
Nov 8 – Nov 11
WHERE: Hanoi & Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
Exactly one week ago we got back from another trip, one of our favorites yet! We headed to Vietnam and met up with 5 friends for a fantastic four day adventure.
To be clear, now I call them 5 friends. Technically, at the start of our trip, James was meeting 5 strangers, and I was meeting 4 strangers and 1 old friend. Amy is an AWESOME travel friend I’ve known for a few years now. She’s from Canada originally, but lived in London during her University years and travels a ton. We met on Christmas Eve 2013 in – I kid you not – a campsite in the Sahara Desert. We were both traveling through Morocco (one of my past solo trips) and we bonded over an adorable puppy playing in the Sahara sand. We’ve stayed in touch on social media ever since!
When Amy was planning a trip through SE Asia this year, I knew we had to meet up! She is traveling with her boyfriend Adam and their good friend Rosanna (yes, the same insanely talented Rosanna U whose photos have a starring role on this blog!). James and I joined them for the Vietnam leg of their trip, as did 2 of Amy’s other friends who happen to live in SG as well, so we ended up with a great group of 7!
Together we all explored Hanoi, eating tons of amazing Vietnamese street food along the way. I didn’t realize it until our last night there, but I really fell for the city of Hanoi. It’s such a unique place, and its own chaos is its surprising charm.
For the next couple days, we took a boat cruise through Ha Long Bay. The natural beauty of Ha Long Bay was striking. We balanced our time on the boat journey between simple gazing at the scenery and getting really active – kayaking, hiking, swimming, caving, beach volleyball, squid fishing, karaoke, an on-board cooking class…it was non-stop!
And there ya have it – another almost-month passed by in a flash, and hopefully you can see why. Please forgive me for the lack of posts during this craziness – I’m working on it, I promise!
Love (and noodles),