Fish Spa

I’d like you all to note the date… I did this BEFORE the Kardashian (I don’t know/care which one) went to a fish spa.  And I dragged took my son and husband with me to experience the torture together!

Good times : )

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The fish are chowing down on the dead skin on my feet!

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Wesley lasted less than a minute : )

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Damon didn’t offer nearly as much to eat as I did!

After the fish “dined” on my feet, I still had a lot of dead skin.  The technician said something along the lines of, “Wow, you have terribly rough feet.  Come in here and pay 300 Thb for me to remove it.”  I agreed and paid the $10 USD.  She took off so much dead skin it was unreal.  I don’t even want to know what deadly chemical she put on my feet… I noticed she wore gloves on her own hands though!  She didn’t want it touching her!

But I came home with super-soft toes.  That’s hard to come by in the land of flip-flops!

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Singapore Airlines in Moscow

Airplane

We searched for tickets for a full 48 hours of on/off fare shopping, mileage rewards charts, frequent flyer credit cards, and TripAdvisor reviews before we finally settled on three one-way tickets on Singapore Airlines.  We flew from Houston (IAH) to Moscow (DME), and then on to Singapore (SIN).  We stayed in Singapore for a few nights because I figured we would all need a break at that point and it didn’t add anything to our airfare.  Then we flew on to Phuket (HKT).

Apparently Singapore Airlines SQ61 is a popular flight.  When I searched for reviews, I found posts from 2005.  Unfortunately, no one would tell us what to expect when we arrived in Moscow.  I thought I would fill everyone in…

You do NOT have to pick up your bags and go through security again when you land in Moscow.  However you DO have to depart the plane and go through a checkpoint.  They didn’t stamp our passports and I don’t think it was immigration… it was just a “secured” area of the airport.  We were given a plastic pass as we got off the plane and were released into a dismal part of the airport to wait in line (with no services at all).  All of the departing passengers were in one line with two security personnel checking our plastic passes/passports before we were released into the main area of the airport.

By the time we were allowed into the regular terminal the people who were going on to Singapore had to walk immediately to the departing gate.  There wasn’t time to change money and there absolutely wasn’t time to shop for anything.  I’m not a big shopper, but I thought it was ridiculous of the airport to keep all those people from buying a ton of things while they waited for their flight… instead of waiting in the “security” area.  But hey, they didn’t ask me.  I wasn’t intending on changing money anyway.  I’ve heard that they will only change $100 USD or more, and they won’t buy back their own rubles.  So you’re stuck with a cheap souvenir and a bunch of rubles that they won’t take back.  Not my idea of a good stop.

Hope this helps the next traveler who wants to know what happens at DME airport.

Moving Out and Moving On

Back in October of 2012 we made a decision… a BIG decision.  We decided that we would leave Austin (where we’d been living for the past two years), and travel to the beach for a year “off.”  We made a toast to seal the deal.

The boy did NOT like champagne.

The boy did NOT like champagne.

We decided that (along with many of our counterparts) we had too much STUFF.  Way too much stuff.  Beds, books, games, clothes… it was suffocating us.  In our 2 bedroom home we had so much stuff that it spilled over into the garage.  That was so full that we had more of our stuff in the family barn.

Besides feeling like we had too much stuff, getting up at 6:15am and yelling repeatedly at the boy to get ready for school didn’t seem like too much fun anymore.  Picking our way around the garage and trying not to topple boxes on our heads wasn’t much fun either.

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So we decided to change things.  This is our blog of how/what we changed.