This list wasn’t planned or intentional. At least not initially. It was the accidental result of our family’s musings of this crazy adventure. In my need, as a self-professed documentarian (in the personal and written sort of way), I started recording the little things that were important to us.
Knowing that these things are too easily forgotten, we continued to keep a running list of them. It didn’t take long, through conversations and stories, to realize that they give us some of our fiercest memories.
With a long (and continually growing list) this is an abridged form of it. In essence, these are just a few of our favorite things:
Best Airport Souvenir
Fireworks are sold on the streets of Timika during Christmas and New Years. This is the stand where we bought our Christmas fireworks, which Chris described as “borderline Armageddon, which almost killed [him] off.”
Giant tubs of Tang in the Doha Airport
Of all things, the Doha Airport sells giant tubs of Tang. We would have bought one, but they were too big for our already full pieces of luggage.
Somewhere at a roadside cafe on Australia’s Pacific Highway
Ally emphatically carried around the leftover portion of her hamburger for more than 24-hours. She had plans to finish it, but it got too late, and we couldn’t find a garbage can to throw it in. By the next morning, it became our primary mission to get rid of the thing!
Little Hastings Outrigger Resort in Noosa Heads, Australia
Benjamin Browns, Singapore
Ally and I went with Stormy, one of our favorite people from jobsite, to Benjamin Browns for milkshakes. This was Ally’s “over-the-top milkshake” – the Old School. Stormy had the Nutella Banana milkshake and I had the Strawberry Shortcake milkshake, which were just as shocking! That’s Stormy in the background giving a big thumbs up.
Best Swimming Pool
Panvaman Hotel and Spa, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Best Hot Chocolate
Wakatipu Hilton Resort and Spa, Queenstown, New Zealand
Kylee and Ally both agree that this is the best hot chocolate that they have ever had.
Best Tuna Tartare
Isle de Pines, New Caledonia
Noosa Heads, Australia
Best Street Food
A fresh pomegranate juice vendor in Beijing.
Best Quad Bikes
Queenstown, New Zealand
Best Pisang Goreng (fried banana)
Timika Airport, Papua
Tallow’s (squeaky) Beach in Byron Bay, New South Wales
A shadow photograph of Chris, Ally, Kylee and me on our favorite beach.
Best Snorkeling Spot
Ilse de Pines, New Caledonia
ArcadiA Estate Coffee, Columbia (do yourself a favor an order a bag here).
Best Public Toilet
Port Douglas, Australia
One of many photos from our port-o-potty ambush photography collection. This public toilet was completely automated; patrons don’t need to touch a thing (door, sink, tissue, toilet handle)! It even provides a verbal warning about the amount of time patrons have remaining in the stall before the door automatically opens.
Best Street Music
Byron Bay, Australia
Best Christmas Trees
Rimba Papua Hotel, Timika
The Rimba Papua Hotel creates a new Christmas tree every year out of recycled materials. This tree, from 2014, was made from drinking straws that were in cold, refreshing drinks served to guests when they arrived. Staff members collected the straws for an entire year.
This Christmas tree, from 2015, was made from the remaining bits of the soap bars that were left at the end of each guest’s stay. The soap was melted, colored yellow, and shaped into roses.