WOW what a year! A year ago was my last day at work and we have now officially been funemployed for a year. Pretty amazing that we could plan and save enough to be out of work for so long and we are still going strong!
We were so lucky to celebrate our anniversary with Cory and Margo in Battambang. This city is one of my favorites, a charming old French colonial city set along the river. We have also been staying in a fantastic hotel for $18 a night which doesn't hurt!
Cory and Margo surprised us with quite the breakfast on the morning of our anniversary. They went all over the city collecting bagels, fresh fruit, yogurts, fresh orange juice, coffees, cinnamon roles and other treats. It was a feast! We ate on the patio of our hotel over looking the river. My brother is one of the most thoughtful people we know and this breakfast is an example of this and his generosity.
Next we set off to explore the city some. Eric and I splurged on $6/hour massages done by blind people at the Seeing Hands Massage. They worked us quite thoroughly and we were sore for a few days! It's such a good training program for blind people and sadly there are so many blind people that there are branches of this brand across the country.
Continuing the adventure of the day we met up with our tuk tuk driver, Tong, for a trip to the country's only winery. We explored the small grounds and then tasted some of their finest.
To be honest we thought the wine was corked it tasted so different from what we are used to but we enjoyed our time at the winery nonetheless. Wine is much harder to come by in SE Asia so I've only had it 5 times in the last 3 months (which if you know me well know how this is far to infrequent!).
Next we were off to see the bat trees. These trees are set in a small village and the bats fill the trees, eating the fruit. Our driver threw some rocks at the tree to make them fly around and to be honest it was quite creepy! Cory and Eric got the biggest kick out of this part of the day!
Taking our tuk tuk back into the city was one of my favorite parts of the day. The roads were filled with people on bicycles, lots of naked babies, and people out talking with one another in the street. We were greeted with really sweet hellos as we drove by kids. The lighting was gorgeous - making the hues even more brilliant across the farming land.
Cory and Margo's next surprise was Eric's favorite. GIN AND TONICS! We haven't had gin since we left home and this was a total treat for us! We enjoyed our drinks on the patio overlooking the sunset on the river.
After the sun set and we finished all the tonic we headed off for dinner with Cory's friend of a friend, Luke who lives in Battambang with his wife and two daughters. They took us to a local restaurant where we were treated like kings. His wife ordered all the food for us and soon enough we had huge pots of boiling broth on our table and then she customized the mixes in each one, filling the bowls with noodles, tons of vegetables, and seafood. We were served fried corn to go along with the buckets of beer that they had around our table, and for the end of the meal beef was brought out with special dipping sauce. It was a wonderful meal and so fun to be included in this fun experience with their family!
We ended the night with a drink at one of Battambang's favorite bars, the Riverside Balcony Bar. What a fun end to such a special day! (Sadly we left the camera at home for dinner so there are no photos but only our memories which is sometimes better than a photo!)