Bits and Pieces

We decided to keep track of some fun facts during our PigFish travels. This page will be frequently amended and updated as our travels progress. If there is something else you would like to see on this page, just let us know.
Countries visited:

2020: 3 (Colombia, Ecuador, United States)

2019:  8 (Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, USA, Mexico, France, Spain, France, Italy, USA)

2018: 7 (Thailand (X3), Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam)

2015: 19 (Thailand (three times), Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, South Africa, England, Wales, Scotland, U.S. (don’t ask), Belize, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Hong Kong (own currency & government equals new country?), Macau (see Hong Kong)

Favorite Country:

2020:

Robert:  TBD

Lisa:  TBD

2019:

Robert: Spain

Lisa: Spain, which shocked me.  I thought France would be my favorite, but I absolutely fell in love with Spain.

2018:

Robert: Thailand

Lisa: Cambodia

2015:

Robert: Vietnam

Lisa: Cambodia

Worst Border Crossing:

2020:  TBD

2019: We didn’t have any problems in 2019.

2018: We didn’t have any problems in 2018.

2015: Sixola, Costa Rica to Guabito, Panama

Cities visited:

2020:  11 (Bogota, Medellin, Cartagena, Minca, Bogota, Quito, Santa Cruz Island, Isabela Island, Santa Cruz Island, San Cristobal, Guayaquil, Miami (FL), Holcombe (WI))

2019: 34 (Nha Trang, Vung Tau, Saigon, Nusa Dua, Legian, Yogyakarta, Jakarta, Bangkok, Ao Nang, Khao Lak, Koh Lanta, Ao Nang, Bangkok, Mt. Vernon (IL), Cadiz (KY), Chicago (IL), Nashville (TN), Louisville, Dubuque (IA), Mineapolis (MN), Holcombe (WI), Madison (WI), Chicago (IL), Green Valley (AZ), Puerto Vallarta, Chicago (IL), Paris, Seville, Valencia, Lyon, Marseilles, Bordeaux, Paris, Naples, Monopoli, Florence, Rome, Paris, Chicago (IL), Ft. Myers Beach (FL), Las Vegas (NV), Green Valley (AZ))

2018: 24 (Bangkok (X2), Legion, Nusa Dua, Ubud, Labuan Bajo, Permuteran, Amed, Seminyak, Singapore, Kuching, Georgetown, Melaka, Kuala Lumpur, Kata Beach on Phuket, Bophut Beach on Ko Samui, Siem Reap, Chiang Mai, Sukhothai, Luang Prabang, Hanoi (X2), Mai Chau, Hue, Hoi An (both the beach and the town), Saigon, Nha Trang)

2015: 70 (Bangkok, Chiang Rai, Mandalay, Bagan, Yangon, Phnom Penh (twice), Battambang, Kampot, Kep, Can Tho, Saigon, Ham Tien, Da Lat, Nha Trang, Quy Nhon, Hoi An, Da Nang, Hanoi, Kuala Lumpur, Georgetown, Langkawi, Koh Lipe, Ao Nang (twice), Singapore, Negombo, Dambulla, Kandy, Ella, Tissa, Mirissa, Unawatuna, Bentota, Benoni, Greater Kruger area, Cape Town (twice), Stellenbosch, Mossel Bay, Knysna, Franschoek, Beckington, Cardiff, LLandudno, Langholm, Edinburgh, Inverness, Glasgow, London, Chicago, San Pedro, Granada, Leon, San Juan del Sur (three times), Playa Santa Dominga, Moyogalpa, Liberia, Monteverde, La Fortuna, Cahuita, Puerto Viejo, Bocas Town, Boquete, Panama City, Cartagena, Medellin, Bogota, Hong Kong, Macau, Phuket, Koh Lanta)

Favorite Pizza:

2020:

Robert:  TBD

Lisa:  Pizzaiolo in Medellin (seriously, who would have thought Medellin would have such excellent pizza)

2019:

Robert: Pizza 4 P’s in Saigon, Pizza cooked by Robert in Cadiz with local bacon, pretty much any of the pizza in Naples

Lisa: Pizza 4 P’s in Saigon, Los Muerto’s Brew Pub in Puerto Vallarta, pretty much any of the pizza in Naples

2018:

Robert: Pizza 4 P’s in Hanoi

Lisa: Pizza 4 P’s in Hanoi

2015:

Robert: Luna Cafe in Da Nang

Lisa: Luna Cafe in Da Nang (the ONLY redeeming thing about Da Nang)

Worst Pizza:

2020:

Robert:  TBD

Lisa: TBD

2019:

Robert: The “margherita” pizza at Moto in Nashville that had no tomato sauce or basil and had ricotta cheese — we sent it back and asked for a real one.

Lisa: We went to a place called David’s in Vung Tau. The pizza was bad enough that the next visit I ordered pasta. Enough said.  Also, the slice at New York Pizza in Seville — I didn’t even finish it and that is unheard of.  Can’t forget the one in Nashville.  And, the pizza in Lucca was probably the worst pizza of my life.

2018:

Robert: We had some really bad pizza in 2018, but can’t recall the worst.

Lisa: See above.

2015:

Robert: Marco’s in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Lisa: Marco’s in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Number of Pizzas Eaten by Lisa:

2020:  22

2019: 100

2018: Didn’t keep track

2015: 94

Most Days Lisa Went Without Pizza:

2020:  I think it was 10 or 11.  The streak started in the Galapagos (where the pizza is pretty much uniformly bad and I had pretty much given up and pizza) and then were in lockdown in Guayaquil and didn’t even have an oven in our apartment.  I broke the streak with a frozen pizza in Holcombe.

2019: 9 days in Thailand (in my defense, the Indian food in Thailand is amazing and the pizza not so much)

2018: 16 (April 30-May 16, and it was worth the wait as the pizza at Il Bolognese in Bangkok was quite qood).

2015: Didn’t keep track, but it couldn’t have been very many

Best Thing We Ate:

2020:

Robert:  TBD

Lisa:  Arepas de huevos in Cartagena

2019:

Robert: Goat breast and clams on the XO food tour in Saigon.  Jamon Iberico and pressa in Seville, Spain.

Lisa: Praline tart in Lyon.  Very sweet, but unlike anything I have had before.  Wintermelon and cinnamon sorbetto in Rome.  Pig cheeks and pressa in Seville, Spain.

2018:

Robert: Quail egg omelet with roe on a stick (Bangkok night train market)

Lisa: Falafel at Al Diwan in Seminyak

2015:

Robert: Samosa salad in Yangon and Kampot pepper crab in Kep and chicken roti in Ella

Lisa: Cao Lau in Hoi An and Bun thit nuong in Nha Trang

Craziest Thing We Ate:

2020:

Robert:  Chigüiro i(also called capybara), which is the largest rodent in the world.

Lisa:  Chigüiro.

2019:

Robert: Balut (boiled egg with a duck embryo inside)

Lisa: I stuck to normal food this year….

2018:

Robert: A cube of coagulated blood in a bowl of curry mee in Georgetown

Lisa: Jerky made from water buffalo (OK, not that crazy, I know….)

2015:

Robert: Rat (Cambodia), field mouse (Vietnam)

Lisa: Rat (Cambodia), field mouse (Vietnam)

Favorite Fruit:

2020:

Robert:  TBD

Lisa:  Colombian dragonfruit

2019:

Robert: Nothing stood out this year.

Lisa: It is still pomelo

2018:

Robert: Langsat

Lisa: It is still pomelo

2015:

Robert: Mangosteen

Lisa: Pomelo

Robert’s Favorite Beer (Lisa thinks beer is nasty):

2020:  TBD

2019: East West Summer Hefeweizen in Vietnam

2018: East West Summer Hefeweizen in Vietnam

2015: Trade Winds (real Scottish cask ale)

New Beers Tried by Robert:

2020: 10 (Colombia (3 Cordilleras Blanca, Andina, Kumbia Rubia, Kumbia Miel, Aguila, Happy Toucan, Happy Coco), Ecuador (Endemica Galapagos, Pilsener, Club Premium)

2019: 62 (Vietnam (East West Pale Ale, East West Far East IPA, East West Summer Hefeweizen, East West Saigon Rose, East West Belgian Tippel, East West Triple IPA, East West Saison, East West Modern Belgian Blonde, Heart of Darkness Pitiless Folly, Heart of Darkness Churtz’s Insane, Heart of Darkness Foreign Shores Belgian Tripel, Heart of Darkness Brutal Instinct Brut IPA, Heart of Darkness Hard Ginger Beer, Heart of Darkness Creatures of Darkness New England IPA, Belgo Saison, Belgo Amber, Belgo Black, Belgo Full Moon, Belgo Wit, Bia Craft Summer Crush Ale, Bia Craft Amber Ale, Bia Craft IPA, Bia Craft Triple IPA, Winking Seal Bohemian Bastard, Rooster IPA, Pasteur Street Nitro Jasmine IPA), Indonesia (Kuda Putih, Prost), Thailand (Eleventh Fort IPA), Thailand (Stonehead Gancore IPA, Stonehead Smiling Evil, Stonehead Hazelnut and Chocolate Stour, Chao Siam IPA), USA (37 Flood IPA, Michelob Ultra, Leinenkugal Canoe Paddler), USA (Funkworks Saison, New Belgian Tripel, Goodwood American Pale Ale, Against the Grain Hoppy Saison, Door County Brewing Co Pastoral, Moon Ridge, New Glarus Kid Kolsch, Polygamy Nitro Porter), Mexico (Pacifico, Dos XX Amber, Dos XX Lager, Los Muertos El Jefeweizen, Loba Alfa India Pale Lager, Perro Negro IPA, Ippolita IPA, Chela Libre El Glu IPA), Spain (Cruz Campo Radler, Cruz Campo Pilsner, Merchant IPA, Mahou pilsner, Birra & Blues Rubia, Amstel Radler, Turia Marzen), France (Atlas, Leffe, Charlie Wells Triple Hop IPA), Italy (Menabrea Bionda, Nastro Azzurro, Forst))

2018: Didn’t keep track

2015: 103 (Thailand (Singha, Leo, Beer Lao, Tiger, Beer Chang, Siam), Myanmar (Dagon, Mandalay, Myanmar), Cambodia (Cambodia, Angkor, Anchor, Kingdom, Black Panther — he says this one is pretty bad), Vietnam (Red Saigon, Green Saigon, 333, Biere Larue, six beers brewed at Pasteur Street Brewing Company, fresh beer in Hoi An, Legend, the real Budweiser, Beer Hanoi, Bia Hoa Vien, Halidra, fresh beer in Hanoi, Carlsberg), Malaysia (Skol, Faxe), Singapore (some unknown IPA, Raffles), Sri Lanka (Lion, Lion Strong), South Africa (Hansa, Windhoek, Fraser’s Folly, Black Label), England (Old Speckled Hen, Butcombe Bitter), Wales (Nicholson’s Pale Ale, Trooper — made by one of the guys from Iron Maiden, Brains SA, John Smith’s Extra Smooth), Scotland (Belhaven Best, Guinness, Belhaven St. Andrew, Belhaven 80, Trade Winds, Wild Cat, Flying Scotsman, Northern Light, St. Mungo, Punk, Red Ness, Tennant, Boddington’s), U.S. (Founder’s All Day IPA, Revolution Use the Schwartz, Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’, Fist City) Belize (Belikan), Nicaragua (Toña, Erdmann’s IPA, Victoria, El Boom (a small microbrew), Jamaica (also a small microbrew and one of the worse beers Robert has ever tasted), Victoria Frost), Costa Rica (Bavaria, Imperial, Imperial Silver, Bohemia, locally brewed Stout, Costa Rica Craft Brewing Company Libertas blond IPA), Panama (Panama, Balboa, Atlas, Bocas Bewery Amber Ale, Bocas Brewer Cali Pale Ale, Boquete Brewery IPA, Casa Bruja Blond Ale, Casa Bruja IPA, Casa Bruja Tulivieja, Istmo Brew Pub Colon, Istmo Brew Pub Chiriqui, La Rana Dorada Pils, La Rana Dorada Especiale) Colombia (Club Colombia, Aguilar, Apostal IPA, Apostal pils, Bogota Beer Company Chapinero, Pilsen, Poker, Bogota Beer Company Candelaria Clasica, Bogata Beer Company Septmazio, Bogota Beer Company Bacata Blanca), Hong Kong (Kirin Ichiban, Asahi, San Miguel), Thailand (Archa))

Favorite Bar:

2020:

Robert:  TBD

Lisa:  TBD

2019:

Robert: Ayishi Fine Arts Fine Wine in Khao Lak. They had a cheese platter. Enough said.

Lisa: I don’t think I had a favorite bar in 2019.  Lots of fine places, but nothing really stood out.

2018:

Robert: Balthazar Wine Bar in Siem Reap. Good wine, better company.

Lisa: Balthazar Wine Bar in Siem Reap

2015:

Robert: The Living Room, Kampot and Absinthe Café, Phnom Penh

Lisa: Yellow Cafe, Langkawi

Favorite Soft Drink:

2020:

Robert:  TBD

Lisa:  Limonada de coco (basically, a coconut milk and limeade smoothie) in Colombia.

2019:

Robert: Orangina in Europe.  Agua fresca in Puerto Vallarta.

Lisa: Agua fresca in Puerto Vallarta, particularly the hibiscus flavor

2018:

Robert: Watermelon juice everywhere

Lisa: Lemon ginger fizz in Ubud (this drink can be really good or really bad) and lime ginger fizz in Chiang Mai and Italian sodas all over

2015: Didn’t keep track

Favorite Hotel:

2020:

Robert:  TBD

Lisa:  TBD:

2019:

Robert: Verona Lanta on Koh Lanta

Lisa:  Sofitel in Nusa Dua.

2018:

Robert: Sofitel So in Bangkok with the Blue Alcove as a special mention for the best economical hotel

Lisa: Sofitel So in Bangkok

2015:

Robert: Sofitel So in Bangkok

Lisa: Sofitel So in Bangkok

Worst Hotel:

2020:

Robert: TBD

Lisa: TBD

2019:

Robert: Ibis Styles Jakarta Airport

Lisa: Ibis Styles Jakarta Airport

2018:

Robert: Ahyu Hotel in KL

Lisa: King Palace in Hanoi

2015:

Robert: Kaday Aung in Bagan

Lisa: Kaday Aung in Bagan

Favorite Excursion:

2020:

Robert: TBD

Lisa: TBD

2019:

Robert: Our trip to Herculeum in Naples, Italy.

Lisa: The food tour we took in Seville, Spain.  I would have never tried pig cheeks if we hadn’t gone on this tour.

2018:

Robert: Flores scuba dive to Manta Point

Lisa: Didn’t really have one. We didn’t take that many excursions and none of those we took really stood out for me.

2015:

Robert: Hanging out with cheetahs in South Africa

Lisa: South African safari

Favorite Beach:

2020:

Robert: TBD

Lisa: TBD

2019:

Robert: The beach in Puerto Vallarto.

Lisa: Didn’t really have one — some were good but nothing stood out.

2018:

Robert: Didn’t really have one — some were good but nothing stood out.

Lisa: I’m with Robert on this one.

2015:

Robert: Nha Trang

Lisa: Nha Trang

Best dive/snorkel site:

2020:

Robert: TBD

Lisa: TBD

2019:

Robert: Richeilieu Rock in Thailand because of the sheer number of fish.

Lisa: Didn’t really have one.

2018:

Robert: Manta Point off Flores, Indonesia because of manta rays

Lisa: Jemeluk Beach near Amed, Bali because we could snorkel from shore and there were tons of cool fish.

2015:

Robert: Hin Daeng off of Koh Lanta, Thailand because of a giant puffer fish and a giant moray eel

Lisa: A little island near Koh Lanta, Thailand because of a sea snake.

Favorite Experience:

2020:

Robert: TBD

Lisa: TBD

2019:

Robert: Diving Richeilieu Rock in Thailand.

Lisa: Hanging with our friends Ken and Sue in France.

2018:

Robert: Seeing the manta rays in Flores

Lisa: Watching an orangutan in Borneo

2015:

Robert: Hanging with cheetahs in South Africa

Lisa: Watching lions, cheetahs and giraffes in the Greater Kruger area

Biggest Surprise:

2020:

Robert: TBD

Lisa: TBD

2019:

Robert: The reminder of just how big Paris is during the transit strike when we had to walk everywhere.

Lisa: How much I loved Spain.

2018:

Robert: The extent to which we really enjoyed the city of Kuching in Borneo

Lisa: Having the best Lebanese food of my life at Al Diwan in Seminyak, of all places

2015: Didn’t keep track of

Most Miserable Moment:

2020:

Robert: TBD

Lisa: TBD

2019:

Robert:  The death of Robert’s brother.

Lisa:  Same.

2018:

Robert: Feeling absolutely lost at the Shanghai airport trying to figure out how to transfer planes only to realize we had to enter the country, pick up our bags, check in for our next flight, and then go through security again

Lisa: Having food poisoning in Phuket. Nothing like leaving Robert at a restaurant because I was too sick to stay there.

2015:

Robert: Being wedded to a toilet for 2 days in Bangkok AND in Phnom Penh

Lisa: Hiking the volcano in Leon (although boarding down made it worth it)

Serious Illnesses:

2020:

Robert: 2 (the flu-like thing that started in Nevada and carried right over into 2020 in Colombia, food poisoning in Medellin)

Lisa: TBD

2019:

Robert: 4 (Food poisoning in France, most likely from a bad oyster, and a horrible reaction to the shingles vaccine and a migraine in Arizona and some sort of flu-like thing in Nevada)

Lisa: 2 (food poisoning in Ao Nang and a horrible reaction to the shingles vaccine)

2018:

Robert: 2 (flu in Siem Reap, food poisoning in Luang Prabang)

Lisa: 2 (food poisoning on Phuket, flu in Siem Reap)

2015:

Robert: 2 (food poisoning in Bangkok and Phnom Phen)

Lisa: None

Things We Wished We Packed:

2020:  TBD

2019: A chip clip, a carrot grater

2018: More Q-tips, better shoes

2017: All purpose tool, corkscrew, can opener (purchased in Ao Nang), sarong (purchased in Koh Lipe), mask/snorkel (not that a mask/snorkel would have fit in our luggage)

What We Missed:

2020:

Robert: TBD

Lisa: TBD

2019:

Robert:  Salad bars

Lisa:  Saltines, salad bars, and toilet seat covers

2018:

Robert: Our friends, riding bikes, and fancy cocktails

Lisa: Our friends, match days at AJH

2015:

Robert: Our pets, our friends, riding bikes, fancy cocktails

Lisa: Our friends. match days at AJH, Sunday afternoons at Red Door

2 Responses to Bits and Pieces

  1. was the sarong for Robert or Lisa?

    Like

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