Thursday, October 14, 2010

And all good things must pass...

Thanks to all of our faithful readers over the years, we've appreciated everyone of you, but will soon no longer be updated...

Thankfully, for all news Muth, there is now THEMUTHS.COM!

Our new site is definitely still under construction, but we're moving to Wordpress (like many a former blogspotter, we're enabling our site to be much more functional) which means other writings, musical creations, etc. will soon be featured, and permanently located. We've greatly appreciated how easy-to-use Blogger has been, however it's time to keep up with the times :-)

There's a new post up, featuring plenty of food photos, and more to come soon.

Thanks for everything, and hope you enjoy THEMUTHS.COM!


Friday, October 01, 2010

Having Some Drinks With Our Housemate Jerry
Somehow our week of Spanish lessons has evaporated before our eyes, though moreso before our feet since we've spent plenty of our waking (but non-studying) hours exploring Queretaro.  The city is really nice, and generally very easy to get around.  We've found a few movie theaters, plenty of beautiful old squares, and even some Asian restaurants (mostly in a modern mall) should we need a dramatic change from the delicious Mexican food:

A Thin-Cut Mexican Steak + Una Cerveza Negra
Anderson Enjoys a "Comidas Corridas" - A Prepared Set Meal for Lunch

Segundo Comidas Corridas
A Late-Night Food Stand Just Down the Street
Yep, pretty much wherever we go to eat es muy fantastico!

We have one more day of Spanish tomorrow, and are planning on going to a free concert by some famous Mexican musician whose name we keep forgetting... she plays guitar and it's supposed to be crazy-packed so it should be an interesting cultural experience.  We caught an impressive (and musically much more our style) concert on Wednesday night - we wandered about for the afternoon, met some really nice college students at a local skate-park, had a tasty dinner, and as we emerged from the restaurant a concert literally began in the adjacent square!
No photos, you're going to have use your imagination: set to the b&w film Metropolis, which played on a building wall, three musicians dressed in white body suits played instrumental livetronica.  A woman played drums, a steady beat that at times evaporated into the tension of the film, but mostly held together the other instrumentation tightly and confidently.  Both the guitarist and bassist also used synthesizers, though their usage was linked to the film: synths were blipped, at times futuristic and bassy yet often subtle and melodic, while the machinery of Metropolis was efficiently trusted and then used in Frankensteinian fashion to resurrect a lost love.  When emotion and humanity took over, primarily in the form of chaos and violence, then the organic instruments emerged, maintaining the almost-alien overtones of a future imagined by the past, while also increasing the strength of the low-end and the poignancy of a minor themes.  It was a great performance, in a cool setting, and we felt quite lucky to have stumbled into it.
Yesterday we literally wandered ourselves into exhaustion and sore legs, but we saw some parts of the city that we hadn't yet, so our efforts were well worth it!
While we are missing the fantastic microbrews that Colorado spoils us with, there are at least a lot of beers to choose from here, though perhaps not of the widest variety.  But pretty much every Mexican beer we're familiar with is available (Corona, Negra Modelo, Pacifico, Tecate, Sol, Dos Equis etc.), but the best new beer we've had is definitely Leon, similar to (and manufactured by) Negra Modelo, but supposedly brewed in the Munich style...

Right now we're just reading in our room, we've both got some Spanish homework and Anderson has vocab cards to make before we go grab some dinner - a typical day :-)

Anderson & Liz

PS - the Moment of Zen shall be returning shortly... don't think we've forgotten!

PSS - Our cousin Reannon has another India travel article out, this one about our stomach-churning ride from the hill-station of Shimla: #4 - Losing It

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Over the American SW
We've safely made it all the way to Queretaro, Mexico, and it's safe to say it's awesome!
Where to start... the city is clean, narrow stone roads keep traffic speeds low, the people are friendly, the food is delicious and mostly healthy, and it's actually a rather traditional Mexican town - domestic tourists come here but foreign ones do not.  Our homestay, run by Conchita and her husband Adon, is wonderful: a nice big room that's cleaned daily, reliable warm water and electricity (though the free internet has yet to be worked out), fantastic breakfast cooked fresh at 7:30 each morning, a hilariously cute dog named Boss, and cute grandchildren that come by in the afternoon.  We've met two other guests, one is studying Spanish at another institute while the other is a professor at a nearby university.

Inside Our Room
In the Courtyard
Yesterday was our first day of Spanish lessons, four hours per day for a week, which are included in our TEFL program as a freebie.  Our instructor Monica is nice and helpful, teaching almost exclusively in Spanish, but we (well, mostly Anderson) have already learned a bunch of grammar, vocabulary, and useful verbs.  For Liz it is the excellent brush-up that she needs, and so far she's been doing a great job at getting us around and communicating when more than "hola" or "si" or "gracias" or "muy bien" is required.  There's one other student with us, a nice, older (than us) gentleman from Illinois named Bill, which is great since we didn't really want to be the ONLY ones in class!
Sunday we spent alternating between napping and wandering about the city, hitting up a main square for the final day of Queretaro's Bicentennial Celebration.  The park was packed with people, bands played traditional (horn-based) Mexican music, while boys break-danced for donations, food and balloons were for sale, and the festive mood seemed all encompassing.  For food we've been exploring the options, but cheap eats include gorditas, tortas (sandwiches), and other taco-esque products.  From small shops they cost under $1, which is currently 13 pesos.  We did treat ourselves to a lavish seafood meal when we arrived, but even that was only $6 each for either an enormous fish (Liz) or a heaping bowl of mixed seafood soup (Anderson).  Beers cost about $2 from restaurants, but are a bit cheaper at corner-shops.

Some Seafood Soup
The ambience throughout town is calm and relaxing, and even during busy times people may be rushing about but they are still friendly and full of smiles.

A Square Downtown
Just a Few of the Churches...
Our journey to Queretaro, though time-consuming, was painless and quite easy -  we left Denver Saturday morning, after a long night at Dry Dock Brewery with friends (thanks everyone who came, seriously, it meant a lot to get to see you all one final time before departing), and then had a short flight to LA.  Anderson's aunt and uncle hosted us for the afternoon and evening - thanks Dudley and Eleanor - and we also got to see some of our cousins as well.  We watched Jack's (our cousin Chad's 6 year-old son) soccer game, had a great Middle Eastern feast, and spent the remaining time in between relaxing, watching college football, and chatting, chatting, chatting.  We departed from LAX minutes before midnight, which got us to Mexico City just before 6am, perfect timing for the first bus of the day to Queretaro at 6:30.  Other than the bus ticket seller ripping us off for a few bucks - pretty normal really - the bus was great, actually first class as advertised since the seats were comfortable, the ride quiet and smooth, free waters and snacks, and in a drastic change from Asia the bus driver respectfully kept the television volume on mute instead of the usual blasting.
Our school had given us their driver's phone number, so we called him and in about 15 minutes he picked us up, drove us by the school so we knew where it was, and then delivered us to our homestay.  It's near a train station so it's very easy to find, but thankfully the trains don't come through all that often so the noise isn't a real problem.  Or maybe we're just proficient at sleeping through anything...
The rest of this week should be generally easy, since we are finished with Spanish class by 1pm, but starting next Monday our schedule will double as we'll be at school from 9am to 5pm (albeit with a 2-hour siesta).  The class will be challenging for sure, however our instructor seems very nice, as does everyone else that we've met at the school so far.
Unfortunately today our Spanish teacher is sick, so we have the day off, but we're going to meet up with our fellow classmate Bill for lunch and then proceed to do some wandering... plenty of the city still left for us to see!
More news when it happens to us, but we're already eyeing up some Mexican wrestling for next week, and then the local futbol club (in Mexico's top division) will play the Saturday after that.  We'll presumably do a bit of adventuring this weekend, since it'll be our only one without any homework, but we've thankfully got a few days to figure out what we'd like to go and do...


PS - the Moment of Zen is uploading extremely slowly, unlike the speed of the biting mosquitoes, so you'll just have to wait a bit on that....

Thursday, September 23, 2010

At the Garden of the Gods
At Korean BBQ
Hey hey!

So we're moving forward in Muth-land, as our departure from Denver this Saturday morning rapidly approaches! Today we actually just paid off the balance on our TEFL program, so in just five short days we'll be starting our free Spanish lessons, while in twelve days we will be beginning our TEFL certificate - should be a lot to learn, a good review of things we already know, plus a lot of in-class experience...
We are both done working now - Anderson finished up his job last Thursday, although Liz is still under the gun as she is wrapping up her Personal Trainer certification program before we depart.
We are still house-sitting, though we spent a decent chunk of time the past two days cleaning out Anderson's parents' storage center - good fun :-). That means we've got another two days of dog-sitting before we'll be pet-less for a good long while...

We just survived a busy-but-super-fun weekend, which started off with the Great American Beer Festival on Friday evening. Five hundred breweries, serving over 2000 beers... what more need be said? You should go next year if you can, impossible to regret it.
The GABF was actually only the first part of our evening, as we ended the night closing down a gay bar with all of our sweet dance moves :-)
Saturday was more insanity, in the form of roller derby thanks to the Denver Roller Dolls. It was also our 6th wedding anniversary, and you know how much we love fun! We'd gotten half-price tickets off of the internet beforehand, and once we'd figured out the sport we ended up having a great time cheering our favorite jammers on amidst big blocks and tough hip-checks. There's one more match in October, and our buddy Eric is for sure going since he won free tickets!
From there we checked out Denver's Oktoberfest, held in LoDo near Coors Field, which was a giant street party with over-priced beers and German polka-style music. No GABF, but still a good time...

Sunday we then went up to Mishawaka, an outdoor amphitheater near Fort Collins, to see JJ Grey & MOFRO - rocking southern funky soul music. The venue is beautiful, and might be closed for a while, so it seemed an appropriate moment to check it out - plus it was Joni's birthday so we had to celebrate in style! Style meant a mountain of Beau Jo's pizza afterward, which our bodies are still recovering from :-)
This week has been busy as well, doing chores/jobs for Anderson's parents (clearing out a storage center, gardening, etc.), packing up all of our stuff (OK, haven't really done much of that yet), plus hanging out with all of our friends while we still can. Went up to Boulder last night, fresh beer from Mountain Sun Brewery, and then this Friday we will be at our favorite/local brewery, Dry Dock in Aurora.

We're leaving for Mexico this coming Saturday, the 25th, though we'll spend most of the day enjoying a long layover in LA with Anderson's aunt and uncle - should be a fun final day in America before we fly to Mexico City around midnight... we'll spend Sunday morning riding the bus to Queretaro, meeting our host family, etc. Our free week of Spanish lessons begin on Monday, and then our TEFL course starts the next week, October 4th. Hopefully it will be an enjoyable ESL experience, but we shall see...

Here's your moment of zen, from the Great American Beer Festival:

Wondering about the GABF winners? Yeah, us too: RESULTS

More news soon, probably from south of the border,
Anderson & Liz

PS - Our cousin Reannon is writing a series of travel articles about her adventures with us in India a few years ago. She's doing a weekly column, of which there are three articles so far. Photos were all taken by Anderson, and she gives a great new perspective on our travels, so feel free to check them out - we'll post more links as she writes them:

#1 - Goodbye Big Apple, Hello Big Adventure
#2 - Overwhelmed and Overheated
#3 - Monkey Trouble

Friday, September 03, 2010

Why hello there!

Hope you've had a fantastic summer, ours has been busy but very enjoyable, but now the fall is arriving we've only got a few more weeks in the States. That's right, we've actually figured out our plans!
Liz's job at the Census ended last week, and Anderson will be working a few more weeks until the 16th. That will give us a week to wrap things up here, since September 25th is when we're flying out of Denver. We'll be landing in Mexico City, via LAX, but our end destination is actually Queretaro. That's where the Teacher Training Center is, the school through which we'll be taking our one-month TEFL certification program. Just this week we've put down our deposit, so things are finally becoming official and "real." We've had this plan for a while, but if feels great to finally get to put it into action!
So we'll be studying to become more effective (and better accredited) ESL teachers from October 4th through the 29th, but for the week beforehand we also get free Spanish lessons - which is a totally awesome freebie!
After that the plans call for a week at the beach with some friends, probably somewhere near Puerto Vallarta, and then we'll travel across Mexico and then south into Belize. Liz's aunt and uncle have a house there, so we'll stay with them for a bit, around which we'll also be meeting up with our old friend Alan (from Cornell) whom we'll be traveling with. From there the plan is to go to Peru to find ESL work, however a side-trip through Nicaragua will hopefully happen if Anderson's cousin Reannon gets a job there... we shall see :-)
So that's our semi-immediate future... as for current events, lately we've gone to a few concerts: Chromeo, J. Roddy Walston & The Business, and our buddy ScMcD. We've also caught a few more Colorado Rapids soccer games, including a sweet 3-0 victory last weekend (tickets were also free, which never hurts!).
We went for a fun couples camping trip with Scott and Joni a few weeks ago, down to Great Sand Dunes National Park, which is simply amazing. We had a lot of fun, snagged a great campsite, and even the dog we're watching - Cyrus, we're house sitting for his owners - had a great time. Check out the photos - thanks Joni - they're pretty sweet:

Speaking of photos, we've finally gotten a new camera, since our trusty Kodak v610 finally gave out after four years of rough love and global travel. We settled on the Panasonic DMC-ZS5, which we've just received in the mail but haven't gotten to try out yet. If it does as well as its predecessor then we will be happy camera owners for sure... and from the demos/reviews, and its specs, it should take better photos along with HD-video.

Here's your moment of zen - Scott and Joni sand-sledding:

More news to come soon, things will be getting a lot more regular as we get back out on the road again!

Hope all's well,
Peace and much love as always,

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Alright, so we've been total slackers on the blog, and that basically means that Anderson's been being lazy - thankfully that will all be changing soon since there are going to be some major changes in the Land of The Muths. More details to come, but in the meantime here's a bit of an update:

We've both been keeping very busy with work, which at least partially explains the lack of posts. Liz's job with the US Census, doing admin work, has lasted much longer than initially anticipated - great for our upcoming travel plans! Anderson is still teaching tennis and golf to kids, and has also managed to survive three weeks of summer camp!
Otherwise we've been up to plenty! We've seen a few live shows lately (our friend Collin's band Lick It Ticket most recently, as well as Anderson's co-worker Matt's band The Saurus; we also went to a Brewgrass festival back in June. In the past few weeks we saw the Body Worlds exhibit at the Museum of Nature & Science, participated in a unusual cycling race - the Urban Assault Ride where we finished 21st in Co-Ed and 69th overall, and have been regularly participating in Tuesday night trivia at Legends - we win some sorta prize every third week so we are at least regular contenders!
Anderson has made two music mixes since May, first a reggae mix:

DJ Anderson - Stepping Between Reggae And Dub by DJ Anderson

and just this past week he finished an electro/French house mix:

DJ Anderson - Retro Electro by DJ Anderson

We've also participated in two surprise birthdays this summer: in June we traveled to Wisconsin for Liz's grandmother's 75th, and this past weekend we helped celebrate Anderson's mother's 65th at a local Italian restaurant. Both ladies were surprised, and both evenings were fantastic! While up in Wisconsin we managed to fit in some boating, which luckily also included some tubing:

Speaking of Wisconsin, here's your moment of zen, muskie-style, courtesy of Liz's father Brad:

More news soon, more regular posts, and once we've finalized them the info on our travel plans will be spilled as well... but we're thinking of leaving the US in mid/late September!


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Couple things real quick...

Anderson has his first article out on, a recipe for Raja Special, an Indian appetizer.  It's pretty delicious, and goes great with beer.  To learn more - and so you can hopefully make it yourself - please read the article!
Anderson's review of Metallica's latest album, which was once upon a time on the now defunct, is also now available for reading on Metronome.
For the final Anderson plug (for now at least :-), if you'd care to vote for his Funky Reggae Dub Jam mix he'd greatly appreciate it - 50 votes by next week and he qualifies to win some sweet gear...

Otherwise the work week is plodding along busily for both of us, it's currently snowing here, and we just finished watching the latest season of the Amazing Race.

Thanks for reading as always, somehow this is our 199th post - and we'll soon be at 10,000 visitors - so truly, thanks for spending your time with us,


Saturday, May 08, 2010

Time keeps flying by, and though we "aren't that busy" we are clearly quite busy enough!  Of late we've both been working a lot, though we've been doing plenty of fun things in and around Denver as well.  When the weather's been nice we've gotten to do some cycling, and now Liz is actually riding to and from work most days as well.  She has to take a combination of trails and suburban back-ways, but it's a mostly peaceful 4.5 mile ride.  Anderson's been able to check out several of the metro area's disc golf courses, so far Beaver Ranch in Conifer has been the most exciting (whole course is pretty much on a mountaintop), though the local course Expo Park in Aurora isn't too bad at all.

We've also seen several visitors over the past weeks, including Brian (from Iowa), Alan (from Texas) - both of whom joined in on some frigid disc-golfing, and we also got to hang out with Scott's brother Jason and his girlfriend Nicki when they were here.  The boys caught a Rockies game (they lost 12-11), while we all spent a night meandering around the 16th Street Mall in LoDo.  We've visited a few breweries, including The Great Divide & The Wynkoop.  There's one very near our house in Centennial, but we just need to make the time to visit it!

We've become regulars at a local Tuesday trivia night, thanks to Dan's long-time dedication before we arrived, and after weeks of trying hard we finally managed to capture 1st place!  The $25 bar tab, already well-spent, was a most excellent and appreciated prize for all of our brain-bending hard-work.

We'll try and get some photos up on here in the near future, for real, though we tragically missed out on our chance to be with the NesQuick Bunny today when we went to the Cinco De Mayo Festival in Civic Park.  The tacos were as tasty as anticipated, and we got bags full of free samples, so it was a nice afternoon diversion.

Anderson's going to be doing some miscellaneous article writing for some websites coming up in the very near future, more news and some links soon...

Hope all's going well for you as 2010 flies by - we're planning on the Denver life for at least the summer, but obviously more travel isn't too far off!


Monday, March 29, 2010

So we've already broken our promise about regular blog updates, what horrible State-side bloggers we apparently are!
We are currently living and working in Centennial, Colorado, with Liz working for the US Census doing administrative work while Anderson teaches tennis and golf to children under 10.  We plan on working here for a while until we save up enough money for more travel - we're still thinking S. America is next!
Some photos and a more thorough update will come soon, we have been rather busy over the past several weeks... but in the meantime here's some music to soothe your soul: Anderson's brand-new-but-long-overdue music mix!

   The Funky Reggae Dub Jam by DJ Anderson

Hope you enjoy the music,

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

February's struck, as January's disappeared all too quickly... this means our days in Wisconsin are almost finished, since we'll be leaving here this coming Thursday. We're taking the slow (but fun) route home in order to visit a bunch of friends in the MidWest. Our tour will take us through Milwaukee, Chicago, Iowa City, Des Moines and Omaha before we arrive back in Denver just after Valentine's Day. So be on the lookout for some wandering Muths in your neighborhood soon!
This past weekend we went to an indoor water park with Liz's brother and his girlfriend, as well as a bunch of kids of all ages, which was a nice break from the cold and snow. We thought we were only going to have to endure two snowstorms while we were here, but it's been snowing for the last 12 hours or so unfortunately...
We also took a day-trip up to Gordon, a small town where Liz's paternal great-grandfather built the Y-Go-By Bar. We went with both her grandparents, ran into a few other Peets (there's even a Peet Drive a road or two over), took advantage of the dollar beers, and had a grand time drinking the afternoon away:

(from L to R: Grandpa Peet, Great-Uncle Dean, Grandma's "long-term partner" Gary, Grandma)

We've both been focusing on our online education over the past few weeks, with Anderson having just completed his TEFL certificate a few days ago, and Liz about to finish her first class (of five) for her Personal Trainer certificate. Online work is much more flexible than being in the classroom, but it's still quite demanding, time-consuming, and challenging, but thankfully very informative as well.
Our future is still completely up in the air, since we have applied and had a phone interview for the summer resort jobs we want in Alaska, so now we are just waiting to hear back if we've made it to the next round of the hiring process. Regardless of that, we plan on going to South America to travel and teach ESL at some point during 2010, the question is just if it will be late spring/early summer, or not until the late fall. We're aiming to find some semblance of regular employment while out in Colorado, so if you know of something let us know!
There's also a couple of online updates:

Anderson's latest TravelFish article is available HERE called Tubing in the Vang Vieng. It's all about one of SE Asia's biggest - and certainly Laos' only - party spots!
The SE Asian Adventure movie is now streaming:

Other than that it's about time to start cooking some sweet potato pie :-)


Here's an old-but-good moment of zen, from the White Desert in Egypt (Oct. 2006):

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

After too many hours of work, the movie about our cycling trip is now available for download.  It's pretty big (600+ mb), clocks in around 55 minutes, and combines photos, videos, and music.  You can download it here:
A SE Asian Adventure
We've also made a DVD, which has some bonus features and some super high-tech menus, but you'll probably have to wait until you see us in person for that!

If there's any downloading problems please let us know, and the file is best viewed using VLC, a free movie player.

Hope you all enjoy it!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

 2010 - we made it!

We celebrated New Year's Eve outside Minneapolis with some friends, before heading back to Wisconsin on the 1st. We've been busy doing plenty of family things (Malikhi's birthday party, ice-fishing, four boys' basketball games, never-mind three full days of X-Mas festivities), working on our endless lists of things to do, while also trying to relax as much as possible. This past Saturday alone we went to three basketball games!

 Last week we drove east to the Upper Peninsula (UP) in Michigan, to help our friend Emily move into a new place near where she's going to school. The UP was cold, windy, snowy, and icy, but overall it seems quite nice, plus we had a fun night out for Liz's 28th birthday - watched the Iowa Hawkeyes beat Georgia Tech, a good game and a big win for our former state of residence's best football team!

 The last week or so we've been lounging around (but working hard): Liz has begun her Personal Trainer studies in earnest and is currently reading all about kinetics, while Anderson has finally completed the movie (and DVD) of our SE Asia trip. We'll have the DVD with us wherever we are (and we're ready to watch it plenty of times :-), or you'll soon to be able to download the movie and watch it by your impatient self!
Last night we had a fun couples' night out with Liz's brother Zach and his girlfriend Nikki - hit up a few Rice Lake bars and made the most of their evening without kids. Today we all went ice-fishing on Long Lake, about 30 minutes north-west of Rice Lake, so the kids had a blast getting sled-rides while we older folk fished and chatted the afternoon away. Guess who caught the only fish?

Anderson also has a new story up on TravelFish:

It's called Phonsavan and Luang Prabang and is all about those two Laotian cities, cycling around the Plain of Jars, and even features some late-night bowling... There are four more articles to go in the Cycle Asia series, so keep your eyes peeled for future installments.
More news soon, we've just interviewed for the summer jobs in Alaska we want but won't hear back for several weeks, and we'll have that movie link up here when it's done uploading!


Here's your moment of zen: baby Jaksen "shotgunning a beer" :-)