Elegant Elephants

Our Christmas day this past 2017 was completely magical: we spent the entire day with some very elegant elephants! Elephants have long been a favorite animal in the Krembs’ family, so spending Christmas day with them was an extremely cool gift. The other amazing part of Christmas 2017 was being with my sister’s family. In the photo above you will the four Krembs, my sister and her family with husband and three kids, her mother-in-law, and her husband’s brother plus cousin and his wife. We were a party of 13! The night before we had all exchanged gifts via a Secret Santa. To say it was fun to be with everyone is an understatement. Because we live overseas, we often spend Christmas with just the four of us; this Christmas was especially unique and one that we will all remember forever–especially Christmas day with these elegant elephants!

This blog started as a family blog back in 2006! It’s evolved since then, yet I wanted to share a memory from way back. Here’s a picture of the kiddos as toddlers. Vincent naturally took care of his younger sister. I don’t have any pictures from our elephant experience from that first trip to Goa, India, so I’ll share the story here: we took our first Indian beach trip during our first break of our first year. We had just come from the beach party country of Venezuela. We often went to Margarita Island where the rum was flowing and the tanga (thong bikinis) were jiggling to the salsa music on the beach. As we sat on the very quiet beach of Goa, India, we felt an intense longing for the chaos of Venezuelan beaches. It was then in our self-pity, that I looked way off into the distance, and I saw a real dark, large blob. The blob kept coming closer and closer, and we had now idea what it was. Form finally began to take shape, and we realized an elephant was coming toward us! As we sat there on the beach with two toddlers aside us we watched this elegant elephant pass by. It was remarkable to say the least. Vinnie and I got up, held hands, and followed this gigantic beast. We were in awe. We never considered the Indian beaches boring after that, and Vincent and I rode many elephants together during our stay in the beautiful country of India. When we had to choose a partner for Thailand, I instantly asked Vincent if he’d ride with me.

I love the calm of my sister in these two pictures; look at the reverence she expresses in her hand gestures. I think it’s ok if I share that Julie was a bit scared, but she made it through, and in the end I think she found the elephants to be magical.

If by chance you visit Chiang Mai, Thailand, may I recommend Woody’s Elephants to you. They really care for their elephants. Each elephant has his own mahout, and as a witness those fellas really love their elephant. Also, lunch was amazing!

This is Tim and Marina. It was so fun to travel with these two. They gobbled up the culture with such a zest for life–same with Carol below. We feel quite special to have family extend beyond blood! (Stay tuned for more pictures with Carol; she traveled to Cambodia with us at the end of Christmas vacation.)

The first thing they did at Woody’s Elephants was write all of our names on our hand in Thai. This says “Annie” and “Elle.” We were kind of shocked how similar our two names looked….

Have you met an elephant before?
What did you think?

Merry Thai Christmas

Do you remember our trip to the Philippines in October? Remember how I was gushing about the Forever 21 in Clark, Philippines? Well. It was during that trip that I basically purchased all the holiday outfits I’d wear during this winter break holiday to Thailand. When I saw this bright off-the-shoulder red lacy dress, I knew for sure it was going to be my Christmas dress in Thailand. Here in Railay, Krabi, all these decorated longboats serve as the perfect celebratory backdrop. In a spot with no cars–except for an occasional hotel golf cart–these longboats are the mode of transportation. While obviously rickety, they are definitely a fun ride!

I’m about to make a very spoiled statement: I’ve lost track as to how many times we’ve visited this beautiful country. We first came to Thailand in 2000–we think. Back then we were living and working in Saudi Arabia for the airline company’s school; we travelled like banshees on I-90 tickets (in airline speak that means you pay 10% of the ticket but fly standby). We met both of Kevin’s brothers here in Bangkok. (Also within that 2 year time during our employment at the airline company, we also travelled to Hong Kong for the first time and definitely fell in love with our now current home!) Basically ever since living in India, Thailand has been the place we’d go for some luxurious yet affordable comforts. And yes, each trip always seems to end with some awesome shopping for Annie in Bangkok. (This trip we’re on will be no different!) The extremely special part of this trip is my sister is here! We spent two days with them already on their sailboat, and tomorrow we meet her and her family in Chiangmai Mai. (For moment to moment details follow my Instagram stories!)

Here’s my silver fox photographer. While he refuses to let me take videos of him, he’s really getting into the selfie these days. I guess, when I think back on our 20+ relationship, he’s always been up for a selfie–even before that’s what they were called!

Have you been to Thailand?

What sort of things would you like to see while I’m here?

Just What the Doctor Ordered

Oh wow! I can’t believe it’s already October 18, and I have only posted on Kremb de la Kremb one other time this month back on October 3rd. I guess I needed to take a break–just what the doctor ordered! There was a time with this blog that I was posting every single day, Monday through Friday by 6:30 am (look at my archives for 2014 and 2015 for proof!). I can’t believe how I did that! Then, after some time of doing that, I just couldn’t keep up. I switched to Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, this time posting in the evenings; the kids did their homework while I blogged. Now, goodness, looks as if I’m lucky if I write a post once a week. But, you know what? I’m forgiving myself. I do have a full time day job and a family to care for. As much as I dream of the Kremb de la Kremb blog and brand being my job, the reality is it isn’t. And just recently, while away on a family vacation, I could have used the luxurious time to catch up, but again, I didn’t. Instead I watched the kids surf, I took long walks with my husband on the beach, and I read a book–because that’s what one should do on a vacation, right? Something has shifted in me since I’ve received Pinky, my artificial hip. I’m feeling more relaxed and less pressured. Oh, I’ll keep blogging for sure: I adore the creativity this blog allows me. But I need to apologize to you my reader because unfortunately I cannot promise a guaranteed schedule any longer. I want to write when inspired and not when forced; therefore I recommend signing up right here to the right in my sidebar for an email notification when you’d like to know if there’s a new post over here on Kremb de la Kremb. Oh, by the way, I can give you advance heads up that there will be one on Thursday! Wink wink. After some relaxation, my creative mind is working–just what the doctor ordered!





*These pictures were shot on a beautiful Phuket beach called Kata. We stayed at a lovely little hotel called The Boathouse, one I totally recommend. Visiting this beach during August, September, and October is perfect for surfers. Yes, we had some drizzles here and there along with plenty of sun, but rain on a beach is still quite lovely!

Off the Shoulder with No Shorts?!

Flower in short hair
Of course I brought my off the shoulder men’s shirt to wear as a cover up during last week’s beach to Thailand. And of course on the last day when I finally got around to taking some pics–basically right before we left–it started to pour! But, oh rain feels so good. (I love the rain. It’s odd but true; I think it has to do with university days in Seattle…) Now for the real question: would I really wear this top without a pair of shorts underneath?! That’s the real fun of these long shirts that could almost pose as a super short dress. What do you think? Shorts underneath or no?

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Beach Braids

There’s nothing like having beach braids while on vacation! Every day on at the beach on Koh Samed with Mary over Christmas, we would have our hair braided. We found a cute little gal named Fai who would experiment and try new styles on our hair each day. On our final day before leaving the island, we had matching crowns that started at our left ear and wrapped and wrapped until it made spiral into the center of our head.

On the first day, Fai asked if she could make a heart. Of course! Each braid started in the front at my middle part and looped around to the back. This was a nice half up, half down braid that was very comfortable.

Mary started with a simple headband braid that swept across the front–again a very comfortable half up, half down way to wear your hair.

For this braid it started at my right ear, swooped across and then wrapped and ended again under my right ear. This one felt really pretty.

On Mary this braid started on her left and ended on her right. It was like a perfectly slanted braid across her head.

SikhBraidWe called this the Sikh braid as it started down at the base of my neck and work its way up to a braided knot on the top of my head. This one felt very fun and quirky.

FaiThis is the lovely Fai. She expertly braided our hair when we asked. Some days she’d do what we wanted like the wrap around braid, side braid, and Sikh braid; other days she felt inspired and created the heart braid or the wrap around crown braids. It was fun to watch her work. Plus, she’s so lovely. If and when I go back to Samed Villa on Koh Samed, I will look for Fai–you should too! She also gives lovely massages and pedicures–the works!

Here’s our one and only family shot from Thailand. (We were silly not to get one while Brian and Jen Krembs were also there:(.)


This is the morning after Vincent said he’d had his best night of sleep ever!


Kevin and I during the New Year’s Eve sunset


Mom’s totally pooped here!  Bangkok shopping baby!  Here she is in the famous MBK mall.


Kevin had a chance to take a hike on Phi Phi Island.  Here he is overlooking the double-sided bay.