Travelwithjules: Patagonia [Day One]


So so much to share.

To keep it real simple, we’ll try a day at a time and without explaining every little detail because it’ll just be confusing. The highlights and moments worth mentioning. To me at least. I mean it took us 3 plane rides, 3 bus rides, and 1 ferry just to get us to where we needed to start our first official hike haha

I’m hoping the pictures will tell our adventure. However, I’m disappointed in myself because I didn’t take photos of everything. The weather conditions were at times really harsh including wind so strong that it knocked me off my feet. There were also times when I just needed to conserve my energy to make it to the top of a hill.

Khang did take video, but it’ll be awhile till he’ll be able to get it all together.

Like I mentioned before, we embarked on a mission to trek the Patagonia mountains in Torres del Paine.

We definitely weren’t prepared. Ha. It was so intense. The most physically challenging experience in my life. But more rewarding than I could ever imagine. The breathtaking views were worth it. All of it. More on that later.

All photos were take with my iPhone 6 or Nikon D3200.

Okay, here we go!

The night before heading to Torres del Paine, we stayed in a small quaint town called Puerto Natales at a hostel. It’s not a fancy place, but friendly people and warm spaces.

Our first view at the Welcome Center of Torres del Paine.

The next few photos are during our bus ride to Laguna Armaga, where we would wait for a ferry.

Even though it was cold and windy, we rushed to the top of the ferry to catch the best views of Lake Pehoé.

We started our first hike from Camp Paine Grande to Camp Grey, which was about 7 miles. We also couldn’t buy food at Camp PG so we hiked the entire way on empty stomachs. My people know about “Hangry Jules”. Luckily we packed trail snacks-morale was low especially since we were eating our emergency stash on the very first day…

The first of many many breaks.

It’s kind of hard to tell now, but in the background is Glacier Grey.

I’m always holding Khang’s face in my hands. Finally captured it.

We each carried ONE BACKPACK with us. It contained mostly our clothes. We decided to go the “easy route” and bought “full board” at each refugio (campsite) so we didn’t have to worry about carrying/cooking food or carrying tent supplies.

Shout out to Emily (yes, that same Emily) for letting me borrow her Osprey backpack. It was a lifesaver. I’m planning to purchase one for myself.

Mountains in-focus.

Mountains out-of-focus.

Fields of flowers. Le sigh. Didn’t see them anywhere else than along the trails to Glacier Grey.

I tried to take as many photos of the trails as possible to show the different types of terrain we dealt with. 

I cannot explain my relief when we finally saw Camp Grey!

We shared a room with another couple, who were really nice once they warmed up to us. This was the view from our window.

Needless to say, I slept very well that night on the top bunk.

And I needed all the rest I could get for Day Two’s hike to Glacier Grey.

Thanks for reading and following along,

with me


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Travelwithjules: Chile

There’s been much excitement (&chaos) since finding out we get to go trek the trails of Torres Del Paine!!!

Khang’s had the fortunate opportunity to travel for work this past year. And when I say “travel”. I mean serious traveling. The experience has been wonderful for him, but disappointing for me because I couldn’t tag along with.

Until now.

We love exploring new lands. It’s one of my favorite things about us.

So the area we’re exploring is basically like the Grand Canyon of Chile.

Popularly known as P A T A G O N I A.

Once his boss confirmed he had to go back to Santiago for work (last Thursday), we researched and booked all our flights and accommodations within 10 hours. Whew.

Unfortunately, we won’t be camping the whole way as originally anticipated and not hiking the entire “W-Trek” because some places completely booked out-it’s peak season right now.

Regardless, we’re still super excited about our 5-night/6-day trekking adventure.

Wifi will be limited. Heck, even electric outlets will be nonexistent, but you can bet that I’ll be capturing all the beauty of the Andes and blogging about it when we get back. I promise.

So it’ll be quiet around here for almost 2 weeks.

Till then, here’s how I did that cool watercolor lettering above^

Two words: Masking Liquid

I used Molotow, but I’m sure there are other good brands too. Still can’t believe I waited 3 months to test it out. Already thinking of different ways to use it!

Step One: Shake pen well before using. Draw your design. Of course, it doesn’t have to be letters.

Step two: Wait to dry (doesn’t take long) and paint/color over design. I chose watercolor paint.

Step Three: Wait for paint to completely dry.

Step Four: Rub away. I tried to peel it at first. Faaaaail.


Oh Patagonia, The Phams are coming. Get ready.

EEEK! I can hardly contain myself.

Thanks for reading and following along,

with me


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Phamtastic Together [Part 3]

Um yeah. I’ll just let most of the pictures explain.

We danced to “Oceans” by Hillsong and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell.

My brother-in-law Lou recorded most of it and I’ll admit that I’ve watched it at least once a day so far. My favorite thing is actually watching my Mom’s reaction in the background. She was loving our first dance so much and looked so tickled with joy. Totally worth it.

I rushed straight to the restroom after our Father-Daughter dance, collapsed on a chair, and bawled my eyes out. Ngoc came in right after and asked if I was okay. I reassured her between my sobs that they were just “happy tears”. She smiled and said she understood because she knew how much my Daddy meant to me.  We asked everyone to “take a break” and sing along with us. The song was “I Want It That Way” by the Backstreet Boys. It was ahhhhmazing! I highly recommend stopping your wedding to belt out a favorite song.kj-803


kj-820 kj-847 kj-763 Please note one of our groomsmen, who I shall not name, in the background. Now look at the photo below. kj-784 kj-773 kj-749kj-710kj-681


kj-663 kj-672

And I would do it all over again. Best. Day. Ever. 

And crazy thing is life has only gotten better and better.

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Phamtastic Together [Part 2]

This church is special to us. Khang actually asked me to be his girlfriend on the front steps of this church after mass on June 25, 2005. Who knew we’d be married 11 years later? Not us, we almost broke up during the first week of dating! It’s seen Khang and I flourish under its roof at many different stages in our relationship. In theory, our church and its community watched us grow. I remember the priest telling me once to practice “humility” in showing my affection with Khang and recall the nun bribing Khang to play the role as Joseph because I was Mary in a Christmas play. Oh those were the days.

I think some might feel nervous about having a church full of people focused on them the entire time, but I felt very comfortable up at that alter. I think it’s because Khang and I had been up there  together multiple times before.

The ceremony was a blur. However, during our profession of love there was a short, clear, and vivid moment when I looked up to see Khang’s eyes welling up with tears. It was only a glance and I later asked him about it. He admitted he was on the verge of tears and tried very hard to not blink so they wouldn’t fall down his face. Khang is not one for public emotion. So I was pretty happy to catch him when I did.

I finished my profession of love at around 4am the day of the wedding. Not because I procrastinated! I found the right words to say that morning…I guess all the emotions and realizations finally hit me. Here’s what I remember:


Words cannot describe how blessed I am to have found you before finding myself.

My heart has not been still since age 15 because of your crazy and beautiful love.

Growing up together has allowed our relationship to evolve. The truth is…our love…has and will always be changing.

Because our love isn’t just an emotion but a continuous thread of actions towards one common goal. I used to think this goal was to make you happy. But I was wrong.

I learned from Day One of Marriage Preparation that my job from this day on as your wife is to make sure you make it into heaven by the grace of God when the time comes.

Now this means many things, but I’m overwhelmed by the thought that I get to love you as much as God loves you.

I know it won’t be easy. Rest assured, I’m ready.

I’m ready to…

Help you grow,

Help you explore,

Help you discover.

Because with every passing day you my dearest only get better with age and with that so does our love and our relationship towards God.

And I know with His guidance,

our love knows no limits.

You are my greatest adventure Mr. Pham and I look forward to continuing this beautiful life we’ve created together thus far.”

Or something like that. Yes, all from memory. I’ll never forget it.


After our ceremony, things just started rolling.

The bestest wedding party giving our very bestest attempt at “serious faces”. Naaaaaaailed it. Maybe. Still waiting on video.

But no joke, this group of beautiful people did an hour-long photo/videoshoot in summer weather. In formal attire. In June. In the South y’all.


Up next was the reception. Or what I like to think…a series of epic dancing proportions.

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Phamtastic Together [Part 1]

I remember crying in my car to my best friend, Michelle, about having to wait three years to marry Khang. Upset because we needed time to save up enough money to pay for a big wedding that our parents wanted. I’m not going to lie, there was bitterness in the beginning. But after much discussion, we accepted the sacrifices and agreed to our parents’ way…and it surprisingly ended up being the best way.

I wouldn’t trade our engagement/wedding experience for anything even that “Mountain Wedding” we thought we once wanted. Not only did Khang and I grow deeper in our relationship, we grew deeper in our faith. We started praying daily together and began to spiritually get ready for our wedding and more importantly our marriage. As always, God has a plan and it’s wonderful when I’m finally able to find out his blessings for me. For us. Maybe I’ll share more of that journey one day.

But for now, here’s our wedding story from my perspective. The highlights of course.

Okay, so you know that feeling you get when someone says “You’re so beautiful” and because of the way they say it and the look in their eyes you just know they mean it? You feel like the most beautiful creature in the whole world because it’s like that person sees all the beauty you hold at that very moment? You’re wonderfully caught off guard. Well this is how Khang always gets me when he does it. I cannot think of a moment where this happened and I was all doll’d up. It always unexpectedly happens when I’m bare-faced with messy hair.

This is why I decided to go almost make-up free with the exception of eyelash extensions (no mascara) and Burt Bees lip balm for our “first look”. I wanted Khang to see his idea of beautiful me. We woke up early in the morning before all the hustle and bustle at a secluded area in Gulf Island National Seashore Park in my hometown of Ocean Springs, MS.


After a little photo session, we headed back to our separate houses to get ready. My bridal squad included my best friend, Michelle, my two sisters Jill and Joy, and my sister-in-law Ngoc.

It was important to me to have these four lovely ladies by my side. I remember giving a little impromptu speech-something along these lines:

“I know today is about celebrating Khang and I, but I want y’all to know that I’m celebrating my relationship with each one of you too. People always praise how long Khang and I have been together… but if you think about it…I’ve known you… *pointing at Ngoc* just as long as I’ve known Khang…*pointing at Michelle* since babyhood…*pointing at Joy* your whole life…*pointing at Jill* my entire life… I want y’all to know Khang and I wouldn’t be here today about to get married without the love and support you’ve shown us throughout our relationship. Thank you so much. It means more than you’ll ever know.”

There were some teary eyes so I proceeded to do the chicken dance to lighten the mood because that hair and make-up took a lot of work!

Off we went to the place where it all started: Vietnamese St. Martyrs Catholic Church in Biloxi, MS.

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