And we're back. Steve and I had a fabulous two weeks exploring Thailand. Pictures can be found on facebook. Cadance enjoyed two weeks parent free, and from what I understand had a wonderful time with her grandparents (can we say thank you enough!). I decided not to publish any pictures here because it would be too hard to choose, so I'll just tell you about our trip.
First of all, anybody who thinks Thailand is this crazy exotic place to vacation should think again. Don't be afraid to wonder into southeast Asia. We found lots of things that brought us close to home, like Haagen-Daz, Dunkin Doughnuts, KFC, and Burger King. Most people speak enough English to get by and the people for the most part are way friendly. If you're scared of public transport, Thailand has domestic flights to all major tourist spots. Plus, most hotels or guesthouses can schedule any type of tour or activity.
But, lots of things took me by surprise. I was shocked at the enormity of their billboards and how most children carried around cell phones. I was shocked by the trash in the ocean and the smog in the air. I was surprised to find Oreos at the 7-11 and that chocolate is like twice as expensive. I was also surprised to be interviewed, not once but three times, by school girls for a homework assignment about English tourists. Admittedly, some things shouldn't have surprised me, like having dogs everywhere and not having toilet paper in public restrooms. And, having the hill tribe people ask if we had a cigarette.
We discovered some things about Thai people. First, they love angry birds- like a lot. They are slightly obsessed with taking pictures. They also don't have indoor kitchens. While driving around the countryside you can watch every Thai woman preparing dinner at her wok. It's kind of cool. We learned that it's perfectly acceptable to drive a scooter around with your child sitting on your lap. Also, that Thai people are trained to nod their head and smile when they have no idea what you're talking about.
Some of the most fantastic things about Thailand include: being able to buy a quarter of a pineapple, ready to eat for about .50; renting a scooter for $3 a day; having waterfalls without warning signs or guard rails; the sunrise/sunset; street markets; meeting a Texan who's lived in Thailand for 30 years because he loves it that much; and waffle vendors.
Some of the highlights of the trip include: riding an elephant, and not just riding but having an elephant follow a command; snorkeling with about a million tiny jellyfish; learning how to make sticky black rice pudding, etc; walking along the beach and watching the sunset; finding our way out of Pai Canyon; a half hour foot massage that totally rocked; the many hot showers; and being able to spend lots of time with my one and only.
But, vacations are not all perfect. Some of our moments were: taking a cold shower in the train station; getting bad information about how to travel around the area...again; getting lost in Pai Canyon; hiking for almost an hour and never getting to the waterfall; the sunburn; and getting stung by those jellyfish.
I know this doesn't really explain the ins and outs of the trip, but take a took at the pictures; they do a better job. Thailand really was fabulous, and if it wasn't for time restraints and having to leave Cadance behind we probably would have stayed for longer.