Saturday, May 23, 2009

Thailand: There and Back Again: Part the Second

Can I just say how much I love this guy?

These little fruit stands were all over Thailand. Absolutely amazing, delicious, fresh fruit for SO cheap! I actually lost 4 pounds while we were there, thank you fruit stands!

We rode these cute rented bikes all around these temples... It was seriously so fun. Complete with little jingle-y bells. I felt so European.

These temples were rad. This set was on our second day of temples on our way up to Chiang Mai. I wish I could remember what each were called, but we saw so many they run together in my mind!

This is where Mortal Combat was filmed... This place was amazing. The architecture is so rad and it is amazing how well it is preserved.

This is just another place in that same set of temples. It was SO hot and humid!

Derek saw this guy off the side of the road within the temple park... Of COURSE we had to go make the acquaintance! Brand new BFFs. I love all the animals in this country!

Do you see the resemblance here?
This was another temple a little later on that day. We didn't actually get to see much more than this here... it was closed.

I love these little guys. They're my favorite friends. These guys and geckos. I have an eye for geckos....

This was at the Mountain Temple, the highest temple in Thailand. To reach it, you have to climb it's 326 steps--- or just take the cable car reserved for the fat tourists.

In any case, Buddha is a VERY prominent figure in all of Thailand. There is a Buddha for every day of the week and then some. Apparently Buddha experienced all walks of life, which is why you see him as fat sometimes and skinny others.
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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Thailand: The Favorite Parts

Not only did we do the whole tourist-y elephant riding thing (to be experienced in another post- this won't exactly be chronological...), but we got in some free bare-back riding in as well...

We were driving through northern Thailand when we saw a guy walking his two elephants down the road. Naturally we stopped to take pictures, pet the elephants and talk to the guy. He offered to let us ride them, so of course we all took turns riding the elephants around. Then he mentioned he was taking them to this nearby lake for a bath and asked if we wanted to bathe an elephant, too. Of course Derek jumped at the chance (in all honesty, I would have as well, but I knew this was right up his alley) and so rode an elephant into a lake. He helped scrub it down, got sprayed by it and in all likelihood, got peed on.

At the end of our trip we went to Kanchanaburi to experience the Tiger Temple. This place was a-MAZ-ing. We got to walk with the tigers, cuddle up with them and pet them and everything. It was unreal. There is literally nowhere else in the world you can get this close to tigers and people plan entire vacations around this place. We found out too late that you can actually go early in the morning and help feed and exercise the cubs. That's right. You get to rough house with tiger cubs. I am SO in next time we're in Thailand!

My other favorite part of this trip was the miracle of the Thai massage. These little girls literally throw you around and use their whole bodies to give you a really deep massage. I got 2 foot massages, 3 aloe vera massages (thanks to the sunburn I got on my way TO the island...)

and 1 official Thai massage. So how did I afford 6 massages in one vacation? Well, here's the kicker---

$10 per hour.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Seven Years...

They say seven's the perfect number.

We didn't do much day of, just made ourselves a special dinner and hired the Little Einstein's to babysit. (Thailand DEFINITELY counts as anniversary celebration this year... right, guys?)

I heard some TV personality say recently that marriage should automatically expire every four years and you can decide to allow that or renew it every four. Huh. Well, even though we're not on a fourth year, I'm definitely up for renewal.

I love you, babe. You're my best friend, my sun and my stars, my lifeline, my last link to sanity. Thanks for sticking with me all these crazy years. Here's to another seven, eh, partner?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Thailand: There and Back Again: Part the First

(Sharing a "moment"... Don't mind us...)

So I never said anything about going to Thailand because I knew-- I just knew it wouldn't actually happen and then I'd be the lame girl who bragged about an upcoming trip that totally fell through. In any case, two weeks ago we got back from an 18 day trip overseas...

Our trip to Thailand started off well enough. We made it to Boise. We had everything in order. We got to the airport on time.

Unfortunately, I bleached my hair right before we went... Fifth Element-orange first, then anime-yellow. Anyway, so we were almost late to the airport because of the hair fiasco, but we made it there on time. Not that it did us any good.

We got to check-in, handed the lady our passports and about 20 seconds later she informed us that Derek wouldn't be allowed to board in San Francisco since his passport expires May 27th. But wait, isn't today March 30th? So what's the problem?

Yeah, for all those of you who don't know it, be forewarned: many (most?) Asian countries require travelers' passports to be valid for 6 months from the date of entry into their country, and many European countries require validity for 3 months.

Great, so our vacation's shot, right? We looked at a billion different options and were basically in full freak out mode for a day or so. We considered changing our destination, changing our travel dates, airlines, et cetera, et cetera. But it all hinged on whether Derek could get his passport renewed in that short amount of time. There are regional passport agencies all over, one in San Francisco, one in Denver, one in Seattle. San Fran was super busy, so our agent (who was amazing through all of this by the way. I'll back link to her if I ever find a link) got us a flight to Seattle early in the morning, (which allowed time for me to get my hair done... again) we went to the passport office at 9am, paid em $135 big ones and got Derek's passport by 2pm. Perfect. Unfortunately, I'd packed for Thailand and San Fran--- which meant shorts and flip flops and Seattle decided that sleet was the weather choice of the day. It was freezing.

(Derek and I at the Seattle Library. Super cool, this is where we hung out while it was sleeting outside.)

Anyway, blah blah blah, long plane ride the next day, we arrived in Bangkok 4 hours later than scheduled-- our dedicated travel companions waited the ENTIRE time for us.

First thing the next morning, Jordan & Josie introduced us to their favorite little restaurant on the street by our hotel.

It was a delicious intro to Thailand. Plus it cost like nothing. Like $1.50.

Breakfast as we know it doesn't really exist in Thailand. There's not really a differentiation between meals. Like you get the same things for breakfast as you would for lunch or dinner. Like rice or noodles with meat and veggies. Anyway. I like food pics. The above picture is a pepper sauce thingy you'd drizzle over stuff.

These little bananas are amazing, too. I love how you can just buy fruit at a bazillion different little stands over there, like little bags of pineapple for .20. Rad. I lost like 4 pounds while we over there, thanks to filling up on fruit.

(Too cool for school.
No... really.)

After breakfast, we walked down to this corner to Gulati Fashions (word on the street is this is THE place in Bangkok to get a suit tailored--- SUPPOSEDLY, several General Authorities get their suits made here.) to pick out fabrics for the boys and get them fitted.

(I had no idea you had so many options when it comes to pinstripes.)

(Derek looking hot-- deciding between fabrics)

This is one of the temples at the first site we stopped at. Only monks can enter this one. I can't even remember which one this is. Maybe a part of Ayutthaya? We went to so many freaking temples... they're ALL over the place there.

The grounds were really cool though, (same temple) all these bushes/shrubs cut into shapes. Jos and I LOVE elephants these days.

(Classic Derek molesting a reindeer shrubbery. I love this man.)

Ok, here's me: "Ooo, cool tree, I'm gonna go pretend I'm a peacock." Fast forward 15 seconds later and I'm frantically jumping around and brushing off 20 fire ants that decided to start chomping me...