Friday, February 27, 2009

Meet the NEW Jonas Brothers!

Hangin' High

(To make a long story short, I'm having a bit of problem with image storage so the next three posts should all be condensed into one but that's just not possible at this time. I'm unable to upload anything new into the web albums right now but wanted you to enjoy as many pics from our fun time as I can. As soon as I get the problem resolved there will be more pics for your viewing pleasure. Thanks for your patience!)

Yesterday I decided spur of the moment to join Dot at Hangin' High with our clan. It was our first time to climb and the boys had a blast. Logan was up first. He was harnessed and ready to go. I'm lucky to have snapped this picture before he was off scrambling up the wall!
He did a great job and went all the way to the top! He was a little scared once up there but with some encouragement, managed to ring the bell. We are so proud of him for pushing through and overcoming that fear! Way to go, Logan!!!

Daddy was belaying him and Tyler was trying to figure out how he was going to get up there.Logan took a turn on the natural wall and Dani was there for support.

Here's my monkey climbing all the way to the top of the net. After accomplishing that wall, this wasn't nearly as scary for him!Chris gave it a try and successfully reached the top!My lil' man getting ready for the climb!Climb on Tyler! Ty didn't reach the top but made it half way. Pretty impressive for a 4 year old! I think he enjoyed the ride down more than the climb up! He wanted to keep climbing up there just to get that ride!

Dot helped get in on the action. He's never been one to shy away from an adventure!Go Ryland!This is a push up like exercise that Logan was doing. He was able to do 3! The little boy in the back was impressed because he's unable to do more than 1! Way to go Logi!Chris clowning around on the pole.


So the kids are bored on a Saturday afternoon? Watched enough TV? What's a family to do?Have a shaving cream fight!!Ball shaving! Great way to practice without the danger of cutting anything!It was one of those spontaneous days that I love so much. All that was needed was some shaving cream and a hose! Isabelle and JoJo just happened to stop by and decided to join in on the fun. Once I get my picture storage problems resolved there will be more pics in the web album.

Good Bye Thailand!

I took a last minute dash to the nearest Buddha before we had to leave for the airport. It was so worth it. Everything in Thailand is so exquisitely made from the tops of the buildings to the door frames. Here's the golden Buddha that we are able to see from the hotel.

Inside the temple. The paintings went all around and onto the ceiling. I just realized that the paintings are of all the temples in Bangkok, sort of a map to Buddha!
We were here on Sunday and came in the middle of prayer and worship, Buddhist style. After to praying to Buddha, the faithful will purchase a gold square and rub it on a statue. There was a ton of statues all around, some like this filled with gold and some with just a few squares. There was big ones, small ones, animals, etc.
I arrived home around 5:30am, before my little munchkins were up but they managed to still welcome me home with this sign, cards and roses. I love my lil men (and the big one too!)

(I'm having issues with my picasa storage where I store my pics so you'll have to bear with me. This posts as well as posts above it are all a continuation from "Day Five" but I am unable to post the pics in that particular post. So just read from bottom to top!)

We were told at the front desk that we needed to see the Grand Palace at sunset which was around 6. We rushed to the subway, took the train as far as we could then jumped in a suk-suk for the rest of the journey. My first suk suk ride had me screaming. I thought I was going to fall out! They drive so fast and there is nothing to hold you in except for a bar near your hips! It's a pretty exhilarating experience once you get over the fear of it. And cheap too! Our ride cost us about 100 Baht, roughly $2.75 US.

The Grand Palace was closed so we were "encouraged" to go on a boat ride. What I mean by encouraged is that we were actually followed and pestered by this man we ran into at the palace. He was trying to sell us a tour on a boat for 900 BAHT when all we wanted to do was go up the river on a water taxi to get to our hotel. We managed to talk him down about 75% of what he was asking and got a little tour around the canals. It was nice to see Bangkok from the river.
This is the view of the big Buddha statue from our hotel rooftop.
Right before bedtime was snapped this last shot of our "One Night in Bangkok"(I'm totally singing that song in my head right now!).

(I'm having issues with my picasa storage where I store my pics so you'll have to bear with me. This posts as well as posts above it are all a continuation from "Day Five" but I am unable to post the pics in that particular post. So just read from bottom to top!)

In the afternoon we traveled to Chatuchak Market for some shopping. We put our bargaining faces on bu were met with opposition at every stall. To our dismay, this was not as easy as it was in Chiang Mai! Usually they name a price, you name a price, etc. Not here, once you "pretend" to walk away (in CM they will stop you) they don't bother with you. HUH? That's not how it's supposed to go! Needless to say I was a bit disappointed because I saved all my BAHT (and storage space in my luggage!) to shop in Bangkok because I heard it was cheaper. Well I'm here to tell you...IT'S NOT! So if you ever faced with this in Chiang Mai! Oh well... lesson learned.

Here I am after making a sale on a watch for Chris. I found out when I gave it to him that it is a BMW watch and actually does not have a battery. It works solely on movement of your body. Pretty cool! And I just thought it was pretty. ;-)

Everywhere I travel to I must get artwork. I want an artist's expression of their country. This time I chose a painting for the boys. I plan on having a game/movie room and it's going to by my Thailand room. I found a painting that had 3 elephants on it but one was pink. I asked her if she would mind changing the color to a boyish color and she was happy to oblige. Now this is not something I'd try anywhere else, in fact as I type this I'm realizing how bold I was to ask it. I mean, from an artists point of view the painting should stay as it was originally intended, right? Luckily for me, she was just happy to make a sale.
My middle elephant still looks like a girl with the flower but at least it's not as obvious as the pink was!
Strawberry soda in a bag anyone?? These chips were Mexican Spareribs. This is the only food we had at the market because I was nursing a sick belly and didn't want to push it.

One Night in Bangkok (Day 5)

After a long 14 hour train ride we arrived in Bangkok. It's a hustle/bustle city with a mix of new and old but maintains that wonderful exotic feel.

We took a ride in a makeshift sung tao which felt more like transportation for farm animals. We arrived safely so no complaints here.
Ahhh...sweet tranquility! The Phranakorn-Nornlen guesthouse. This is the top-rated place to stay on Tripadvisor, my favorite trip research website. The guesthouse staff were wonderful. I had made a boo boo in booking the rooms. I actually booked the rooms for the following day. I was devastated! If it was just me that was affected then I could deal with it, but I had the entire group's fate in my hands...well not really, but you know what I mean! All ended well. The staff prepared some rooms for us (thank God they were not fully booked!).
While we waited were served an amazing breakfast of Pumpkin soup, salad, fresh fruit and a mouth watering mushroom crepe with a fresh pressed glass of apple juice. Heaven!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Goodbye Chiang Mai! (Day 4 cont)

Our wonderful time in Chiang Mai had to end all too soon. We said our goodbyes after a last minute foot massage. This picture was hastily taken, we jumped in our awaiting Sung Tao and were sped off to the train station.

Noon hopped on the Sung Tao with us and said goodbye to her mom and brother. We would have gladly taken you with us Noon but I have a feeling your presence would be missed at Pak Chiang Mai! (Pic shamelessly stolen from Dot's Facebook. Thanks girl!)

Sleepy girl. I had a bit of a swollen ankle due to the bug bites received from ziplining in the jungle and Chantelle, the true momma of the group was ready with Benadryl. It knocked me right out and I slept like a baby!
All of us ready to begin the next leg of our journey in Bangkok!

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Out and About (Day 4)

This was our final day in Chiang Mai and we used it to explore the area. We walked the back streets to Wat Jedee Luang Temple. Here are some snapshots along the way.

It's sad to think of how much they paid for this one street sign when there are so many people that are destitute and have to beg.

Playing in the shadow of an ancient temple.
Yummy crepes! This was being made for a local school girl and it had egg, soy sauce, ketchup, mayo, chili sauce and chocolate!
The tops of the temple buildings were so extravagant and most had some sort of animal on the tip. I don't know the significance behind them but they remind me of gargoyles in a way, placed there to protect the occupants. Thailand is also filled with contradictions, the street sign being one of them but symbol of the elephant is a HUGE contradiction. They are worshiped, their symbols are found everywhere yet they are treated so cruel.

No there is not a spirit floating in front of my body...there is a rather large smudge on the lens. I discovered it shortly after but it did make it's way into several of my pics.
One of the many Buddha statues.
This sweet bird lady came up to us with baskets of small birds and said that for 100 THB we could set them free for good luck. Chantelle was the lucky recipient of the basket and freed the poor birds.

Day 3 (cont)

By the time we returned to Chiang Mai my stomach had had enough of the van rides and unusual (for me) foods. Dot, Tori and Shelly decided on another 3 hour massage and I opted out of that pain. I spent my time with Chantelle and Madi relaxing and perusing the old pottery museum across from the guest house.

In the evening we decided to go to a cultural show at Old Chiang Mai Cultural Center. Food and fun were on the menu here.
We saw beautiful Thai dancers perform traditional Thai-style dancing.

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We took a ride to the night market after dinner to enjoy some shopping.
Here a woman shows the process of making an ornament. I've seen these ornaments before but never really knew the work that went into them. It's very meticulous!
Hair clips made from a variety of items such as shrimp tails to cookies.
Beautiful hand-carved wax flowers
I love groupings of things because of the wonderful colors.