Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Home Sweet Home

The flights were fairly normal - United had awful food and Air Canada had maintenance issues - nothing unexpected there. I asked enough that I was able to snag one of the only empty window seats as opposed to the middle seat between a cranky man and a friendly 350 pound man - that was for the 10 hour leg and I was extremely thankful for that.

Landed in Calgary an hour later than expected but got a gorgeous view of the Rockies as we flew over them. Came through customs and into the arms of my handsome husband who had  gorgeous flowers waiting for me on the van seat! Yay - I am home!

Kim - thank you so much for everything. You are a fabulous friend that I miss dearly here but am sooo glad that you have made such a wonderful home for yourself there! You are a delicious cook, always ready to laugh, as clumsy as me, did a great job of organizing our flights and rooms, Bali was a fantastic choice for a second jet off, I appreciate you more than I am sure you know! Thanks for opening up your home to me, looking out for me on our travels, giving me awesome directions, for being so easy to travel with and for putting up with me. You were a perfect guide to the orient Asia. Love you girlie!!!

Making the last day count

Well I talk all big and tough about making the last few minutes count and there was lots we could have done: boat tour, chinatown walking tour, prison tour, hop on hop off, wandering around the quays. On and on I could go.

But, we made the last day count our way - sleeping in, lazy coffee, lounging by the pool, catching a fantastic thunderstorm, packing and weighing and packing again. And mixed in the last of the items on our to do list: the Hawkers.

Whilst lounging by the pool, this guy suddenly rides up to Kim and I. We asks if he can give us a book. Our faces must have reflected the confusion we felt as he asked us again and followed up with a comment that he hasn't seen many people reading in Singapore. It turns out he is an Indian author that is on leave visiting his wife in Singapore (who happens to live in Kim's complex). His book has honorable mentions and is being written into an Indian screen play. Anyone that knows me knows my love of Bollywood movies and so the thought of his book becoming one made me sooooo excited! I asked him to autograph it but none of us had a pen - oh well. 

He rode off, Kim and I laughed over the chances of that happening and then we proceeded to hop back into the pool. Kim got out earlier than I did and the next thing I know - he is back, pen in hand signing our back and visiting a little. Too fun! I promise to host a movie night for all you fellow calgarians if it does come out as a screenplay.

Now onto the hawkers - since neither Kim nor I miss meals well. It is kind of like a food court without the mall. A bunch of little food stands set up under a covered area with tables and chairs in a common area. Kim said that they usually have an indian, a thai, a chinese and a few other stalls mixed in for good measure. We waited until after the rain stopped and for it to be a bit later in the day so as to get in better people watching.

Kim confidently walked in and took charge of our options. I was feeling good about the experience leading up to it but when we strolled past the vat of bubbling chicken feet, I was suddenly overcome with a complete sense of ineptness. Order what Kim says is good - that is my motto - hee hee!

So we found ourselves with a yummy little crepe style spring roll, some sort of cheesy naan type bread and I chose the pad thai while Kim picked Tom Yum. Delicious - every little bite of it. But my favorite part had to be the people watching - all different walks of life finding themselves having dinner together at 8'ish at night. Families, singles, friends and couples. Young and old, different ethnicity's, different languages. A true melting pot - similar to the food options. And the most delightful glass of lime juice - delicious!!!

All too soon, the suitcases were packed by the door and we were crawling into our respective beds. That 7am flight is going to come early!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

At the airport on my way home. Sad to leave but excited to see all of you back home!

Exploring Singapore

After a delicious breakfast, Kim and I were off - suited up for a day of walking through some of the best Singapore has to offer.

Our first stop on the bus was Orchard road. Kim had mentioned that this street was full of high end shopping but I wasn't quite picturing it like this. I expected a street lined with the little chops of Chanel, Prada, etc. but instead it contained these large shopping centers that had huge stores full of Chanel, Prada, etc. In one section, the Prada's were less than 2 blocks apart! We wandered through, drooled a little - or a lot - took pictures  and then moved along our merry way.

Hopping on the bus we headed over to Arab street. I should give a bit more context to Arab street - when Kim had first moved to Singapore we knew back then that I would visit; it was just a matter of determining the when. One night shortly after the move I received a text from her telling me how much I was going to love Arab street when I came over. Every time we have chatted since then, Arab street has come into the conversation. So of course I was super excited to see it.

We walked past shop upon shop with beautiful fabric. We wandered through crowds of people and skimmed under the awnings to hide from the heat. Both of us were getting hungry by this point and so we headed to Kim's favorite restaurant for lunch - closed - rats. Oh well - surely we can find another one almost as good. We came upon a lovely little Turkish restaurant and settled in for a salad and dip medley to share - delicious! Now off to do shopping - we wandered through some stops looking at this and that and then went to the perfume shop! Kim has told me about this little place where you can mix your own blend or choose one of their custom blends. I wasn't too sure what I was doing so decided not to mix my own this time but picked out some lovely scents. Next up, a lovely little silk and cotton shop. The shop tender recognized Kim and was quick to bring us a few lovely items. The last of the shops that we 'had' to visit was Kim's that had the most beautiful Singapore art and treasures. He is commissioned by the Singapore government to create custom pieces for visiting dignitaries and you can quickly see why. His work is incredible! It helps when he comes rushing over for the hug and is a wealth of knowledge around Singapore and all it has to offer.

Once we had done Arab street right (including a sketchy little cafe with a Hello Kitty pink sundae that was so artificial tasting - it was crazy) we jetted off to little India. Instantly the feel of the streets changed - the smell of jasmine was heavy in the air, there were more people and the walkways smaller, every other store had incredible gold jewelry on display and the stores in between were selling jeans, bangles or saris. Kim took me into the local department store - Mustafa. It was the most surreal experience I have ever had - 4 or 5 floors of everything you could ever need - make up, clothing, electronics, jewelry, etc. The shelves were really high so you couldn't see around them at all. At one time I wandered away from Kim and quickly realized that it would not be easy to find each other so I better stay close. I tried to take some pictures but it just wasn't doing it justice! Finally it was time for dinner. We wandered to a little restaurant that has come highly recommended.

Oh my mercies our dinner was incredible - pakoras, papadums, mint chutney, palak paneer and more. Sooo delicious. The masala tea was also a tasty treat. Just as we were finishing up, another family came upstairs to eat. The lady looked familiar but really - I am in Singapore - who am I going to know. Then I spotted her son and knew that I recognized them. It was a mom with her son and daughter (daughter is about 30 maybe and the son is maybe 14?) that we had met on our Ubud bicycle tour. Random enough, they had arrived back in Singapore that day and were getting one last dinner in before the mom and son needed to head home to England. It really is a small world everywhere!

Once dinner was over, Kim and I rushed out to catch the subway down to Marina Bay sands. I had wanted to see this light show that had received incredible praise from other travelers to Singapore. We were almost there when we checked the time once more - oops - we were off by half an hour. LOL - of course we were. We carried our packages over and decided what to do. Sit down and wait - that sounds like a great idea as it is beautiful night out, the light show is over the water in the middle of downtown Singapore so we could gaze over the city lights and watch their reflection dance on the canal and it wasn't busy at all down there - very few people in fact.

We were all settled in to what we thought was the perfect spot to watch the lights. As they started - we quickly realized we were not at the right spot at all - Kim and I ran over to where the lights appeared to be to find a small crowd gathered - no wonder it seemed really quiet. Not to worry though - the show was not at all how we imagined. Pretty funny actually with people projected into the mist singing. As Kim has been saying all week - it isn't wrong (how they sing our music or answer our questions or make our western style food) but it isn't really right either.

All to soon, the show was over, Kim and I packed up and walked past the Louis Vuitton store on our way through another high end shopping mall. We stopped at the Ferrari store to check our their gorgeous car on display and then called it a night.

What a wonderful side of Singapore I was able to experience. Thanks Kim for being a great travel guide!

Monday, April 09, 2012

Happy Easter!

Since Easter falls during their holidays, Kim and I didn't do much to celebrate! Her friends are mostly still away on their little trips so we celebrated our way.

First up: McDelivery... I mean really if you can you gotta at least try it. So our Easter lunch consisted of my first pop since lent, with our double cheese burger meals we ordered. The poor delivery man didn't know what to think when I was asking to take his photo and proceeded to follow him downstairs in the elevator!!

After lunch we decided that since we have been go go go it would be a good day to relax a bit. And what better way to do that then a Gold Class movie. So we freshened up and headed down to this cool little area that had a bunch of historical store fronts.

Our first stop was reflexology. This was the first time I had ever gone and even though we chose moderate pressure, there were some spots that were so tender we didn't know if we could last. The motto: no pain no gain was coming out in full force from Kim's therapist as mine just kept smiling and asking if it hurt. There must have been something in it though as we felt fantastic when it was over!!

From there we shopped around and then went for dumplings! Sooo delicious they were! I am hoping I can find a good dumpling spot in Calgary to take Jimmy to. We wandered around a bit more and then it was time for our movie!

I must take a moment to explain Gold class: - it's own ticket line and lounge - assigned seating that you can pre book on line - only 24 lazy boy seats in the theatre - full menu including hot chocolate and ice cream - oh and dinner meals as well - service throughout the movie - blankets Yup, it was so good we decided to stay for another one!

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Settling back into singapore

sleeping in
fresh toast and honey
yummy supper
enjoying outside
arab street
city lights
new friends
old friends
late night

Seeing more of the country side

Our last day in Bali dawned earlier than the other days. We were heading out onto a cycling trip and I wanted to wander the grounds a bit taking photos so we set the alarm nice and early.

The van was there to pick us up right on time and we spent the next hour making our way up to a breakfast spot overlooking a volcano. The drive was fascinating. It was nice to experience the local culture of Bali as we passed beautiful ladies walking to the temple with these incredible fruit towers on their heads, children playing, farmers working and shop owners setting up their displays. The traffic was less busy and the scenery was incredible!

Our breakfast spot was gorgeous. We had driven uphill most of the way so that we looked out over the valleys and rice terraces. I could have spent hours there but the day was only beginning!

After breakfast we headed down to where we each got our bikes. I was a bit nervous as I hadn't been on a bicycle for 4 or 5 years (yes - again I did this to myself) but figured I would get into the groove soon enough. Everyone helmeted up and off we went!

What an incredible ride - down hill most of the way on surprisingly good roads. We stopped at a family's house to see what a traditional Balinese house looks like and watched them weave bamboo mats. Then we rode out into rice fields on these narrow little roads that were no bigger than 3 feet across. (That part made me a little nervous - okay a lot nervous so I walked down the steep parts). As we were driving along - a man suddenly popped his head up in the ditch. The ditch is also their irrigation system for the fields and so they were full of water. As I rode passed I realized he was bathing naked and his underwear was lying on the side of the road - too funny!

We stopped to harvest some rice and then were off again. We off roaded through the trees and popped out onto the main roads. (Okay so most people rode but I might have stopped a couple times to walk - and I wasn't the only one so that made me feel better!) And then the inevitable happened. There were two girls in front of me and the rest were way ahead. They had said to stop and take photos wherever so when the girl slowed right down and stopped I just though she wanted a photo. Nope - they were actually turning with the group. I was sure I spotted Kim ahead and so kept riding forward. All of a sudden the guide pedals up and asks where I am going. Hmmmm - not too sure where I am going so we took a different route to meet up with everyone. As bad as I felt for missing the turn, I was glad to come across some sites you don't see every day - a motor bike laden with helium balloons for a celebration (the balloons were twice as wide and twice as high as the bike itself and so colorful and shiny - it looked really funny), kids playing soccer, grandpas hanging out on the stoops and grandmas picking up groceries. Trucks filled with chickens and dad's driving with their little babies on the bikes. Houses dressed for weddings and temples dressed for celebrations.

The rest of the group met up with us at this massive tree that was 500 years old. It was huge and sooo beautiful. We drove through more villages and passed more rice plantations before we landed at a cock fight. Kim and I couldn't watch the fight itself but it was an amazing experience being there and watching the men partake. A little ice cream cart parked off to the side under the shade. Winners and losers at the sport. Roosters being groomed and preened - being teased with each other.

Towards the end - there was an opportunity to do an uphill climb or continue on with the easier riding style - After seeing the steep off roading I didn't think I was up to a 10 minute uphill climb and then a 5 minute down to go another 20 minutes uphill. The guides kept warning everyone - it isn't the climb but the humidity and the sun that will get to you! So 3 of us stayed back while the rest climbed. I wished afterwards (once I knew it was mostly softer grades on paved roads) I would have maybe tried it but I was scared that I would be holding everyone back - Kim went and did an awesome job. So proud of her!! The downhill afforded me the luxury of a few photo ops though which I am glad I had.

All too soon we were at our lunch spot overlooking a rice field and then heading to the coffee plantation. We tried a wide variety of coffees and teas to end a fantastic excursion. Really glad we booked that one. Back at the hotel to shower and then off to the airport.

Farewell Bali - I am sure we will meet again as your beauty and soul drew me in. You are lovely!

Thursday - Day 2 of Bali

Haha - I totally had to go back and count my days so I knew where I left off - but Thursday it is (That's the Thursday before Easter).

Kim and I both hadn't been having the greatest of sleeps (in the fact that we woke up a couple times throughout the night and were up earlier than need be in the morning despite no alarm being set) and so since our massage wasn't until 9:00 we were quite confident that an alarm would not be needed. Well - after we both had the best sleep of our trip, I woke up, checked my clock to see it was 8:53 - the mad dash was on! We quickly scrambled around and found ourselves at the massage hut at 9:00 sharp. As we were running down the stairs - Kimmie jokingly commented - funny that we are running just to go lay down again - but we were.

After a delightful massage complete with body scrub, yogurt mask and flower bath we headed back to our rooms to change and head into town. First stop - a scooter rental place. Never having driven a scooter or motorcycle before was apparently not a comfort to the guy renting me the bike but never the less - I gave him my best smile, confidently assured him I could figure it out and screeched off.

Really - how hard could it be - I didn't even need to prove that I had a valid drivers license nor did we need to leave a credit card imprint - I was going to be fine. I learned the gas and the brakes - everything else was optional. Thankfully the first leg wasn't very far and we only had one corner that I scarily made - my legs flying out to balance me and my brakes grabbing. I wasn't too close to cars or people really - a good foot at least. Whew - Kim pulled over - good thing as we were starving (having missed breakfast for our massage of course) and so we parked the bikes for lunch. Our only stroke of genius for the day was remembering to take a pic of our bicycle license plates so we could find them in the world of scooters!

Lunch was okay - a sub par salad - but it filled the void! We then proceeded to do a little shopping, eat some delicious gelato and get some gas so we could make our way back to the hotel to get Kim's yoga stuff. I had decided to pass on yoga so that I could spend some time wandering around taking pics - the day before I had hardly taken any and I was so enamored with Ubud that I wanted to make sure I had some good pics.

As we were prepping to depart we realized two critical things: we didn't know how to get to our hotel and we didn't know where to return our bikes Ooops - the latter wasn't a big deal because we could figure that out later but the hotel was a bit more important. So we stopped at the info booth to buy a map.  Apparently maps are expensive in Ubud so we decided we just needed to ask the guide the directions.

Off we went - weaving our way through traffic. Kim had taught me an important lesson: others are not going to make sure they don't hit you before they go; rather they go and it is your responsibility not to hit them. Good to know - that means I can just go and others must make sure they do not hit me. Got it! Robert taught me the other important lesson - just look where you want to go! Hope this works for bikes the same it does for cars cuz my corners leading up to this point have been crazy!!!!

I blocked most of this ride out but it included filling up with petrol, making school girls laugh uncontrollably as i got up on the sidewalk with my bike, crazy corners that I didn't think I was going to make, getting honked at in an angry way and in a warning way, passing dead things that smelled awful, blown glass artwork, custom chess boards, gorgeous wood carving and Hello Kitty markets, scents of hot sour things and of incense, trucks with chickens and buses passing until finally we pulled over and were asked if we were lost - funny enough - yes we were!

We received directions to the monkey forest, found a place to turn around and were off again. Once at the Monkey Forest - we knew we could find our way to the hotel. By this point I noticed that people still used signal lights but I had nooo idea where mine were. Every now and then I would play with some of the buttons to see if I could figure it out. It must have been tricky though as Kim would turn hers on and then it would stay on for the next 10 minutes before it finally turned off!

After driving a bit we realized we must have missed our turn - again! No worries - I had finally figured out the signal light situation. But then we found ourselves in crazy traffic.  Kim was able to dash between vehicles in the oncoming lane but by the time I was ready to follow suit - traffic was moving again. I managed to screech into the gas station and decided that it was time to turn the bikes back in - we really didn't need to still head out to the hotel and do country roads. Thankfully Kim was ready to skip yoga as well and so we weighed our options - ask someone to guide us back to the bike rental spot or try it on our own.

Dually noted that we weren't sure the address on the contract was the real address (as Kim pointed out) so we decided to chance it. Kim was sure if we drove down the road a bit she would recognize something. Off we went, merging into our lane and heading back the way we came, After getting honked at over and over, we found ourselves in front of the restaurant we had dinner the first night. Yay!! Kimmie got directions back toward the monkey forest, we pulled a u-turn yet again and headed down this crazy road that was jammed with traffic. At some point I ended up taking the lead for the first time our journey - by now I had found my groove a bit with the bike - okay - let's just say I sucked less than I first did and we knew if we followed the road we would get to the bike place. We also remembered it being around a corner!  One corner, then two, then three and after a couple more, I finally spotted the place. I cruised to a stop across the road and noticed the guy who rented the bikes standing in the driveway waving frantically at us.

How he happened to be out there watching just when we came around the corner, I am not too sure. Was he standing there watching the entire time nervous that we were not going to survive it or??? Regardless he was there, We got turned into the driveway and unloaded our wares from under the seats! Laughing and giggling we were quite proud of ourselves for surviving.

Yes mom and dad - it was as bad as you are probably imagining it - driving on the opposite side of the street on these roads that would be considered a small two lane road back home that has multiple bikes and huge trucks and cars driving. Potted with holes at the most inopportune times. Dotted and solid lines are not a concept they understand. Nor is sticking in any semblance of order. Helmets and seat belts are optional. As it was hot, we were wearing flip flops and tank tops. But we did it!!!!

After that hair raising experience - we walked up the road and found a lovely restaurant overlooking a beautiful rice field. We relaxed there for a couple hours and grabbed a snack before doing a touch more shopping and heading over to the Balinese dancing at the palace.

What a perfect way to end the day - the dancing was beautiful and the head dresses and costumes so extravagant. It was a funny story about love between a prince and princess. The live music was so relaxing and it was as much fun to watch a couple local girls that couldn't have been more than 6 mimicking the dance as it was to watch the dancers!

Bed felt delightful that night - as we fell asleep listening to the sounds of the jungle! Incredible experience!!

Friday, April 06, 2012

p.s. I added a little to a post named Bali has welccomed us - so if you are interested - feel free to scroll down and check it out.
Made it back to Singapore but its late so I promise I will catch you up tomorrow!

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Still alive mom and dad. Survived multiple adventures today. Will try to post it all tomorrow. Until then good night.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Bali- WOW!

It's our first morning in Bali and it feels a bit like camping at home! You can hear the birds singing, the crickets chirping, frogs croaking and leaves rustling. The rooms at the resort are stand alone huts so you don't hear another soul unless they are walking by. It's incredibly serene. And the scents are incredible. Damp ground, fragrant flowers and incense.  Bali is the most perfumed place I have ever travelled to.  It is incredible. I wish there was a way to bottle it up so you could experience it too.  After a delightful breakfast complete with pineapple jam (don't know why I was so amazed as of course we could make pineapple jam back home just the same) we headed into Ubud. What an incredibly beautiful walk.... I could have strolled for hours along the houses and shops. Passed the monkeys and altars. Smelling the incense and listening to the sounds of the jungle.  When we got into town shopping and finally ice cream were in order before heading back to the hotel for our massages. Since Kim was up first I cooled off in the pool. Even with a little rain it was incredible. And it had to be one of the best massages of my life - amazing!!! Kim picked out a delicious dining spot tonight! We had Balinese tapas and yummy entres. Too full for any Indonesian dessert though!!! The food was so delicious and we had a great spot for people watching. So many different walks of life all strolling through the streets.  All day I was nearly beside myself with how much I loved the surroundings. I just couldnt drink enough of it in. So now it is off to bed. Another full day tomorrow starting with another massage. This is the life!

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Bali has welcomed us

We landed. Made it to our hotel. And are just checking in with everyone before bed. It's beautiful and I will tell you all about it in the morning.


Our day in Singapore was lovely - when we woke Kim had a plan in place and execute we did.

 It started with a lovely walk along East Coast Park. Kim is only a 10 minute walk from the ocean and East Coast Park is along the ocean - gorgeous trails, a wake boarding park (just like a skate board park - it was really cool), lots of restaurants and the lapping waves along the beach. Singapore really doesn't have any swimming beaches and the best I can figure out why is do to the pollution from the harbor. It is massive - and there are sooo many ships queued up. You can't see the horizon of the sea for all the ships that are docked. Cruise ships, tub boats, fishing ships, cargo - oil and grains, spices and silks - I have never seen so many ships - flying over it looks like a little city (think Regina or Halifax size) for all the ships on the water.

After our fat buster stroll, we came home and jumped in the pool for a quick swim.You see I kind of broke the shower the night before when I was adjusting the shower head (oh dear) that ended up with a hose and a stream of warm water - felt like rinsing off on the farm with the garden hose all over again - so the pool was the best we could do! Kim's bathroom is an Asian style bath as well that has a stand up shower in a corner but just a little half wall divider. No curtain or door. Soo of course when the pressure comes back (after the washing machine cuts out) the small stream becomes a huge fountain that sprays everywhere - lol. By this point I was already mid shampoo and so had to finish off. Mercies!! 

Next up: Errands. Our first stop was the nail place for a polish change on the old toes while watching a Chinese soap opera - too funny! Next Starbucks for a coffee and light lunch. We then strolled down to the hardware store to buy Kim a new coupling for the shower and the grocery store to pick up some snacks. Dried sea weed, chick pea and green pea with rice crackers and dried mango were all in the cart! It was all very tasty!!!

Back home to pack up and head to the airport - was sooo incredibly excited for Bali!

Monday, April 02, 2012

The Thai Sampler

Since I was so light on the details - I thought I should recap our first day in Thailand (Saturday):

It started with our lovely breakfast buffet and heading directly to the pool. Kim and I had chosen chairs that were poolside close to the little canteen so water and coconuts were handy!  It was incredibly warm out and the sun was shining so the close proximity to these were very important.

The routine seemed to gos sunscreen  pool, sunscreen, read, sunscreen, pool, sunscreen, water, pool, sunscreen, read, pool, sunscreen, coconut, pool, sunscreen, read, sunscreen, pool, sunscreen, lunch, sunscreen, pool - you can see the pattern - lol! Mercies it was hot but my diligence was worth it when i picked up some fantastic color and only got a little burn in a couple of places.

After the pool, we headed up to shower and went for a quick jaunt into town for a pedicure - well the rest of the girls got a pedicure - and I a manicure. Hmmm it may have only been $7 but it kind of looked like it was only $7. I was glad that I had a pedi before I left as 2 girls got cut (ouch). My manicure didn't involve blood but the polish certainly wasn't nice and smooth. Oh well - the experience was worth $7 - that is for sure.

Then it was back to the hotel, piled into the back of a truck that is covered with benches lining the sides (Kim and I were loving it as the farm girl was coming to the surface) to pick up the stragglers and head into town. We got dropped off at the Burger King (of course we did) and started down the street. The shopping consisted of a lot of knock offs, various clothing stalls, jewelry, etc. All in confined little kiosks. The odd time you would pass a nice air conditioned stored that had the same type of stuff just pricier. They had to pay for their air conditioning bill somehow.

Shortly into our walk, we bought coconuts. What a refreshing treat as we wandered down the sidewalk. This effectively killed my shopping as I no longer had a free hand to browse. Unfortunately it also killed my picture taking as I no longer had a free hand for that either. As always, I was the last one done mine and had to carry it forever looking for a garbage can.

By the time we got to the end of the street we were ready for the beach - we hiked up this little road that cuts to the beach, passing by a motel boasting - "Not great but good" the consensus among the group was that was an understatement - we probably would have advertised - "Not okay but survivable". The beach was such a nice break. The water was beautiful and warm, the sand soft and white for as long as you could see.

As we strolled, we passed roasting corn and satay's. Coconuts and jewelery vendors. Sea doo rentals, fishing boats, locals and tourists. Beach side motels and lovely restaurants. As it was towards the end of the day, beach lovers were starting to pack up and restaurants were claiming their spots on the sand. This gave us an advantage for the evening to know which restaurants may look beautiful by night but not so fantastic during the day.

We got back to the hotel, quickly freshened up and were off for dinner. There was a pretty big group of us - maybe 15 of us - so we found ourselves a little spot along the beach. What a delightful way to dine - al fresco with the stars shining, cool breeze coming up from the sea. We sent up a Thai lantern in honor of Todd and Mish and enjoyed a relaxing night. I had my first Thai curry - Green Curry with Prawns - it was delicious.

The perfect way to spend our first day in Thailand! A little sampling of everything!

Our last day in Thailand

I felt like I had written so much for my Thailand posts as I was on the iphone typing away and now that I look at them - sorry for the quick detail. I am not too sorry though as it was much more fun enjoying the place so now that we are back in Singapore and I am having a lazy morning in bed while Kim is still sleeping I will give you a fuller update.

Our last day in Koh Samui came upon us before we knew it. We woke up to the light pitter patter song of rain again and so got up, packed a little and got ready for breakfast.

The breakfast buffet that came with our hotel was a beautiful spread of local fruits (I tried them all) and salad bar, breads and pastry, jams and peanut butter and then a large hot section that had ham, bacon, sausages, variety of curries, dim sum and an egg station. But I didn't vary far from my usual - fruit, a chocolate croissant (I know I didn't really need it but they don't serve a lot of chocolate so it was my one hit for the day) and an omelet. In case you think I was eating light - the plate is the size of some people's heads and I had it filled! The attendants would come around and bring you fresh coffees that were soooo delicious as well.

After our breakfast we climbed our stairs up to the room. Now,  I don't really think I told you much about the resort yet so let me try - the hotel was build into a hill with a gorgeous ocean view (if you are lucky I will get a few pics uploaded when we get back from Bali). From the Beach to our room (we were one of the top villas) is approximately a 30 story change in elevation. To get throughout the resort we walked up and down these beautiful stairs that wound along past greenery, koi pools and gorgeous water features filled with lili pads. Beautiful treed flowers lined the walkway giving off a perfumed scent that delighted the senses. I tried to take a couple pictures so if I haven't described it well enough - that might help.  It had 2 pool areas and a beach.

Since I hadn't taken the time to get any beach pics yet (it is always awkward wandering around with your beach bag and the fancy camera so I chose the beach bag over the camera the last two days), Kim and I wandered down for one last look at the beach. Gorgeous!!!

Back to the room for a quick shower and to pack up the last of our things. We had decided to head into Chaweng for a final walk around and a walk along the beach before we had to be at the airport and so checked our bags at the front.

What an interesting little network of shops. Every third stall boasting similar items and needing to barter. I did okay - but thankfully had Kim's help and found myself with four little souvenirs for my boys. We found our way to a little sea front restaurant and spent our last hours having great conversation with Helen and Paul (one of Kim's great couple friends) and gazing over the spectacular view. It was absolutely delightful!

All too soon it was time to head back to the hotel, grab our bags and take the 5 minute taxi to the airport. The airport was a delightful little spot as well - as Paul said it reminded him of downtown Disney with the shops lining both sides of the street. Since we were there early and traveling in these little Asian airports is much more casual then back home, we couldn't walk by the ice cream store!

Our flight was non-descript, we were through customs in no time, took the 15 minute taxi to Kim's and quickly unpacked. I jumped in the shower (that is one thing - I love the heat - but my body feels the need to turn on it's cooling mechanism on high and I find myself more humid than Kim's closet - ick - oh well by the time I leave in 2 weeks I am sure I won't be dripping every day) as Kim tossed in a load of laundry. We then sat down with a cup of tea and Eat, Pray, Love on. Love is filmed in Ubud, Bali which is where we head to today and so we couldn't not watch that movie!!!!

Today we are jetting around Singapore a bit before our 4:30 flight. Kim promises a beach walk, we will 'freshen' up our polish and maybe reflexology - awe - this is the life!
Just a quick update for all of those making sure Kim and I are good to go - home in Singapore from Thailand and off to Bali tomorrow. Will update you tomorrow morning on our delightful last day in Thailand as we are just about to watch Eat Pray Love!! So excited for Bali.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Rainy days and wedding dresses

On Sunday we woke up to the beautiful sound of rain!. The air had cooled slightly and smelled so refreshing. After some coffee on the deck we headed down for breakfast and hopefully a massage - we were in luck!

The massage was wonderful. I had decided to get a traditional Thai massage. Our girls lead us up to this beautiful room overlooking the sea! It was stunning. Changed into my little Thai pants and shirt and proceeded to the chairs where they washed our feet. Then came a fantastic 90 minute massage - walked on my calfs and hamstrings (which felt incredible after the previous days long walk along the beach and stair climbing); did lots of stretches; for a tiny girl had amazing strong pressure as she kneaded by back - delightful!

We killed the rest of the day leading up to the wedding eating sticky rice and mango, taking photos, getting ready.

The bride is a good friend of Kim's from Singapore. It has been fun visiting Thailand for the wedding and even more fun getting to know a bunch of Kim's friends that she also teaches with. The wedding was gorgeous - the girls stunning & men dashing; food was delicious - fresh seafood and incredible curries; dancing was so much fun - lots of good music (a good chunk of everyone there was from Canada and U. S. ) and cold cloths.

I was positively exhausted by the time I crawled into bed. Thanks Todd & Mish for including me in your special day!