Sunday, November 21, 2010


Who: Jonathan and Christine
When: November 11-18th
Where: Thailand
Why: Because we need a break from the Tumbleweeds
How: Divine providence

A few months ago I won two return tickets to anywhere that Qatar Airways flies. When my family and I found out, we looked exactly like Drew Barrymore jumping up and down in the library with her friend saying"I'm the most popular girl in school and Billy Prince is asking me to the prom!"
After procrastinating the booking of the tickets, we finally went in and told them we wanted to go to Thailand. There were obstacles to that decision which had to do with dates and the type of ticket we had won. We almost went to London, Kuala Lumpur, the Maldives, and Istanbul. But in the end we stuck with my desire to go to Thailand. Even though we had to fly stand by on the worst possible night in Doha International Airport, we still managed to get on that plane. Gosh! That plane ride was fantastic! I watched movies like a giddy school girl. And some of the movies were really lame too. After flying with a load of kids for so long, a nice 7 hour flight was no problem! A breeze! A delight! A luxury! A pleasure!
On our taxi ride from the airport we quickly quizzed the driver on what kinds of wildlife we could find there. Tigers? Snakes? Sharks? Crocodiles? I didn't understand much. He did manage to tell us that we could go see James Bond Island if we wanted to. Cool, but not my kind of cool.
Sorry, I'm not going to give you detailed info on my trip because I can assure you, I am not the same kind of traveller as you are. And I'm not trying to sound superior. I admit, I'm a bit hermitesque and more interested in animals and books than people, food, and sights. Here is what we did in Thailand in no particular order:

1. Read, read, and read. Our hotel room had a "nook" in it. I am absolutely enamored with the idea of a "nook" in my future home someday. Some women dream of what kind of furniture they will have, what molding they will choose, what art they will hang and where, or how many rooms they will have. Well, I will have my "nook"! A "nook" and a front porch. A "nook" is exclusively used for reading. Reading only. Not the reading of silly magazines and such, but the reading of books. Paper books. Not those electronic screens that are a blasphemy to my tactile sense. (Forgive me friends) We read in the nook with a silent candle burning. What pleasure! Even when we were out on a tour we had our noses in our books. I'm sure people thought we were the biggest nerds ever.
2. Mangoes. I love mangoes. The first time I ever tasted a mango was when I was 21 and a friend of mine made some mango salsa. That didn't do it for me. I think my sister in law got me into eating mangoes. She loves to read Sunset magazine and Better Homes and Gardens and make the recipes that you find in them. They almost always include a fruit or vegetable that could not be found in your backyard. Or even in your country. So, thanks to her, I love mangoes. Especially Thai mangoes. I ate about two every night. I peeled off the skin, then I cut off the fruit from the pit (if you would call it that). Then I would clean off the pit, getting all the flesh possible while scraping it with my teeth and the juice would flow down my forearm onto the napkin leaving me sticky. But that fruit was oh so good! So sweet. Never any bruises. Never green. Always perfect. I'll miss that.
3. We enjoyed the animals. Jellyfish, crabs, sandcrabs, crocodiles, tigers, monkeys, mudskippers, and dragonflies. I know you can find dragonflies everywhere, but I've recently become quite intrigued with them. Sadly, you will find no snakes on my list. We saw some massive red jellyfish on our island tour. We also got our fill of Sieamese crocodiles at the crocodile farm in Phuket. You always hear about crocodiles being endangered. Well, the wild siamese crocodile is endangered. There are a few hundred of them left out there in the jungles. Then you go to a farm where there are hundreds and hundreds of these crocodiles. There were about 5 or 6 of them that were tremendous. The rest of them were in huge pens ( if you would call them that) according to thier size. Right down to the 1 to 2 year old crocs. We tried to find babies but they must keep them somewhere else. It was really fun to observe these practical animals. So frugal with their energy, so deliberate in their movements, so patient for their meals. They must be really smart or have done something pretty special to have outlived the dinosaurs. I'm glad we have them around to be in awe of.
Here's a mudskipper. What a funny creature! It's like he's caught between two worlds. So wanting to hop and jump like a frog, but swimming with those huge bulbous eyes and lacking that steamlined figure.

Here is my precious dragonfly picture. Did you know that all dragonflies are carnivores and how they catch their prey is by catching tiny flies on their wings while in flight or while perched on a stick in the wind? I still haven't figured out how they get the prey from their wings to their mouths though.
Is there only one?
We thought about our next getaway. When will it be? Maybe in 5 years, maybe 10? Maybe when all our kids are old enough for us to leave them? Who knows? I sure am grateful for my Mom who came and stayed with the kids while we were away. She really is a trooper. I hope I can keep myself in good enough health so I can do the same for my kids someday. Hooray for Grandmas!


Sonja said...!
7 hour flight with no kids?? What a way to start your vacation!
I'm SO glad you and Jonathan got to escape to an exotic place together. I love that picture of you. BEAUTIFUL! and you look so peaceful and happy. :)

mmmm...mangoes and book nooks.

Glad you were safe and had fun!

Marcelo D2 said...

Way to go. I think I wanna go to Thailand for vacation. All the mangoes and reading just made me willing to go, plus they have that thing you called nook, I wanna try it. Thanks for posting!!! It's always a pleasure to read your posts, I love it. Love u guys!!!