Thoughts on being back in Chilliwack

Why oh why have I chosen to own so many clothes? I am drowning in them, both as a metaphor for my life as well as on our bed.
Wow, I forgot about this toque. I shall take my picture and make a weird face while Marc reads his book.
Just because one picture of me in a toque isn't enough.
Hmmmm I shall entitle this next series "Anticipating Julie and Niko's arrival and what one does while waiting outside on a beautiful day with a camera and ones husband"

I can't believe after all the waiting and picture taking that this was the only picture taken of Niko's arrival.
Will Julie's cure for the hiccups work or is she just trying to scare me?
A dog and his man


Goodbye Bangkok, Hello real life!

Marc and I have been home since Thursday and after spending most of the weekend trying to convince ourselves that this time we would not succumb to culture shock/life shock we fully gave in on Monday. I feel better after baking brownies and going to work today, Marc feels better after biking and also heading back to "real life" in the office. Our house has been in disarray all weekend and is slowly organizing itself (actually I wish that would happen, we are slowly organizing it) and should be all back together in a couple of days. We had a lovely house sitter who left us a fruit bowl and toiletries on the counter complete with milk in the fridge. So much better than last time we went away when we came home to a house that had not been moved out of and three boys madly trying to move a couch and pack their belongings.

We did not document our time with Marc's sisters and their spouses (minus Shareen and Craig!) in Bangkok and thought we should do so before we forget. Marc and I headed back to Bangkok on May 10th and picked up Julie and Lowell from the airport. Carlynne and Dan arrived in the middle of the night and lucky for me (and my bladder!) I was up going to the bathroom when they arrived.

We spent the next couple of days seeing the sights in Bangkok. We mainly just explored different areas of Bangkok and ate a lot as these pictures show.
Right before this picture was taken we were forced to leave our riverside seats to make way for the King on his riverboat. We saw this several times - once we were on the opposite side of a very clear empty highway when our taxi driver told us the king would soon be on his way. Soon we saw a group of armored cars leading the way. This king travels a lot, using various modes of transportation. As do we . . .
Canal Boat

Sky Train (After getting soaked walking through the red light district. Oh the things we will do to see lady boys.)

On our first day all together in Bankok we explored some of the city markets.

And gold plated shrines to Buddha. We took this picture so we can replicate this in our house. We think we will have this gold mosaic in our entry way and then would also like condom man in the basement. We met condom man when we went to a restaurant called Condoms and Cabbages. Weird name, excellent food! Part of their proceeds go towards sex education in Thailand as well as AIDS prevention. We went to this restaurant with Rihannan, a friend of ours who we randomly ran into in Bangkok. And we thought traveling took us far away from our friends!
Having our daily (or tri-daily) iced coffees
Reclining BuddhaA girl and her dog at one of the pagodas.
Here's Marc with Marc the shark. Right after this picture was taken, actual Marc the shark came out to do a dance and meet the kids, unfortunately we missed the show and a picture taking opportunity!

Goodbye sweet life of travel. Goodbye irresponsibility. Goodbye extended adolescence. Goodbye cheap massages. We will miss you.


Angkor Wat Up?

Yes that is a horribly cheesy title but it is a slogan we saw on a shirt of about 40 school children speaking Singlish in Angkor Wat and I couldn't NOT use it.

We are back in Bangkok after spending four very short days in Cambodia with our good friend Steve. It was VERY hot and we enjoyed seeing the temples while melting and drinking ALOT of fruit shakes. All three days we rented a tuk tuk (motorbike with covered trailer behind) and were very happy for some respite from the sun. It is POURING rain outside right now and as per usual I am blogging and Marc is being massaged. (Whatever shall he do when we are in Canada and massages cost an arm and a leg?)

Angkor Wat is made up of multiple temples built from the 9th to the 12th century for the King. It was once a bustling metropolis with more than one million people living in the area. There are elements of Hinduism as well as Buddhism in many of the temples.
Modern Day Apsara (the women carved in stone on many of the temples)
The Bayon Temple has massive stone faces carved on many of its towers.

There are many children trying to sell you water, shirts, juice, bracelets etc.. This girl in particular spoke very good English. We were happy to hear that she attended school in the morning and then was a hawker for her parents in the afternoon. Despite her aggressive tactics I did not buy a water from her, even though she told me that in Khmer the word for maybe means yes. ;)

This temple (Te Prahm) has many trees growing on top of and around the temples. The growth has been 'controlled' and makes the temples look magical! This is also where Tomb Raider was filmed. I have never seen it but maybe will have to take it in when we get home. Who doesn't want to see Angelina running around ancient temples?

Can you find Marc?

Marc and Steve contemplating the watage of the Angkor:

The only Apsara showing its teeth in all of Angkor Wat. It was kind of like playing Where's Waldo to find it.

Marc and Steve's attempt to contort like the Apsara's

One day there was a feast set out in front of the Bayon temple that included Pigs Head and a plethora of fruit.

There were many steep stairs into quite a few of the temples. Luckily we weren't in safety conscious Canada where the stairs would have been roped off. We climbed to our hearts content, although going up was much easier than coming down.

Monks receiving alms.

As previously mentioned we are in Bangkok again with Dan and Carlynne and Julie and Lowell and tomorrow is our last day here before we fly home!! We have thoroughly enjoyed our trip but are excited to be back in Canada and start our life again.

Thanks for all the great memories South East Asia!!


Bottle Beach!

We are back in Bangkok for the afternoon today until we head to Cambodia to see "The Wat" as many tourists here call it or for those of you who are monumentally challenged - Ankgor Wat.

Lately, both Marc and I have been feeling a bit weary of traveling. (Yes we realize that for most of you at home that is hard to imagine but for the last little while we have felt very ready to go home and start "life" again.) However . . . all those feelings went away when we went to Bottle Beach. BB is a lovely secluded beach on the North Eastern side of Koh Phangan (the island with the famous/infamous? full moon parties.) The beach is only accessible by boat (or very bumpy unfinished roads as we found out yesterday) and is very secluded, with only 4 resorts.

We spent our days doing not much of anything except for eating, sleeping,swimming, laying in hammocks and reading.

As evidenced:
On our porch
The view from the porch
View #2 from the porch

Sometimes we even moved from the porch and laid in the hammocks or swam on the beach. We did get a bit of exercise on the stairs on the way down!

There was a daily soccer game between the tourists and the employees from the resort.

The lovely view from the hammocks!

One of the days we actually moved off our butts and did the hour walk up to the view point. It was quite an adventure, involving passing through an improvised toll point policed by a pack of dogs (75 cents/person to not get eaten), scrambling up dangerous inclines to reach exposed viewpoints, and encountering a monitor lizard THE SIZE OF NIKO!!! (without his fur maybe, but still seriously huge and dinosauresque).

Today we have been exploring Bangkok a bit and I am blogging while Marc is getting a massage. He really likes Thai massage (not for me thanks!) and I am surfing the internet and drinking juice. We also just ran into someone we met in Chilliwack at the residency banquet last year who is now working in Bangkok. Crazy! Hopefully you will enjoy some high watage pictures soon!