Tuesday, July 16, 2013

What a week!

We had a very eventful week!  It all started on Monday when I went to the market via public transit.  I did my thing and enjoyed myself wonderfully.  I called Moe to come pick me up and he did.  On the way home we got stopped/trapped in a police trap thingy.  See, I forgot to remind Moe to bring my helmet and he forgot about it too. It's illegal to not wear one.  SO once we got pulled over the officer asked for his license and well we don't have that either!  Needless to say we got a ticket and had to walk to the police station, which was just down the block.  We get there and it is crazy busy so we have to wait a good hour before getting to deal with it.  The original officer told us it would be 600 baht (200 for the license, and 400 for the helmet).  When Moe got to the counter at the station, the man said 200 baht only!! We only had to pay for the license part.  We then walked back to our bike and went home.  While this trip was supposed to take 10 minutes and ended up taking 1.5 hours, we thankfully did not have to pay much!

Tuesday Moe helped me out at school. I had to clean up after summer school, which was probably worse than after normal school, and definitely more depressing! Then we reorganized some things and prepared for next year, which is only FOUR, 4, see (4 in Thai) weeks away!!!!!

Wednesday I went back to school for a few things and back to the market for a few things.  Then I was exhausted and went home and slept! It was beautiful.

Thursday I slept some more! I think I am starting to fully appreciate summer break.  Thursday night I went to the night market with a friend Lindsay who was in town from India, but really America.  She has lived in India for the past 6 months.  In high school and what not we were family friends.  It was so fun to be together again and share our cross cultural experiences.  Some things are VERY similar and some things are VERY different.  It is soo cool to learn about other cultures and compare things.  We definitely had a good time.

Friday I went to a friends house which required high way driving.  I have been driving a good bit in town and to close, familiar places.  While I knew how to get to her house, I was afraid of driving on the highway for the first time.  So, my lovely Moe drove out with me.  He led the way and I followed him.  We stopped to get gas.  I thought I didn't need to get any but Moe suggested I should.  So I pulled up to the pump and pointed to the one that I thought I needed.  I then hear Moe screaming NOOOOOO.  It was the wrong one.  Of course, I chose the one that would terribly damage my bike if mixed together.  Thankfully he caught it in time and no bad gas was pumped!!!!  What a man! Anyway, I made it safely to my friends house.  We were able to talk about life, and school, and families. It was fun to just be with someone else and share life with them.  The rest of the night Moe and I hung out at home and played games.  It was a much needed restful relaxing day.

Saturday requires a post all of its own so that will come next.  Basically cooking class and dinner amazingness!!

Sunday was another peaceful day.  I slept in!! And so did Chico.  I think he is learning about the beauty of weekends!  Moe and I went to dinner at a beautiful restaurant and enjoyed happy hour and delicious food! After that I went to the Sunday Walking Street as it is called with Lindsay.  Sadly we weren't there long as I had to go, but we both got the things we needed.  Then as we were walking to the motorbike it started POURING rain.  We stopped at an overhang for awhile to wait it out.  It slowed after about 5 minutes and we got public transit the rest of the way.  Once we got to the bike it had pretty much stopped.  Lindsay stayed to keep shopping and I headed home.  My first time driving in the semi-rain and it was night time :( It wasn't too bad though. I went through a deep puddle that got me wet.  Then a car drove past me and splashed me. But other than that it was safe and I made it home just fine.

What a week!! I hope you all are enjoying your summer like Moe and I are.  Sorry for the lack of pictures but some stories are better off without time for pictures, only spontaneity.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Chiang Dao night getaway

We had been wanting to get away for awhile.  It had been suggested that we go up to Chiang Dao for a night  to a place called The Nest. They have a "world famous chef who studied in Europe" and what not.  It is an hour north into the mountains. We decided Friday night to hit the road Saturday morning.  We had no reservation but took the leap anyway (I had a back up place though so do not worry!)  Here is our route:

We left around noon and headed up.  Our bums were quite sore but it was a beautiful drive. We enjoyed the scenery tremendously.  We arrived and had lunch right away as we were quite hungry.  Moe had a boar burger and I had a beef burger.  Both were delicious.  Then we asked about rooms.  They did not have any air conditioned rooms available so we got one with a fan instead.  I was a little worried about it, since it is so hot all the time, but it was fine.  Here is the little cottage. It is very simple but cute. 

We then headed out to Chiang Dao Cave, which we passed on our way in.  Here is the entrance.  

We werent really sure what to expect, but figured it would be like surprise cave that we explored in Vietnam... no no, this was still a cave not for people... sorta.  There were a few statues and buddhas and spirit houses near the entrances.  Then we got to a part where there were some Thai women with lanterns and two entrances that were rather dark.  They asked us if we wanted to go in and we said sure... not knowing what we were getting ourselves into.  We were led by a Thai tour guide with a lantern through these massive caves. It was very neat.  BUT then she crawled through this tiny hole and said this way, "we dont come back".  I laughed thinking she was kidding.. no no. She was dead serious.  So I had to crawl on the ground, it was not pleasant.  Plus the cave had bats, and spiders.  I was terrified! But looking back it was very cool. Moe and I enjoyed it a lot.  

Next we went for a drive around the area.  The amazing people at the hotel suggested we explore the area the King has set aside for agriculture.  They said it would smell beautifully and it did.  It also looked beautifully!  We sadly though need to learn our plants.  We only identified corn, rice, and banana trees. My Grandpa Cal would not be pleased!  Here is a picture of the beauty with the mountains behind.  

Then we went to the Thai restaurant at our hotel and had dinner.  Moe had buffalo in a spicy soup and I had chicken and veggies in a palm sugar sauce; both with rice of course.  Both were delicious, even though Moe struggled through his.  He got a bit sun burnt on drive up to Chiang Dao and his sun burn did not like the hot food too much! 

We left our computers and books at home. The hotel only had wifi in the restaurant.  So when we returned from dinner at 730 we did not know what to do.  After about 30 minutes of sitting in our room, we decided we wanted dessert. So we went out to the restaurant and enjoyed it for another hour or so.  There were other guests that were quite entertaining at that point so it was a good time.  We went to bed at 930, which is very early for both of us!  Surprisingly we slept until 8 the next morning! 

We had breakfast which was again delicious.  (I wish this place wasnt so far away so that we could eat there more often!)  We then set out for the monastery which was about 500 meters from the hotel.  Then it was 510 steps to the top.  It was beautiful. These are some of the stairs that we climbed with monks walking.  


This picture was taken from a lookout point.  It is the final destination.  

This is looking back down onto the position of the previous picture.  It was so clear and calm up there.  

We thoroughly enjoyed the monastery. After we returned we packed up and headed home.  This was taken on our way home. (Yes, mom, we did stop for the picture!)

We very much enjoyed the trip. We were only gone for about 24 hours, but it was very much needed.  More pictures can be seen on my facebook page at this link  Brittany's facebook album