28.4.12

Beer belly?

In order to settle a bet with my husband about how big Nava is getting, I got a little creative with measurement devices.



For the record, she's too heavy to be carried in my carry on baggage now. And also for the record, I won the bet (she's over 12 kilos-ish not 14 like dad said but dad reneged on the bet. As usual).

It's not Beerlao belly, promise.
Really for the record, she's 2 now and so we have to start paying for 3 full price air tickets when we travel. And in a couple months it will be 3 full price tickets plus infant ticket.

Darn.

26.4.12

Postcards from the Sea


Long winded introductions aside, here's the full holiday post!

We spent a lot of time in the pool.

It was a BIG pool.


Our evenings were most often spent catching a show...
Have Signing Time, will travel

We ate a variety of beach front restaurants. The best might not have high chairs, but they have something BETTER. 


I like him, can I take him home with us?
What with the success with the green plastic one, we decided it was about time Nava got to meet a real live, slightly taller horse.

You'll notice it was so exciting that she fell asleep.
I think she preferred the green one.


Oh and about the re-grouping quickly. Funny story. Here's exactly how that went down.

Me: ::Stare at husband is disbelief::
Hubby: Oh well we can just go to [his hometown].  
(To visit my in-laws. Who live in an very underdeveloped and incredibly hot place no where near sea, beach, or a pool. Where everyone will be in the midst of a week long Pi Mai party which means drinking non-stop. And I'm pregnant so I can't drink to dull the pain of said experience.)
Me: ::blink::  ::blink:: ::blink:: :: panic::  ::thinking::
Me: We'll just go to a beach near Bangkok. You take Nava, I'll meet you down there. I've gotta go get us re-booked before everyone else has the same idea. ::sprints to ticket counter for alternate airline, books tickets for a flight in 2 hrs, sighs deeply in relief that we are not going to visit in-laws::
Me: ::gets in massive line for original airline to figure out the situation with refunds::
Airline Staffer: :: approaches me though I'm no where near front of line:: Mother! Do you want to go to Bangkok now? 
(Pregnancy has its perks)

Me: ::blink:: Yes! ::thinks What's the catch?:: When?
Airline Staff: The plane is leaving now, we will hold it for you. What color is your suitcase? Here, give me your passports, I'll get you set.
Me: Great. Here. I'll be right back. ::runs back to other airline counter, asks them to cancel that flight she just paid for::

Yeah, so that's how that went down...



25.4.12

The Vacation That Almost Wasn't

So as I mentioned, April is a big holiday month for us. Not Easter, but Lao New Year (aka Pi Mai). 3 days off right around the time it becomes ridiculously hot = beach holiday. So I booked us to Khao Lak.

Khao Lak is on the Thai west coast just north of Phuket and is where the Tsunami hit Thailand hardest. I went to Khao Lak for the first time a few days after that Tsunami to volunteer mostly as a translator for foreign tourists trying to ask Thai officialdom for help and also for local residents trying to ask foreign medical and rescue teams about their loved ones. I felt called to go so I did and in the end I ended up mostly helping forensic doctors trying to ID victims. I worked in a make-shift morgue. Weird I know.

Since then I've always wanted to go back to Khao Lak. To enjoy the beach. To see it in its prime (it was beautiful even post-tsunami but...). And there's a cheapo direct flight from a nearby Thai airport to close to there so Check. Check. Check. I booked a fancy-schmancy hotel on the beach and it was to be our last get-away as a 3 person family before we grow again.

On the appointed day, we got to the airport with hours to spare, checked in, caught up with old friends who happened to be on the same flight. Our kiddos were playing together crawling around in front of the gate when the PA system came on.

No, not to announce our flight was ready to board.

To announce that the Phuket airport was now closed due to the threat of a tsunami following a massive earthquake and that our flight was cancelled.

No, really.

Insert complete and utter disbelief on my part. I think I might have even looked around for the candid camera crew.

The rush of passengers back out of security made me accept it was real. But I wasn't ready to give up my beach holiday without a fight. I quickly got us re-booked to Bangkok, called a friend for hotel ideas for another beach and just kept moving forward. By the time we deplaned in Bangkok the tsunami warning was called off and the exquisitely bad timing of our flight really started to rub. We quickly found out that getting to Phuket on another flight was unlikely (3 day holiday weekend in the hot season means all other flights just a *wee* bit full). They offered to put us on the standby list. Ha! Standby to the beach. On the biggest holiday weekend. With a toddler. Ha. ha. ha.

We settled for a beach only a few hours drive from Bangkok. We checked into a cheapo motel near Bangkok airport and I fired up the iPad to find a hotel that still had rooms. That was hard (3 day holiday in the...you've got it). I booked a taxi online. Sout got Nava to sleep and brought me dinner in bed while I worked the phone and iPad.

By lunchtime on the 2nd day of our trip we were checked into a (not fancy-schmancy) hotel on a (not Kaho Lak) beach. And that was ok. Because we still had 4 nights left. And we were together.



(...and before you through things at this post, let me just say I am INCREDIBLY thankful to BE ABLE to take a beach holiday at all. I fully appreciate just how lucky I am. Trust me. )

I don't know why...

...this blog has been so neglected in 2012. I mean, I can think of a thousand excuses but none actually stand out as a reason. So, to those of you still subscribed and following, Thanks. Here's to getting back to writing again.

9.4.12

Easter?

You will be happy to know that Easter has to be the only 'western' holiday that has not taken off here. No evil crass commercialization of a deeply important holiday in sight.

Yay!

Except that...because of that... I miss it every year. Whoops.

At some point I will have to introduce Nava to the joys off egg hints and too much candy but until that day comes I guess I'll enjoy my free pass.

But this is holiday week for us. And it is a celebration of new and reinvigoration etc.

It's Lao New Year. Abd new year is a 3 day holiday which easily becomes a week. THE biggest holiday of the year.

Like many of its neighbors, Lao celebrates the new year by having a huge water fight. And dressing up in Hawaiian shirts (and getting drunk for days on end...but that's another post).

No. Really.

How cool is that? So cool that we are celebrating by leaving town for 5 days and going to the beach. I figure if I'm gonna be hot and dripping wet for a week, it better be poolside/waveside.

Stay tuned for cute pics from the beach. Cute because they'll star Nava. Not so much get hugely pregnant mama.

Happy Easter!

2.4.12

Happy Birthday Nava!


Nava had practiced the candling blowing bit but got a little stage fright at show time. All's well that ends in chocolate cupcakes though!



Hmmm, maybe I should become a video blogger...
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