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Thailand Holiday Rest and Recuperation

Sol: 134

We have been in Thailand for over three weeks. It’s a bit of a struggle these last days as its been hard travels in a way. Now, I am not complaining as I do know that what we are doing is amazing and I am incredibly grateful that we have been able to make this happen.

However, when you do something, even something amazing, after awhile it can lose a bit of it’s shine. This blog is all about the honesty of our travel and experiences. Today, I’m writing a bit about that.

The struggle really started in Vietnam. I really feel in love that country, however, it was hard travels at times. I had been struggling with some physical ailments (back pain, sleep issues, digestive challenges) Then I got pretty ill. Headache, fever, chills, throat pain. You know that feeling that you’ve swallowed broken glass? I was there. I was going through Ricolas like cigarettes for a heavy smoker.

We had to travel to Thailand as our Vietnamese visa was expiring and we had plane tickets. It is relatively easy and cheap to buy airline tickets in SE Asia but, they are also non-refundable and changeable if you buy them as cheaply as we had been. Then if you have four tickets, it is a larger cost. So, to Thailand we came.

We landed in Bangkok. Nothing like a city of over 8 million, humidity, a smaller hostel room for four to emphasize your discomfort. For our entire time in Bangkok’s Chinatown (where our hostel was) I saw the inside of a hospital (twice) and a 7/11 (they are everywhere in SE Asia) to get supplies.

Oakley came down with my flu and bronchitis a couple of days after arrival. Canyon and Kelvin running errands to arrange food and supplies and holding their breath when near to avoid our plague.

We came to Pattaya for our house sit which has positively saved us. I gotta throw out the biggest kudos to   Trusted Housesitters again as they have made this trip possible for us. We are taking care of the sweetest, mellowest dog I’ve ever met all while staying in a home, a real home with a big kitchen (great for chef husband) and two big bedrooms, living spaces and the added bonus of a swimming pool. Really, really luxorious and grounding.

And when we slow down other things often catch up to us. I have found that I am feeling a bit lonely and depressed as of late. The holidays are always a hard time for plenty of folks. For me this is no exception.

We are in a beautiful place in warm weather. The dream of many folks, especially with all those winter storms happening in the States at the moment. Yet, I am feeling a bit rudderless. I think this is the longest place we have stayed in the last 4+ months of travel.

I was really worried about making it a wondrous and memorable Holiday for the boys. Knowing they would be missing so many traditions and experiences. I think we pulled it off as we were able to find strands of Twinkly lights to put up where we were, found a Star Wars Lego Advent calendar which can do wonders for little boys psyches. We even found a 5 ft plastic tree for $10. A bargain!

Seeing the Christmas celebrations here in Asia is different as it is a lot about the decorations in public. The holiday trees, lights, reindeer and sometimes Santa but, rarely him. Also, I haven’t seen any nativity scenes anywhere.

We did manage to find the coldest place we could on Christmas Eve. Frost Magical Ice of Siam which consists of sand sculptures on the outside and a glorified meat locker on the inside. You walk and slide among ice sculptures. You even get an ice drink made from ice and get to gleefully throw it against an ice wall as you depart. How very satisfying!

The most entertaining part of that visit was watching locals shiver through the place in about a minute. We spent about 25 minutes inside (they have a requisite three minute acclimation period going in and out of each side). Many people spent more time in the acclimation room than in the actual ice room.

I am currently on a two day trip on my own. It is a little reprieve for my soul to have a bit of totally me time. You may not realize how much time you spend away from your family when people are going to work, school, playdates, babysitters, shopping or trips around the neighborhood.

It is completely different when you cannot leave your kids by themselves. Kelvin and I haven’t had awake time  alone in months, especially in daylight. I am enjoying not thinking about when we eat next, what to do next, thinking about how everyone might react to the next choice.

I am carefree for a couple days and loving the solitude. I’ll be be back soon and then we send Kelvin out for three days/two nights on a fishing trip. He too needs his recharge time. These are the Christmas presents we gave each other.

And so, now we are appreciating our place, our temporary home before we embark into the new year and the next travel adventures. Thanks for reading and stay tuned!

Happy Holidays! Happy 2018 or 2561 if you are following the Thailand calendar.

Check out the 31-12-61 reference. The Thai Calendar.

My favorite isle in the specialty store we found. So many kinds of fizzy water.

Wine from Oregon costing a princely price.

We got a flat tire and people showed up to help and really weren’t gonna let us fix it. Very, very kind. It takes a village and then there is Canyon reading his kindle in the background.


Would you like some meat for dinner?

1770 australia BBQ Campervan chef family travel Hervey Bay kangaroos kids travel koalas mom blog Parenting rainbow beach round the world travel surfer's paradise travel travel blog Trusted Housesitters world schooling

Camper Van Beethoven up the East Coast

Sol 29 – Starting our fifth week. The last 10 days have been filled with vast views outside and some tight living quarters inside. After our first pet sit we ambled into the world in a camper van affectionately named ‘Beethoven’. Any lover of indie rock from the 90s might know what I am taking about.

We drove up the East Coast and boy, it is a BIG country. This seem longer because it is written in kilometers but, also they list cities that are 1700 kilometers away! It makes you feel that you are really on the long haul. Then there are the serious but, somehow seemly cute signs warning you of Kangaroos and Koala bear crossings.

We spent a lot of time checking out different beach fronts and finding the magic of Rainbow Beach where the colors of the sands are a painters dream. So many hues.

We camped at 1770 Holiday Park, in 1770, the town with the historical significance of  the only town to be named a number and after when Captain Cook landed in….you guessed it 1770.

Then to Hervey Bay where the tide rolls in and out for 100s of yards (or meters!) and the sea life is majestic. We stayed at a place called Scarness which Kelvin kept saying was ‘scariness’ which made us giggle as it would be an odd name for such a beautiful place.

We made some great connections in the holiday parks and the boys made some friends learning some ‘footie’ i.e. rugby, a smattering of cricket and taking part in delightful discussions of favorite candy bars and breakfast foods while swimming and diving for Australian coins. We were kindly and generously served Australian wines and given some great insights of places to go and very kind inquiries of our travels. Thanks Fiona and Tony!!

Oakley seems to be having the toughest transition. Every time we have ‘world school’ he melts as if he’s lost his bone structure into a small puddle. He has some sniffles about missing his friends. We soothe with Legos, familiar songs and hugs but, it is hard for him at times. It is hard to see him sad and we work to help.

Canyon seems to be a bit more resilient but, is up and down lately especially the closer we get to his 10th birthday (on the 24th) which he is simultaneously excited for and worried that no one will remember.

Since we are on a pretty tight budget we have to be really thoughtful about where we spend our money especially when it comes to experiences. We decided we needed to have some experience out on the water since we were at the Southern end of the Great Barrier Reef and when would that happen again? Also, we so wanted to go to Fraser Island but, it was just too cost prohibitive for us.

But, we did find a gem in our experience on the Pacific Whale Foundation . They are not profit putting their earnings back into research which they were conducting while we where onboard. We saw an amazing array of whales, mommas, escorts and babies, who seemed to be just flirting with our boat all afternoon doing all the activity described on the phamplet.  Even our guides seemed to be impressed with the activity.

We also saw jumping tuna (our cat back home would have been out of her mind!) and sea turtles. The captain even took us close to Fraser Island to see white sand coast line and search for dingo sightings.

We have been frequenting the grocery stores to plan our meals. I think we have only eaten out as family three times since arriving in Australia. One was a fish and chips delight, another a pub dinner that was okay and another the first day at the shopping center food court in our jet lagging weariness.

Being married to a chef has its perks. We did take advantage of one of the countless free BBQs all over in nearly every park. It is such a great idea to be able to cook up whatever you want nearly wherever. We have seen people laying out high teas complete with champagne and several tiered cake trays, hot plates with kettles and a ‘civilized’ spread that would challenge most high-end dinners out. These folks know how to enjoy the out-of-doors!

We start our second pet sit with three dogs in North Brisbane while completing our second stay with the kitties near the Gold Coast. It was a sight for sore eyes to have hot water, wifi, a couch and rooms that one could shut by themselves and be alone for at least a bit. Again, loving our connection with Trusted Housesitters.

Keep tuned as we head into the last third of our time in Australia and prepare for Bali. We hope to create a birthday to remember for Canyon. He’ll be a decade old!

Kelvin bravely feeding the Lorakeets in Forest Glen

Boys playing dream chess ala Harry Potter?

Our humble home in the woods.

Room with view at Hervey Bay

Boys enjoying the sunset at 1770

Actually finding a Koala in a tree on the side of the road.

Dinner time at Rainbow Beach!

The introverts in the quiet carriage in Brisbane.

Cosy sleeping arrangements or claustrophobic. You decide.

Sunrise at Rainbow Beach


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