I like Asia. I'm tall here.

Well, here I am! Made it here safe and sound. It's been very interesting so far.

My flights weren't too bad - I got to the airport at the perfect time (thanks Aunt Andrea!) as shortly after I arrived, the line was MASSIVE. The traffic director remembered where I was going and what flight I was on as I was one of the only white people in the line. I checked in very quickly and headed off through security with no problems, found my gate and started waiting. We boarded a bit later than expected and then had to get de-iced before take off so we didn't get out quite on time. The flight was very smooth and we flew over the Arctic and Russia (which doesn't have snow either). I could keep tabs on how far we were away, how much longer, etc. through the screen in the seat in front of me. The plane was usually going about 1000 km/hr and the distance update in increments of 200 km. It was nice to see it counting down! We got into Hong Kong a bit late but since I had a six hour stop, I was in no hurry. I wandered around a bit, didn't do any shopping (though it was tempting!) and our next flight got off pretty much on time. It wasn't as smooth as the first flight and we were in seatbelts almost the whole time (which everyone ignored anyway). We got into Bangkok around 11 and then I worked my way through customs & baggage claim before meeting Lisa & Jay on the other side. Lisa looks much the same as she always has, though her hair is longer. We got a taxi into the city and then took a while to find our hotel and finally crashed at about 2 am local time, ending my 30+ hours of travelling. I roasted from the minute I got out of the plane since it's about 30 degrees here, even at night so it felt great to get into light jammies and lay down for a bit!!

I woke up pretty early the next morning (which was yesterday) and after we all got up and going, we had a lovely breakfast with the most amazing freshly squeezed orange juice that was SO tasty. We then started our adventures by trying to get bus tickets for our trip to Chiang Mai. We tried to take a taxi to the Sky Train (like a monorail across the city) but the driver "mis-interpreted" what Jay said and took us WAY away from where we needed to go. Luckily, we could still get to the Sky Train, it just took us longer to get to where we needed to go. It took us a while to find the bus station but we made it and got our tickets. We then tried to find the weekend market and stumbled on it sorta by accident and started our shopping (I swear, all I got was a vase and a purse). Then, it was back on the Sky Train to head back to our hotel, wandering down Khao San Road where we did some more light shopping (three cheers for getting a dress for Michelle & Jeff's wedding for $10!!) and then back to the hotel to veg for a bit before dinner and New Year's. We headed out for dinner & some fun times back on Khao San Road where we discovered LOTS of police checking bags. Unbeknownst to us, terrorists were setting off bombs in the city (not even close to where we were staying) so the security was higher than usual. We had a great time for a few hours, even enjoying a fine beverage of Gin & Tonic out of a bucket. We named the bucket Winston Bucky V and we do have pictures :D. After that it was off to bed and getting some sleep.

This morning, after some breakfast, we headed out to do some sight seeing. We attempted to go to the Wat Phra Kaew (a temple) and the Grand Palace (where the king use to live). We ran into a bit of a scam and almost got totally sucked in (more details on that when I've got a bit more time) and ended up not getting there but seeing a few other temples instead with some amazing Buddhas in them. After that, we went to the Golden Mountain (another temple) which let us see the city from an amazing distance and some beautiful scenery. And now, we're here and I'm updating you!

In a wee bit, we're off to dinner with one of my CFM students who lives in Thailand and then it's off to an overnight bus to Chiang Mai. That's where we're riding elephants!!! Very exciting. I think that's all for now, I'll be back again sometime in Chiang Mai, so expect another update in a wee bit. I don't think I'll be posting any pictures while I'm away, but I already have a GAZILLION of them.

Miss you all lots (wait, that's a lie, I don't even notice you aren't here) and can't wait to show off my new tan (that's also a lie, I'm so covered in sunscreen it's not even funny). Back off to the 30+ weather (oh, life is hard)!

The Previously Mentioned Jewel Scam....

Thailand 06/07