Canada, Thailand, Vietnam · 44 Days · 72 Moments · July 2018

Summer adventures in Thailand & Vietnam 2018

17 August 2018

Big orange ball to welcome us home. Ahhh feels so good to be home.

16 August 2018

Food break in Taipei! So glad Andre was with us this time around and could lead us to the food court! Jack and I suffered through a yak milk bubble black tea last time around.... as we watched Nate delicately take his time eating his pork steamed dumplings.
Oh my! Did we say 30 hours of travel???? Saigon to Bangkok, Bangkok to Taipei, Taipei to Vancouver, Vancouver to Comox~ .... mmmm just heard we have new departure time... delayed for boarding. Maybe that’s 31 hours of travel ?
With the promise of a return we say our goodbyes for now. .... already planning our next trip back!

15 August 2018

Double date night out! Best meal ever followed by baileys icecream and a night tour through downtown with road pops.
Vietnam has a much different energy to Thailand. I am happy to feel it and welcome the difference. There is a softness of the people yet an undercurrent of hard work ethic and unfathomable sense of drive. Hidden in pockets of sight is the magic of Ho Chi Minh. One must stop to take notice ~ or the whirl will whisk you away, the horns lightly beep their dance, the water sprays from the black puddle , kids run out into street playing tag, a dog frantically looks for food, a kitten is spotted, dogs carried on motorbikes in grocery bags, the rickshaw zooms by as his friend lends a foot to race him down the street, a wiff of bbq pork, two clean baby twin boys sit at the edge of a stall.... then it’s 5:30 and the night life begins....

14 August 2018

With crashing rains ~ we opted for a spa day. With the streets filling up water past our knees we piled into a taxi. Quite the relaxing afternoon ~ hot stone massages with smoking hot stones circling the body and being left in spots to help soften muscles, under the massage table lay a basket of fresh lavender for you to inhale and exhale. Ahhhh. Boon and Nate raced to the hair wash room where the ladies massage lotions into hairs, rub it all in, soak, wash face with many creams, rinse and more rinse to finish off with a brushing and a blow dry. More ahhhh. Andres feet were made new and left much of it behind. More foot rubs, neck and shoulder rubs and then Nate finished with a oil massage. Yes , more ahhhh. Inhale~ exhale We floated out the door into the dark flashy lights and buzz of Saigon.

13 August 2018

Walked miles with 7 boys and 2 ladies!!! Tomorrow is definitely SPA day!
We visited the Vietnamese War Museum today. With a heavy heart and a few tears we saw little bits. Maybe we will see more next time we come.

12 August 2018

A few little sights~
Thanks for a great Vietnam lunch Steve, Roxy, Boon and Zeddy!

11 August 2018

Baby Zeddy love❤️❤️❤️ 9 months old and full of smiles, learning to stand and potty trained from one day old!!!

10 August 2018

Travel day and sad day to leave this special island behind. With 4 hrs to wait for our flight~I might have thought it would be boring so the universe was keeping it real for us. First we leisurely had lunch & I shopped in this fantastic jewelry shop at airport, then at immigration Andre panicked as he couldn’t find mine or the boys departure cards, with shaky fingers we finally found mine, still Nate’s & Jacks were lost, as we cross our fingers the officer lets me write Jack a new card , turns out Nate didn’t need one, then over the announcement I hear something that sounded like “Anlay and Janah”. I know Thais can’t pronounce the R so they might be calling for us over loud speaker, as we reach the gate our name in big letters is on a poster, yup they have been trying to find us. Supposedly Jacks bag has a lighter in it & Andre needs to take a trolly back to the bags to take it out with 10 mins to boarding being closed. With quick confirm about epi pens, lighter out of bag, we board!

9 August 2018

Paradise waterfall trek today on our last day in Paradise. Thanks for the awesome request from Jack. We were soaked from sweat and not from swimming. It was quite the rock climbing on slippery rocks. Always careful to not put hand on ants, spiders or snakes. Jacks finger was bitten from something. Hot stings for him on the back down.
More jung’in

8 August 2018

How many watermelon shakes can one consume in 24 hours... pack up day tomorrow ~ we are off to Vietnam !!!

7 August 2018

Saw our lfavourite couple Wan and Captain. With rain pouring off in sheets the island lost all power. We ended up in Haad Rin for snack ~ hard to see it all paved with buildings..., miss the old way of life with grass roofs, tarps and bamboo. On the way back we got the spontaneous idea of going to a spa~ the best idea ever! Pure Relax was epic! After 3 hours of pure heaven we had a steam, showers, Thai massage, foot massage and a facial. The most funny part was after 6 different concoctions on the face they layered cold, drippy cucumber cloths all over the neck and face. Only nostrils exposed. She says ok wait 10 min ka. I think this must be just what mommy gets and the boys most likely get something different. ... a half second later I hear Nate & Jack mumbling and attempting to talk under the layers of cucumbers. I break out into a laugh which doesn’t stop ~ what a life these two are having! Oooo and saw saw monkeys today on power lines!

6 August 2018

For the love of watermelon

5 August 2018

Beach hopping today at Than Sadet and Thong Nai Pan. It was nice to get out and about but felt just pure love as we rounded the 7-eleven corner and end back at our little Chaoluklam Bay. Love this place. P.S. We found a substantial monitor lizard heading up stream.

4 August 2018

The KP Walking Night Market was fully full on tonight~ we had homemade coconut Icecream with coconut shreds and Thai ju jubes, chicken and beef satay, slices of young mangos, salad rolls with tuna, rice flour and sugar spiralled into a searing hot pan and folded to eat .... and beer.
Found these little gems after my morning meditation.

3 August 2018

Out and about today. Maybe 42 degrees and went golfing ~ thank goodness they had hoses we could drench our heads. THe boys are getting good at sinking the balls.... golf and pool. I have never seen a baby sarong before~ she was so cute! Finished off with evening jumps off the pier.

2 August 2018

A little swim before eating the most delicious clam dish ever at Nooks~ curry, garlic, pepper with Thai basil.! No need to say more.
It’s August 2 here in Thailand. Tonight we are going to celebrate the 3rd anniversary of Nate receiving his Canadian Citizenship. Thai + Canadian = LOVE

1 August 2018

As we near Chaoluklam I feel the vibration of the chanting~ it’s coming from the local Wat ( temple). Just days ago the Thai boys enter the temple for their three months as young monks. A right of passage here. Khao boon saw ~ means enter temple. Tonight the monks chant. As I walk toward the temple the gold flickers in the evening light ~ I am invited in to chant~ shoes off, kneeling down , feet pointed away from Buddha and the monks~ I sit into a wai and join in prayer. With a few Thais glancing up to me they nod and smile. In the land of smiles you never know where you’ll end up. With the chants still ringing in my ears I join the boys at the restaurant for dinner.

31 July 2018

We have had a bit of roughness on this holiday ~ Nate with two sets of fevers and now Jack just finishing his fever. First Western is starting to know us by name! Glad to have such a great hospital on island though. With cabin fever setting in quite well we dragged everyone out of the bungalow for lunch at the Worlds End and to My Way for massages. There were three ladies for massage so with Rock Paper Scissors mentality I was left out while the boys relaxed for their massages first! By the time I lay down for my massage a massive typhoon of rain thrashed~ roll down the tarps, run for cover, watch coconuts launch through roofs, bamboo fall over and wait it out. ... and wait. I finished my massage shivering, wet and barely relaxed. The water was dripping through the roof of their little massage hut on the beach. Think mom deserves another massage soon! Or maybe two more!

29 July 2018

Did I hear someone say... “Full Moon Party!!!” Jack danced his heart and soul tonight with many Videos and smiles ~ he had at least 80 people circling him as he grooved to the crunchy beats. This boy can dance!

28 July 2018

Exploring the land with our new friend, Joshua.

27 July 2018

Safe travels my friends~ was such an unbelievable time to spend so many great moments with you on this side of the planet. Blessings~

26 July 2018

After even more days of strategizing ~ the boys went to the kitchen to find the correct tool and process. Mai mee Naam! She yells! No water! She cut it anyway~ and voila ! It was filled to the brim!! With pure joy they devoured the juice and flesh
New Kings birthday celebrations today ~ no alcohol sold today, thais wearing yellow and the alternating flags of Thailand / Kings flag are placed on road side all throughout Chaoluklam.
Safe travels my friend. What can I say~ I would not have done this trip without you. We travel, laugh and have a blast well together ~ even if there were little monkeys around us. I am definitely looking forward to more adventures with you.

25 July 2018

Fruit salad .... and gluten free banana bread
Make land clean. Beach cleanup ~ what can we say~ tons of plastic, bottles, glass, razors, rope, yogurt cups etc. This beach is clean for today. Jack has been dreaming of getting a coconut from the tree. He came across the coconut hook and off they went! Victory !

23 July 2018

Waited three years to see Wan and Captain again. It’s always a bundle of laughs seeing these two.
Paradise again... ahhhhhh

22 July 2018

A day of doing nothing...
Today me mom and Amy fished with the locals. We got lots of small fish and a pufferfish -jack P.s very fun
Practically locals~ spent a morning of fishing and saving a puffer fish from shallow water

20 July 2018

A day of sorting out business ~ changed of bungalow today to Chaoluklam Bay Resort, change little Yeep in for fancy new truck, everyone sorted.! Jolie and friends come in a few hours, boys snorkelling , Amy and I having a much needed nap! Dinner a Nooks 5pm~ fresh seafood A day of busy with the most amazing Friend/sitter and travel companion ever~ Auntie Amy. “Oops a singha fell in my hand;) I guess I shall finish it.”

19 July 2018

Enjoying garden lounge half moon style. Thanks Al and Todd!
Dad finally ARIVED!!!!!!!!
Happy 10 th birthday Kira!!!

18 July 2018

16 July 2018

Beach walk
On July 15 th 2:07pm our one and only Brigita took her last breath. Surrounded by pure love from both her children, Andre and Lara, she was able to let go to enter into her next journey... The most strong guardian angel one could ever have. Brigita was one of strength, determination and love. You are missed by all of us. Thanks for being the most cherished Grandma ever!

14 July 2018

Daily life on the beach says Jack
Flowers and lizards of the day

13 July 2018

Our favourite time of day~ sleeping beauties Yours truly, Jana and Amy
Finally at beach!!! Nate didn’t waste any time~ woke up and got a Thai Massage with Amy. He smelled like coconuts after! Jack and I headed off to First Western for a lovely hospital visit. We saw the Dr in 5 minutes. We now are more supplies of corticosteroid and antihistamine~ he is such a trooper though. He got many sand flea bites while in HuaHin, that’s the last time we stay there. But happy we saw the elephants yesterday!

12 July 2018

Harry scary trip on the boat yesterday. It was just a wild storm with massive swells. Many people wearing life jackets on boat ~ mostly Thais who don’t typically swim. Amy was in pure heaven staying upstairs watching ocean swallow us and spit us out. Nate was on his glory once again. Jack and I were deep breathing with gravol.

11 July 2018

The tops of the elephants ears roll, spots and light colour on skin appear, less hair and sunken hollow in the top of the head shows how old the Thai Elephant is. Every animal brought to the center was in very very bad shape and poor situation. It was good to see them thriving and allow some peace for them. There is a volunteer program and there were many many people cutting bamboo and taking us on all the educational walks. We heard the life stories of many animals today.
Hard to capture just a few awesome moments as there were so many special ones. We visited the Wildlife Friends Foundation HuaHin. It’s an animal rescue and hospital. Edwin is the founder who is passionate about educating public on not to do tourist things with animals. He talked about how many animals are drugged to allow them to sit on your shoulders for pictures, elephants are considered livestock which still allows them to be chained up and in small spaces. The foundation has 3 parts and over 90 hectares of land dedicated to animal rescue and rehab. We did the full day and got to bath and feed PaiLen, a 72 year old Elephant. Her name means Gemstone. Her life has been hard. She was born into the labour trade and worked right from the beginning. Then she was sold into the tourist trade. Worked 7 days a week morning to night carrying tourists around her last 15 years. She is now resting her last few years at the center. Fed, rested and truly cared for.

10 July 2018

Ahhhh peace and quiet as we enjoy each other’s company on the train to HuaHin. Boys are sitting a few seats up chilling out listening to their music. Times have changed.

9 July 2018

#photoshopfix my first photoshop -jack🎉🎉🎉
Thai bath

8 July 2018

Jack always seems to find peace in in the city.
Thai rain and Thai massages make a Thai boy smile big.

7 July 2018

Nate is in his element! He has spoken Thai a few times and did awesome. I love holding his hand all day as we tour around. He is like his dad~ knows where he is all the times. My bright little man is growing up fast. He loves doing the Thai/Canadian currency conversions too. My little banker.
Today was spectacular as I watched the boys seeing the 150’ reclining Buddha at Wat Po. There are 108 mother of pearl illustrations on the bottom of the feet. These show the 108 steps to nirvana. For 20 baht we were given a brass bowl with 108 coins. We each did walking meditation as we clinked our coins into the bowls. The last time I did this was almost 20 years ago ... with Andre. No kids no family. Was surreal to do this act again with two lads and an awesome friend.

6 July 2018

Our first night in Bangkok. We are staying at a lovely guest house. It reminds me of Thomas’s pad with the jungle and trees everywhere~ a rare find in the city. We took the BTS sky’s train to Pier where we caught the 30baht ferry taxi to Asiatique Night Market. We were all starving ~ humidity and cooking smells sent Nate over the edge. He sat in chair outside the market to feel better. A little crab fried rice and a quad ride he was good to go. We held out till 9 pm and boys passed out in taxi. Long day but nice to be back!!! Yesterday taxi cab (Num) 093 346 8389 gave us an hour awesome Thai lesson. Worth every penny!
This is why the water melon shake is 120 thb
Landed in Bangkok!
At the airport going to bangers
Transit to Taipei right now. No gluten free food but we found Tofu/bubble tea/peanut dessert with possible yak milk. What a good sport! Jack said “ when we get to Thailand we are definitely having Pad Thai! Weird food from weird place

4 July 2018

With excitement, butterfly’s in our tummy’s, achy shoulders the moment we put our heavy packs on we marched to the ferry. It’s going to be an epic 33 hours of travel to Bangkok.... “ focus mom focus!” Yells Jack. Here we go! Off to see the world~ Thai Style