Monday, December 31, 2007

Our last day of vacation!!!

Always my least favorite day of the holiday! We went to breakfast as normal and the kids played with their new friends from Norway. We had such a nice time meeting new people from new places. I feel so fortunate to have to opportunity to meet people from all over the world. It really gives you a whole new perspective about things. The really cool thing is that Angus isn't so much our little baby anymore. He actually made his first holiday friend all by himself. It made us so happy to see them so social and able to play with other kids so easily. Here are some pictures from our last day and the kids with their new friends!


Gemma at lunch! I love this beach!


Here is Angus' new best friend Oliver from Norway!

Oliver is 4 and Angus is 3. Here they are playing in the pool.


Olivia, Gemma, Angus and Oliver finishing up their swimming with a group hug!


Angus' last romp in the water. Our last sunset was probably the best of the whole trip!

We decided to have dinner at the hotel restaurant Sassi's, so we could get the kids to bed early for our 4:30 am wake up call. Angus didn't even make it to ordering before he fell asleep. Gemma and Olivia were able to get some more girl time before we left though.


Olivia and Gemma at dinner.


Gemma with Olivia and her Grandma and Auntie. They were also leaving on the same flight as us the next morning.

After we got the kids to bed and settled Angus woke up at 11 am and vomited. We thought he was getting sick, but it must have been the ingestion of pool water as he swam all day. Gemma then was sick on our flight back to Chengdu, but luckily for her it was right before we landed. The joys of traveling, I wouldn't change it for the world!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

More pictures from Khao Lak

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We have met some nice friends on this trip. Here is a picture of Gemma and Angus with their new friend Olivia from England. She was a lovely little girl who was enjoying her Christmas away from cold, England!


Olivia was kind enough to take our picture on the beautiful beach.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Day

We spent most of Christmas Day on the beach. I thought I would share some picture from the walk and swim we took on the beach. The beach and water here is just perfect! Gemma and Angus really took to the sea on this trip. We could hardly keep them out of the water.









Now here is a fish story! On our way back to the hotel, a fishing boat came to shore and the fisherman caught a good sized mackerel. Jonny thought he was funny and posed with the fish.

We hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Eve

On Christmas Eve morning we headed into Khao Lak to check out the little village. It was probably the nicest little Thai village we have ever seen. There were lots of places to shop and little cafes everywhere. My main goal was to give Jonny his Christmas present. We walked along the sidewalk until we found the IQ-Dive shop. Luckily they had a clown fish sign a.k.a. Nemo because the kids were able to spot the shop a mile away. We walked in and I told Jonny "Merry Christmas". I had signed him up for a 2 day open water diver course so he could get his PADI scuba dive certification. We had tried last Christmas and he loved it, so I thought it would make a perfect gift.

After the gift giving we went to lunch at a small cafe in the village. Here are a couple pictures from our lunch.



Jonny and the kids headed back to the hotel for a nap while I went to the beach for a massage. I had never tried the $8 full body oil massage any time I have been in Thailand, but I have to say I was missing out. I had a fantastic massage that was over and hour and the woman worked out all of my kinks! The greatest part of the massage you could hear the waves crashing into the beach which to me is a very relaxing sound! The smell of sea air and jasmine also added to this most pleasant experience!


The stage for the evening’s entertainment.

We had to begin getting ready for our 7 pm Christmas Eve dinner after my massage. I love to see the interpretation of Christmas through the eye of people who do not celebrate Christmas. You always get very interesting decorations and customs.


Angus and his little Norwegian friend Ella. She was visiting Thailand with 14 other of her family member.


The hotel gave us a package of things to wear, i.e. masks, hats, and all sorts of noise makers. I think they were thinking New Year's Eve. I wonder what they will give out for that evening...


Jonny and the kids.


Angus and Gemma with their noise makers. Gemma was too cool to wear her mask or hat.


Santa arrives on a motorbike! I do believe this to be true in Asia!


He handed out gifts for all the kids. Angus was very happy to claim his gift. Gemma was very hesitant. She told me later that it wasn't really Santa because the beard wasn't real!


I did finally talk (bribe!) Gemma into having their picture with Santa and his helpers.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Pictures from Paradise!

We didn't do too terribly much yesterday except eat, walk on the beach, swim, eat, nap, swim, and eat! I think that will be the drill for the rest of the week too. Khao Lak is absolutely beautiful and the best beach we have ever been to in Thailand. The food is amazing! We have tried a couple of the beach restaurants and the fresh fish and seafood have been delicious! Here are some of our pictures from yesterday.


Angus enjoying his phad thai especially the peanuts!


Gemma enjoying her green papaya salad, jasmine rice, and noodles!


We did quite a bit of walking on the beach yesterday. Here is Angus and his mad hair blowing in the wind.



Angus, walking on water!


Angus and Jonny's acrobatics.


Sunset dinner, a perfect ending to a relaxing day!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

We made it!


The Pool with the beach in the background.

We departed for Thailand yesterday for our Christmas break. It was a stressful day as everything seemed to go wrong for us. We got on our plane and the flight ended up being delayed for 1 hour. We only have an hour to catch our connecting flight. I talked to the flight attendant from Thai Airways and she said she would call ahead and help us make our connecting flight. Right before we landed she moved us up to business class so that we could be the first off the plane. We had to ride a bus to the terminal and then try and catch our flight. We were pleasantly surprised when we were picked up by a Thai Airways van which whisked us away to our airplane. When we arrived at our plane the woman who picked us up spoke to another woman and they both hopped back in the van and took us back to the terminal. They didn’t tell us what was going on and I didn’t want to ask. They told us that we would have to go through customs first. They took us to customs, but as we were trying to get through someone radioed them and said the plane left. We had to go to the Thai Airways counter and try and catch another flight to Phuket. We were able to get a flight that was about 4 hours later and they were nice enough to let us use the business class lounge until our departure which was really great. We thought that nothing else could possibly go wrong, but when we arrived in Phuket at midnight there were no taxis stands open and we were at the mercy of the taxi drivers that were just waiting to take advantage of foreigners. We negotiated for about an hour before we found a very dodgy taxi driver to take us to Khao Lak. We arrived at the hotel at 2 am and we were very disappointed to find out that the room we booked was no longer available, so they put us in a different room.


A view from lobby of the pool and sea.

Since it was so late when we arrived we didn’t get to see much of the hotel or the grounds. We were pleasantly greeted by beautiful weather and scenery when we woke up in the morning. We went and had breakfast and then took a tour of the pool and the beach. I thought the tour of the pool and beach was important to do before I went to complain about the room, so I didn’t really let them have it. The pool was lovely with 3 different areas with different depths. The beach was more than fantastic! I couldn’t believe how clean and gorgeous it was and it seemed to go on for miles! The water was very aquamarine and warm.

I went and sorted out the room situation and they offered to discount us for two nights and gave Jonny and I a free hour massage in their spa to make up for their mistake of giving our room away.

The rest of the day we spent by the pool and on the beach with great food in between. Here are a few shots of our holiday so far!


The beautiful beach!


Jonny and the kids enjoying the calm, warm waters of the Andaman Sea.


We went to dinner at a restaurant on the beach. The kids ordered watermelon shakes and this is the glass they were served in. We love Thailand!


Gemma loved the beautiful flowers that were served with every drink and every dish we ordered.


The kids horsing around after dinner.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Khao Lak here we come!!!


We are heading off today for a much needed "China" break to Khao Lak Thailand. I am sure you can tell by now that we just can't get enough of Thailand! It is the most stunning place I have ever been and I have never been disappointed with the place we visit and definitely not disappointed by the most divine food I have ever eaten!

Khao Lak is located 1 hour north of Phuket by car. It is on the Andaman Sea and about a 3 hour boat ride to the Similian Islands. The Similian Islands are a favorite spot of scuba divers and snorkelers around the world.

Once again we went with Trip Advisor's advise and we are staying at the
Ramada Khao Lak. It was rated 3rd on their website and was the hotel that actually had rooms available. We usually don't stay at chain hotels, but I think it seemed to be the best hotel to stay with kids. Plus we always enjoying meeting other families with kids and they all tend to stay at the chain hotels.

We are wishing you all a fabulous Holiday Season! Look forward to seeing all of our friends and family in the New Year!!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Happy Birthday Angus!!!


My little boy is 3 years old already! We celebrated a couple times. We had a little party for him while my dad was still here and had a few of his friends over. On his birthday though we had a little family celebration.

At one of the malls here they have a gigantic indoor soft play area with ball pits and trampolines. We went there because it is Angus' favorite place to go in Chengdu and probably our favorite place to take the kids to burn off some energy. Jonny took the day off partly because he was injured from rugby and partly because he wanted to hang out with us in the afternoon. We all had a great time at the ball pit! It was fun because we were probably the one of the few families there and had the whole place to ourselves. But mostly because we always take our family time for granted and it was just nice for the 4 of us to hang out together. After the ball pit we headed to one of our favorite Japanese restaurants called Ajisen and had tons of yummy food. I thought the choice may have been a little bit selfish on our part, but I can't believe how much Angus loves sushi!

After dinner we headed home to have cupcakes and open presents. Here are some pictures of Angus enjoying his cupcakes and presents.




Thursday, November 29, 2007

Lunch at Da Yang's House

One of the things I love to do when we have company is to go to dinner at our ayi's family's house. They always seem to invite us when we have family in town and we kindly accept. I feel this is really what China is like on a day to day basis versus touring around temples, etc. My Dad really enjoyed his experience although there was a language barrier and he wasn't too sure about the food. Here are a few snapshots from the day.


My Dad loves kids and he fell in love with this little one. This is one of Xiao Yang's nephews.


Angus feeling very comfortable at the Yang's place.


Da Yang is one of the best cooks we know in China. We love an invitation to eat her food.


Da Yang and Xiao Yang, they are cousins on their fathers side.


Gemma getting ready for the feast!


A little maj jong action for Gemma and Angus.


Liu Bin always enjoys our days out to the Yang's house. Here he is playing maj jong.


Dad relaxing outside with the old ladies.


Da Yang, her husband and daughter Bi Yang. Gemma and Angus LOVE Bi Yang!


We finally had the pleasure of meeting one of Xiao Yang's brothers that we had never met before because he was always working. Here is in the Yang siblings with their mother. Their father spends most of his time at home because he had a stroke years ago and is confined to the house. Xiao Yang is the oldest of the lot.