I realize that in my last blog I said we wouldn’t be driving to Thailand anytime soon, but I neglected to mention that we would be flying to Thailand again this month for our annual meeting and vacation. We are currently at the beach and loving every minute of it. We really needed a vacation after a long and busy year of work. Our work is super-rewarding, of course, but when we are in China it sometimes feels like we live at work. There is no lakehouse to go to, no Mexican restaurant to meet your friends at, no babysitters, no leisurely shopping, etc. In other words, there are very little ways to truly relax and have fun. I think this time in Thailand will be what I truly needed, which was a big dose of fun!
Quite surprisingly, we will be here in Thailand for over a month. Yes, we agree that a month vacation is a bit long, but due to our visa and passport situation, we had to leave China for that long. Since we are on a 1 year travel visa that expires in January, we have to get our visas renewed which takes about 2.5 weeks of processing. Then, we realized that Claire’s passport was quickly running out of passport pages, so we also have to get her a new passport which takes another 2 or 3 weeks. After spending countless hours researching the least-costly and least-time consuming way to get this done, we realized that staying in Thailand for a month or so would be our best option. This is especially true since we are here every year at this time anyways for meetings and vacation.
To get to Thailand this time, we flew from Banna to Bangkok. We were hoping that all the flights would be on time because we wanted to get to a Fedex in Bangkok by 5:00 before they closed for the weekend. If we could mail off our paperwork as soon as we got there, then that would save us two days of waiting time. Luckily, every flight was on time and we landed in Bangkok at 3:00 with plenty of time to get to Fedex. That is, until we loaded ourselves into a taxi cab driven by the worst taxi driver ever. Although we had a map and a phone number to Fedex which was located directly next to the airport, the crazy taxi driver drove us around in circles for 45 minutes as we tried to tell him where to go. In the end, we never found Fedex and by that time it had closed at 5:00 anyways, so the taxi driver angrily drove us back to the airport. Cameron tried to get the driver to at least take us to our hotel, but by that time he was so frustrated, he starting tossing our baggage out on the airport curb making it clear he wanted us out of his car. At least we didn’t have to pay him!
After we got to Bangkok, we waited for Cameron’s parents who flew from Texas all the way to Bangkok. Their first flight was 17 hours to Hong Kong, followed by a 1.5 hour layover, and then finally a 2 hour flight to Bangkok. We were all a little nervous something would go wrong along the way, but they made it just fine! We then rode by car to a beach resort where we are all staying now. We love this resort because it is nice, kid-friendly, and not too expensive. The people staying here are from every different country in the world which makes for some fun conversations. The first day we took Cameron’s dad on a tour of the property and as we were walking around the pool area, a woman who was sun-bathing stood up from her lounge chair and took off her bathing suit top right in front of us. I started giggling uncontrollably as I watched Cameron and his dad’s jaw hit the floor. While we are here, I guess we need to get used to other culture’s standards of beach attire!
All in all, it has been a great trip so far and I look forward to more rest and fun!