Monday, April 30, 2012

One Night in Bangkok...

Andrea, my awesome friend from San Francisco "reluctantly" offered to come spend a week with me in Thailand :) on my break from volunteering in India.  We started our journey through this beautiful land in Bangkok.  Bangkok is a little overwhelming at first, but we had a fun time and really packed a lot in to our first day there.

Our first experience after checking in to our guesthouse was being taken around Bangkok in a Tuk Tuk by this little guy below.  We were told it was only 20 baht for him to take us around to all of the temples.  He took us to a not-so-impressive temple first, and then took us to a tailor that and had us try on wool coats...in Bangkok...in 100 degree weather.  We didn't buy a coat, surprising I'm sure :).  So after the tailors, he took us to another temple and then ditched us. haha.  We are 99% sure we were part of a scheme where the Tuk Tuks take us to places where their family works and if you didn't buy something they have no use for you.  Little by little we got more street wise here.  Thai people are really really nice, but there are definitely some funny little schemes to get your money from us stupid gullible Americans.



 Buddhist Monks during a special ceremony.  The mother of one of these Monks was there because her son was becoming a Monk.  She was so proud and it was very sweet to be there for that experience. 





















This gargoyle cracked me and Andrea up.  We made fun of him the entire week.  He just looks so doofy.  We even gave him a personality.  In our heads he would say things like "Heyyyy heeey guys, wait up.... hheeeeyyy, durrr".  It's the little things :)





 Khao San Road



And on to some Wats (Buddhist Temples)





There was a HUGE funeral the next day for a Thai princess that passed away.  They had a lot of stages and different ceremonies pumped through large speakers and big screens.  We decided to take a load off and lay on the grass for a while and hang out with the locals.  







It got even more gorgeous the later it became. 



On the way back to our guesthouse, I stubbed the crap out of my toe and it started bleeding from every corner of my nail bed. If you know me well, you can probably use your imagination as to what words flew out of my mouth at the moment of impact.  This was just the beginning of what Andrea and I like to call "when Julie's toe tried to commit suicide". Stupid long 2nd toe.  Always getting in the way!  (don't be jealous of these sexy finger toes... I know you all secretly wish you had a 2nd set of hands located on your feet like a chimpanzee)




Our First Thai Dinner in Bangkok!!


Nom Nom Nom.  This food was amazing.  I ate Green Curry any chance I got after this tasty dish!


And SEAFOOD!! The prawns were gigantic!  But we did have to take the shell and eyeballs off...that was a little gross.  Under all that is Pad Thai.  



And dare we forget to mention dessert?!  Mangoes and Sweet Sticky Rice.  This was the first of many of these.  I could eat this food all day long.  


During dinner a torrential downpour began, and didn't stop all night.  SO, we tried to waive down a taxi but they wouldn't take us home because our guesthouse was too close for them to make the trip worth it.  Instead, we sucked it up and ran through the monsoon or whatever it was.  Basically we swam home and I probably contracted some weird diseases through my injured toe and all the river-like puddles we ran through. And to be honest, the rain just added to the fantastic 1st day in Thailand.  We laughed the whole way back.  




One last thing...totally unrelated to Thailand, but I am so excited to see these little guys again in a few weeks!



Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Back in the Bay!

Man oh man the last few weeks have been a whirlwind of one fun thing after the next!  I was in Thailand for the past 2 weeks, and it only took me a few days there to completely fall in love with it.  My original plan and intention was to spend the first 2 weeks traveling with friends out there, and then the last 3 1/2 weeks exploring Thailand on my own.  Well... I accomplished the first part of my plan!  To be honest, after having 1 month to get my stuff together and move to India, then spending 2 weeks in India, and another 2 weeks traveling Thailand, I was ready for some down time...in America...with cool weather...where I could lay on a couch and watch tv, eat Mexican food, and see friends and family.  Thailand is a tropical paradise, but it is HOT, and I am one of the rare people that doesn't like to sit on a beach for days on end.  That is fun for a little while, but I couldn't see doing that by myself for almost a month.  I need my peoples with me!   SO, I am back in the Bay for the next 3 weeks!  I absolutely love India and Thailand, and will definitely be vacationing in Thailand again hopefully sooner rather than later.  My plan for the next few weeks is to get organized and rested up for the busy summer ahead!  Also, I plan to be better at posting on this blog with everything from the last 2 weeks in Thailand.  If you haven't been there, GO!!  You will see from the pictures that it is incredible. 

It's late and I should probably attempt to sleep.  Jet Lag is kicking my trash.  I hate being so tired during the day and hyper all night. 

Here are some pictures from my mini trip to Santa Cruz with Kim a few nights ago.  It feels so nice to be back in the bay area, even just for a short time.  I love visiting other places and meeting new people, but sometimes nothing beats home.  I will always be a Nor Cal girl!





And now for some planking photos.  I missed the planking boat when it was "cool" and new...so now I am making up for it, and proud of it! We are sooo last year.

Me                                                                 Kim

Me                                                               Kim



Saturday, April 7, 2012

Parents Day!

Last Saturday was Parents Day and the kids put on a bunch of performances for their families.  It was so cute to see all of these talented kids show their parents what they learned.  Every fourth Saturday the kids parents come visit for the day.  They each bring lunch for their own families and go picnic in the Mango tree grove. 
 This is Eswari and Sagayam Mary.  They are sweet girls and always ask me "whats my name?!"...and because the quiz me I am able to remember!


 






 Trina and Ebenezer.  He is such a cute kid!


 Me, Trina, and Daneen.  These girls were THE BEST!!  Seriously I couldn't have asked for better people to spend my time with here.  I am sad they went home :(

 Family Pictures in the Mango Grove

 This is a sweet girl named Pria, and her father.  He was helping her do her hair.  Such love there.


 My buddy Hari and his Grandma.  His parent didn't come that day.  It was a bummer, he was pretty sad about it. 





 Ebenezer and his family! This kid has one of the biggest smiles I've ever seen.







Here are some of the kids performances.  They practiced SOOO much and were really darling. 

video

video
video


And now I am off to Thailand for the next month!