Tuesday, March 29, 2011

An Epic Journey Contines

With my dad spending only 5 days here in Thailand, he didn't have time to finish his blogging. He recently finished up his notes, and it took me a few days for me to add the photograph, so finally here they are for all of you to enjoy! ~Mary

Tuesday March 14th

Life in Thailand begins…Tour Guide Mary had 9 planned stops…we made 8. Highlights of our day for me was first of all marveling at Mary’s comfort with transportation…subways, sky trains, water taxis and of course the Thai taxi.

We took in lots of Buddha’s…reclining and otherwise….lots of street vendors…a few animals and two great stops; one at the Museum of Siam, (click for link) an archaeological and anthropological look at Thailand and a first for Mary. We also stopped at the Jim Thompson House. (click to link) Jim Thompson was an American who revived the silk industry in Thailand.  A long busy, action-packed day ended with a swim in the pool…a quick snooze…and supper with their friends Eric and Melanie.
Our first stop of the day, Lumpini Park

Mary brought her camera too, so we were both tourists for the day.
The first monitor lizard we saw in the park.

An action shot!

Pretty statue, "A Mother's Love"

A very old looking lizard

At Lumpini Park, Statue of King Rama VI

On the River Taxi

The Reclining Buddha, Wat Po
Museum of Siam


Lotus Flowers at Jim Thompson

Outside Jim Thompson house Museum

Wednesday March 15th
As tour guide Pam puts it…this is the VERY best Buddha in all of Thailand! This is something Mary and I heard lots of during our toured with tour guide Pam. She shared lots of history, took us to the flower market, the Emperor’s palace and Vimanmek the world's largest golden teakwood mansion. What I learned today was that the King in Thailand is personal, "My King," said Pam whenever she referred to the reigning king, King Rama IX. I also learned that King Rama VII did a lot for the country pushing it toward free elections and a constitutional monarchy. Real Thai food lunch and street food snack. Great Day in Thailand!!! And a cool day, I wore black pants the whole day!

Roses at the flower market. One bunch (about 50 long stem roses) will put you back around $3.30

Beautiful Orchids

A river taxi going up and down the river (this is the kind we rode the day before) The orange flags mean it is an express boat.

Wat Arun/ Temple of the Dawn

Wat Arun

A street snack, fresh and hot rice/coconut dumpling. 

The Grand Palace!

Wat Phra Kaew/ Temple of the Emerald Buddha this is inside the Grand Palace.

Pam and I by some gold!

Doors leading into Wat Phra Kaew, that's all mother of pearl

More at the Grand Palace

By a guard

By the main building
The Golden Teakwood Mansion

Suan Si Ruedo Residential Hall Museum, lots of pretty things inside that were given as gifts to the King and Queen It felt very European with paintings high on the ceilings. 

It was very busy first two days of seeing Bangkok. I was very grateful that the next day's plans didn't include much. An Epic Journey Ends is next!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

A First and a Thank You

Usually, I blog about something after it happens. Not today folks, today I'm blogging while the event is happening. Yup, you heard me right. Here I'll show you what all the fuss is about...

That's me eating KRAFT Macaroni & Cheese! Thanks to our friend Eric's parents who arrived in Bangkok this week and with them 2 boxes of the good stuff with my name on it! I must have mentioned it sometime in passing,  but I do love a Saturday afternoon lunch of cheese and macaroni and Eric (or Melanie probably) mentioned something to Eric's parents. Here some cooking shots as well...

I only made 1 box. I even read the directions, something I don't think I've done since I first made mac and cheese. I didn't want to screw it up!

Just like home, with apples and black pepper. I added some red pepper here, because honestly if it doesn't have red pepper it just doesn't taste good. I live in Thailand, remember?

Anyways, this Saturday Greg is at work, I've been cleaning and grocery shopping, realized I need to buy more storage space from Google if I want to post anymore photos on this blog, but now I'm eating M & C so things are looking better! If you're planning a visit, or just want so send us something, macaroni and cheese (I'm really impartial to the brand) is now on the list.

Thank you to Eric's Parents, Becky and Tim Baumgart for bringing me this cheesy goodness!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

An Epic Journey Begins!

I know our blog subtitle is, Our Adventures of Moving and Living in Thailand, but I think that also should include our visitor's journey's to Thailand....

Shortly before my (Steve Schuett, Mary's Dad) departure for Thailand…Greg’s mom, Cathy, sent a card within a package, which was unread until my arrival here in Bangkok…the quotation on the front of the card read “But this is what the past is for! Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our lives is the perfect preparation for the future that only He can see.”

Gadzooks! What did he see!?....this trip to see Mary and Greg started out like a lamb, boarding in Cedar Rapids, IA on-time; boarding in Chicago on-time; then the lion began to growl… First there was an hour wait for a tour group; Second, a two hour wait for a mechanical issue…then finally off the ground. Third, almost 10 hours of a 12 hour flight to the Narita Airport, in Japan…the voice of the pilot broke the slumber…” There has been an earthquake and tsunami in Japan…”we are turning around and will land in Anchorage Alaska”. Silence…then a buzz…almost 3 hours later we were on terra firma…cold, confused,  and anxious, we disembarked. With three 747’s landing arriving at an understaffed sleepy airport, around 2:20 am, slight chaos, but we eventually galvanized into some working groups and got cabs to the downtown Hilton. All of us realized that if we had been on-time, our flight United 881would has been landing just about the time of the earthquake…our previous diversions…quite a blessing!

I ended up taking a 6 hour tour of Anchorage with the travel partners I met who were in the same situation as me. Here are some pictures from my time in Alaska:

Cooks Inlet
We took a tram up this mountain to enjoy it's amazing views
This landscape view is home to 7 glaciers

At an animal conservation site we saw grizzly bears, moose, and owls.

At the hotel lobby!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Our First Pancake Day

Last Monday we went to our first Pancake Day celebration. It's a celebration held on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, but for the group gathering Mondays worked out better.

We were invited by our friends James and Sarah, it was held where their small group from church usually meets. If you remember reading about the Christmas party (scroll to the bottom) we attended with my mom the day after Christmas, the one where we did Christmas Crackers, it was held at the same place.
James, Greg, myself, and Sarah

We assumed that we'd be eating pancakes, but had no idea why so before going, I read all about Pancake Day/ Shrove Tuesday on Wikipedia.  While we did not have any pancake races, we did enjoy many delicious pancakes. We even discovered a new topping: lemon juice and sugar!

James and his pancake. Toppings at the table included everything from Nutella, strawberries, blueberries, maple syrup, whip cream, lemon juice and sugar, and fresh pineapple!
I was surprised to learn that for our hosts, Chris and Jacci, this was not their first Pancake Day celebration. When I asked Chris who grew up in North Carolina about it he commented, "Well, you know I grew up Methodist so I celebrated Pancake Day." Well I grew up Methodist and I didn't celebrate! Evidently Christians in Canada, the UK, Australia, AND parts of the US do celebrate this day each year as part of their Lenten calendars.

Overall, we decided we love Pancake Day. Next year and for many years after, no matter where we live, we plan on participating again!