Sunday, November 30, 2008

settling back in

We have been back for about three weeks and have settled in nicely back into "real life". Work is going well, still fun and full of challenges.
I have become accustomed to the climate again here. Actually, it has been quite pleasant considering it is November. Temperatures hovering around zero with occaisonal light snow. I even when for a run one day (that was lovely!).
I am, however, adjusting to the fact that it is almost Christmas! We missed Halloween and worked over Thanksgiving, so it really doesn't feel like it should be time for Christmas yet. That being said, I went out shopping yesturday and got a LOT of my Christmas shopping done!! It is amazing what you can accomplish when you have a plan!
Now, I am planning our next destination - San Diego. We are going there for a conference on Transesophageal echo. Luckily, we have a lot of staff people that month, and so have been granted an extra week after the conference. We are thinking of going to DisneyLand!! We have invited two of our friends to come with us. Gwynn isn't super stoked about going to DisneyLand, but I told him that if they could get the time off, I would be willing to go wherever. So we will see.
In the meantime, we are planning to go to Hornby for a bit after Christmas. We are going to go skiing at Mount Washington by Comox, then take our time coming home, maybe stopping in Calgary to do some shopping or do some skiing in Banff.
Let's see.... Since I finished I have been to Halifax, Montreal, Thailand, then off to Hornby and Banff, San Diego and possibly DisneyLand! Again, I marvel at how much Jurgen and I are enjoying our life now that I am done. We are debating on buying a house in the near future. And are thinking of where our next big trip will be.
Life is good as a "staff man". Life is good.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggedy-jigg!!

We are back in Canada after 3 fun-filled weeks in Thailand. It truly was a fantastic trip!! As much as I am happy to be home, I miss the heat already (although I complained there! The grass is always greener!), and I am still suffering from jetlag.
We were so happy the way we did this trip. What do I mean? Well, Thailand can be incredibly cheap if you want it to. You can stay in "guesthouses" or "beach huts" or hostels and take your chances eating from vendors on the street. But Why? I think if you can you might as well stay at a nice hotel with great service where you don't have to worry about bugs in your room, where you can have your own bathroom, and get special things like flowers in your room everyday and turn-down service included! As for the vendors, I always feel like going out to eat is an event. You can still try authentic flavors in a restaurant, but you can take your time, get dressed up if you want, and you don't have to worry about the cleanliness or how long the food has been sitting there. Finally, you could take a bus or a train to get places, but when you can take 1 hour to get somewhere that would have taken 8 otherwise, why wouldn't you. Some people may not agree with all of this, and think it takes some of the adventure out of it, but I think it just takes the STRESS out of it all. Then it truly is a VACATION!
Life is all about learning, constantly, and we learned some valuable lessons on this trip. First, if you are planning a trip to somewhere as far away as this, if you can afford it, fly first class. We didn't (we thought about it too late), and really regretted it. Being smushed in like sardines for 20+ hours on a plane is NOT fun. Second, research WHERE a hotel is, not just how it is rated. Twice I picked highly rated hotels that were very far from all the action. At the time, it seemed like a good idea, but at night when you are far away, it is not very fun (especially when people at your resort don't speak english). Third, on a trip if there is something you are thinking about buying, just buy it! If you don't, you will regret it! There was this gorgeous saphire pendant I was thinking about buying, and didn't, and now I regret it! Fourth, once you are settled in your hotel, explore a bit. The meals in the hotels were often very expensive (as were the spa treatments), but there are cheaper alternatives that are often not very far away. Finally, as much as you want to, don't sleep before it is night time when you are arriving at a place, or you will have jetlag!!
This was a great trip and we now have wonderful memories and great pictures!
Next destination? Not sure. Egypt? Greece? China? Scotland? Who knows? Only time will tell!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Krabi Island tour

These are all from the speedboat tour that we took to Koh Phi Phi.
This picture is of Maya Bay where the film "The Beach" was filmed. The one with Leonardo Di Caprio. A couple we met on the tour said that hadn't seen it and now they had to, but we informed them that they hadn't missed much. It was very busy there and not too exciting. Other than the number of boats and the beautiful beach (and a thousand people or so), there was not much else.

This was at Monkey Bay, which is aptly named. I have about 7 pictures of monkeys - swimming, eating, hanging out, but this one is the best as it is so close!

It was so beautiful here with the towering cliffs and beautful green water. Such paradise!!

We had a great time on this tour. Proably one of the hightlights for sure!!

Sunday, November 2, 2008


As the internet here is SLOW, it takes forever to download pictures. So, again I will regale you with stories....
We are staying at the Sheraton Krabi resort. It is a lovely resort (5 stars), but the food and drinks are EXPENSIVE and it is far from everything. There are a few cheaper restaurants outside, so we mostly go there. We went into Ao Nang one night which is a resort town 15 minutes away, just outside of Krabi town. It was fun with lots of restaurants and bars and some more shopping. Jurgen bought another watch (this time one for me) and I bought a necklace (fake pearls). There was this sketchy part in the back of some of the shops where there were a lot of different bars and a lot of Thai girls hanging around. We didn't stay there long!!
Yesturday we went on a snorkelling trip all around the islands. We saw James Bond Island, Chicken Island, and Maya bay which is where they filmed "The Beach". We stopped at Koh Phi Phi for lunch and even saw Monkey Bay where there really were monkeys!! One even jumped onto one of the boats, but then thought better of it and jumped back into the trees.
There is an elephant who lives at our resort and comes out to play with her trainer to entertain the guests twice a day. She is SO beautiful! We swam with her today, worried that "warm spots" in the water might be elephant pee!
We have two more days in paradise before we take a plane back to Bangkok. We leave on Thursday to come home. As much as we love it here, we are looking forward to coming home. That is the one thing about travel - it makes you appreciate home a bit more.
Looking forward to popcorn, cable TV, and a comfy bed....