Day 1 the adults woke up early but the kids slept until 8. Chris bought us breakfast from a cafe downstairs and we said goodbye to him as he went in search of conference goers.
We found the Sky Train and it to the ferry which we rode to the Grand Palace stop.
We were immediately distracted by the Wat Pho complex and never made it to the Grand Palace. Online it made it sound like you always see both in the same morning so we were expecting to go in salute the reclining Buddah and then continue on to the palace. It was huge though and we spent all morning checking out the incredible detail on the buildings and the hundreds of Buddhas everywhere you turned. It was hot hot hot and we took frequent breaks to pump the kids full of water. We are going to try to be even better about this on future excursions because it is HOT! Carrying the kids in the carrier is great but it makes both of us hotter and they are getting heavy. We had to trade off who had a backpack in addition to a child.
We caught a Tuk Tuk in search of a vegetarian restraunt we’d seen in our guide book which ended up being on a weird back alley. The name and address were slightly different then in the guide book but we still suspect it was the same place. The food was good but we felt we were missing out on the Thai experience because everyone there was white. At first we thought floor seating was perfect for the kids but then Killian woke up and showed us just how happy he was to be able to reach everything on the table. I don’t think the super hip ex-pats crowd appreciated our noise and our mess.
On the way back we caught a taxi which took an excrutiatingly long time to get to the hotel and ended up dropping us off about 5 blocks away. We didn’t have our bearings and kept thinking it was just around the corner but at this point we were all hot, tired, and irritable. We did see a lot of fascinating pictures of the King on the drive. There were big framed pictures from about 50 years ago all up and down one of the roads we were on. We also suspect we were supposed to have bargained with the Tuk Tuk because we paid him 220 BHT for a much shorter ride and we paid the taxi driver (who had a meter running) only 160 BHT ($6 and $4.50 respectively).
On our way back my Mom and I decided we weren’t tired so the kids would nap and we’d do other stuff like shopping for Killian’s clothes because I intentionally under packed. He doesn’t have any summer clothes in his current size and I figured we might as well buy that stuff here because it’s suppose to be very cheap. By the time we got to the hotel we’d decided to just nap for an hour and after that hour we turned the alarm off and ended up just barely being able to pull ourselves out of bed after a full 3 hour nap. We had to strip the kids naked and put their swimsuits on before they would wake up!
Chris joined us at the pool but we need to buy him a swimsuit so he just watched us. It was getting to be 6:30 and the sky got dark very quickly, but the water was glorious. The pool is on the 26th floor so you get a great view of the city while you swim.
We then went to the mall in search of Killian clothes and dinner but didn’t end up with much since the prices seemed on par with mall prices in the US which I generally don’t pay anyway! We did end up with some nice crepes to take back to the hotel though.
The kids and Chris passed out after dinner and my Mom and I had drinks at the rooftop bar. I’d always wanted to go to one and this one definitely did not disappoint! There was a girl DJ and another girl playing saxophone along with the DJ and they were jamming out. The drinks were good and we got chocolate cake plus an incredible view of the city.
”Lets just duck in here before we go to the Palace.”
My tired little traveler.
The reclining Buddah’s pillow. It didn’t look comfortable but sure was beautiful!
”Welcome to my home!”
The detail on these temples was incredible!
‘Take a picture of me with this one.’
Years ago I told Chris I really wanted to go to Thailand and he said something along the lines of, ‘Thailand?! They have an oppressive government and I will NEVER go there!’ So I was disappointed but the list of places I want to go is long so I just moved on.
Fast forward to about a month ago and Chris found out he would be attending Lenaro Connect Asia in Bangkok. Obviously I wasn’t going to let him leave me behind so we came up with the plan that we’d go with him and bring my Mom to help with the kids. Flights and accommodations were super reasonable so we moved quickly to commit to the trip. We got our wires crossed booking though and Chris ended up on a different flight. No biggie since he’d be in first class anyway and that removes the temptation to swap seats during the flight which would probably have felt like cheating his company.
Chris left Saturday morning amidst lots of angst about clearing customs with his equipment. As I write this on the leg from Bejing to Bangkok I am praying that he was successful. *Update: he was!* We left a little later Saturday morning but got to the airport 3 hours early in case we ran into difficulties taking the kids out of the country (we did going to Vancouver last year). The short 1 hour jump to New York wasn’t quite as painless as we expected and Helen Jeanette had an accident. She told us she needed to go right when we’d started the descent and she couldn’t hold it until we landed. She was wearing undies at that point but we switched to pull ups for the rest of the trip.
We had to check back in at JFK and we ran into a pretty long delay when Air China had no record of the luggage we’d checked, but we still had time for lunch and for Helen Jeanette to have another accident. She warned us again but we were too far from the restrooms and the pull-up leaked onto her pants. At this point I only had one more pair of pants in the carry on so I panicked and bought her an expensive Ralph Lauren outfit (in boys so she can pass it down to Killian). We should be reunited with our checked bags in an hour so it was probably not necessary though.
The 13.5 hour leg to Bejing was brutal. I had wrongly assumed they would have milk on board and that wrecked havoc on Killian’s sleep. It’s the first flight where I know we’ve been very disruptive for any substantial period of time. Helen Jeanette was a champ with just a couple whines and cries. Her worst outbreak lasted about a minute and was because Oma had dared to take away the iPad. Just because Helen Jeanette was asleep did NOT mean she was done using it!
We landed 45 minutes late and had to sprint (carrying the kids and our stuff) though a very confusing customs and security process and then down a very long hallway. Once we got on board we realized they had seated us all separately and the stewardesses had a really hard time understanding why this was a problem. They asked me many times to just take our seats and we’d sort it out in the air. I figured there was a 50:50 chance Helen Jeanette would be cool with it but the other possibility was she has a complete freak out so I stood my ground until they moved her next to me. We never got my mom moved near us but she took each of the kids at certain points.
The 5 hour flight to Bangkok felt long and boring but the kids were well behaved and they both slept a little. The kids, especially Helen Jeanette were a big hit with the couple sitting next to us. I think this is probably a good foreshadowing of our time here, I’ve heard the Thai people love children, especially blondes.
Chris met us outside customs and we shared a van with his boss and made it to the hotel around 1 am. Killian got some milk from room service and fell asleep hard! I think the kids will be in a good position today to handle the jet lag. Mom and I will not be in as good a position but we can handle our exhaustion better then the kids.
Our 5 star hotel is fantastic and lavish and about the same price as a Hampton Inn back home.
The sweetest little prince in Bangkok.
No idea what the USAID ad says, but mildly interesting that it’s there.
No idea what the USAID ad says, but mildly interesting that it’s there.
Helen Jeanette on movies she hasn’t seen:
Last night while sweeping, ‘Snow White is a cleaner like me!’
This morning lying in bed while I shower she sings, ‘heigh ho heigh Ho that’s from Snow White!’
‘These are my Star Wars pajamas.’ *long pause* ‘when I grow up like my cousins I am going to watch Star Wars.’
Helen Jeanette on undies:
This morning Helen Jeanette climbs into bed and says ‘I’m sleeping with my undies!’ What she meant is that she was cuddling her undies like a blanket, not wearing them.
Last night when Chris got home Helen Jeanette immediately presented him with a pair of her undies.
She also attempted to trade Killian a whole pile of her undies for a toy he had that she wanted. I usually let her trades play out no matter how sketchy they seem, but I vetoed this one.
These kids are all sorts of cute everyday, but I try to limit how many pictures I post on Facebook/Instagram. Here are some cute ones from the last week or so that didn’t get posted.
Feeding me a bottle while I feed him a boobie.
Wearing girly pajamas.
Using Mommy as a clipboard while babywearing