Friday, November 4, 2011

Happy Halloween!

So the girls started asking in August what we were doing for Halloween .... Holidays have taken on new significance since moving to Singapore.  The rhythm of our life has been extremely disrupted by the lack of weather markers or holidays.  I assume that we will just have to create a different rhythm. 

I half heartily told the them we could have a Halloween party... easy to say in August!  Then when Oct. 1 rolled around they reminded me of my promise!  I told them to make a guest list and I would do the rest.....

You would not believe HOW HARD it is to plan a party and  find Halloween stuff in Singapore.  Singapore does not celebrate Halloween, for the most part, except the really gory part. 

Panicked, I placed a huge order to Oriental Trading Company (sucked up the shipping fees) and ordered helium... Problem solved! 

 We had a great time and were surrounded by our favorite people in Singapore.  We have been blessed with a huge group of friends here!

Our good friend Annie's sister has a really great food blog where I got this recipe.  It was out of this world!
Notice the really AWESOME silverware ;) 

My dear friend made so much yummy food!  Thanks R!

Mmmmmm juice of fire newt.  Tastes a little like root beer if you ask me :)

And the best costume award goes to the Furner Family!

Love this kid... He was a character out of Super Mario Brothers... don't ask me who!  I stand in awe of mothers who come up with unique costumes for their kids.. Not my talent!

Could eat him... if only he would sit still long enough!

Sweet G... "garden fairy"

A made her own costume this year... turned out pretty well!


ME's "best English friend" in Singapore!

A's future husband?  If only we could be so lucky ;)
Another product of a mom who is amazing in the costume department! 

ME whispered in my ear... " I am not having any fun at my Halloween Party"  I asked why... and she said, "because you made me wear this dress.  I do not like it mama"  Well.... all I can say is, "I paid $ **** for this dress and had a friend carry it back in his luggage from the states... YOU WILL WEAR IT!"

The hit of the party was the donut game!

Costume parade around the pool... the locals did not know what to do with us.  The whole morning while we were setting up the neighbors were staring in the windows of the function room and going crazy with excitement... a real live Halloween Party.  Apparently the don't see that every day!  They had a lot of questions.  We passed out many balloons...  During the parade we had neighbors hanging out the windows and laughing...  This isn't the best picture but speedo man cracked me up! 
And the grand finale... the pinata!!

G getting some of her anger out!  She hit it harder than almost any other kid there.... hmmmmm.

We had such a wonderful time!  Happy Halloween Friends... We wish you were here.

Bangkok: Shopping!!

The shopping was AMAZING in Bangkok... first stop was for silverware.  We all bought a twelve piece place setting (I have a good picture of what I got in our Halloween Party pictures to follow).  I was on the phone to assure my credit card that I was indeed trying to make the purchase and my card had NOT been stolen! 

T.R. Gift Shop had the best selection of silverware by far.... Thanks Emily for the suggestion!

JJ Market map... this place was HUGE!

Mmmmm our first stop at the market... coconut ice cream!

Second stop... chocolate covered frozen banana...

Anything you could conceive of was sold here.  It was amazing....

I purchased one of the blue and white pedestal bowls from the top....

We bought so much stuff that we had to also purchase suitcases!!

Fried/dried bugs anyone?

Things are getting a little heavy.....

All of our bed is at the end and is not as well organized but you get the idea!  I had to get an extra 30 kilos of weight to fly home and Jessie and Malia still took half of my silverware in their bags.... They were probably laughing at me.... my first really good Asia shopping trip!  I hope to go back soon for this:  Celadon Pottery.  Didn't know this was the place to get that as well!  Next time!

Bangkok: Baipai Thai Cooking School

The Baipai Thai Cooking School was by far my favorite thing we did on this girls weekend..... aside from the massages & shopping! 
I loved learning about traditional Thai cooking and coming away with a few of my own recipes that I can cook....
I loved these ladies!  They were so fun....

Main cooking station

"Crispy cups"

One of four dishes we learned!

Hand washing station... it was in the wall of the classroom! 

Malia cooking it up!

We ate after every course!!  Yum!!

And we took pictures.... I won't bore you with all of them :)

Fun times!

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Crazy Animal Experiences : Kanchanaburi Province Thailand

So... one thing that I have learned on my last two trips into Thailand is that you can't always expect that the touristy things you do will turn out the way you expect nor will they necessarily be safe.  Almost all of the traveling that I have done before was in locations that you could expect a standard of safety if nothing else.  Not in Thailand baby. 

Part of our day trip to Kanchanaburi Province also included "Elephant Bathing" and the "Tiger Temple".  Awesome I thought.  I am all about bathing the elephants and I love temples... tigers not so much but I am sure the temple will be amazing.

We get to the place where we were supposed to "bathe the elephants" and our guide/driver starts telling us to take off all of our clothing (we had swimsuits underneath just in case we got wet during their bath) and to leave all of our camera's except one, which we were to give to him.  We looked at each other a little confused.  Not sure why we couldn't take our bags and camera's but followed orders.  When we got to the platform we noticed that all the other tourists were fully dressed and were getting on animals that had nice seats.  We were asked to get on the elephants and ride bareback to what I thought would be the location of the elephants bath........

Coming to get us..... This was my elephant.

Um... so we are going down to the water and then you will give me the brush to wash him right???

Why are they lowering us into the water??

Apparently we misunderstood.... the elephants were bathing US!!  Not only did they do it a couple of times they did it for 15 minutes straight... laughing the whole time.  We kept screaming... NO!  We are done.  But apparently they could not figure out why we would pay for the elephant bath and not want it.   All I could think of was the big poop that had just landed in the water from Jessie's and Malia's elephant and how I was now being sprayed by that water.....
After I realized that they were giving me the bath I was able to role with it!

Fun times with fun girls!

My favorite picture!  Thanks Malia!

And on to the "Tiger Temple...."  The whole way over to the Temple the guide was instructing us on all sorts of things we were not to do so we could avoid being attacked......  This was my first sense that something was a little amiss.... what had I gotten myself into?!  I was even more alarmed at the waiver that I had to sign before I entered.... Maybe this wasn't an enchanting temple after all.....

The list of does and don'ts greeted me as I entered

Hey wait.... where is the temple??  Oh.... they haven't built it yet.  They are trying to solicit funds from tiger lovers to get it built.  Bleh.

Malia took this amazing picture.....

And this one......

Monks with walkie talkies.... Leading massive tigers to a cave... sigh.

"Walking" with the Tigers....

Mysteriously all of the tigers fell asleep all at once and we were able to go around and take pictures of them.....

Our guides thought it was endlessly funny to have me hold the tail.....

This little guy was kinda cute....

He was cute until he rolled over... and then we were out of there!