Prior to venturing across the globe to Thailand, my 4 yr. old daughter and I had many discussions about what I was going to do while I was there. One of the highlights of our itinerary planning was going to be seeing elephants. Elephants in Thailand are revered in work as well as religion. The sad part is, much of their work is exploitative…giving rides to tourists and even walking the streets at night begging for tourists to “pay” their “mahout” (trainer) for a bag of food to feed them or to take a photo.
Nestled in the Sri Lanna National Park of Chiang Mai, Thailand, you will find rustic cabin-type dwellings dotting the surface of the water. These floating cottages have been my home for the last 3 days. For anyone who knows me, rustic is not exactly my middle name. In fact, I prefer a place with room service and a spa, but there is something to be said for the peace and calm that surround our “Om Waters” cottage. As I sat and meditated on the bamboo deck on our last morning, it was impossible not to feel a sense of amazement for the beauty at our feet. The water was calm and serene. The verdant, green mountains peaked up over the horizon.
Every night in Chiang Mai, Thailand comes alive. Especially, Sunday nights. The night markets are an amazing display of sights, sounds and smells. A true sensory overload at its finest! Everything from foods, to tapestries, to massage to incense. After being awake for over 48 hours, my senses were even more piqued. Upon entering the Thape Gate we were welcomed by local craftsmen and artisans displaying their wares. There were beautiful, ornate tapestries, decorative tote bags and wallets everywhere you turned.
As I type this, I can view the flight map on the tv screen on the back of the seat in front of me. We have flown up the coast of California, the Western edge of Canada and Alaska. It shows us that we are actually going to be crossing the Bearing Sea and the International Date Line shortly. So…I left LAX on Friday, June 8 at 1:14pm, 4:14pm in SC and 7:14pm in Thailand…I just haven’t figured out if it was 7:14pm yesterday or tomorrow? I think “tomorrow” because when I get there, it will be 11:00pm on Saturday, June 9. When we make our connection in Tokyo, it will be 5pm, there. So, I’m trying to decide whether I should try to stay awake so that I can get some rest when we land in Bangkok at 11pm~ since our flight from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, Thailand doesn’t leave until 7am on Sunday, June 10.
Today’s the day! I’ve been in California for the last 2 days hanging out in Ojai with my dear friend, Leeann Carey, hanging out at an adorable, quaint, little Inn called the Blue Iguana. We’ve had a wonderful time catching up, eating yummy food, drinking wine, doing some last minute work before I head to the other side of the World and just having some plain old girl time. It’s been lovely! So, today, I wake up at 4:45am (7:45am Eastern) because I’m not acclimated to the time change yet.
Walt Disney World is coined as being “The Happiest Place On Earth.” I have fond memories of traveling there as a child with my sister and my parents. Now, as a grown-up with my own children, I have had the pleasure and privilege of seeing the joy that it brings to them. Thus, if you’ve seen the Disney commercial of the two children “trying” to go to sleep the night before their big Disney adventure; they are sharing their thoughts and ideas with one another, imagining what amazing adventures might lie ahead. Mom & Dad remind them to go to sleep.