About Us

We are a married couple who retired and moved to Thailand in 2014. You are welcome to join us and our travel monkeys Sun Wukong and Malcolm Jr. on our adventures! We hope you enjoy the trip as much as we do.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Feeling Honored

Below is an article from the University of Oregon where Vince and I currently work and will be retiring from in a few months. 
In July 2006 Her Royal Highness Princess Bajrakitiyabha Mahidol, eldest grandchild of His Royal Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej and daughter of His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn of Thailand, will visit campus Friday, Saturday and Sunday, July 14-16, as part of an official visit to the Eugene-Springfield community on behalf of HRH the Crown Prince.
The princess is visiting for several reasons: to open an exhibition celebrating the 60th anniversary of the king’s accession to the throne, to officially dedicate Thailand’s gift of more than 1,700 books to the UO and local public libraries, and to launch a new initiative adding math and science to the university’s highly successful distance-learning program in partnership with Thai public school teachers.
“We are supremely honored by this visit from Her Royal Highness Princess Bajrakitiyabha Mahidol of Thailand,” said UO President Dave Frohnmayer.
“We are deeply grateful to be singled out as the first university in the country to receive an official visit from a member of the Thai royal family during the 60th anniversary year of His Royal Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s accession to the throne.”
Russ Tomlin, UO vice provost for academic affairs who has coordinated the campus portion of the Princess’s royal visit, says the visit and the relationships behind it have broader implications for the university’s Asia initiative, which seeks to boost educational offerings and expertise on the fast-growing region. “The relationship with Thailand creates opportunities to expand UO engagement not just in Thailand but in other parts of Southeast Asia as well.” 

Vince was working on the landscape crew when Her Royal Highness paid a visit to the Knight Library (shown below)  I remember he came home and told me that he worked very hard to make sure the grounds and landscaping around the area was in perfect shape.  He was in the middle of adding an irrigation system to an area that was on the route Her Royal Highness would use to enter the library.  

Because of security concerns for the visit the notification of the visit came 2 days before her arrival.  He had to complete the project before she arrived or cover it up so it wouldn't be seen.

The university received funding to have the route lined with plants in bloom and these plants were then planted in the area where the irrigation system was installed and are still there today. The flowers below are Blue Hydrangeas.

He helped to literally roll out Red Carpet for her to walk on to enter the library.   He also said that she was very regal, royal and  beautiful.     I have wanted to go to the library to see if I could get a picture of some of the books and we did just that last week.     We feel special to be working at the University that Her Royal Highness chose to donate Thai books to.    

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Meeting the Parents

Our landlords have arranged for one of the mothers  to pick us up at the airport in December, and show us around for a couple of days.  We are so excited to see our new home, shops, stores, markets and generally get the lay of the land and what we might need to furnish our home. We are overjoyed to spend time with her and a nephew but I am so terrified to offend in any way I am paralyzing myself and I can't seem to relax about this.  

I have a very large frugal gene in my DNA and during our 40 years of marriage we have only purchased a few pieces of new furniture, but usually found items at estate sales and  have been given furniture from family and friends.   We really like the eclectic feeling of different things that do not “matchy match” and like to imagine the history and stories the furniture could tell.    

So, I have no frame of reference for the price of furniture in Thailand.  Even though  I have champagne taste on a beer budget and just because I see something that strikes my fancy and my brain says, "Oooo lovely." I can't help but get sparkles in my eyes, doesn't mean I want to fork over the money to buy it. I have posted a few pictures below of the simple style we like. Of course we will be sure to post pictures of what our home looks like next August!

So what to do………..How do I communicate to Momma when I don’t speak Thai?   Oh, I recently read that it is impolite to point with your hand or fingers and if you wave your arms around when you talk you might be looked at like a crazy person.  Does anyone have  a straight jacket I can borrow?   

My family will tell you I wear my heart on my sleeve and when overwhelmed with the kindness of others I will burst into tears as I am so shocked by it.  This happened when we visited our son and daughter-in-law in Japan on our first day……..in the grocery store…...at the check out counter!  My sweet daughter-in-law was quickly using Google Translate to show the horrified lady behind the counter that she did not do anything to upset me!  On the contrary, “She is not used to good service in USA”    Well, toward the end of our three week visit everyone in the village knew Steven’s mother was crying at the grocery store!  I still laugh about it because that is just who I am.

I will not cry in the furniture store……..I will not cry in the furniture store!    No, It will probably be at the market over a piece of fruit.  Stay tuned to see where and when!   

Monday, November 11, 2013

We're Pregnant!

Now that I have your attention……….  Vince and I were talking about our upcoming move and realized that yesterday was exactly 9 months from when we move.   We both looked at each other and at the same time said, “We’re Pregnant!”   I said, “Yes, we are giving birth to a new life.” ….and her name is Adventure!   

She will need to be nurtured and loved, set free to explore her surroundings and learn the rules of society.  Just like a human baby, everything will be new and different.   We will soothe her when she comes up against bumps in the road, encourage her to stretch her legs and mind and cheer her little triumphs as if she had won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Along with jumping and playing she will also learn to read, write and speak her new people’s language.   We will hug her when she is frustrated at not being able to express herself and let her know it is OK to have a time out.  It is ok for her to take care of herself and hide in her bedroom if she wants…..but only for a little while.

There will be many firsts as she grows and evolves in her new surroundings.  Her first mosquito bite, first Khao Soi, first grilled Snakehead Fish, first monk blessing, first making merit, first time attending all celebrations, festivals and holidays and we will make sure she has her first Durian ice cream!  But eventually she will have experienced these events  many times and the newness will be replaced with the excitement of memories past.   

She will make many new friends and be adopted by family she never dreamed of having.  The first thing I plan on telling her is…….”As long as you give genuine smiles and be yourself you will do just fine.”