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.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

These Tiny Moments

Our friends Jmayel and Sacha at 8 Miles From Home made a video called just that, These Tiny Moments. It is deep, beautiful, thought provoking and makes my heart grow each time I watch it. Here is the link for your pleasure.    8 Miles From Home Video - These Tiny Moments

I have always been a very positive person, sometimes to the point of getting on other people's nerves. Lately, I have been lingering too long on moments that are not happy, but frustrating regarding living in Thailand. I won't go into detail, but suffice it to say, it is all part of living in a culture I try to, but will never completely understand. It is not the first time and if I am being realistic, won't be the last I experience the vast differences.  

Here is advice from an expat couple living in Japan for managing the these times. "It is important to hold onto and relish the tiny moments that make you laugh, smile, appreciate and give you peace."

Once I let go of the negative, it didn't take me long to experience some new moments and because they made me feel so good, it reminded me of Jmayel and Sacha's video and then like a snowball rolling down hill other moments started to gather. Here are some of my favorites.

A very lively, adorable 60 year old woman from Bosnia, with her purposeful stride is walking toward us on the beach. Maria is already waving from a fair distance and as she gets closer her smile and giggle are absolutely infectious as she greets us with, "Good Morning Vince and Lin!" That was the extent of our connection, but she was so delightful and I found myself smiling from my toes when we passed each other. 

The rooftop common area at our condo the week between Christmas and New Years had many families lounging in the sun and playing in the pool including two boys from Sweden living an expat life with their parents in Laos and an adorable girl named Annie on vacation with her parents, also from Sweden. Annie is 9 years old and one of the sweetest children we have met. She always has a genuine smile and hello when she sees us. The boys, Lucas, 5 years old and Felix, 14 were very interested in the game I was playing on my tablet. In the next moment I found myself surrounded snugly and I handed over my game to their delight. They were so happy and I had a precious moment of acceptance by two strangers. Humanity could learn a lot from children.

The next evening Annie gave me a box of Swedish Ginger Cookies as a gift because I shared my coloring book and pencils with her. What a doll!

Also the next evening we were having a lovely conversation with Felix and Lucas's mother and father and wonderful moment of connection with Nada. I told her we have friends living in Split, Croatia and she said that is where she is from! We showed her the pictures our friend has posted of her home town and she was reminded of her Mother, Grandmother and places she explored growing up there. It is a moment I won't soon forget.

I was inches from the eye of a pregnant elephant. I had just washed and scrubbed her head and was touching her face. I can still feel her staring at me and my entire being was alive with an energy I have not experienced before, for one tiny moment we were connected.

Tea. I have always loved tea, but never dreamed I would one day be able to stand in the middle of a tea plantation in the northern hills of Thailand.

There is something special about seeing the innocent joy on a child's face.

Little did I know that the sunsets and sunrises we would see would be so magnificent. This one was in the north of Thailand on the top of a mountain. Our view was vast and the entire sky turned many shades of pink and orange.

In the north of Thailand there is a lake full of bright pink lotus flowers that only bloom for two months. As far as the eye can see it is a magical experience not easily described. I really expected to see a unicorn or two!

Standing arm in arm watching a full moon rise over the Gulf of Thailand and listening to the waves gently lap and swish to the shore.

Our nearby Khao Takiap hill, we call Monkey Mountain, I managed to catch this picture of a mother and her baby.

We have so much to be grateful for and I know that I must continue to look for Those Tiny Moments!  

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Our Version Of The 12 Days Of Christmas

The information I found about the song, The 12 Days of Christmas listed presents given as far back as 1780. Given the times, one would be given gifts including Parrots, Starlings, Plovers, Gold Pinks, Feathers, and food. Here are some of the more interesting ones.

A very pretty peacock upon a pear tree
Goldie ring and the part of a June Apple Tree (Referring to a ring necked pheasant)
Turtle Doves and the part of a mistletoe bough
Ducks a laying
Squabs a swimming
Hares a running
Boys a singing

Bears a beating
Ships a sailing
Cocks a crowing
Badgers bating
Lads a loping
Asses racing
Bulls a beating
Stalks of merry corn
Arabian Baboon

Three sides of meat
Eight Ponies
Nine Banners
Ten Barrels
Eleven Goats
Twelve men
Thirteen hides
Fourteen rounds of cheese
Fifteen deer

In the spirit of The 12 Days of Christmas here is our version. There are many things we are able to find but they are from a store that imports ( $$$$$ ) foreign food and it is very expensive compared to what we paid back in the US, so these things are a real treat for us.

Blue Diamond Smokehouse Almonds, Tillamook Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese and salami with Philadelphia Cream Cheese

Vlasic Dill Pickle sandwich on fresh Sourdough French Bread

Celery with Cheddar Cheese and Wheat Thins

Vegetarian Bean Burritos, with Tillamook Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese, 
Fresh Cilantro, and Tostito Lime Chips
No picture of the burrito because it was gone before we realized it!

Pancakes with Maple Syrup

Fresh Mozzarella with basil on a toasted baguette with tomato and garlic.  
No picture here either! 

Black Olives

Rice Krispie Treats

Turkey Dinner (aka:Chicken) with Gravy and Cranberry Sauce and Stove Top Stuffing

This is the reason we used chicken instead.   
Even at the favorable exchange rate we have now this bird would be $176.00 USD.   

Pumpkin Pie-ish Dessert

I don't have an oven so I made this in my rice cooker. I mixed the wet ingredients per the instructions then I divided it in half and also divided in half the cake mix and the butter. I put these three separate containers in the refrigerator for the next week. 
I poured the wet mix in the rice cooker, sprinkled the cake mix and swirled it through a little bit and poured the butter over the top. I cooked it on the “regular rice setting”.  When it was done I let it cool completely and turned it out on a plate. It really satisfied our craving for pumpkin pie!

For Santa, Italian Lemon Cookies, Danish Butter Cookies, Vanilla Wafers, Ginger Snaps
Next year Vince says to leave him Pizza and Microbrew Craft Beer instead.

Merry Christmas Everyone!