There’s No Place Like Home

We are finally home.  The laundry  is done and all the various luggage and vacationing stuff has been packed away until the next adventure.  I am glad to be home.

We still have not readjusted to the time change.  I’m not even sure if we are still on Thailand time…. I think we are stuck somewhere in between.  Sometime around 3 – 4 am we are just awake. Can’t fall back asleep for anything.  I didn’t take any naps today so hopefully I can sleep through the night.

I am really missing the staff at Anatara.  Okay, I wouldn’t need the whole staff…. maybe just someone to do the laundry and bring me mango smoothies by the pool would be nice.  Oh!  And that guy who takes care of the plants and pulled weeds…. yeah… that would do it!

I will be happy to get back to my own massage therapists.  Massages on the beach were amazing, but I like my regular gals SO much better!  If you want an amazing massage… and you aren’t headed to Thailand anytime soon…. Mother Earth Naturals in Arnold.  See link!

Thailand photos are on Flickr now.  Flikr link on the right… click on Thailand Honeymoon once you are there. There are only 50ish photos on Flickr… we took over 1000!

Homeward Bound

This has been the most amazing trip. Thailand is beautiful, the people kind and the cities so alive. The Anatara Resort and Spa has been like a dream. All the staff so attentive and helpful. The food delicious. And the resort itself overwhelmingly beautiful. Photos will never do it justice. I’ve felt like a movie star the whole time!

Princess/Movie Star! Brian has kept me so spoiled! Anatara has spoiled me! Going home and having to do my own laundry will be rough.

I miss Boo and my own bed (even without the palm trees and ocean view). Thailand has been amazing, but I am ready to come home.

Once I wake up again, I will have tons of photos to share. Watch our Flickr link! Our wedding photos should be available online soon too. I can’t wait to see them. The wedding seems so long ago.

Brian and I still like each other and we are still speaking, so I guess this honeymoon was a good thing! Traveling to a foreign country, crossing oceans and exploring a land where you don’t speak the language can be daunting. We handeled it remarkably well, if I do say so myself! We make a good team. Brian is just stuck with me now.

I’ve have just loved writing about all of our Thailand adventures and I hope you have enjoyed reading them. Being able to keep up with friends and family this way is so
much fun. It is almost like getting to take you along… without having to share a room!

We are on our way home now. The car is coming to pick us up. I’m not sure when we actually get anywhere. There seems to be some time travel involved. Brian started to explain, but I quit listening when he started talking time zones and subtracting hours here and there. I just know it takes a hell of a long time.

Love you and miss you all!

Stephanie & Brian W.

Out to Sea

Somewhere Beyond the Sea!

Wow! What a day! We got up REALLY early (5:45… What kind of honeymoon is this!? When I can sleep, we have to get up…. When I can’t sleep, we have nothing planned!).

Scuba diving… Yep SCUBA! Even though neither one of us has a scuba certification we got to diving for real. Snorkeling was great yesterday and I still love snorkeling … It is so much easier… Scuba diving was an amazing experience.

We got picked up from our hotel a bit late so we had to hustle when we got to the dive shop (BoPhut Diving School). We got fitted for fins (lime green for me and blue for Brian) and masks. Next they gave us wetsuits (apparel of evil) to try on. The guy wasn’t sure what size to try to stuff me in … And was wasn’t to excited to be stuffed in the damn thing anyway. I ended up with a medium, loose on bottom, tight on top… Not that is really matters once you are wet or sweaty… It is nearly impossible to squeeze into the damn thing and zip it up by yourself. (think of a full body squeezie/slimmer/shaper thing made out of rubber… Then imagine trying to put it on in a boat that is moving and your skin is already wet. So hard! Oh! And the zipper is in the back! What sadist designed this thing!?). Anyway, we collected our stuff and off we went with the rest of the group to the boat.

It was supposed to be about an hour and a half trip, but it was more like two. We’ve had some winds and a bit of rain over night and the waters were still rough. They asked us twice if we ever got sea sick! (Put me in a helicopter and I’ll barf, but I can take the rolling water all day!)

Since the water was rough we ended up going to a different dive site then they normally take groups. Brian and I were the only two diving- babies … Or ‘beginners’ as they more kindly called us… So we got our own diving instructor. Another girl came with our group since this was her last dive for her certification.

Our instructor, Shawn, explained all of our equipment, stuffed us into it and shoved us out of the boat. We swam to the beach where we went over the basics like putting air into our jackets to counter the ten tons of weights he slung around our hips (he said we had more weights than we needed… I sure as hell wasn’t going to float away!) and how to use our regulators and how to flip or fins… Fun stuff.

We did a bit in the shallows, mostly I think to give us a chance to figure out how to breathe and to see if we could follow directions under water. After some simple tasks, (sinking, clearing our masks, finding our regulator if we lost it, laying on our tummies) we were able to dive.

It took me much longer than I ever would have guessed to just figure out how to breathe. Do I normally take really long pauses when I am breathing? Am I breathing too deep? I felt like Darth Vader blowing bubbles! But I finally caught on (at least I didn’t hyperventalate or get too distracted by the bubbles) and off we went.

The fish were amazing! I met a Trigger fish and a Magnificent Slug (what a name, huh?) and um… more anenomies! And this white tube looking thing with little fingers at the end! And yellow and purple feather duster looking guys that would suck back into the coral when we swam over them. No turtles though… And we were in Turtle Bay … Then again, the advanced divers had gone to Shark Bay and I hoped for their sake that the name wasn’t accurate!

We played for an hour and the went back to the boat for lunch. Our instructor told us that normally visibility is something like 12m, bot with the rain we only had 3m. I can only imaging how amazing it must be normally. I was impressed by what we could see. After lunch we took another hour long dive and then we drove the two hours back to Ko Samui.

Brian and I are talking about getting our SCUBA certification. Maybe over the winter after racing season.

By the time we got back to the resort we were so tired that we just crashed. We finally woke up and ordered room service again. From bed (eating fettuicini) I can see to beach and pool. Anatara has torches lit everywhere. It is so beautiful.

French Thai Dining

Weirdest experience! We finally stopped at this little resturant that we had been saying we should try all week. When they handed us the menu we got a suprise. It was in French! A French resturant with Thai & French food in Thailand… written in French!

See Mom!? All of those French classes in highschool and college paid off! I was able to order Thai food in French in Thailand!!!

Sea Adventures

Today we got up early and went on the Sea Tour with Island Safari (the same group that we took the Island City Tour with.. I didn’t realize it was the same bunch when we booked both or I would have chosen a different company just to get a different sampling of tour companies. Island Safari isn’t bad, pretty good in fact. This group was a little more laid back today with some lags in between events.)

We were picked up at our resort around 7:30 and loaded into a Jeep- like- thing. (The back is open with a roof and bars along the sides to keep you in.) The jeep took us to the pier in Fishermans Village where we met up with the rest of the group. They fed us coffee and crissonts for breakfast (Brian ate at the resort and I should have too, but I was worried a real breakfast and a boat ride would upset my tummy. I should have eaten with Bri. By the time they got everyone organized and moving I was starved and would have happily eaten more crissonts.)

We took a speed boat with three motors to a set of islands that are like a national park. It was about an hour ride over and we found some really great waves. (not everyone thought the waves were as much fun as I did!)

We snorkeled in a little cove for an hour or so. The fish seemed to love the tourists. This huge herd of blue and black striped fishes swarmed all around us. They would swim right up and look into our masks. There weren’t as many kinds of fish as we saw in Hawaii, but the coral was just amazing! There were anemonies (I think that’s what they are called) with wavy arms in magenta and lime green bodies. Little yellow fish swam through their hair? Arms? Whatever! So pretty! I held on to the strap on Brian’s lifevest and we floated along pointing to things. I liked these spikey black things with little white eyes… They looked like Pokemon! Ever so often I had to drag Brian back toward the boat. He is as bad as my Mom! He is happy just to chase the fish and wander off to sea.

Next we were loaded back into the boat for a short ride over to another island in the national park. Then we got to go kyacking. I chose a pink kyack/canoe for us. There was a pretty strong wind going and it was a lot harder to paddle than I had expected. We didn’t go very far, just out and around a little bend. Our group landed on a little beach and we were supposed to go explore. It was a pretty small beach and Brian and I went and swam instead. – Yes, Moms, we left the beach and actually got in the water. Three different times! After returning from kyacking we had a buffet lunch on the beach.

Again they loaded us into the boat and drove us to another island. This time we were supposed to take a little walk to a pretty look- out. Little walk my tush! It was a major hike with a killer climb up these crazy stairs and through rock formations. Now I am no mountain climber, but I am not a total weakling…. I was toasted by the time we made it to the bottom of the view point …. Yeah, bottom… Had to go down before we could go up. I was sweating (okay, it’s Thailand, you always sweat) so bad when we finally reached the top. The rest of our group had reached the top already (I didn’t want everybody behind me… Some of the steps were pretty high for my short legs) and we all sat around and whezed for a while. When we got our breath back we took turns taking photos of each other and the amazing view. Wow! Just wow! Hiking back down was killer, but Brian wouldn’t leave me behind to just die… So I had to climb back to the beach. The view was amazing… Totally worth the hike! Hell, the hike was an amazing part of the adventure. I wouldn’t reccomend it for anybody with ANY health issues…. Not that our tour guides thought to mention that to us.. Or go with us… Apparently they feel that tourists are a renewable resource!

Thank you Skye and Shani for the Thaiti Sweetie after sun lotion! We did use sun block! We just finally got toasted on the boat ride home. Just the tops of our legs and feet.

We were so tired when we got back to the resort! We ordered room service and ate dinner on the balcony. After some hunting, we found something in English on tv and decided to just laze.

This was such an amazing day! I am too tired to move.

Monday – the relaxing day

So far so good. A beautiful morning. I woke up to an amaIng sunrise (actually, I woke up around three-thirty and the sun finally joined me around five. Something must be severly
wrong with me… Every morning I wake up at three and can’t fall back asleep. I am going to be so messed up when I get home!

The sunrise was amazing (Brian has me conditioned to expect doughnuts and the smell of tires when I see a sunrise. Plumeria flowers and the sounds of the ocean had me confused!) I read magazines and entertained a little Thai squirrel on the balcony until Brian woke up.

We played chess on one of the patios for a while. Brian trounced me again, but I am getting better. I’ve only just started to learn….and already I have Brian calling the Knight ‘the pony’!!!

I hope to lure Brian out into the sun again today. Maybe lie on the beach a while…