13 March 2018


On the very last day of school, I drove our little two boys to the California/Arizona state border to hand them off to my parents. They were so nice to meet me halfway to take Crew and Finn for the following week. I raced back home to celebrate the end of the school year with Blake and Nash who were getting ready to spend the week with Troy's parents. We decided to split the boys up and both sets of grandparents were happy with their designated grandkids. 

We finished packing and headed to LAX to catch a midnight flight to Bangkok. I couldn't wait for that long flight. I had so much I wanted to catch up on and I was just as excited about hours and hours of uninterrupted kid-free time in the air as I was for our trip. Sitting in coach had never felt so luxurious. I was a little disappointed that half of the flight was wasted sleeping! I barely made a dent in my list and I could have easily taken 8 more hours in the air.

I fueled up on my favorite, Pinkberry, before leaving the US.

Troy settled right in with the TV series he downloaded. He made it up a few hours longer than me.

After 19 hours of travel and a layover in Taipei, we arrived in Bangkok. 

We landed in the morning and had been told that the best way to adjust to the 15 hour time change was to try to not sleep on the day we arrived until 8pm that night. So, once we dropped off our bags at the hotel, out we went in the blazing heat and 500% humidity.

We headed to the Wat Saket temple, or The Golden Mount.

We walked along the stairway to the top and rang the bells as we went. 


The tradition is to bang the gong three times to let the gods know you are at the temple.

The view of the Bangkok skyline from the top was not too shabby.

Troy and I took more video footage than we did photos. I actually compiled the video clips right after returning home, but it's taken me nine months to glance at the photos! The nice thing about how many video clips we shot is there are less photos to sort through than my usual rate, but the downside is there are some gaps in the still photos where I was shooting video instead. At any rate, this trip certainly was documented.

We walked around the city all afternoon and one thing that I found fascinating about the streets of Bangkok was all of the exposed wires. No wires are buried in this city. 




Troy and I got suckered into a tourist trap longtail boat tour, but even at a higher rate than we could have got, it was still less expensive than going to a movie in California.

We could barely keep our eyes open at that point, but it was our eleventh anniversary so we figured we should do something special before crashing.

The Chao Phraya River was easily the dirtiest river we've ever seen, but it was really interesting seeing people fishing and going about their lives on the riverbanks. 

There was not a lack of fish.

It was hard to believe that some of the falling down shacks on the dirty river were where families called home. 

We admired the artistry on some of the shacks.


We sunk into bed at 8pm and not a minute later. It meant we were up by 4am the next day, but we met our sleep goal and didn't mind starting our mornings early. 

On our second day in Thailand, we told our Uber driver to take us to the floating market. I don't think he quite understood our English because while we did end up at a floating market, it wasn't the famous one we were expecting to hit first thing in the morning before it got too busy. We ended up at the Taling Chan floating market. We liked that it wasn't as big or busy as the famous markets and it had a nice atmosphere. We found lots of authentic local dishes and street food. Troy made it a point to buy fresh mango any chance he got.



We watched one vendor prepare her produce for the day to row around and sell on the floating river market.

We then headed to Wat Pho to see the huge reclining Buddha.

Troy wanted a stretching break more than a photo op.

He deemed it appropriate to attempt yoga in front of the Buddhist temple.



We found an air conditioned room in a restaurant overlooking the river for lunch. That along with a walk through an air conditioned 7-11 were high on our list of Bangkok highlights. It was unbearably hot and humid. We did have a great view of the Wat Arun temple which has had scaffolding on it for years. 

After lunch we hopped on another longtail boat ride to see different parts of the river and go into the canals. It was just as dirty and just as fascinating as the night before.

We had the boat drop us off on the other side of the river by the Wat Arun temple.

We decided to skip going inside since we had been inside a few other temples, but we did buy little bells to add to the multitude of hanging bells. The tradition is to write your name on a bell, hang it up, make a wish and ring it. Your wish is supposed to come true. 

Uber rides were very inexpensive in Bangkok so we just Ubered everywhere instead of trying to figure out the train system. It took an hour or so in traffic to go from Wat Arun to Terminal 21, and we took advantage of a little cat nap in the car. 

Terminal 21 is a fun mall with each floor decorated as a different city; Rome, Paris, Toyko, London, Istanbul, San Francisco and Hollywood. We were pretty worn out by the time we got there but we strolled through each floor and bought a few treats.


We ended the night at the Asiatique Riverfront and jumped on the ferris wheel just as the sun was setting.


It started raining while we were riding around and it somehow made the sky against the skyline that much more beautiful.






We rode on an open air tuk-tuk back to our hotel and crashed once again in preparation to fly to the coast the next morning. Bangkok wasn't our favorite part of our Thailand trip but we're glad we got to see a glimpse of the country's culture. Two days was just the right amount of time in Bangkok. 

12 March 2018

Wrapping up the School Year

The end of the school year always feels like a mad dash to the end. There are so many performances, projects, field trips and parties to cram in.

Blake's big end of the year project was to make 50 items to sell at his class's student store. Each student was given fake money to purchase items made by other students. Blake decided to make 50 fidget spinners out of LEGO bricks. We filled up a cup with supplies at The LEGO Store in between Nash's baseball game and Crew getting sent to the ER for his foot infection. Blake and I assembled all 50 fidget spinners in between trips to the hospital. Moral of the story: we should not have procrastinated this project till the day before it was due.

Blake reported that the fidget spinners were a hit; so much so that he raised the price during the course of the student store. What an entrepreneur!



Crew's preschool group took an end of the school year trip to SeaWorld. With $6 admission prices, I decided to pull the older boys out of school and take them along as well.

It was a little nuts keeping everyone happy and together in unfamiliar territory (we usually don't venture outside of Disneyland). I threatened to leave the park multiple times and when we did leave we were dripping wet after riding on some water rides. Despite the frequent want-to-pull-my-hair-out moments, I think we had fun watching the dolphins and whales. Finn especially liked the Bayside Skyride, which was the only moment I felt like capturing the whole day.



You win some, you lose some. Still, it's hard to pass on SeaWorld field trip day and I'm sure we will attend again next year.

Blake wrapped up the year with a piano recital and our sweet frousins came to support him.

Crew graduated from his first year of preschool and we put on a little graduation ceremony.

These boys sure knew how to ham it up in co-op preschool. And wrestle. So much wrestling.



If I was more on top of it, I would have documented Blake and Nash on their last days of third and first grade. But Troy and I were busy shuffling the little boys to their grandparents so we could catch a midnight flight to Thailand. 

None of our offers on houses had been accepted at that point and even though we were nervous about finding a house before our rental contract expired, taking off on an adventure was just what we needed to take a break from all of the hope, heartbreak and frustration. We were so happy to put the last few weeks of school behind us that somehow seemed busier than Christmastime.