Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter

3/31/13 Hello Blog Readers, Hope you all enjoyed a nice day today, whatever that entailed. We are back at Park Sierra so we had a delicious dinner at Ken & Carolyn Kimpton's, along with Brenda & Dave Neil (our across the street neighbors). Brenda prepared fabulous ribs, my favorite! Yum. We have been back from Bangkok for 4 days and I have been trying to find some time to do a proper blog post, with pictures, but alas, there has been no time. Between doing laundry, dealing with accumulated mail, recovering from jet lag and a 15 hour time difference, and all the social activities here, we now barely have enough time to pack for the next trip. Yes, we are leaving again on Wednesday. After driving down to San Diego and staying with Darran & Marielle until Friday, they will drive us to the airport for our flight to New Orleans. On Saturday, we board the Navigator of the Seas for a 15 day transatlantic sailing to Rome. Upon arriving there, we will stay on board for another 7 days of cruising in the Mediterranean. Then we will take a train to the Cinque Terre towns, which are 5 seaside towns not far from Genoa. There are hiking trails between them so we will spend 4 days hiking and enjoying the scenery and atmosphere. Our flight back will be on May 3 from Milan. So reports on all our travels will have to wait until we get back in May and I have some time to post pictures as well. We had some fun and interesting experiences in Myanmar, and also on our Bangkok to Singapore tour, and we had some nice people to travel with in the tour groups. Both Elaine and I stayed well the whole time, and are hoping for the same on the upcoming trip. See you in May!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Hi From Bangkok

3/11/13 Today is officially the 2nd day of our 2nd tour here in SE Asia. This one goes from here (Bangkok) to Malaysia to Singapore and takes 15 days. Last night we met our tour group and it is a very international bunch. There are people from the UK, Switzerland, Germany, Australia, Canada, and us. Many are here as part of long trips through Africa, India, and Asia. Everyone seems congenial and we are hoping that it stays that way. There is also a good mix of ages. Our last tour group, which was 15 days in Myanmar, was pretty evenly split between people in our age group and people 45 and younger. By the end of the 15 days there was a tendency for the group to be split because of that. But again, all were experienced travelers and interesting people. This is one of the big reasons why we enjoy Intrepid Travel tours. In a short while, our group will be heading for the train station to take an overnight train to southern Thailand. We have taken trains here before and found them to be comfortable, although they usually have the AC up too high and we have to pile on warm clothes and blankets. Outside it is hot and humid, and we sweat a lot. Today we did a khlong boat ride through some of the small waterways here in Bangkok and that was very interesting. The boats are very long and thin (2 persons wide), and they are powered by huge engines in the back that are as big or bigger than automobile engines. They turn a propeller that is on the end of a very long pole, so they are called "long tail boats". People have built houses of varying size and complexity all along the canals and also we passed lots of Buddhist sites. Then we went to a wat (Buddhist temple) where there is a 45 meter long and very tall and huge reclining gold Buddha. There are lots of stupas as well and even a Thai massage school. Because we have had such limited internet access, and we have been moving pretty fast and doing lots of tourist activities, we haven't been posting on this blog. I am also unable to post any pictures because it is slow here. So I will wait to do a more complete report, and add pictures, once we get back to the USA on or after March 26.