No, this picture is not photoshopped. If it was, I would have actually made all of my children looking the same direction. (Is there an action for that by the way?) But that sunset...oh that sunset...is as real as they come! And that, my friends, is one of the many reasons why we love Thailand.
After our meetings in northern Thailand, we took a short flight and a not-so-short drive to Dolphin Bay with these fine friends. We've known each other since our paths crossed in Louisville and before there was nary a child in the picture. Now there are 7 children between our two families!
The resort where we stayed booked us in a cottage, so we had a living room where we could hang out after the kids all went to bed. That is worth its weight in baht! They also kept our kids one day during nap time so Kevin & I could sneak away to get a foot massage together. We've decided that vacationing with friends is definitely the way to do it. Our kids have more fun, Kev & I have more fun, and I'd like to say that our friends had more fun too (though you'd have to ask them!).
Upon arriving, we were disappointed to find out that the pool where we were staying was undergoing repairs. But what we got in return was permission to head down the street to the fanciest resort to use their pool. The kiddie pool was big enough that it didn't feel like a glorified toilet, and there was a restaurant right next to the pool where we ate a few times.
One of my favorite things was the grass. Lush, green, and...grassy. While at our resort, I pretty much went the entire day without wearing shoes. We were asked to take of our shoes at the door where we met for meals, so I figured there wasn't much point in wearing my shoes at all during the short walk there. We could see the stars at night, hear the birds singing in the morning, and could taste the freshness of the air. Our urban home definitely makes us thankful for these things!
We loved watching all the kids play together. The two babies, Judson & Hudson, were fascinated with one another. We had story & song time in our cottage during the odd hours where we didn't have enough time to make it to the beach or the pool.
I'm certainly not one to complain about vacation, but I have to admit that there are some definite challenges to vacationing with littles. I've heard some moms not even refer to it as "vacation" but instead substituting "trip." Probably a more accurate portrayal of the whole experience! Gone are the days of lounging around, only appealing to my fancy for a decision on what to do next. There are kiddos to chase and tummies to feed. But there are also memories to be made and laughter to share, which makes it totally worth it to take yet another international trip with our brood.
Challenge #1 was hotel life. We are still able to fit our family of 5 in one hotel room. Our hotel room during the first part of our trip had two twin beds for Kevin & me, a crib for Sam shoved in between, a mattress for Micah on the floor, and our pack & play for Hudson crammed in the corner. It was definitely a cozy fit but, since we didn't travel to Thailand to hang out in the hotel, we made due. The only thing about having one hotel room for the entire family was the when the kids went to bed, Kevin & I were relegated to hanging out in the hallway. So for 8 nights in a row, you could find us in the hallway, perched on pillows, watching a show on our lap top. A date night of some sort you could call it. The other thing about sharing a hotel room is that when one person gets up in the morning, everyone gets up. And if that person was under the age of four, they usually ended up in mama's bed.
This was our final moment in our hotel room home before we headed south to the beach. Maybe we were just happy to soon be in a place with a bit more space!
Challenge #2 was bath time. Since we were swimming and sweating under the Thai sun everyday, my pretty flexible stance on the frequency of bathing firmed up a bit. But since we didn't have a bath tub where we were staying, we had prison shower time.
Challenge #3 was just getting there & back. Our resort at Dolphin Bay was a four hour drive from Bangkok. For some crazy reason, we decided to drive to the airport, hang out there for 6 hours, board a 6 hour red eye flight to Seoul, spend another 6 hours at the airport there, and then board another short flight home. We've always had good experiences with overnight flights with our kids before but this one has caused us to reconsider our position.
Fear not...what is a trip to the beach without beach pictures? There's enough of those for a post all of its own, so they should be up in a few more days.