Thursday, April 28, 2011

Welcome to the Land of Smiles!

Bangkok Thailand, Day 1

Well, all that needs to be said about our first two days on this trip is that we traveled for 28 hours! However, when we got off the plane at 12:30 am in Bangkok we were greeted by the warmest smiling faces: some of our hosts from the rotary club of the city here. They were waving these Thai flags and they gave us each a handmade lei made of jasmine and roses. So beautiful and just what we needed after our long journey.
 Here we are with our leis!
 Jer carrying some of our luggage. Can you believe that's not all of it?! AND our personal items only include a 25 lb pag each plus our carry-ons.
 Here's me with the rest.
 At our hotel (Tawana Hotel). The beds are extremely wide, like, I'm talking 4 people could fit across this bed, but they are pretty short. Even MY feet hang off the end just a bit. :o)

Well, promptly after heading to our room we decided to try and get our power strip plugged in so we could e-mail family. We blew a fuse. Of course. All the lights in our room, off. LUCKILY we followed the packing list and brought a flashlight which I was positive we wouldn't need. It was 2 am and took two helpers from the hotel 30 minutes to fix. Oops! We'll know better next time.

By 4 am we were asleep and got up again at about 7:30 to get ready for the day and head out for a wonderful day of sight seeing. Breakfast in the hotel was really good. I'm actually loving trying all the new food, and its only the first day! I feel like these will be really long posts but hopefully you will enjoy them. My favorite new thing I tried for breakfast was called wax apple. It is a delicious fruit that is very crisp yet juicy. Its so refreshing especially in 100% humidity.

Our first stop sight seeing was the Grand Palace or, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. I loved every minute of both places we visited today. The pictures do not do this stuff justice but we will try.
 This palace is covered in tiny gold leaves. They were each placed by hand. Can you imagine? I apologize for the pregnancy-looking shot.
 Some of the guys.
 These tall statues represent different characters from the Stories of Buddhism, each one has a different name.
 Here is where people bring offerings, burn incense, and worship.
 Here Jer is blessing himself with a Lotus blossom dipped in holy water.
 I don't really know what's going on with me here but these wall paintings were incredible, so intricate. We couldn't take pictures inside but it was amazing to see that every square inch of these buildings inside and out are covered with intricate hand painting and embellishments.
 The rotary club gave each of us an umbrella, or in my words, a parasol. Jer thinks its pretty funny that I call it that but I think ladies use parasols to protect themselves from the sun not umbrellas. ;o) Oh, and did I mention that it was like 100 degrees today?
THIS, ladies and gentlemen, was our lunchtime meal. We ate in a restaurant by the river and the food was delicious. These rotary club people are spoiling us! The fruit is TDF (to die for in the words of Katie H) but I think my favorite things I had at lunch were the fried rice and egg rolls. The rice definitely had squid in it which I politely avoided but the other stuff in it was awesome.

At lunch we had a wonderful missionary experience. Two of the members of the Rotary Club sat with us and through our conversation they asked us some questions about the church. They asked us a few simple things like, what is prohibited in our church and then some more poignant things like, what sets Latter-Day-Saints from other Christians sects. The 5 of us sitting at the table we able to answer their questions pretty well and I felt the spirit really strongly. Jer and I have been praying for the last several week for the Lord's spirit to help us know how we can share the gospel with those in the countries we are visiting. We asked for missionary experiences and what do ya know? We have an awesome one on the very first day we are here. I have some pass-along cards in my wallet so before we leave Bangkok I am going to give one to each of them and hopefully they can get more information on the church in their own language. 

We visited the Teakwood Mansion next. It was SO cool, it is the summer home of Kings Rama the 5th-9th I believe. Very beautiful and many of the things in it came from Europe because, if you've ever seen the King and I, King Rama the 5th had a soft spot for the Europeans.

We had a nice rest and then left for our evening dinner cruise on the Grand Pearl.
 Here We are outside right after we got off the boat. I'm definitely glowing, but I think its from the sweat.

 Our little dinner group.
 Traditional Thai dancing
 Our sweet hosts presented each of the girls with a beautiful pin made with a real flower that was dipped in the lacquer it is covered with.
 Us at dinner
 There was live music, and after dinner they played some fun upbeat music and we all got up and danced.
I can't help but feel so grateful for this opportunity. It is so wonderful to be here with my spouse and have people taking care of us. This chance will likely never happen again. We are having a blast!


  1. Okay, I am LOVING this. Keep it coming as much as possible. I just can't believe what an amazing opportunity this is. You've worked so long and hard and you're being such a missionary! I'm so happy you get to be with Jeremy. That just makes it so much more special! Love you.

  2. P.S. You need to make it so the family gets an emailed copy of your posts, especially now that you're private and we can't see when you post. I'm going to email you how to do it.

  3. I agree with Katie--keep the posts and pics coming!! I'm loving every moment of it, too! Wow, you are right...what an amazing opportunity, and what a sweet missionary experience you have already had! Love you! Miss you! Wish I could be there to see and do all the incredible things you're seeing and doing, but I almost feel like I AM visiting there as I see things through your eyes and read your wonderful descriptions! You will be so happy you have kept a record of this once-in-a lifetime experience! By the way, this is actually Mom writing. I don't know why I'm signed in as Dad!

  4. So awesome Tina!! What a great experience! You're going to come back a whole new person :) I'm so glad you'll be updating the blog while you're gone because I've been thinking about you guys since you left, wondering how you're doing. Let me know if you need anything done back here in Utah while you're away :)