Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Vacation Week.

We've been on a break from school for the past week and I for one am enjoying myself just being at home here in Chiang Mai.  Originally we were planning to drive or fly to southern Thailand for the week, but now I'm really glad that didn't work out since I've been dealing with more tiredness and very puffy feet/ankles. I'm definitely in the home stretch of this pregnancy!!

Since we were staying put during Songkran (Thai New Year), we decided on a couple of local things to do, but nothing too overwhelming for us... and Paul! But first, my one and only pregnancy picture:

Nat quick snapped it while Paul was napping and before we left for church Sunday afternoon. So it's fairly recent. :-) Supposedly I have four more weeks to go... but since I went late with Paul, I'm planning on the same with Nutmeg.

As I mentioned, this week was Thai New Year. For four days a big water festival takes place and the chances of you and/or your vehicle getting wet are great! What perfect timing though - the days are nice and hot so water feels refreshing.

See the super-soaker in the picture above? Lots of people carried those things around and even more people had a barrel of water in their trucks... like the one in the picture above. 

It was fun to watch people on the street soak people riding in the back of pickup trucks and vice versa, but I could also see accidents happening very quickly. The last report I heard, over 100 people had died during the first two days of Songkran... such a tragedy.

Since the days have been so hot, we opted to go to some malls nearby and walk around in the air conditioning. One mall we stopped at had a really fun kiddy land set up. For $1.50, Paul was able to play in there for an hour and had a blast!!

A little blurry, but balls were everywhere!

Unfortunately big and little kids played in the same area with no official supervision, so Paul did get bumped around a bit by big kids running so fast and not seeing him. Good thing he's resilient! In the picture above, he's sitting on stairs that go to a slide (the yellow on the right) which went down to a huge ball pit. He had such a fun time playing in there and as a parent I had such a fun time watching him have fun. The more I go along on this parenting journey, the more I see a picture of my Heavenly Father and how He wants to give me good things and yet at times MUST correct me when I've been disobedient.

We also decided to go to a nearby waterfall for a picnic and some splashing in the water. We had gone to this waterfall a month ago with our school and enjoyed ourselves, so we left on Monday morning for some water fun. We weren't thinking "holiday" (just imagine Memorial Day weekend or Labor Day weekend crowds), so when we got to the waterfall, we were surprised at how many people were there and even having the police direct traffic. As only the Lord could do, we got front row parking directly in front of the entrance - fantastic! Since it was only 10 AM, we decided to go down to the waterfall (down, down, down!) and then have our picnic. Such a good idea. We (mostly Nat and Paul - I found a log and sat there) were able to walk up and down the waterfall with a minimal amount of people around. When we went back to the top, the crowd had doubled. We spread out our mat under a shade tree and enjoyed our sandwiches, fruit, veggies, and chocolate cupcakes --- definitely NOT what the Thai people were eating!

After lunch, Nat took Paul back to the waterfall while I stayed on the mat. Thankfully I grabbed a hand fan from the truck because it was warm!!! As I sat there people-watching, I noticed a group to my left standing around. Five kids, one mom, and two grandparents with nothing to sit on. I tried not to feel to comfortable on my plastic mat all the while thinking about offering them a place to sit down. Soon the dad arrived with a mat and they promptly sat down; well the kids did. The poor grandma just wasn't fast enough! But she had spunk... and obviously has been sitting on the ground her entire life. She slowly got down, making sure to take her flip flops off first, and managed to squeeze onto the mat. Grandpa wasn't far behind and I stared in amazement because this is so normal for them. No cushions, no comfortable plush chair - just a plastic mat that was being shared with six other people. 

Oh, what were they eating? Of course Mom had a container of rice - the main staple. Dad went over to some vendors and came back with four or five bags of pork on a stick. At one point I'm pretty sure I saw one of the boys enjoying a long piece of grilled chicken skin. I missed out on the rest of the meal because Nat came back with Paul at that point and soon the tables were turned and THEY were watching us! Specifically Paul of course. One time he started to trip on the mat and I heard several gasps come from my left side. I just sat there knowing he would get his feet back under him. :-) 

All in all we've had such a fun family week. Today we were going to go swimming, but when we got there the sign said closed. :/ Since we had our swim stuff on, we decided to go back home and play with water there! Paul got a huge kick out of us spraying the hose around and getting the whole family wet. It was great!

Thursday is our last day of "vacation" and I'm sure it will be full of adventures! We were going to go to the zoo, but my feet are way too swollen to do a lot of walking so I think we'll skip the zoo this time and do something else instead. :-)