Friday, March 27, 2015

Joy ride at Trader Joe's

Last night Hal and I were waiting outside Trader Joe's for Gordon to finish paying, and bring out our wares.
I let Hal sit on one of those carts for handicapped and the elderly. Apparently it was powered up, and the key was in it, and turned to the on position. (I let him do this often at Save Mart, and those carts are never left on)
In about 1 second he had found the right button to drive it forward about 3 feet, and knock over an 8 foot tiki hut housing a trashcan.
I came out of shock in time to stop him and turn off the cart. Luckily the hut was unbroken, and I just had to right it again, and pick up some garbage.
But I was a little flustered when Gordon came out a couple minutes later. So embarrassing.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

a trip for the birds

jack - "hey!  HEY!  i see a BEAR!  look look! over there...  oh wait.  it's a duck.

colin - "you see that brown and red thing?  over there?  it HAS to be SOMETHING!"

one of many funny events that sent us giggling was when the boys were on the roof, as shown...

and when darcy suddenly braked to take a picture, eric slid into the car.

syd (while driving) - "and on your left, you will see a cowboy in his natural habitat, closing his fence.  oh and a rare sighting of  what we call "waving"!

i wanted to know what crop this was, 

and we stopped to take a picture to ask someone, when we realized that they would probably take one look at the picture and say something helpful like... "uh.. grass?"

then we went to a good little local ittalian place for some good food and saying what we liked about grandma mona.  then she recieved a free tiramisu for a treat.

it was lovely and nice, but we mostly brought the fun with us when we came and with us when we left!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Feral Finally Pays Off

Rolled out of bed at 0845 this morning to discover that Lucy had made chocolate scones all by herself, including calculating the Fahrenheit to Celsius conversion needed for our oven.

Also that Theo had decided to slather them with Nutella, because, hey, Mom's asleep, why not?

The kitchen was a complete disaster, but I decided not to complain.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Carrie and Rachel's Big Adventure

Rachel came to Asia and we had adventures. Some memorable moments and statistics:

Food Moments:  
The good: Khun Moo’s fried morning glory; green curry and mango sticky rice so good we went back the same day for more; water buffalo laap; pumpkin, coconut and ginger soup; an average of three smoothies a day, including banana, mango, mango passionfruit, coconut, watermelon, dragonfruit, mixed fruit and pineapple

The bad: grasshopper, fried silk worm, real whole unboned crunchy dead frog, something made with gravy-that-might-not-be-gravy, and fresh spring rolls that caused us both to suffer serious consequences.

Also, over the course of three weeks, Rachel had 3 people throw up right next to her (none of which were Gregorys, btw).

Startling Moments:
- looking over the immigration officer's shoulder in the Siem Reap airport and noticing a pig's head on the table with a gigantic knife sticking out of it.
- Carrie getting patted on the bum by a 4 yr old.
- at a roadside rest stop, realizing that the murky objects floating in brine in a jar were severed bear feet.
- when Theo lost an epic battle of Rock, Paper, Scissors, and whipped off his hat, intending to throw it down in disgust, only to have the wind rip it right out of the truck that we were riding in. It happened so fast, and he could not have looked more stunned.
- returning to our guest house one evening, we interrupted a family fight, complete with yelling, threatening gestures and one man struggling while being restrained by several others. We settled ourselves on the curb across the street to watch. In a lull, the restrained man broke free and ran amok in bare feet down the street and into the which point 4-5 other guys jumped on their scooters and zoomed after him. Carrie said to Rachel: "I like this guesthouse! It's exciting!"

...which brings us to

The Jokes:
-  Watching Man of Steel in a private theater at our hotel took on a MST-3000 vibe. When Superman gazed intently into the camera and declared, "I have a doody!" the family dissolved into giggles. Sheesh, grow up.
- Seeing a cat with half a tail and wondering if it was a landmine victim. (not actually very funny, but sorta)
- Eating water buffalo with Rachel at a fancy restaurant, she suddenly went on a tear of homemade buffalo jokes ("What do you call a satisfactory buffalo?" "Enoughalo!") that left Carrie speechless (I'm not kidding- I've never seen anything like it from her. Ask her about it). 

Transportation Moments:
- 15 tuk-tuks, 12 airline flights (for Rachel), 7 boats, 2 minibuses (both harbingers of imminent death), 6 golf cart rides, 4 taxis, 2 motorcycle rides, 2 bike rides, 1 kayak excursion, 1 slooow innertube ride, 3 failed attempts to rent scooters, and 1 rental truck that we called The Rig. The Rig was L-handed stick-shift, didn’t have any seatbelts in the back and the backseat cushions weren’t attached. Every time Carrie put on the brakes, the 3 kids in the back would fly forward and hit the front seats.
- We were in 2 tuk-tuk accidents, and had to get out and push two separate times.
- Our boat got stuck on a sandbar and the driver (captain?) had to bail out water with a bucket
- We realized, as we were boarding a plane, that we didn't know where one of our pieces of luggage was. Rachel stalled the ticket ladies to keep them from closing the gate while Carrie ran around looking for it and finally found it all the way back at security.
Kid Moments:
- Theo peed into a bottle 3 times, twice onto his own shoulder to relieve a jellyfish sting, and once almost fell into the ocean when a wave hit while he was peeing off a pier.
- Lucy swam 100 laps (2 miles) to raise money for snow leopard protection. Theo swam 50.
- We played some epic 4-person Minecraft. Actually, a LOT of epic 4-person Minecraft.
Random Stats:
# of mysterious giant stone jars: 100
# of craters from Vietnam War bombs: 5
# of unexploded bombs still in Laos: 80 million
# of times we were warned not to go off path (or we might explode): 20
# of times we went off the path: 1
# of times Rachel was called 'sir': 4
hottest temperature - 39 C (102 F)
coldest temperature- there was no coldest temperature
How much a bunch of bananas costs in Cambodia: $1
How much a smoothie costs: $1
How much a pineapple costs: $1
How much two pineapples cost: $1

All in all, I definitely recommend traveling with Rachel. ("What do you call a buffalo that hits too hard? A roughalo!")

All in all, I definitely recommend traveling with Carrie. ("What do you call a priest that goes crazy? A-monk!")


Hugo - 8 months old


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

colin the brave

I kept trying to get out of it..  "colin!  it is SO COLD!"   and  "colin, we are going to go really DEEP down in that cold COLD water!".   
and my last futile attempt.. "colin, you can't really swim!!"
nope.  we were totally going.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

They call it a Youth Hostel for a reason.

Traveling with Rachel made me feel just a bit past my back-packing prime. For example:

- When she told me to "go stand by that tree and do a cool yoga pose," I just looked at her, blinking, for a long, long time...
 ...which is the same look she got on her face every time I suggested we spend a $2 to get a tuk-tuk ride instead of walking somewhere.
-  I wanted to be at the hotel in bed by 9 every night.
- She always understood the map/instructions a few seconds before I did.
- I made her take a bigger backpack, and wanted to suggest something with wheels.
- Multiple people assumed I was her mother
-I found myself hurrying to swipe the leftover hotel shampoo, just in case R was eyeing it.
- I cut up her mango sticky rice for her
- I was ambivalent about joining her for the jump photos
- When we told Theo that I was 16 when Rachel was born, it made him giggle for about 2 minutes straight
- She had to show me how to check in for a flight on your phone

But I just sent her off for the airport with maybe not enough money to pay for the taxi, reminiscent of when she visited me in Korea, so maybe I haven't come that far.