Sugar-Coating in Sugar Land, Texas
We started off in early December, with a little snow drama! What a treat to wake up to a soft, white blanket of snow!
Luckily the weather didn't feel Christmassy when we joined Heidi and Jamie at a Mod 1960's Fondue Yard Party. Their wedding isn't until March, but it's never too early to start celebrating.
In mid-December we headed for New Orleans to attend Chali's Tulane MSW graduation. After a couple days of Nola-style celebrating, it was time to pack for Thailand.
First Morning in Thailand
Flight delays had some of us arriving in the wee hours on Christmas Eve. After a couple hours of sleep we woke to our first morning in Thailand... and Chali & Scott's morning wedding. Evidently birthdates and the times of birth, determine when a wedding should take place.
Before we knew it, the Temple's family home had been transformed. The Buddhist Monks had arrived and the wedding ceremony had begun.
Christmas Eve Wedding
The wedding excitement kept jet-lag from taking over. After the morning ceremony and feast, we headed off to explore the neighborhood walkways and canals.
By the evening, we taxied into the city, to an area that Chali described as Bourbon Street of Bangkok. We wandered the crowded streets, stopping for drinks and food here and there. Non-stop activity after nearly 2 days of travel, made it easy to sleep that night.
On Christmas morning, we wandered down to have a traditional Thai breakfast at one of the roadside stands. The owners were delighted to see the Temple family and their houseguests. Some of the restaurant family had been involved in the wedding preparations, so there was lots of greeting and photo snapping...
In the week that followed Christmas, we toured temples and markets. We enjoyed a dinner cruise on the Chao Phraya and we flew to the old city of Chiang Mai.
One rainy day, we drove from Chiang Mai and spent time in the mountains, with these beautiful beasts. We fed them bananas and sugar cane. Then we joined the elephants in a swampy pond and scrubbed them down with handfuls of cold, gooey mud. Then we used pans and scooped river water to clean their mud-caked bodies.
We ended the December and the year 2017, back at the house in Bangkok. We dined across the street at a restaurant, beside the canal. Then we returned to the house for champagne. Poor Jamie missed our toasts. He was sick in bed, but came around the next day. What an amazing month... and really what an amazing year.
Cheers to 2017! Eager to see what's ahead in 2018!