I guess I owe you the rest of my Thailand story, and then some!
So with another day in Bangkok to kill, I did what anyone would do! I went to the floating market, pet a baby elephant, went to the bridge over the river Kwai, held a baby leopard, pet some adult tigers and cubs, ate some bugs, cruised around in Tuk-tuks... wait; what? Oooh, yeah! I seized the day by the throat and throttled every ounce of fun I could from it! Behold:
Oh yeah, I ate a cockroach bigger than a frog! Suffice it to say, I would eat another frog (or meal-worm), I would not eat another cockroach. They taste like cat food.
Anyway, all of this was before I met up with my good friend Summer and we headed to Hua Hin to meet everyone for the wedding festivities!
Our "bus" to Hua Hin was actually a big passenger van, and we managed to settle in and share some mumbles, smiles, and crazy hand gestures with the driver.
One more truck-tuk (I don't know what they're actually called), and we arrived at our boutique hotel, rented completely out (ok, except one room, whatever) to guests of the wedding, including the bride and groom! That night, we had dinner on a restaurant deck overlooking the ocean beach, and then we headed back to the hotel's second-floor deck for some good old fashioned drunken debauchery!
At this point, I should stop to describe how awesome our Boutique Hotel was:
The Baan Talay Chine is a slightly more costly hotel by Thai standards, but each two ground floor rooms came with a private swimming pool, and the friendly staff always stopped us at some point each day to ask what breakfast we wanted brought to our room every morning! I cannot remember ever staying at a more lovely hotel, ever, and we spent at least two hours of every day relaxing in or around the pool with the other young, mostly English, wedding guests. I made too many friends to mention here, but it has definitely made me want to go back to England and see them all again someday! (Special shout-out to Ed and Joe!)
|Ingredients for "Bucket"|
Day two in Hua Hin, we rented mopeds and tooled around the city, and met up with another good friend from my study abroad days, Zoe! After a late lunch with her and friend, Claire, then it was off to the Bachelor party with Aeryn's Husband-to-be Ed!
We ate and drank at "Give Friends 100%" (seriously, name of the restaurant!) and as we ate a local band started playing and random staff started selling balls for a dunk tank. This became key as Aeryn's party joined up with us, full of cocktails, and we basically took over the outside area, fountain, and dunk tank too! Bride and groom took a turn until each were finally dunked, and when we couldn't bother them anymore we went back to the hotel for an even rowdier night than the last!
|The soaked groom, Ed takes aim|
|Aeryn's "oh no!" face|
|Fountain turned into seating|
(I am proud to say I got a massage every day, as planned, in Thailand, and each one-hour session never cost more than $10 dollars, generous tip included! Ok, enough bragging, back to the story.)
At the reception dinner I was reunited with yet another study abroad buddy, Annika, Aeryn's parents, and even Aeryn's host parents, the Horitas, from our year in Japan that - I have no problem saying - changed the course of my life. They have always stayed in touch, and I've visited them several times while living in Hiroshima, but seeing them only added to the warm-fuzzy feeling being so many good, long-time friends!
Once again, the party moved back to the hotel, but this, the eve of the wedding day, was much more subdued, and I met some of Aeryn's other "Westernized" Thai/English friends, who also brought the same fun, laid back, non-judgmental fun to the group.
|Joe and I patrol the beach|
Wedding day came, and everyone basically went their separate ways to get dressed up, or run rehearsals for the big event, and before we knew it, we were piling into vans to the event space, a campground on the beach!
Everyone at the wedding was looking their best, and many, including myself, immediately went barefoot for the rest of the night. Everything was beautiful, and the stage only got more enchanted as dusk fell and a red-orange moon came out. I will let the pictures do the rest of the talking, but one of the high points was actually Aeryn's bouquet, made of green Pandan leaves, woven into roses!
That night would be my last at the Baan Talay, and back at the hotel we partied harder than ever before, which I hardly thought possible, but lets just say there was a lot of food and play-fighting in the swimming pools and they were not looking as inviting as usual the next morning!
To end the trip, Summer and I hitched a ride back to Bangkok with two of the Thai/English friends I mentioned, Marisa and Sai. Sai lives in Bangkok and drove down, so we hit the road together and gossiped about everything possible. When we finally arrived, we all ended up going to a Japanese restaurant, Rakuza, owned by Summer's former boss when she worked in Tokyo, and some of the TBS (my company) Bangkok Bureau came too! Then it was just a quiet car service ride back to the airport, and going home was a similarly good Emirates flight watching tons of movies and being stuffed to the gills with airplane food.
|In those clothes you can hardly tell they're Japanese!|
Whew! That was a lot for you to read. Did you make it to the end? If you just looked at the pictures, I don't mind. They are good photos. I will leave it hear tonight, and as usual, hopefully be back soon to fill you in on my life in NYC.
Please leave lots of comments! They feed my want to keep bloggin'!