After a long thirty hour trip guess who showed up bright-eyed and bushy tailed at our door at the beginning of a smoldering Thai February? That's right, none other than Jeff and Mary Hiatt here to see what we have gotten ourselves into.
The complimentary hotel ferry was out of commission so we improvised on this traditional Thai longboat. While onboard these don't strike you as the most robust of crafts, but it got us from A to B and it beats sitting in traffic.
Our next traffic avoidance strategy was this little whirlybird. It is supposedly the best (or at least most scenic) way to get to the Golden Triangle, the Northern tip of the country where Thailand converges with Laos and Burma and the home of our elephant friends for the weekend.
Views from the helicopter
We spent the weekend in a "tented camp," our first adventure as glampers. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, think of a luxurious hotel room with all the normal amenities but walled with canvas, so that conceivably it can fall under some definition of a tent. It makes for wonderful night-time jungle sounds and beautiful sunrises.
The tented camp featured this incredible suspension bridge in between the bar and main restaurant.
The camp staff went all out for Michelle's birthday including an amazing five course meal with paired wines followed by traditional Thai lanterns in the chef's garden. Each lantern carried a special wish far into the night sky... most likely to crash somewhere in Burma.
This studly old lady was one of our companions for the weekend. We learned some basic mahout (elephant trainer) commands while handing over bananas and sunflower seeds for a job well done.
Out of a group of six elephants only one knew how to drench its riders on command. Guess whose it was?
This is Suki, the youngest and fuzziest of the bunch.
Our last elephant adventure was a dawn trek to a mountain overlooking the Golden Triangle. Our elephant friends dropped us off at this stunning little breakfast outpost (they had more bananas but we opted for eggs and toast). And all too soon it was time to say goodbye.
Mom and Dad made it back safely having soaked up enough sun to make it through the rest of the cold Colorado February. It was an awesome couple of weeks!