My niece-in-law, Bianca, has been lucky enough to become a finalist in the Ultimate Ford Focus Competition. Currently, she is running fourth.....being pipped by three blokes for the lead. So, in the interests of fair competition and girl power, I'm asking you to rock on over to the voting site via the link below and hit the 'vote' button next to Bianca's picture! Don't forget to secretly fist pump the air in front of your computer after you've done so and sing 'Go Bianc' to send her the sweetest vibes for success ever (not to mention the fact that you'll feel great for having done such a good turn!).
You can vote once a day, every day, until the end of the competition. If she ends up being the winner, she gets to keep the car so that she can drive those gorgeous little cherubs around to their various kindy dates until they are old enough to say, 'Gee thanks Mum, you drive us everywhere!'
This is not just a testimony to the beauty of gorgeous city lights on a cold winter's night but also to the commitment of a mother (ahem....me!) who braved the cold to pick son and his girl friend (yes, he has a girl friend!) up from the other side of town so they could see the latest Harry Potter movie together! And who just happened to be waiting for said son and his girl friend to arrive at car and was admiring the view! Total mother-love, if you ask me!!!
I am so not a photographer, but as I was waiting for Miss Eleven to finish her netball training, I couldn't help but admire the sunset in the side mirror of my car. So I outed my iphone and here you have it! I love the way that it's like one car looking at another! Hmmmm...maybe there is hope for my very sad skills yet!
Karon Beach (above) and some temples at Chalong (below) Tuk-tuks everywhere! The fruit was huge. These lychees sit next to an Australian 50 cent piece: The view from our resort room: We rode the elephant on the right. Thai people look after their elephants cause they are a huge source of income for them! The Big Buddha overlooks Phuket Town and many of the Phuket beaches. As you can see, it was still under some construction on our visit! Chicken Pad Thai that we had in Patong. My holiday is complete and I firstly have to apologise for not posting earlier. The reason....I discovered that you cannot post from you iPhone! Go figure!
So, five days in Phuket just goes too quickly, I've discovered! Firstly, you have to get over the approx 9 hour flight, then settle into a culture that is so completely different, yet so familiar in many ways. For the uninitiated, Phuket is situated on the south-west coast of Thailand and is famous for its fabulous beaches and laid-back lifestyle....the perfect mix for a couple of laid-back Aussies!
Perhaps the biggest point of interest, to my mind is the complex mix of eastern and western cultures. On the one hand, you have amazing Buddhist temples, Asian-style rooftops, mopeds and tuk-tuks and all sorts of gourmet, spicy smells as you walk along the main street.....and on the other, you have 3 storey shopping centres, high rise buildings and McDonalds (along with other multinational companies) everywhere. Our days in Phuket were very filled. We spent a great deal of time exploring, walking the beach and main street, eating the local food, riding in taxis, tuk-tuks and on hired mopeds, visiting sights like Big Buddha, Chalong Temple etc and shopping, shopping, shopping! Each day, we returned to the resort for an afternoon swim (temps were around 31 degrees each day so completely comfortable!), sipped cocktails by the pool and rested. What a life! If only, I could do it all the time!
My favourite things about Thailand were:
* The people. They are the sweetest, gentlest people around! * The food. I have always loved Thai food and enjoyed savouring 'the real stuff'. * Fruit. Walking into the fruit section of the supermarket here is depressing after visiting Thailand and tasting exotic fruits like dragon fruit, mangosteen, rambutans, lychees the size of golf balls, sweet pines, papaya, melons and cheap cheap bananas! * The costs. One Australian dollar equalled about 30 baht so everything was cheap, cheap, cheap! My favourite cost-saving treat.....one Cornetto ice-cream was 25 Baht.....less than $1 for something that we often pay around $4 for! Needless to say, I had to sample this saving every single day of my visit! * The weather. The locals say that there are 2 seasons in Thailand...hot and wet! Luckily, we got hot but no wet! *Fantasea. Phuket's famouse elephant cabaret show. It's big, cheesy and costly (in terms of everything else) but something you have to see once to appreciate. * Mopeds. We hired one for the day for about $8.50. I don't think I've laughed more in years than I did that day! It was soooo much fun! * Resort living. Resorts in Thailand can be cheap but still be clean and comfortable. We stayed in one of those big chain resorts in Karon Beach and loved it. There's nothing like having someone clean your bathroom, make your bed and serve your breakfast every day. * Thai bargains. Thailand is famous for a number of things.....one of which is silk.....and shopping for amazing Thailand goods is so much fun. * Thai massages. In Australia, you pay up to au$100 for a good one hour massage, depending on where you go. I had a one hour plus massage in Thailand for au$10! Spot the difference!* Patong. You haven't lived until you investigate Patong on an evening and enjoy the sights....including the very steam y Bangla Road. * Buddhas. Everywhere you go, offerings to Buddha are everywhere. It's so interesting to learn about other's beliefs and appreciate them! *Duty free. I bought make-up duty free that was a third of the price of what we pay in Australia. God bless duty free! * Medicine. In Thailand, unlike Australia, you do not have to have a doctor's prescription for anitbiotics. I found this out when I thought I was getting an ear infection. The pharmacy regulates these. So much more sensible than clogging up doctor's time with simple medical issues. * Markets. I'm going to put this in the 'beware' section, too. While there are issues associated with market shopping, you can get some fabulous things for small prices! * Elephants. Yes, we rode one! And yes, they are amazing! Things you need to note if you are going to Thailand (ie...the 'beware' section): * Hagglers! They are everywhere! In markets, on the street. Everywhere! Most of them are polite and respectful but some are down-right rude and don't deserve business! And by the 400th haggler, you probably won't be feeling that cross-cultural relations are at a prime, either! * The smell. We were told that the 2004 Tsunami damaged sewerage under the ground that could never be fixed. Regardless, there is a definite sewerage odour as you walk along the street. * The footpaths. Or read: What footpaths?? They are cluttered with tables, chairs, goods, people, etc etc, so that you end up walking on the road. And often, if there is a footpath, beware cause you are most likely going to trip over something (including the uneven concrete). * 'Thai belly'. We'd heard many scary stories of food poisoning in Thailand. Luckily, we didn't suffer from any but we were super vigilant about what we ate and where! *The water. You cannot drink Thai water. That was ok cause we often buy bottled water anyway, but not being able to brush my teeth under a running tap drove me nuts! * The 'drive'. 9 hours plus (via Bangkok) is such a long time!
Travelling to Thailand was such an amazing experience. As you can see, the positives far far outweigh the negatives. Would I go back? You betcha! In fact, I can't wait for next time!
I'm a mother, wife, worker, housekeeper, chief chef (at my place!), educator, chauffeur (to the kids), personal assistant (to my kids), secretary (to everyone here!), pet carer, laundry worker.....ummmm...need I go on!
Sanctuary by Nora Roberts.....I'm having a Nora 'love-in'. This is the fifth book of hers that I've read in a row and I still love her stuff!
CDs and Songs I'm Currently Listening To
Offspring Season 2 Soundtrack!
Adele...that woman has a God-given voice!
What I'm Watching!!!
Offspring...season 2....if you don't know what I'm talking about then you either don't live in Australia or have been living under a rock! One of the best tv shows on our screens! Sadly, season 2 has just finished (on a massive high storyline wise!) And I have to say to all of the fellow followers out there...I'm definitely team Patrick!!!!!
Eat, Pray, Love....don't be deceived by mixed reviews. This is a sweet movie with a lovely, hopeful ending. Like the book, it bubbles along so don't go expecting action packed emotionally wrenching storylines though!