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More Phuket and Finding our Way

20140109-152130.jpgAs I mentioned in my New Year’s post, Randy and Nikki’s departure left us feeling a little stunned.  Like any really great vacation, its conclusion had us feeling more tired than rested, and way behind in our “work”.  After all, it was now January 1st, 2014, and we only had our travel mapped out as far as January 6th.  In denial, we languished this first day of the new year away in the Andaman View House pool (having arranged a late check-out), fully packed except for our bathing suits, towels, and a bottle of Coppertone sunscreen.  At four o’clock, our driver in the big 4 wheel drive truck roared up the hill and waited to carry us to our next destination.  We said wistful goodbyes to our beloved housekeeper and friend, Moo, and braced ourselves for the trip out of our hillside paradise into the pulsating mob of people and nightlife that is Patong.

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Although this was a tiny travel day by comparison to so many others, it had a giant curve-ball waiting for us at the desk of the swanky BYD Lofts, where we had booked a 5 night stay.  As you might have guessed, this booking was one of Jon’s – the #1 hotel in Patong per Trip Advisor.  He had even done a ‘flyby’ a few days earlier just to see it.  So you can imagine how crestfallen we were when they quietly told us that our room wasn’t completed (was supposed to be finally constructed by Dec 25) due to some delay in building materials as a result of the protesting in Bangkok.  They had booked us at the welcoming-sounding Patong Embrace, just a few hundred meters away and hoped we would stay there the full 5 nights.  After some persistence, we managed to secure a room back at the BYD Lofts for the final four nights, and off we went to the Embrace.  It turned out to be pretty nice, but I had my heart set on the living space end kitchen area of the lofts, rather than just adjoining hotel rooms.

This was or cute little bungalow at the Embrace, but the wifi was much faster at the BYD Lofts!

This was or cute little bungalow at the Embrace, but the wifi was much faster at the BYD Lofts!

 

So awesome to find more friends waiting for us in Patong!

So awesome to find more friends waiting for us in Patong!

We had another great reason to look forward to Patong besides just our swanky digs; we had more friends from home to meet up with there.  Kory, who works at BJ with Jon, was staying near Patong with his girlfriend, Heather and four other friends.  It was so fun to catch up with them during our four nights there.  We had a couple of delicious meals out with them, and Jon and David went with Kory to have some clothes tailored while the girls all headed out for some ‘world-class’ shopping in Patong.  We found swim cover-ups, carved elephants, harem pants, swimsuits, and Starbucks!

 

These trucks go by every afternoon in evening advertising via megaphone the Muay Thai fights that night - "To-NIIIIIIIGHT, To-NIIIIIIIIGHT, BIG FIGHT, To-NIIIIIIIIGHT!!"

These trucks go by every afternoon in evening advertising via megaphone the Muay Thai fights that night – “To-NIIIIIIIGHT, To-NIIIIIIIIGHT, BIG FIGHT, To-NIIIIIIIIGHT!!”

Between all that fun, we spent A LOT of time online.  The kids had some ground to cover with their online classes, David was applying for high schools and we needed to help with that, and the little girls worked on math workbooks, and a new app that their cousins introduced them to called Duo Lingo.  They are both learning Spanish, and Molly is learning French.  Jon and I frantically went to work on booking flights, accommodations, and tours for SE Asia.  By the time we flew out of Phuket on January 6th, we had everything booked up until January 29th.  I’ve updated our route if you want to check it out.

Great photo-bomb shot from our deck at the BYD lofts

Great photo-bomb shot from our deck at the BYD lofts

3 comments

  1. Joyce

    Happy New Years you guys! We hope that your travels continue to be enchanting and safe. Glad to see you will be spending a lot of time in Australia. ( It’s a huge continent so it takes a lot of time to enjoy!) We’d recommend seeing as much as you can.
    Brady would want David to know that he’s missing out on the City tournament in Yakima in March. He still talks about the snow in the pass on the ride home. Hope we have better luck with the weather this year! And, I think Brady would want David to strongly consider going to Ballard next year! They have moved to Metro 3A for 2014, if that is any added incentive.
    Take care!
    The Ehrlichs

  2. Paul Shoemaker

    Love the “Home” T-shirts! Got one of those for both our boys living in TX. That can’t be you in the background of the BYD Loft shot, can it?! :) Love following you guys, not commenting each time, but reading and living vicariously through most of your posts. Stay safe and SOMEHOW BJ rolls on without ya, Jon!

  3. Jackie Prideaux

    Happy (belated) New Years Jones family!!! I hope you’re having a wonderful time. Gretchen, your blog posts continue to be a great afternoon break at the BJ office. I mean…I never, ever, ever take breaks;) And I LOVE Duo Lingo. I have it on my phone and use it all the time to hone my French skills – one of my favorite apps.

    Cheers from 1st and Lenora!
    Jackie

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