Hello from Flagstaff, AZ

Hello from Flagstaff, AZ

Friday evening – October 20, 2017   (First post of this travelogue)

Can you believe it, we are on the road?  Unfortunately not in the bus, rather a great rented car.  We are headed to Perris, CA where I will teach a shaft alignment class next week.  We will then do some fun tourist stuff and then Pat will attend a Stampin’ Up! convention three weeks from now.

We have had to cut back on planned travel this year because we did not want to be gone when  two of our daughters are dealing with breast cancer.  They are now in a somewhat “stable” situation with their treatment.  As a result, we (with their encouragement) planned this trip.  I should add that Pat had a bit of a scare and had to have a lumpectomy last week.  It came back benign.  Bottom line, we just needed to “get out of Dodge”.

We left Denver yesterday after Pat had her post surgery examination and after a quick visit with her dad.  We had made reservations at a Holiday Inn in Grand Junction.  Today we are staying at a Holiday Inn in Flagstaff. 

We planned a route for today that we knew would be very scenic.  Shortly after crossing the Utah border on I 70, we took exit 214 which is an amazing scenic route to Moab.  We have dubbed it the “Damon route”, since our son-in-law introduced us toit.  The first several miles is rather drab.  Then all of sudden you drop into a spectacular canyon created by the Colorado River. 

At Moab we turned south and went through Monument Valley via Utah 163.  The rest of the drive to Flagstaff was scenic, but not nearly as impressive as the earlier travel today.

The weather yesterday and today was wonderful – sunny and 60s and 70s.  It was quite windy as we approached Flagstaff.  It is pretty cool in the morning and evening, but a light coat takes care of that.

That is all for this post.

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Hello from Centennial, CO

Hello from Centennial,  CO

Thursday evening – September 14, 2017   (First post of this travelogue)

I am in Centennial CO (Denver Area) staying at the Staybridge Suites.  I am teaching a Lubrication/Bearings/ Shaft Alignment for  NTT in their offices which is about a mile from here. 

So far this has been another good class.  I have 14 students.  9 of the students work at the Denver mint, three work at the Naval Ship Yard in Seattle and two work for Douglas County.

The hands-on part of the class (that is the major selling point for NTT classes) involves shaft alignment trainers.  We use basic straight edge tools, dual dial indicators and laser systems for the training.  When the students are working with the dual dial indicators, they tend to get very frustrated as it is a difficult process.  After they have done the processes (two) several times, they become much less agitated.  But all of them want to use the laser and never want to see the dial indicators again {grin}. 

We had some equipment issues (prior instructor left the sets in less than acceptable condition with some of the critical pieces missing.  Since we were in the office, we swapped the trainers out for another set and things went much smoother.  I had to leave the class room, as I was so upset that our students had to experience this kind of a mess.  I cooled off a bit and sent them home early so that we could make our plan for the next day.  Obviously my patience is not what it should be right now.

The exercises we do tomorrow are a bit easier and the students will do well and not get nearly as frustrated.

That is all for this trip.

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Hello from the Bonneville Salt Flats

Hello from the Bonneville Salt Flats

Monday morning – August 14, 2017   (First post of this travelogue)

I am on the salt watching the various cars for Bonneville Speed Week.  I heard that over 500 cars were registered.  I have attended several of these events – I think my first event was 1990.

Over the years, the salt conditions have deteriorated badly.  The brine is harvested in the winter by a mining company that gathers various chemicals.  Interestingly enough, they do not use the salt.  For many years, various groups have attempted to work with the company to convince them to  return the salt from their location on the south side of I 80 to the flats on the north side.  Token amounts have been returned but the salt thickness has gone from perhaps 6 inches when I first went to about an inch (at best) now. 

The thin salt does not let the volunteers make a smooth course.  Indeed, many of the racers have terrible problems.  I have stayed in touch with the Target 555 team (link) and they have had several drive component failures – induced by vehicle bouncing and resulting shock loads on the parts.  Interestingly, the belt drives I designed have survived very well.

Last year we drove the bus and camped at the “bend in the road” very close to the speedway.  We had a blast.  This year the bus is laid up and Pat wanted to stay close to the girls as they deal with their cancer issues.  So, I rented a car can drove to Salt Lake.  I am staying in a Motel 6 and commuting to the flats (about 100 miles each way).  I did not even try to get a room in Wendover since they are always booked up and they jack their prices sky high.

When we travel to Salt Lake our usual route is I 70 to Green River and then cut across to Price and then on to Salt Lake.  This time I decided to take I 25 to Cheyenne and then I 80 to Salt Lake.  It was fun to see different scenery for a change.  I will probably return via US 40 (a frequent route home for us)

I had read the reviews for this Motel 6 and expected to see bodies or blood stains in the room {grin}.  Instead, the place is well kept and the room is modern and clean and has all the basics.  It is an inexpensive place to hang my head at night.

I had planned to spend 3 or 4 days on the salt.  I have now reduced that to two days.  Part of the decision was the long commute, but the added cost was a factor.  In addition, many of the teams that I used to enjoy (and some I worked with) no longer attend.  Sadly, I also see the trend of big dollar teams “taking over”.  Sure there are tons of small teams, but the trend for the “big teams” is troubling.  Part of the fun in the past was looking at all the “creative” tow/push trucks and trailers.  Now, they often use standard trucks and commercial trailers {big frown}.

I still enjoy the event, but I think that I will only return when we can bring the bus.

As a side note, I am publishing this from the salt via our mifi

That is all for this post.

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Hello from Sumner, WA

Hello from Sumner, WA

Thursday morning – August 10, 2017   (First post of this travelogue)

This is the first trip since our return from Thailand.  While my previous posts covered that trip in some detail, a postscript is perhaps justified.  I had mentioned that Pat was under the weather when we got home.  She got quite sick and was finally diagnosed as having salmonella.  By itself that is not good, but since she has an autoimmune condition it was even worse.  While I was gone on this trip, she got a call from the health department to make sure she had not spread the disease.  Apparently the doctor’s office is required to report these cases.

Now back to this trip.  As you can probably guess, I am back in the Seattle area teaching another Boeing class.  This class is a 4 day class on Hamar Laser equipment and how it is used to align machining centers. NTT has been contracted by Boeing to take over their class and this is the first time we have done the class.  There are four NTT instructors here getting certified to teach the class. 

For the past several posts from here, I noted the terrible weather and the huge amount of rain that western Washington has experienced earlier this year.  As weather will do, that changed – big time!  It has been very hot and dry here.  They just set an all time record of 72 days without rain.  It was in the 90s last week, but a bit cooler this week (high 80s). 

The class this week is on day shift, which means we begin class at 6:00 AM.  That makes for a very early morning (3:45).  I often take a bit of a nap in the afternoon, but I still get screwed up on my sleep pattern (which is not good to begin with). 

I save a bit of time by eating dinner in the room most of the time.  I stop by Trader Joe’s and pick up salads for lunch and some sort of meal that I can microwave for dinner.  That works out pretty well.  I can come back to the motel and relax/nap and do not have to leave again for dinner.  The food is quite good and easy to fix.

That is all for this trip.

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Thailand Summary Part 2

Thailand Summary Part 2

Friday morning – July 28, 2017   (Eighth post of this travelogue)

I will use this final Thailand post to make some general observations about the trip.

Most of our travels around the towns were done in some very neat Toyota vans.  The model is Toyota Commuter  (link to information).  Everywhere we went there were dozens of them.  They are quite a bit wider than a normal van and comfortably hold 8 passengers.  They have 3L diesel engines and most were 5 speed manual transmissions.

Toyota Commuter

Toyota Commuter

The lane markers on the roads were, at best, “suggestions” of where the cars should be.  The drivers made tons of lane changes to avoid scooters and just plain used all of the road.  Perhaps part of the reason was that there was not a straight street in any town that we were in.  The drivers made the street a bit straighter by cutting the lanes.

Drivers were very courteous and seemed very calm.  That is a good thing, as the cars darted every which direction and streets quickly changed from 4 lane to barely two lane.

The Thai people seemed to try to keep everything as clean as possible.  Everywhere we looked, we saw them using unique brooms that were made from, my guess, rice straw.

Straw brooms

It would seem that Thailand has quite a bit of rain normally, but our visit was during the monsoon season.  We experienced some unbelievable rains – some of which lasted over an hour.  We did not experience any flooding, although one of our guides said that they do have problems at times.  As you can imagine, there was standing water everywhere, yet there were almost no mosquitoes or flies. 

I made this observation in an earlier post, but the subject still amazes me, so here goes again:  As some of you know, I tend to observe obscure things (Pat just says I am weird).  The latest is that the days here are much shorter than in Denver (because of the time of the year).  The sunrise/sunset here is:  6:15/6:49  (12 hours and 34 minutes)  vs  5:42/8:30 (14 hours and 48 minutes).  We are a bit north of 8 degrees north while Denver is a bit south of 40 degrees north latitude.

It is very obvious that Thailand (and probably all of Southeast Asia – or the world for that matter) does not have OSHA or any of the related safety regulations.  For example, the Long Tail boats would never pass Coast Guard regulations – not even close.  Another example is the scaffolding surrounding buildings.  Everywhere you looked three was very primitive bamboo scaffolds (picture).  Some were several stories high.

Bamboo Schffolding

Bamboo Schffolding

Without exception, the Thai people were very friendly and accommodating.  I tired to judge if this was just a “front” because of their huge dependence on tourism, or something basic to their culture.  I believe it was genuine.  About 80% of the Thai population is Buddhist.  While I don’t pretend to understand the religion, it would appear that a main element is to be at peace with yourself . 

One of our daughters made the observation that the temples were so lavish, yet the general  population lead very frugal lives.  That is a correct observation, but it is not unique to any religion or country.  We have seen some amazing churches and temples that spared no expense and were ornate beyond description.  The explanation is way beyond my comprehension.

I had mentioned that coffee in Thailand is almost a religion unto itself.  Everywhere you looked there were coffee shops – many very fancy.  They had all the same categories that we do (latte, espresso, Americano, etc) and it is almost like walking into a Starbucks in the states.  I suspect that most of the coffee was grown in Thailand.  My taste buds would suggest that their coffee was among the best I have tasted – anywhere.

Seven Eleven stores are everywhere.  On some streets I would guess that there could be three stores in a mile or so.  Some were pretty primitive and some were quite modern/fancy.  We did not  visit any of them, but they appeared to have about the same product format as ours.

One of our guides mentioned that the Thai people respect their elders.  Without question, they really went out of their way to help us and watch out for us.  At first it kind of upset me that they were treating me like an old man.  Then I realized that I am {grin} and embraced the help.  They really watched out for Pat as she often struggled to get in and out of vehicles/boats/etc.  In one of the airports, we were escorted away from the normal security area to a “Senior Line” that was much quicker.

Airport security was quite a bit different.  There were no long lines.  In many cases the actual security check was at the gate.  While the checks were about the same as ours, the process seemed much shorter.  Of course, Pat’s new knees set off every alarm, but they quickly made their check and there was no extra delay.

Cell phone technology was fantastic.  The speed was a bit slower than our 4G, but the towers were everywhere and we had a signal virtually everywhere we went – even on some rather remote islands.  That is the good news.  The bad news is that almost everyone was focused on their phone – almost more so than in the US.  One annoying factor is that they tend to stop in the middle of a walkway and read their phone. 

We signed up for AT&T’s International Day Pass for each phone.   That gave us service identical to our US service in all areas (data, voice, and text).  The cost was $10 per day per phone, but the value was worth it given all family health issues and the ability to stay in touch.

It would appear that a fairly high percentage of the land is farmed.  By far, the major crop is rice, but there was also a lot of corn.   In places the corn crop looked almost as robust as Iowa corn.   We did not see cattle or pig farms.  We did see a few cows now and then, but it would not appear to be enough to meet the meat demand.

Without question, the trip was fantastic.  We would not have put it on our bucket list, but since Pat earned the trip we wanted to take full advantage of the opportunity.  We got to experience a part of the world that was very different from  any of our other travels. 

Thanks for putting up with all the minutia of these posts.  As we have stated many times, the primary reason we document our travels is so that we can go back and recall some of the great times we have had the opportunity to experience.   Having said that, we are most happy that we can share these experiences with a few friends and our family.

That is all for this trip.

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Thailand Summary Part 1

Thailand Summary Part 1

Wednesday morning – July 26, 2017   (Seventh post of this travelogue)

First of all, we made it home just fine – albeit very tired.  We left the hotel in Bangkok  Friday morning at 5:00 AM local time and arrived at our house at 3:00 AM Saturday Morning,  Denver time.  (a total of 35 hours from door to door).  Our flights took us from Bangkok to Hong Kong then to Los Angeles and finally to Denver.  With the exception of the last leg, our flights were on time.  I had upgraded our seats on the last two legs to give us a bit more legroom and that really helped us survive the long hours in the planes.

I had planned to do some work on the travelogue during this travel time, but it just did not happen.  Fortunately we were able to sleep a bit on the planes and get some reading done.

Now, I need to catch up.  This post will cover the second excursion in Chiang Mai and our activity in Bangkok.  I hope to finish the travelogue with a final post that will cover several observations about our trip.

Before I start on the second day of touring, I need to mention that our dinner the previous night was quite an event.  The restaurant was very traditional with seating on the floor.  Fortunately, we were seated at tables.  In addition to a very fancy Thai meal, there was live entertainment that presented many types of Thai dancing and music. 

Our second excursion from Chiang Mai was a LONG one.  We left the hotel at 7:00 AM and arrived back just before midnight.  Our travels took us to north from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai and then onto the Golden Triangle where Thailand, Berma, and Laos intersect.  That is roughly a 400 mile round trip.

As we travelled to Chiang Rai we drove through mostly farm land.  The primary crops were corn and rice.  The rice fields are amazing.  We stopped at one point to view several rice paddies in various stages of maturity and watched workers in the field.

Rice Paddies

Workers in rice fields

Our next stop was the Wat Rong Khun temple in Chiang Rai.  It is also known as the White Temple and it is almost beyond description.  I have attached some photos that really do not do the temple justice.  We were told that this temple has been voted the second most picturesque Buddhist temple in the world and we can believe it.  A great site with lots of photos and information can be found here (well worth the visit).

Wat Rong Khun

The artist who created the temple also created a meaningful way for visitors to be part of Wat Rong Khun, by way of leaf chimes. There are thousands of metal chimes, where guests can write a prayer or message. These chimes are then stacked to create beautiful prayer trees and covered walkways.  We hung a couple of chimes with thoughts about our daughters and their families.

Hanging Chimes on tree

We next toured Baan Dam (black house) museum in Chiang Rai.  This is a compound created by the late master artist Thawan Duchanee.  The structures are mostly native teak wood and house some amazing artifacts including furniture made form wild animal horns. 

Baan Dam Museum

Baan Dam Museum

After lunch we toured the Karen Long Neck Village.  Karen is the name of the tribe rather than the name of a person.  Phil, our guide, talked with one of the women and, through translation, was able to give us some insight to their culture.  The village is really more of a “front” for selling hand made goods that the women create.  Even though the village is a bit commercial, it still has the very primitive feeling.

Our Guide Phil  interviewing one of the longneck women

Our Guide Phil interviewing one of the longneck women

Long Neck Village

Long Neck Village

Long Neck Village 2

Grandma Time

Grandma Time

Our next stop was the “Golden Triangle” which is the intersection of the borders of Thailand, Myanmar (Berma) and Laos.  We took a boat across the Makong river and visited a very primitive shopping area in Laos.  We could not go into Myanmar because that requires a visa.  It is interesting to note that all of the discussion used Berma as the country name, rather than the correct name of Myanmar.

Golden Triangle

Golden Triangle

Waiting to board boat to Laos

Waiting to board boat to Laos

 

Shopping in Laos

Shopping in Laos

After our quick visit to Laos, we started the long journey home.  We stopped for dinner at a restaurant called “cabbages and condoms”.  It turns out that this was one of a chain of restaurants in Thailand.  Quite an interesting theme, and a fun stop.

My trip home was a bit “awkward”.    I felt like I was getting car sick and that never happens to me.  Our van got stopped because of a downed powerline across the road.  I got out of the van and as soon as I did, I got sick to my stomach.  Once we got going again, I felt OK – for a short time and then got sick again.  That was the beginning of a very long night of the worst flu-like symptoms that I have ever experienced.  The symptoms lasted into the next day,  I even got sick on the plane to Bangkok.  It turns out that several folks had the same problem.  The best we can figure out is that it was some sort of food poisoning.  As I draft this, Pat is now having some of the same symptoms. 

Tuesday, we flew from Chiang Mai to Bangkok.  As noted in the last post, we stayed at the Holliday Inn Express.

I was still under the weather a bit and both of us were exhausted, so our only tourist activity was a dinner cruise on the Chao Phraya River.  It was a fun cruise with great views of the city, decent Thai buffet and a live band.

Dinner Cruise 3

Dinner Cruise 2

Live entertainment on dinner cruise

Live entertainment on dinner cruise

That is all for this post.

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Hello from Bangkok, Thailand

Hello from Bangkok, Thailand

Thursday evening  – July 20, 2017   (Sixth  post of this travelogue)

We are staying at the Holiday Inn Express Siam (link to Google Map location of hotel)

Well as usual, I am way behind on my travelogue.  I will start this post by describing the Friday night Stampin’ Up! party.  And quite a party it was.  They had a huge tent erected, arranged for Thai vendors to be present, had live Thai musicians and dancers, and had several stations with Thai food that you could choose from.  In addition, we got special flower bracelets. They even had baby elephants to greet us.  I think it took 23 buses to get everyone to that location.  I have posted two pictures.  The first is a view of the tent and the second is of Pat and I being greeted by one of the baby elephants.  He had been taught to put his truck around one of the people being greeted (note his trunk around Pat).  Without question, SU spared no cost to honor their demonstrators.

Friday Event 1

Pat Jim and elephant

As I mentioned, Friday was our travel day to Chiang Mai.

Saturday was our first of two FULL days of touring.  Our first stop was a mountain village.  We took the standard van to fairly large village and then transferred to a “taxi”  (actually the back of a pickup) and then climbed to more than 4000 feet to the wonderful and beautiful Doi Pui village.  They have lots of gardens and waterfalls and then you climb to a coffee house a few hundred feet above the village.  They pride themselves in growing great coffee.

Jim and Pat in mountain village

Poppies and Marijuana

Poppies and Marijuana

 

Our guide Phil in the village

Our guide Phil in the village

Our Taxi

Our Taxi

There is a story behind the coffee.  In one of the pictures below you will see both poppy flowers and marijuana plants.  This part of the country was a very large producer of opium (from poppy plants).  The government worked with the farmers to convert their poppy farms to coffee farms.  Apparently the effort resulted in a very significant reduction (or at least that is the story).

Coffee Beans

Coffee Beans

Our next stop was Wat Phra That Doi Suthep Buddhist temple far above the city of Chiang Mai.  We took the funicular up to the temple and observed the amazing architecture.  From there we took the “taxi” down to the main village and had lunch and visited a jade carving business.

Some Jade Carvings

Some Jade Carvings

In the afternoon we toured two more Buddhist temples:  Wat Chiang Man and Wat Para Sing.

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep Temple

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep Temple

Wat Phra Singh Temple

Wat Phra Singh Temple

We returned to the hotel to freshen up and then went to yet another Thai restaurant (can you tell that we have had our fill of Thai food?).  Indeed when we checked into the hotel in Chiang Mai, we had dinner in the restaurant on our own and Pat had a hamburger and I had a pizza.

I will cover the second tour in our next blog.

We will be leaving early tomorrow to begin our flights home.  I will try to get one or two more blogs done on the various planes.

That is all for this blog

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Hello from Chiang Mai, Thailand

Hello from Chiang Mai, Thailand

Saturday Evening  – July 15, 2017   (Sixth  post of this travelogue)

Today was our travel day from Phuket to Chiang Mai.  Our flight was a bit less than 2 hours.  It is amazing how the airlines over here treat you like humans.  They even feed you on the plane!

We are staying at the DusitD2 Hotel (link to Google Map hotel location)

This is a very nice hotel, but not quite the same level as our last two.  I have included some pictures of our room.

Chiang Mai Room 3 Chiang Mai Room 2 Chiang Mai Room 1

In the last post, I forgot to include a picture of our Thai Cooking Class instructor with her star students {grin}.

IMG_2186

Our Thursday excursion was a lot of fun.  Our first stop was a cashew processing plant.  We really did not get to see all that much, but we did see two workers hand shelling the nuts.

Hand cracking cashews

 Next we stopped at a very large Buddhist compound that had several magnificent temples

Our guide at the Buddhist compound

Our guide at the Buddhist compound

Main Buddhist TempleAnother Buddhist Temple in complex

Our next stop was an elephant reserve where we got to ride the elephants.  We are glad that we had the experience, but the gait of the elephant is such that the ride was quite rough.  The trek was perhaps a half mile through some neat scenery.  However, at the end of the ride we were ready to get back on the ground.

Our elephant waiting to give us a ride

Selfie on an elephant

Our last stop was a farm.  All of the exhibitions were examples of how farming was done many years ago.  We got to see them grind and sort rice, observe a rice paddy watch them process latex rubber from the trees and ride in an water buffalo cart. 

Monsoon rain

Monsoon rain

grinding and sorting rice

Rice paddy

Farm transportation

Having spent most of my life in the rubber industry made latex exhibition part of the tour even more interesting.  Latex or “natural” rubber derived from trees has some great properties.  However, it does not have good mechanical properties that would make it useful for belts and hoses, so I got to learn quite a bit between the demonstration and my research (link to information).

Collecting the latex rubber

Collecting the latex rubber

Processing the latex rubber

Processing the latex rubber

As soon as we arrived at the farm we experience a monsoon rain as you saw in the previous photos. 

Yesterday we were scheduled to take a heritage trip and do some shopping.  Part of the trip was a duplicate of Thursday’s trip so we decided to chill out at the resort.

And now for our discussion of the weather here:

A little rain never hurt anyone

Actually up until the last few days the weather has not been all that bad.  Yes it is hot and humid, but the grandeur of the trip makes that bearable.  Many days had light rain but it stopped fairly quickly.  Not the case with the monsoon rains the last few days.

That is all for this trip.

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Hello from Phuket, Thailand (part two)

Hello from Phuket, Thailand (part two)

Thursday morning  – July 13, 2017   (Fifth  post of this travelogue)

Tuesday our excursion was a Thai cooking class.  They bused us to a fancy Thai restaurant that also holds cooking classes.  Right after we arrived we walked to a nearby open air market (photo).  Our instructor showed us the various ingredients that we would be using and let us sample some.  When we returned we met in an air conditioned class room where the instructor prepared each of four dishes.  After she prepared each dish, we then went to an open air cooking room where each of us had a heating stove and all the ingredients to duplicate what she prepared.  That area was pretty hot and humid.

Location of our Cooking Class

At the market for our coking class

The Chefs

The Chefs

Two of the four dishes had squid in them (one was like a crab cake).  That was not our favorite ingredient, but we sampled anyway. 

After we had completed the meal preparation, they served the dishes that we prepared in a rather fancy dining room (photo).

The meal we prepard

The meal we prepard

On the way to the market we passed a large Banyan Tree that begged to be photographed.

Banyan Tree

Banyan Tree

Wednesday, we changed our plans so that I could go diving and Pat could have a down day.  I was really nervous about the dive.  It had been four years since my last dive and that dive was very marginal (both scenery and dive company).  If you have not dived in the past two years, you need to sign up for a refresher course.  Instead, I fudged the application and studied about 2 hours of video from my original diving class (2005).

The dives went very well.  It took me a couple of minutes to feel comfortable with the first dive, but after that, it went well.  Well, almost.  On the first dive my weight belt was too loose and I almost lost it and my swim trunks {grin}.  Then on the second dive I slipped on the top step going down to the dive platform and made a big scene – but no injuries.  The first dive included swimming in a “wrecked boat” (really a boat that had be sunk to provide an environment for the fish).  The second dive had great plant life and a ton of fish. 

Diving Boat

For my log book

I have shown the two dive locations – mostly for my reference.

Diving one location  (link to Google map of dive location)

 

Dive two location:  (link to Google Maps location of dive 2)

 

As has been the case for the past SU trips, we receive lots of gifts.  At the General Meeting Pat got several products and I got a neat shirt.  Then each night we recieve “pillow gifts” that are really neat.  Quite a bit of the product she has received if from the new catalog which will be released September  first – so we can’t show pictures.  However, I am including a picture of the great carry-on bag.

One of Pats pillow gifts

One of Pats pillow gifts

Today we have a great excursion, but you will have to wait for the next post to find out what it is.

That is all for this post.

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Hello from Phuket, Thailand

Hello from Phuket, Thailand

Monday afternoon  – July 10, 2017   (Fourth  post of this travelogue)

We have arrived at the Angsana Laguna Resort in Phuket (link to Google Map of resort location).  This is a five star resort that is extraordinary.   We have not had much of a chance to explore all the amenities. 

 

Here are some photos of the room.

Sign on ur door in Phuket

Sign on ur door in Phuket

Note sunken shower

Note sunken shower

Phuket room 4 Phuket room 3 Phuket room 2 Phuket room 1

Yesterday the same vans that took us around Krabi drove us to the hotel.  As the crow flies, it is perhaps 40 miles, but that is over the ocean and we had to drive quite a ways north and it took us about 2 ½ hours.

Today was the General Meeting in the morning.  We were bussed off property by some neat little busses (photo).  They announced the 2019 incentive trip – a cruise of the Greek Islands!!!  Next year the trip is a cruise to Alaska and Pat will earn that trip in the very near future.

Buses to take us to the General Meeting

Buses to take us to the General Meeting

Now I need to catch up on the rest of the Krabi trip.  In the last post, I forgot to mention that on Friday we had a one hour Thai Massage before we went to dinner.  At times they applied a lot of pressure to various muscles and that was a bit painful, but the overall result was a body with reasonably relaxed muscles.

Saturday was our second full day of touring.  We took a speed boat to the huge Island of Phi Phi (pronounced pee pee).  We made several stops around the island.  One included lunch in the main village on the island (link to Google Map location)

 

 

If you look on the map, Phi Phi island is about equidistant from Krabi and Phuket.  As I mentioned previously, the geology of this area is amazing.  I have included some photos of the huge rock formations.  I texted one photo to Thomas (grandson working on his masters in geology) and here was his reply:  “ I was looking at some maps and papers and it looks like that whole peninsula you guys are on is an old volcanic arc, definitely a great sampling of rocks then!”   Sometimes we are amused at his love of rocks {big grin}

Rock formations 4 Rock formations 3 docked for lunch in Phi Phi

Our Speed Boat (center)

Our Speed Boat (center)

We returned from Phi Phi around 3:30 and freshened up at the resort before going to yet another great Thai restaurant. 

As some of you know, I tend to observe obscure things (Pat just says I am weird).  The latest is that the days here are much shorter than in Denver (because of the time of the year).  The sunrise/sunset here is:  6:15/6:49  (12 hours and 34 minutes) vs  5:42/8:30 (14 hours and 48 minutes).  We are a bit north of 8 degrees north while Denver is a bit south of 40 degrees north latitude.

At the resort, we are on our own for several meals.  Stampin’ Up! deposited $460 in our checking account to compensate us for those meals that are not furnished.  It is an amazing company that really understands and rewards the demonstrators that are fundamental to their business.  Pat has been a demonstrator for 18 years and I have not observed any decline in the benefits they give to their valuable assets.

That is all of this post.

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