Thursday, May 20, 2010

Chiang Rai, My Cousins Rachie, Nate, and OOSHKI!

After our first night in Bangkok, it was back to the airport again for Christa and I to catch our flight north to see my cousin Rachel, her husband Nate, and their pooch Ooshki! Elliott and Ruben decided they'd go with us and try to figure out how to get somewhere for an extended stay while we were up north. As Christa and I attempted to check our bags (we were there way too early), Ruben and Elliott found a travel desk. In a matter of 15 minutes with a representative, they had a one-way ticket and 6 nights booked in Phuket, Thailand! So rad. Once again, our group parted ways, and with about 7 hours before our boarding time, Christa and I found lunch and wi-fi.

Around 5pm, we were finally able to check in to our flight and dump our backpack. We sat at our gate, people-watched at the gate, and read our books (Trevor - Me Talk Pretty One Day; Christa - Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang). And again, we boarded, departed, and finally arrived to the place we would manage to stay for 10 days . . . CHIANG RAI!!!

Okay, so it looks a little dismal in this picture, but might I remind you that it rains here nearly everyday right now. Sometimes it will downpour, and surprisingly, it is the best and most enjoyable part of the day--especially when it reaches 95 degrees outside. This picture was actually taken the day after we arrived, so let me rewind to arriving into Chiang Rai late into the evening.

We met Rachel and Nate at the airport, loaded up our bags in their little pick-up, and headed straight back to their beautiful home on the outskirts of town. Driving through Chiang Rai at 9pm (right at the curfew for their city) was an interesting sight, quite comparable to a ghost town as their were no cars, scooters, or people out on the street. We managed to get a great run-down from Rachel as we sat in the bed of the pick-up with the evening air blowing through our hair (well, Rachel and Christa's hair...ha).

Once we arrived to their house, we were greeted by the other dwellers/friends/volunteers: (Brady, Zack, and Deirdre). We broke the ice, made new friends, and got busy playing an intense game of Apples to Apples.

It was a great first night, and although this is a short post, you can only imagine the great stories I will be bringing you in the next ten days as we volunteer on Saturdays with The SOLD Project, travel the northern part of Thailand, make a two-night trip to Chiang Mai, possibly visit Burma and/or Laos, and even ride some elephants!

Next up on The Dandygram: First Day in Chaing Rai, Thai Lovin, and (Vietnamese) Pho!

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