Monday, March 24, 2008
Saturday, March 22, 2008
The next morning was my departure date. I said goodbye to the kids in the evening before and luckily I know I'll see them again this summer, so it wasn't a teary goodbye. As we drive to the airport we pass the 13 km bridge that connects their island to the mainland.
Then we arrived at the airport. Jode and I said our goodbyes and were on our way. I'll actually get to see her again in a few weeks as she has to come to a city near me to take a course, so I'm looking forward to that. Goodbye Malaysia. Who knows if I'll ever see you again, but thanks for hosting me not once, but twice. You are a beautiful country.
I had a wonderful trip and it was extremely hard to come back ... especially when you wake up to this the next morning. I couldn't believe how many times it snowed here this year. Anyways, that was back in January and much has happened since then. Thank you for taking this tour of Southeast Asia with me. Back to the real world ... until my next trip! :)
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Last days ... on Phi Phi Island (you thought I was finishing my posts of my trip? No, I'm not done my tour quite yet!)
So, after a long day of snorkeling, we went and showered and chilled in our rooms for awhile. This was a common scene in our room. Ashtyn really did sit like that quite often. Whatever's comfortable, right? And I just love her hat. She's so cute. Yesterday was Syd's 15th birthday! Happy Birthday, Syd. You have turned into SUCH a great kid. Thank you for not being too cool to hang out with your old Aunt. :)
Monday, March 10, 2008
Anyways, my past snorkeling experiences have consisted of: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico - I'd never really put my fears to the test so I jumped off the boat into the deep, dark water and immediately started hyperventilating and sucking in the salt water causing me to gag. I back paddled to the shore and sat there until the bell rang on the boat to leave and my friend Darrin had to pretty much piggy back me to shore (I wish I could find the picture of me with my fingernails dug into the poor guys shoulders). Great Barrier Reef, Australia - yeah, didn't happen. I had some good beach time while my friend Greg went and saw one of the wonders of the world - I'm such an idiot. Cancun, Mexico - Brenda finally got me out there. It was in a waterpark called Xel-Ha that's pretty much a bay that had a gate that really large outside fish couldn't get through (which was fine by me). I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it. I could see the bottom and that's what mattered.
Fast forward to present time on Phi Phi Island. My sister's whole family was talking about going snorkeling and I just sat there quietly until, I believe it was Ashtyn, asked me, "You're going to come, too, right Auntie Fiona?" I said, "Well, Ash, I'll come, but I can't promise that I'll snorkel." She didn't seem too pleased with that, but my sister talked to them about the fact that we all have fears and that this was mine and they would have to leave me alone and let me decide for myself. My bro-in-law took me out the day before with their snorkel gear and helped me practice. Walking in from the beach and slowly lowering yourself in is a lot different than jumping off the side of a boat into the deep water, but it was good practice to swim out farther and farther. My b-i-l was trying to teach me how to breathe with the snorkel and that sometimes it can be hard because it seems so un-natural. I said, "Dude, it's not the breathing I have a hard time with. I'm scared of the fish touching me!" Why? I don't know. What can they really do to me. They're the size of my hand and smaller ... most of them. Anyways, it was good to practice and see what I'd be missing out on.
Here we are getting on the boat. My palms are already clammy.
Remember Ashtyn asking me if I'd go snorkeling? Well, she didn't want to take a small boat and the large boat was too expensive for us all to go on, so I made her a deal. I said that if she put her fears aside for us to take the small boat, then I promised I would get out there and snorkel. Poor girl. Here she is on the small boat hiding her face. Her and I have opposite fears. I'm afraid to be IN the water and she's afraid to be ON the water. Thanks Ashtyn!
As I was looking on Wik.i.ped.ia to find this picture, I learned a little more about the lion fish ...
A Lionfish is any of several species of venomous marine fish. The lionfish are voracious predators. When they are hunting, they corner prey using their large fins and then use their lightning quick reflexes to swallow the prey whole. The venom of the spines is extremely painful, and lionfish are recommended for only the careful aquarist.
Nice. I'm glad I didn't know that while I was enamored and thinking, "Ooooh, aren't you a pretty fish!"