During the Christmas holiday, our family decided not to subject ourselves to the costly and freaking-time-consuming experience that is going to the US, and instead we opted to stay closer to home: Thailand.
We were there for 10 days, and while I could sit here and recap every single thing that we experienced, I don't feel like getting Carpal Tunnel Syndrome today, and I'm pretty sure you don't want to go through what would surely be the literary equivalent of looking at someone's vacation slides!
So, in order to consolidate information, I am going to briefly touch on our trip while using a popular holiday song:
On the twelve days of Christmas, the universe gave to us:
1 stomach virus that we ALL shared at one point or another during the holiday. Combine that with a hotel in which the water pressure was almost non-existant, as well as the maid service and fresh towels, and it could turn into The Stuff That Nightmare Vacations Are Made Of. Fortunately, we soldiered through.
2 ferry rides to and from Phi Phi Island. All I am going to say about that is that ferry rides sound better in theory than they are in reality. Especially with kids. Sick kids.
3 nights of eating at Gastone's, an awesome Italian restaurant that we found one block away from our hotel in Phuket. They had good food (gnocchi with gorgonzola sauce! Caprese salad!) and VERY generous pourings of wine, so needless to say that after a week of eating the same food on Phi Phi Island (and drinking the same bad chardonnay), Gastone's was like paradise.
4 sick people who took turns being miserable and bed-ridden. That is really all I am going to say about that. You're welcome.
5 hours door-to-door to any hotel in Phuket (including airport time and the taxi ride from the airport). You just cannot get better than that.
6 families reuniting. We traveled to Thailand to meet up with 5 other families, a big gang of us who all met when we lived in Doha. Some still live in Doha, some live in Vietnam, others in Jakarta and some live in Singapore. But for 11 days, it was as if we were all still back in the desert together again. Except, of course, that instead of a desert, we had a beach! A nice one, too. So, really, it was the BEST reunion possible.
I'm not going to lie, though- all of us with our two kids per family? It was like a circus parade everywhere we went. But we were back together again, so how could it possibly bother us? Bother everyone around us? Maybe. But bother us? Not in the least.
Another truth being revealed here is that we did not go ONE SINGLE meal in a restaurant without at least one panicked person saying, "Wait- where is my kid???". Those kids were fast and wily, and they ganged up on us.
7 days of vomit. Yep, between the four of us, there were only FOUR days when no one threw up at least once. Not to be boring or redundant by throwing up in...oh, say a TOILET, the list of places where our kids threw up included the middle of the bed, the breakfast table in the hotel restaurant, and in the taxi on the way to the airport.
8 episodes of "Elementary". I had to do SOMETHING while I was holed up in the hotel room with sick kids, so I caught up on this show. I had been saving the episodes for such an occasion, and I watched all eight of the episodes that I'd accumulated.
I am a HUGE fan of the BBC series "Sherlock", so I was a bit nervous about the new American version of Sherlock Holmes. All I can say it that it did not disappoint. It almost made sitting in the room while everyone else was out kayaking or romping on the beach worth it.
9 tantrums daily. So, I think that by now we all know how well Skye reacts to ANYTHING when she is at home in her usual routines, right? Well, take her OUT of those routines and throw in a new, strange place, along with a dodgy stomach and then just imagine the possibilities!
That is pretty much all I can say about that without withdrawing into some kind of toddler-induced PTSD and crawling into the corner to chew on my hair.
10 kids surrounding. All the time! See my previous explanation of the 6 families, and remember that we had AT LEAST 10 kids around us at all times.
The kids had a ball, and the parents actually got some time to relax and hang out, because there is no better babysitter than other kids. Well, with parental supervision, of course. We like to keep some semblance of responsibility.
11 pizzas eaten. You know how our kids aren't the most adventurous eaters on the planet? Well, throw in some vegetarianism and the fact that being on an island meant that every menu pretty much consisted of seafood or chicken, and the result is that they ate pretty much nothing but pizza and french fries the whole time.
Skye would try some vegetable pad thai once in a while, but as far as Kaia was concerned, if it wasn't covered in cheese or ketchup, she wasn't eating it. No, she was not.
12 My Little Ponies. That was the extent of Skye's Christmas list, so our room literally looked like a My Little Pony factory exploded and our kids looted the aftermath.
Well, that pretty much covers our trip to Thailand. So tell me, what did YOU do during your holidays?