Travel: Thailand day 1-3

We had a 9 days trip to Thailand during new year break and we had a blast!!! Thailand is such an interesting city, no doubt one of the most visited asian country in the world! πŸ™‚
Day 1: We had an early flight and arrived Bangkok around 9am. After check-in at the hotel in the historical area, which is pretty chaotic, we started our day tour. First stop was Wat Pho, a gigantic incline buddha

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before we arrived thailand, I told Sofia that we’ll going to see many buddhas, and she asked me who is that. I couldn’t explain, just ask her to wait until she sees one. Well…. happy to inform that now she knows what’s a buddha. πŸ™‚

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because there were buddha everywhere πŸ™‚

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then we attempted to go to the palace. i said attempt because the car can’t reach there, we had to walk. it was 1pm, the sun was brutal. After walking for 10 min and still didn’t see it close enough, we gave up and returned to the car

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next stop was Khaosan road. They say it’s the backpackers paradise, with many bars/restaurants, street foods and street vendors

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then we called it a day as we were all very exhausted from the early rise.

Day 2: instead of taking another taxi, we tried the local “tutu”, an open motorcycle that can carry up to 5 adults. The kids love it and asked to ride on it everyday. πŸ™‚

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although it’s not as comfortable nor as safe as a car, it is quite interesting, it gets more air, goes faster and really fun ride.

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after a big of back and force (the driver took us to a place where the boat guy wanted to charge us 3000 for the boat ride), we arrived our pier after negotiating to 2000 for a private boat to the floating market

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it was a comfortable boat and relaxing ride along the canal

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girls had fun, which is always the most important part of the journey

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and we arrived. it was not as big as we saw in the pictures but we got the experience

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and tried some local snacks

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which made the ride back to the pier even more interesting

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took another tutu heading to the weekend market chatuchak, I’d say a must visit place!

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it’s a huge market with many cloth/artisanal/food/house items vendors. With the girls we couldn’t see much but we got a coconut lamp for Sofia

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then we had a quick lunch there

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after resting at the hotel, we went to BigC to get some local snacks and dinner

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the night just got started!

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Day 3: our destination was an old city called Chantaburi. Originally i planned to stay there one night to make our way to Ko Chang Island not as long. We asked at the hotel to rent a private van and it was 5500 baht! I felt they wanted to rip us so declined. Instead we took the local van service from Bangkok and Chantaburi, a public transportation, which cost 280 baht per person. I booked for 5 people since we had luggage. I was a bit worried the condition of the van and how girls would do in public transportation. We arrived the bus station. first impression: not too bad. It was clean, open air, and many tourists.

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the van takes 10 people, so we were quite comfortable. The girls were entertained during 4 hrs ride with one stop. Sofia did drawing, Lizzy played with stickers, and we all snacked along the way. Too many snacks!!!

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then we arrived the Chantaburi station, a very small one.

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we quickly found a local taxi, an open truck to get us to the hotel

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quite an adventure riding on it. Our hotel Tamajun caught us for surprise, it was a boutique hotel with themed rooms, super clean, modern, a bit bohemian. Perfect!

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I booked two rooms, one for Tony and Lizzy, one for me and Sofia

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while Lizzy took her nap, Sofia and I went out to explore the city. We first had coconut ice-cream

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Sofia got the cone, and I got a bowl. Loved the toppings.

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it’s an old street along the canal. the mix of old houses and westernised bars/restaurants made it very interesting. We could see the local people and their homes as we walk. They just chilled and observed us back.

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got a street snack: a rice cake with some unknown filling

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there were no foreigners, only thai tourists

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then Tony and Lizzy woke up and we explored more, Tony tried grilled seafood

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the canal is beautiful during sunset, so peaceful and calm

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the largest church in thailand

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then we went to the most popular restaurant

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first got smoothies for the girls

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the problem was we didn’t understand the menu which was in thai. So Tony peaked our neighbour and basically ordered what they had. A seafood hot pot

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food was nice and cheap.

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then we took Lizzy to try the ice cream too and she liked it more than dinner… no surprise πŸ™‚

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we all fell in love with Chantaburi. in contrast to Bangkok, a big city, very chaotic, with tourists and vendors everywhere, Chantaburi felt more local, laid back, but with history and culture blended in. More to explore the next day.

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Christmas 2017

Our Christmas celebration was low key, yet we felt the spirit, had good food, and most importantly we spent it and continued our Christmas traditions and made memories. πŸ™‚

December 24th started with some Christmas movie

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mommy even allowed them to eat in front of the TV

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For lunch we had quick bites… pasta for the girls, and toasts with avocado and homemade smoked salmon for adults

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after nap, we went to Shangri-La hotel for gingerbread man decoration

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Sofia was getting ready

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she meant real business

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she was really proud of the final product!

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Christmas decoration everywhere

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Dinner started with tomato soup with toast

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followed by beef bourgeoning with mashedΒ potato (out of this world!!! soooo good!!!)

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we had mocha frozen mousse for dessert… again amazing! Definitely a keeper

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because the mousse has alcohol (coffee liquor) I got strawberries ice creams for the girls. They happily enjoyed it

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Then we went to check whether Santa has came.. and he did!

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Sofia was super surprised! She couldn’t believe Santa actually came already and brought her what she asked for in the card, a necklace with “S”

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surprisingly, Santa also remembered mom and got her a advent calendar with goodies (thanks my dear husband!)

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Lizzy got a backpack that she was excited to wear it and run around

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December 25th

First, San Nicholas left a bag with chocolates with the girls

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then we made birthday cake for mommy, Sofia helped with cleaning the pans

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then we head over Tsuta, the first Michelin rated ramen

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it looked good but we didn’t like it much, too salthy, too greasy, even the ramen was not super good

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then we took nap, played, ate leftovers, and it was time for birthday cake

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having my loved ones singing the song for me was all I wanted

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I felt so much love just being with them. I don’t need fancy dinner, nor expensive gifts, but having them with me every birthday, just relaxed, just together means the world to me. I truly cherish these moments. Happy birthday to me! πŸ™‚

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after cake, we watched more Christmas movie, with popcorns while mommy read the birthday card, picked by Sofia, written by my lovely husband. No matter how long we’ve been together, no matter I many times I hear the same words, they never get old. Every time I feel my heart is full of love. πŸ™‚

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Lizzy: 20 months

The last 8 months was huge developmentally for Lizzy. She became more outgoing, social, funny, out speaking, and sweet. It seems that each day she’d learn a new word or action that would surprises us. Please pause this moment because it’s the best so Β far!!! πŸ™‚

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her bound with Sofia really got stronger since we moved to the Philippines. Not only she’d look for her sister when Sofia is not around. She’d grab Sofia’s hand when walking outside. And when Sofia is not feeling well, she’d go to her, trying to comfort her, or just to be there for her sister. She’s such a compassionate, sweet girl.

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her facial expression and her little hands and feet are soooo cute! I know every parent would say so about their kids, but seriously…. look at her…. so cute

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she also likes to make silly faces when taking selfies nowadays

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Sleeping: despite many disruptions in term of traveling and settling in a new country, overall her sleeping has been good, especially at night. When we’re not traveling, she sleeps in her own room. We’d start night routine (bath, milk, and song) around 7pm, and I’d leave her room around 7:20pm. Sometimes she’d cry a bit but usually stops within 2-3 min. When she sleeps with us while traveling, she’d wake up earlier than usual because she doesn’t want to miss any action. And it’s super cute that she’d semi-cry/call us in the morning. Most of the times we wouldn’t respond to her if it’s before 6am, and if Sofia is awake, Sofia will answer her.

Lizzy: jia jia (sister)

Sofia: ey…

Lizzy: jia jia

Sofia: ey

and repeat until both of them fell asleep again.

During nap time, Lizzy wants someone to be in her room until she fell asleep. During the week, the helper would put her to sleep. On weekend, I’d do it. Usually she’d be asleep within 20 min. But if Tony tries to put her to sleep, she wouldn’t sleep, all she wants is to play with daddy. πŸ™‚

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when she’s awake, she’s a happy girl, but sometimes she’d wake up crying as if someone interrupts her sleep. I’d just let her cry until she’s over the discomfort.

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this girl loves going out, especially since we moved to the Philippines and had been traveling a lot. Whenever I say, let’s go, she’d go to the shoe rack running and try to find her shoe to be ready. πŸ™‚

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Eating: all over the place. She’s not a big eater unless it’s fruit. She wants to eat fruit all the time and all kinds. She also likes pouches. She doesn’t like carbs like other kids. She rarely eats bread. Sometimes she’d have crackers. So for breakfast, usually she’d have some fruit and eggs. For main meals, she’d have some noodles, and fish. Oh yes, she loves fish and always wants some if we’re eating it. But overall, she’s not a big eater and doesn’t eat a lot junk either. We just follow her lead. She does love milk. Before nap and night sleep, she’d happily have a 7-8 oz. of milk by herself. I’d say that’s her comfort food.

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She loves going to playgrounds. She loves exploring the place with the company of an adult usually.

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she also likes to be around her sister when Sofia has a playdate. Although she can’t play with them, she loves to follow them

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many times Sofia and her friend will play with her as Lizzy were a doll

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she started going to daycare when we arrived here. At first she was crying for a while when Tony leaves the class, but lately she does well and loves playing with her friends

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she likes activities, music, snack time

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she didn’t like mess her hands and clothes at first, but slowly she saw that these could be fun and she now enjoys art activities

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she’s very easy to travel with too. We went to Bohol for 5 days and she did great.

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she took naps when she needed without much fuss

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she LOVES going to the pool and is fearless

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she particularly loves singing and playing with Sofia, they entertainment themselves for 2.5 hrs on our way from the airport to home

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she loves her mama chatting with her in the mornings…. what a lovely smile

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but sometimes she gets mad and gives me an attitude too… which I find it super cute as well

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Language development:Β big time. She now can say 5 words in mandarin. She says words in english learned from school (she can count until six), say please, thank you, etc. She knows many words in spanish (agua, abrir, comer, si), and chinese. When I speak to her with instructions, she can usually follow, such as ask her to find something in her room. She’d go alone and pick it from the big mess what I ask her for. πŸ™‚

Her personality is coming out more and more these days. At the similar age, Sofia was not as outgoing as Lizzy but obviously things changed a lot for Sofia. So far Lizzy is showing her compassion, outgoing, social, flexible personality to us. I love seeing her grow.

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