Big Pete's POV
Today was our first full day in Thailand. Our drive in last night was in pitch black, so we had no idea what the surrounding area looked like. Stacie and I woke up at 5 AM when we both heard what sounded like a drunken reveler right outside our door. I turned to her and said - "what the hell is that?" She just shrugged and rolled over. I jumped out of bed to see where the noise was coming from. When I opened the door I could tell the voice was coming from right across the street and was being amplified by a loudspeaker - it was a call to prayer from the mosque across the street. It was still pitch black when we got up, but soon the sky began to lighten and before we knew it we were standing on a picture perfect beach right in front of our house.
Our house is in a new development for the island and is very nice. It is built in a Thai style with separate rooms for everything and a center deck connecting it all.
We went for a long stroll along the beach and got a better feel for our home for the next two weeks. The majority of the beach is made up of very casual restaurants and boutique resorts. It is not fancy, completely laid back, and a place where you could certainly lose a lot of time. If you can't relax here, good luck relaxing.
We needed to stock up on some supplies from the house and decided to head into town. We are about halfway down the island and the only supplies you can get here come from the mini-mart or the 7-11 - yep 7-11 on a tiny island in Thailand. We decided to rent some scooters from the place across the street and load up our backpacks with the groceries. We had no problem making it into the main town and we quickly found Lanta Mart - the main grocery store, which seems to have imported every item they have from the USA. In all of our travels around the world I have never seen so many American grocery products. We loaded up on some basics and then headed back to the house. The island is not very developed at all. There are empty lots filled with trash, broken down homes, small shops and the occasional resort, but it all adds to the relaxed vibe, this is certainly not Maui.
Stacie quickly dove into a juicy watermelon, the kids ran to the beach and I decided to go get some lunch. I walked about 50 yards down the beach to the Miami Restaurant.
I ordered a beer, some prawn curry and naan and sat back and relaxed while reading a book. I think I could have sat there forever, it was so relaxing. I ended up having to order another beer because the curry was hot and I needed something cold. At least that was the excuse I told myself. When it came time to settle up I got my bill from the waiter and did the conversion my meal cost $4 and the beers were $6. In Hawaii the same meal would have cost me $50 - I like it here!
After lunch I went back to the house and Peter announced that he was hungry, so we went back to the Miami. After he ate we headed back to the house for an afternoon nap. As a little side note, be prepared for some really boring daily dumps over the next two weeks. We are in full on relax mode and plan on doing a whole lot of nothing. This is a time for reflection, relaxation and preparation for arriving back in the real world.
After our nap it was happy hour, so Stacie and I went back to the Miami for a drink. As we were sitting down I looked out at the horizon and was a little bummed out because the clouds went all the way to the water. Typically this means a poor sunset and I was looking forward to getting some good pictures.
We had heard a lot about the sunsets here and having our first one be a dud was disappointing, but the night was beautiful and we settled in for a little alone time. Then it happened, the sky exploded with a riot of colors and every minute it kept getting more and more intense.
I could have taken a thousand pictures - it was the most stunning sunset I have EVER seen - easily.
We had a couple Mojito's and then the kids arrived for dinner.
The dinner was great and we all had too much to eat. By 8:30 we were all spent from a day in the sun and running around the island. We went on out super long 90 second walk back to the house and were greeted by the sound of our next door neighbors living it up. They are from somewhere in Asia and they were here to unwind - clearly.
Stacie and I watched the latest Modern Family in bed and by 10:00 she was asleep and I was still listening to the neighbors screaming at the top of their lungs. It was loud and I had earplugs in. I went over to say hello and they just waived and said "sorry". Before long I was fast asleep.