Formerly known as "Cruzers in Korea"

Friday, December 4, 2009

Phuket, Thailand!

Friday, December 4, 2009
For this past Thanksgiving break, the family went on an Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) trip to Phuket, Thailand. These trips are good package deals that are subsidized by the military. Our anniversary happens to fall over Thanksgiving break so that usually makes for some good celebrating and relaxing.

Phuket was my kind of break. Lounging on a gorgeous beach and saddling up to the pool bar is my idea of a great vacation. Carol and I both enjoy sightseeing but we're not one of these couples that breaks out the Frommer's Travel Guide and does the Bataan Death March to get all the check in the block tourist sites in. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I just don't like to feel like I worked a double shift when I'm on vacation.

Prior to takeoff, Jake reviews the safety specifications of the airplane.

On almost every trip, the boys' favorite thing seems to be the hotel pool. Nothing wrong with that.

Speaking of pool bars, here's CJ enjoying a nice mocktail. I have to admit that I got caught reading "Twilight" by a Navy buddy while lounging poolside. I might as well have been drinking a Fresca too. Hey, I was just trying to find out what all this hype is about.

We took a boat ride out to Phi Phi Island. Leonardo Dicaprio did a movie here called, "The Beach" a few years back. Unfortunately for Jake, he was behaving pretty badly so I had to take him to "The Bathroom" on "The Beach" for some attitude adjustment. I was gonna say "The Beating" to keep the not-so-clever alliteration going, but we don't do that to our kids - everyday. Kidding of course. Don't want any Child Protective Services folks "beating" down our door.

It reminded me of the place where they found King Kong or where "Survivor" gets taped. Very beautiful. By the way, "ph" is pronounced with a "p" sound. For example, Phuket is pronounced "pooket" and Phi Phi is pronounced "pee pee." After going to the bathroom on the island, it was cool to be able to say that I went pee pee on Phi Phi Island.

CJ enjoying the crystal clear water.


Jake was wiped out after Phi Phi Island. This is CJ making fun of his little brother on the boat ride back. Notice Jake's half opened eyes while he's sleeping. This is an unattractive trait that runs in the Cruz family. I've been accused of sleeping with my eyes open. I can't confirm this of course because I'm usually asleep when trying to confirm this accusation.

Gotta do an elephant ride while in Thailand! Warning. It is a bumpy ride. Lots of fun though. The scenery was breathtaking. Especially when Carol's elephant took a BMW sized dump right in front of us. That was worth the price of admission. Of course I caught it on video.

Here's our elephant rider.

Here's our elephant rider digging for gold in his ears with this green little stick thing. He was going to town with that thing! I couldn't take my eyes off of him. It was like watching a train wreck. And then he switched ears. My goodness. In my mind I was saying to myself, "For the love of God, please don't put the green stick in your mouth!" I'm convinced that if I would've videotaped this ear digging and put it on Youtube, it would've gone viral.

I love this picture. I think this elephant was born and raised in captivity. They are still an endangered species. Although this specific safari company had a good reputation for taking care of their elephants, they did show us this hook type instrument they use to prod the elephants to move in certain directions. I was not a fan of that hook. Besides, I didn't want Carol to get any ideas.

Truly amazing creatures.

Now that was a fun family outing.

Beautiful Patong Beach. The beach was a very short walk from the hotel. There's someone parasailing in the background. There were also some topless Europeans on this beach. In this instance, it was a good thing that CJ can't see very well without his glasses.

Creating our sand castle masterpiece.

After we constructed our multi-layer fortress masterpiece, Carol put a feminine touch to our manly work by adding starfish and seahorse accents. Dang it woman!

The boys modeling their new necklaces. CJ got a shark's tooth and Jake opted for an elephant. Of course Jake had to get his best buddy Hannah a matching necklace too.

Sipping on a coconut on Patong Beach. Carol's putting on a good front for the camera. She thought the coconut milk was nasty.

Big old jellyfish. Either that or my elephant rider finally picked out what he was digging for.

The only thing wrong with this trip was that it was too short. We could've easily stayed out there another week or so. Work calls though. Along with the beaches and seeing some of the sights, we did a good bit of shopping and had some really good Thai food. Finding Thai food was a lot more difficult than I thought it was going to be though. It reminded me of trying to find good Chinese food in Hong Kong. Impossible!

I've had two trips to Pattaya Beach, Thailand for work in support of the Cobra Gold military exercise. While many folks enjoy Pattaya, the adult playground thing just wasn't my speed. Maybe a few years back it would've been fun, but not anymore. It actually left a sour taste in my mouth for reasons I won't go into here. So coming to Phuket with the family was not only a great vacation. It was also a reclamation of sorts, helping to erase the negative vibes I had about Thailand because of my Pattaya experience. Phuket was simply awesome.

Hope everyone out there is doing well. Until next time -- C2


Phuket Hotels Thailand

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