Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving and Mom's Birthday

Thanksgiving day we spent at the Kalina's with Dave, Peg, Britt, Luke, Marla, Gary, Me and Grant. We had a good time eating lots of food, cracking jokes, and playing fruit salad. For some reason we were so into the games and fun that we didn't take any pictures :( dangit!

On Friday night we ventured to Melrose to watch the annual holiday lights parade with Uncle Darrell, Aunt Suzette, Jake, Jenna, Cody, Mom and Dad. It was a good time as usual ;) We all piled into the Impala at the farm and sang loudly the whole 3 miles to town before watching the parade and then the fireworks. Afterwards we had some hot cocoa and watched the snowmobiling trip movie Grant had made.

Saturday was another Thanksgiving and a birthday celebration for Mom! The Stanleys joined us for lots of food and visiting as well as a round of Banana-grams that Heather won, of course. The other Hinnenkamps came over in the evening so Chris could tutor Jake on some math problems and we ate lots of pie (that Mom made from scratch with crust 'as tender as her heart' hehe) and birthday cake!

Hinnenkamp Family Photo 2010
Front: Chris, Bear, Me, Junebug, Grant and Everest
Back: Heather, Ella, Mom and Dad

Schnell Family Photo ;)
Grant, Everest, Me and Junebug

Ella with Gramma Vickie and Grampa Marv

We had lots of fun at the Thanksgiving festivities!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Back in MN!

We made it all the way back home after a loooooooong time traveling from Thailand! Ella was pretty pumped ;) And check out her new outfit!

made it to chicago! Gettin

made it to chicago! Gettin closer to home :)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Flying home today :(

Tonight we fly out of Bangkok. So, today we're just hanging out around Kasetsart University Campus. We're visiting with Achi and her family at their house right now so I'm borrowing the internet ;) Marla's not feeling well so she's back at the room sleeping. If she feels better in time we might go see the Grand Palace before we fly out. I'll let you know when we make it to Chicago sometime Sunday morning!!
The whole time we were in Thailand Grant kept talking about how he wanted to drive a scooter. So, the last day, Achi brought her scooter to where we were staying so Grant could try it!
Getting instructions ;)
Grant and I goin for a ride!

Achi kept talking about these 'commodores' and how gross they are and that they live all around the area. We saw one from the car one day and today we saw another and got a pic! It's a big reptile thingy - cool!

Jing, Sukanya, Sarewat and Achi at their house.

We had some fried noodles for lunch on campus.

And some yummy dessert.

Then we went and checked out the challenge course.

Achi trying out the rope bridge.

Grant made it all the way across! Totally thought he was gonna go for a swim in that murky water!

Check out this elliptical on water! Achi couldn't quite figure out how to steer it - she had some issues getting back to the dock ;)

Me and Grant on another rope thing.


Achi's turn!

Grant on the SonSport stuff again. He loved it ;)
We stopped at Sukanya's sister's house to have supper before heading to the airport.
Marla still wasn't feeling well so rested here. We had some craziness trying to figure out if they could switch their flight back and then we made several stops at several doctors until they got a note saying she wasn't well enough to fly. So, Grant and I went with Achi, Sarewat and Sukanya into Bangkok and they dropped us off at the airport while Gary and Marla went back to the campus to stay another night. They ended up getting a flight back to the US a couple days later when Marla was feeling better - thank goodness!
We had a great time experiencing Thailand!! Thank you Achi, Sukanya, Sarewat and Jing!!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Ayutthaya Thailand

We stayed at Kasetsart Campus again last night and this morning ate at the cafeteria. We had rice again with some fixings ;) Then we drove about an hour and a half north to Ayutthaya. Apparently that was the capital of Thailand about 600 years ago. We walked around and saw some cool old temple ruins, watched people riding elephants, saw a very large buddha and did some shopping at a market! We love Thai markets ;)

Grant praying to the humongous Buddha!

Just a lil' shoppin ;)

Grant trying out the hammock we bought later. Because we have so many trees at our townhome?! I guess we just couldn't resist and maybe someday we'll have trees!

A tasty treat that's like a really thin crepe that you put some stringy sugar inside and roll up to eat! It even talked about this in our 'Thailand' book. Apparently, it's something you have to get when you're in Ayutthaya!

Then we had lunch at a cute little place not far from there. Grant, Marla and I had pad thai - yum! Grant also had a coconut drink ;)

Sukanya and Sarewat had some new food we hadn't seen before. It had some veggies and fish and then some noodles separately and you mix it up with whatever you want. After lunch we stopped at another temple and saw 'Big Buddha' as Sarewat called it. Even bigger than the last one!!

Us and Buddha ;)

Can you believe how big that is??? You should have seen it in person!! Crazy! See the people kneeling at the bottom of the pic? And there's Grant taking a pic down there ;)

It was huge and pretty awesome to see!! Apparently it is the biggest one Sarewat said. They were doing a ceremony where they were putting orange cloths draped around its shoulder. It's pretty cool they let us take part in all these things. Grant got right in there and knelt down and had some cloths on his head and everything. Apparently the guy next to him put it on him ;) The temple was called Phanan Choeng.

Then we also stopped and checked out the Bang Pa-In Palace. It was very pretty!

Lots of turtles swimming around in the water!

Kids going home from school outside the palace.

After we were done we met Achi and Jing for pizza at a place called the Pizza Company in Nakhon Pathom.

We also had some DQ for dessert ;) It was American food night tonight! It was interesting to see the sizes of their DQ blizzards - I'm pretty sure their large is the size of that new itty bitty small one we have in America.

Maybe that's a clue we need to downsize a little :) hehe. It was tasty though and they had some different flavors like green tea blizzard?! We stopped at a shopping place to get some treats too and I saw some shrimp flavored Pringles?! Fun stuff.

Grant and Achi at the store.

Then we just headed back for some sleep!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Driving South from Chiang Mai

We woke up this morning and packed up our bags to head back south to Kamphaeng Sean.

Our room at the hotel in Chiang Mai.

We loaded up the van and drove a few minutes to a market called Kaad Phayom (sp?).

Buying some treats from a street vendor before breakfast.

We ate at a place that was guaranteed to be good according to Sukanya! When in Thailand she said you should look for eating places that have the bowl symbol on their sign. They have been given the symbol by a guy who used to work for the Shell oil company. Apparently he used to try food during his travels and give them the soup bowl symbol if he liked the food and service!

See the bowl on that sign?

Gary and Sukanya deciding what to order ;) I think Gary's just looking at the pictures.

After eating we walked around the food market for 30 minutes. It mainly consisted of meat, fish and other various foods.


We loaded back into the van and headed south to another market that had a lot of carved wood stuff and other handmade goods. This was my favorite market ;)

A little vehicle driving around the market.

The market was on the south end of Chiang Mai and called Baan Tawaii. We bought a few things there. I think everything was made in Thailand so that was cool. Some were even handmade. Shopping was pretty cheap and you are able to barter for everything. After shopping for about 2 hours we headed south again. We stopped at Lampang for lunch. Grant and I had a traditional northern Thai dish. It had yellow curry with one chicken leg in it, noodles and crunch noodles on top - very good!

We have all been perfecting our chopstick skills eating all this noodles and rice ;) If there are no chopsticks you use a spoon and a fork to push the food onto the spoon - that's how Achi's family does it anyways! After eating we continued to drive south.

In northwestern Thailand it's pretty hilly. It has lots of mountains around 2000 meters high (can you tell some of the journaling was from Grant today? :) The drive from Chiang Mai to Kamphaen Sean took around 8 hours but it was pretty with all the mountains around.

We chatted about sugar cane on the ride. Sarewat is a sugar cane researcher and we saw some fields on the drive (along with lots of rice fields too!). Sarewat said they only get one sugar cane crop per year unlike corn where they get 3 crops a year.

We also learned some new words again on the way home ;) 'Mai kow jai' means 'I don't understand.' I remember this one because it sounds pretty similar to 'my cow died.' heh heh. Another thing we learned was 'nik noi' which means 'a little.' We have to use that to tell them we don't need so much food!

The drive back south took about 8 hours. Achi and Jing were waiting for us to eat supper. Achi is 22 and going to school about 30 kilos away from where we're staying. She's studying pharmacy.

A little funky colored frog who joined us for supper.

After supper we walked in the dark behind the eating place on campus to check out the 'healthy garden.' It had about 20 different workout machines. Very different and pretty cool. The brand was called SonSport? After checking that out they dropped us off where we were staying to get some sleep for the next day!
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