**Edited 7/17 to add: I've listed this as my Weekly Geeks post for Weekly Geeks 2009-26:Where in the World Have You Been? I wanted to get another post up with more information about my actual trip, but so far, this is all I've managed to post, and it DOES fit in with this week's theme. :) If you want to hear more about my Thailand travels please come back during the week to check for updates.**
Wow, where to begin?? I didn't mean to mysteriously disappear, but I'm always weirded out about announcing, "Hey, world, I'm going to be out of the country, away from my house, for the next 10 days!" It's not like I've got my address posted here or anything, but you know. I also didn't mean to cause anyone anxiety about wishing me a good time. Nanny Goats in Panties wished me a fun time and then worried that maybe I was going in for heart surgery or something, which would have been awk-waaaaaard. But no worries! I did not go away for surgery (even though I did go to Thailand and I hear you can get all kinds of things done there for a lot cheaper than you can here), and I did have a good time in some unexpected ways.
The main reason for our trip was to attend my bother-in-law's wedding. Since we were going to be all the way in Thailand, we figured we might as well make a vacation of it too. Now, I love living in Hawaii, but travel to virtually anywhere is a bitch. Thailand involves an 8-hour plane ride to Tokyo, then the inevitable 4-hour layover, then another 6 hours from Tokyo to Bangkok. Upon arrival in Bangkok, we waited for my husband's two other brothers to arrive from the U.S. mainland (so, okay, granted, they had a lot more traveling to do than we did) then had a 2-hour drive to Pattaya where my brother-in-law who was getting married lives.
Ah, but this brings us to our first photo Q &A from the other day.
Q: Where can I get me a beer machine like that??
A: Well, I don't know if you can get yourself a beer machine like this, but you can go visit one in any of the airport lounges in Narita International Airport (NRT), assuming, of course, that you can get into the airport lounges. My husband travels enough that he can. There is a cooler of chilled glasses next to the machine, and as you can see, you put the glass on the machine, press a button, and it pours you a perfect glass of beer. This is one of the ways in which the 4-hour layover is made more tolerable in Japan. Ah, wouldn't you know it, someone has posted a YouTube video of the beer machine in action.
Another way to kill time while wandering around Narita is to check out the Nippon Origami Museum that is located in Terminal 1. They have examples of all kinds of origami figurines, but my favorite was the basset hound.
Also, the hippos were pretty cute.
But, really, they have all sorts of things to look at; there are entire dioramas showing things like village life and dinosaurs if I remember correctly, which I may not because, really, I just wanted a picture of the basset hound, and no matter which way you cut it, I was on at least 6 hours of travel by the time I reached Narita. Either way, the displays were way more impressive than any of the shoe-box and chicken bone dioramas I made as a kid. What? You never made dinosaurs out of chicken bones as a kid? Huh. I guess my elementary school was just cooler than yours. And probably in a much drier climate as well.
Um...anyway, our flight from Tokyo to Bangkok was fairly uneventful, except that I didn't realize it was going to be a 6-hour flight. For some reason, I had it in my head that it was like 2 or 3 hours, maaaybe 4. So, I was almost in tears when, at the 4-hour mark, I realized that we still had about 2 hours to go. Luckily, we at least had a pretty view for part of the flight. The sun was setting as we were heading to Bangkok, and this was the view from our window.