24 February 2008

Mid-term break

The great thing about being at a British Curriculum school is that they have these awesome mid-term breaks every so often... well actually, about every mid-term. They always come at a good time when I'm feeling ready for some extra time with my Jack, and of course, Jane is always thrilled to have Jack home more often. I never quite feel like they're long enough because our week just flew by!

We had originally planned to head to the beach for the weekend, but for several reasons, it fell through at the last minute, and considering we are all still recovering from sickness, we realized this was actually a blessing in disguise. Although, I'm still longing for that fresh air! Hopefully soon. Staying in town definitely had its advantages though. Jack stayed on his practice schedule, Jeff and I both got good runs in on Saturday, we ate healthier, Janie got extra sleep (rather than less) to help her lingering cold, and we got some very necessary shopping done on Saturday. So, here's the quick version on some of our mid-term break activities. Also, Jeff had a holiday on Thursday, so took Friday off too, even though we were still in town, so that was the HUGE bonus of the week. Two extra days together!

Every morning this week, Jack and Jane busied themselves with building all kinds of forts. This doesn't show any of them really, but it shows how happy they are doing one of their favorite things.

Another favorite morning activity: blanket rides. An advantage we've enjoyed about having all wood flooring. It was hilarious to watch them switch and have Jane pull Jack. That girl is tough!

Jane's first real bowling game. The ball took forever to get down the lane, so she made herself comfortable each time.

We met Jeff for lunch, and he treated us to ice cream. I love watching my kids eat ice cream.

Anutra and Bird came over for dinner. Jane's been asking for Khun Bird randomly for the last few weeks, so he decided to come with Anutra this week.

Lots of play dates. Jane and Isabelle after swimming and a picnic in their compound.

Jack and Dylan being silly while eating lunch and Omer's house. I think we counted 17 kids at this playdate. The craziest thing was, it seemed pretty calm! They have a BIG apartment!

Jane LOVES to paint, and painted so much on this little "hello kitty" it was hardly recognizable! But, she did have a good marble effect going, and she never stopped smiling. How fun!

Had a little swim in our FREEZING swimming pool.

We'd heard about a place called "YoYo Land" for a while, and decided to try it out. It was much bigger than we expected and perfect for our kid's ages. Funny thing is, not a yo-yo in sight (Jeff thinks Yoyo is the name of a monkey character seen all over the place, and I think he might be right)! Just fun rides, games, and a juggling show with a scantily dressed assistant. Interesting.

Jack loved these air guns. What could be more fun than shooting Ultra Man figurines for 10 minutes?

Jane chose to ride the cars, which I was sure would freak her out. They were really fast! She absolutely loved it and wanted more!

Jack loved the dinosaur dig where he got to put gear on and dig around for old dinosaur bones. He wasn't successful really, but sure loved that 30 minutes digging in the dirt!

They had this little log flume ride that I thought was darling. Again, I was sure Jane would freak out (I don't know why, she never does on this stuff, I just think she will because it seems more for older kids) but, she loved it of course! They let them go around twice, and they were both a bit nervous on the first "drop", but loving it on the second! I wish our pictures of the actual drop would have turned out.

The best bang for your buck were these soft playground areas that were HUGE. I took the kids in and they played for 30 minutes, jumping, climbing, rolling, and dangling off everything.

By far, our biggest adventure of the week happened on Friday. We wanted to try out this restaurant we'd heard so many good things about from many of our friends. It's called Log Cabin and has several different restaurants stuck together. Thai food, American Food, a bar, and a Japanese Tepanyaki style area. We decided to go wherever the play area was, which, I was excited to see, was by the Japanese part. I love Japanese food, and I always love watching them cook my food in front of me, something that is always SO expensive in the states, but relatively affordable here. They had a GREAT little play area, and we were the only ones in the place so far, so we were happy to have it nice and quiet. The kids played, and Jeff and I ordered while they brought high chairs and plates and silverware especially for the kids. As the assistant manager is taking our order, I notice a tiny bug on one of the plates, so I get a tissue and squash it and the guy takes it away, bringing a clean plate. That made me a bit nervous, but this was a relatively nice place (with a play area, very hard to come by!), so I was sure it was just a fluke. We continued to order, when I noticed another small bug on the counter. I squashed it and let the guy wipe the counters off. Getting a little more nervous, I reminded myself that I'm not a sissy, I can handle a bug or two, right? So, we're visiting, playing, and waiting for them to bring out the food to cook (the best part!). They brought out our salads, and the kids came to sit down. While Jack's saying he didn't order a salad, I dig into mine and eat a cucumber with delicious Japanese dressing. Mmmmm. Then, I look down, and right by all my sauces, there's a huge cockroach. Immediately having a memory rush of our cockroach-infested apartment during our college days, I jumped up and announced we were leaving. You'd think living in an apartment with cockroaches for 2 years would make me used to them, but after finding one in my cereal bowl early one morning, I just can't do cockroaches anymore. I was SO disturbed by this, I couldn't think of anything else but to get out of there! As we are packing up, the chef comes out ready to cook our meals. I tell him in English, which he probably didn't understand, that we are leaving and not to bother cooking the food. I moved the dishes so we could point out the cockroach. He just kind of shrugs his shoulders and turns away. I couldn't believe it.

We have eaten in some pretty scary places. We regularly eat from shops on wheels that are parked on the sidewalk for the day. We occasionally buy fruit from guys who cut it with their bare hands. We're not germ freaks, or we would never survive here! But, never, in any of these places, have we ever had bugs in or near our food. But, even if we had, at least we only paid 30 baht for it! What can we expect? But, here, in a nice, reputable restaurant, we are bombarded with bugs, and they responded so casually. That's what's scary! Jeff and I were dumbfounded and extremely disappointed that a potential favorite restaurant turned out to be our worst food experience in Thailand! We spent the rest of the evening trying to get over this one. We were in a new part of town and after that, not feeling very brave. We ended up at a Sizzler down the way that felt like a piece of home. Although, I still had the creepy-crawlies all night long.

Looking back, I think the reason it was so disturbing was because it was in a place I expected it the least. I have always thought of myself as one who could take stuff like that without acting like a complete "girl", but there I was, walking out of a restaurant because of a bug. What would you have done?


Jennifer said...

If i was paying for food at a nice place cooked with or around bugs, i'd be inclined to leave. I've eaten (on mission) in member's/investigators's homes where i could see little cockroaches crawling in their dish cupboard. in that instance i just prayed for an extra blessing on the food.

Mimi and Papa in Provo said...

Walked out of the restaurant because of a bug. That's just what I would do and I'm glad you did and also didn't have to pay for it. Remember the Cockroach hotel we stayed at once in Orlando. I've never quite gotten over that! And I'm usually the one who gets the spiders and stuff in our house. There's just something about bugs in the food that makes your appetite go FLAT! You can come eat at our house and we won't serve you anything but real food....green jellow.....funeral potatoes.....sunday roast....ha ha ha. Mimi

Andrew & Vanessa and kids said...

I would have left too, Mindy!

AJ said...

The first sight of a bug, I would have been gone.

Team Hanni said...

You are sooooooo soooooo brave in all of your Thailand adventures. I'm glad you stood up and left. That is just too gross.

Exciting week!

Jason & Shannon Salmon said...

I can't believe how big your kids are getting!! Thanks for your comments on my post....good ideas. Thanks for the tips. By the looks of you pictures you're a pro at this!