Oh, the elephants.
we spent a day out in the country in Chiang Mai with the elephants, and the family who raised them. it was amazing. they elephants were to them what frank is to us. they really do just treat them like their pets. it's actually really endearing. the elephants know these guys and are close to them, it's very cool.
they were so large and amazing up close like that. they were like funny little kids, some of them. we learned a lot of elephant facts - i'm sure zach can tell you all of them sometime if you're interested. i'd recommend this elephant adventure to anyone, it was one of the best parts of the trip. and i really liked the excursions.
we bathed the elephants in the river and then rode them into the water. they were so hilarious, frolicking in the water. they were like little kids. seriously rolling around in the water splashing water at us. it was so crazy. unreal. and so awesome.
you couldn't help but smile pretty much the entire time you were with those giant mammals. in some pics i feel like i've never seen zach so happy!
the next day in chiang mai we took a scooter ride out to this park where no.tourists.go.
seriously, only thai people for miles.
and oh my gosh wait til you hear what they were all at this park for. we are talking hundreds and hundreds.
to boil eggs! they all went out there to boil eggs in this hot spring, then put their feet into the mineral water course.
they call it the "Drink & Egg" which, to me, is so funny in and of itself.
anyway, the eggs were delicious. they give you a little soy sauce to enjoy them with. and i quite enjoyed mine and zach's.
but then on our scooter ride home, it didn't sit so well. it's fine though. worth it.
then we scootered through one of their national parks. up and through the entire park until we reached the other side. on the other side was a small village where i swear they had never seen a white person in their life. we were just with sloth and cait at this point, and it was pretty awesome. the kids came to the window to see us ride by and wave to us, and the little village was very cool to see.
on the way home though it was dark.and.FREEZING.
we stopped about halfway - after riding through the canyon and on the freeway on the back of a scooter - to get anything that would cover our arms. short sleeves and a skirt was not cutting it and we were seriously freezing.
so we picked up some beautiful second-hand thai men's flannels and they were PERFECT. the thai people at the market were laughing at us as we walked out with our new gear on.
we took a thai cooking class while we were there as well. it was so fun! i have yet to make one of the dishes we learned, but i WILL one of these days. i know it doesn't sound like the funnest (not a word?) thing in the world, but honestly, i would tell anyone to make sure to do this while you're there. they just make it so fun and entertaining and very cool and so very delicious.
we went to the market and our guide lady showed us the ropes - what to get and why and where.
then we went back and chose our meals we wanted to make and made them. then enjoyed, enjoyed, enjoyed.
and it was amazing. one of the best meals i had.
and you get a cooking book at the end... so i really am going to try them out on my own, you guys.
WHAT? I AM.
niners again. for the love. these two.
temples and shopping. one of the best things about Chiang Mai was the shopping. so many handmade, unique things to look at, buy, taste, enjoy. it was awesome. we need to go back just for the shopping! there are a few things i regret not buying already.
oh and the very best massage i got in all of thailand was here. i was wandering around one afternoon and ran into this little place. and boy. so glad i did! i will dream about that massage for years to come. best $10 spent (a little pricier than most - i almost didn't go for it. it's crazy how you start to think a $10 hour and a half massage is not a good deal when you're out there...).
and new years eve in Chiangmai was the best. no place i'd rather be. (and no alcohol was allowed in the town square...which was kind of nice). people were lighting off floating lanterns all over town, and especially in the town square. thousands went up all night long, along with fireworks. it was an amazing sight. and such a good memory to have. it really was just like Tangled, i'd never seen anything like it.
oh and the FOOD.. do i talk about food too much? there were food vendors LINING the streets. we tried it all, pretty much. it was so fun. a band and all.
everyone needs to go to thailand!!!