Thursday, July 28, 2011


I am now 25 years old!! 
I think this is the last birthday I will have before I start feeling old. jk

My birthday was 3 days after I got home from my trip...
so I wasn't really planning on doing anything spectacular.
Luckily, last minute my greatest friend Tifani threw a little swim party get together.
It was literally perfect. She is the best.
And most of my favorite friends could come.
What a happy happy happy birthday it was.

Devin, Rylee, Jordan, Ellise, Jaron, Allison, Nate, Me, Tyler, Brynn, Luke, Lindsey, Brandon, Bobby, Tifani, Christy

Jane, Me, and Brynn

Me and Tifani the Great. I Love Her.
My friend Tyler from Huntington. He surprised me and came for my birthday! Best birthday surprise ever!!
Nate, one of my best guy friends, also came in town for my party! He had to drive my mom's car back from Utah, since we left to Thailand from SLC and returned to Vegas. What a great friend, right?!?! Ahhh. I just love him. Plus he got to be here for my party. Two boys came in town for me. I am spoiled :)

Bretty Boy. We are birthday friends. Not because we share a birthday...but because we...nevermind.

best birthday cake ever. Delicious.

The next day (Thursday) I went to the park with 2 of my favorites and Matix. 
I had asked Matix what he wanted to do for my birthday and he said a picnic at the water park. Done.
Nate was still in town so he joined us too.
 It was fun. I love Nat and Rebecca!


A bunch of my married high school friends and I went to dinner at BJ's on Friday Night for dinner. 
Unfortunately we didn't take a picture....but it is always fun catching up with those girls!
{Layne Fender, Kelli Lyman, Celina Tingey, Erin Cahill,}


Me and the besties, Tres and Megan went to Maggiano's since they couldn't make any of my other celebrations...rude. Stupid jobs. But it actually was even better just going with the two of them. Sometimes I don't get to see them as much as I like. Too bad Birdsall is across the country...I would have loved for her to be there. :)

Basically...I have decided that I have the best friends in the entire world who made my birthday just perfect.
Oh and parents. Since they gave me the best birthday present everrrrr....making Thailand possible :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Thailand: Kanchanaburi

The third and final leg of our Thailand Adventure was to a province a couple hours northwest of Bangkok, called Kanchanaburi.

After our super sad departure from Hailey, we took a cab back to Khao San Road, where we found a place to sleep for the night near Mom's Guesthouse. We also booked a 2 day/1 night trip to Kanchanburi at that travel agency we used before. I had done a little bit of research before so I knew the things we really wanted to do and see while we were there, and they made a tour where we could do just that. It was perfect. And it all was for $70 including a place to stay and 4 meals. We were stoked. 

We woke up bright and early and got in our favorite type of transportation vehicle-the beloved mini bus- and started our journey. This is where we learned a little too much about the infamous "ping pong" shows. I will forever be scarred/confused. Lindsey got to sit right up next to our bus driver, and they became the best little friends. I would have sworn she developed a little crush on him, except that when we played a round of "who would you rather kiss" (a common game throughout or trip, and our lives) she opted for Meanrath. I think the bus driver would have definitely had his feelings hurt if he knew the truth. 

It was about 2 hours until we were at our first stop: Kanchanaburi War Cemetery. This is where most of the prisoner of war's from the Burma Railway (more about that later) in WWII were buried. At this point in our journey, we really didn't know where we were or what we were seeing. All I know is that I found my relative was buried there. jk. well...maybe I am kidding. (sidenote: 6,982 people are buried there.)

Next we went to the Bridge on the River Kwai. We had heard a lot about this bridge, so it was cool to see it. Apparently it is a big deal...there is even a movie about it? I know...I suck at my history knowledge Anyways, the bridge is a part of the Burma Railway that many prisoners of war died building during WWII. 

"The notorious Burma-Siam railway, built by Commonwealth, Dutch and American prisoners of war, was a Japanese project driven by the need for improved communications to support the large Japanese army in Burma. During its construction, approximately 13,000 prisoners of war died and were buried along the railway. An estimated 80,000 to 100,000 civilians also died in the course of the project, chiefly forced labour brought from Malaya and the Dutch East Indies, or conscripted in Siam (Thailand) and Burma. Two labour forces, one based in Siam and the other in Burma worked from opposite ends of the line towards the centre."

This was Nate's genius idea of a photoshoot...2 damsels in distress. Ya...we didn't think it was that awesome. haha

 Apparently it is still a functioning bridge and trains still use it to date. 
A train even came while we were on it. :)

While were were at the bridge, there was a man with a jaguar that you could pay 100 baut ($3.39) to hold and feed for a few minutes. Of course I gladly paid and was so happy to feed that baby jaguar. I loved every second of it. 

After that, we got to take a train ride over the Burma Railway also known as the "Death Railway." We even got our very own certificate saying that we rode on it. We are special. 

I was tired...I am sorry. Maybe I should return my certificate...  hahah

Next it was time to stop for lunch, before heading to our next adventure...Elephant Rides! Boy, were we excited for this. It was a pretty short little ride (maybe 15 min), but we loved it. Our elephant was a girl, and her name was Tonka. I think she loved us.

After we parted ways from the elephants, we headed down to the river to take a boat ride to a bamboo raft that would float us down the river. It wasn't super exciting, but relaxing and fun nonetheless. 

Finally we stopped by some waterfalls before heading to our floating bungalows and calling it a day. Actually it wasn't really a bungalow...It was just a little home on the river, but I absolutely loved it. It was so nice and peaceful. There was a bunch of fellow travelers staying there too (maybe 20 of us?)  so we basically made it a party. We had dinner and then chatted into the night. We made some really cool friends from Belgium, South Africa, China, Dubai, and New Zealand that we still keep in touch with. I am all about having as many friends around the world as possible, so I am pretty happy about these developing friendships!

This was the dancing baby. She brought the party.

The next morning we started out the day at Erawan Falls. I had read about this place online and a lot of people recommended it, so I was super excited. It is Thailand's 12th national park, and has a 7-tiered waterfall known as "Seven Steps to Heaven." It took about an hour to hike to the very top, but we were determined to make it. I'm being dramatic. It really was a pretty easy hike, it just seemed like it took forever. But it was well worth it. You can swim in all of the pools of each of the different tiers, but we wouldn't let ourselves stop. Must make it to top. So we pushed on. Once we got to the top, we could not get in the water fast enough. Good thing we decided to leave our shoes on becasue the feeder fish were out in full force. haha. My legs kept getting nibbled.
Tina, Nate, Me, Bart, and Lore (our Belgium friends)

We made it!!
After cooling off and a little exploring, we decided to climb up the big waterfall. Yes. Up. The Waterfall. We are gangsta. Surprisingly it was not mossy or slippery at all. It was pretty easy. There were actually two waterfalls to the top. And at the top of the fall there was a little cave. It was actually really awesome. We had a lot of fun exploring and feeling adventurous. That is until we got yelled at for being up there. I don't think it was part of the "hike." But by the time we got down, the guide had fallen asleep. haha. So random.

All along the hike there were these random trees decorated with clothing. It was so odd.
On our way back down, we stopped on tier 4 to check out the "rock slides."  I love that kind of stuff. It's so fun! We were at the park for about 3 hours, before we ate lunch and headed off to our next stop in the mini bus.

Next stop....TIGER TEMPLE!! This place was awesome. It's a place where you can hold, pet, and get up close and personal with tigers. Awesome, right? I guess it's a little bit controversial because people think that they sedate the tigers to keep them calm, but in the pamphlet it says they do not sedate them. They have all just been raised around humans and they are only open to the public from 1pm-5pm, so in the mornings they do a lot of heavy activity with the tigers, so they are just warn out later in the day. I kind of believe it, so I was a-okay with it all. Plus who could say no to such an awesome opportunity?!?! NOT ME!
Too bad I just got done hiking and swimming so I look like hades in these super awesome pictures. Oh well.

 We also got to see lots of other animals like....
 And Water Buffalo.
And Pigs.

It was basically amazing. Obviously.

After a little while, we headed back to Bangkok on the mini bus. We got into town at like 7pm and headed straight to pick up the rest of our bags at Mom's Guesthouse. Too bad it was POORING. Literally raining cats and dogs on or walk. It was nuts. It was our first rain experience in Bangkok, and only our second real rain experience of the trip (which is funny because if you pull up the weather it predicted rain the whole trip...we were lucky) Our taxi driver told us that it rains like that everyday at that time for about 30 min and then stops. He was right. It stopped a little while later. It was kinda crazy. I guess every other time we got to Bangkok later at night so we always missed the intense monsoon rain. Anyways, we ran by the tailor shop to pick up Nate's shirts, and then headed to a night market. Our flight back to Japan left the next morning (Sunday) at 5am so we decided it would be dumb to even go to bed. So we shopped. And we shopped. And we shopped. We got souvenirs and such for friends and family...small ones obviously since we had small little backpacks. No matter how much we bought always seemed to fit in there. It was kind of crazy. I'm so glad we didn't bring those ginormous backpacker backpacks that we originally packed. Thank you Natey Boo.  After a few hours we headed to the airport at like 2 am (it was a 40 min drive) napped for an hour, and boarded our plane back to Japan. (Didn't get first class though, dang it)

Ahead of time the flights from Japan were not looking too good for us. We decided to just figure it out when we got there though. By some crazy fluke, there was one seat available on the plane...and three of us. Nate and Linds decided to give it to me, so I could get home and see Matix before he headed back over to his dad's house. What nice friends, huh? I was so grateful to them. And even more stoked when I saw that it was FIRST CLASS again! What are the odds?! Best flight ever...once again. I landed in LAX Sunday morning at like 11 am. The time change is crazy. I basically lived Sunday twice. And was in three different countries in one day. I made it home sweet home at like 3 due to a delayed plane, but I didn't even care. I was home, and so ready for a shower!! I even met a cute girl on the plane and we are now friends :)

Matix fell asleep on the drive to the airport, but as soon as he woke up he was so happy to see me. And I was just as excited! He could not wait to open his presents and loved them all. Oh, how I missed my baby boy, but I was so glad I got to spend that whole day with him before he went back to his dads. Thanks friends.

Meanwhile, Nate and Lindsey decided to hop on the plane to Honolulu from Japan. Not a bad layover huh? Ya except that it turned into a 3 day layover because flights were way too crowded. Luckily they got to experience Hawaii for a few hours one day though. I felt so bad for them. :(

Eventually they did make it home. And all was well. :)

I cannot even tell you how amazing this whole experience was. The trip of a lifetime. I would highly recommend Thailand as a place to travel to anyone. I mean...look at the variety of things we got to do in such a short time! Incredible. Although, I'm sure some people go to Thailand for very different reasons than we did...since Thailand does have a sketchy reputation for some sketchy things, but I'm really glad that I was with good people who were down to explore and just have fun. And I never felt unsafe. It was literally the perfect trip with the perfect people. I am so lucky.

Now...where shall my next adventure be???
My head is spinning with the endless possibilities,
(especially since I have so many new friends all over the world)
even though it will probably not be for a longggggg time ;)