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Published: January 8th 2013
Happy New Year! First blog of 2013 😊
I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and enjoyed a little time off from work. It was my second Christmas away from home, so we tried to make it a memorable one. On Christmas Eve John surprised me with a tree (similar to the one my American Girl doll used to have), complete with ornaments, lights, and tinsel. We wrapped the staircase banisters and strung lights all around our room. The cards were already up on the wall so the whole house came together quite nicely. We had three couchsurfers staying with us at the time- Oleg, from Russia, Monica, from the US, and her friend Luba, from Canada. They appreciated the holiday cheer. After dinner we made hot chocolate (the good imported stuff!) and watched Elf, one of my favorite Christmas movies.
We had to work on Christmas day, as it is not a national holiday here. So I wore my Santa hat, passed out candy, and had the kids color Rudolph worksheets all day. When we got home from school we exchanged gifts; nothing big because we are on a budget this year. Then our friend Danny and
couchsurfer Oleg joined us for a sunset beach romp/santa hat photo shoot. It was definitely odd to be swimming on Christmas! After we washed off the sand, John and I got dressed up and went to our local favorite, Nok and Jo's, for an all-you-can-eat buffet with all the Christmas favorites. John piled up on turkey, ham, and chicken, while I shoveled on the mashed potatoes, fried shrimp, and garlic bread. Fully stuffed, we crawled into bed and went to sleep satisfied with our Thai-version of the holiday.
The rest of the week was spent preparing for what was destined to be an epic weekend- New Years Eve on Koh Phangan for the Full Moon Party! Koh Phangan is a large island off the Eastern coast of Thailand, about 2/3 the size of Phuket. It is known for its wild "Full Moon Parties", which attract thousands of tourists every month. These events, originally occurring on the full moon each month, grew so popular that they were extended to include half moons, new moons, and several other major holidays, such as New Years Eve. So on Saturday, we met Craig and Tam, our trusty South African newly-weds, and made the
long haul (2 buses and a ferry ride totaling 8 hours of travel) to nearby Koh Samui, where we would be finding accommodation. We joined two other couples Alex and Alea (South African and Canadian) and Alex and Myshi (Scottish and Sri Lankan), to make a fun group of 8 for the weekend festivities. During the day we explored the island's many waterfalls and natural attractions, and at night we enjoyed the night life. But we kept it low key to save up our energy for the big event: New Years Eve.
On Monday, we dressed in our finest neon clothing and painted each other's bodies with glow-in-the-dark paint. We caught a ferry through the perilous waves over to Koh Phangan. And then we joined 60,000 other lumo-painted party-goers for an all night rave on the beach. There were bars and night clubs, DJ booths and dance floors set -up all along the beach. At midnight, there was a countdown, complete with a stunning fireworks display, and a 15-foot flaming tower bearing the sign "Koh Phangan Countdown Party 2013". It was by far the craziest New Years I have ever had. We managed to stay together as group and
That is supposed to be a flower on my face, in case you were wondering
danced until 3 am. Then we had to fight the crowds of people and make it back to the dock to catch a ferry home. No time to sleep, we washed off the body paint, packed up our stuff, and reconvened at the pier to catch the first ferry back to the mainland at 7 am. Running on fumes, we slept for the entire 8 hour journey home. john and I had our first dinner of 2013, skyped the families to say hi, then went straight to bed. School resumed like normal on the 2nd, and our whirlwind weekend was over before we knew it.
May the good times continue in this new year…..
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