Jason Ball

Chocolatemonkee

Jason Ball




North America » Canada » Manitoba » Winnipeg January 3rd 2011

Years ago, if you were to have asked me what kind of traveler I thought I was, I wouldn't have hesitated in bragging that all I needed was my passport, some cash and a smile. Now that my trips can only span weeks instead of months, I still believe all you need is a passport, some cash and a smile... oh and an incredible amount of planning. I envy those that have the time to take a year or more off to indulge the travel bug but for Candace and I, with kids, mortgage and careers we don't yet hate, we can only disappear for three or four weeks at a time. And during those few weeks, we want a variety of opportunities to try and get the most out of an area in the short ... read more

North America » Canada » Manitoba » Winnipeg January 2nd 2011

Looking at the fourteen day forecast only confirms that the decision Candace and I made to spend almost $6000.00 the other night wasn't such a bad idea after all. Of course this money could have been used to pay down our mortgage or invest in more RRSPs but who wants to do that? With four round trip tickets paid for, we finally put in motion "The Trip" we had promised our kids over two years ago. On our last adventure, much to their dismay, we opted to enjoy one more trip to the Land of Smiles by ourselves and left them to stay with their grandparents for a month while we lounged on the beach, rode elephants, visited Wats and did all those crazy things that "young" parents do when they are in tropical climes without ... read more

Asia » Thailand » South-West Thailand » Phuket February 20th 2009

Kamala For no reason other than why not, we packed up and hopped on a large song taew which took us from Phuket town around the Island to Kamala. Enroute, the song taew stopped and we helped a lady load up bags of produce and meat for her restaurant. We checked into Baan Natcha Guest House and immediately rented a scooter from the guest house next door. Our day consisted of driving, beaches, fried chicken, beer and more beaches. We found our way to the Gibbon Rehabilitation Center and Bang Pae water fall. Although we saw glimpses of the Gibbons and the water fall was more of a trickle, we still enjoyed the trip. We stopped off at Phuket Fantasea to buy tickets for the evening performance. We were unsure if this was going to be ... read more
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The View from our Room

Asia » Thailand » South-West Thailand » Phuket February 19th 2009

Wanting to experience more than just the azure rimmed beaches of Phuket, we decided to move into the town of Phuket. Once a tin mining hotbed, we hoped that Phuket Town would offer us a different look at the Thai way of life. Our ride into Phuket Town included a brief history of the area as recounted by Pineapple Guest House owner Steve along with a stop at his daughter's school. We were treated to a group of giggling school children in white dress shirts and either blue skirts or pants that peered into the car at us, noses pressed against the car windows. Large brown eyes stared us down and then disappeared in a fit of infectious laughter when the headmistress called them into the garden. Imagine our surprise when Steve admitted the guesthouse he ... read more
Phuket 346 room
Phuket 346 Room
Photo 5

Asia » Thailand » South-West Thailand » Phuket February 18th 2009

Once the standard questions have been answered and you've already rehashed the more obscure points of travel, there are a brave, some say foolish, few that like to raise one of the taboo topics of travel discussions. I think I, may be one of those people. Our dive boat was designed for 25 divers and being 1 of the 9 going out, I was again surprised that we ended up with less than half the ships compliment. We had boarded the bus which takes you down the pier to the boats and of the 40 people on board, 12 sets of sandals were put into a box next to our boat. After the regular introductions, where have you been's and where are you going's, we separated into our dive teams to start our dive briefing and ... read more

Asia » Thailand » South-West Thailand » Phuket February 17th 2009

Up early. Have a cold. Damn air conditioning. I truly believe we should have a fan room even though it feels oooohhhh so good to walk into a nice cool room after being out in the heat all day. With the temperature hitting 33 degrees each day, a few minutes of bliss can change a great day to an even better day. The trade off though is the running nose and wicked cold I usually catch. If it weren't for mosquitoes, I would have the windows wide open. Ugh. If Candace finds out I'm using all of her precious toilet paper to blow my nose.... I hate having a cold. The plan today was to head east to Phuket town and then head north of there to check out a few temples and hopefully stumble on ... read more
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Asia » Thailand » South-West Thailand » Phuket February 16th 2009

Phuket Early Morning Having a touch of jet lag is never fun. Thankfully after a few hours of tossing and turning it was 4 A.M., thank-you trusty travel clock for your one an only time to be accurate, and what better time to get up and check out Karon Plaza before heading out on a dive trip. One hot shower later, I let myself out of the still locked guesthouse and made my way passed a pack of soi-dogs. Funny how they all looked like dingos. Must be the gene all dogs in Thailand revert back to after all that inter-breeding. I really enjoy this time alone in the morning. The day is at its purest and the people up at this hour all have purpose in their step. Shop doors rattled up and people watered ... read more
My First Ocean Fish
Parrot Fish
Pretty

Asia » Thailand » South-West Thailand » Phuket February 15th 2009

Bangkok This morning we woke to the pre-arranged wake up call we had requested with the front desk at Thong Ta Resort. Being less than 10 minutes from the airport, we were able to enjoy the breakfast that was included down in the garden restaurant. Aside from the very firm, board like beds, we seemed to luck out in finding this place. If I hadn't fallen asleep so quickly, I would have liked to check out the Johnnie Walker Rock Bar at the end of the street last night. Breakfast was the typical "American" breakfast of ham loaf (no bacon or sausage available - I just want to mention that sausage in Thailand seems to be what we in North America would consider wieners. They are made even more fancy by having their ends quartered. I ... read more
Thong Ta Resort Room
Typical American Breakfast
Air Aisa

Asia » Japan » Chiba » Narita February 14th 2009

Our flight out of Winnipeg was quite ordinary. Thanks to my Dad, we arrived at YWG only to have to wait in one of the longest lines I have ever seen at the Winnipeg Airport. Over 300 people, waiting to go through security in Winnipeg. It appears that everyone had flights leaving at 8:00. The start of the Friday 13th curse. With the line seeming to move backwards at times, what better way to pass our time then people watch. And where better than in a stress inducing line up. I love putting a story to everyone I see and we were quickly treated to some pretty "interesting" people. Airports have several different types of travelers. We quickly were able to point out the seasoned travelers. They always seem so zen like as they never rush ... read more

North America » Canada » Manitoba » Winnipeg February 13th 2009

With only hours to go before we leave "Friendly Manitoba", the weather has turned from the normal minus 20 to 30 degrees to plus 1 degrees and the usual snow fall has turned into a constant drizzle of rain. Well today it changed back to snow and our departure seems once again to be aptly timed. Of course we had the minus 40 degree weather to contend with in January but this foray into South East Asia during the slushy sleety changes in weather is still very welcome. The kids, teary eyed, left with their grandparents, our Chihuahuas in tow as well. Seems they're none to worried as they, the dogs, get spoiled while staying with Candace's Mom and Dad! We're less prepared than last time but it's as good as it's going to get. Candace ... read more




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