first day adventures

Hello all!

I am sitting here with Lindsey, Elia, and Paige at our hotel lobby in Bangkok, which by the way was a total surprise to me because I just thought we were flying into Bangkok and then traveling into Cambodia, not staying here for a couple of days. so yay! oh and if you’re wondering, yes I (and everyone else for that matter) am suffering from MAJOR jetlag. so bear with me. : )

Today we started the day off Bangkok style with rice for breakfast, then had it for lunch, and will most likely have it for dinner. We headed in crazy traffic, in two buses, to the Grand Palace. And it is a very good thing we all dressed appropriately because otherwise we would’ve had to rent skirts, in order to be allowed in. We toured the 65 acres of gradeur and ornate buildings.  It was quite amazing the work and effort the “Ramas” (King) have put into the Palace. We even got the pleasure of taking our shoes off while enjoying the Buddhist temple (think Slumdog Millionare, but without the stealing). We also were able to takes lots of great pictures, hopefully we’ll put some up soon…a couple favorites were one with the guards (think London Palace, but these guys are shorter) and another when some Asians came up to some of the girls and wanted ones with “Miss America”, quite comical to say the least.

We then went to a gemstone factory where we watched a very outdated, so called, movie (it was more or less a slideshow at best). We were able to see some men and women at work making the jewelry, and proceeded to a large room with some VERY expensive and quite gaudy jewelry, oh and there was a random tank of sharks in the middle of that room. Elia loved it!!

We ate lunch on a stationary boat, buffet style, which wasn’t the best for some people because eating while a boat is rocking can do some dangerous things to one’s stomach. Elia and I tried a coconut pancake (with corn…weird) for dessert and let’s just say it was not the most delightful thing.

Then we had quite a drive to the Rose Garden. Even though the drive was a good distance we enjoyed all the sights seen and good conversation. We were able to watch some elephants perform, doing different tricks like walk over two men, roll a tree trunk with his trunk, into the water and then push it back out again, and they even danced to an Ace of Base song! We also watched a Thai traditional culture show. They played some instruments, danced, fought, and danced with some more, and then even invited us to dance! Right before we left we were coaxed into holding an albino python, which was quite the experience for some of us. don’t worry Mom, I didn’t get bitten. : )

Now we are waiting for the rest of the group to arrive and we’ll hang out and relax for a bit before we go to dinner to some place around here.

So far so good… even after 18 hours of flying we are still enjoying each others’ company. We’re going to get a restful of sleep tonight and be ready for another full day of traveling tomorrow, which includes 5 hours to the border to Cambodia, an hour or so crossing the border, and then another few hours to Siem Riep.

well.. no more battery! keep the prayers coming for safety and health. thank you.

-Erin Hartwell and gang


5 comments so far

  1. Annica on

    Erin, you went to a GEMSTONE factory?
    Leaving for Ecuador tomorrow…Katie and I will be thinking of you and praying for you 🙂 See you soon babe!!


    P.S. Steph says “Hello, I luf you!”

  2. Lindey's Family :) on

    Great Post! The analogies – awesome! Thanks for saying who was with you Erin….(Lindsey we love you!). The prayers will be 24/7 for all of you, blessings, safe travels, and enjoy your experience in Cambodia!

  3. jim'n'arda on

    Thanks so much for the fun post, Erin. it was full of life and details and funny things. it’s hard to believe you are really out there, experiencing all those things you’ve written about (hearing about elia and the shark tank made me realize that yes—you really are there; it is real!) God bless you all and enjoy every single minute (even the jetlagged, tired ones). Stay safe; love you!

  4. Ann DeRooy on

    Can’t wait for those pictures!

  5. Emily Carlson on


    How fun is all that! I cannot wait to hear your stories in real life and see all of your amazing pictures. I love you so much girlie!

    Have a blast. You’re in my prayers.

    love, em

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