Today we are flying to Thailand! We have been really excited for this portion of the trip and it is finally here. The bummer is, we are going to have to cancel our trek through the tribal villages in the mountains. Giff probably wants to kill me at this point for twisting my ankle but as the saying goes…it is what it is.
We arrived at our hotel, Thapae Boutique House (www.thapaeboutiquehouse.com) in the evening which by the way was only $25 per night which was totally normal and included breakfast! We got our things unpacked, freshened up and went back out to find dinner. We grabbed a tuk tuk which is basically a motorcycle but with three-wheels and a seat attached to the back fueled by diesel gas…it is not the safest means of transportation but is super fun to really see, smell and listen to the city as the driver recklessly weaves in and out of larger cars.
We were told to try the restaurant called, Good View (www.goodview.co.th) It was hard to get an idea of what exactly the city of Chang Mai looked like in the dark but the restaurant was packed with people and had that open air feel. We grabbed a table close to where the live music would be and started to order food from the menu. Of course we ordered too much food but it all looked good and was so so cheap. We ordered a spicy fish soup, fried rice made with dry shredded pork, served in a half pineapple and of course we ordered the fried spring rolls…weren’t they invented here? The best part of the meal though was the whole grilled fish topped with fresh herbs and plenty of lime. We sat listening to live music in the open air and eating authentic Thai food with big grins on our faces…We are going to like this place.
After dinner, we took a picture of the front of the restaurant noting the no guns sign and grabbed another tuk tuk back to the hotel. By the way, these tuk tuk rides are like $2. Our whole steamed fish was $10, the beers are $1 just to give you an idea of the kind of prices we’re paying.
Tomorrow we are being picked up first thing in the morning for a 4 day cooking class. We should be Thai chefs by the end of our course!
Published by Giff Kabat
I grew up in Ohio as a kid, so of course I went to college at “THE” Ohio State University. I graduated in 2001 with a major in business finance. A month after graduation, I moved out to California with my college girlfriend (whom I married in 2005)…and started my career in sales (industrial sales for 5 years…then moved into medical laser sales for 4 years).
In 2009 I was 31 years old. I had a great job, a new house, and a beautiful wife. Just when I thought things couldn’t get any better…my wife and I found out we were going to have a baby. Everything was going according to plan…and I couldn’t have scripted a better life for myself.
Then in the same year…everything changed. My wife, Brandey, called me when I was on my way to work and told me over the phone, something I never thought could be possible in a million years. My beautiful 30-year old pregnant wife was just told that she had breast cancer. At that moment, everything stopped all at once. I immediately went to her…and learned of our new plan…which began with her needing surgery immediately…and the rest we would find out later.
The day we returned from the hospital after Brandey’s surgery…my father died. He had been battling an aggressive cancer of his own…and although he was the one person I wanted to speak with about Brandey having cancer…I never told him. My sister, Brooke, had just gotten married a few months ago, and although he was weak, he was able to walk his little girl down the aisle of her wedding. On the night before my sister’s wedding, Brandey and I told him that we were pregnant and about to make him a grandfather. It made no sense to tell him that everything had changed for us…so he died in peace knowing everything was “the way it should be” for his only 2 children.
2010 was the worst year of my life. We had lost our baby…and for 12 months I watched my wife fight cancer with multiple surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation treatments, and drug therapy. It was a difficult year for us…but we made it. When you go through something like this in life, you learn a lot about yourself and the people around you. I was amazed at the strength and courage of my wife…and how many good people there are in this world. I will be forever grateful for the ones who never ceased to amaze me with their kindness during this hard time. Family, friends, and sometimes complete strangers…helped us make it through this. I am, and will always be especially grateful to my mother, who was with my dad at the very end, when I couldn’t be there, and when things were at their worst. She has been so supportive throughout all of this, and without her everything would have been so much harder for me.
It’s 2011 now…and the plan we have for our life this year…is to make it the best year of our lives. Brandey is officially in remission from breast cancer and she has a 95% chance the cancer will never come back. Besides the love that I have for my wife and family, the loves of my life are food, wine, and adventure travel. My wife and I love traveling to new places, seeing natural wonders, and meeting new people from different parts of the world. So for the next 400 days…we’ve decided to travel the world…and celebrate our lives. There are so many things I took for granted in life that I will never take for granted again. My father worked for over 30 years at the same job with the same company…rarely took time off…and died at 64 years old right after his retirement. For me, this trip is a combination of a tribute to him, along with wanting to spend the time of my life with the “love of my life.”
* The only thing I will miss while we are gone is our family and friends (who we hope will meet us somewhere throughout our trip) and especially our 3 little kitties we left with my mom in Ohio to catsit for the next 400 days. I will also miss watching “American Football” over the weekend…but I’ll do my best to check the scores in the middle of the night.
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