Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone has lovely Thanksgiving and enjoys being with family and friends today!  Safe travels if you are or will be on the road or in the air!  

Other than Kevin being off today, it really was just another Thursday for us.  Kevin went to golf with some friends very early this morning and the kids went off to school.  After the kids finish their after-school activities and homework, we are going to have a VERY non-traditional Thanksgiving dinner at a nearby Mexican restaurant.  I didn't want to try to cobble together a traditional Thanksgiving dinner - it just wouldn't be the same as "home" and I would probably end up very disappointed.  In addition to the fact that the turkeys in the market were $4.00 a pound, my oven is so tiny that I am not sure I could even fit a turkey in it! 

I was a little sad this week knowing that a lot of my friends would be running in various Thanksgiving Day races today so, I decided to have my own Turkey Trot 10K early this morning.  Better than a pity party, right?  Of course, it was only me running (I didn't even take the dogs) so it was boring but I ran each of the last three miles at a 9:15 pace which is a pretty good pace for me.  

It is always very difficult for us to be away from our families for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays but this year it seems even more so.  In addition to (obviously) not celebrating Thanksgiving, this is a Buddhist country so the Thais also do not celebrate Christmas.  It is very odd to be in malls, stores and restaurants and not be surrounded by massive amounts of holiday decorations and loud holiday music.  I went shopping downtown yesterday and there were some garlands and a few wreaths in one of the malls but that was it.  Such a contrast to the US where the holiday decorations are put up right after the "back to school" sales.  I am going with a friend tomorrow to a shop that makes and exports high quality Christmas decorations to the US.  The owner is quite happy to sell to expats and has created a nice little niche in the community for herself (with no competition).  Now you can think of me visiting the "source" when you see the "Made In Thailand" tag on your Christmas decor!   I promised the kids that we will put the tree up and decorate the house on Saturday so I hope that helps us all to get in the holiday spirit a bit more.  

Yesterday, I had a major accomplishment as I drove downtown by myself for the first time!  Although I exited from the expressway too early, I immediately realized my mistake, corrected it and continued on to Kevin's office without a problem.  There is a lot of traffic and everything is very crazy and chaotic but no more so than out near Nichada (or even Miami for that matter).  I had some errands to run at the Embassy and then met Kevin at his office for lunch.  After lunch, I was going to the MBK mall to look for a few things but Kevin suggested that I try someplace new for shopping.  BIG mistake on his part!  I decided to go to Siam Paragon Mall which is on the subway line and very close to his office.  The exit from the train is right into the mall and right away I saw all kinds of boutiques... Chanel, Burberry, Chloe, Prada, etc.  Definitely my kind of mall!  

I had another cooking class on Tuesday and we made soup (coconut, chicken, lemongrass & mushroom), Pad Thai and roasted duck red curry.  The curry was too hot for my liking but everything else was amazing!  I think I could eat Pad Thai for breakfast, lunch and dinner and never tire of it.
In a previous post, I had mentioned we were having friends for dinner.  In addition to our grilled veggie, beef and chicken kebabs, I also made a caramelized onion & garlic focaccia and a rosemary & sea salt focaccia.  
I thought I should post a few photos of the house pre-Christmas decor!  

We do have a side patio where I originally planned for our patio set to go.  However, it is not covered and I do not want the cushions or the wicker to be ruined from the sun and the rain so we set it up in the driveway.  No, we are not rednecks.  Most of our neighbors have their patio sets AND their grills in the driveway.  At least our grill is in the laundry room.  For now.
I had to make some changes with the flowers on our front patio as the water lotus expired a few weeks ago.
I replaced the lotus with orchids and added some portulaca in pots (lower right hand corner).  I got an idea from my interior design instructor to fill the pot with lots of orchids.  All of these orchids (I think there were 10) cost less than $15.00 at the market.  
The photo below is of the entry way.
The t.v./exercise room (and Simpson).
The living room.
The family room (and Simpson).
I will try and get the rest of the house in tomorrow!  

Happy Thanksgiving!  

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