Railway Market

I think that I love to be surprised, but I am not good at accepting surprises. The truth is that I love the idea of being surprised. When we go on vacation I painstakingly research everything, so that we can make the most of our time and money. This vacation was different, I asked my husband to surprise me.

Which went something like this;

  • Him: where do you want to go for your birthday
  • Me: surprise me
  • Him: can you narrow it down
  • Me: somewhere I have never been
  • Him: how about you pick a continent
  • Me: Asia, or South America, or Central America, or how about Europe
  • Him: how about we look at potential vacation destinations tonight
  • Me: then it wouldn’t be a surpise

The moral of the story is that I am a pain in the ass, and he is not confident that he could pick somewhere that I would like. He was right, he didn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell (my dads saying). BUT, my super smart mom said why don’t you contact our travel agent. That was an AH, HA moment. Vacationing old school.

We used a travel agent, they did all the work, and we had all the fun. We were picked up at the airport by our guide and driver and spent the next few days getting a private tour of Bangkok. There is no better way to travel. I have done bus trips, train trips, cruises, backpacking, you name it I have probably tried it, and a private car and guide can not be beat.

On the second day Rose (our guide) arrived to pick us up at our hotel, and decided that she was going to alter our itinerary to include the Maeklong Railway Market. I didn’t fully understand everything that she was telling me, so most of the time I just followed her around. We were dropped off in the middle of the street, and she walked us down train tracks. She started shopping as we walked through the narrowest market I have ever been in. Rose stopped to buy dried squid. Not my idea of an afternoon snack.

KOK2

Then comes an announcement to get off the tracks and behind the red line. Up to this point my husband and I fully believed that there was no train. How on earth could a train come through this market? There were people, canopies, tables, baskets, and garbage can lids full of products everywhere. The market was full of vendors and shoppers, where was everyone and everything going to go to make room for the train. I’m thinking that a tiny little train is coming through, until I saw a full size train.

It was amazing. Bonus – I was surprised.

Up next, the floating market, and an Arts & Crafts village. Followed by Day 3 at Elephant Hills.

 

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One Night in Bangkok

Today is my 40th birthday. It’s a big deal. Every birthday is a big deal because I am still alive, and that’s worth celebrating (at least in my mind). My lovely husband took me to Thailand for my 40th. I know that I am fortunate, I am not taking my life for granted. On top of the great gift my amazing parent flew to our house to take care of our kids so that we could go away without the kids, how fantastic is that?

I’m not going to focus on the fact that the day before we went on vacation my husband got a letter informing him of the end of his employment in the new year. It’s only a job, right? He will find another one, no biggie. That’s what I tell myself so that I can sleep at night. But I am digressing from the celebration.

I mentioned that I am now 40 which means that I was a kid in the 80’s. One Night in Bangkok is a song from my youth. If you don’t have any idea what I am talking about (you spring chicken) click here. We didn’t go to Thailand because of the song but we did see plenty of muddy rivers, temples and a reclining Buddha.

I took way too many pictures, the ones below are my favorites. I did have a little help from my 5 year old who either said “that’s beautiful” or “delete”. Warning – his favourite colour is GOLDEN.

This was day 1 in Bangkok, Thailand. Coming soon, day 2 where we headed to a train market, floating market and an Arts & Craft village.

Sunbathing Beauties

Beach bears 2 My oldest graduated from Kindergarten this week and I couldn’t pass up the chance to bake some cupcakes for the celebration party. In the process I learned that you can make and ice about 60 mini cupcakes from a standard boxed cake mix and tub of frosting. These bathing beauties were vanilla cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, dipped in light and dark brown (sand) sugar. Topped with a strip of fruit roll-up for the towel and a gummy bear. Garnished with a paper parasol these were a hit with the kiddies.

Ingredients

  • Boxed cake mix
  • eggs
  • oil
  • Tub of frosting
  • gummy bears
  • light/dark brown sugar
  • fruit roll ups
  • paper umbrella

Instructions

  • Bake the cupcakes as per the box instructions
  • Ice once cooled
  • Roll iced cupcakes in the sugar
  • Cut the fruit roll up into towel sized pieces (I did 1″ pieces for mini cupcakes)
  • put a dab of icing on the top of the cupcake to attach the towel (fruit roll up)
  • Put a dab of icing in the middle of the towel and attach the gummy bear
  • decorate with a paper umbrella

35 Sucks. Banana peanut butter chocolate pie does not!

35 sucksMy husband had a birthday last week which prompted me to ask, what kind of cake would you like?  His response…you know that one that your mom bought from the grocery store that one time when she was visiting, that was really good.  I respond with…the one that she got the day after I delivered Logan??  He’s like ya, it was good.  OK seriously I have no idea what the cake from the grocery store that my mom bought more than 2 years ago 24 hours after I gave birth to our second son tasted like, what it looked like or what it was called.  Neither could he, he just remembered that it tasted good.  I also have the feeling that if I could have found the right cake that it wasn’t going to taste the same as he remembered, so I opted for something different.  Frozen banana peanut butter chocolate pie

Did you know that fourth anniversary gifts are flowers, fruit and appliances?  I do because it was just our 4th anniversary and I bought my husband a Yonanas machine.  How romantic.  If you haven’t heard of it, it takes frozen bananas and turns them into the consistency of ice cream.  It might sound gross but it’s actually quite delicious, especially when you add chocolate, peanut butter, walnuts, whipped cream and coconut.  Apparently there are other ways to turn bananas into ice cream.  I saw some recipes that used a food processor, but we haven’t gotten to the food processor anniversary yet, so we don’t have one.  So if you have a Yonanas machine or a food processor and want to give this pie a whirl the instructions are below.

Frozen banana peanut butter chocolate pie

  • chocolate graham cracker pie crust (you can make your own or buy one from the little elves)
  • 4 frozen bananas – frozen with the peel removed
  • enough chocolate chips to line the bottom of the pie crust
  • 2 1/2 tbsp peanut butter
  • enough chopped walnuts to line the bottom of a pie crust
  • a sprinkle of coconut
  • whipped cream (in a can because I am lazy)

Instructions

  1. Remove the bananas from the freezer and let them thaw on the counter for 10-15 minutes depending on your room temperature.  You want them to be frozen but not rock hard.
  2. Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Line the bottom of the pie crust with chocolate chips and put in the oven for 3-4 minutes or until the chocolate is soft but still in the shape of chocolate chips
  4. Put 2 1/2 tablespoons of peanut butter in a microwave safe container and melt on high (our microwave is old so it took 30 sec)
  5. Take the pie from the oven and pour the peanut butter on top of the chocolate
  6. Top with chopped walnuts and put it in the freezer
  7. With a Yonanas machine grind up those bananas into an ice cream texture
  8. Take the banana ice cream and spread it over the frozen pie crust
  9. Top with coconut and put it in the freezer
  10. Take it out of the freezer 10-15 minutes before serving so that you can cut it.
  11. Top with whipped cream.
  12. ENJOY!

The kids were super excited for Daddy’s birthday.  Here are a couple of pics.

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When Sasha turned one I made him a t-shirt for the occasion.  A simple shirt with the letters ONE.  For some reason I thought that maybe I might get the ages mixed up when looking at pictures from the past.  Looking back there isn’t really a chance of that, at least not yet.  Maybe in 40 years but not today.  Logan turns two today and it doesn’t seem like yesterday that I left the hospital with a newborn, but it also doesn’t seem like that was two years ago.   Here is a little trip down memory lane, of my boys in their birthday shirts.  That saying that they really do grow up fast is so true.

 

Keep celebrating!!