Monday, November 18th started out quite sad. I received news that my cousin, Sharon, had passed away. I have such wonderful memories of sharing holidays with our families at my grandparents home in the hills over-looking Medford, OR.
Shortly after that we found out that Tim’s father is back in the hospital. My emotions bounced from grief to worry and back.
Saying farewell to the River Kwai, we traveled overland to Ayutthaya for a visit to the Summer Palace – Bang Pa In. But first we made a stop at a roadside stall to have the opportunity to sample “Star Meat”, which turned out to be RAT! Yes, I did try it. Yes, it does taste like chicken. And yes, I lived to tell about it.
No, Tim did not partake.
Kind of makes my tummy turn now though thinking about it, but not being one that wants to miss an opportunity…
On to more pleasant images:
We also had a very enjoyable visit to a local school to interact with beautiful, friendly children. They proudly took us by the hand to lead us from room to room, show us their English reading skills, played games and posed for several delightful pictures. All with cheerful smiles and twinkling eyes.
Many of the homes are built on stilts due to flooding. This is an example:
Finally a stop for a late lunch before arriving at our hotel.
A short rest and then we departed for an evening stop at UNESCO sites – Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Lokayasutharam) and Chai Wattanaram Temple and dinner at a local restaurant.
This was our last evening together as a large group. Only 14 of us are continuing on up north and the remainder leave in the morning back to Bangkok. We have been fortunate to have a well-traveled group of easy-going people who made things go smoothly.