Extra Foam, Please

There are coffee shops all over the city, including a great little one just by our apartment. We stopped by this morning and I ordered a latte. I chatted with the owner as he made the coffee, and he told me about how he is a retired soldier from Phuket, and he moved to Chiang Mai to fulfill a lifelong dream.

He made the coffee with an egg, and the foam on top was more like a thick meringue than the milk foam you’d usually get in the US.

Extra caffeine, please. I really, really need it.

Extra caffeine, please. I really, really need it.

Hugo even got his own tiny cup to try:

He made this weird face, but kept asking for more

He made this weird face, but kept asking for more


Temples and Tuk Tuks

After falling asleep at 6pm last night, Hugo woke us up by climbing into our bed at 4am. Maybe tomorrow we’ll get to sleep until sunrise!

We headed out to the main road and flagged down a tuk tuk for a ride to the Old City. Chiang Mai’s old city is still surrounded by a moat and wall, and inside the wall are a lot of the main tourist attractions of the city. We headed to Wat Phra Singh, one of the largest temples, built in the 1360s. It was very crowded today, the front stairs covered in visitors’ discarded shoes, and two separate areas with vendors and food stalls vying for the attention of tourists by  blaring competing loudspeakers. We took a quick look around inside then headed over to check out the food stalls.

Flowers for sale in the temple

Flowers for sale in the temple

The young coconut was an instant hit.


It tastes better if you stare thoughtfully into the distance


Temples and coconuts are great and all, but this afternoon  we discovered The Most Interesting Thing About Thailand:

Better than TV

Better than TV



Welcome to Chiang Mai

It’s 6:30pm and I’m home alone with Hugo. We were supposed to go to dinner with the outgoing Academic Director of Pac-Rim, but Hugo fell asleep on the way to the restaurant. That full-body-is-limp sleep that only small children can achieve while being carried across a busy street, motorbikes whizzing by. It’s been an exhausting couple of days to say the least. I carried his hot sleepy body home, and Gareth will bring me some take out.

As we were driving to the airport yesterday (or was it the day before? I’ve lost track) I kept thinking about how Hugo was just a newborn when we agreed to take him on this trip, when it seemed impossibly far in the future. And now, here we are at the end of our first full day in Thailand!

The flight went well, although Hugo was more excited about the trucks at the airport than the airplanes.

High lift trucks! Conveyer trucks! Push-out tractors!

High lift trucks! Conveyer trucks! Luggage carts!

We arrived in the middle of the night, which usually I don’t like because you can’t get a good first look at a place, but it was kind of nice to get to the apartment and just collapse.

Our apartment is near the university and a temple with a seven story golden stupa. We did a bit of exploring this morning, poking around at the temple and eating some spicy noodles for lunch.

H at temple

Exploring the neighborhood

We have a few more days to sleep off our jet lag and get settled in before the students arrive. I’ll also break out the good camera and take some better photos to share. Now to enjoy a rare bit of quiet time!

Ready, Set, GO!

Do you have the iPad charger?

Be sure to double bag the bug spray.

No, I thought you had the passports.

I’ll just go to the store again, it’s not a big deal.

Stuff all the extra space in your bag with pull-ups.

After thinking about and preparing for this trip for the past two years, it’s hard to believe that we will be in the air this time tomorrow! Honestly I wish I could just fast forward through the next 48 hours and just be there without all the hassle that a long flight with a toddler will surely bring.

I used to think of flying as a chance to unplug, catch up on a good book, maybe take a nap. Unfortunately, flying with a toddler means maintaining a state of constant vigilance, disarming a ticking time bomb of tantrums with a steady stream of goldfish crackers, sticker books, and unlimited iPad games.

Luckily, there are mangoes and peanut sauce waiting for us on the other side.

Happy Travels!