Wednesday, December 12, 2012

..... and more still.

Well, I'm still here at Niki & Marc's -- just outside of Chiang Mai. We've been having such a good time -- and it's so nice to relax in this virtual oasis -- that I'm hanging out a few more days before heading to Laos. Here are some pics of the family in whose home I'm staying: Marc, Niki, Naomi, & Seby (+Jerry, Footsy, & DeeDee).

 Niki & Naomi (below) riding bikes (I was on a bike behind them :)

Naomi's 7th birthday was on Dec 3, so last weekend we went camping with three other families (9 kids, 6 adults) and it was a blast. We went to Doi Ithanon National Park (which is the same place Burr & I hiked early in our days in CM). It was gorgeous... and quite cold at night! (I would guess about 45 degrees). I was glad that I had brought with me (from the states) and an ultra-light (yet very warm) down "sweater." It was the first time I used it on this trip and, boy, did I need it!

At Doi Ithanon, the camp areas have very nice bathroom buildings, with flush toilets and showers even. But if you'd rather not camp in tents, they have buildings with beds, including sheets &: blankets, that can be rented (ones that sleep 9-12, only $1,500 baht/night -- that's $50). Some of these buildings are dormitory style (all the beds in one big room) and others have several rooms with 2 beds in each. Surprisingly nice! We preferred to be in tents.

Niki & Mark own a furniture-making business and they recently purchased a new property on which they'll do all the manufacturing, storing, and showing of the merchandise (all wood furniture). The property is gorgeous -- albeit, a little run down at the moment, as it's been neglected for 2 years -- with many, many trees, gardens, ponds, and several buildings for living quarters. They hire many Burmese workers who tend to live in the on-site housing. 

The other day we went over there (we rode bikes over) to see the 5 puppies that had just been born of one of the dogs there.They were adorable. I also held a couple of the teensy kittens who live there.

 One of the puppies...
 ... and one of the kittens.

More soon.....


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