Alaska Team 2007 travel blog

Today we enjoyed a little extra rest and a leisurely breakfast at 9:00am in the hotel gardens under the sun. We feasted on a buffet offering a variety of both Thai and Western-style foods, as we watched the colorful coy fish swim in the garden stream next to our table. Then we split up to enjoy the activities on the hotel grounds. Rick meandered the stone pathways to enjoy some quiet time on a floating dock. Brandon and Terry chatted awhile longer in the gardens, and then later joined Hosanna and Jocelyn in the pool to play a game of water-basketball and enjoy the waterfall.

We checked-out of the hotel at noon, and loaded our bags into PC's van once again. We made a quick trip accross the river to have lunch at the Floating Restaurant, and feed the fish one more time before our departure. We feasted on kabobs, fresh fruit, Pad Thai, and fruit shakes. Then we loaded back into the van for our drive to Bangkok.

The drive took us about four hours with a few stops for breaks, ice-cream, and gasoline. We snacked on fresh jackfruit, grapefruit, (YUMM!) and sesame cookies (like peanut brittle) along the way. The traffic became VERY conjested as we made our way closer to Bangkok with motorcycles zipping in and out on both sides of us. We crossed over a bay via a long bridge, and observed several oceanliners in the port. The next thing to catch our eye was the many tall skyscrapers intertwined with overpass highways full of briskly-moving vehicles. Along the highways were huge electronic billboards with motion advertisements. The sky had turned a dull, brownish-gray shade due to the dense smog. The traffic became bumper to bumper in some places, with vehicles forcing their way into switching lanes by inching between vehicles admist beeps and honks. We also observed that the lane-dividing lines on the road appeared to be merely suggestions, as vehicles swithced lanes often and motorcycles (some carrying three people) zipped in and out of all of the lanes.

We made it to the airport around 6:00pm, and retrieved our stored luggage with no problem. PC performed miracles in finding places to places our additional bags into the already crowded van. Then we made the short drive to the Novotel Hotel nearby the airport. This hotel was selected to avoid any delays in getting to the airport on time due to congested Bangkok traffic. We were quite amazed to walk into this hotel, as the lobby was expansive and beautifully decorated. The uniformed bell-hops assisted with our luggage while we checked into our rooms. The rooms (and beds) were large and beautiful, and we enjoyed a quick hot shower before our debriefing meeting.

Our debriefing meeting was a review of Chapter 7 in our mission study book, which was quite appropriate, as the chapter is entitled "What to Expect Upon Return". Then at 9:00pm, it was time to head to the airport to see Hosanna off to Japan. She will be visiting her boyfriend (an Alaskan exchange student) for a couple of weeks before she arrives back in Alaska. We assisted her with her bags and last minute tips, then she exchanged her Thai Baht for Japanese Yen. We all clustered in the midst of the airport crowd for a team prayer, and then released her with hugs to her next adventure. We returned to our hotel for a light meal in the restaurant and then a relaxing night's rest before our own flight tomorrow.

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