Location: Bangkok

Today we met in the lobby at 9 to start off an exciting day. We walked a few blocks from our hotel to board the Skytrain, Bangkok’s version of the above-ground subway. It was a struggle to keep all 23 of us together while boarding and un-boarding, but with some pushing and shoving, we made it to our stop. We went in to our next mode of transportation, a long tail canal boat! We got the chance to see some ancient boats in the Royal Barge Museum. The barges were covered in precious jewels and metals. One of our Thai translators explained that the royalty would sit in the middle covered section of the barge while a special guard would row him from place to place. This still happens occasionally for special events in Thailand! We stopped to get a quick snack and I tried some seaweed flavored Lays chips. Some of the other flavors included lobster, crab and the strangest in my opinion, barbecue cheese! We got back on our boat to get some lunch of traditional Pad Thai. Instead of having bits of eggs, the whole dish came wrapped in an egg almost like a Pad Thai omelet. We got the chance to explore the market near our lunch locale before we headed to the Grand Palace. We all struggled to make the dress code cut at the Grand Palace, where they are very strict about respectful attire. Some of us rented pants which had fun designs on them to wear during our visit. When we finally were allowed inside, it felt like we had entered into another world. Every inch of the palace was covered in silver, gold and precious stones. We donated to the palace and received a piece of gold lead. This we put on the Buddha for good luck. We had the option of placing it in on his head for knowledge, the mouth for nourishment, hands for fortune, etc. The only downfall was the heat… While all of us were covered in clothing from head to toe, we were suffocating in the rainy season humidity. From the palace we boarded the ferry to head back to the hotel. That’s when the rain started! A downpour soaked us all, even though the boat was covered! We were all soaked and giggling by the time we reached the Skytrain. Although we were all tired from the heat and braving the rain, I was still excited for a great part of the day… shopping! Our next stop was the Siam Center, the best shopping in Bangkok according to our Thai translators. It consists of a cluster of shopping malls with small Thai markets in between. We had dinner there as well. Reagan and I shared sushi and tempura. We didn’t have a clue what was fried up on our plate but decided to try it all. Fortunately, we found it was all delicious! We took our last journey on the Skytrain and arrived back at our hotel. We gathered around to do out daily Squeeze and all shared our favorite places we have ever traveled to. We are all so lucky to be seeing so much of the world at our age, and tomorrow we will see even more!!P.S. I love and miss you Mom and Dad!! XOXO.