RHK's 2010 Thailand and Vietnam trip

Old Oct 28th, 2010, 08:34 AM
  #41  
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ok, we arrive at the airport at boston and turn in our one way hertz rental ($52). Off to alaska air... bad news begins again... our seats have now been changed again... we had 12 C&D originally---booked last january, later 12 C and 28C. now we have a middle and window in 28. picture this: sitting in your aisle seat next to me, all 330 lbs in the middle seat... not pretty
the woman at checkin says to talk to the woman at the gate... ok, pass the buck.... the seating supervisor the night before had said to talk to the woman at check in...so gloria is waiting for us at the gate... nothing she can do... then she looks back further in her computer and sees our original seats from january... she keeps our boarding passes and sends us to dinner... when we return we are called to the platform. The Boston station mgr is waiting to speak to us... he never apologizes... he just talks in circles... "so what is the bottom line" i ask.. gloria offers us the two seats in the last row with no recline and the constant smells from the bathrooms both in back of us and beside us... with a free seat in between... it was not very nice but we had decent room.. i ask the mgr for some token and he says he has none, not even a drink coupon---he is young and inexperienced...

everything changed once we were in the aircraft... they could not have been nicer and more efficient... water was passed constantly and drinks were served 3 times i think, plus food for purchase... very impressive for a domestic flight... Alaska air...

the steward at the back of the plane was an extremely nice vietamese guy. He smilled all the time and was wonderful with the passengers.... he is the prototype of the person to have this job!! Donny is his name...

We arrived 10 minutes late to seattle which was amazing given the headwinds and turbulance all across the country... we appreciate kathie and cheryl's waves from their front porch as we flew over..

our bags were waiting for us... alaska has a 25 minute policy...the shuttle to the fairfield came along quickly from the garage on the 3rd floor---all very efficient at the airport...

Fairfield is older and rooms have been redone... small room.
its now midnight so we are tired and a bit hungry.. we walk to the local "sports" bar, the only place nearby---Bull Pen Tavern---about 5 blocks... dim place full of prostitutes... food service has ended... now i am annoyed with the hotel for sending us there... walk back to hotel and take the shuttle to 13 coins, an "italian" 24 hour fine dining place... decent enough... I had a fattatia and karen had a philly cheese steak---mine delicious, hers not so good..

print boarding passes and bed finally...

btw, i used my new Bose quiet sound headgear on the flight for the first time and they are amazing.....BOSE!!!

off to bangkok via narita in the early afternoon... delta flt 295.... seats in row 18 (aisle and window) 2 seater...
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Old Oct 28th, 2010, 09:00 AM
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Why didn't you let Bill Gates know you would be in Seattle? I am sure he would have been happy to have you and Karen over for dinner if he were in town. Hope your seats on Delta are better than on Alaska Air.
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Old Oct 28th, 2010, 09:04 AM
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fattatia?
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Old Oct 28th, 2010, 09:06 AM
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i let a far more important perso know...kathie... she invited us to dinner, but i told her it would have to be at 11PM.... too late for cheryl... we have taken a rain check
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Old Oct 28th, 2010, 09:07 AM
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its a one pan meal for a fattie... can't believe you are not aware of it..

off to the airport
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Old Oct 28th, 2010, 09:48 AM
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You should have stayed and ate at the Bull Pen Tavern.......could of had a lap dance with their fattatia....

So pulling a Kimball didn't work on the BOS stn mgr......write a long letter to the boss when you get back home....at least no ankle sprains yet..... enjoying the report

Aloha!
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Old Oct 28th, 2010, 10:13 AM
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Bob, you were almost right next door to the Hampton where we stayed. You should have gone to Dave's Diner which is open til 2 am and where we had a great, inexpensive meal.
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Old Oct 28th, 2010, 11:11 AM
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Enjoying the report. Keep it coming!
Yes, yesterday was really w-i-n-d-y!!! I was flying from TPA to ORD. I was sooooo glad when the wheels touched down on the runway at ORD. Bumpy! Wow!

Remember to go say hi to Maeng. Let her know a day ahead of time when you will come to dine at Pickled Liver so she can have plenty of whatever you decide you want to eat. It's fun to just let her cook for you (a surprise menu) but if you want the garlic shrimp for sure, then let her know ahead so she has plenty for you.

Carol
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Old Oct 29th, 2010, 11:53 AM
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Sitting in sunny Florida, wishing you a fantastic trip. Hope you are in Saigon over a weekend to go to the the marvelous food feast.
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Old Oct 29th, 2010, 12:42 PM
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Glad you could see us waving in the dark, Bob!

We have beautiful weather for you, sunny and warm.
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Old Oct 29th, 2010, 05:36 PM
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Welcome back to Thailand Bob, Karen and friends! See you all tomorrow!
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Old Oct 29th, 2010, 06:42 PM
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The luck of the New Englander! A nice cool front from China has finally reached Bangkok. Nice clear, cooler weather for the next few days.
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Old Oct 30th, 2010, 04:27 AM
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Not just sure where I left off as it is 6AM and I am in a bit of a fog.

After a good night’s sleep and a typical Fairfield breakfast we headed to SEATAC airport about mid-morning for our 1:40PM Dleta flt #295 for Bangkok via Narita.

We had a delicious lunch at one of the fish restaurants within the airport. I had a combo clam chowdah in a bread bowl and a delicious Caesar salad and Karen had a halibut salad. Both were delicious.

We used our “old and impaired” status to board the airbus 330 early. Our seats were in row 18--- a 2-4-2 configuration. Perfect save one thing: in the reconfiguring of this former Northwest plane, they built the inside for midgets… It was tight to say the least but we made the best of it. Once aloft drinks were served: free coke products, beer and wine—anything else $7. The meal was “chicken or beef”…. The chicken was the best airplane food I have ever had!!! Pieces of white chicken meat with a dark sweet sauce on it--- fluffy rice and crunchy carrots. The roll and brownie were stale however. A great start. K said the beef was good. The steward in our section was a real character, so that made the flight go by quickly. He wore a digital pin with a moving electronic message: “welcome aboard”, later, “chicken or beef” etc… Quite fun for the back of the bus.

I spent almost the whole flight enjoying my Bose noise reducer headphones---they really work… I attached my i-pod and enjoyed my recordings when not dozing… We both took sleeping pills.

Our arrival at Narita was on time. The former Northwest terminal—the round one--- has been reconfigured and enhanced and expanded--- very nice. After a short wait we boarded another airbus 330 for the 5.5 hour flight to Bangkok… It left right on time and like the previous flight was full.

Because of my luck with the previous meal I again chose the chicken and so did K… My chicken was unrecognizable as such and was left largely uneaten. The flight arrived at BKK ½ hour early. As a result we were assigned to a bus gate, which actually worked to our advantage as the bus took us almost to the entrance to immigration. K & I were rerouted to the fast line by an attendant (over 70 it said), and there was only one person in front of us. The suitcases were already starting to come out when we arrived at the luggage pick-up. Ours came out in about 8-10 minutes… Perfect.. A stop at an ATM for 10,000 B and we were at the cab stand---again 1st in line… SO FROM TOUCHDOWN TO TAXI IT WAS 45 MINUTES---- W O W….

The driver never touched the brakes and we were at the Marriott Resort and Spa in short order. 301 B…..

No wait at checkin in. We were in our room in no time--- an upgrade to river facing, above the pool PLUS based on our Marriott Gold status free use of all club facilities, breakfast either in the Market (huge buffet) or in the club, free internet in the club (wi-fi), plus free 5 piece of clothes cleaned, etc., plus afternoon tea and evening drinks…

About a month ago I changed my rate to an advance pay rate so this was a real bargain at 3360 B++ (about $105++)… Remember all rates go up on Nov 1 each year. I was thrilled with this rate needless to say.

By 2AM we were partially unpacked and in our comfortable over-sized king bed. Less than 2 hours later I was awoke for the day however. K took a sleeping pill and lasted until about 6:45 before getting up.

Let me speak to the weather. When we got off the plane it was about 80 degrees with NO humidity. The same is true this morning--- I think it must be 70… In 13 trips to Thailand, this is the most comfortable weather we have ever experienced… Surely it can’t last. Pook told me it may…

Saturday

So we decided that we should do something productive for the day as we seemed ready to move early… We went down to the buffet before 8 and it was mobbed…. There seemed to be a big Spanish group.. We ate a moderate breakfast…

Earlier in the week I had noticed that the thai craft organization was holding one of its bi-monthly sales at the jasmine ctr on sukhumvit at the corner of soi 23, so off we went by taxi about 9. These sales are always a highlight of our shopping in bkk… Today was no exception… The wide ranging goods are 99% hand-crafted and range from greeting cards, to bath mats, to stainless steel to children’s toys… Quality is excellent and prices are very reasonable (www.thaicraft.org)... Upcoming sales are nov 13, 27 and dec 18 all on the 3rd floor of the jasmine bldg--- 9:30AM to 3PM…

From there we headed to thai stone jewelry in the nana hotel on soi 4, sukhumvit. Karen had a few items to discuss with our friend and jeweler Porn. It also seemed to be a good time for me to play an early Santa, so she added two other items to the pile. This all took about 2 hours. I can only tell you that three colors come to mind: gold, green and a unique clear white. Only santa knows and he ain’t telling.

We jumped on the skytrain and headed for the river---boy was it crowded. We took the Marriott boat back to the hotel. It was now after 1 and we were starved… we each had a maharaja rolled sandwich--- tikka chicken on a warmed nan bread with a spicy pesto sauce, plus slaw, plus fries, plus cucumber and yogurt with mint, all on the side. All delicious.

Next was Jack at Monet il Sarto for some clothes discussions… K brought two pieces of bali cottons for him to make shirts for her and even though I said I would never own another suit, I ordered a dark blue wool cashmere blend (a la stan kase) with a muted herringbone pattern. Stan—the wool came out of a hidden drawer with your name on it…
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Old Oct 30th, 2010, 04:36 AM
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I didn't see marijuana rolled sandwich on the Marriott menu when I was there. Guess you have to ask the G.M. for on a special order.
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Old Oct 30th, 2010, 04:50 AM
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Bob, I'm excited to read that the Thai Craft fair will be on December 18. I'll be in a fog, having just arrived the night before, but I am going to try to get there. Thanks for the heads up. The fact that it is in the Sukhumvit area also makes it so much more appealing than if I would have to ride in a taxi in heavy BKK traffic to get there!

Glad you made it to BKK. So happy to hear that the weather is so nice. Hope it lasts until early January! haha

Carol
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Old Oct 30th, 2010, 04:56 AM
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The pool was next, followed by drinks and hors’ in the club…. Dinner is up in the air at the moment---dinner or more gin and tonic…??

Settled… the hors and 3 G&T and 4 glasses of wine (k) and dinner is postponed.

I spoke with both Hanuman, who had called us, and Tong today… Tong will be stopping by the hotel tomorrow morning to “give me a hug”---I told her that I hope she has long arms…. We will be meeting pook, dang and mony for brunch tomorrow as well, but other than that the pool will be our destination of choice…

We will be leaving Monday noon for Vietnam..

Reminder to newbies---this report will have more touristic details once we arrive in VN… This is our 13th trip to Thailand so we do few of the “to do” things anymore… Later next month some friends will be joining us in bkk so we will then do some touristic things on schedule as well as lots of foodie things----it killed me to skip Harmonique tonight…

Special hello to A&B




craig---we saw that diner, but it had closed...

HT--- better if you experience the ld
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Old Oct 30th, 2010, 07:51 AM
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Can you imagine anything worse than the playlist on Bob's ipod? Perry Como and Andy williams come to mind. I'm sure Vic Damone is in there as well.
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Old Oct 30th, 2010, 08:56 AM
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Chicken tikka sandwich for your first real meal there? No pad thai, no cashew chicken, no banana flowers? If you have pasta for your next meal we will have to make a Thai food intervention. Have fun.
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Old Oct 30th, 2010, 01:43 PM
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Gpanda- did you leave off Lawrence Welk and the Lennon Sisters?
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Old Oct 30th, 2010, 04:05 PM
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I'm soooooo ready to be in Bangkok. Your description of the weather, heading for the skytrain, etc. makes me want to be there now.

I do agree about the chicken tikka sandwich- it sounds yummy, but your first meal in Bangkok??
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