Sunday, February 28, 2016

Cambodia! Days 2 and 3 in Sihanoukville

We left first thing in the morning and drove the 4 1/2 hours to Sihanoukville, aka: Paradise! Oh those beaches were so heavenly. I considered telling my mom to just bring the kids to come meet us there--I didn't ever want to leave. We did nothing else but play at the beach until dinner time. The next day we got up and did it again, only we went to Otres beach instead. Which was probably even more gorgeous.  Before we left for the beaches we went to see the monkeys! There were SO many. And they are really cute, but they get aggressive really quickly. They've had a lot of problems with the bigger ones attacking people that go on the walking trail, etc. So there's a guard that sat there with a sling shot and whenever he felt like they were getting worked up or about to act, he'd just shoot little rocks at them and they'd run away. It sure was memorable for our monkey-loving kids though. Brynlee spent most of her time at the beach collecting seashells--a girl after my own heart. They enjoyed finding crabs, fish, and Kenny even took the boys out to where they watched a starfish and an octopus they saw! Pretty dang cool. We left at lunch time and realized how fried we all were. We got some food and went back to the hotel. Everyone else went swimming in the hotel pool, but I wouldn't let Bryn get back out there because she was so so burned. I took her to get some ice cream in the hotel because she was so upset about not being able to swim with everyone. We went out to eat that night at a restaurant in the golden lion circle. They walked across the busy round-about and went to see the big golden statues. Perfect beach days (minus getting so burned...). ;)

Bringing back a coconut she found

Kim and Eliza riding the waves

Sweet Zoe fell asleep for quite a while!
Samuel, Brynlee, and Tyler

DAY 3 (Thursday Feb. 18th):

Cambodia! Day 1

Our Valentine's day was a bit unusual this year. We cooked a nice meal of pork ribs (my mom's recipe, which she got from her grandma) and potatoes, etc. But Sunday morning we left the house at 3:30 a.m. Oh it tore me apart to leave those little kids. It wouldn't have been so bad if Madison and Kelsey hadn't woken up. They came running out and Madison just had tears streaming down her face and I dropped to my knees as she ran into my arms and we both cried. I felt so bad. We had gone back and forth a lot on whether or not to bring Madi with us. She's sort of borderline. I'm sure she could've handled the traveling and stuff just fine, but I didn't feel like she'd remember any of it and anyway we just decided to take her on a trip when she gets a little older. But she was sad to see us go and it broke my heart. I always feel so guilty for taking vacations. They are great experiences and we learn a lot and make great memories, but I always feel guilty and hate burdening others with my children. Anyway I left them a pretty table to wake up to.

We had a LOT of flying ahead of us. We flew from Anchorage to Seattle (3 hr. 45 min.) then from Seattle to Seoul, South Korea (11 hr. 15 min. I think) and then finally from Seoul to Phnom Penh, Cambodia (5 1/2 hours). There's a 16 hour time difference, and we landed around 10 or 11 on Monday night there. We were so happy to see Caleb as he picked us up from the airport! 

Tyler reading the Sunday comics like an old man :)
The little screen on the seat TV's so you can keep track of where you are during the flight. Finally we made it! This was the long one in the middle.
Trying our first dragon fruit. What it looks like on the outside and inside. We ate this so much over there and it's really good.
The view from their balcony is just incredible. They're on the 12th floor in the apartment complex and it's gorgeous any time of day or night. We did A LOT of people watching from up there. Fascinating.

Riding our first, of many, tuk tuks! Kenny was with us too, so this must have been different rides and different cameras :).

We first went to a big pagoda and loved seeing all the people there making their offerings. There were also people there who catch teeny little birds and put a ton of them in cages. Then people pay to get a bird out and free it--I guess letting a little bird fly away brings you good luck. Everything is about good luck to these people.

So many offerings of fruit and money to the statues. Seems like such a complete waste to me, especially where these people don't have any money anyways. But it is their faith.
You can't really tell but behind us is a huge clock!
We bought some fresh coconut at a stand on the street to drink from and re-hydrate! 

We were so glad Uncle Caleb could join us for lunch! Yummy traditional Khmer cuisine. Not the only meal where Tyler ate nothing but rice haha. Poor picky child.

They dropped Kenny and I off at the Genocidal museum, as it isn't really a place you want to take children. We learned so much about the Khmer Rouge during our stay there. Very graphic pictures and descriptions. It's a sobering place and always so sad to see what human beings are capable of doing to one another. All these rooms were used for torturing, and imprisoning.

After all that walking around in the heat we were all ready to come back to their apartment and swim! They have a gorgeous infinity pool at their complex with a great view of the river and city. It was perfect!

We changed back into clothes and took a walk down the river to see the fishing boats. All these people just live on their teeny little boats and fish for a living. It was so stinky and filthy everywhere, and little kids about 2 or 3 and under are just always naked. Very interesting for us (especially my kids) to see. Being in a third world country is so good for humbling you and making you feel gratitude. I don't want to ever complain again. Seriously we are so very blessed.

A very long and wonderful first day of our trip!