Funerals and weddings. Miss Universe and Pamela Anderson.
Wow, ok, so.. the past few weeks have been a whirlwind to say the least. Back on the 2nd of this month (a Saturday) I flew out to CA for what was to be about a week in order to look for a house. We found the ideal rental house that Sunday and signed a one-year lease on it that Wednesday! Here are the specs: it's in Signal Hill, a really nice community/city which is completely surrounded by Long Beach. It's a brand new two-story home with 3 bedrooms + a loft and 2.5 baths. As the name implies, it is on a 'hill,' and we are able to see out into the valley. The coolest part? On a clear day, from the loft window, you can see downtown L.A. and the Hollywood sign about 25-30 miles off in the distance! There is also direct access to one of the many parks in Signal Hill in the neighborhood so that is pretty cool too!
I was supposed to have been coming home that Friday night, but as many of you know, Burin's mother had been pretty sick and he had gotten a call that she was going downhill pretty quickly, so we both left on that Thursday and headed for Bangkok. Unfortunately she passed away just a couple of hours before we landed in Bangkok. So the next seven days were spent attending funeral services. In a nutshell, Thai funerals consist of having visitation at a temple for about six days, and a cremation service on the seventh day. Needless to say, it was very different from an American funeral.
For the next two days (Saturday and Sunday) I was sick in bed with food poisoning from a single slice of pizza, of all things. Not from some tainted street vendor food. (The pizza is what I had it narrowed down to anyway.) And I ate it out of courtesy! haha.. I wasn't too hungry but they had ordered pizza one night and had it delivered to the house, so everyone was like "Brandi, pizza! Brandi, pizza!!" So I ate a piece. And got sick. For two days. Although it wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been, thank goodness.
That Monday I was feeling better and was able to go shopping. See, Sean's wedding was Saturday and I was originally planning to come back home from CA and go shopping for something to wear to it, but since the plans changed and I was in Bangkok and was going to be flying directly to Virginia for the wedding, I had nothing to wear and had to go shopping so that I could take it with me! Luckily, I found a suit from the first department store I went to.
Burin, his sister, and I went to the famous floating market outside Bangkok on Wednesday morning. On our way there, his sister stopped at a gas station to use the restroom and came back to the car and said she saw Miss Universe in there! Haha.. she had also come out at about the same time and got into a Mercedes. It was Miss Universe 2005 Natalie Glebova (of Canada). She has received a lot of press in Thailand because the pageant was held in Bangkok that year, and she is also married to Thai pro-tennis player Paradorn Srichaphan. So it seems that everyone there knows her. I totally did my research here because I don't keep up with stuff like that, and I know I never would have known who she was if I would have peed next to her. All these pageant people look the same to me!
So we went on to the floating market, which is something I had been wanting to do for a while. Basically it's where vendors sell their stuff (souvenirs, fruits, etc) from boats or from along the sides of the waterways and canals, and you as a tourist can rent a boat and shop from right there in the boat! It also makes for some really cool and very popular photographs. And guess who we ran into while there.. yea, Miss Universe. She was taking pictures as Burin and I were acting crazy so we might just be on her camera.
This sweet little old lady on the right is 78 years old and sells coconut juice from her boat. That's Burin's sister in the middle.
On Thursday afternoon, we left Bangkok to head back to CA. Sitting next to us on the plane was um.. I'll just say a "she-man." I glanced at his/her boarding ticket, and yes, his/her name was Pamela Anderson. Didn't look a thing like her.
So we made it back to CA on Thursday afternoon and we went to pick up the key to the house and made a run to Target to pick up a couple of things. My flight to VA for Sean and Dana's wedding was early the next morning and I had two (yes, two) layovers, one in Phoenix and one in DC. I finally made it, but my luggage didn't. You can imagine how worried I was that I'd be wearing my airplane clothes to the wedding the next day! Fortunately, it made it on a flight that next morning so I was able to get dressed. The wedding was in the mountains and it was very nice, small, and simple. Kinda chilly too, about 40 degrees, but we didn't have to be outside for very long. Here's the happy couple, who are now honeymooning in Ireland. *sigh*