Saturday, January 3, 2015

Our Elephant Trekking Christmas Day!

Merry Christmas from Koh Chang, Thailand!

This day was anticipated for a VERY long time! We like to make Christmas Day special in our own way, even though we can't be with our extended families. This year we took a trip to an island in southern Thailand. Joe and I had been there before (our first year of marriage) so we knew what to expect and knew the kids would enjoy it!

Koh Chang, in Thai, means Elephant Island. So, this year for Christmas we trekked through the jungle on elephants. We'd been talking about it for about 2 months with Wesley. Since he's SO afraid of dogs and cats we weren't sure what he would be like once he was up close and personal with an elephant! We were pleasantly surprised!

We were counting down until December 25th. Or T-25
(Wes called it T-25 because of my exercise video I follow! haha)
We asked him questions: 
What will we do on Christmas Day? "Go for an elephant ride!"
How big is the elephant? "So REALLY big!"
What will the ride be like? "So REALLY bumpy!"
We watched kids riding on and feeding elephants on YouTube.
I made an elephant mask and gave kids rides on my back on my hands and knees.
The kids were as prepped as they could ever be!

The kids woke us up early on Christmas Day (well, that had nothing to do with Christmas Day, actually...they get up early every morning! ha)

We hopped into a pick-up truck taxi, which (other than moto rentals which we will NOT rent with the children despite locals trying to persuade us) is the main form of transportation. We zoomed off to an elephant camp where our elephants awaited us!! So exciting!

The hills on Koh Chang are incredible. SO steep and curvy. It's hard to capture on film, but sometimes we had to hang on to keep from sliding out of the truck as we went up the hills!

Yay!!! Elephants!

Joe & Wes went on one elephant, and Bria and I were on another. Since I had the camera, I got a bunch of cool shots of Wes & Joe together! The kids loved it!!

Wesley sat on the head and fed bananas to the elephant. 
What a highlight for him!

It is true jungle trekking on some pretty rugged terrain.

Bria's and my elephant was trying to get some bananas from Wesley, too!

Our elephant guide was watching YouTube videos while he rode our elephant. haha

Some family photos

Bria and I with the clear blue sky

Bria cried for Daddy so we let Joe ride with both children for a little ways

Joe with the babies on the elephant

After our ride we fed "our" elephants some more delicious bananas

It was impossible to get a family photo with the elephants afterward, since all we wanted to do was look at the elephants behind us...not the camera! :)

Such gentle, massive creatures. Amazing!

After our elephant trekking adventure we enjoyed some lunch at one of the MANY local cafes. 

Eating is usually the last thing Wes wants to do at meal times!

After a rest, we hit the beach!!
Wow, what a great Christmas!!!

After playing and relaxing on the beach, we found a beautiful beach restaurant to enjoy some amazing Thai food and a gorgeous sunset. It was amazing how well behaved the kids were! It was so beautiful and perfect. 

After dinner and a walk on the beach we enjoyed some ice cream at a little restaurant called the Happy Turtle. Best ice cream we've had in ages!!! We ended up frequenting that place a few times on our trip. Yum!!

I'll leave you with this photo for the end of our Christmas Day post.
We had such an amazing day, but of course missed you so much! One day maybe you can come and join us for Christmas. :)

As Wesley's British vocabulary humors us so many times, 
Happy Christmas!!!

love, Joe, Nica, Wes, & Bria