After dinner we went out to find our friends amongst the crowd. While we were looking for them, we wandered into the 'Luxury Goods Shop' to have a gander. Again, lots of glitz and sparkle (why wasn't that a surprise by now??) but there were some lovely bags, shawls and pearls. As I came through the door I noticed the most delicious pearl necklace - just 3 small pearls in different colours. Simple, and beautiful. I assumed they were too expensive and left. However, once we caught up with our friends, I dared Pitsa to go in there and buy something. She's laughing and saying "No. I'm not buying!!" but we all went in and yes... when I found out the pearls were only 1000 baht (about $40) I laid down the cash. I was so rapt. I've already got a silver chain from Bali, so I'm set. That was going to be my major present to myself. (Little did I know that the emerald and diamond ring was lurking in my future. )
We hung around together for about an hour before the show began. My family were up near the back, which was good because we got to see everything without craning our necks every which way. The show opened with a row of elephants parading through the theatre. Have to say that I've never seen this before. And they held the tail of the one in front of them with their trunks, just like in Dumbo. I was enchanted.
On our last full day we went shopping in O-Top market. The boys had pretty much run out of money, so I gave them 1500 baht each and told them that they were doing Christmas shopping. That's around $60 to buy presents for me, their Dad and Vivienne, Gran and Grandpa, and the other three brothers. They could club together to buy things, or go it alone... it was up to them.
We went home via a 7-11 where we bought noodle cups for the boys' dinner. I was happy just to eat steamed rice after the big lunch we had at the market. Actually, it was funny watching the guys eat the noodles. Obviously the Asian people like a touch of chili in their flavourings, which was a tad unexpected for my namby-pamby skips. A few mouthfuls downed, and then they were scoffing steamed rice and gulping water as if it was an Olympic sport. We then watched the last Harry Potter movie all curled up in the lounge room together, and then it was off to bed.
All in all, I think it's been a good holiday. Obviously, the hotel's location spoiled it in a few different ways, (and when I wrote this, I had no idea that my credit card had been skimmed), but once we got away from that then everything came together.We all loved the shopping and the tours were fantastic. Especially the elephants. Those big feet! Those flappy ears and twinkly little eyes! I want one.
It's been the time with the kids that has been the best thing, though. I'm so lucky to have such fun, mature and loving kids who are such good company. At least most of the time...They've been so agreeable, enthusiastic, co-operative and appreciative of the whole experience. The younger three haven't put a foot wrong, and Jack comes into his own when haggling is involved. He has a mind like a calculator, so he's our resource when it comes to converting how much things cost. He loves doing it for anyone, not just himself, so that's come in very handy.
Getting away from the day to day routine has been wonderful for reconnecting to them as people. It's also been wonderful watching them interact amongst themselves. They'd disappear off to the pool for ages and play together and just hang out. They like each other, and that makes me feel hopeful for the future. I'd love them to have a tight bond with their brothers that lasts.