Thailand happened. I’ll do the individual events chronologically as always, but let me summarize straight off and declare that it was great but that we will probably never do it again. The structure of the trip centered around a nine-day, 200-mile bike ride across the southern isthmus from Surat Thani to Krabi, with a few days break in the middle to go sea kayaking and a few days afterwards in Bangkok. Neither I nor Danny is a “cyclist”, per se, but the trip offered by Pedalers Pub and Grille (operating out of Florida for tax purposes but actually based in Chiang Mai) was rated green for “accessible” so we were willing to give it a try. Danny prepared by renting $7,000 worth of camera lenses and I prepared by reading a history of the border with Burma, but otherwise we pretty much winged the whole trip. Thailand is a nice low stress country where you can do that and still make it home in one piece.
Our new requirement for luxury and the miracle of an AmEx Centurion meant we got companion tickets to fly Cathay Pacific business class via Hong Kong, meerkats peering at each other over our 8-way adjustable dens between the champagne and the truffle courses. I read a North African cyberpunk novel and napped in the flat bed but Danny couldn’t sleep so has a thousand photos of cracking ice sheets over the Bering Strait. The new Bangkok Airport, Suvarnabhumi (sue-wanna-poom), thinks highly enough of itself to translate to “mainland Southeast Asia” according to my map book, but the cutest and most Thai thing other than the ubiquitous posters of the king with his Nikon is the statue of Ronald McDonald making wai in the food court.