Here I am again, blogging about something that happened in 2015, and it's already 2017! 

October 2015 was the last month before my pregnancy with Finley hit hard and I had to relocate back to the U.S. for medical care. 
To be honest I was still pretty sick, and I wish that I remembered more from this time. But that's where my many pictures come in handy! So here is the picture-recap. 

Halloween
For Halloween Maverick was a cop. It was still wicked-hot outside, but we made it down to the Kids in the Park carnival they hold in a nearby park. Mav was still only 21 months, so he wasn't as interested in the games there as the free cookies, popcorn, and juice. He also had his first ever 'face painting' experience, where he became a kitty (because it was the fastest thing they could put on a wriggly toddler)! 
Afterwards we took him 'trick-or-treating'. Only a few places in Hong Kong do trick-or-treating, since it's a Western holiday, and Discovery Bay has a small neighborhood that's one of them. Thousands of people show up to this neighborhood right behind our apartment building, and the candy is gone in minutes, but everyone still wanders around in their costumes looking at the decorations and hanging out. It's as close to 'trick-or-treating' as it gets around these parts. :) 

My great friend Ai Lau (of Ai Lau Photography) took some photos of us at the park that I adore;

by Ai Lau Photography

by Ai Lau Photography

by Ai Lau Photography
Maverick has always loved swords, lightsabers, big sticks, laser, and guns. All boy that one!

by Ai Lau Photography
Maverick and his cousin cowgirl Hazel. She is so sweet and always takes time to play with him. 


Cousin Lola enjoyed the face paint too!




The other day (speaking from 2017 now) Maverick heard Hazel's voice in a video and said, "That's Hazel! That's my best friend!" Him and Hazel have had a special bond since he was very small. She will come over, unbidden, when she has free time to play with Maverick or take him to the park, just the two of them, for hours. He adores her, and she is so so good to him, it is so sweet to watch. 

Parks

 Maverick also spent a fair amount of time at parks in October, as I was trying to load up on the fun-time before I got sick. 







These last few are from the playground right behind our house, where Maverick goes at least twice a week. He learned to climb this ladder he is on in this picture about a week after we took his first steps. 

The boy has loved to wear his backpacks since 18 months to now (3 years old in 2017). He always insists on them, whereas he used to not care what was in them, he now fills them with toys and snacks. 





Apartment

From March 2014 to October 2015 we lived in this apartment (shown below). It was about 400 square feet, one bedroom, and was where we had so many firsts as a family, and for baby Maverick. In November 2015 we moved. 
Five floors down. 
In the same building. 
We didn't even box things up, we just carried our possessions down in the elevator. It only took about 1.5 hours (with the help of our friends), and upgraded to an apartment that is 598 square feet, and has 2.5 bedrooms (two real bedrooms, and what is basically a glorified pantry that is Mav's room). 
It was bittersweet leaving a place that hold so many memories for us. Bitter, because we had so much bliss there, and it meant time was passing and Maverick was growing up. 
And then sweet because, an additional 200 square feet! Woohoo!










Aberdeen
In October me and my sister took my parents out to Aberdeen. This is a 'boat village' in Hong Kong. It used to be all fishing boats, and people that lived on the water. Today it still has the small fishing boats, but it also has large cargo boats, and yachts, all mixed together. For a few dollars someone will drive you around to see the different boats, and you can see the last of the residents cooking and hanging laundry from their floating houses. It's a crazy juxtaposition, with the tiny fishing boats next to the yachts, and people living on floating houses in a small harbor, completely surrounded by sky-scrapers.  



















 Fake Christmas
This is a picture taken of us in October, for the local DB Magazine, which was supposed to talk about the different ways cultures celebrate Christmas. We were supposed to represent Americans. They wanted us to show what kind of dinner we usually had on Christmas Day, but when we told them we ate leftovers, they used some creative liberty and set us up with a mini-feast. 
We even graced the cover of the magazine- there really is a first time for everything! Big stars!


That's right. You heard it here. 
I am blogging when our family went to Thailand almost a YEAR and half ago. 
I'm sorry guys. But I figured I finally need to start going through photos and writing about our adventures before I forget them all! Mommy-brain has taken a serious toll on me. (Did you know that women literally loose brain cells during pregnancy? Let's blame it on that.)

So in August of 2015 we went on a family vacation to Thailand! We spent the first two days in Phuket, then went to Railay (on the tip of Krabi peninsula) for three days, and then back to Phuket for one more day. We went in the bottom of off-season, and had a blast! We hardly had any rain, temperatures were still great, and there were no crowds anywhere! In fact, we loved it so much that we bought tickets when we got back, to go again in January 2016 with Scott's parents! Unfortunately, I was so sick by January (with my pregnancy complications) that me and Maverick weren't able to make that trip :( 
But, that is how much we loved this place!

Here are entirely too many pictures, and some short recaps of what we did:

Our first hotel was in Karon, Phuket. If you go during off-season you get some C-R-A-Z-Y deals, and we stayed in some of the nicest resorts for less than $30 a night. Maverick adored their swimming pool, and playground. That first day we didn't even leave our hotel. Which is unheard of for us. 


Maverick discovered the art of sand-toys, and would clutch his all of the time. 

Just sharing snacks with daddy. 



This is one of my favorites!


I had never been to a hotel with a playground before. Such a good idea!

Maverick learned how to climb ladders two days after he took his first steps, so he was at ease here. 


This was the main-street near our hotel in Karon. 


On our second day we took a tour of some of the islands off the Phuket coast. There are thousands of tiny islands, many with huge cliffs like this. 


We stopped at Phi Phi island (which is pronounced 'pee pee'). 
Then we stopped here, at Maya Bay. It's where they filmed 'The Island". It is the most gorgeous place in the world. I don't exaggerate. Except, we came on off-season, left early, and there were still crowds there. 

video





These are traditional Thai long-tail boats. They can go into much shallower water than other boats, so when you do tours they often have you switch to these boats to bring you onto the islands. 







From Maya Bay we stopped at Monkey Island. It's a tiny sand beach off a cliff island, where monkeys congregate. They scale the cliffs to drop down and greet the tourists. Monkeys here are NOT afraid of people. 














Maverick was universally adored by all Thai people. I think because of his porcelain skin, bright blue eyes, and energy. People would run out of their stores to give him cookies, fruit, toys, and to hold him and take pictures with him. 


Maverick was deep into his love affair with sticks at this point. He carried them EVERYWHERE. 







video
This island is known for having thousands of tiny fish that come to eat. 

The last island of the second day was where we stopped for the gorgeous sunset. Then our tour guides preformed fire dancing for us (like spinning torches). It was hilarious. They were obviously not professionals at it, and I think someone might have gotten burned. I think they just got drunk, and decided that was more fun than trying to find the bio-luminscent plankton they had promised us. 


One of the few rain-storms we had hit when we got back from our tour. This is a street near our hotel. Phuket has so many bright colored buildings! 














This is Railay. It is on the tip of Krabi, Thailand peninsula. To get there we took a few hour ferry, which switched us (mid-water) to a long-tail boat. The long-tail boat brought us into Railay. It is the only way to access the tiny beach town, because no roads reach it, and it is too shallow for larger boats. The long-tail boats can't reach the shore at low-tide either, so we stopped about 100 yards out in the water, and walked through the water with our bags over head to get to the hotel!
Railay is beyond gorgeous. It's a tiny town with only about 10 hotels, a hundred or so locals, and two streets of restaurants, shops, and spas. It is known for rock-climbing, beautiful beaches, caves, and monkeys. 
It is so small you can literally walk from one end to the other (width-wise) in five minutes. There are no cars, no roads (just paths and some paved walkways), and no chain stores or restaurants.






One of the many caves. 

Maverick has been a beach bum since birth. He loves to play in the sand, loves the sun, and the water.




Railay beach had all of these tiny crabs that made the most gorgeous patterns when they dug their holes. They carpeted the beach. 














That hotel you see on the beach was ours!


The other side of Railay, with its unique cliffs and stone islands. 







This side of Railay has a cave that is a popular Thai attraction. It is dedicated to a woman that lived their long ago and protected the sailors, it is said if you bring her a 'gift' she will bring you fertility. So this cave is filled with penises. All shapes, sizes, and colors. 





Railay beach. 

And that was our trip to Phuket! It is crazy seeing how little Maverick was, this was over half his life ago (he turns 3 this weekend).

As a side note, in Phuket they take people parasailing behind boats. This picture is the tourist strapped into the parasail, and a local hanging onto the ropes, then when they are landing the local drops down a few feet before to help the tourist land. They all did this! 


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