Sunday, January 24, 2016

our traveling circus...

My goodness, it's time to get our December blogged!  The past month and a half have been so busy- I don't know what to do with myself!!

So- back to cambodia.
Cambodia and Angkor Wat have always been on my bucket list.  And now I'm certain they should also be on EVERYbody's bucket list.  This place was AMAZING!!!!!  I wish I could double capitalize that. Or make my exclamation points LOUDER!! because, really, Cambodia is AMAZING!!!!!

I've got a gajillion pics. some from my cell phone, some my camera.  

Cambodia was HOT. but 'luckily'- we visited in December when it's cooler and drier. Only 93-96 degrees- and not 90% humidity like in the summer :)  I never thought anybody could call 96 'cooler temps'.

We traveled to Cambodia with three families.  Ten kids, six adults.  we looked like a traveling circus.  we WERE a traveling circus. 

Here are the 7 oldest kids with the monks at one of the Ruins.  the other 3 monkeys are babies and don't sit still for pictures :)  I can't believe how well our little circus did.  My kids love traveling with their friends.  It actually reduced their complaining by about 75%. 
It also helped that touring the ruins and driving around on tuk-tuks was just plain awesome.  Everything was fun and adventurous.  EVERYTHING.

Our kiddos could run around and climb and explore and enjoy this place. 

I couldn't believe the trees at these ancient temples.  They are all SO old. and the tree roots are SO big.  This one was like a giant snake wrapping up and around walkways.
The roots ran like long creepy fingers down the doorways and along the walls.  I LOVED it.
All of the sites are certainly world wonders.  You can't believe the intricacies and vastness of everything built in the khmer and other empires. My favorite sites were the giant faces and heads.  It was like exploring an Indiana Jones movie! or the real live ride at disneyland!!

There are long hallways and rooms and windows everywhere. they go on and on and on.
wouldn't you love to run around and explore this place as a kid?! pure heaven,
Metta's pose here kills me.  she's a weirdo.  and she ate a lot of pineapple on this trip.
I was rather surprised that the ruins weren't more heavily guarded or protected!  a lot of the spots had unsteady pillars and blocks.  The super famous sites are blocked off more- but the smaller temples are open to roam.  They were more fun :)
Here's an example of some makeshift supports.
and an area that hasn't held up so well :)
the mornings were shady and little cooler - so that's probably why this temple was my favorite.  It was almost entirely empty as well.
Isn't it amazing????

This is the temple featured in the Tomb Raider movie. which I've never seen.  It was pretty cool- but a lot more crowded and roped off.  we couldn't even get any closer to these roots.

I found a large group of Russians at this temple and they couldn't stop asking me questions about my kids and their ages!!  I love hearing and speaking (although now very poorly) Russian!!  one lady at this spot was arguing with her husband about how they could have brought their baby if we did!!  I told her we were crazy.

look at the details of the carvings!! and these are faded and eroded after hundreds and hundreds of years!!

driving from site to site was probably my favorite part of this trip.  we had a tuk tuk driver named 'Monday'.  he was stellar.  I found him on trip advisor before we left for our trip and he had all five star reviews.  It was so much fun bouncing around. it gave us much  needed breaks between temples- and cooled us off.  He always had cold water and cold napkins for us when we got in, too. and he took us to great restaurants. cambodia is full of delicious cheap fruit.  It was heaven, really.

We were quite the spectacle everywhere we went.  look at all of those little people.
my favorite meal in all of cambodia was had at this little temple side spot.  the Chicken amok and fresh fruit was beyond heavenly.   creamy non spicy coconutty chicken and dragonfruit mixed with mangoes and pineapple and watermelon and bananas.
Before we left for our trip  - I stopped at the Burger King on base (blechh) and stocked up on a big handful or 3 of ketchup packets for Ike. For real.  He'll eat almost anything as long as its doused in ketchup and we were afraid cambodia may not have it as readily available as we needed.  I'm glad we brought the packets- because they had plenty of ketchup- but Ike didn't like how it tasted. Of course.  Ike is our most particular child.
My very favorite temple in all of Cambodia was Bayon.  This place has 216 giant faces built throughout.  It was constructed in the 12th century.
metta loved it, too.
Looking at these pics reminds me how ridiculously hot it was out here in the direct sun.

so bright and so hot.

more climbing adventures!!
all of the spots/holes in the rocks and faces were once full of jewels that sparkled when they caught the light!
Metta is about to freak out here because the rock is SO HOT! she was shrieking that it was 'burning my bum'!!!'.
I want to go back here NOT at midday and get some better pictures!!!
on the grounds of the temple is the 'library' of Bayon.  I overheard somewhere that it has the best views of the temple so we decided to climb it and get some shots.  It was A LOT steeper than it appeared from the bottom.  Zeb was about to break down in tears here.  He was so nervous.  and it was SO HOT.  I was dripping sweat getting this picture.  I think Ike scampered up and down these stairs 4 or 5 times.  he was making a lot of other tourists nervous!! 
The view was great.  But it was still BRIGHT and SCORCHING!!!

Mack was pretty hot and bothered at this point.  A random English speaking tourist stopped here and handed him a sucker.  It worked and calmed him down pretty well :)  People thought we were crazy but were really nice to us and our kids.

Here's a new temple with lots of headless guards lining a bridge over a moat leading up to it.  I jumped over the bodies and clung on for my life to get a picture as one of their heads :) Totally worth it.
There are so many kids in Cambodia selling things and begging for money.  The government is very specific in asking people to NOT buy from or donate to them or even give them food or candy.  It encourages them (their parents) to keep them begging, miss school, and creates jealousy amongst them,  This little kid was just drawing pictures in the sand- not asking for anything.
 I asked if I could take his picture and he said yes.  

I think this giant tree looks just like a huge dinosaur.  A brontosaurus.
this is the other side of him.
This little girl loved metta and clara. and she was so sweet.  she loved seeing the pictures I took of them.
After our hot hike through this temple we bought a big bunch of bananas and some strange drink flavors.  They were disgusting.  I don't even know what they were.

Kent is a really good husband.  He gets baby carrying duty 90% of the time on our vacations because he knows I love camera duty.  We joked that we will always talk about the time we went to Cambodia when Kent was nine months pregnant.  Because I told him that's what it feels like to be forced to carry a giant baby all of the time and never be able to put them down even when hiking mountains and climbing towers. It's good for him to know what I go through!! don't tell him that pregnancy isn't that hard on me :)
Our kids are so lucky to see the things they see and do the things they do.  Too bad they won't remember it.  Thus another reason for my thousands of pictures.

I've got so many more pictures to post!!  be prepared.

1 comment:

Annie Oswald said...

LOVE this! And I"m so proud of you and Kent. You just keep going.