note: driving on the opposite side of the road and crazy locals on tourists makes for a slightly terrifying passenger experience. thank god monica has done this before. most of the time i can't even figure out which side we should be on..turning makes my brain hurt. and the people here drive crazy..it's still a bit disconcerting to see 5 people on one scooter, 3 of them small children. that said, we make it safely to the phuket marriott beach club and, wow, this place is amazing. i still haven't taken any pictures of the lobby and reflection pool. when we checked in they gave us a cold towel and a very tasty minty/lemonade/most refreshing drink EVER! we check in, then promptly get lost and frustrated trying to drive to the condo...this is because we are sleep deprived and, just wanting to get to our room, leave the lobby without getting specific directions.
not being able to find your hotel room after being awake for some ungodly number of consecutive hours is not a good thing. doing it in 95 degree, 100% humidity weather, in long pants and no sandals, even better! once we find the driveway, we can't seem to locate the actual location of our room. (sidenote for explanation: monica's parents have a timeshare in orlando, but as one can do with timeshares, can book anywhere in the world - or something like that. we're using their timeshare week to stay at this beach club - 2 bedroom condo, with a kitchen, living room, huge master bath, laundry, balcony, and, if you get the right view through the trees, an ocean view). the hotel staff take pity on us driving around looking lost and infuriated and send someone on a bicycle to show us the way.
walking into the cool, air conditioned condo was the best feeling of the day - well so far. (it gets better).
omg the condo is amazing. seriously, it's gorgeous! mom sent a great fruit basket, which was such a nice surprise. i think this place is bigger than my actual condo in san diego. odd. after looking around the room and lamenting about how we had no luggage (ok, this was me. monica was smart and packed her bathing suit and board shorts), we headed down to explore the grounds of the hotel - the resort is right on the beach and is just so so cool. i love the landscaping here - it's so well maintained. we walked down to the beach, saw the main pool, and checked out the water sports that are available. we hadn't eaten since the plane into phuket that morning, so after putting sunblock on (good call), we went down to the main pool for our first (and anticipated only) meal at the hotel itself.
..overpriced, not incredibly authentic, but very very easy and accessible. there was no way that our jet-lagged, hot, exhausted selves were getting back in a car to get lost (again) in search of food. we got pad thai (which is nowhere ever CLOSE to the amazing pad thai we've had at local places), spicy beef salad, some coconut water, and a few drinks...all by the side of the pool overlooking the ocean. yeah seriously, it was pretty incredible.
next we headed to the beach massage place right closeby for an hour thai massage. after such a long plane trip, this felt wonderful. i drifted in and out of sleep, but definitely felt considerably relaxed by the time it was over. there was still some daylight left, so monica and i hopped in the ocean - i realized how happy i was that we have laundry in the room since now all possible appropriate clothes had either been worn for over 24 hours or been in the ocean.
..in many cases both, the ocean here is incredible. the waves come in a little hard at this beach, but the water is warm and clear. we got out of the ocean, rinsed off and promptly hopped into the pool.
i'm still amazed that we managed to do all of that, and then come back and upload photos and get settled. i think i managed to stay up until about 9:30pm. there were a few moments after showering, putting on a robe and laying down on the couch that i thought i was done for and ready to give in by 7:30pm. but i held tough, determined to acclimate to thai time right away...
oh yeah, and our luggage arrived slightly before 9. thank god!