Stay-cations are something we really have only been doing for a few years now. It’s actually what inspired our exploration of our great state of Arizona. For awhile, well actually always, we were on a pretty tight budget and getting out of state just wasn’t written in the stars for our family of seven. Finding great places to check out near us has become a fast family favorite. This summer we made a quick trip up to Flagstaff to get out of the heat, check out from technology, and just simply unwind.
Sometimes there just isn’t enough time to plan for a full on camp out with tents, campfire cookouts, and long thought out wilderness adventures. And that’s ok too. Taking a stay-cation is about taking a break, getting away, and enjoying the company you’re in. We did just that staying 2 nights at the KOA Flagstaff campgrounds.
**This trip was a sponsored partnership with KOA for content creation, I am not required to post about my trip and I will not profit off any KOA bookings, just want to share my tips and thoughts about our camp adventure.**
Since we had little time to prepare for our mini camp, we hit up the local Walmart to make the most of our camp side dinner. We had some great burgers, steaks and peppers.
Keeping the kids off electronics
Finding ways to entertain kids gets a lot easier when your destinations have barely any cell service or wifi. But when you do have access and have the option to plug in, I find it’s easier to talk with the family about limiting, if not eliminating usage all together. It’s important to take time to be together without the distractions and noise that comes with the technology. I am lucky my kids really do enjoy the outdoors. We spent an afternoon taking advantage of the bikes KOA Flagstaff as available for rent. The boys were exhausted by the end of their hour rentals, but then a few hours later they were ready to take them for another spin!
To pass the time one afternoon, we took the kids over to the local indoor pool. In addition to a really cool swim center, there was air hockey and an indoor rock climbing wall. The boys had a great time while the adults relaxed back at the cabin.
The last morning we were there, we set out on a mini hike and man, I wish I have gotten everyone up for the views. We let the older boys sleep in and took the younger two out to explore Elden Trail. Such a great view!
All in all, we had a really nice get away to Flagstaff which is just a little over 3 hours drive. We breathed in all the fresh air, laughed, and ate well. What else do you need in a stay-cation?!?
As long as I can remember, I have dreamed of traveling to Thailand. Bangkok Thailand was top of the list. Being adopted and being raised in an all white family, I often heard the question, “how come you don’t look like them?”. It never bothered, especially as a small kid, I never felt like I didn’t look like anyone, what I looked like was always the furthest thing from my curious mind. As I became a teenager, kids my age were a lot more inquisitive. Asking more targeted questions like “what are you”, my awkward teenage self always wanted to answer in really weird ways, probably did most of the time. But I knew they just really wanted to know what my ethnic background. Luckily for me, I didn’t mind telling people I was half Thai and adopted. The more I shared that I was Thai (and was always correcting people that Thai is of Thailand and NOT Taiwan), I started to look into all things Thai and fell in love with my ancestry. Thus my lust for strolling the country of Thailand. I hope you enjoy these photos from my first trip. I guarantee it won’t be my last! Here are 5 things to do in Bangkok, Thailand.
1. Tour by Foot, BTS, or River Boat
I’ve always said the best way to get to know a place is to get out and walk. I love asking locals where I should walk, what is neat and not super touristy, and lastly, where I can get the best eats! As soon as we set out to leave our Airbnb I started chatting with the front entrance guy. He told me there was an Italian Festival happening on many streets near our apartment. Strange right?! Travel all the way to Thailand to celebrate the Italians, I was down. Well, it turns out that he didn’t say that at all. He said it was a Vegetarian festival. Hahaha, my husband was there and neither of us understood, so I am not 100% to blame on that one. We walked and enjoyed some vegetarian street foods, then off to a super cool restaurant taken by Tuk Tuk.
Here are some of my favs from taking a river boat and walking around in Bangkok Thailand.
River Boat Tour
2. Temple Hop in Bangkok Thailand
I have been blessed with 2 extra daughters, a few years back the boss and I decided we would host some foreign exchange students. One (the far left) is from Thailand, and the other (second left) is from South Korea. We hosted them in the same school year and the over lapped by a short period of time. We are so grateful to have been able to meet up with them in Thailand during our stay. May is going to school there in Thailand while Louie is doing her internship in hotel management. We had a wonderful time touring many Great Temple’s in Thailand.
Some Temple Tips:
Always remove your shoes before entering.
Dress modestly, you can be denied entrance if you are indecent to them and it is considered offensive. That means no short shorts or skirts, have sleeves on tops. If you are adamant about wearing a tank top, bring a large shall that you can pack away and take out upon your visit.
It is not required but donations are greatly appreciated and bring you lots of blessings.
Photos are only permitted outside, do not take them inside, look for the no photo signs.
3. Check out Koasan Road, Bangkok Thailand
If you are looking for a fun night out walking the streets of Thailand, you have to go to the famous Koasan Rd. Make sure you go on an empty stomach because the street food is amazing. Eating street food in Thailand is the ideal way to travel there. You can eat a meal there for about $3 in Bangkok Thailand. And it’s a lot of food, made from scratch, authentic, best Thai food ever! There are a lot of shops too. They say to negotiate as much as you can while you’re there, we didn’t. Honestly everything was so inexpensive, I would have felt guilty haggling prices down when I saw all the work that went into most of the shops and food carts I visited. But you do you boo.
4. Stroll down Yao Wa Rat – China Street Bangkok Thailand
Like many popular tourist destinations, you are sure to find yourself near a China Town or Street. We actually stayed very close to China Town so it was a great ending to a great visit in Bangkok. The street food here was by far the longest we waited for any street food in Thailand. Some of the lines we waited in were insane! It is a very popular night walk, I definitely recommend venturing over if you can spare the time.
5. Relax at Lings Place – Airbnb Bangkok Thailand
Being a photographer has many perks, connecting with great creatives abroad is one of them. I met Ling on Airbnb while looking for places to stay in Bangkok Thailand. Planning an overseas trip is nerve racking and exhausting. I reached out to Ling because she has several amazing stays available on her listings. I let her know what I wanted to do while in Bangkok, how I wanted to get about the city, and how long I had to stay while visiting. Not only did I get a great deal on a place to stay, she gave me all the insider tips on Thailand. She even one upped my Thailand exchange student with some great spots to stop and checkout! Lings place was both modern and modest, very practical, and had a great location with the BTS and tons of great walking streets nearby.
As I mentioned before, I was so lucky to have had the chance to catch up with my two foreign exchange daughters. I am so proud of all their accomplishments and how they have grown into such inspiring ladies. It’s so great to chat with them from time to time about what’s going on in their lives. They love watching my kids get older and I love hearing all about their studies and travels. Life is funny in the way that it connects you to people you never knew you needed. These gals are those gals to me.
Check out Ling’s Place near China Town and the BTS.
I can’t wait to get back to Thailand but on one final note, I have to say… traveling with this guy was pretty rad. He did a great job of reminding me to keep my head, along with my bags-0-plenty, attached to my body.
Keep your eyes peeled for the next segment from our Thailand Travels! Hope you enjoyed the photo overload! And if there are any pics you’d love to have in print, drop a comment below and I’ll add them to my print shop!
If you are a fan of the wild, wild west, you’ve most certainly heard of Tombstone. A few years ago we set out to explore Arizona a little deeper and check out all the things that make Arizona unique. Here I give you a little glimpse into Tombstone Arizona. Three hours SE of where we live in Queen Creek.Travel Arizona Tombstone
It’s hard to believe it took my husband and I nearly 14 years together to finally go camping. I am going to start sharing our family travels in this new Travel Trip Tuesday series. We have been a lot of places especially all over AZ. To kick it off I am taking you back to our first family camping trip to Christopher Creek in Payson, AZ. TRAVEL ARIZONA Christopher Creek, Payson.
If you aren’t the camping type and you’re really considering it. I am going to share my best tip for camp fire cooking. Along with a easy dinner you can make where everyone is hands on!
About Christopher Creek
With it’s high elevation of 5640 ft, you will definitely enjoy the fresh crisp air. Christopher Creek is a part of the Tonto National Forrest, known for it’s tall beautiful trees and it’s low desert canyon creek and near by fishing and swimming holes. There is plenty to do such as hiking, mountain biking, and fishing. Or you could just set up a hammock between a few trees and unwind in all of it’s natural glory.