Lauren here. Sorry I’ve been off the grid for some days. I think I’m of the mindset live now, reflect later. Drew’s been doing a great job updating folks on our happenings, so mad props to him. I, on the other hand, have been soaking up the sun on the Phi Phi Islands (pronounced pee-pee, but, as the sign in Phuket points out, Don’t Pee, so you make your own call on that one). I’ll dedicate a post to our days in Yangon, Myanmar, because they definitely deserve one from my perspective, but for now…I’ll share our day of 1/2 matrimony (the other 1/2 will take place in Galveston with family) and big adventures.

We opted for blessing ceremony on the beach at sunrise on a private beach here in the Phi Phi Islands. Seems we got *some* of what we bargained for. The “wedding planner” appeared to be somewhat of a con artist–he was dripping in gems, and took the opportunity to smoke a cigarette with his shirt wide open while we waited for the monks to finish praying. From what I’ve observed, the Thai are modest people, so this didn’t make a lot of sense to me, but SO MANY things don’t when I travel (and that’s a good thing). 

The ceremony itself was nice. It involved monk blessings, holy water, head slings, and wish lanterns. I will share a private moment with you: During the PLACING OF THE THREE DOTS CEREMONY (everything we did was explained in a very procedural way), we were instructed to put three dots (to symbolize the 3 jewels of Buddhism, which I later had to research myself) on each other’s foreheads and exchange some words. Apparently, we were supposed to have the words already planned out. Who knew?! Drew’s were sweet, thanking me for being the compassionate person that I am, and for my adventurous spirit. Now, ladies, here’s “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days”: Picture me placing 3 dots on Drew’s forehead. 1) I can’t wait 2) to go 3) to Monkey Island! 


Overall, it was a very unique and special event, plus, it enabled us to be back in time for breakfast, or as Drew called it, our reception 🙂

We enjoyed some down time this side of paradise, then had a very nice massage (perhaps the fifth or so since we’ve been in Thailand!) at the resort. Side note: I like feeling like I’ve been beat up when my massage is over. Sometimes bruises are involved. Thai massages are so very good for this! I was a bit concerned my hair wouldn’t hold up from the massage, but the very kind lady re-braided it for me! What a treat!

Drew returned to the bungalow to take a nap (from his nap) while I sought out to maximize sun exposure. This will be relevant to later events, I promise!

Next adventure of the evening: a sunset picnic on a deserted island–I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried! Anyhow, we took a longboat to a beautiful little beach on Bamboo Island, where wine and tapas were laid out for us. I did some hard-core shell-searching, while Drew played with a hermit crab. Out of nowhere, we experienced a downpour, as is one to happen during monsoon season. I sought shelter under some trees. Thankfully, it was short-lived. We watched a sunset, and got more of the same (“same same, but different,” as they say over here) photos. Little did we know the real adventure was about to begin!

The boat ride back was death-defying! The water was incredibly choppy, and our little wooden boat not the sturdiest. Even the crew seemed a little caught off guard. Now, I love open-water. I find it fascinating, humbling– but capsizing in it, not so much. I put the death grip on Drew, the whole time rehearsing rescue procedures in my head,  until we reached the twinkling lights of Zeavola, our resort. 

Since our picnic was rained on, we were of course, hungry (when am I not?) for dinner. Here’s where this afternoon’s sun-bathing shenanigans come into play. I went to change–as my clothes were soaking wet from the ride–into my clothes from earlier in the day, only, I lost them. It takes a special person to lose the clothes you were at one point wearing. They definitely weren’t in our room. After a quick cheek with reception, it seems I had left them on the beach! Don’t worry–it wasn’t a nude beach, I’m just that careless. Only in paradise…

If Bali is this great, I doubt I’m coming back. Sea Gypsy Village is very close to our resort on Phi Phi. That’s where you can forward my mail.