our full day tour to Ayutthaya and Bang Pa In we were pretty much
exhausted, but we managed to meet our friend Derek for dinner. This
would be our last opportunity to see him as the next day would be
our last full day in Bangkok and the GCT group was scheduled to
have another farewell dinner that evening. We, of course, enjoyed
the few hours we got to spend with him knowing it might be years
before we meet again.
next morning Anne and I decided to forego the optional tours and
just bum around. We spent the day shopping and learning how to take
the Sky Train around Bangkok. I must say we did pretty good. We
managed to get to our destination, the Shangri La Hotel, and back
without any mistakes or mishaps. We were probably both surprised.
We couldn't help but feel a bit of sadness knowing that this was
the last day of our trip. Tomorrow morning we'd be boarding our
flight for home and it would all be a memory.
our last night GCT hosted a farewell dinner at the Hilton's restaurant.
It was buffet style and very good. The time had come to bid farewell
to the new friends we'd made and, unfortunately, to pack the last
time and set the bags outside the room for pickup. We had an extremely
early flight, 6:00 a.m., and we were up at 2 and left the hotel
at 3 for the airport. This would prove to be a horrendous travel
day. No nothing went wrong and the flights were pretty much on time,
it was just a long one. Six hours to Tokyo, three hour layover there,
another 12 hours to Minneapolis, three hours there and then two
and a half more hours home. Needless to say we were all exhausted
by the time we arrived home. Everyone but my sister Carol.
our Yangtze River cruise Carol and I, along with several other people
on the tour, caught colds that we ended up fighting the rest of
the way. Carol's unfortunately didn't get better. By the time we
hit Bangkok she was running on fumes and ended up skipping a couple
of the things we did to rest. Her flight home was longer and more
miserable because of the way she felt. As soon as she arrived home
she went to the hospital where she was admitted with pneumonia.
She remained there for the next five days recuperating. We all felt
sorry for her and hoped that it didn't dampen the memories of the
trip for her. She said it didn't.
was hard then to realize our trip was over and hard now to realize
I've once again come to the end of a fabulous vacation to a wonderful
place. Anne and I hope you enjoyed your visit to our China 2001
album. As we told our fellow travelers when we parted ... maybe
we'll cross paths again in some beautiful and far off place. Until
then happy voyages!!!