Shhh… don’t tell anyone!

But I’m actually a mystery shopper.

The photo you see of the boy flying at Universal CitiWalk?  We were PAID to go there : )

The wind tunnel with 4

Wind tunnel with 4″ of plexi-glass

IMG_1248

First flight

IMG_1249

Perfect form!

IMG_1267

Superman pose

iFly Photo

Learning to fly!

At $60 a pop, I don’t think I’ll be going back to fly at Universal CitiWalk anytime soon.  But I’ll let them pay me to go as many times as they want!

Aaack!

I know, I know… it’s been forever since I posted something on the blog.  I can’t even blame “work” for being too busy to post!

The truth is we arrived in Koh Samui and have been house-sitting two dogs and a cat in the Bophut area of Koh Samui.  The reason I haven’t blogged is because it is so HOT.  I mean, this is an Africa kind of hot… sweltering heat that saps my energy and leaves me drained at the end of the day.  Damon and I collapsed into bed one night at 8:28pm! That’s just downright embarrassing.  I had to say goodnight to my 9 year old son.

And, along with the heat is this really deep, hard sleep.  I don’t dream, I don’t wake up at night, I don’t move around in the bed… I’m so tired that I can barely move.  In the morning I wake up feeling like I slept HARD.  Like I had a heavy mattress on top of me and I’m still pressed into the bed.  I end up feeling achy and not rested enough.  It’s strange.

Wesley doesn’t seem to have that problem.

Napping Buddies

Napping Buddies

The good news is that we’re having a great time house-sitting.  We have a beautiful 2 bedroom 2 bath home to live in and a small pool next door.  The Canadian family who owns the big house next door encourages their neighbors to use the pool while they’re gone.  You can see the roof of our house at the top of the picture.

Personal Pool

View of the small pool.

We would walk next door when we got too hot and jump into the little pool.  Then we would climb the outdoor stairs to their veranda.

View of the ocean from the 3rd floor.

View of the ocean from the 3rd floor.

For two weeks we got to play with puppies, swim in the small pool, go for walks in the condo complex, swim in the condo’s main pool, and scoot around town.  It was fabulous.

Main Pool.

Main Pool.

Badminton in the yard.

Badminton in the yard.

IMG_0381

Wesley with a few “friends” while he eats.

One of the best things about the entire pet-sitting scenario is that EVERYONE was thrilled with the outcome.  Damon and I thought we got the best end of the deal because we got free lodging for two weeks… and Lauren & Dave (the pet owners) thought they got the best end of the deal because they had people taking care of their pets in their own home… everyone wins.

Next on our travel itinerary… Chaweng Beach!

We Found a House-Sit!

Six months ago when we first started dreaming about this trip, I was trying to find out any information I could about selling our stuff and traveling for a year… and I found the blog Where is Jenny?  She had some great information on garage sales, Craigslist, mystery shopping and alternative accommodations.  One of them was house-sitting internationally.

I signed up with Housecarers, Mind My House, and I sometimes check in at The Caretaker Gazette.  I figured it would be a great experience for us to LIVE somewhere.  What’s more local that taking your dog for a walk?  What better way to feel like you live there than to carry your groceries (of pet food) into a real house and prepare food in a real kitchen?  Besides the obvious cost savings, Wesley is a real home-body.  He doesn’t like leaving the house, let alone changing hotels.  Besides, he really misses Snowflake, Bella & BlackJack.  (Actually, I think we all do).  I thought it would be good for all of us to get some pet snuggles… even if we are “stealing” them from another families pets : )

The problem is, competition is fierce for people who live in desirable areas… and South East Asia is a desirable location!  We were turned down for a long-term house sit in Pattaya (a beautiful home with private pool), because there are so many people willing to travel for free lodging.

But a house-sit came up that was relatively short, close-by, and with two of the cutest pets ever!  Meet Lola & Margot…

Look at that face!

Look at that face!

She's winking at me : )

She’s winking at me : )

We get to take care of these little guys for two weeks!  I’m so excited!  I can’t wait to play on the beach with Lola and have Margot sit in my lap and purr.  I don’t dare tell Wesley about it yet… he’ll want to leave tomorrow.

If you run into him, don’t tell!

Down at the pub…

Friday night we headed down to the pub…

IMG_0048

IMG_0050

We became “members” of the Kamala Sports Club so that we can participate in their weekly drawing.  We saw a current member win $11,000 Thb just by picking the joker out of a deck of cards!  We’re in for next week for sure : )

Neighbors at our condo unit had suggested we drop by this pub… they have the joker drawing, a happy hour free buffet, free pool, and 50 Thb beers.  So of course we had to try it out.  Wesley would not get near any of the food in the buffet line… no surprise there.  So we ordered him a cheeseburger while we ate mashed potatoes & meatloaf, chicken fettucine alfredo, and roasted vegetables.  We chatted with our neighbors and their friends, got some info on a cheaper scooter rental (whoo hoo!), and drank a few beers each.

All in all a good time… and only a 550 Thb bill at the end of the night.  It seemed a little weird to go to a bar for the free food at happy hour instead of free drinks… but at 550 Thb, I could get used to it : )