Goodbye USA, Sawasdee Ka Thailand!
After we sold all of our possessions and all of the work was behind us, our friends and family threw us some rockin’ going away parties. Round 1 took place in downtown St Pete. We started off the night at the new rooftop bar, the Canopy at Birchwood on Beach Dr. It has amazing views of downtown St Pete, great atmosphere, and delicious cocktails.
The night continued next door at Moon Under Water for dinner and more drinks. My one regret that night is that I didn’t eat dinner – A. Because they have the most delicious food and B. Because I don’t remember much of what happened from that point forward…
Our third and final stop of the evening was at a country bar, One Night Stand. I knew Charlie would be in his element there. Apparently there is photo and video evidence of me riding the bull. Yeah…I should have had dinner before drinks. I won’t be posting those!
Round 2 took place in my hometown of Crystal River at the ever-so-famous Crackers Bar and Grill. So many of our friends and family came out to send us off! We had a blast spending time with everyone. If only we had just a little more time…
We are so grateful for having such wonderful friends and family. We can’t thank you all enough and miss you everyday! We are especially grateful for our lovely mothers who drove us to the airport at 2:00 am on Wednesday, August 28. Saying goodbye to the two of them might have been the hardest part. We love you, mommas!
First Layover in L.A
At 5:30 am, we departed for LA. We had a 7 hour layover so we planned to check in for our international flights right away, check our bags, and then meet Charlie’s good friend Alan at Manhattan Beach for lunch. Well, of course, nothing is ever as easy as you think it will be. We arrived at 9:45 am only to find the EVA ticket counter didn’t open until 2 pm. Awesome. We had two choices – sit in the airport all day or haul all of our luggage to the beach with us. Who wants to sit in an airport when you can be at the beach in LA? After tracking down a van that could actually haul all of our bags, we finally made it to lunch.
Second Layover in Taipei, Taiwan
We made it back to the airport with plenty of time to spare. Next stop – Taipei, Taiwan. We had a 16 hour layover in Taipei and we had read on the internet about a free 1/2 day tour provided by the airport. We figured this might be the only time we make it to Taiwan so why not? We arrived in Taipei at 10 pm and the tour was at 8 am the next morning. Of course, we decided to take the adventurous (aka cheap) route and camped out in the airport rather than settling in a hotel room for the night. We actually lucked out! After scoping out the terminal for some sleep spots, we came upon the perfect spot – a table and reclining chairs. We set up camp!
And we actually got a solid 4 hours of sleep…
We were up at 5 am and found a clean bathroom where we could wash our faces and brush our teeth. We grabbed a coffee and some dim sum and we were ready for our tour, feeling refreshed!
Free Tour of Taipei During Layover
We drove to Old Town Taipei where we walked through a temple, visited a museum, and walked the streets where all of the china is sold. We were surprised how clean the streets of Taiwan were. Definitely nothing like Thailand!
We were back at the airport by noon and departing Taiwan by 2 pm. Bangkok – here were come!