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  • Elisse Carma

Phuket, Part 1

Amelia laughs as she wades in the ocean water

Over Christmas we visited Phuket, Thailand. I told Brad as we planned the vacation that I really wanted a relaxing vacation. We'd been exploring all year, and I really wanted to just enjoy the beach together.

Brad and Skye play in the sand

We've done a few beach trips, Bali and Kanazawa (Japan), but both were a bit hectic. Really fun, but definitely not the relaxing beach vacation I had in mind.

Amelia tries to get her hair loose from her goggles

Brad, our family vacation planner, promised to deliver... and he definitely did just that.

Skye isn't happy about the water

Thailand was perfect! Brad found a fantastic airbnb at the south end of Phuket. He did a LOT of research because our airbnb experience in Bali was... less than awesome. Don't get me wrong, we've had plenty of great experiences with airbnb, but the accommodations in Bali were not good.

Happy beautiful Skye

He found a beautiful private villa with great reviews and a very responsive, professional host. He had the host arrange for a chef to come to the house for most of our meals for a reasonable price.

Brad Dean and Amelia sit on tubes in the water

This villa had access to a secluded beach, very quiet and safe. We'd go play on the beach every afternoon and come back and wash up just in time for dinner downstairs.

Amelia takes the chips from Skye

It was perfection. Just what I'd always dreamed of. I will remember this trip forever.

Brad holds Skye in the lovely ocean water

I still can't believe we had the opportunity to do this. It was absolutely worth the price.

Me and the kids in black and white on the beach

Brad was kind enough to take some pictures of me with the kids because he knows I'm usually not in the frame. I really appreciated that. I'll treasure this for a long time--I actually have evidence that I was there!

Grandpa shows Amelia the town in the distance

A huge part of our reason for going to Thailand over Christmas was so that we could meet up with my parents. They are big travelers, and they've already done Japan--in 2016--so they said they'd meet us anywhere and we all thought Thailand sounded perfect.

Amelia at the Big Buddha

We got to visit The Big Buddha, which was really cool. I loved the windy drive up the hills to get there and the sweeping views of the island from the top.

Drawing on tiles at the Big Buddha

The kids wrote their names on tiles, a small way for us to contribute to the place, along with buying a little trinket for our Christmas tree, which we like to do at every temple or religious site we visit.

Amelia mimicking Buddha

I really love that my kids have the opportunity to see different religions, cultures, and perspectives when we travel, because I feel it helps them to be open minded and curious.

Grandma and Grandpa and Amelia at the Big Buddha

We ate vegan food there at The Big Buddha, which they advertise as free with options to donate. It reminded me of the delicious vegan food at the temples in Seoul--so tasty and so healthy. And some of it unbearably spicy!

Naptime at the villa in Phuket

Back at the villa, we had lots of rest time throughout the week. It was just so nice to sit around and read and let the kids play while watching the boats go back and forth across the water, listening to the sound of the wind and waves and birds. Just heavenly.

Amelia sorts through all her christmas presents

Oh yeah, and Christmas! Christmas morning, we were all recovering from long flights (but especially my parents, who got to the villa around 1am after like 32 hours of travel or something horrendous), so we took it easy. We only brought the stockings, and exchanged a few small gifts and just relaxed. It was perfect.

Tired Dean stares sleepily at me with his airplane toy

Part 2 coming up...

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