adventures in Thailand

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Awakening to Venus (or 9 beds in 8 towns in 22 days)

AWAKENING TO VENUS seems appropriate for this blog because this morning at 5 a.m. the bright planet greeted me through my second floor bedroom window on Cape Cod. It was so bright that for a moment it appeared to be the moon. Then I remembered seeing a half-moon two nights ago as it rose on the other side of the house. What appeared through my window was big, but not that big, I thought.

Tonight’s shining beacon in the dark sky had to be a planet unless a UFO was hovering over Long Pond in Marston’s Mills. Truthfully, my first thought (for only a second or two) was a possible UFO. (Apologies to the non-believers and scientists reading this.)

CAPE COD, you said? Yes. The past two nights have been spent in bed #9 in town #8 during my month-long East Coast visit to the USA. Wandering around so much since arriving in NYC on October 1 has provided plenty of opportunities to see many relatives and friends. And, naturally, complete an analysis of a variety of mattresses. 🙂

Growing up with parents from Massachusetts’ north shore (Newburyport and Amesbury),every summer the Silbey Clan migrated north for two months at Salisbury Beach (the last Mass. beach before New Hampshire). Thus, Cape Cod remained a mystery to us although we did venture to Rockport, Gloucester and the Swan Boats in Boston Garden each year. Finally made it to the Cape in my late forties. After decades in the Newburyport/Salisbury Beach area, the Cape appeared underwhelming to me.

All that changed three years ago, July 2009, when Ray and Alison Partridge hosted me for the first time. My dear cousin Karen married into the Partridge family. For years she and her husband Rob regaled me with tales of his parents’  legendary hospitality. They told the truth: it’s difficult to imagine a better host and hostess or a more lovely home in which to stay. (Let me know if you want details about the beautifully decorated home with great art and mementos from their world travels.)

The two nights on the Cape followed four nights with Rob and Karen Partridge in a Boston suburb. My stay with the younger Partridge family couldn’t have been better and it was “just what the doctor ordered.” Prior to arriving in their home, my itinerary resembled a whirlwind as I jumped from place to place to see relatives and friends. The four nights with Rob and Karen provided a respite and sufficient time to recharge my travel batteries.

9 beds in 8 towns/cities in 22 days is the latest count, a new record for me. One more new bed will be added next week in Woodstock, one in Seattle on November 1 and #12 in Taipei, Taiwan on November 7. Other venues, in chronological order, include New York’s Greenwich Village, Germantown, Maryland, Rockville, Maryland, Mamaroneck, NY, historic Cooper Inn in Lake Hill, NY, Woodstock, NY, Manhattan, NYC, Needham, Massachusetts and Marston Mills, Cape Cod.

Whew, I’m tired just reading this. Are you? Hopefully you’ll recognize that one reason for the six-week absence on this blog is my grueling travel itinerary. Oh, and I forgot to mention three beds prior to my October 1 arrival in the USA. These include two nights of CouchSurfing in Chiang Mai, Thailand (my first surfing instead of hosting), two nights in Cambodia’s capital of Phnom Penh and five nights in Siem Reap, the town closest to incredible Angkor Wat.

Hopefully the last sentence will whet your appetite for a missing blog about the last week of September in Cambodia. I promise to write that within a week. Best of all, my Russian friend’s terrific photographs from our time together will supplement my words if you go to her link. To be continued…