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Dolphin Bay Family Result – Family Bliss

April 26, 2013

We hired a private taxi to take us the 45 minutes south of Hua Hin to the Dolphin Bay area to stay in the number one rated family hotel on Trip Advisor – Dolphin Bay Family Resort.

Wow … we are not sure what family travel perfection looks like … but it has to look something like the Dolphin Bay Family Resort.  http://www.dolphinbayresort.com/en/  It would be a young backpackers worst nightmare – families and kids everywhere, nothing but silence after 9:00pm and $5 cocktails … but to for families it is down right next to perfect.

Three separate pools all with varying depths, waterslide, beautiful outdoor playground, and indoor play and movie room, nice beach, a wonderful restaurant with plenty of western and Thai food to choose from.  Amelie ate macaroni and cheese for 6 straight meals – lunch and dinner.  Thankfully as the days passed, other favorites were discovered including banana pancakes and even chicken satay.  The daily breakfast buffet also impressed the children with choco corn flakes, and ‘Hello Kitty’ dishes and cutlery, while we parents were impressed by the ample fresh fruits, omelets, and even nice hearty rye bread we could insist the children eat rather than the white ‘Wonderbread’ otherwise most readily found here.  The staff too has been wonderful, and together with the clientelle and the layout of the hotel, have created a very very family-friendly environment.  We have extended our stay twice while we were here!

The highlights:

  • The utter simplicity of staying here.  Everything is within a 20 second walk – pool, restaurant, computers, beach, playground etc.  It has been a very nice and relaxing stay.  We had a chance to film the Justin Bieber lip synch video on the beach here to send back to Lucia’s classmates.  Lucia was in a “Fish Creek Idol” competition back in Calgary and her group had made it through five rounds of eliminations and were in the finals.  Unfortunately she missed the finale as we had left for Tokyo.  They were doing Justin Bieber’s Baby Baby. You need to watch the YouTube video until the end to catch Lucia’s “Peace sign”.  Who knew they were that hip??  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHZpEuM_JUo
  • The pools.  The three pools offer a variety of depths for the girls which allows them to swim without their flotation belts. We have been working hard on teaching the girls to swim and they have made a ton of progress.  Lucia is flying around the pool (and down the waterslide in a variety of front, backwards, belly and riding floaties positions) while Amelie went from barely being comfortable dipping her toe in the water to being able to swim across the entire width of the pool without help and without stopping.  Lucia was regularly mocking Amelie’s swimming technique until Amelie successfully crossed the pool on her own.  Lucia hopped in to do the same – and couldn’t make it.  The silence was deafening whilst Amelie’s smile went on forever.  🙂
  • Monkey Island.  A very short boat ride across Dolphin Bay is Monkey Island … aptly named for the tribe of monkeys that await you when you beach.  They all look pretty docile and tame as you approach the beach, but as soon as you put one foot on the beach they start moving in.  We had monkeys crawling up our legs, standing on our head and shoulders, baring fangs, fighting each other over the bananas and doing an end run around us to hop up on the boat to pillage the bananas and mangos for themselves.  Cool experience overall … but it was certainly an “interactive” one.  While we were on the beach quite the windstorm came up out of nowhere and forced us to shelter inland a bit.  The sand was blowing so strong off the beach that it actually stung our legs.  We had been talking about Robinson Crusoe (you can see the tie in with being a castaway on a strange island we hope) on the way over (Brad has been reading it to the girls every night and they have been LOVING it).  As we saw the whitecaps on the ocean, the wind blowing so hard and the Thai captain of the ship looking a little nervous (at least to us), we had a few moments of concern…but the wind quickly died down.  Interesting side note – In the Robinson Crusoe book there are a fair number of references to God.  While Brad was reading to the girls one night Lucia piped up during the story and asked “Who do you think is more powerful, God or Santa Claus?”  There was quite a debate/discussion that went on between Lucia and Amelie (Brad was staying out of this one).  Lucia started out firmly on God’s side, while Amelie was fully on Santa Claus’s side.  Lucia started to knuckle under when Amelie talked the fact that Santa Claus wears a magic suite.  Lucia finally fully threw in the towel when she remembered that Santa Claus wrote her a letter back before Christmas in Grade One.  We are happy she still believes in Santa Claus.  🙂
  • Elephant Safari in Kui Buiri National Park.  We hired a taxi through the hotel to take us to the park for an Elephant Safari.  Lucia has been working on a video on Elephants that she can send back to her Grade 1 class for Mrs. Murphy to play on her Smartboard for the students.  You can see the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfZCyUGhdxo  Unfortunately this was our first time doing multiple excerpts with our Samsung Tab … so we didn’t realize that the orientation of the tablet would be an issue until we got home (that’s what we call our hotels now).  Sooooo…you have to watch half of it with a tilted head…but it is interesting and “VERY” educational.  Simply sitting on the back of the truck with the wind blowing through our hair (and our otherwise often sticky sweaty clothing) was enjoyable.  We felt real suspense and anticipation as we navigated the dirt roadways through the park, with all of our senses on high alert.  In fact Katharina was so highly tuned to the sounds of nature that when she asked the guide what animals made that ever-present squeaking sound she was hearing, that he smiled and advised her it was just the shocks of the truck.  To this Brad quipped ‘She lives in the city!’  We did however see some real animals….more than 50 elephants in fact, which is apparently very rare.  We were told many times how ‘lucky’ we were.  Apparently, it is fairly common to not see any elephants at all.  We did feel lucky and had lots of fun!
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