Sunday, February 14, 2010

Thailand, 2010

So begins the fun…
We have arrived in Thailand. It took us nearly seventeen hours to fly over the Pacific Ocean to touch down in Bangkok, followed by another two hours via bus to arrive at our resort here in Pattaya.

One’s senses are entirely taken over. Beautiful Buddhist temples, surrounded by thick, lush foliage. Birds of every shade, monkeys, elephants, cobras-all available on display, as well as some just roaming freely in the streets. The people, with their dark sundrenched skin, are always peaceful, collected. The exotic smells of coconut, lemongrass, and various other spices fill the air, making one’s stomach growl with anticipation of the mind-altering foods experienced here. There is always movement in the air, be it from the flutter of wings, the music of the Thai language, or just the sound of the gentle breeze caressing whatever is in it’s path. This place is magical beyond belief, and I am so thrilled to have my season start in such an alluring locale.
The flight was fairly smooth. Hell, there might have been a change in aircrafts halfway over the Pacific and I would not have been the wiser. One thing I do well is sleep on planes. I could be completely knocked out for an entire trans-Atlantic flight. Having said that, I was able to sleep for about 11 hours of the flight, with a few moments of less than entirely cognitive thought here and there. I had a great chat with my girls, Morgan Pressel, Meaghan Francella, Natalie Gulbis, Brittany Lang and Stacy Lewis. The start of the season is always like the first day of school, where you find out what your friends did over the break. People are buying new houses, cars, going on vacations, making new friends, being on TV shows, and whatnot. It’s pretty awesome, and we are all very fortunate to be in a place in life where we are able to achieve these things.

Everyone is very excited to read my book, and there is already a queue for the two books that I brought with me. MF and MP were the first to read them, and Nat is next in line. (She was asleep when I busted them out.) I am trying to keep it hush hush, as I do not want to be bombarded with a queue so long that I will never see the books again! So far, I am thrilled and humbled to say that both MF and MP loved it; they were laughing hysterically and quoting lines the entire time they had their hands on it. I am not sure how all of the other people riding in business class felt, as it was somewhere in the middle of the night Thailand time when they were reading it. Meaghan got a bit of a head start in reading it and when she finished, she gave it to Natalie to start reading. I am very curious as to what the girls think of the book, especially considering the fact that they are in it themselves.
This marks the very first time that I did not once turn on my inflight entertainment system. I had my iPhone blaring Shinedown’s Sound of Madness on repeat for about three hours. I also had my MacBook Pro up, watching the two music videos for Sound of Madness-the original music video, as well as a live performance from one of their concerts in Atlanta. Obsessed much with that song? Just shmaybe a lil bit. I can sing every word to that and several other Shinedown songs. Call me what you will, but I know I am just dedicated lol!!!

Including players, caddies, tour officials, agents and family members, we had approx 25 people on our flight, and the tournament had a great big 40-50 passenger bus to take us the normally two hours to Pattaya from the airport in Bangkok. Took everyone about 45 minutes to get everything organized, because the bag-person ratio is close to 3-1, if you include large carry-on bags. I myself had two suitcases, a golf bag, and a carry-on. And my purse. I’m going to be gone for a month overseas, whatever! We managed to get everyone’s luggage in either the bottom cargo compartment, or up in the back few rows of the bus. Only thing was that now we were having to share a lot of seats. Now mind you this isn’t that big a deal, but after a nearly 17 hour flight, we like having a little bit of space. Especially when a few days ago, 49 states had received at least a sprinkling of snow, and then suddenly we were thrown into the tropical heat!
On board the bus, we had snacks, and had a chance to catch up a little bit more with one another. Lots of changes took place over the offseason for many people. You need not know what we discussed, but all seems to be well for everyone.
The ride ended up taking only 90 minutes, due in part and many thanks to our police escort. There were trucks, buses, motorcycles and tuk-tuks (Thailand’s version of the rickshaw) EVERYWHERE!!! We were dodging people left and right, but it was a fairly smooth ride, considering how scary a ride can actually be here without the police escort. It reminds me like much of Italy, where the white painted lines indicating lane separation is taken more as a suggestion and less a guideline or law.
Our hotel is utterly breathtaking, with some amazing foliage, beautiful beaches, and stunning pools, gym, restaurant, spa, you name it. We are all very happy to arrive to such a wondrous resort, especially after such a long trip. In total, some girls that flew from Orlando to Thailand took about 30 hours under their belts. It's amazing what we do for our jobs, us and everyone else in the world.
The wonderful people with BBTV Channel 7, the official television channel used here in Thailand to broadcast the event, had stamps made of each player participating in the tournament. It's so sweet the things people do for you, isn't it? I don't care for or want for big lavish gifts that can be purchased in bulk and mean nothing. When someone take time out of their day to come up with something creative and truly touching, I think that shows someone's character and thoughtfulness. But then again, what do I know? I buy and get big lavish gifts, but those are normally for myself!
Anyway, I am off to go hit the beach and or the pool before I practice and play a quick nine holes in the afternoon. If I stay in the room for too long, I will surely end up napping and suffering from some severe jet-lag!

On a side note, please remember that the #CKJR Giveaway (see previous post) ends on Friday, Feb 21st at 12:00midnight.

On yet ANOTHER note, my travels are listed below. For those that forgot, I am going to log just how many miles I fly this year, as it does fascinate me. I posted an entry about it here. That being said, I have to refresh the numbers...

2819 (previous total, up to travel to Jamaica, 1/31)
1120 MJB-ATL
2210 MCO-LAX
8262 LAX-BKK
14,813 miles

Perhaps I shall do a contest.... Hmmm... gears turning... OKOK, I have to go! *hugs*


  1. Thank you once again for taking me to a place where I will never travel to. You have a way with words that touched all my senses. I felt like I could smell the aromas in the air, hear the sounds in and out of the bus and the photos are absolutely beautiful. I had no idea how beautiful it is on the other side of this wonderful planet that we share. Thank you for taking the time to blog your adventures and allowing me to live it vicariously thrrough your eyes.

  2. This is so damn fun! I think lots of us (at least me) wonder what it would be like to be on tour. Thanks for taking the time to share your personal stories and photos. Can't wait to read more.

    Here's what I've learned so far:

    Top LPGA players are in exotic Thailand.

    I'm stuck in an abominable winter in Ohio.

    (I'm sure that's the only difference really—NOT!)

  3. CK,
    I am enjoying your "competition" with John guys have made this "friendly" game into a worldwide phenomenon. My only suggestion is to look to make this into a full fledged event with sponsors and be able to donate profits to your favorite children's charity. Anything that benefits the children, especially St. Jude's or a children's hospital, is something that is worthwhile. You could have your pro friends donate money or put odds on the two players then the money raised goes to that charity. Remember, most children's hospitals struggle to be able to serve all kids :) Again, thank you for letting us see the life of a tour pro and how you are "normal" people too!

    Dr. Amanda Kocis

  4. Christina,
    Glad you are OK after the bus accident. I know what's it's like to be in a bus accident in Thailand- in 1987 I was in Thailand and a bus I was riding in lost a rear wheel almost hit a tree head on. I had to ride to the nearest hospital on the back of a motor cycle. That hospital just happened to be a leprosy hospital. It was quite an experience. Hope your accident was not so eventful.

    Good luck this week in Thailand and in 2010!


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