Even though I knew that we’d have to leave Phuket at night, I was happy when I woke up, because I knew we’d still have a full day to relax. The resort had given us a late check-out – 7pm instead of the normal noon.
We slept in, and then caught the last bit of brunch. We ordered two new made-to-order dishes – ricotta hotcakes with honey and bananas (very good, but not as good as the ones at Hell’s Kitchen in Minneapolis) and cinnamon encrusted pancakes with apple compote (also very good). We also shared fried eggs, assorted snacks from the buffet, and our traditional lychee juice. This time, I also had fresh coconut milk directly from a coconut.
Then it was back to the villa for our favorite activities – swimming, relaxing, and napping at our villa.
At 1:30pm, I went to get a Thai massage from the hotel spa. Thai massage is kind of like a cross between a normal massage and passive yoga. They massage you muscles, but then they also manipulate your limbs and body to stretch them.
When I got there, I changed into a thin cotton jump suit. The first thing was a foot wash, which was really nice and relaxing. Then I had the main massage, which was definitely interesting. There was the massaging, but also moving your legs or arms or body to do different stretches. Also, in order to reach to do all these things, the lady giving me my massage would often climb up on the table. She used her elbows, knees, and feet during the massage – definitely something I haven’t experienced before. Overall it was a really good experience.
The rest of the afternoon was spent whiling away the minutes at our villa – it’s impossible to spend too much time there. Eventually we got more practical and did our packing. Then we went out to catch the beginning of happy hour and to finish writing post cards. When we got to the pool bar, we learned that it was “GM Happy Hour” starting in 15 minutes, and that during that time, all of the drinks would be complimentary. Since we couldn’t stay too long, Jeff and I ordered a lychee martini while we waited. It was very good – obviously made with fresh lychee juice, and served with a lychee speared by lemongrass.
When “GM Happy Hour” started, they brought us each one of the Anatara signature cocktails, which was also pretty good. Jeff and I guessed that the “GM” stands for general management, because a number of managers came over and talked to us and asked us about our experience. One was particularly interested to know about jetsetter, because they’d just started working with them. From their first posting (which was the one we saw a couple weeks ago and booked with), they’d already booked 350 room-nights. Not bad.
Eventually, Jeff and I left the happy hour for one last swim and a shower before checking out. It was tough getting out of the pool for the last time – especially knowing that we’d have a long journey ahead of us!
We took at 9pm flight from Phuket to Bangkok that arrived at about 10:30pm. Our flight from Bangkok to San Franciso (via Tokyo-Narita) departs at 5am. That means, if we got a hotel, we’d (at best) be there from 11pm until 2 or 2:30am, which really didn’t seem worth it. I’ve decided to try to stay awake to get a jump start on jet lag. (It may be 3:30am here, but it’s 1:30 in the afternoon in San Francisco – the middle of the day!) We’ll see what happens – all of the time changes are pretty confusing. We’ll leave Bangkok at 5am, fly for six hours, and get into Tokyo-Narita at 1:20pm. Then we’ll take off from Tokyo-Narita at about 4pm, fly for 10 hours, and somehow arrive in San Francisco at 10am on the same day.