With only a month left living in this paradise country, we got away for a relaxing weekend at our favorite place, Sibsan Resort & Spa in Mae Taeng. We headed again to Chiang Dao to take in our favorite views, and on the way home we went through the Samoeng Loop to visit a few places I hadn't been yet in Chaing Mai.

The first time we had visited these mountains, it had been overcast and beautiful in October. This time in July, the sun shone brightly over stormy clouds and the green was stunning. Katie's American flag scarf made an appearance a few times during this trip, perfect for some fun photos and a tribute to our home: where I'd be soon.

Translation: "Jesus only can forgive sin." These mountains remind me of what heaven looks like in my mind, especially with the sun blazing behind the clouds above them.

On our way back to the hotel, we stopped for coffee and cake at Chiang Dao Resto, a new spot right outside the city. The owner was a cheery girl with purple hair, and we shared a great conversation with her on the back porch as we sipped our coffee. The place was quiet, an undiscovered place to eat, drink and sit a while. The view was spectacular.

Right across the highway from our hotel is this beautiful little forest preserve. We stopped to take a few photos to take advantage of the fading sun, and figured out what it preserved: very hungry mosquitos. I think we got out with no less than 30 bites. Each. No pain, no gain, I guess. The pictures were worth it.

The next morning we checked out late, lazed around the resort and finally made our way back to Chiang Mai. We took the scenic route, otherwise known as the Samoeng Loop. The valley road is lovely, taking you through mountains around the city, villages dotting the hillsides and not a gas station in sight. We started for lunch at Tita Gallery and Café, an adorable and Tuscan-inspired café at the beginning of the loop.

We ventured on from Tita, headed toward the Queen Sirikit Botanical Gardens. The entrance fee for the gardens is 100 baht, a price I would totally pay for vews like we saw. We walked the Canopy Walks and visited the greenhouses full of cacti and other odd plants before heading back down the mountains toward home.

For a last little excursion before things got crazy, this trip was perfect. Slow, full of new and old things, and just plain relaxing. It had a whole lotta Thailand in it, and that's what I need before I go, really.