Ha Long Bay

Dragon Descending is what Ha Long Bay means. What a beautiful, enchanted place it is. We boarded a 40 passenger boat on Sunday morning as rose petals fell on us from above. Our host, Enrique, reminded me of Ricardo Montalbon (may he rest in peace). He was a handsome Cuban who wore an ascot and sported a neatly trimmed beard. Very charming. And single, Andrea 🙂

Describing Ha Long Bay only diminishes its enchantment. The waters were so smooth and the karsts so plentiful, that it felt like a dream sailing through them. The ride on our three level boat, the Bhaya, felt like a cruise right out of Indochina. Pictures don’t do it justice. We had two rooms–spacious rooms–and slept with the windows open when it was time for bed.

We and an older couple from France were the only passengers on board. We had the run of the entire boat and the attention of the entire crew. We had a cooking demonstration on Sunday afternoon that let us take part in making fried Vietnamese spring rolls. And then we got to eat them. Yummy.

The French couple, who were in Vietnam for three weeks, had stayed at a different hotel every night. In Hanoi, they were at the Sofitel Metropole. Clearly they were blessed with good taste. They dined with hubby on Sunday night (I was with sleeping boys in our cabin) and told hubby how happy they and the world were that Obama would be our next president. They looked forward to him improving the economy, the environment, and the situation in Iraq. Hubby smiled and nodded graciously. Other than that, they were quite nice. 😉

The boys had a good time, but they each complained about the 100 steps that we had to climb when arriving at the famous caves of Ha Long Bay. The steep climb up to the cave was, indeed, tiring, and I had to stop for a rest once myself. The view from the top was lovely, but as for caves? I’m not a fan, no matter how beautiful they are, so we made the appropriate sounds of appreciation and then gladly returned to the boat.

Bao just woke up and he sat down next to me. We high fived. He’s a happy boy. Not yet a fighter. G is still sleeping. His cough is still getting the better of him, but otherwise both boys are coming along just fine.

I’ll post some pictures of our weekend trip. Tonight, we leave for Seoul. We’ll return to Baldymore (that’s for you, Bev) on the 21st. I’m so glad we’ll be in the air on the 20th and away from TV. I hope the traffic from Dulles won’t be too heavy–I’m imaging his minions will all be leaving the day after and we’ll be forced to endure their celebratory retreat.


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