A Little Lacy Bit of Heaven

I actually have these socks on my Pinterest board and then came across them at the 66 PHP ($1.50 USD) Japanese store at Park Square. I was super excited to see they have pads right where I need them too! These are great for wearing around the house or even slipping some pumps over. Super excited about my socks! I know, little things make me happy. Think I’m going to have to go back and buy some more!

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Breaking the Fast – Vietnam Part 2

So I apologize upfront as I have to write these posts in parts as I’ve been experiencing some discomfort in my right hand so I’m doing as I’m supposed to do (my hubby would actually say for once in my life) and trying to rest my hand by not typing so much and mousing with my left-hand *EEEEK* So hard to do!!!

Vietnam Part 2

We arrived in Vietnam early Saturday morning around 1 AM. So this is really still Day one even though we slept 🙂

As I mentioned in Vietnam Part 1 we had a rooster and some other bird living next to our hotel that would be our alarm every morning so even with little sleep we were up early. The hubby ventured out and found the ATM so that we could actually have some money. He was able to withdraw around  2,040,360 VND ($98 USD) at a time. We later found that you could withdraw the maximum several times a day.

*SIDE NOTE* The VND currency was really hard for me to get used to. Pricing thing in millions is just plain weird

We went down to breakfast at around 7:30 am, but unfortunately there were no tables so we had to wait. We didn’t understand if you just picked a table when someone got up or had to tell one of the waiters that bustled by. We tried asking one of them, but they said something indistinguishable (hmmmm…bell boy deja-vu all over again). I decided to go ask about the tours that they offered while we hoped the tables would free up. I had seen on their hotel website that they offered tours to the Mekong Delta, one of the two things that I wanted to do while I was there (you’ll learn in a later post about the second thing).

In the lobby there was a desk that had a big sign that read, “Tour Desk.” There was no one there when I went, but when I walked up to the desk one of the staff members from the main desk, literally 10 feet away, came over and went behind the tour desk. Not sure why they just don’t handle everything from the main desk, but what do I know, I didn’t major in hospitality.  I asked the guy about the one day Mekong Delta tour and he showed me the pamphlet. There were two different options and I didn’t know which one to choose, but the guy pointed at one and said he liked that one better. That I did understand! It was pretty much what I had read online so we booked the tour for the following day for pick-up at the hotel between 7:30 AM and 8:00 AM. The tour cost $15 USD for each person and it included the a/c bus ride, lunch and other snacks. Tour details to be described in a later post.

After booking the tour we headed back into breakfast. We stalked the tables lingering like vultures and quickly sat at a table as soon as a family left. The breakfast was buffet so it was all up to you on what you ate and how much. We decided to have one of us sit at the table while the other got food because we noticed their were other lurkers like us and as soon as you left the table someone else staked their claim.

There was a station where you could have someone serve you Pho (very famous Vietnam noodle dish). I knew I would have to try that during my stay here. Can’t go to Vietnam and not have Pho! Well at least I can’t. You also could have eggs of any kind made as well.  I will spare you the details of all the varieties of food, but I will say my favorite was pate and bread. I don’t think many people know, but Vietnam still has some French influence in some of their foods that was first introduced in the 18th century. You will find street vendors with fresh baguettes and yummy pate. So every morning I made sure to have some pate and bread. My other staple was Vietnamese coffee. Can I say I lovvvvveee Vietnamese coffee. The reason I love it so is because it tastes chocolatey! The hubby hates it just for that reason 🙂 Oh how opposites attract. I could drink about 10 cups of that coffee, but you know I have a bladder the size of a pea so that wouldn’t have been good for exploring Vietnam.

After I enjoyed pate and chocolatey coffee we decided to head out and find the War Remnants Museum that was a must see from all the travel sites I had read. I like museums, but am not a big history buff unlike the hubby so I wasn’t sure how much I would enjoy it. So we set out with our black and white map to see if we could find the museum.
To be continued…

R.I.P. Bella

I received an email yesterday that Bella our bearded dragon passed away. She was nine years old and survived Brutus our other bearded dragon by one year almost exactly.  People may say it was just a lizard, but pets are apart of our family. They are with us everyday and are a big part of our lives. Loss of a pet is not easy. I can’t imagine when our dog Chase or cat Jynx die as I may need to take bereavement leave from work (oh if only I had that).  I’m sad we are on the other side of the world that we weren’t there to see her go, but luckily our friends who are staying at our house buried her under our lemon tree along with Brutus as the hubby instructed in case this happens. I hope they added her name to the miniature coffin the hubby made out of wooden planks from our house remodel.

“…love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.” (Kabil Gibran)
 

Good Morning Vietnam!

And good morning friends. It’s been forever since I have posted. I promise to post more often even if it is out-of-order as I haven’t told you about so many things that have happened in the past few months. So here is the beginning of my Vietnam story…

The hubby and I took our first trip outside the Philippines on June 8th to Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam (or also known as Saigon). We flew out late Friday night on Cebu Pacific airlines. The plane had the tiniest seats ever which made the flight very uncomfortable, but luckily the flight was only a little over two hours. I finally got about 15 – 20 minutes of sleep as the hubby leaned on his tray table and I leaned on his back for my makeshift pillow. 

We landed at Tan Son Nhat International Airport at around 1 AM. This airport is about 4 miles north of the center of District 1 in Ho Chi Minh, where we stayed. Luckily our hotel bell boy was outside waiting with a sign with my name.  I was so worried that our hotel pick-up wouldn’t be at the airport that we forgot to get our money exchanged to Vietnam Dong (VND).  So I was a little freaked out being in a foreign country with no local currency. Plus we had no USD, but only Philippines Peso’s which, is not a world currency so we weren’t sure if we would even be able to exchange it in Vietnam.  The bell boy and mostly everyone we encountered in Vietnam during our stay there didn’t speak much English at all. I asked him if there was an ATM at the hotel and he said something which I couldn’t comprehend. I had read on the internet that there were usually ATMS either at the hotels or close by where I could get VND. I was hoping they were right.

We stayed at Tan Hai Long Hotel & Spa in District 1 during our time in Vietnam. The location was perfect, but the hotel was not. I’m not sure I would stay at the hotel again. We were on the 1st floor and we were awoken every morning at around 4:30 AM by a rooster and some kind of parrot living somewhere next to the hotel. Also our room was one of those adjoining rooms and I swear the people in the room next to us were smokers because our room smelt like smoke all the time! Ugh! There was also this weird hatch window in the bathroom that led to some opening outside that went behind the elevators. The latch that was used to secure it was not really secure at all. Besides that the room was clean and Bathroom at Tan Hai Longthe breakfast buffet was pretty decent. Just as long as you got to breakfast early to get a table. The hotel also had free wi-fi which was helpful to do searches online through my iPhone.  I think they need to think about changing their secret password though as it is the most predictable password ever (12345…).  I don’t think the hotel was horrible; however, I think I would prefer to stay on a higher floor and maybe we wouldn’t have had so many issues.  Anyways I digress.

When we arrived at the hotel they informed us there was an ATM on the other side of the street. They gave us this black and white map with the historical attractions on it.  The hubby tried to venture out at night to find the ATM, but came back a few minutes later saying he would go back in the morning as he wasn’t familiar with his surroundings and didn’t want to be out just yet without really knowing the area.

Another weird thing that happened when we checked-in was that they kept our passports. We were very leery about this.  They said you only need a passport to go to a bar or casino in Ho Chi Minh. I didn’t understand why they needed to keep our passports since we had a safe in our room, but we obliged anyways.  I seriously felt like when we went to check-out that I might be escorted to some Vietnam prison or something as I’ve seen crazy movies like Hostel and just don’t like not having my documentation with me that proves my identity and where I’m from. I have to admit that everyday I was there I thought about some horrific scene when we were going to check out where we would be dragged to some crazy warehouse where we were blindfolded and interrogated. Let’s just say upon check-out they gave us back our passport. Who knows if there are some other people out there with my information as they had enough time to take my documentation and do God knows what with it.

Anyway’s that was the start of our trip into Vietnam. To be continued…