Friday, February 25, 2011

If it's meant to be, it will be!

For the past few days I've been keeping myself busy. Meeting friends at the beach, for dinner, trying to adjust to this new solo life. Yesterday I woke up and said to myself,” You’re going to spend the day with yourself, just yourself." So like usual I headed to the market to get my breakfast. My fruit lady" welcomed me with a warm smile and gave me her best fruit.

Then I headed to the internet to deal with things back home and flights etc. I usually give myself an hour at most on the internet, but I happened to get a skype call from my sister which turned into a backgammon game online. Which then turned into a 3-way call with our brother. It was just the way I wanted to spend my morning. To clarify, I was still alone in the internet cafe, even if I was chatting with Moe and Neil.

I then headed out on a bike ride. 2 hours of riding all around I stopped at a riverside cafe and enjoyed the scenery and serenity. It was breathtaking.

Continuing my day alone I headed out to the beach for a run. I got drenched by the waves within 5 minutes which made the next 15 minutes very pleasant (not!) When I got back to the beach side cafe there was a group of woman playing cards. They invited me to play with them! They quickly taught me the game and we enjoyed each others company for about 2 hours. during those 2 hours I got a phone call from my new friend Na. A 23 year old girl I met at the market. She wanted to know if I wanted to get coffee with her tonight?

I then headed off back home feeling great and ready for a shower and dinner alone. Because that's what I'm supposed to be doing today right? Well who do I bump into, but the Aussie couple Dan and I met back in Dalat. I enjoyed a meal with them and then headed off to meet Na for coffee. As I was waiting for Coffee, who do I bump into, but the Borchs!

So there you go. My day alone turned into a day of surprises from old friends and new friends. Even though I was trying to spend the day alone and just with myself, it was very pleasant feeling knowing that I'm not alone, from the smile of the fruit lady, the skype call to back home, and the sheer luck of bumping into new and old friends. A great example of the old saying, "If it's meant to be, it will be."

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Setting Up

I checked myself into a new hotel. I was living the life of luxury in the old one last week. My new hotel smells like mold but other than that it does the trick. Who am I kidding? I'm already searching for a new one, dont worry!

Yesterday was what I call my fresh start day. I am trying to become familiar with my surroundings, which include the market, my new cell phone, and the beach. Yes that's all I did yesterday. Jumped on the band wagon of having a cell phone. $25 set me up. Can you believe that? Then I shopped around my local outdoor market trying to spot the friendliest woman to buy things from. Glad my perception is pretty good. The people I bought from were so kind and they had other nice people buying from them, that also helped me. Love is in the air here in Hoi An.

I put up a few flyers (hand made of course) looking for apartments. I guess thats the way to do it in Hoi An. So I'll see what comes my way. Once again, hope you are all great back at home.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Hoi An

Here I am! I know I haven’t posted in a while, but it’s all for good reasons. I’ve had such great company over the past 5 days, the last thing I’ve wanted to do is go online! I am currently in Hoi An. The home town (for only the year) of my great friends Jennifer, John, Foster, Brianna, and Nolan Borch. It’s been such a joy seeing friendly familiar faces.

Danny and I arrived 5 days ago. We’d been planning on meeting the Borch’s for dinner after we got situated in our hotel. On the way to the hotel we happened to drive by this woman running. Even though this is a very strange sight to see in South East Asia, it didn’t phase me. I was too excited to see my friends. Danny on the other hand saw this woman and knew exactly who it was. Low and behold it was Jennifer! I jumped out of the cab… well not quite I had to get the driver to stop the car, which was very hard. I think he thought I was a mad woman. Then I realized there were child safety locks on the doors and started to get a little too excited saying open the doors. I couldn’t even wait for him to open it for me. I rolled the window down, stuck my arm out the door and opened it myself!

I almost scared Jennifer half to death, but once she realized it was me, there were smiles all around. She ran over to the hotel while we checked in and rented our bikes for the next few days. We biked up to the rice paddy to surprise the kids and once again there more smiles all around.

They have given us a wonderful feel for the city. John was an excellent bike tour guide, showing us all parts of the city and rice paddy, while Jennifer and the kids were in school! Jennifer and I spent a relaxing day with the kids on the beach over the weekend and there has been loads of trips to the best restaurants in town! Hoi An is beautiful. It is safe, clean, and full of energy!

After traveling for the past 2 months and stopping and going constantly, I am very excited to tell you all that I will be calling this my home for the next few months. I will be apartment hunting soon, but for now I’ve checked myself into a hotel not far from the city center.

Dan set off today in route to Bangkok for his two months in the monastery in Chang Mai. It was a sad day, but we have certainly had an wonderful time traveling together. We are both extremely excited for each others future endeavors.

So that’s what’s new on my side of the world. Hope you all are doing great at home. I’d love to hear from any of you. My email is and if you’re adventurous enough, I will be here for a while and anyone is more than welcome to come and visit!!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The blog of the B's.. Bugs, Buses, and the Borch's!

After our lovely Valentines Day we woke up at the wonderful hour of 5am to catch a flight up to Da Nang. Obviously I waited to pack until the morning and when i awoke with little bites on my feet I couldnt pack fast enough. Oh ya you guessed is.. Bed bugs. Nothing wraps up a wonderful Valentines Day like bed bugs. We paid our bill said our thank you's and headed for the door.. fast.

When we got into Da Nang, we got on another one of those silly buses. You know, the kind where they try and pack way to many people on, where people try to hide smoking a cigarette on the back of the bus, and everyone is sneezing, coughing and wiping boogers on the back of the seats... yeah one of those buses.

We arrived in Hue (pronounced Way) 2 hours later and to our surprise is was cold. Like bone chilling cold. I could have used 3 layers and maybe a winter jacket. We hit up yet another market. You think that after every market we've been to we'd be sick of them.. yeahh righht. Dan was getting his bargaining shoes on. We didnt come home with anything, so there goes to show you how good those skills are. We hit up a book store and stumbled upon some Judy Moody books in Vietnamese. Actually all the books were in Vietnamese, but it was still fun to look around. We grabbed some local Hue food (and a side of garlic bread of course). We turned in somewhat early praying to all the gods,(yes all of them.. we were in need of our prayers being answered) that when we woke up we didnt have any new bites on our feet and that we hadn't carried the bed bugs with us.

Thanks to all the gods, i think we're bug free. So when we woke up this morning to find that we had no new bites, we had a lazy morning reading our guide book trying to figure out which Hue to go... (hope you all just got my joke!)

We headed out for another walking tour day. Luckily the sun was out! We saw pagodas, temples, and other historical sites. It was kinda of like being in school.. especially because as I was trying to concentrate taking all of this stuff in I was preoccupied thinking about tomorrow. Tomorrow we get to see the Borch's!!! I cant wait to see my friends :) So yes, seeing these sites in Hue is probably a once in a life time experience, but seeing my friends in Vietnam is just as equally important! I was more of a social butterfly then an A student in school anyways!

Happy Valentines Day

For the past 3 years, Dan has always made it a point to make Valentines Day very special. This year was nothing different, however I think I have my Delhi Belly to thank (Sorry D)

The guide book we've been referencing said Island hopping was the best bet in Nha Trang. At the time there was no way I was going to put myself on a boat for the entire day while my Delhi Belly was around. With the tours non-refundable we decided to skip it. Needless to say, I was bumming.

Well the next day (Valentines Day) I woke up and was felling great. So we decided to get our own boat and Island hop on our own. Of course we started out with clouds and at the wrong ferry port, but once things were straightened out we were headed over to... I dont even know the name of the island. We thought we were going to see an outside aquarium, but we had no idea what we were in store for. After the tour of the aquarium we asked our driver to take us to another island. He was puzzled and asked why? We said we wanted to lay on a beach and swim etc etc. He pointed to a huge set of stairs and said walk up those, I'll come back at 3.

After 15 minutes of walking up stairs, we were on the other side of the island. The side with no one on it. It was a private beach all to ourselves. It was beautiful.

So things happen for a reason.. If I didnt get the Delhi Belly, we would have been on a tour with 30 other people. Instead, it was just the two of us.

Free Time... Finally

Here are the pictures I said i'd post when I felt better.

Picture of the crazy house in Dalat and our new Aussie friends!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

We traveled to the countryside of Dalat where we were delighted with 60 degree weather and pleseant company. We met another lovely Aussie couple and had a relaxing 2 days of sight seeing. We saw, literally, a crazy house and some wild sceens at yet another market. We also had two fun filled nights with the locals at the restaurant outside our hotel. Kinda felt a little like being home, relaxing with friends, drinking beers, and playing guitar. (I only did the first) but it was still a lot of fun.

Our hotel friends must have enjoyed our company as much as we enjoyed theirs. We asked them to book us a bus to Nha Trang and we were plesantly surprised when we got a leather seated coach bus with loads of leg room to take us on our journey. Once again another friendly adventure throughout Vietnam.

On the other hand...It's here atlast... the Delhi belly. I guess I cant call it that because were not in india anymore. But non the less it's here. After a short walk around Nha Trang, we stopped to get a bite to eat before heading to the pagoda. Let's just say I never made it there and Dan had the pleasure of an afternoon to himself. We'll see what tomorrow brings us. Hopefully it will be a day of island hopping like planned.

I'll post some pictures later when I have some "free time", if you get my drift!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Half and Half

I spent the morning reading my book on the beach and enjoying the salt from the sea healing all my bug bites! After grabbing another great meal from the restaurant next door, the sand dunes and waterfalls were the next spot for the rest of the day. They were beautiful, fun, and tiring. I was able to relax and sight-see all in 1 day! Here are a few pictures. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


This morning we grabbed a coach bus, called an open bus in Vietnam, up to Mui Ne. We were dropped off basically in front of the hotel we had decided to stay at. Things are a little on the pricey side here, but all for good reasons..

Take a look!

Beautiful View!

A very warm and clean pool (that will probably not get any action from us beach goers)

View from our room. If you look past the palm trees you can see the South China Sea!

Happy Camper on our balcony.

Just in case you forget we were in a foreign land.. monstrous red ants on the way up to our room.

We spent a short time on the beach and decided to grab fresh seafood at the restaurant next door. Garlic Shrimp for me! It was amazing!! Hope you're all staying warm at home. We'll send warm thoughts you're way while were on the beach tomorrow (wishing you were all with us of course!)

A Blog Filled with Pictures

Getting to our destination on the Mekong Delta via the slow boat

Pineapple lady at the floating market

Tired boys at 6am trying to sell us drinks!

Our relaxing morning ride back from the market on the Mekong

Morning Sunset in Can Tho

More business being done on the Mekong

Ho Chi Min City (Saigon)- A modern city!

Breakfast of Pho (noodles)

Crazy market we went to (where we got poked and prodded)

The outside of the market- picture is deceiving- it was huge!

We tried some new tasty fruit. No idea the name of it.

The city was all set up for the New Year Crazy decorations like these were everywhere

Center of town attributed to Ho Chi Min himself! (He's the George Washington of Vietnam)

Planes at the War Memorial Museum

The only picture I took inside the museum. I'm sure by this text you can get a feel for what it was like within the museum.

Reunification Palace (Where North Vietnam conquered South Vietnam)

Reunification gates- decked out for the New Year

Modern Building

Notre Dame Cathedral

Beautiful greenery within a bustling city

Last but not least- the post office (WBR thats for you!)