We made it! Man those flights are looooooong!!!
We got in about 11:00pm, local VN time. Got our bags, went through immigration and customs pretty quickly, then out to the hot humid distinctly SE Asia smelling air where tons of drivers were lined up. “How will we find ours?” Quinn asked. I laughed. We are not hard to spot. He can find us! Plus he was holding a sign with my full name – first, middle, last – on it.
As often seems to be the case, we had a driver and the official rep from the travel agency who spoke very good english and tried to chat with us on the way to the hotel. I’m afraid we weren’t the best conversationalists, given how ridiculously tired we all were. He paid special attention to Luke, because he’s Vietnamese and returning and all that. Which makes it just a little extra embarrassing when Luke says stuff like “they honk their horns a lot” and “I like this van better than yours mom, because it doesn’t smell like gum.” Sorry, no great insights from my kid tonight mister.
We’re staying at The Grand Hotel, which totally lives up to its name. Very posh. Not extremely family-friendly lodgings, however. We have two rooms next door to each other, but not connecting. I put Quinn and Drew in a room with Luke and we just pop back and forth a lot. I don’t know why I didn’t think to ask about the apartment hotel we stayed in last time – I think it was the Somerset? That would have been a better option for our family. But the breakfast here is amazing. Omelets made to order, tons of western and asian breakfast foods, pastries… and it is complementary with the room. Luke’s favorite part? They had fried rice. For breakfast!! The Boy was on cloud nine.
Today is a day to rest and get over jetlag. Thanks to our late arrival time and a little help from nytol we all slept well last night and woke up at 8am feeling pretty adjusted to the time already. So after breakfast we took a walk in the shopping district right around the hotel. It’s so weird, we were here just six years ago, but so much has changed! I swear, there’s a mall here that is not here now – we think it was replaced by super upscale shops. Like Luis Vitton, Gucci kind of stores. They’re not any more affordable here than they are back in the US. But there are some nice small local shops on the streets and we’ve already started with the shopping. I have the worst time doing the exchange rate in my head – 20,000 VND to 1 Dollar – so everything seems either insanely expensive, or alternately I’m like, “divided by 20,000 I bet that’s really cheap!” A savvy shopper I am not!
Luke and Leah are both really whiny about the weather. It’s hot. And humid. But really, no worse than it gets in Virginia in the summer time. (The weird thing was, when we landed in Seoul for our connecting flight, there was SNOW on the ground! Totally threw us off.) And Leah was just dragging this morning. Also, after like an hour out she says “When are we going to Cambodia? Tomorrow?” Girl is quite eager to get to *her* part of this trip! Hopefully she’ll relax and enjoy our ten days here.
Now we’re kicking back in the hotel, the kids are “resting” – Leah said at lunch “I’m going to sleep for two hours” – but as soon as we’re back here, she lays down for 30 minutes, doesn’t sleep a wink, and says “Can we go to the pool now?” Oh the magic of A/C. We shall be heading for the pool soon… it’s in a little outdoor courtyard and looks so nice and relaxing. I think I’ll bring my nook and kick back with a drink… lovely. Exactly what I need after weeks of running around getting ready for this vacay!
More soon, and hopefully with photos. (If I can figure out how to get them to my ipad!)
Look, I figured it out! That there is a genuine Vietnamese snow man! LOL.