Sunday, December 30, 2007

HaLong Bay #2

I left off as the boat was leaving the dock. The scenery is absolutely beautiful, so unique, unlike any other place I've ever been. We travel out into the bay and end up in a floating fishing village in a little cove. We pull up to one of the larger floating docks which contained a little store. JB and WB get off the boat to explore. They have cages in the water that contain all kinds of water life. The boys then join a group on a smaller boat (DG and I stay on the junk) and they tour a cave and drive around the village. The village is very interesting, they even have a floating school. All the docks seem to be anchored to the bottom and don’t have any ties to the shore. When the little boat returns we are seated for lunch.

Our lunch arrives in several courses. Our first course is the classic Vietnamese dish – French fries. (From the French influence, right?) This is followed by fried spring rolls, a tofu dish, sliced cucumbers and tomatoes, steamed clams, stir-fried squid, steamed cabbage, a beautiful full steamed fish, and fresh watermelon. Everything was delicious! (And WB thoroughly enjoyed the PB&J we packed for him!)

After lunch the cruise continued. We pulled up to one of the islands and WB and I disembarked and climbed the mountain path to view the caves. The views were spectacular and we really enjoyed the experience. We were first back on the boat, and I was a little sore and winded, but ready to see more of the bay. We cruised around a little longer and then returned to the dock. We were sad to see the day end, but I'm not so sure that we're adventurous enough (with a brand new DG) to try the overnight tour....maybe next time.

We returned to a different group on the bus because many of those we drove down with (like DSS Girl) were staying overnight on a junk. We picked up some that had come down the day before. The bus was quickly on the way and we were hopeful that we’d get back to Hanoi before it was too late so that we could enjoy another nice dinner at Jaspar’s. But…we just don’t have that kind of luck with buses here!!!

After about thirty minutes, we were caught in a traffic jam. The two-lane road we were on quickly ballooned to six lanes of standstill, honking madness. We inched along for an hour and gradually narrowed back to two-lanes. I can’t tell you how many times I was SURE my window was going to come crashing in because the side mirrors of passing trucks and buses were SO close! (Again, if you are coming to this country, you will ride several buses, and your life will flash before your eyes with every turn and every pass. The sooner you accept it, the better. I find prayer, and Valium help greatly.) Once we made it to the front of the pack, we realized the hold up – a motorcycle wreck. Even though we’ve spent HOURS on the roads, and endured all kinds of traffic hell, this was (surprisingly!!) the only accident we’ve seen.


Tomorrow is our big interview. We meet Loc at 8:30. Even though I am sure everything will go fine, I will admit to being more than a little nervous. The US has given us preliminary approval, so surely everything will be OK.

The news doesn’t appear to be that good on the travel front though. Todd is having trouble getting us confirmed for anything leaving Monday, so looks like the earliest we’ll be home is Wednesday. I’ll keep you posted.


Cindy said...

Hey, Leigh! So, you recommend the Ha Long bay excursion? I am looking forward to the next step! I can really see the preparations going on very seriously here for New Years! Definitely will want to stay near the hotel! I glad to see you enjoying yourself girl!

krista said...

I look forward to every adventure,but I have to say I am ready for you to come home. I am so proud of you for holding in there. I will call you on Friday. Krista

Beth said...

Dear Leigh, well, we had a WONderful Christmas dinner with your mom, dad, sister & brother. I COULD tell you that the food was only "ok" but as you know that would be a lie. Had the BEST homemade chicken & ham pot pie ever! We all toasted you and new DG and you were covered in our prayers before we ate. I have decided we will have to have an entire second Christmas dinner with you all in attendance. Baby Jojo was entertyained by Owie and Parker. I think they really like him but said they wanted Walker there. We said he would be there very soon and belive me he will have some great stories to tell. They want a first hand account of this monkey!! I guess I can offically say-we'll see you next year! Hugs-Beth

Adoption Timeline

  • 01/01/08 - Home at Last
  • 12/24/07 - G & R
  • 12/18/07 - Travel
  • 12/7/07 - Travel Packet/VISA Authorization
  • 12/06/07 - I-600 Approval
  • 11/16/07 - I-600 Received for Review
  • 09/26/07 - Referral
  • 03/23/07 - Log in Date
  • 02/23/07 - Dossier to Vietnam
  • 02/08/07 - Dossier to Agency
  • 08/08/06 - Switched to Vietnam Program from China Program