Thursday, December 27, 2007

Happy in Hanoi

Both kids are napping, the washing machine is running, JB is watching a bowl game on ESPN....I might as well be home. We LOVE the Somerset Grand! We finally feel like we have some control over our environment and really appreciate the chance to get back in balance.

There is a small shopping mall on the first floor with a pretty good grocery store. We don't even have to get out if we don't want. (Which is good for WB because he still has a little Post Traumatic Stress going about "shopping" experiences. LOL.)

The architecture in this city is very interesting. It is totally unlike the other cities we have visited. (Hanoi is the largest, HCMC #2, and Can Tho #3, but you'd never know it, for they are SO different!) I really can't wait to get out and look around here! Our drive through last night reminded me more of our time in Japan. The weather is different too. Although it is in the 70's, it is definately cool. A welcome break from the heat and 1000% humidity of the south. There is an international flair and you can surely see the French influence.

Even on the 15th floor, the honk of the horns is loud and ever-present! We froze ice cubes last night and I can not tell you the delight in drinking our "Coke Light" over ice is the first ice we've had since we left LA. Where else are you gonna find geckos climbing the walls on the 15th floor?

As a Water Girl, it is simply amazing that the water supply throughout this whole country is unsafe to drink! It only takes a couple days of no ice, lugging bottled water around, and spitting in the shower to make sure you don't swallow any water, to really drive home how fortunate we are in America! (But then, I could go on, and on, and on about our environmental experiences here!!)

We are off to HaLong Bay tomorrow morning. I am SO looking forward to it. We are opting for the day trip. It will be a long day, but I'm sure we'll never forget it! Besides, it gives us all day Sunday to finish shopping and get packed.

Our appointment is 9:00 on Monday. We are to get DG's VISA within two hours. We are waiting on Todd to get our best flight options! OKC on New Year's Day...Woo Hoo!


nanny said...

Leigh, your commentary about your travels and experiences have been wonderful to say the least. Dori Grace looks precious in the soft colors now. WB has been a trooper, as well as JB. Happy New Year's to you all because you will be celebrating it before we will. Hope all goes well and we'll see you all soon. Love, Mary and Bob

Anonymous said...

Leigh Dear: I never would have thought it --- but are a wonderful writer. You should do more of it. You have made this journey so lifelike and meaningful to everyone who has read it. We are hoping these last days away can be restful and filled with lots more good memories.

You will get that hair under control soon. We will miss you at the Q Christmas dinner but will try to take pictures--though I am sure they will not be as good as the ones you and John have taken.
Love, Mimi

Chuck and Jean Anne said...

Great that you're going to Ha Long Bay. You'll love's spectacular. I bet you're son will kick a big kick out of it as well.

Miss Val said...

Leigh, your commentary is so funny and thrilling to read word after word, writing might truly be in your future.

Last night I was taking up my usual seat on the Jones couch, Lori was talking about Lewis'obsession with your blog, and hers too, Lacey piped in about my obsession, as well as hers, when Lewis called from the office there was a new email, the three of us jumped up and moved so fast to the office I thought we might plow into each other. The four of us read your blog and in unision went awe.

Miss Val

Heather said...

Sounds like the end of your trip is going great! I love the hair...wonder what makes it stick straight up like that?!?! Cute!
Thanks for all of your really is fun to follow your journey. Have a good sight~seeing trip.
Heather M.

Beth & Ray & Jojo Pickles said...

Leigh,I am so glad you finally got your ice cubes! yes, that MUST have made your day. Another light snow/ice evening with more sunshine today to melt most of it away. It looks like it will be about 35 degrees on and around new Years day so make sure you have the blankets ready and layer little DG and WB so they don't go into cold weather shock. No snow or ice headed this way so you should be able to fly into OKC with no problems!! YEA!! Can't WAIT to see you. Who is picking you up at the airport?? Let me know if we can help in ANY way. Hang in there a few more days and before you know it, you will have ice cubes, windows with screens and home cooked food all around. The calmness of Oklahoma waits for you all. Hugs-Beth, Ray & Jojo

Scott and Leslie said...

Glad that you are enjoying your stay in Vietnam and at the Somerset Grand. Make sure to try the restaurant on the 4th floor - it was so nice to have a plain grilled chicken breast, mashed potatoes and a bottled coke! Yummy!!!!

BTW: The hair photos crack me up. Avery pointed to the screen and mumbled something!!!! Apparently, she loves DG's do!!!

Dianna said...

So glad to hear that your trip is going well! Our group was in HCMC longer than yours, so Jaspas (on the 4th or 5th floor) and the coffee place in front of the grocery store downstairs SAVED OUR LIVES. Real (or semi-real) American-type foods! And lattes! We were in heaven :) Enjoy the rest of your stay! I'm reliving every moment of our trip through you!

Anonymous said...

How exciting and what an adventure! Bill and I have been checking in on your blog everyday from my cell phone. We spent our first Christmas in Jacksonville together and are now in Tulsa for Quintana Christmas. We will miss you but are thrilled you will be home soon! We are so proud of all of you and how you have handled the trip!!! Can't wait to see you all and meet DoriGrace! She is now officially on our Christmas list and there is a gift waiting for her here... along with one for WB of course. Love, Jill and Bill Hughes

krista said...

Leigh, We are finally home after being gone 9 days.I can only imagine how you feel. I have missed you and can't wait to see you next month.I love reading everything about the trip and the pictures are awesome she sure is beautiful. I can't hardly stand not being able to hold her yet.Tell walker we are so proud of him he is such a great big brother. Lori, if you are reading this please send me your e-mail. safe travels love you all .Krista

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