Tarynne Mingione, November 8 2014
Monday, May 12, 2014
Around 4pm we arrived into Hanoi after our hour plus rattled flight from Vientiane. We jumped on the local bus which took another hour to get into central Hanoi. After walking around lost we finally caved and payed the whopping $2 for a cab. We found Hanoi Serendipity Hotel, dropped off our backpacks and headed out to find pho.
With our bellies properly welcomed to Vietnam, our heads hit our clean pillows and we were out like the Cougs chances of being invited to any bowl game.
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Excited with a sense of purpose we beat the rising sun and headed out of our room. Free black muddy coffee and a catered breakfast featuring beef pho prevented us from our beeline productive day. Fueled up we carried on, knocking on the doors of dozens of travel agents inquiring about Sapa and Halong Bay trips. Exhausting amounts of effort was expended trying to determine how reliable and honest these companies were while also evaluating the packages and prices they were offering. After an entire day we ended up surrendering to the receptionist at our hotel.
We took a dinner break at Gecko, a place splashed with a hint of Tuscany but with some of the best Vietnamese pho and spring rolls you could ever dream of.
Wednesday May 14, 2014
Today’s the day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I would see my mama for the first time in 16 months!!!!!!!!!! Beyond excited we ran to the bus station, missed the first bus and paced around waiting for the next. The next bus showed up a few dozen minutes late. We quickly would learn why. We made the return trip to the airport, although this trip would be a bit more entertaining. Our bus started to slow on the freeway and eventually made its way off the side of the road, bumping along into the dirt while James and I wondered what the heck we were doing.
The bus driver was dead asleep.
As we veered further and further into oncoming lanes of traffic and panic started to rise, a particularly large pothole roused the driver and he correct his coordinates and were on our way.
He fell asleep a few more times, making the hour trip double in duration and forcing us to leave my Mom abandoned post 22 hours of travel alone at a Vietnamese airport.
We made it, and wow did it feel good to see her!!!!!!!!
My mom is amazingly low-maintenance, so after dropping her things we were back out the door exploring Hanoi.
It was baking hot so we wandered over bridges and around little lakes before finding a sweet little triangle bar to cool down. We stopped into Gecko and Mom had her first real bowl of Vietnamese pho.
The rest of the day was spent wandering around Hanoi and catching up on a busy 16 months missed.