Dec 4, 2006

Arrived safely

How long were we traveling? 24 hours of travel that went suprisingly well. The 14 hour flight from Vancouver to Hong Kong was the longest part of the journey but the boys did great. The biggest shock for them in Vietnam so far has been the massive amounts of attention they have been getting. Everywhere they go they get lots of pats on the head, cheek pinching and kisses on the cheek. They have been passed around and hugged and smelled so much that I am sure we made the right choice in deciding to come to Vietnam, though it may be a little overwhelming for them at the moment. More on that in a minute. Let's start at the beginning...

We flew out of Edmonton so that we could drop Pico off at Dean & Deidra's (Thanks guys) as they will be looking after her while we are gone. The next morning was an early start to a long day, Keegan was grabbing a couple of extra snoozes in this picture, unconsciously he probably knew he was in for a bit of sleep deprivation. After a short flight to Vancouver they were ready to party. I think Keegan put a leg lock on the bear while Evan was going for an arm bar submission.

By the time we hit Hong Kong we had seen at least three movies, eaten at least four times and flown over 10,000kms. The boys did great and were pretty interested to look at planes taking off and landing on the tarmac at the airport in Hong Kong.

When we landed in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) we were supposed to get picked up by a hotel driver, uhmmmmmm, that didn't work out so well since he was a no-show. So it was into a taxi and head downtown. Our driver who was motivated to get us there (my only rule was "no hotel - no cash") had both Doreen and I shaking our heads and smiling at each other as he started to repeat "Indochine Hotel" several times to himself as we were driving along but each time he said it he would pronounce it a little bit differently than the last time - quite possibly he was hoping this would magically make it appear in front of him as he had no idea where the hotel was. Once downtown and a couple of circles around a block or two he stopped to ask others if they knew where the hotel was. The culmination of the taxi-mirth ended with a discussion he had through his passenger side window with another taxi driver who proceeded to point up one of the streets and then pointed down another street while our driver pointed in yet another direction. While sitting in the backseat with Doreen and the boys watching the finger pointing extravaganza I recognized the front of our hotel from its website photo, directly across from where we were parked. When I grabbed their attention and pointed at the hotel and said "Indochine Hotel" they both nodded and pointed and repeated the hotel's name several times quite happy to inform us that, yes, there was our hotel. Hilarious. By the time we got settled in and headed out looking for something to eat it was around midnight, we found a great restaurant around the block where the seafood was displayed in large tanks and the staff took an instant shine to the boys - hugging them, smelling them, holding their hands to show them things, walking them around to show other staff and generally showing them a great deal of affection. At one point there were four girls holding the boys in a circle stroking their heads and giving them hugs. They really treated us well and it was a sign of things to come, apparently our sons are the cutest boys in all of HCM City or so we are told.

In the morning we woke up to this view on our balcony, the large white building is the Hyatt and at 10 times the cost of our hotel I think we did alright. This second photo is Keegan feeling pretty chipper and ready to race Evan out to the elevator to push the button so we can go down for breakfast.

After breakfast we headed off to an ATM where I drew out 1 Million Dong, which sounds like a lot but is really only about $75 Cdn. The girls in the bank tried to give the boys some Christmas ornaments but instead we got the boys to hang them on their tree.

More to come in a minute or two...