Our Home Away from Home -- Again

Trip Start Feb 17, 2013
Trip End Mar 21, 2013

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Flag of Vietnam  ,
Tuesday, March 19, 2013

We were dropped of at the Skylark Hotel shortly before 5 p.m.  Tom received a phone call from our "travel agent" the day before we left for Ha Long Bay.  As we checked in to this lovely hotel for the 3rd or 4th time, we were told the "travel agent" would be here to meet us between 5:00 and 5:30. Right on time, the phone rang about 15 minutes after we got into our room.

Ms. Hong Pham and her company director, were delightful.  He spoke no English but was very pleasant and very good looking.  She just had a baby 2 1/2 months ago but, unfortunately, did not bring the baby.  She spoke with us for about 15 minutes about our experiences, what we liked and did not like, and apologized for a few glitches -- which were easily resolved along the way.  She also brought a gift of Vietnamese coffee for us to take home.  Tom LOVES their coffee, I can't wait for a fru-fru Starbucks.  :)  While we were writing and uploading pictures to the Ha Long Bay blog, Tom received an email from Ms. Hong Pham telling us how pleased she was to meet us and that the driver tomorrow will bring a gift for me!  How sweet these Vietnamese people are!!!

After repacking our suitcases for our trip to San Francisco, we headed out the door for dinner and help in changing my Sim card back to Verizon.  The hotel staff didn't have the right tool, but the girl had the right relative!  She called her brother and showed us on a map how to find him in the phone store.  He didn't speak English but, by golly, as soon as two Westerners walked in, he knew exactly what we needed.  He pulled out a little tool, I pulled out my Verizon Sim card and, voila!, he changed it out for me.  My phone doesn't work in Vietnam anymore, but it will work as soon as we reach Taipei tomorrow evening and we will be ready to "Phone home, ET," when we reach San Francisco.  God bless technology and God bless the wonderfully helpful Vietnamese!  We do love them!

After the Sim card, we needed dinner and found a restaurant just a few doors down from the phone store.  Our waitress was adorable and spoke enough English we could communicate.  We ordered a seafood hotpot and she got the cooking started and then checked back to show us the ropes.  So cute!  See pictures!  

We are now heading to bed for our last night in Vietnam.  A few "errands" in the morning before showering and changing into "winter" clothes for travel back to snow or rain or some other icky weather conditions.  With the exception of one rainy day in Hoi An, we have been so lucky with the weather -- a few drizzles, some fog that burns off, otherwise hot and humid.  Not fond of the humidity, but there have been only a few days in the South and in Cambodia when it was unbearable.  In the North, it has been tolerable.

We will check in again from San Francisco!


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