Well we are back from our Vietnam "Babymoon" and had an absolutely fantastic time.
I have so many stories buzzing around in my head but for now I hope the following pictures will provide the essence of what our adventure entailed.
As it turned out, our time in Vietnam progressed organically through 3 different stages as we visited 3 completely different areas of the country - Culture Shock (Hanoi), Relaxation (Halong Bay) and Settling-In (Hoi An).
If you are looking to jolt yourself out of your normal every day life of parenting then I can thoroughly recommend starting in a city like Hanoi. It is so fantastically different that just a couple of hours in the city will leave you feeling like you've been away forever. Not least because you are so focussed on not being killed by a car, motorbike or Cyclo. We quickly learned that the key is to be completely committed to crossing the road. No sudden movements or hesitation. You just casually step on the road and proceed at a steady pace and watch all the different transport weave around you. Amazingly this system works so well and I did not see a single bit of road rage.
The French influence is still strong in the city, in the architecture and the cuisine. They love their little birds, even if they hang the cages from high voltage power lines :-)
Walking the streets of Hanoi was a total treat for the senses - the smells, the food, the colours and the historic sights were overwhelming.
The second part of our trip was all about relaxation and to that end we went on a 3 day cruise around Halong Bay on a traditional Junk with Paradise Cruises.
The boat sailed so peacefully around this beautiful World Heritage Bay. We ate, slept, read books, chatted, did Tai Chi on the top deck at Sunrise and Vietnamese Cooking at Sunset.
The tiny limestone Islets are dotted with caves and we visited one of the largest in the Bay. We also went on some traditional Vietnamese row boats and the highlight was visiting one of the Floating Villages, which I will Post about next time.
Finally we were ready to settle-in and embrace some more of the Vietnamese culture and so we headed for the Ancient town of Hoi An.
Here, you just want to stroll the lantern-filled streets at night, visit the wet markets and indulge in more Vietnamese food. I swear I could eat this food forever.
Hoi An had a really relaxed and bohemian vibe. I could have spent a lot longer here just watching the daily going-on's.
We hired some scooters for a day to see the surrounding countryside and get to the beach. We carried on like two crazy teenagers without a care in the world.
The "Bump" made its presence known while we were away and suddenly I found myself looking pregnant. Really pregnant actually. How did that happen?
While the highlight was visiting the Floating Village in Halong Bay, the lowlight was vomiting all over the Pianoman while on the back of his motorbike on our way to Red Bridge Cooking School. Unfortunately we missed doing the Vietnamese cooking class while I spent the afternoon wondering what on earth had caused it as well as rinsing out The Pianoman's clothes ready for our flight home that evening.
Needless to say, it's great to be home and I missed the Kids like crazy while we were away. We soaked up every inch of this trip knowing that it would not be a while before we would get the opportunity to do something like this again. Actually, 10 days felt like a very long time and I can honestly say if it is another 10 years before we get to go away like this again then so be it.