Friday, November 2, 2012

JC, Bouddha, and other sightings by the accidental tourists

We started our day with a very loose plan: go see the Jesus statue at the top of the mountain and then try to kill time.  800 stairs up later, we had the most beautiful view of Vung Tau.  You climb 800 stairs up the mountain and then proceed to climb another 100 very narrow stairway inside the statue itself.  Michael kept saying ''come on baby cakes, you have run half-marathons, you can do this!''  It was so hot and the stairs are uneven.  But it was great.  After descending the 800 stairs, which was a lot easier than going up, we decided to try our luck and see if the Arms Museum would be open today: this was our 2nd attempt.  No luck, and no explanation from the guard who spoke no English.  Then we decided to go see a pagoda, up another 200 set of stairs.  We made it halfway, until a stray dog forced us to retreat, backwards........  So no Bouddha for us.  Then we decided to keep walking.  We visited the whale pagoda, a temple dedicated to the fishing life of this town.  It got really hot so we stopped for a coffee.  Cold Vietnamese coffee is the best.  It is always interesting to go into a coffee shop that looks brand new, with a toilet that basically looks like an outhouse, with no sink................  And this started a conversation between Michael and I about bathrooms here.  Either you see a communal towel to dry your hands, or you find a communal bar of soap to wash your hands.  There is no win-win situation.  This bathroom this afternoon had no water, no soap, no towel.  And it is used also by the staff.  Mind over matter.
After the coffee, we continued our wandering.  We discovered the most ornate temple with beautiful gardens.  We think it is dedicated to Ho Chi Minh.  Again, guard did not speak a lick of English.  We are getting very good at Vietnamese charades.
We think we were walking at some point through a diplomatic area so we dodged out of there as quickly as possible.  We landed at the Imperial Plaza, an indoor department store, where probably only expats can afford to shop, with the odd exception.  We found a little food court on the 4th floor and had very good Vietnamese food for both of us for $3.50.  Can't beat that.  On our way back to the hotel to freshen up, we walked on the beach.  Warm water, big waves, beautiful seashells, a lovely lovely time.
After a nice shower, we went back out for some shopping in the shopping district.  Michael got beautiful stylish Clark shoes for $20.  We are on the hunt for Angry Birds and more stuff for the kidlets.
We went to Tommy's for supper and are now back at the hotel.
Tomorrow is a big day: we finally get to meet our daughters, Binh and Phuoc.  We will take the boat back to Saigon at 8 am, drop off stuff at the hotel, and show up at the orphanage for about 10h30.  I am nervous.  Michael is too.  How small are they?  How healthy or unhealthy are they?  How will they take to us?  Poor pumpkins, we are about to rock their world.  Such big changes for them coming up, but at least, they have each other.

Today was a big fun day, we estimate we walked about 15 km.
Please think of us tomorrow.


  1. Love you guys. Toutes mes pensees et prières. Quel amour vous lie tous les deux et bravo de laisser les autres se nourrir de votre belle énergie. Vous saurez vivre à deux l'accueil inconditionnel de vis deux trésors. Je pense à vous , aux jumelles et aux enfants qui attendent à La maison! Je vous aime! Marie- Pierre xxxx

    1. Quel baume sur nos inquietudes, merci MP! XXX

  2. Je suis si heureuse pour vous que vous ayez l'occasion de vivre ça tous les deux ensemble cette fois-ci! Merci pour ces nouvelles et je penserai très fort à vous! C'est une grande rencontre qui se prépare! Oui, you are about to rock their world, big time! Elles sont chanceuses d'atterrir dans votre famille! xxx