nyc invades saigon!

Our guest bedroom is FINALLY being put to good use!  The second round of house guests was sweet Hallie (the daughter of a dear friend) and her awesome boyfriend, Noah, from New York City. They began a two week tour of Vietnam duty in Hanoi and worked their way down to Ho Chi Minh City.

Inspecting Miss Paul Studios

Hallie is a real trooper!

I enjoyed seeing them attack the city with gusto. Even a little stomach bug Hallie picked up on her last day did not slow them down.  They still made it to the Cu Chi tunnels where they got a chance to shoot the AK-47.

They toured the Ben Thanh market, War Remnants museum, Reunification Palace, Saigon Kim’s for a few shampoo massages and found time to sub teaching English for me at the Duc Duc center for street children.

And no MREs for these two…they went gung ho on the local chop chop scene and tried everything from pho to sushi! Paul and I had the pleasure of taking them to our favorite Restaurant 13 on their last night.

With our good friend, Phuc, outside Restaurant 13

This A-team arrived as a couple we had never met in person and departed as friends we look forward to staying in touch with!  Godspeed and Saigon LOVE to both of you!

Lots of gear!

meet iben

One of the wonderful things about living here is the opportunity I have to meet so many fascinating people. Iben tops that list with her irresistible joie de vivre.  I met my Danish friend in Bangkok last month in a cooking class.  She is from Aarhus, the second largest city in Denmark.  Iben recently graduated and is spending the summer traveling in Asia before beginning her master’s studies this fall.  When she mentioned that she might visit Vietnam, I invited her to stay with us and she did!

Paul and I took her to some of our favorite restaurants and watering holes.  We also visited the market, rode on cyclos, toured the War Remnants museum and had lots of fun taking lessons at the Vietnam Cookery Center. And during her time here, Iben made the trip to the Cu Chi tunnels. She is definitely my kind of people! Enjoy this little flick I made about her Saigon visit:

What I admire most about Iben is how she travels without planning what’s next. She truly takes one day at a time. One minute she could be visiting a museum and the next she is trying on Jimmy Choo shoes! Wish I could say, “Have fun in ______!”, but she didn’t know where she was headed next. And it doesn’t hurt that she is a very genuine, compassionate, considerate, and beautiful woman. Carpe diem, Iben…hoping that our paths cross again one day.

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