Page 3 of JandMOBrien Travel Blog Posts

Asia » Vietnam March 1st 2018

Our days have turned into a week in this idyllic place. We’ve arrived in the midst of a lantern festival, a full moon celebration and the corn festival. Lanterns reign. Glorious hot-air-ballon-shaped lanterns are strung across streets, around buildings, hung on lamp posts, adorning the sterns of cigar-shaped pole-pushed boats on the river. Large float-sized lanterns in shapes of dragons, turtles, puppies and the like line the river in the old UNESCO town and come dusk, the place lights up to its magical best. Strings of wires across streets support the lanterns at irregular intervals. We see a big tour bus stop, a chap jumps out and grabs an extender pole with a squeegee on its end from the below luggage compartment, and runs ahead to push the lantern stringers high enough for the bus to ... read more
South Korean Girls - in the Hot Outfits Sold Here
The Ubiquitous Sunglass Salesman
Best SPF of all

Asia » Vietnam February 26th 2018

Our grand daughters gleefully yell out “again” when they’ve been bounced, thrown, chased or teased. Happy things should be done again. We loved Hoi An when we first visited five years back and after a flight to Danang and 45 min drive, we arrived back here. This time staying at an AirBnB on the island across the river, and it feels familiar but new. Even with the bridge, the markets are closer to us than at our last hotel. Our hosts are joyful and eager to recommend places and people. A day in and we feel like we’re discovering whole new aspects of this UNESCO heritage site. The temps are noticeably cooler - under 30 during the day and dropping to mid to low 20s at night. Restaurants are most often open air, feeling like you’re ... read more
Joyful face
Typical market scene

Asia » Vietnam February 24th 2018

Returning to Vietnam after five years was decided based on our warm memories of the country and its people. The romantic notion of revisiting our path, with some new additions was appealing. So far in our travels we have chosen places never experienced before, and this is our first major reprise of a far-away country. Combined with slowing down, spending more time in a place, we are experiencing not only Saigon with the major tourist sites already off the list, but also with our antennae up for how a slower place feels to us. It sounds good in theory. We have explored in a different way. Rather more like a sigh, than a rousing “we wanna take on the place!” We sought out the local transit to do what we call a ‘circle route’ to see ... read more
There’s a bicycle under this load...and likely a person
New Year’s Apricot in Full Bloom

Asia » Vietnam February 20th 2018

Our 15 hour flight to Hong Kong was smooth, sleepy and uneventful. A short layover and a couple more hours saw us land in Saigon. The Visa on Arrival process had blips. Our passport-sized pictures had been safely stowed in the suitcase, still unclaimed beyond the visa granting area. A few wrong choices of waiting lines had us return and recycle through a few. One plus was that the VOA documentation was ordered as a nice-to-have before leaving home - it turned out to be essential to being granted boarding passes. All said. All done. Our familiar Signature Saigon hotel greeted us and we settle into our room. Four hours of afternoon sleep later, we check out the night market and grab a pho for dinner. Back at our home base, a new top floor breakfast ... read more
Saigon Opera House
Two charmers meet
Rice Paper Wrap Construction

North America » Canada » Ontario » Toronto February 18th 2018

Mmmm, TravelPod is defunct and I’ve overtly said I’m not blogging this trip. Instead, I’m choosing to on-line diary despite that being a subtle differentiation. Our preparations for departure were unusually calm. Starting early with visits to those we want to see beforehand, finding some warm and leaveable winter coats at Value Village, ordering tech bits early and getting a grip on next-year apartment rentals started a steady, manageable pace on the track to finally exiting unit 1106’s door. Mom and Dad are wintering in Halifax for the first time, Emma and Hannah are taking up skiing, Kelly and Marty are in high gear on their careers, we have friends and family whose circumstances are on our minds, and we leave in good health and spirits. And our suitcase holds three characters chosen by our granddaughters ... read more
Guess whose is who’s

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