Prettiness for your Friday

15

Friday, April 27, 2012

I took my in-laws up north yesterday to walk through the thousands and thousands of orchids and tropical flowers.
Be still my heart.
It smelled like heaaaven. 
And flowers in frames? Brilliant.

I still have more Hanoi photos to post.. but until then, happiest weekend!

Vung Vieng, Vietnam // Floating Fishing Village

24

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Our guide told us that there are about 50 families living in this floating fishing village and they had never seen Westerners prior to 2008 when junk ships started coming in with tourists. 
Can you imagine that?
We got to row through their colorful village early our last morning on Halong Bay,
visited the floating school and saw how families fish through the floor of their homes. 
I haven't been in a place that feels that far away and that foreign since being in Romania or maybe Turkey. 
What a totally. different. world. 
We are so glad we got to see it.

Dawn over Halong Bay

22

Monday, April 23, 2012

{chicken noodle pho for breakfast}
When we travel, it's totally normal for Cam to sleep in since he rarely gets to and it's typical for me to be wide awake before dawn each morning because I am soo excited. 

This particular morning was.. unreal. 

I was on the top deck before anyone else was awake, when first light was just starting to shine behind the island formations, casting their shadows on the perfectly still water.
Just me, my Creator & my camera.
It was utterly silent until the sun started to rise, and with it, bird songs and monkeys from the islands close to where we were docked. 

I just stood taking it all in..  in awe.

Halong Bay, Vietnam

33

Friday, April 20, 2012

Cam's parents are here!
They came all the way from Colorado to spend two weeks with us. 
They're sitting next to me right now, totally relaxed with their feet propped up staring out at the East China Sea and reading their books. We are taking it easy after their 24 hours of travel, 
which is perfect because Cam and I picked up some nasty bacteria from Vietnam that hit us when we got home...  thankfully he's had every shot known to man so he's fine but my gentle little immune system couldn't handle it. It got so bad that Cam had to take me to the hospital last night. Oh goodness, you don't even want to know!! I'm better now but any of you planning on going to Vietnam, keep in mind that it's diirrrty. Price we pay for being so adventurous.
.....
Sparing you the details & moving on!
to breathtaking Halong Bay. It was ammmazing.
{our Indochina junk ship ~ the Dragon's Pearl}
{where we spent the first day ~ Hon Co Island}
It's far more beautiful and peaceful and romantic than my photos do it justice.
It was the craziest three hour trek to get there from Hanoi but as soon as we set sail on the junk ship we were immediately in quiet and tranquility. We sailed on the other side of Halong Bay in Bai Tu Long which is the remote part of the Gulf of Tonkin more recently opened to junk ships. We saw only a handful of other ships the whole time. It was overcast which somehow made the Bay even more exotic and other-worldly. All of us on board found ourselves talking in hushed tones as we marveled at the nearly 2,000 islands jutting from the emerald water slowly passing by. It really felt like a different world. We ate each meal al fresco with the other couples on board and loved getting to know each of them a bit ~ most of whom were from England and were hilarious. And the crew was just the best.. so warm and hospitable. They served us a 6 course seafood lunch while we sailed to Hon Co Island where we walked up about 100 steps to a massive cave, took in the views, kayaked around the islands and swam. We spent the rest of the afternoon drinking a bottle of wine on the lounge chairs looking out in total awe. The only sounds were birds, an occasional fisherman passing by and soft music from the acoustic guitar one of the crew strummed for us on deck. It was so, so romantic and peaceful.. and just absolutely gorgeous. Truly a once in a lifetime experience.

The crew sang traditional Vietnamese songs to us after dinner that night as we all sat outside drinking wine,  thanking us for joining them. It was so lovely.. up until they asked us to join in on a praise song to Ho Chi Minh. Umm, heck no. Cam put it really well when he said that communism seems to be gasping for it's last breath in Vietnam. Free marketism is slowly making it's way in, though seemingly still at the rudimentary level.

I'm so excited to show you what the Bay looks like at dawn and the floating fishing village we rowed through... (:

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