We've been a bit lax on posting, but we're now in Hanoi. Yesterday (Wednesday), our last day in Saigon, was partly spent killing time waiting to go to the airport. We had to check out of the Continental at noon, and then after lunch, we just sort of wandered around and then some of us sat in the lobby while others took a walk and got rained on.
But earlier that morning (Wednesday), B and I went to the Cu Chi tunnels and had a tour. No one else relished the idea of crawling through tight spaces, but as it turned out, much of the tour is above ground, and it would be easy enough to skip the tunnels. We got there early, before the tour buses, and our guide was very nice. We saw many types of painful looking traps used by the Cu Chi guerrillas. All involved pits and spikes in a variety of combinations. (Interestingly, the guide was very clear in saying that the Cu Chi guerrillas were NOT Viet Cong, but were local resistance fighter. However, the guidebook refers to them as VC. Originally, the tunnels were begun in the 1950s by Viet Minh resisting the French colonial government. It would be interesting to read more of this history.) B and I went as far in the tunnels as they would let us, and it wasn't too claustrophobia-inducing... though the tunnels have been enlarged a bit for tourists. B could walk bent over, though I had to bend my knees just enough that the tops of my thighs got sore. Check photobucket for some pictures of our visit.
The day before (Tuesday), we walked to the Saigon zoo and botanical garden. The state of the animals left M quite depressed. She did NOT approve of the animal husbandry techniques and the general health of the animals. K really enjoyed my mango ice cream, though. (Pictures on photobucket.) By the time we left, it was almost noon and blazing hot. We had to stop at Pho 24 for lunch and a rest.
Back to yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon... between 2pm and 4pm, E, K, and B sat in the hotel lobby, while M, TM, and I went out and walked. (Mainly to keep me from going stir crazy and to attempt to exhaust TM.) We wandered far, ending up in the area where motorbikes are repaired and sold. Clearly, the Saigon motorbike economy is alive and well. Of course, we got a little turned around just as it started to rain, but we eventually found our way back to the hotel. TM, amazingly, was tired enough to fall asleep on the plane to Hanoi that evening... though that wasn't necessarily a good thing, since he is nearly impossible to wake up.
And now (Thursday morning), we're here in Hanoi... considering a hotel downgrade. We're in an expensive hotel that is too far from the Old Quarter and French Quarter to walk... and we may end up switching to a new hotel... even if it means losing the swimming pool. We don't really have enough room here for the six of us, and if we're going to be crowded, we might as well pay a bit less.
K is getting busier and busier. He's been running up and down the hall, whacking toys off the table, grunting in his funny growly voice, and generally being cute. He sleeps so well we occasionally have to wake up and check on him. He's just generally cute and good. When we leave the room, he does not like to be set down... and he seems to prefer having us all together. He seems to adore both B and TM. We'll try to post a video to photobucket, too... since the connection seems a bit better here. (It better be, we have to pay for it!)