Too tired to do much but give a quick update. Tomorrow night (around 11:30pm), we fly out of Hanoi toward Tokyo... landing in Tokyo around 6am Saturday, and then flying out around noon on Saturday. We arrive home around 9am Saturday morning... having flown backward through time.
Visit the Wise's blog for some pictures of K and Maya playing at the Somerset Westlake pool this morning. While that was going on, B and I walked toward Hoan Kiem Lake, pausing at Ho Chi Minh's mausoleum and the museum of military history. Our goal was the Hoa Lo prison (the Hanoi Hilton), but our timing was bad, and it was closed when we got there. So we met up with the rest of the Currys and the Wise family for lunch... and visited Hoa Lo (with TM) after lunch.
Lunch was supposed to be at a Pho 24 restaurant just south of Hoan Kiem. But after traversing the one block where we were told we'd find Pho 24 (by more than one person!) about five times, we had to conclude that Pho 24 had vanished. And we had no plan B. We've found that our family needs to have definite plans, especially when it comes to meals, or else we end up wandering aimlessly and some of us become grumpier and grumpier as the blood sugar levels drop. We ended up at Moka Cafe, by the cathedral, and that was okay.
The Wises leave tomorrow morning, but of course we bumped into them by accident one last time at Quan An Ngon restraurant at dinner tonight.
Now we're back in the room, and we have until 4pm (our late check-out time) to get everything packed. Then, at 4pm, we leave the luggage at the Somerset front desk and try to amuse ourselves until about 8:30pm, when we need to leave for the airport.
Yesterday we visited the reconstructed historic "tube house" on Ma May street. This is a typical old long narrow Hanoi house, with shop space in the front, a courtyard, and living space on the second floor. It seems so eminently livable as a space, assuming that you are in a climate that allows year-round exposure to the outdoors. Not so good for Chicago.
Nothing more enlightening to add now. I doubt we'll get more photos posted before we leave.
K has become a regular little character. We expect that he will find great success in making his siblings crack up. He seems to enjoy an audience.