Happy New Year!
This blog took a long gap year- just like we did. We haven’t been traveling since we settled down in Grand Rapids, Michigan in the Fall of 2017. Grand Rapids has been very good to us. I work for the Lower Grand River Organization of Watersheds. I have an incredible group of coworkers, and love my job. We also found an amazing group of people at CrossFit 616- you guys are awesome!
After a year of working, we finally took a vacation and decided to travel back to one of our favorite countries that we explored on our world-wide adventure- Vietnam.
Our second trip to Vietnam was just as amazing as the first! Same same but different. Aka Southeast Asia’s way of saying ‘similar.’ Jeff and I traveled there alone this time, and I was worried that we weren’t going to have as much fun without any travel buddies. No need to worry, as the trip started off on the right foot- we caught up with our friends Matt and Rebekkah in Chicago before catching our flight on EVA Airlines, which was Hello Kitty themed. AMAZING! Just as amazing? The airport in Taiwan.
We landed in Hanoi 2 days later. This city is nuts. Traffic is crazy, it’s third world county polluted, and people seem to thrive. I’m not sure why, but I freaking love it. It probably has to do with the polite locals, delicious food, good shopping, and out of this world coffee.
Coffee in all of its forms! Hot, cold, strong, stronger, with coconut milk, or topped with egg custard (our personal favorite!).
We spent 2 weeks eating everything in sight. Including steamed snails that we had to dig out of their shells with a safety pin- don’t worry, we’re both up to date with our tetanus shots and I think the rice wine killed everything else…The snails were surprisingly tasty and of course we forgot to take a photo.
While crossing the street, we have a rule- it’s every man for themselves. Meet you at the other side dear!
We spent 2 days in Hanoi before heading out on a 3 day excursion with Ethnic Travel that Jeff had booked. We visited Ninh Binh in the Red River Delta, and Bai Tu Long Bay (the northern part of Ha Long Bay). We had an amazing guide, and a great time!
We returned to Hanoi for another 2 days before heading out on a second trip, spending 3 days in Sa Pa with Vega Travel. We took the night train from Hanoi to the Chinese border, and spend the next 3 days trekking and scooting around the rice paddies in Sa Pa. We couldn’t believe our luck with the incredible weather. Note: almost all of these photos are NOT edited or filtered. This place is just that breath-taking!
After Sa Pa, we returned to Hanoi to do some shopping and get massages before heading home. See pics I snapped of Jeff’s foot massage…
Jeff got a suit made!
Do we still have wanderlust? Hell yes. But now it’s a little bit different- during this vacation, I was happy to have a place that we call ‘home’ that I actually wanted to go back to!
What’s up for 2019? We are heading to Costa Rica in April- Pura Vida!
Until next time, xo.
We were on vacation. We didn’t keep track because we didn’t have to. But Vietnam is so cheap after you get there, that you have to try to break to the bank. Example: I was peeved because one day a lady on the street scalped us for a 1.5 liter bottle of water. She charged us 30,000 Vietnamese dong (double what she should have). It cost us $1.28.
PS. Fun find! Knock off Lulu: