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Vagabond Kids: November 2010

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Colors of Asia: Hanoi is Yellow


While in Hanoi I started to think about how certain cities in Asia just seem to be a certain color. Not every city I have been to has a color, Saigon (Ho Chi Minh) doesn't really have a dominant color. Sometimes the color is found in the cultural dress of the people, sometimes it is the natural environment, and sometimes it is really just pretty darn obvious.


Based on the sites of Hanoi, the color yellow was the only thing I could think of. What do you think?





I only had one day to walk around the city the rest of the time was for work, all I can say is I will be back, this time with the kids!

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Friday, November 19, 2010

Images of Mutianyu: Great Wall of China

While I recover from wrist surgery which makes typing difficult... here is a short slide show of Mutianyu. Next time, pictures of the home I stayed in, which would be a lovely home for a family visit to the Great Wall (and it is available for overnight stays and is perfect for large groups.) More soon!

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Monday, November 15, 2010

Hanoi Plans: Monday Dreaming

Hanoi Lantern Shop

Image Source: Hanoi Lantern Shop by * etoile, on Flickr

I am planning my trip to Hanoi and Ho Chi Mihn City next week. I can't wait to find a few hours to wander the streets, eat some food and enjoy a few minutes between meetings. This trip,again, is just the Vagabond Mom but I can't wait to bring the kids up here soon. But, this week, the dream is all me. All about fresh Pho, all about the street markets, all about the excitement of a new city....a bunch of photos to review and plans for future trips with the kids! This is part of the Monday's are for Dreaming Posts over at The Mother of All Trips
Grilling Bun Cha on the Street in Hanoi

Image Source:Grilling Bun Cha on the Street in Hanoi by Hanoi Mark, on Flickr

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Rants and Raves: A post about plane travel

365-46 Preferred

So, I get it. You get on the plane, you are stuck in a tube of metal flying a million (okay probably 30,000 feet) above sea level and you get tired, cranky and the food,if served at all stinks. But, why the attitude? Those who know and love me will all tell you I have not been blessed with an over abundance of patience. My basic motto is "Instant Gratification just isn't fast enough". However, when I fly I try to push those inborn traits into the corner and behave like a normal human. I try to be kind to those sitting around me, I try to pay attention if the person sitting next to the window is desperately looking like they need to escape to use the bathroom and I give way. But I can't tell you how often I see people treat the flight attendants like crap and or ignore them all together. Oh no, I am not talking about those up in Business or First Class, nor am I talking about the rock stars over drinking, nor am I discussing the first time flyer who has never been on a plane before and this is a once in a lifetime flight. I am talking about Joe Business Traveler.

So, Joe sat across the aisle from me yesterday. His family was traveling with him and they sat in the row directly in front of me. They boarded with the rest of the crowd, he stayed back and only boarded right before the plane took off. As soon as he walked in he opened every single bin looking for a place to put his stuff and then was incensed when there was no room. Once he shuffled stuff around he found a spot for his bag, sat down hard and laid the seat back right away, pushing the girl behind him. Needless to say, you can see where this is going. The rest of the flight was a continuation of the same. And, then, at the end of the flight once the announcement to put away your electronics was made, he pitched a fit to the attendant.

I Know, I get it, I think the rule is stupid too, but I put my stuff away. I can't believe that my iPad is going to interfere with the planes navigational system.....but I don't backtalk to the attendants, they are just doing their job. Why did you need to be so mean? Why did you throw a fit and demand to use your earphones? Why did you sigh loud in disgust when they turned off the in-flight movie? Dude, you are obviously a frequent flyer. You know the rules and as seemly silly as they are, they are the rules after all.

Lots of people complain that flying isn't the great experience it used to be with waiters and waitresses in the sky catering to our every whim. Well if Joe Business is the average traveler, I can see why. So, long rant over...mostly anyway. Here is what I took away from that exchange yesterday.

1) Flight attendants generally don't get paid enough
2) The Rules while silly are probably there for a reason
3) There are better ways of treating your fellow human
4) Basic Manners and polite behavior will get you much farther in life than being a jerk, case in point, I asked for and got 2 Bloody Marys while in flight both were served right away and with a smile. Joe asked for a drink later in the flight, it took 20 minutes to get it to him.
5) Life is too short and it is time to get over it. And time for me to get over it as well. So I have.
6) When my kids travel they will and are taught to treat each and every person they interact with with the same level of respect that they would in any other social environment.

Enjoy your next flight. Someday I will tell you the story about flying on a retired Aeroflot plane, on the way to Chengdu over Chinese New Year where the flight attendants were as drunk as the passengers and Karaoke competitions were being held in coach class.


Monday, November 8, 2010

Mom Travels: Beijing and the Great Wall

Vagabond Mom on Great Wall of China

Today I am getting set for another trip to the Great Wall of China, this time near Mutianyu and a stay with my co-workers at my boss's converted Chinese farm house. We will be working for a few days and then climbing the wall. I think this will be my 9th or 10th visit to the wall. Each time I visit I realize how small and insignificant one person can be in the greater web of life (thinking of the legions that died building the wall) and yet how very great mankind can be to build such amazing structures...I know, don't even get me started on the reasons it was built, it is and should be admired for its beauty now....

The Great Wall of China
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One of my deepest held beliefs is that to stand on the Great Wall should be the goal of every traveler, large or small. The kids have yet been to the Great Wall, in fact they have not traveled much in Northern China. But one of the plans is to try to get to as many of the UNESCO sites in Asia as we can, the Great Wall is one of the biggies... and Beijing has multiple other sites as well~

For my Monday Dreaming post it is time to change that, time to set a schedule and plan the trip. While we love our South East Asia travels and the kids love our trips Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia it is time to get back to Northern Asia. We plan on Japan this summer, now maybe Beijing next Christmas, 2011? Shoot for a white Christmas? Sounds like my dream is coming into shape!

Check out more Mondays are for Dreaming posts over here on Mother Of All Trips.

Mutianyu Great Wall
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