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Hitting the Proverbial Wall

13 July 2012

It was bound to happen at some point during our eight weeks of travel.
After a night on the overnight train, we arrived in Hue at 7am.
We had the whole day to explore the city, before catching an evening train to Danang.
Except I had a cold that was zapping my energy.
Except Jeff didn't sleep well on the train.
Except the last thing we felt like doing was being tourists for the day.

But without any other options, we tried to make the best of it.
We loaded up on coffee and headed for the Imperial City.

Within 10 minutes, I suggested we sit down at the restaurant for some water and a rest.
The scalding heat and humidity was seriously getting the best of me.
However, being the persistent {stubborn} people we are, we kept at the touristy stuff.
We walked, and walked, and took some photos.
But did we enjoy it? No.

We had hit a wall.
THE wall.  The proverbial wall.

It was bound to happen.  And on that day in Hue, it happened.

By 2:00pm I was completely over it.  So over it, in fact, that I readily handed over $70 to the driver who agreed to drive us the 4 hours to Hoi An.  I simply did not want to wait another 5 hours, only to get on a 2 hour train, and then arrive at our hotel around eleven o'clock at night.

I hate spending money unnecessarily, and I hate going over-budget even more, but in that moment, I felt like the lucky one.  Because I was getting the hell out of Hue and heading to the comfort of our hotel room in Hoi An.

No offense to's a great city that just caught us weary travelers on the wrong day.
Nevertheless, here's what we managed to capture of the city before moving on.

gate to the Imperial City
wedding photos we stumbled upon

elephant cool down
oh hello 3 live geese

Do you ever hit a wall when traveling?

Descending Dragons

11 July 2012

After three days of hustle, bustle, and chaos in Hanoi {of which I loved every minute}, we planned our escape to an other-worldly place where time seemed to stand still...

Halong Bay.

It's name means the Bay of Descending Dragons, and it sure lives up to it's mystical moniker.  All but three days a year, this bay is shrouded in a foggy haze.  While the haze might make it look cold or gloomy in the pictures, I assure you, it was a welcome haze...and still hot as hell in Vietnam.  The bay boasts nearby two thousand small islands, most of which are uninhabited.

We stayed on a boat called a Junk boat, which is actually quite luxurious, and allows you to stay overnight on the bay in the comfort of your own room, own bathroom, sundeck, dining room, and more.

In addition to swimming and kayaking, we got a rare glimpse at life in the floating villages.  You see, there are entire villages that live on the bay, only going to land a few times per year.  They live off fishing {and tourism.}

In the evening, our tour guide on the boat gave us a Vietnamese cooking class.  J and I got to try our hands at making spring rolls.

The next morning, we visited one of the treasured sites in Halong Bay--called the Amazing Cave.  There are three chambers of the cave, with many stalactites and stalagmites.  However, the cave's namesake is due to one, very unusual rock formation.  It's pictured below, and is lit up by a special light that shines on it.  It you follow the point of the rock formation, there is a hole in the ceiling of the cave that aligns perfectly.  How funny is that?!

After visiting the cave, we hopped a small boat to Cat Ba Island, one of the largest inhabited islands in the bay.  To properly explore the large national park on the island, we rented some bikes.

After a fun, but hot bike ride, we settled into our hotel on Cat Ba Island for the night, and got to witness this beautiful sunset from our balcony.

Halong Bay was certainly one of the highlights of Vietnam.  We loved being on the water, outdoors, and enjoying Mother Nature's beauty.  Thanks Emily and Amanda for giving us such great travel recommendations!

Fun Fact: L.O. Breeze

09 July 2012

My first legit show horse...
L.O. Breeze.
I got her as a 4-year old,
and showed her for two years
before going to college.
Now she lives with a sweet family in Illinois.

This blog post is part of the "Fun Facts About Emmy June" series, designed to keep you entertained and following along, while I'm gallivanting around the globe for two months.
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