20 January 2017
Waiting for a response to the house offer was driving us crazy, so we decided to go to the nearby Pottery village. It was a wonderful treat for us all. I have many more photos but I don’t want to spoil it for our guests (any of you coming to visit)..
20 January 2017
At the table, waiting with slight caution..lol
20 January 2017
On the way home we decided to take a chance at another road side restaurant. This time the Mi Quang was good but not as good as the little spot Nyguen took us to the other day.
20 January 2017
Bike riding can be a very dangerous sport here in Hoi An.
A Vietnamese tradition.. the Annual Yer End Party
19 January 2017 | Riverside Pottery Homestay
The next morning, we asked our host Nquyen (which sounds like "Whin") if he would like to drive us back to view the houses of consideration and drive us around an area that we thought would be of interest to us. He jumped at the chance. Unfortunately, there was some kind of miscommunication. We managed to find the first house, but I think he was expecting to be able to go through it. Nguyen asked "What price asking?" and he told us "I think too much!". We drove through Ba La Market and asked to go to Cua Dai beach. We wanted to see how far a bicycle ride it would be to both. Sadly, Cua Dai Beach was a disappointment. It was washed away in 2014 and it looked unlikely to return any time soon. Then Nquyen drove further north and pointed the direction towards An Bang Beach, which we will explore some other time but today we had to meet up with our rental/rreal estate agent and we wanted to take Nquyen out to lunch. We asked him to pick the restaurant. He asked what type of food? We (in unison) shouted Vietnamese food! We were taken to the BEST Mi Quang in Hio An and it was a fabulous lunch. 5 Mi Quang, 4beers and 1 7-up for 200,000 dong ($10)! We were stuffed! Mi Quang is fresh rice noodles, similar to fettuccine in size with pork, shrimp, and a broth sweetened by tomatoes. It's garnished with grilled rice crackers, lettuce, and herbs. We were stuffed! That's when we all realized our first bowl of soup was not at all good! God only knows what we had that day. After lunch he dropped us off at the agents office and we ended up putting in an offer for the first home. We caught a cab home and wondered what to do for dinner but during sundowners, Nguyen asked if we would join him and his family, his extended family and his friends for tonight's Annual End Of Year Party. Our attendance would bring his family good luck in the New Year. 5 young Chinese students, all of whom spoke excellent English, joined us at our table. Between their helpful advice and Nguyen's regular visits to our table, and some additional willing help from his family, we didn't embarrass ourselves too badly.
Lets just say, tonight's dinner and drinks solved!
House hunting today
18 January 2017
Today we enjoyed an early breakfast and were picked up by Ha to see 5 houses. It was a long day. After seeing the last house (on An Hi Island, which is across from the Old Town) we discussed our options and decided to consider three homes.
The first house we liked was close to Ba La Market, had good airflow and a view from the balcony, and was newly built, but the negatives were that it was new, stark, and large. It was beautiful with Vietnam type uncomfortable wood furniture and beds but it also came with a higher price.
The 2nd house had a western well-equipped kitchen, comfortable sofa, near a shrimp pond and slightly closer for walking to beach. The negatives were its location. It seemed more remote, was gated to keep the dogs out, and faced a transfer station. The comfy sofa was very appealing!
The last house of consideration was right in the Old Town and surprisingly new, was a good price, all bedrooms had ensuite baths, and the owner seemed willing to please us with various requests (like outdoor chairs, table, and umbrella). However, although new, it wasn’t like the first home and we had mixed feelings about the location. We like the location for enjoying the upcoming festivals but hated the location because of the same.
We fired off an email explaining our thoughts and walked home to our homestay. We all were confused and not sure what to do.
Good Morning Vietnam!
17 January 2017 | The Old Town, Hoi An, Vietnam
The first thing I asked myself after waking up was, “What Day is it?” Yup, I just checked. It’s Tuesday, Jan 17th.
We noticed a sign last night that stated breakfast was not served after 10am, but our host assured us they would serve us breakfast at any time, considering we had arrived so late! Why we were awake by 7:30am beats me!, but as I ventured downstairs I wondered if our friends Julie and Mark had arrived. Indeed they had. Mark had already finished his breakfast and Julie was soon to join us. I expressed the need for coffee and was served a teeny, tiny cup of java. It was really good but ever so small. Number one on the shopping list. Go in search of coffee and a good-sized coffee cup!
We all decided we needed a short morning nap to conjure up enough energy to go for an afternoon walk. We ended up walking to Hoi An’s Old Town (approximately 3.8KM). While there we bought our $6US Tourist tickets to enter (more on that later) and slowly poked around.
It started to rain, so we found a spot that had larger plastic chairs and enjoyed another beer waiting for the rain to subside. On our way home we stopped at one of the restaurants we had noticed along the street and tasted our first soup bowl of some type of meat (we think it was chicken) and noodles. A couple of days later we discover it wasn’t the best but for this day it became our lunch and dinner because after our hike home, we all crashed and went for an afternoon nap that continued through the night.
Log update 2017.. This years adventure takes us on our very first trip to the other side of the world, Vietnam Asia! Jan 15-16th
17 January 2017 | Riverside Pottery Homestay, Hoi An, Vietnam
We landed in Vietnam on Monday, January 16th @ 7:50pm departing from Toronto (via Air Canada) Sunday morning, with one stop over in Hong Kong. During our connecting flight from Hong Kong to Vietnam, Steve’s watch alarm went off (Canadian time 6:30 am) and we both realized we had been awake for over 24 hours, and we weren’t even there yet. Somewhere along the line, AM became PM and we lost a day and had missed martini hour!
Let’s talk about our flight with AC.. well, picture this. Soon after settling in, Steve lost his kindle down the side of his seat and tried to shove his head in between his V’d like wide spread legs, knees jammed on either side of the seat in front, and I thought he’d never come up breathing! I’m laughing so hard as I type this, because I’m tired, but it was a sight to see and I took pity on the poor guy! To make a long story short, I decided it is far to long a trip, for Steve to be jammed into a seat with his right shoulder in the window well, unable to budge and today I paid the big bucks and upgraded to Exit row seats for our flight home!
Unfortunately, both airlines were delayed for one reason or another adding to the already long journey. We arrived late to Hong Kong, which shortened our stopover time but made for a mad dash to the ticket counter of Cathay Dragon. Finding the ticket counter wasn’t a problem. Signage was in English as well as Cantonese. Getting to our departure gate was surprisingly a challenge. It was easy enough after we went back to the counter to get further instructions. A couple of escalators down to catch a subway-type train, departing at the next stop, two escalators up to catch a bus that took us over to another building and following the crowd until we walked past a kiosk with a large “?” to ask how to get to our gate. Of course! We had to go through departures but I couldn’t see the sign to save my life. "See that green Light over there. Follow the Green light.” A Great Gatsby move!
We landed late with Cathay Dragon but we were through customs, with bags in hand, by 8:40pm. Steve walked out to the street to find our driver holding a sign with our names on it while I gathered up the entails of our carry-on luggage. When I walked out, Steve was nowhere in sight. I was so tired I just stood there staring at the crowd. Finally, I heard a gruff “Margaret, over here!” and with that, I found we were only two steps away from our car. With Steve in the front seat, he began to try to start a conversation with the driver but after a few words with the driver constantly trying to apologize for not having the same understanding of English, Steve realizes it’s pointless. “Stupido gringo” doesn’t bring a laugh here. What he did say “speak wittle Engish ..45 minette”.
The drive to our Homestay was 45 minutes of terror! And this was not because of our driver. He was cautious and considerate of every bump in the road and we gave him the equivalent of $5 for getting us to the Riverside Pottery Homestay in one piece! The terror was due to the amount of traffic from Pedestrians, bicycles, motorbikes (with parents and babies), taxi’s, and buses taking up every inch road, all squeezing into the same lane, from all directions. It was a nightmare! With a couple of near misses, I took Steve’s advice and closed my eyes.
Once at our homestay, we were greeted by the family and invited to eat and chat. You can imagine how tired we were. I politely apologized and turned down a free meal! What kind of cruiser does that! We instead, asked for a glass of water, which arrived heated! So, then Steve asked for a couple of beers! Eventually we were shown our room and hit the sack around 10PM (our time 10 AM). Goodnight all.
12 August 2016
Cruisers Living on Dirt..
Hum.. No, this is not an add for "Merrell". Steve and I are in another dreaming stage, wondering what and where our next adventure will take us. We have a few ideas that we are kicking around... so, it may be time to invest in a new pair of sandals. I will add, these sandals have been throughly tested as you can see. (Thank goodness no one can smell them..lol)
06 August 2016
Affectionately reminded of Lion's Paw. Enjoying a day in Orangeville, Ontario.
Forever ours. Rumour has it that the new owners are going to rename her... sad, but we're Happy to keep the name dear to us.
The Bahamas.. finally added an album to our Gallery
04 July 2016
As promised, I've finally added an album for this past season in the Bahamas. It is a sweet but sad moment, since we have decided to sell Lion's Paw. We hope to find fun, loving, adventurous new owners for Lion's Paw. She has been a comfortable home, kept us safe and made possible the enhancement of our lives. Lion's Paw is waiting at Ortega River Marina to begin again.
Good times shared
05 February 2016
Staying way to long waiting for the weather to calm down, Steve and Murray busy themselves with a few little jobs about the house, hoping to please our host Marion. I believe it is mutual that we have made good friends. We seem to migrate together each evening to share some appetizers and sundowners. Marion's English is superb! Our German is comical, but despite the language barrier, we communicate well by sharing our photos of family and stories.. with some sign language and some needed interpretation, even Ingrid is able to have us laughing at her jokes and tales. Of course I have to mention that good times were shared with the 2 watch dogs, Midnight and Kayo, whom sat with us at the picnic table waiting for scraps to hit the floor...and constantly licking our legs for attention. ?watch dogs?
Today, we were invited along to join in for a beach day and lunch.
01 February 2016
Priority 1- Buying the promised Ricardo's Mango Rum for our friends Lauren and Rob (svSouthern Comfort) and some Coconut Rum for Linda (for baking purposes).
01 February 2016
Today, we took the bus to a little strip mall to get our SIM card for Internet. Not as adventurous as years gone by but fun.
You can drink in public, as long as you have it wrapped in a paper bag! I couldn't resist this photo taken outside the police station. Barry, here's a good introduction for your parents..."the new in laws" .. Yikes!
31 January 2016
Not so! We were waved in to join sv Windswept IV. Heather and Murray have known Marion and Klaus for many years, and since both catamarans were in Florida, there was dock space for Lion's Paw as well. We were welcomed with a beautiful smile and handshake, offering us free dockage and use of the pool and outdoor showers.
Lucaya, Grand Bahamas
31 January 2016
While looking for a place to anchor, Heather and Murray pulled up along side a dock in front of a beautiful home. Confused, we continued our search. The anchorages were full, so we turned around and started to head back to the marina we checked into.
Lucaya, Grand Bahama Island
31 January 2016
We arrived at 8:15am. Checking in was a breeze, walking up to the end of the dock to the customs office. The usual $300US for entry and a cruising permit plus an additional fee for the Immigration Officer $40US (never arrive on a weekend) and the unexpected docking fee $25US (for using the dock to clear in)... We're here!
The trip, well it was a bit of a slog.
Best exit from the States though.. As we were entering the inlet to leave, we got a call from our friends "the Rachel's" and I was able to skype call Mike and Heather!
Life is wonderful on L.P.
30 January 2016
The crossing was wonderful! The colder weather in Florida caused the north winds to funnel along the coast, which caused bigger waves than expected as we left Lake Worth, but as we got into the Gulf Stream (Steve checked the temperature of the water.. a balmy 80 degrees) and night approached, the winds dropped and we had to motor sail. The waves also dropped to 3ft and the ride was very pleasant.
Today we are off to the Bahamas!
30 January 2016
This is our last day in West Palm Beach and we decided to partake in the Green Market (held every Saturday morning).