Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Landed in Hong Kong

The HK airport is unbelievably big!
Looking at 12 boeing 747 just on my right side!
Every airline in the world seems to be on the tarmac....very cosmopolitan place!

100 days on road and 8 month to go!

October 1, Hong kong China October 8, Beijing China October 13, leaving China on transsiberian railway October 14/15, Ulaan Baatar Mongolia October 22, Moscow Russia October 26, Paris France PARIS SX November 6, Cape town South Africa November 13, Namibia November 22, Dubai UAE November 26, Paris France December 5 ,Geneva Switzerland Geneva SX December 15 Marrakech, Morocco December 20, Grenoble France January 5, So cal USA Anaheim 1 SXJanuary 20, Leave with RV to Mexico February 25, Back in Florida with RV March 5, Leave to South America, Buenos aires March 15, Lima Peru March 25, Santiago Chile April 13 ,Ushaia Patagonia April 20th, Sao Paulo Brazil April 30, back home Florida May 7, Brussel belgium May 14, Berlin Germany May 21, Prague Czech republic May 28, Istanbul Turkey June 5, Athens Greece June 12, Roma Italia June 20, Grenoble France July 1st, Rekjavik Iceland July 10, Back home FLORIDA

Just like a new government we feel obligated to report the state of the union after 100 days of sleeping outside of our own beds!
If you want to know in details what we have done please click on link and discover our adventure!

Otherwise brace yourself for a few numbers:

100 days on the road
15 intercontinental flights
11000 miles driven (17000km)
50 hours in a plane
25000 miles flown
10 countries
100 times got close to strangling kids (maybe more)
3 traffic tickets ( Malaysia , Australia and Indonesia)
1 typhoon
3 rainy days (beside of Typhoon)
2 teeth lost for Luca
15 pounds lost between Carol and I
1 yoga class
0 Mc Donald in Vietnam (the only place so far)
1500 digital pictures
6 days on 2 wheels dodging traffic in Indonesia. Thailand and Vietnam
7 dollars a gallon of gas in Northern territory Australia ( too bad we had an RV)
1,5 dollars a gallon in Indonesia (who cares we had a scooter)

The world so far has been a fantastic place! People have been great all over and happiness has nothing to do with income nor material things, quite the opposite actually!

Good afternoon Saigon

How lucky were we!
We got out of Danang on first Vietnam airline flight to leave after opening airport!
By the way the first flight was the flight we were supposed to be in originaly!( Iam sure that helped)
Our little lucky marble budha had to help too!
Back on schedule!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Town is flooded

Water will be our major challenge to lea e VN

Storm is over

Now we just have to get out of "dodge"

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Hoi an adventure

Yesterday and today we cruised around Hoi An!
Will not try to describe it since Carol did a great job yesterday!
Bravo to Carol for deciding she would ride a scooter in Vietnam, I carried the boys and here we went for 50 miles to Marble mountain (Budhist temple) and China beach (Big US R/R during the war)
It was fun eventhough VN roads seems to be more dangerous than Bali or Thailand!

Pagoda at Marble mountain

White Budha at Marble mountain

Sunset in Hoi an

Smily 7

kids getting out of school on their bicycle while lucky 7 looks like a TT road racer

quasi vertical stairs at Marble Mountain

Kids cruising street on their antic looking bicyle

Vietamese SUV at China beach

Carol doing a great Job!

China beach view from Marble mountains

Friday, September 25, 2009

Vietnam: a crazy, artsy, beautiful place!

Vietnam has been our biggest surprise yet.  Saigon was an absolute trip!  Its great just to sit at a corner and watch the chaos.  It operates just like the "Bee Movie", chaos for us but there is complete harmony in the way people move around this city.  Cars, buses, bicycles, scooters and modern day rickshaws loaded down with bamboo share the road and cross each other without hesitation, without fear.  For our eyes, its shocking to see babies less than a year old held by their mamas riding side saddle behind daddy while they weave in and out of traffic.  Old women with the traditional bamboo conical hats carry a bamboo stalk over their shoulders hauling huge baskets filled with fruits and vegetables.  They maneuver the streets along with everyone else.

We had an amazing tour with a young guide to the Cu Chi Tunnels.  We thought it could be fun for the kids to crawl through the tunnels, but what we got was a full education on V.C. war tactics and a bitter tone toward the american invaders.  We learned that they were pretty industrious and quite good at surviving and thriving in their underground homes.  Women and children lived down deep and helped with sewing garments, cooking and making tools.  By the teenage years they were also fighting.  It was an experience that turned our stomachs upside down and caused us to go searching for answers.

Now, we are in Hoi An enjoying a much lighter side of Vietnam.  Hoi An is said to be the Venice of Vietnam.  The buildings are heavily influenced by the French with bright ochre and yellows with the polution allowed to stain the buildings just enough to make them look cool!  They are shuttered and many have french doors.  The streets are lined with vendors selling beautiful handmade lantern, beautiful inexpensive clothing which they tailor on the spot, beautiful colorful scarves and some of the most beautiful art depicting the Vietnamese life.

We were amazed to see students coming out of school, a deluge of bicycles hitting the streets, everyone in uniforms. 
The high school girls were all dressed in white silk long pants and had  long sleeve silk tunics beautifully tailored to the body.  They were all gorgeous with their perfectly straight jet black long hair.  So exotic for our eyes.  Picture to be posted.

We are all ready to discover more, but so far we love what we see!!

Cruising Hoi an with Luca

Hoi an is supposed to be the nicest little town in vietnam.......and it could be!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Luca Birthday and Saigon (HCMC)

Motorcycle mechanic in the street of Saigon

Local slicing up some weird fruit! (durian!)

Luca getting fitted for one of his Bday gift (not DOT approved)
Helmed are mandatory for everyone in VN since beginning of year! Helmet stores are everywhere selling helmets from $5 to 15 every size any cool

Alec allowing Luca to give him a giant wedgie as Birthday gift!

Birthday boy waking up!

Luca choosing dinner!

Grilled eel on a stick........check this out Lou B.

Luca and 7 candles in SAIGON (better in 2009 than 1969!)

Another gift!

Pix of last 3 days /From Thailand to vietnam

After travelling pretty much all day we went from Phuket to Bangkok to Hochimin city!
We left our friends Russ and Fon with regrets, we had such a good time together.When you are in a great place with great friends, it doesn't get any better than that!
Arrival in Vietnam reminded we were in a communist country with a lot of men in uniform everywhere! What a shock it was, busiest place we have seen so and night!
We are not kidding here but crossing a freeway at rush hour would be less intimidating than crossing a Blvd in HCNC (saigon)SCARY!
Otherwise, VN is so vibrant, 65% of people are below 30, a big part are becoming very fashionable, at the speed they are going they will bein the 3rd milenium in 10 years!
First day was dedicated to History since we visited the famous CU CHI battle field and tunnel network!
We did not feel very proud to be French or American.......1
inside one the cu CHI tunnel, 100 degrees , 100 humidity....and 4 feet tall
Alec with couple VC friends

one the tunnel entrance.......Luca thinking if only this could be true....Alec disapearing in a hole!

Following Alec.......not good!

Try to cross this street

The A team at Bangkok airport...we had such a great time

Carol learning about Budhism

Begining of Luca from Russ and fon!

Paradise beach in Thailand...............properly named!

On our way to central Vietnam (dmz)

Birthday boy playing with a transformer toy!
Toys are not difficult to find around here since they are built here.
We had couple very interesting days in Saigon!
Busiest place far....the city never sleeps, scooters traffic jam everywhere at.........midnight!
More pix and stories to come

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Light traffic downtown saigon!
The traffic is so dense and furious that it is almost impossible to cross a street as a pedestrian....unreal

Leaving Thailand for Vietnam

Flew from Phuket this morning and now embarking for Saigon
Oops HoChimin city

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Thailand, "the beach" the movie

After easy couple hours flight from Chiang mai to Phuket island we ended up in Patong !
side note, THAI airways is so awesome, economy is like busines class in the the US and the staff so friendly.
Russ ,Sayfon and us decided to get a boat and discover the surrounding islands! What a treat is was! We have toped our most beautifull place ever.....better than anything we had seen so far..
No wonder they chose this place to shoot the movie the Beach few years ago.
Days like that can not be described properly, pictures do a better job! Enjoy

Luca snorkeling in the middle of exotic fishes
later, I want to be a navy seal!

one of the island and our boat, we chose the fast one with fun fun

Alec jumping in crystal clear water

happy boy! soon to be 7

poscard setting (our lunch spot)

Crystal clear water I said......

Phi Phi island

feeding the island monkey, they even cool

Sad reminder of what happened 4 years ago......but you would not notice unless you knew!

Carol and her "Leonardo" in Maya bay (where the movie was shot)

another poscard from thailand

Friday, September 18, 2009

more pix of thailand

Russ, Saifon and kids choosing new pet

Alec is sold on this one!
Taxi pick up....everybody in the back!

Noodle boy again with Alec in the corner thinking "I can not take another pix of noodle boy!"

Luca thought the tiger was very nice!

Golden temple ......under restoration