Where’s Waldo? Where’s Westie

On Saturday we dressed Westie up in the penguin costume and surrounded him with some of Laura’s penguins. He smiled so cute, so easy to take many pics of him.

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I think he is going to enjoy his first Halloween.
Thanks Michelle for the cute penguin costume for Westie.

A day of firsts for Westie

We had a great day yesterday with Westie. His first time in this little rocker that we purchased when Laura was a baby.

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Mark took some cute pics.

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Westie’s first time tasting celery on Aunt Trishi’s lap.

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His first time eating with a spoon. Not very thrilled with carrots.

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His first time riding Temee.

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He liked his little hat from Vietnam.

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He is looking forward to his first Halloween.

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Loving being back in Utah

Today Mark and I finally got to see Westie. What a treat to see him bounce around in his chair.

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Grampy got him to go to sleep.

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A true joy to hold him in my arms.

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He liked the hats we brought him from the Russian border.

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This one from Japan.

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Westie is 5 months old

My little Westie turned 5 months old on the 14th.

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Laura thinks he is going to be talkative like his dad.

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I can hardly wait to hold him.

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Hanoi, and Halong Bay

Mark and I arrived in Hanoi yesterday.

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Our tour guide told us Ho Chi Minh was like our NYC, while Hanoi was more like DC. We liked Ho Chi Minh much better.
We drove 3 hours to get on our cruise junk for a 3 day trip around Halong Bay.

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We had heard a typhoon was hitting the middle of Vietnam, but the weather was very calm, so we figured we were okay.

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We were just getting ready to go see some caves, when we were told we would have to return to the shore as they were concerned the weather would get worse. Lots of sad faces.
Mark and I were told we would be put up in a ” nice” hotel, which concerned us as have seen some nice hotels and did not know what to expect in Vietnam. We were pleasantly surprised.

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We were lucky to be able to see a show while eating dinner.

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Dinner was also good.

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We will go back in the morning to see if we can finish our tour. Just part of traveling and my luck.

A tour of Ho Chi Minh City

Today Mark and I toured the Cu Chi tunnels which were a 90 minute drive from the city.

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The tunnels were used by Vietnam Cong soldiers as hiding spots during combat.

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People lived in these tunnels for over 7 years, with some people living down there for 6 months at a time.

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The tunnels go for over 240 kilometers, with 3 levels. They built these mounds with small air holes at the base. We had a great tour guide Ming.

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Mark went down to view the tunnels, and had to crawl at times, so good thing I didn’t go. Just looked like I did.

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We got to see some traps.

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We tasted tapioca root, which many underground people lived off of for years.

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Here is the Pandan leaf that made my pancake green in Thailand.

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When they cooked underground there was a little smoke above ground.

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We went to China town to do some shopping. They sell in bulk.

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We bought a suitcase as doing too much shopping.

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We toured the first Chinese Temple in Vietnam, which was built from Taoism origin, so different than I had ever seen.

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For a small donation a wish could be made an attached to the cone incense.

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The cone is then hung from the ceiling where it will burn for 7 days.

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I love this pic.

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I learned there are over 90 million people in Vietnam, so over 50 million motor scooters.

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In 2007 helmets were required.

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Starbucks just opened this year, with a 2 hour wait to get a coffee.

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The old Saigon post office was beautiful.

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A great day touring the city.

Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) Vietnam

This afternoon Mark and I arrived in Ho Chi Minh City formally called Saigon.
Before we left the airport in Bangkok, I just had to buy some mango, coconut cream, and sticky rice.

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This tasty treat was waiting for us when we arrived.

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A view from our window of the Saigon River.

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A view from inside our hotel in the central atrium.

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Vietnamese shrimp rolls, notice the red pepper cut to look like a flower.

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I love “pho” soup, as my children would attest. This was great, and I hear they serve it for breakfast.

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Tomorrow a tour of the city.

Busy days in Bangkok

I have been keeping very busy while in Bangkok. Tried a new funky style on my nails.

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Yesterday I was a tourist seeing some sights in Bangkok with my Thai friend Mod who I met while on my trip on Mongolia.
She took me down to the river, which was pretty high this time of year.

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We visited a few temples to see the golden Buddha statutes.

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This Buddha was discovered after the plaster was chipped away.

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I learned there are three important items at each temple. Candles, incense, and marigold flowers.

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We tried these tasty treats.

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Delicious coconut light colored ones, along with the orange salmon ones.

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It was interesting to watch this lady do a one woman show with carrying her supplies and then mixing them up.

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We went to China town, and were able to see a parade to celebrate vegetarian week.

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In the evening we toured the bustling flower market, to see aisles of marigold flowers.

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Also lots of orchids.

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Mod bought me some gardenias to enjoy for our last couple days here.

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Today I was a tour guide as I showed a couple of Mark’s Mongolian co-workers around Bangkok. My first time going alone on the sky train, and I managed to show them 3 malls. I treated myself to some banana toast afterwards.

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I have been so busy, that I am ready for a vacation.

Having fun in Bangkok

Mark and I arrived in Bangkok and we are enjoying the nice warm weather here. We went to the weekend market and I enjoyed some coconut ice cream.

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Traditional toppings of sticky rice and peanuts.

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For dinner we went to our favorite restaurant to eat the delicious Thai chicken wings. The asparagus soup was also tasty.

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This morning I tried the green Pandan pancakes. Pandan is a plant that grows in tropical areas in Asia. They have a sweet unique flavor and are used to enhance the flavor of desserts and savory food.

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I am getting lots of exercise climbing the steps for all the overpasses. Fun to watch all the motorcycles make their way to the front and then take off.

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I love to see all the colorful taxis, green, yellow, pink, blue, red.

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Mongolian Retirement Home

Yesterday I  took a trip to Mongolia’s only government run nursing home with the IWAM group. It is a State Home for the Elderly about 80 grueling kms from UB. The facility holds about 110 residents with no family and nowhere to go yet are seemingly happy and interactive. We enjoyed touring the facility and making some new pillows for the residents.

The drive took around 3 hours as no marked roads so lots of bumps but beautiful.

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The trees were beautiful.

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They grow potatoes to earn money, so we took a walk to see.

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Lots of potatoes.

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The residents were so happy to see us.

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We were entertained by the residents singing Mongolian songs to us.

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We helped stuff pillows for the residents to use.

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We stuffed them with scraps of materials, and were able to put 50 together.

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The rooms were all very nice with a huge dining room.

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It was a wonderful day, but tired with spending 6 hours driving back and forth.