The next morning, Friday, we hurried and ate breakfast because our tour bus to take us to Ha Long Bay was early. We had a 3 hour drive to the bay with a half our break in the middle. Half an hour into the bus ride Audrina pooped and there was nowhere for us to change her. We had to wait an hour to get to the rest stop. I felt so bad because I know she was uncomfortable! Then at the rest stop/store/restaurant, everyone was wanting to touch her because she's so cute! She was not liking it and pushing people's hands away. We tried to keep moving so we didn't get too bombarded, but they kept following us.
|Lunch on the boat.|
|There were about 420 steps to the top.|
|View from the top of Dao Ti Top.|
Then we returned back to the large boat and Damien went kayaking while I fed Audrina dinner. We had dinner on the boat and spent the night on it in a tiny room. We finally got to turn our air conditioning on at 5 pm. Thank goodness because it was so hot there in Vietnam! (I'm pretty sure it's the hottest place I've ever been to.) We had one bed that the three of us shared that night and I don't think any of us slept that well. Audrina woke up at 4am and was crawling all over us and poking Damien in the face. So we were up bright and early!
|Our tour guide helped watch Audrina sometimes while we ate!|
|Audrina and me waiting to hike up to the cave.|
|Damien crawled through this tiny tunnel to get to the other part of the cave. He said it was pretty tight in there!|
|Damien and Audrina inside of the cave with some stalactites.|
|The cave was huge!|
|On our way from the cave to the boat there were these tiny boats selling fresh vegetables, fruit, and fish.|
|There is a lot of French influence from the houses to the bread.|
|There were lots of people selling fresh pineapples from the back of their bicycles.|
|Audrina enjoying her lunch!|
|Traffic is very chaotic and crossing the street is quite the adventure. Walk slowly and hope nobody runs into you!|
We had two seats, an aisle and a middle and then there was a 17 year old French boy in the window seat. They served lunch on the airplane and I got to eat first while Damien wrangled Audrina. I was trying to eat as fast as I could and give her some of my food to help keep her distracted, but she was grabbing everything. I finally gave her a spoon to play with. That kept her occupied for a bit, but then she started trying to use it to eat the French boy's food off of his tray.
I finished my lunch and Damien started to eat his. Audrina ended up grabbing a butter packet off the trays, but oh well it was keeping her entertained. Next thing I know, she's punctured a hole in the packet and is quickly sucking down butter. She was so happy, but there's no way I could let that happen. We didn't want a sick child on this flight. I had to take it away and that made her throw a fit! She was already really tired from all our traveling on the trip and not getting much sleep. I tried standing up and sitting down. Damien tried to take her, but she screamed more. All the non-English speaking Vietnamese tour group just stared at us the whole time this is going on. I was trying to keep calm, but having a million eyes on you doesn't help the situation. The stewardess finally came and cleared our trays and I finally got Audrina calmed down and asleep!
She slept for a good while but it was a long flight and she woke up before we landed. I was holding her and was in the middle seat now. She started moving the arm rest up and down between me and the French boy. I tried to distract her with other things so she wasn't bothering him, but that didn't work so well. Next thing I know, she's reached over and grabbed a hold of this boy's seat belt buckle! I quickly removed her hand, but you could tell this poor boy was just wanting to get off the flight.
We landed, got through customs, and made it to baggage claim. Our bag was one of the last bags out and so we had to wait for about an hour!Then we had the half hour train ride back to our apartment. Luckily the train wasn't too busy and Audrina was good. We made it home and Audrina finally got to run around and play with her toys! But the evening wouldn't be complete without one more hiccup.
Audrina found the spray sunscreen in our pool bag and was chewing on the top. She managed to take it out of the locked position and bit down on the top causing a burst of sunscreen in her mouth. I wiped out as much as I could, but there was drama. Damien looked at the bottle and it said we were supposed to call poison control if ingested. I'm pretty sure they don't have poison control here, so we just continued on with our evening. She ended up being fine!
It was quite the trip and I'm glad I got to see Ha Long Bay, but if I were to do it all over again I wouldn't take the trip to the bay. It's a lot of time and travel and it's hard on the little ones. I would have liked to explore the city a bit more and eaten some more yummy Vietnamese food! Now we know.