AND THE CELEBRATIONS CONTINUE.....
I know that I am bending the rules slightly during this holiday, by posting some photographs in my collage from the previous day, but I hope you will forgive me. I also realise that this is quite late for me - but we have had a full-on day - more about today at the end.
Yesterday, our actual Wedding Anniversary, Jules, our son had said that he would like to meet us for coffee so we suggested he came to the hotel and then he could see our room. When we got down to reception, Jules appeared and his girlfriend, Nga, was with him - which was a lovely surprise as we thought she had gone back to her home town and we wouldn't see her again before we left Vietnam.
We all went up to our room and they were as "wowed" as we had been the day before. We decided to have room service so that we could spend some time together because we knew it might be some while before we saw either of them again.
Although Jules had been the "man on the ground" and had been reporting back to Martyn and Dawn about the hotel and various other things, he hadn't actually seen our room, so it was good that he was able to - and of course, he just HAD to try the toilet with the heated seat!!
Sitti, a good friend of Jules, and a singer in a local hotel had text to ask if we could meet for coffee, so we after our brunch, we went to a local cafe where we had a good time "hanging out" together. We thought it might be the last time we saw Jules, but when we left each other, it was obvious that he knew what was going on in the evening, but wasn't giving anything away.
As Sitti said she would love to see our room, we took her up there and spent some time chatting and then we said goodbye to her - she is the lovely lady in the top left of today's collage, taken against the beautiful peacock near Reception. The furnishings and flowers in The Reverie have to be seen to be believed - I just hope my orchids look as good as the ones here by the time we get home!
You will remember that I said we were being picked up at 5.30 to go out to dinner last night, well, 5.30 came and went and we began to get a little worried because we weren't sure what was happening and when we spoke to someone on Reception, he didn't know anything. However, eventually, we were told that someone was waiting for us down on level 1 - Reception being on level 7.
When we got down there a young lady was holding up a card and directed us to a car outside - after a hairy journey in the rush hour, when once again, I had my eyes closed for most of the time, the car pulled up on the pavement and the young lady told us that we had to walk to the pier to get the boat. Both our sons know that I am not good on boats, but I decided that as this was a surprise, I couldn't be a "party-pooper" and make a fuss. We approached rather a large boat, and I felt fine, but we walked on past that towards a very small motorboat. As I stepped on board and the boat rocked quite a lot, I wondered if I could carry on being brave - but you will be pleased to know, I did!
We had a great journey, and I felt good - but after about half an hour, was pleased to get off and who should we see when we arrived at a very nice restaurant called The Deck, but Jules and Nga, smiling all over their faces.
Jules said that he had mentioned to Martyn that I wasn't good on boats, but Martyn was convinced that the element of surprise and the lovely meal at the end of the boat ride at a lovely restaurant on the riverside, would make up for any anxiety - and I have to say, he was right.
We had a wonderful evening and were treated royally - the food was superb - we had champagne, cocktails and wine, oh and the odd glass of water too! The chef had even changed the menu when he was told just before I arrived that I was allergic to prawns - which was great! He came from Nottingham and when he came out to see us, told us that he had lived in Vietnam for 11 years and loved it.
So, a wonderful end to the celebration of our Golden Wedding and messages were flying back and forth between Jules and Martyn and Martyn and me - and of course, from lots of friends too. Both Mr. HCB and I agreed at the end of the meal that our sons and our daughter-in-law had done us proud and it was a day we would remember for many years to come.
Of course, all good things come to an end, and we realised that we would have to say Goodbye to Jules and Nga at the restaurant - I took a few more photographs of them - and Jules even managed not to pull funny faces - then it was time to get into the waiting taxi. After lots of hugs and kisses, we got into the car and were whisked away - I am glad that I managed to "hold it together", without too many tears, at least until we were well away from the restaurant and then I did need a tissue or two!
We went back to our hotel and finished the packing before putting on an alarm for what I thought was 6 am - however, the first alarm went off at 4.45 - by mistake - and then of course, I was wide awake. The four photographs at the bottom of the collage were all taken today - and the young receptionist, Oanh, was absolutely wonderful - she held my hand all the way to the lift and kept saying she hoped we would come back soon.
We left the hotel at 7.15 and had another hairy ride to the airport - how these taxi drivers do it day after day, I will never know but in all the time we were there in Saigon, we only saw one minor crunch.
Our flight to Hong Kong was good but getting through immigration both on the way out and on the way in took a long time - but we chatted to a lovely lady passenger on the way out and she came and chatted to us again whilst we were waiting to collect our baggage.
Unfortunately, although we had transport arranged, and the flight had arrived in Hong Kong at 2.30 pm, the minibus didn't leave until 3.45 so we didn't get to our hotel until after 5 p.m. On the way I had no internet access, but had a message waiting for me from a Blip friend, SweetArt, to say she was on her way to the hotel and would meet us in the lobby as we had to meet her husband at a restaurant for dinner at 6.30 pm. I don't think we have ever showered and dressed so quickly.
The hotel have upgraded us to a suite with a harbour view - and then a waiter brought us some little sweet treats and a bottle of red wine - we are being so spoilt - it's going to be very hard to settle back down to a "normal" hum-drum life again - although maybe we should start doing more travelling!
Sandy collected us and took us on the Star Ferry across the water to meet up with Martin, her husband. We've had a great evening with them chatting and getting to know one another and had a delicious meal at their favourite restaurant - both Martin and I agreed that the chillis were a little too hot for us, but Sandy and Mr. HCB loved them. Sandy then took us to see the Light Show before putting us in a taxi back to our hotel. Then, of course, because we are going out all day tomorrow with a friend, including dinner with him and his family, we had to open the bottle of wine and do some more celebrating - well, it would be rude not to, wouldn't it?
Thank you all again, for your kind comments, congratulations, stars and lots of hearts for our Anniversary collage yesterday - it was a truly memorable day - and we have even put our cards up in our hotel room here in Hong Kong - to enjoy them all over again.
And so the adventure continues..... M xx