Hanoi, Danang, and back again

Here are some photos of our hotel in Hanoi, the Somerset Grand Tower, sighting seeing around Hoan Kiem lake. The view from our hotel in Danang, the orphanage in Danang, the Giving and Receiving ceremony, and this morning with her cute little bow!

Gia Dinh! [Family]!

It’s official! We got her!

Much, much, much more to come … for now we have to grab some dinner and then catch a flight back to Hanoi.


Hanging Out

So, it seems that we have had a lot of down time, and we are back in the waiting mode which is so much fun. 🙂 We were supposed to get a call this morning from our facilitator to confirm our GNR ceremony, but it’s almost noon and no call. So what’s a girl to do? Watch tv, of course.

Oh, the tv here does have American sitcoms and movies, but it’s nothing I would watch by choice back home. I’ve only watched out of boredom. It all started with the plane ride from New York to Tokyo. I am already pretty selective about my movie watching, so Wanted, The Mummy 3, Hellboy 2 we out from the beginning. This left me with a Japanese movie with English subtitles, Star Wars the Clone Wars, Alvin and the Chipmunks, and House Bunny. I chose Alvin and the Chipmunks and unfortunately House Bunny which made me feel dumber after watching.

Then when we got to Hanoi, we discovered Star World which has several American sitcoms. After our brief walk around Hanoi, I spent most of my time watching My Wife and Kids, 8 Simple Rules, Northern Exposure, Hope and Faith, and Friends. But here in Danang, there is no Star World. We’ve watched a lot of CNN and the Discovery Channel. Today while waiting for the phone call, we watched Surf’s Up and Whatever it Takes. If you’ve never heard of Whatever it Takes, don’t worry about it. I could only choose between that movie, Furnace, and I See You.com. Well, I just wanted to share with you how we spent our free time. We’ll go back to waiting for our call now. 🙂

‘Twas The Week Of Our Vietnam Trip (Part 2)

‘Twas the Week of our Vietnam Trip (Part 2 – read Part 1 here)

As the days passed by we gathered list after list,

We checked everything off, hoping we didn’t miss;

Into the suitcase everything flew,

Bibs, burp cloths, diapers, clothes, and bottles, too;

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the phone

The words of another, waiting for her own;

As I drew the phone to my ear, I heard her voice,

She was overwhelmed, too, but sure of her choice;

Both grateful for the chance to speak but we couldn’t talk long,

She from Michigan and us from Texas, knew we must go on;

A bund of suitcases we flung on our backs,

And we probably looked like complete nervous wrecks;

We flew to LaGuardia–one flight down,

Now for a taxi and one night in town;

The next morning JAL issued our tickets,

A brief pat down and on to Gate 6;

Carry-ons in tow, we found our seats,

With Hellboy, Wanted, and House Bunny for movies;

We settled in for our first international ride,

Anxiously waiting to reach the other side;

Hours and hours and hours went by,

“If we don’t land soon we might die!”

In Tokyo we connected to our Hanoi flight,

And didn’t reach the hotel ’til after midnight;

We tried to eat and get a little sleep,

It would be a few days before we met Elise;

Tuesday, sightseeing; Wednesday; Danang,

We left at 4 AM to get on that plane!

Now we’re in her city, waiting on Ninh,

To schedule that darned Giving & Receiving;

When that time comes, we’ll say with glee,

“Welcome, little one, to our family!”

The End

Video Diary #5

Greetings from Danang! We’re relaxing in our room on the beach, waiting for our big day tomorrow. Our new friends and traveling companions are actually having their Giving & Receiving ceremony right now, and we’re looking forward to meeting their son when they get back to the hotel around noon.

Here’s our latest video update, and what a great video thumbnail chosen by Vimeo!

Vietnam Video Diary #5 from Scott McClellan on Vimeo

Video Diary #4

Tomorrow … at 4 AM to be exact … we leave for Danang, where Elise is. We’re still not sure when we’ll get to meet her and when the Giving & Receiving ceremony will be, but by this point we’ve learned to go with the flow. We’re also not sure what our Internet situation will be, so I figured I’d go ahead and post this video tour of living quarters here in Hanoi. As you’ll see, our little setup is pretty spacious. Check it out:

Vietnam Video Diary #4 from Scott McClellan on Vimeo

We Made It!

Through much trial and tribulation, we’re finally settled into our room at the hotel in Hanoi. Of course, it’s 1:15 AM and I’m wide awake, but that’s to be expected.

Highlights of the trip so far include the extra leg room on both of our flights (all 20+ hours!) and the opportunity to watch The Dark Knight, Hellboy II, The Mummy III, and The House Bunny as many times as we wanted.

After a long and crazy taxi ride to our hotel, it’s nice to be able to take a deep breath and realize, We’re finally here. As you know, we started this journey a long time ago, and for a while it looked like we’d never set foot in Vietnam, so this is a momentous occasion.

I have two more videos to post, but Vimeo is taking a while to convert them. Maybe they’ll go up tonight, or maybe I’ll put them up in the morning.