Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Into the abyss...Mekong Delta



I have travelled deep into the abyss...in both body and mind.
This morning I wondered if I would ever escape.
I wondered if I would ever blog again.


A hesitant approach...

Since I last wrote...
I have travelled back from the USA to Ho Chi Minh City 
and then onwards to the Mekong Delta in the southern part of Vietnam.

It was fascinating.
There is so much to say...but words escape me.


A restaurant deep in the heart of the Mekong Delta.

The reason for my loss of words?

As we made our way along the Mekong River, 
I thought of what was waiting for me in our home.

We are all curious..

When I returned from the USA last week I discovered yet another
 surprise from Mr. H....a house full of boxes, our container arrived from England.
He did not want to worry me while I was travelling...
he knows how I get (control freak).
He was ambitious enough to do it all on his own, 
direct the entire contents of the container into our home.

Umm....bit of a hiccup with that one.
The living room boxes were in the guest room...
actually most of the contents of the living room was upstairs 
in the guest room and so on.

As we made our way down the Mekong River,
I knew I had to let go and have faith that it would sort itself out.

Being a Virgo..that is no easy task.
I wonder if I could ever just swing from a hammock and look at life with ease.
I usually last all of five minutes. 

Hammock hiatus alongside a water garden filled with flowering pink lotus plants.

And you? 
Could you take the 'manana' approach and think about it tomorrow?
Or are you like me...always taking the most difficult route...
just to know you did it your way.


Taking the high road...by the only means of transportation.

Well...we are back in Ho Chi Minh City and the day is done.
Ten men from our moving company showed up today.
Mr. H arranged for them to come and help me. Smart man.
Everything is now where it should be in Chateau Mango.

One happy Buddah!

All I need now is that hammock...
I think I could last at least 30 minutes and that is saying a lot!

Will I blog again? 
Yes but...rest and revive is in order.
I am taking the 'manana, manana' approach for a few days.

Until then...best wishes to one and all for a wonderful week.

Jeanne xx

Photos taken by me travelling through the Mekong Delta.
More to come...promise!



Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Time Travelling



Time is rushing past...literally.
I am back in the USA settling my daughter, Miss Claire, into college.
Mission accomplished for her...I am not so sure about me.
I think..growing up is hard....no matter the age.
Who says that just because we are older it is any easier?
That's my declaration for the day!

I have a before and after shot for you.


Once upon a time we lived Connecticut, in the blue stucco house above. 
A dear friend, who I shall catch up with tomorrow, painted the image above.
It is a family treasure.
I drove by the house the other day and my things have changed.


Lovely, but I have to say my vote is still for the blue stucco house. :)


A trip to Connecticut always involves a visit to Manhattan.
I love visiting this apartment building, where family resides.
Behind the glass doors...the most magical garden. 



Twenty years ago, I wandered into Diane's Books, in the town that we lived.
She fostered my love for reading with all her fabulous recommendations.
She is still there and a I am still listening....and purchasing!




If you know how much I love bicycles...you will appreciate 
why I just had to snap this photo...perfect!




We stayed in the sweetest B&B, Carlisle House Bed and Breakfast in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
The hosts, Alan and Mary are as delightful as the charming rooms they have decorated. 
We stayed in the Rose Room...a treat. I now take comfort in my new home away from home
...for the next four years. 




Move in day...a view to Miss Claire's dorm. 
The school colours are red and white, hence the red Adirondack chairs scattered 
around the common. It is a beautiful campus. I left Miss Claire, heavy at heart, as parent's 
often are when their children move onto the next phase of their life, but happy to know 
that she is where she wants to be.


A view to her campus life around her.






Chateau Mango awaits back in Vietnam. 
Mr. H and Connor are holding fort...awaiting the arrival of Miss Christine who
is coming for a two week visit. I am so so excited to see her again!

I have two more days to catch up with friends...my favourite part of the visit.

Wishing you a beautiful day/ evening from the sunny side of Connecticut.

Jeanne xx

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Blank Canvas



A few months ago, Mr. H made the suggestion that we send all our furniture ahead to our home 
in Sydney and start anew in Vietnam. I recall thinking he was losing his mind...
why on earth would I want to do that??

 Part of setting up home, is having familiar things around us so that
no matter where we live in the world, when our children return to visit, 
it will feel like home. 

On top of that, I wondered how we were going to merge the two households 
when we finally settled in one place. I seem to recall thinking that the heat was getting to him.

I am having a good long rethink on his earlier suggestion
 and am thinking he may have been right. Either that or the heat is getting to me as well. 
Alas, the opportunity has passed as our life is packed up and sailing the high seas
 on it's way into Ho Chi Minh City and should be with us in two weeks.

But...
we do have room for a few things and when a friend mentioned 
we check out a few local shops....well...would you say no? 
I tell you, the prices were so fabulous I simply could not resist. 
When we turned the corner into a large warehouse filled to the brim, 
I nearly passed out..
it was more excitement than one girl could handle. 

I was equally excited to see this little truck chugging along, up our drive the other day. 
Our collection has officially begun. At the moment our house is a blank canvas 
( except for mango house colour). 


With the exception of a few pieces of rental furniture, it is empty.
 I have devoted one corner of our home to recent purchases which will sit 
until the rest of our belongings arrive. At that point the challenge will be upon me....
where to put it all?

I am not sure if I should be worried...
I have only been here three weeks and there is so much more to see and discover. 
Anyone interested in coming to Vietnam for a bit of shopping? 
:)








This is all happening just in time. I am off tomorrow for a weeks
visit back to the USA to get Miss Claire settled into her freshman year of college.
We are both excited although I admit, I am sad to see another one fly the nest.

The street where we live...

Before we fly off...
I send best wishes to one and all for a wonderful week 
and offer a bit of music to get you started.  
Heather @ Lost in Arles has compiled a fantastic list...
if music sets your free...then listen to this.

With thanks to Heather for making my mango world rock!

Lianne La Havas... I love, love, love her voice. :)
Another Adele in the making?




Saturday, August 11, 2012

City of eternal spring.... Dalat, Vietnam


Last weekend we took an hour's flight north from Ho Chi Minh City to Dalat ( Da Lat)...a much cooler side of Vietnam located in the Central Highlands where the soil is rich and rainfall is plenty this time of year. They call it the "city of thousands of pine trees" for the pine trees that wind their way along the hillside and the "city of eternal spring" for the mist that hangs over the valleys almost year-round. 


City of thousands of pine trees... Dalat, Vietnam

City of eternal spring...Dalat, Vietnam

We were in major sight seeing mode which involved climbing to the high point of a mountain top to capture the mist around us. I have more photos than I could ever manage to show in one post, 
so for now, I will start with a few of my favourite spaces around Ana Mandara Villas Dalat
the hotel that we stayed in. It was a lovely spot, nestled away amongst the pine trees.

One of the many villas at the hotel....



A view from our balcony (below)..



A musical moment...



A view within our sitting room..I just loved these vintage photographs.




It took some thinking...working out this tub/shower..it was fun trying.


Having moved into a mango coloured home, I was delighted to see
the colour theme carried throughout the hotel...


Sneaking off to the spa below... 




Beautiful bowls...one for your feet and one for your hands for a heavenly soak.




The view from my seat in the spa...




The food was one of my favourite experiences at the Ana Mandara..it was delicious.



Poolside in the "city of thousands of pine trees"..




 Embracing the mango...lotus style




Afternoon tea...



Lastly....a view through the pine trees.


If ever you find yourself travelling to Dalat...check out.
Le Lai Street, Ward 5
Da Lat, Lam Dong Province
Vietnam



Sending you warm wishes for a lovely weekend...from sunny Saigon.
I hope it is filled with wonderful views!

Jeanne xx





Thursday, August 09, 2012

Exploring the neighbourhood...


I made a decision the other day, it was time to bust out of the compound, 
leave Cherry Blossom, Orchid, Lily and Lotus streets behind and explore. 
I slipped on my workout gear, snapped on my trusty pedometer, grabbed my 
iPhone, map and set off. I needed some exercise and what better way than a good long 
walk to get things moving. Well..that was my plan.

Within in the first five minutes, I passed a local shop which happened 
to be open and of course, one can not pass up
an intriguing shop, especially when one is in exploration mode.

I loved the lamp shades, bought the mirror....



was intrigued by this bust of a Vietnamese woman..


thought of potential spots for the lamp on the left 
and admired the carved Buddha artwork on the right.


I then glanced over at this small Buddha piece....



and then this Buddha carving on the left 
and the lotus lamp and two carved wooden posts on the right..




Thinking that I really should get on with my walk, 
I snapped this last shot of the sconces below. 



I then carried on with my walk..


 and stopped in quickly at a nursery to check out a few pots.


and set off again to walk...past the markets..




until...I got to a point where I was totally confused. Nothing was connecting on my map
and I realised I had ventured in the wrong direction...I was lost.


I didn't want to do it...I like to work problems out for myself but I had to do it.
I called Mr. Khai to come find me.


Next time, I must remember to take a left instead of a right 
and to stay away from the shops...they are a serious distraction. 
Tomorrow is another day...I hope you have a fabulous one.

Best wishes from Sunny Saigon....

Jeanne 
xxx


For a view inside the compound, read here.





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