Monday, February 4, 2013

January Summary

January was a busy month other than our trips to Hue and Phong Nha Cave, I can't remember it all but here are the highlights with some photos in no particular order of occurence:

Toward the end of January Gameloft had their annual "Year End Party" (they celebrate according to the lunar New Year in February). It was a big to-do and a lot of people were dressed up for it, so we thought it was the perfect time to use the fake mustaches Michael's mom had sent in a care package. Needless to say, they were a big hit.
Here's a photo of a crazy-colored caterpillar we saw while visiting the giant Buddha statue on a sunny day. It had a crazy black and white face that was particularly fascinating. The creatures around here never cease to amaze.
King's cake - our French friends were excited that the new French grill and Pub, Luna, was offering King's Cake, a French traditional dish served for the New Year. Whoever finds the coin in their cake is the lucky person for the new year and gets a prize, and it happens that at Luna the prize is a meter of shooters. Guess who found a coin when Michael and I joined them to try the dessert? It was Michael! When you are one of the only non-drinkers in a pub testing fate, it's inevitable, right?
Michael's awesome sister Katie and her family sent us a Christmas package that arrived toward the end of January - so cool! It had a rather large dent/hole in the side so we were worried about the contents, but most of it was candy so it was all right! The candy canes they sent were all broken and had started to dissolve in the humid climate so everything inside the box was sticky, but other than that we enjoyed sharing some of the sweets and mostly ate ourselves sick. If you notice in my photo, I am wearing 2 shirts and 2 sweaters, January was a cold month with colder weather than we ever expected in Vietnam, but as all our family is still covered in a foot of snow, I think I will stop there :)
Here's an example of the Asian awesomeness you can find at Lotte Mart.
In an attempt to stay sane I periodically attempt handicrafts with what I can find. After enough Phineas and Ferb episodes I was inspired to create my own. Ferb turned out really well, but I ran out of the skin color with him so I'm afraid Phineas ended up looking a bit over-done. Ferb always was the most stylish of the two. I had thought the project would take a long time, but sadly it only took maybe 3-4 days from start to finish - you can tell how much free time I have...
Here are our friends Xavier (in the blue) and Charles (in the black) being silly after a game of bowling at Lotte Mart (you can tell this place just opened, right?). We had just finished a night out with the game design team at Gameloft and the producers came along to the bowling alley. It was a night of laughs if not anything else (the bowling alley was kind of a disappointment).
While on a random drive to explore town, we found this neat building/shrine thing down a little street near the Marble Mountains. The tree was growing all over the entrance, it was really cool.
Here's Michael with his favorite Buddha statue (at least we think it's a Buddha...) on the river walk near his work. At this part of the river walk area there are at least two dozen marble statues of anything from classical Romanesque styles (naked ladies) to a large Native American Indian with a full headdress to more traditional Asian lions and more.
Our awesome neighbors Haroeth and Alfa showed us this amazing place to hang out by the beach down by Hoi An. The chair is basically a full-sized bed, super comfy, and the atmosphere is amazing with a beautiful beach maybe 20 feet away. Apparently it's a huge foreigner hangout as while we were there we saw almost every other foreigner we were familiar with in Da Nang relaxing out there too (well, at least all the French ones as the owner is French). With sunshine and smoothies, you just can't go wrong :)

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