Saturday, April 2, 2016

The Grand: Ho Tram Strip or Babymooning with the Lesleys.

Throughout my years living abroad, I have been very lucky to have had visits from several friends and family members, some even more than once! Anyone who has ever lived abroad understands the importance of these visits -- they bring a sense of familiarity, connections to past lives, and lessen the homesickness which so often lingers on the horizon.
This particular month, I was graced with the presence of my former roommate, colleagues, and great friends, Nick and Hannah Lesley.

Nick and Hannah, already experienced world travelers, had little trouble exploring the city and staying busy; in their seven day trip, they managed to hit all the major sites of Ho Chi Minh, help me celebrate my birthday via boat ride on the Saigon River, and get to Cambodia to check out Angkor Wat.

For their final weekend, we decided to head to the beach for a mini-vacation in Vung Tau, a seaside city and popular destination for those craving an escape from the constant craziness of Ho Chi Minh and some fresh air.

Because the beaches are mostly not groomed and often littered with debris, the key to thoroughly enjoying oneself in Vung Tau is to find a nice hotel with an even nicer pool.  Because we would only be staying for one night, we decided to splurge a bit and stay at The Grand Ho Tram Strip.

Although rooms are quite pricey in comparison to other area hotels, overnight accommodation includes roundtrip transportation from the city, private beach access, the buffet breakfast (which just may be the best breakfast I have had in this country), the most comfortable bed I have ever slept in, and access to not one but four crystal clear pools that look out at the South {China} Sea.

We spent the daylight hours at the pools chatting while sipping IPAs straight from Denver and fresh coconut water.

And the evening watching the sunset and indulging in treats from the dessert bar.

The getaway was a lovely decision and was exactly what we needed to enjoy Vietnam and some quality catch-up time before the two lovebirds and soon-to-be-parents said goodbye and headed back to Denver.  

In the years that I have lived abroad, these two have gotten engaged, gotten married, and gotten preggers, and I have missed all of the parties, the showers, and the special days, so I felt very lucky to be able to share in their babymoon.

Thanks for coming, Lesleys! I cannot wait to meet the little one this summer!

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