Last hours in Hanoi

Get a late start to my final day of Hanoi Vietnam. I Want to visit the Ho chi Minh house and sights in the vicinity but I miss the opening hours since they are limited. I end up just wandering around town instead.

One thing I forgot to mention previously is the Hanoi pedestrian street crossing. It takes courage and special skills to cross the street in Hanoi. It seems so intimidating at first but once you do your first couple street crossings then you never want to go back to your old ways. Hanoi is busy. So many people, so many cars, so many motor bikes; plus bicycles and carts on the road. The traffic appears to stop for no one. There are some intersections with cross signals but in most cases you need to do the Hanoi cross. To cross the street you just walk out into the street and maintain a consistent speed. Vehicles and bikes will move around you. If you hesitate or stop mid-way that is when problems occur. It took me a while to get it but I eventually developed the skill.

Example of crossing in busy traffic. See the two men that walk across on the right.

Example of busy traffic. I am in my uber waiting forever in traffic.

More images from around Hanoi

Grand Opera House
I happen to come across a game of shuttlecock? while walking by a park.

Monsoon Music Festival

The walking streets are alive at night. The previous weekend I watched a boxing match from the street at a distance. Tonight I watch an act from the Monsoon Music Festival. I love finding free concerts when I travel.

Beer street

I try my hand at beer street. This is supposed to be the place to try local beers. I didn’t stay out long but I got to experience a little bit of local night life. As I sat outside a bar at a cafe table I watch the constant street vendors and shoe cleaners (will clean your shoes for a fee while you sip your beverages at the bar).

My visit to Hanoi has come to an end. I fly to Hue tomorrow. Even with all the time I spent here, I missed so much. I’ll be back someday.

I am Gruut

While in Ghent I visited the funky brewery called Gruut and lost an hour or two sampling their beers

I liked all the beers I sampled but I really liked the Bruin and the Inferno. The Inferno had good flavor, but watch out since it is 9%!

What was also cool is that the brewer is a female who comes from a long line of brewers. It is good to see women out there making good beer. In addition, her take on using herbs instead of hops is spot on. I’m a fan.

Playalinda Brewing Company

With nothing planned one weekend some friends invited us to go with them to check out the Playalinda Brewing Company in Titusville, Florida.
It is not a long drive from Orlando and perfect for a day trip.
We arrive to a clean and friendly tasting room in a quiet town. A few patrons were enjoying a lazy Sunday.
We had no problem finding a table in the front of the tasting room with a nice view of the street outside.
We ordered flights of beer, some snacks and played the games provided by the tasting room.
We were familiar with Ron Raike’s beers (the brewer) from when he brewed at Shipyard in Orlando (now closed brewery/restaurant). Some interesting brews. My favorite of the day was the strong “Go Big”.
If you are happening to look for a nice short day trip from Orlando I suggest you stop on by.

Singelcut Beersmiths

While wandering around Astoria one day we decided to check out the local brewery Singlecut Beersmiths.

Singlecut is located in a fairly residential area across the street from a grocery store.
We had a nice time trying a few of the beers and sitting at table close to the entrance.
The decor is typical of most new breweries: metal chairs, wooden tables, warehouse feel.

I highly recommend stopping by if you are in the neighborhood.

Highland games

Once a year a time comes in Central Florida where there is a celebration of all that is Scottish. It is called the Central Florida Scottish Highland Games. Every year it comes and every year I miss it because it is always scheduled on a weekend I have to work. Luck would have it that I was able to arrange my schedule to have this day off work so I could attend this year.
I am glad I finally got to attend.

The first task was to find my clan. I recently became aware of my Scottish heritage so I spent some time trying to locate the clan I hail from. There are a series of tents set up that talk about each of the different clans. Locating my tent proved harder than I thought because a name could possibly be part of a couple different clans. What matters is the area that your relative lived in. I wasn’t 100% sure so it was back to the drawing board to figure that out later.

Along with the clan tents, there were tents set up to purchases things to represent your Scottish pride.

I really wanted to buy a tartan that represents my heritage but not being 100% sure of the clan I held out this time.

Next it was on to the snacks. I started off with a haggis taco from tijuana flats. It was decent. The toppings masked the haggis flavor quite a bit. It was no haggies, neeps and tatties but it would suffice.

 I love Sticky Toffee Pudding. But I didn’t get any; too much food to try and I didn’t leave room.

Later on I had a craving for a meat pie. I shared a meat pie and sausage roll with my husband. MMMMM meat in bread, yummmm!

One of the highlights of the festival is the beer vendor Dunedin Brewery. This Florida brewery provides all the tasty beer beverages for the festival.
The only bad thing about the process is the 2 separate line process that these festivals like to do. You wait in one long line for a ticket to buy and beer and then another long line to get served the beer.

They do have these handy pitchers that can be reused year after year. It saves line time.

After gathering food and beverage they have a limited number of tables under tents, or you can sit on the lawn and watch the entertainment.

We ate quickly and went out to watch the entertainment.
I got to listen to some talented bagpipers.

There is an area with highland animals. These two hairy coo’s must have been hot here in Florida.

Finally it is time for the manly man games. We spent some time watching feats of strength.

And my husband tried his hand at archery.

And more manly games.

We finished the night watching a Scottish modern rock band play. I can say it was a very entertaining day and worth the wait.

Here is a short video of some of the nighttime entertainment,