As I post this, I realize that the photos I have to include are ALL food and drink :)
...and I definitely did say to Mom on her second-to-last day: "I have more restaurants I want to take you to than we have meals left!" :P
Below is a favorite of mine.
Mom wants to be able to make Vietnamese ca phe sua da (iced coffee) back home in the States... she bought some coffee at a couple great places in the city (Highlands Coffee and Trung Nguyen)...
Mom was given a ca phe sua da lesson by a super nice staff member of Highlands Coffee in the Manor! He wanted to make sure that Mom understood... and even wrote step-by-step directions for her.
Mom's ca phe sua da lesson:
Mom and I took a cruise on my scooter down to the expat area called Phu My Hung in District 7. A bunch of teachers at my school live in this area... I told Mom that there are wide open roads, lots of green, a nice lake... you can go running, the air is lighter... there are nice restaurants and shops (with doors on the front!)... etc. etc.
When we got to Phu My Hung, I think Mom was still pretty surprised at how nice it all is... she said that I did tell her there would be wide roads... but it still was way nicer than she expected! It feels so different from the center of Saigon (and definitely different from the neighborhood I live in!)...
We each had a drink at Boomerang... a bar restaurant owned by an Aussie.
Mom had a flat white...
(...A favorite of hers and Dad's since visiting Lenny in New Zealand years ago.)
And I had a fresh berry smoothie!
That night for dinner we stayed in my neighborhood and had pho at Pho Van! Love this place!
(My friend, Kat, and I have developed a weekly tradition of a pho date at "the place with the best pho in town!" Haha, it's a great little piece of my weeks that I look for to now!)
For the morning of Mom's last day in Vietnam we went to Jaspa's on Dong Khoi... they have really good coffee AND free refills on their coffee drinks! -- WIN!
Mom got one of her last fills of a ca pha sua da in Vietnam...
I stuck with my usual... latte!
I had an incredible summer break.
One that matched the amazing year that I had just had.
Part of me still cannot believe that I've lived in VIETNAM for one year...
...And am still living in Vietnam for at least one more!
As I type this... I'm sitting in Saigon, Vietnam... but sometimes it feels a crazy mixture of being surreal and being completely normal. My life right now IS Vietnam.
My summer was filled with wonderful family, friends, 'Home', and travels...
And my mom's visit to Vietnam was definitely an ultimate hi-light of all my summer hi-lights! It was so SO nice to have her in Vietnam with me... travel... and just spend time together. I'm not sure if her and my dad will be able to make it to this part of the world again while I'm here... but I'm already so thankful that my family has been able to visit me here, adventure with me, and see my life in SE Asia!