Saturday, May 5, 2018

Hanoi Day One

Our hotel staff at the Rising Dragon Hotel in Hanoi must be the friendliest we've come across...they've treated us like family - welcoming us back after each day of exploring and asking how our day went. Amongst the hustle and bustle of busy city streets, some very friendly people live and work.  We walked around the city and Hoan Kiem Lake where there Turtle Tower stands on an island in the middle of the lake.  Hanoi traffic was intense - crossing a street is not for the faint of heart but if you step out into with a purpose, it all flows nicely.  Hesitate and you have a problem - likely, a medical problem.  The streets were lined with merchants peddling their wares.  I stopped for a shoe shine and was soon approached by a woman who attempted to ask if I had fought in the American War.  'You GI?'.  I shook my head 'no'.  She made a motion with her arms as if firing a rifle and said her dad had been killed in the war.  No malice or accusation intended - she was just trying to make conversation.  We continued our pantomime until I paid for the shine and we departed ways, each of smiling and waving our goodbyes.  Such friendly people.

See the photos here.

Enroute to Southeast Asia

As luck would have it just as we are about to depart for our trip out of Atlanta we had to quickly change our routing due to a snow/ice storm heading their way.  Instead we got the last two seats out of Detroit with a quick connection to Seoul on a 747-400.  First class - nice ride!

See the photos here: 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Time to say goodbye.....

It all started in MSP and it was fitting to celebrate the end of my career there as well on my last layover in the Twin Cities. Upon entering US airspace on our flight from Amsterdam, the Air Traffic Controller in Minneapolis Center asked us if there was a Captain Freeman onboard today. Well, yes there is (and who's asking??).  "Congratulations, Captain Freeman on your 33 years of service and all of us here in Minneapolis Center wish you an enjoyable and well deserved retirement."  That was nice.  (Thanks, Ted).  On the arrival to Minneapolis we were obviously being given priority handling (again, thanks to Ted) and we were cleared for the straight-in approach to runway 12R where my landing was greeted by cheering that even I could hear. Apparently, the off-duty First Officer, when I asked him to "kiss them goodbye" on the descent, also told the passengers that I was on my last flight into MSP and to not be alarmed if they see a fire truck at the gate squirting the water cannons in salute (all set up by Ted, thank you).  Ted also arranged for an upgraded suite in our downtown MSP hotel room where we celebrated with friends (a few airline and RAGBRAI folks) with champagne and cake.  After a nice bike ride along the Mississippi on an ideal Labor Day Sunday, we had dinner in the Captain's Room (yes, that's right) at the Nicollet Island Inn and then headed to Nye's Bar where Tracy sang a karaoke song in my honor, King of the Road!  She followed that up with Leaving On a Jet Plane and then we called it a night.  I think we may be seeing Tracy on stage in the future - she has a very nice voice and the crowd loved it.  All in all, a very memorable evening.  Retirement looming at the end of the month - don't want to hang it up but the package was too nice to pass up.  It's been a great career, but it went by much too fast....thanks for the memories!  Click here for the photos.