Maestro Kenney’s Adventures in Vietnam – Part 1

December 25 to 27: There is something to be said about international travel in regards to patience. The cliche "hurry up and wait" absolutely applies here. At the LAX international terminal we waited an hour to check in at the desk, then another hour to get through security (it WAS Christmas and they had only one TSA agent looking at . documents...at least he was in a good mood.) After a 13 hour flight to Seoul and then a 5 hour flight to Hanoi, we then waited a couple of hours to get our Visas in working order collected our…
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Maestro Kenney’s Adventures in Vietnam – Part 2

December 28 The Sheraton Hanoi serves an international clientele and the breakfast in the lobby restaurant shows it. There are stations for Korean, Japanese, Chinese, plus western tastes. The chef makes great omelets at the egg station, there are unusual fruits, lots of pastries, and of course pho, the traditional Vietnamese soup with vegetables. It seems like a fitting start to our ten days in this country for we will discover that one of the best parts about it is the food. This will be demonstrated in ample amounts every time we sit down for a meal with people. Today's…
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Maestro Kenney’s Adventures in Vietnam – Part 3

Dec. 29 The day began the same as the previous day with another international breakfast in the hotel and then the 30 minute drive to rehearsal. On the way to the hall, we passed several Starbucks, Coffee Beans, and a chain called Highlands Coffee that is one of the locals favorites. Coffee houses are ubiquitous in this city and Vietnamese coffee is thick and strong. They drink it with warmed heated sweet milk (might be what we consider condensed) and it is delicious. Tea with honey and lime is another regular warm drink. A coffee house is next door to…
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Maestro Kenney’s Adventures in Vietnam – Part 4

Dec. 30 Catching any kind of a bug on an international trip is not fun, but compound that with two days of double rehearsals in humidity, and a day off was needed to get back on the mend. Thus most of Saturday was spent inside the hotel. The Hanoi Sheraton seems like a grande old dame with rather square architecture augmented with Asian touches, but in fact built in 2003. The marble shines and the staff is extremely friendly and attentive. There is an elegance, though it does show some wear and tear from over the years. The fixtures in…
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