Travels with Kim Lien

We just returned from 3 days in Toronto and 25 days visiting friends and family in the USA.  The trip was exciting, fun, interesting, too long and extremely tiring. 

In Toronto, we celebrated my sweet cousin Dorothy’s 85th birthday at a party she had put together for two or three hundred of her close friends and family.  To call it magnificent would be understating the obvious.  From the troop of acrobats to the huge band, singers, family performers (professional pianists and cafe singers, world famous inventors and head of a major air charter service) to the superb food, fine wines and irresistible desserts followed by a waffle bar, the party went on into the wee hours.  Nobody wanted to leave because they were having too good a time.  Thank you sweet Cuz for making the 10,000+ Km trip worth every meter!

We celebrated with a terrific brunch the next day, and got a chance to talk to family and friends we missed at the party in a more casual atmosphere.  Again, it was wonderful.  That night KL and I invited 4 women I love a lot to join us at a Vietnamese restaurant and to let her introduce some unusual Viet foods to the Shamai women.  I have known these four charmingly intelligent sisters for around 50 years, and can’t say enough about how wonderful each of them is.  Thanks to Ruth and Sally for agreeing to stop disagreeing and attributing their peace to something I allegedly did. People are giving me credit for doing more than inviting them to dinner, but in reality THEY resolved the issue without any contribution other than a dinner invitation from me.  Regardless, things were made good and my only ‘complaint’ is that they were so busy talking that I didn’t have much chance to talk with them.  

Perhaps they will decide to come visit us in Vietnam and let us show them around this beautiful country.

After Toronto we flew to Chicago, but that is the subject for another blog.  Let’s just say we had a great time in Chicago, a fabulous time in Greenville, NC with Lisa Beth, and tons of fun with Kim Dung and her boys in Arlington, TX.  

We were lucky enough to upgrade our return Dallas–Narita leg to business class, but recovery from this month long trip still took ten days after we returned home.  I am ready to hang up my travel shoes.  It no longer offers the excitement and novelty that it has given me for the past sixty years.  I saw all I wanted, and as for the rest, I will catch all that next time around.Image


7 thoughts on “Travels with Kim Lien

  1. I can appreciate how tiring a trip! Even me (still in my thirties!), I find that the mess of the airports, stress of packing “safe” bags, annoyance of all the wait times are making traveling such a taxing activity?

    This being said, I live discovering new cultures.

    It’s been three years I haven’t left Torinto while for the past (many) years before, I used to take planes, trains, buses , the car at least once every month!

    I’m looking forward to visit New York next month and Paris in October but I dread all the travel activities around the visits.

    Great picture of Dorothy and her Children! Thanks for sending!

    My best to both of you, Véronique

    • Thank YOU for your kindness in transporting us to and from the party. I have a bunch of photos that I thought I sent you, but will resend. Love you Cherie!


  2. What did the inventor and/or the head of an air charter service perform?

    Isn’t it nice to know that someone reads your Blogs.


    • It is wonderful that someone (especially friends, who they are intended for) reads my blog. The TWO inventors and the head of the air charter service are the three children of my cousin. The woman is Molly Shoichet, the only “Female Engineer” at the U of Toronto, who has more than 11 patents on various applications of polymers (her PhD from MIT was in Polymers), one of which can reattach broken nerves and eliminate the paralysis from spinal cord injuries like that which killed Christopher Reeves. It is still in testing as ffar as I know (not very far) but anything that can repair Superman has got to be one hellofa tool. Her younger brother, formerly of U of San Francisco and newly attached to the UofT is also a PhD from MIT, (both Molly and Brian on full scholarship which indicated how much MIT wanted them as students) and specialized (I think) in creating pharmaceutical applications in the vacuum of space. Both are doing work which is beyond my comprehension, even though they have been kind enough to try to explain it to me. The oldest son was a playwright, with a couple of moderately successful productions under his belt when he left the theater to help his dad run the air charter service. It has flourished under his management despite a terribly poor economy and is the biggest in Canada. The word “Overachievers” comes to mind, considering that these remarkable people have great achievements AND still managed to raise lovely families and be productive members of their communities. Toronto is a far better place with them in it.

  3. Bill Dear;

    The party was a lot of fun; I, Too, enjoyed every minute of the festivities, and loved pleasing my dearest family and friends. It was the Talk of the Town for some time, but I did not allow any media attention because it was a private party. I, too, am getting weary of travelling; I have one big trip coming up to New Zealand and Australia, and then one more summer away with all the children and grandchildren, and then it will be only Chicago and New York City for me. Vietnam is just too far away for me. But I so have Skype, if I ever figure out how to use it, so we can keep in touch that way and through e mail. Stay Strong ,Stay Well and know that you and Kim Lien are dear to me.

    Lots of Love,

    Dorothy Shoichet

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