Eleventh Day - H'mong Mountain Retreat and Sapa 11-12-10

Posted on Fri 12 November 2010 in Trip to Vietnam • 4 min read

TODAY WAS HANNAH'S BIRTHDAY!
OK we started the day with a little trauma because when I woke up I realized that Hannah was not in her bed but I found her in mom's bed. Obviously Hannah had been scared because of the mice and the bugs. But after we got up it was basically OK but we didn't want to stay another night so we called Mr. Khanh the manager of Sapa Rooms and asked if we could come back. He understood our predicament and let us come back. But before we did we stayed and had a wonderful time enjoying the beautiful scenery because we were going to do the cooking class at the retreat. We had a nice time just relaxing.
Then when the time came to do the class we went to a table where the chef introduced himself. His name was Quyen and he was the master chef at Sapa Rooms. We asked him if anyone else was coming but he said that it was just us doing the class. First we made some Vietnamese spring rolls. I never have figured out what you will get at a restaurant when you ask for spring rolls because sometimes you get crispy things and other times you get soft squishy things. This time we made the soft kind. We made the spring rolls and then cut the rolls and then cut them so that they would stand up on a plate. Next we made a neat decoration, a chicken. The "chicken" didn't really look like a chicken, instead it resembled a swan but it doesn't mater what you call it it because it was definitely a bird. Of course Quyen looked a lot better that ours, but we did pretty well. All except for mom who didn't really understand what the goal was and messed up. I must admit though it looked more realistic that way. Then we made a salad and then went on to make what is now one of my favorite Vietnamese dishes (drum roll please), the one and only Chicken Stir-fry With Lemon Grass! The chicken stir-fry with lemon grass has chicken, green chilies, lemon grass and some other things that I don't remember. After we prepared the things we went over and stir-fried it at the stove. Quyen showed us which things to put in first and did his. While stir-frying the food he used the "fling the food of the side of the pan and then catch it again in the pan" technique that looks really cool. Then we had our turn. Hannah started her's and then he turned on the other burner for me. We tried the fling thing but were not very successful. Then mom did her's and that was a sight to see because when she tried the fling thing a piece of the stir-fry came out! We all laughed and Quyen told us a story about the last cooking class he did with three big men. One of them when doing the stir-fry and flung it all out! After we made the stir-fry Quyen showed us how to make a desert. We just watched because it really wasn't a thing that four people needed to do. And after that was finished we had the best part of the cooking class, EATING!!! OK I got a little over exited but the food was good. My favorite was the stir fry but right up there were the spring rolls. The salad was not my favorite but I ate some. Then we went downstairs and had our desert. It wasn't very desert like and definitely not something I would order again but what is life without a little adventure sometimes? After we had our meal we rode back to Sapa Rooms with Quyen and the staff from the Retreat (there weren't any more people coming to the Retreat.) Once back at the hotel we thanked Khan for getting us into our room. It was a little traumatic because when we called he had just given the last room to another family and had to go and tell them that they couldn't have their room and then he had to take them to another hotel.
Khan had promised Hannah a special birthday party so after we had our dinner we had made cake made by Quyen. It was a very neat birthday party because they turned off all the lights and then put out candles to light the place up. Also Mrs. Cynthia and Mr. Berry were there to celebrate with us. That was nice because Hannah was worried that she wouldn't have anyone besides mom and I to celebrate with but we had someone. After the cake, which was really good, mom ran up to go get a little present for Hannah. It was a little necklace and said "Gia Dinh" which means family.
After dinner we went to bed always a good thing to do.