Sunday, December 16, 2012

Exotic India

As we sailed into Cochin India, it looked like a modern high rise city.......We never saw that part of Cochin! We had a private tour to cruise the Backwaters of Alappuzha, which entailed a 90 minute hair raising ride to the river. In all of our drives on these cruises this one takes the cake! Imagine a 2 lane highway with a white line down the imagine 5 lanes of traffic on that road, going as fast as possible.The 2 outside lanes have motorcycles ( each with 3 or more people on them), tuk-tuks,( see below) bicycles, cows( yes people, COWS) and the occasional goat. the next two lanes are cars, buses( with people hanging on to the outside) and trucks, going in opposite directions. The white line is the passing lane...also known as the Chicken lane! Everyone is weaving in and out of traffic, and trying to pass each other in the chicken lane...It was amazing to see the near misses....We finally stopped looking and just prayed! When we arrived at the dock, we made the sign of the cross, thanked God for watching over us, and changed our underwear!


The rest of the day we had a wonderful relaxing cruise thru rural India. The boat was modeled after the old boats that carried the Kings. It had a thatched roof, 2 modern bedrooms and baths, a kitchen and a front area with couches and chairs, and a dining room table ...all with wonderful views of the river.
Our Boat

Stopping to pick up supplies for lunch
 We had a lovely lunch, cooked onboard. Michael did not eat, ( surprise!) but I had some curried chicken and rice, and it was soooooo good! the area that we cruised thru was very tropical with coconut palms and rice paddies
we saw many women washing their clothes in the river, right next to people bathing, and or washing their dishes.....They were all so friendly, waving as we went by.....
Children on the way home from school
transporting bags of rice!

The India I hoped we would see....and I loved it!

The next day, we had a free tour offered to the Elite members, We took a bus thru the old part of Cochin, and it was amazing! Cochin is 35% christian, and we saw many Catholic churches, all filled with worshipers, as it was Sun morning,
The Cathedral

 We also visited a Jewish Synagogue, and we visited the royal palace. We walked the very crowded streets, and visited the spice shops, and the fish markets ( why are fish markets so interesting?)

Crowded streets
( note the tuk-tuk upper right)

Spice shop
The smell was amazing!

Women shopping
Fish Market
Fresh catch of the day!
It was a very hot day, and we were ready for our last stop at a very fancy hotel. We had snacks, and ICE COLD BEER, prior to watching a performance of traditional Indian dancing. All the men voted that the best stop of the day!

After 3 very cold beers

We saw a SNAKE CHARMER with 2 cobras! He played a flute, and made the snakes dance....It made my day!

All in all, India was very exotic and full of surprises!

Walk like an Egyptian....

I felt like I needed to do a second Blog on Egypt! After all.....I waited all my life for these pictures!

Our first view as we rounded a corner

see the camels in the distance?
Guess who!!
There was even one Egyptian family that spread a blanket, and had a picnic in the shade of the great pyramid!
I wonder what they are eating?
Michael and his friends!
                                                         Just the right size for me!
The Sphinx
( try to ignore my finger in the upper left!)
We finished our wonderful day with a sunset cruise on the Nile river. It was so peaceful on our little sailboat for nine. The capt put up the sail, and sang Egyptian songs as we watched the sunset. It was an awesome and magical moment.
Our Captain
So relaxing

What a sunset!!
I loved Cairo and the pyramids!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

A day in the Ancient world...Egypt

My lifes dream was to visit Egypt, and see the Pyramids, and the Sphinx....After the wild ride to Cairo, we rounded a corner, and there before me were the Pyramids of Giza! What a wonderous site! they are so grand, much bigger than you think! As we entered the area, we were only able to see the largest and first of the 3 pyramids....suddenly the 2nd pyramid appeared..I can't even begin to describe the sense of Awe you felt gazing upon structures that are 3000 years old! Pictures do not do them justice...Of course we had to climb up onto the pyramid to have pictures taken, and see the view below....the area was teaming with tourists, Egyptians, and camels!! There was even one egyptian family that spread a blanket, and had a picnic in the shade of the great pyramid! There were many people hawking souviners, and of course the camel rides.

I actually got to hold the reins myself!

My Camel ride was awesome! the camel kneels down, you are assisted to a very strange saddle, and you hang on to the horn of the saddle as the camel begins to stand up. First the back legs rise, and you are thrown forward, then the front legs rise, and you are thrown backwards. You think you are going to fall, bjut of course no one does! It is very strange to ride a camel and view the pyramids from so high. We could see all 3 of the pyramids, and behind the great pyramid an 3 smaller ones, which are the tombs of the queens. It was great fun!
            A close up of these ancient stones! It was thrilling to climb up upon the pyramid itself!

Next we drove to the area of the Sphinx. We had to enter an area that we had to climb up to a viewing platform. You are not able to touch the Sphinx, but you are very close and again, you are awed by the size of this creature! It surely is an awesome  experience to gaze upon this figure sculptured some 3000 years ago!
Me and 2 buddies!

When we started back up the path to the van, a man on a horse galloped by at top speed, whipping his horse, and pulling another one behind front of him a ugly crowd had gathered, and they were beating other people and shouting...the man with the horse galloped into the crowd and started beating people as well! With our mouths hanging open and our eyes upon this scene, our guide hearded us away, and we had to scramble up a sand dune to reach the road....we walked rapidly away from the the Mob, while we saw police casually sauntering toward the chaos......It was very exciting to say the least, and in just a few minutes we were safe and sound in the van and on our way to a nice hotel for lunch! Whew!

After lunch we visited the Cairo museum and king tuts treasures....His sarcophacus was made with 2000 kilos of solid gold, we saw his mask, and all the treasures found in his tomb.....Ancient chariots, 3 large beds, and many household products for his comfort in the afterlife. I was amazed!

We finished our wonderful day with a sunset cruise on the Nile river. It was so peaceful on our little sailboat for nine. the capt put up the sail, and sang egyptian songs as we watched the sunset. It was an awesome and magical moment.

                                            I loved every minute of my day in Cairo!


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Leaving on a jet plane

                                                Our 46 day excellent adventure has begun!

I have to say that last week was one for the record books!  10 days before we were leaving I broke my tooth and ended up with a temporary crown that resulted in a lot of pain and 4 visits to the dentist in one week! The pain was so severe that I ended up at the dentist again yesterday where the temporary crown was pronounced just fine,( tooth #20) but I had an abscess in the tooth next to it! Tooth #19 had a root canal yesterday at 4pm! 2 things I learned yesterday....Teeth have numbers, AND it is possible to drink a glass of wine when half your face is numb and doesn't work!  Let me now say that my dentist and I are on a first name basis!
                                                         Our bags are packed

                                                          And we are ready to go!
                                                         Egypt Here we come!!!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Rhode Island Getaway

Nothing is better in September than getting away to escape the Florida heat!

Rhode Island gave us everything!  The turning of the leaves, beautiful cool dry weather....Well.....sometimes dry......great wine, and great company!
We were there for the wedding of 2 beautiful women. One was the daughter of Michael's dear friends, Amy -Lee, who Michael has known all her life! It was a beautiful wedding on the water in Bristol RI.
We arrived Thursday afternoon and the first place we hit was Michael's favorite weenie joint! Don't these just look yummy!

 Then it was off to Lynn and Dave's house for a wonderful evening of Wine, and take-out Chinese , from Michaels favorite Chinese restaurant...( do you see a theme here?) It was wonderful to sit outside in the cool crisp air! ( if the picture looks a little cock-eyed...well...I can't be held responsible after all that wine!!)

Day 2 was wet and wild....Rained heavily all day...but that didn't stop Lynn and I from hitting the shops....( after all, what else was there to do?) We came home to a great lunch of pork pies that Michael picked up from his ......Favorite Deli! They were yummy and I felt like a little porker after we finished!  That night we went to Bristol for the rehearsal dinner and what usually takes 45 min, took 2 hours thanks to the traffic, and downpours. We arrived just in time for cocktails....and lovely canapes...( I love weddings!)  There are no pictures because we ate them all!

Day 3 was the wedding day....we just lazed around and we had a cold pizza that is a RI specialty, and it is one of guessed it....Michael's favorite foods!  We were Picked up at 2:30 by a stretch limo......I was impressed...and whisked off to the wedding
                                                          Michael in the Limo
We were early for the 4:30 we had cocktails in the hotel bar....with our best buddies
Bloody Marys for Michael, and in honor of the freezing cold.....I had an Irish coffee to warm me up!
Whats better than an Irish coffee in an Irish bar!


                                                                 The Bride and her Dad
                                                            Jumping for joy

The wedding was wonderful, and the reception was held in a huge tent on the water....all very ta ta...

                                                         The Bride and the Bride
We danced all night!
and thank goodness we had the limo to drive us home! Shoes off, ties undone, and bleary eyes!
Davids grandson came to visit on Sunday and isn't he just the cutest little pumpkin pie! Davids Son Jason, and his wife Ray Anne brought us mouthwatering pasteries form an awesome bakery!
Jill was there too and we really enjoyed having dinner with her......We ordered out from the best little Deli in RI.....Michael had his favorite shaved steak and cheese grinder.....and I tried to make room for little bites of everyone Else's selections.....Lots of wine and laughter and off to bed early......We were exhausted from the night before!

To the beach and dinner at a seafood place for a wonderful dinner of whole belly clams for the Rhode Islanders and pasta with clam sauce for me......yummy!

We had a blast! 
If I tell you I did't gain any weight...would you believe me?? lol