Friday, May 29, 2009

Kovalam Beach in Kerala

About 1 hour away from our village is Kovalam Beach. We decided to spend 2 days in a hotel there and take in the beach. Our hotel is right on the beach and the cost is a just $35--can't get a better bargain than that :)

Our hotel--Hotel Sea Face... right beyond that is the ocean!!
A statue of the god Shiva
Fresh fruits are always available everywhere you look in India
Building sandcastles Naomi with her Uncle Lee and Paulette
Swinging on the swing right on our room balcony overlooking the ocean... so relaxing!!

Some pictures of the light house and the beach

Thursday, May 28, 2009

My brother's engagement party

One of the reasons for our trip to India was my brothers engagement party. In India the engagement can be almost as big and grad as the wedding itself

Paulette getting ready--a beautician helps with hair, wrapping the sari & the jewelry
Jasmine flowers in the hair is an absolute must at any party

My brother and Devin in Indian Suits
Naomi, Devin and I all ready for the party
My family
Cooks that cooked food for over 1000 guests

Food is cooked outside in huge vats over fire
We eat on banana leaves not plates... kinda like paper plates :)

Village of Attoor... my hometown

We flew from Mumbai to Trivandrum and then drove 2 hours to my village Attoor. I haven’t updated in a couple of days because I didn’t have access to the internet in the village. Right now I’m blogging from a hotel in Kovalam, Kerala where we’re spending a couple of days taking in the beach.

My parents house in Attoor

My grandfather's house
Driving on these tiny tiny roads can be a bit scary but as you can see, they make it work
Unlike North India, South India (Karela and Tamil Nadu) is very tropical and everywhere you look you see green
A typical store you see everywhere while you’re driving or walking around… they sell coffee fruit drinks, sodas and local fresh fruits
small shops along the roads that sell deep fried good like banana fritters… yummy
This is our compost/trash pile in our back yard. In villages we have to dispose trash ourselves so most homes will have this… just a hole in the ground for trash
We also have to get our own drinking water so most home will have a well
No store to buy milk--the milkman comes by on his scooter 2 times a day

Friday, May 22, 2009

Hello Mumbai

We made it, we made it!! It's wonderful to finally be here.

Traffic outside the airport... I wish I could've captured just how close cars are to each other. I thought we were going to get hit about 12 or 13 times on our 10 minute drive to the hotel but we didn't--not once. Pretty impressive driving goes on in India
This is just outside our hotel... a very colorful marketplace! Feels like we're in the heart of it all. Love it!!
Inside our hotel relaxing
Hotel Midland--this is what it looks like from the outside
Getting our eat on... this is Masala Dosa: Kind of like a pancake but not sweet with coconut chutney and potatato salad type thing. Yummy!! Naomi and Devin ate this and LOVED it
Mutton Biryani: this is what I ate!! Can you just see the heat from the picture? very spicy
A vegetable market right outside our hotel... so fresh & they do this daily

and yet another airplane ride

One more long airplane ride to get to India!!

This airplane flew us from London to Mumbai in 8 hours 58 minutes
Naomi watching movies on her own personal TV that had over 200 movies to choose from. British Airways is hands down the best airline to fly overseas!!
Airplane food... not bad, actually :)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

London Calling

Don't have much time to blog (computer battery running low) so I'll make this one quick... We've arrived safely after an 8 hour flight. After a bit of London fun we're off to Mumbai; see you there :)

all you can do on a 8 hour flight is watch movies, eat, and SLEEP!!Looks like the flight we'll be getting on nextHeathrow AirportThere's only 4 of these couches in the entire terminal so you have to be a pretty crafty stalker to get one... but boy is it worth it!! I want to take one home with me...if you're ever in Heathrow Airport you must go here... best Sushi in a box, ever!! I know I should be eating fish and chips but I just cannot resist the sushi ;)all Salmon all the time makes Arlene a very happy girl :)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

we're on our way...

We made it to the Minneapolis airport after a bumpy bumpy flight. It was windy here so the landing was quite scary but we made it :) We have a 6 hour layover so we're hanging out in the Delta World Club... relaxing!!

the view from our window
Naomi watching a movie & eating carrot sticks
free wine, beer, cheese, crackers and almonds... does it get better than this?Airport sushi--not all that bad, actually
Naomi loves it :)
bored at the airport & goofing off... too much fun!!