Thursday, May 31, 2012

Intrepid Travel's Classic Rajasthan Tour/I'm Not Too Proud for a Group Tour, Part 1

At this point in my life, I feel like I've traveled a few places. I feel completely comfortable planning my own trips with multiple destinations, hotels, and local tours and guides, etc.  If that's the case, I'm sure a few of you might be wondering why I decided to go on a group tour for part of my time in India.

Before getting into the whys, let me describe my experience with Intrepid Travel. For those of you not familiar with Intrepid, it's an Australia-based travel company that offers tours all over the world. They pride themselves on small group tours of no more than 12 people and trying to expose their customers to more local "off the beaten track" experiences. I have no interest in being on a large tour bus (nothing wrong with that. It's just not me), and I really was impressed by the company's stated commitment to local charities and causes. Intrepid seemed to fit my travel philosophy, so I picked them.

Walking through the streets of Jaipur. Jaipur is BUSY.


I picked Intrepid's Classic Rajasthan tour through the state of Rajasthan, one of India's largest and most traditional regions. My 15 day (more like 13 day) tour went to the following places:

Ranthambore National Park

I have to admit that Classic Rajasthan wasn't exactly my first choice tour, but I am glad I did it. In addition to the monsoon season that engulfs the country from June to about the end of September, April and May are NOT the easiest times to travel through India. Most of the country, with the exception of the mountain regions, is HOT. April and May are definitely the beginning of the low season for international travelers to India, and therefore many of the tours I wanted were not being offered. Based on my plans for this year, I decided to take my chances traveling to India in late April. Classic Rajasthan is one of Intrepid's most popular India itineraries and had numerous departure dates, so I felt like I would be going on an interesting tour that many other travelers had experienced and critiqued.

In Udaipur, near the banks of Lake Pichola

The tour could be a little whirlwind at times. At many of the places above, we were only there for a night, but I don't think we really needed to be in certain towns any longer than that. I liked that we had a mix of private cars, trains, jeeps and buses. We really got to see Rajasthan's countryside in depth that way.


We weren't in five star accommodations. Not even close (I'll blog about a five star hotel in Delhi though), but the hotels were were always clean, comfortable and often had wifi access, which I wasn't expecting.  Many of the hotels were called heritage properties, i.e, local historic homes and castles (yes, castles) that had been converted for use as hotels. One of the possible drawbacks of a group tour like this is that you don't pick where you stay. If that is of utmost importance to you, then find a company that provides that information up front.

My room at Castle Bijapur 

My Group

Because we were traveling in the off season, my group was tiny. There were only 5 of us. My four other trip mates were actually two Australian couples, one of which was on their honeymoon! Both couples were fairly well-traveled, curious and open people, and I felt very lucky to have been matched with such nice folks. I read another blog post describing this tour that stated that the blogger's group size was 18 people (more than Intrepid advertises). I'll talk more about that later in this post, but I was glad to avoid that. I was very nervous about who would be on the tour (you're spending 2 weeks with these people!), but we had a very nice time. I learned a lot about Australia, and I hope they learned some more about the U.S. I'll refer to them throughout my posts as Team Ozzie. :)  

Team Ozzie walking through Udaipur. You'll see their faces at some point.

Also I was expecting to be the oldest in the group, but I wasn't by a long shot. For some reason (maybe my American travel biases?), I thought that this style of travel wouldn't appeal to people older than me. One couple of Team Ozzie was in their late 40's/early 50's. Our tour leader, Pancham, said he once had someone in their 80's on one of his trips! According to some members of Team Ozzie, for whom this was their 4th Intrepid trip, they've traveled with a range of ages. I found that pretty refreshing.

[Confession: I was nervous about the group because I'd had a few bad travel group experiences with Australians before. I wasn't worried about me not liking them, but THEM not liking me. Luckily, the travel spirits were with me by giving me very nice travel partners, and I feel like my good travel karma was repaid on this trip. Much love to Team Ozzie!]

Our Tour Leader

I also feel like we lucked out with our tour leader, Pancham. He's born and raised in India but has traveled all over the world working on the Queen Elizabeth II prior to becoming a tour leader with Intrepid. He's super funny, knowledgable beyond belief, and I always felt like he cared about our experience during the trip. We all joked that he tended to crack the whip with the local staff, but I think he was concerned about the level of service our group received. I like to call Pancham a "Walking India Encyclopedia." He could identify wild birds, tell you about the preparation of an Indian dish, rattle off random facts about the Indian economy and Hinduism. Plus, he's super into food. Score! He never led us astray with his restaurant suggestions.


For those considering a group tour like Intrepid, I would think about the following things:

1. Are you traveling during the peak or off season for your destination? There are definitely pros and cons to both. It will affect everything from group size to the atmosphere of the locations you'll visit.

2. Confirm the maximum size of your group, if that's important to you. Size can matter. While my little traveling family of 5 was great, companies like Intrepid have sister companies, and groups may be consolidated together. 18 or 22 people isn't necessarily bad, but it may not be the small group experience you're looking for.

I'm not even sure where this. We drove through this town on the way to Bijapur. 

3.  Confirm that your guide is local. While I'm sure that a non-Indian/non-local guide would have been fine, I think it helped that Pancham was familar with local customs and food, speaks both Hindi and English fluently, and just knows what's up. I'm not saying that a non-Indian/non-local guide can't be helpful, but having someone who can communicate well and knew what was safe for us in a variety of situations made our trip easier.

4. If you're traveling solo, are you willing to pay a "single supplement"? One of the worst things about traveling solo on group or packaged tours is that companies will often charge you for being a single traveler. That makes no sense to me! You're taking up less space and resources. Intrepid gives you the option of paying a single supplement only if you would like to guarantee a private room for all or most of your trip. I paid the single supplement, and, in the end, I probably didn't need to because there were only 5 of us. That being said, I wasn't sure if other people would book after I did. I wanted my own room. I need a little alone time. :)

So that's a little background about the group tour portion of my trip. I'll get into WHY I chose the group tour route in another post.

Have you gone on a small or large group tour? What did you think about your experience, and would you do it again?

I am in no way working in partnership with Intrepid. This post isn't sponsored. I got nothing free from them. Yadda, yadda, yadda. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Qutb Minar - Sight of the Week

Hey, there! I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day and Whit Monday (and maybe a spring bank holiday?). I had a great one that I hope to tell you about later this week. 

In an effort to not totally drone on and on about sights I saw in India, I'm going to try to spread them out and talk about no more than two each week. At least, that's what I hope. :)

On one of my first days in Delhi, I took the wonderful Delhi Metro (I LOVED Delhi's subway system) to South Delhi to one of the city's most distinctive sights. While India is a majority Hindu country, there has been a long history of Muslim influence and rulers who built gorgeous monuments. You might know one called the Taj Mahal. ;)

One of them, Qutb Minar, is an imposing but beautiful red sandstone tower/minaret inscribed with verses from the Qur'an. It was built in the 14th century after Delhi, and many of the surrounding areas, came under Muslim rule. The Qutb Minar is the ultimate "I am no joke. I just took over your country. Hear me roar" monument. Northern India's new rulers wanted to make a statement, and I think they did.

If it looks tall in the picture, I can confirm that it is.

From afar it may not look like much, but I think you really need to get up close and personal with this tower to see how intricate and beautiful it really is. 

 A close up of one of the cylindrical shafts. I love the different shades of red sandstone. 

The Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque, a few steps from the Qutb Minar, is pretty special because it's one of the first mosques built by the Delhi Sultans. 

Entrance to the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque

Quwwat-ul-lslam interior 

Intricate pillars inside Quwwat-ul-Islam

When you enter this part of the complex, don't miss the Iron Pillar. Apparently if you can stand with your back to the pillar and encircle it with your arms, you can have your wish granted. So many people tried to do this that the government had to erect a barrier! I'm not that flexible, so I'll keep looking for other ways to fulfill my dreams. 

The Iron Post

The modern day tourist entrance to the Qutb Minar is actually different from its original entrance, the Alai Darwaza. 

It was starting to rain, so it was pleasant to hang out underneath the Alai Darwaza for a few minutes. 

Right outside the main portion of the complex, another sultan had wanted to build a similar structure to the Qutb Minar called the Alai Minar, but that didn't really work out. Even unfinished, I think it's still pretty cool looking. 

Even if it is a little bit of a trek into the southern most parts of South Delhi, you should definitely take some time to see the Qutb Minar. For me, it was a great way to get some historical perspective on some of the striking Islamic architecture that I'd be seeing throughout Rajasthan. 

Do you ever touch places or things thought to be good luck? Do you throw coins in fountains? I never have change. :(

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I Became a Backpacker in my 30's

Okay, the title of this post is kind of pushing it. I now own a backpack, but I wouldn't necessarily say that I'm a backpacker. By the way, many people use the term "backpacker" to refer to a certain way of traveling on a tight budget for long periods of time that usually means traveling light (hence, with just a backpack or very light luggage), staying in hostels, and trying to get away from mass tourism. I'm not going to really touch on that phenomenon in this post, as I've never considered myself a backpacker.

However, I now own a backpack!

A few hours before heading to the airport for my flight to Delhi. Our apartment was a mess with all of the packing. 

For the first two weeks of my trip to India, I was on the Classic Rajasthan tour with Intrepid Travel (more on that experience in another post). One of Intrepid's recommendations was to make sure that we could easily carry our luggage, and their pre-trip materials suggested that we either pack very light or carry a backpack. Pack light? That. Does. Not. Compute. :) Okay, fine. I can pack light to some degree, but for three weeks? 

I really didn't want to spend the money on a backpack. Ones that could hold what I needed for the length of trip I was going on were well over $100 USD. :(  Plus, I usually don't feel the need to carry one for the type of travel I tend to do. I can pack a 20 inch carry-on for almost two weeks worth of travel depending on my destination (warmer places are easier to pack for me).

In the end, I decided to buy a backpack. Here's what I bought:

REI Tour 60 Women's Travel Pack. The smaller day backpack is missing from this picture. 

Did I fit everything into my backpack? Of course not. Especially since I brought an arsenal of products with me, which I will tell you about later. I did have one small additional bag with "stuff" that I probably could have done without but ended up using that bag to fit souvenirs. I also carried my travel purse/daypack (remember that?) to keep important items close to me, like my electronics. 

Was it worth it to have a backpack? Here's what I think:

What I liked about the backpack

-My backpack kept me honest about packing clothes. I only packed 10 days' worth of clothing for three weeks. That was a challenge for me. I did have my laundry done at one point during the three weeks, but I found a way to make do with what I had. I wore many things multiple times; and, unlike some destinations, I didn't feel the need to look fashionable in India. ;)

-I will say that I always felt like I could carry my stuff myself when I wanted to. While we often had help with our bags, my backpack definitely made it easier to get through extremely crowded and frenzied train stations (especially ones with lots of stairs) and other places.  

-We traveled on so many different modes of transportation that I'm glad I had something that I didn't mind taking a beating. It's not like I baby my luggage, but I do want it to last as long as possible. This backpack seemed to do okay getting hit from all sides and enduring Rajasthan's never-ending dust.

Our luggage being packed on top of a jeep. I used to say a little prayer when our stuff was on top of moving vehicles in India. You would, too. Trust me. 

What I didn't like about the backpack

-Sometimes the backpack just felt bulky and cumbersome, although I will be the first to admit that mine was packed to the gills by the end of the three weeks. 

-I felt that it was hard to find some items in the bag when I wanted them. Again, this is probably just my lack of experience efficiently packing a backpack, but sometimes I felt like I had to take out too many things just to find what I needed. I probably should have gotten a bigger bag, but I couldn't justify the money. 

Either way, I feel like I got an understanding of what many travelers experience just by carrying a backpack, even if it's not my usual travel style. I didn't get to backpack through Europe, Latin America, or South East Asia, as many travel bloggers do, but at least I can say I actually own one. :) 

Have you ever used a backpack while traveling? Do/did you like using one? Do you have particular type of luggage that you like to use? 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Dhanyavad, India (3 Weeks in 10 Pictures)

Dhanyavad means "Thank You" in Hindi.

I've been trying to figure out what to say about India as an introduction, and I really haven't been able to distill everything that I experienced in one post (Nor will I. You guys know me already). What I can say is that India is the most otherworldly place that I've ever been. So many aspects of India are right here in the 21st century, and yet there were moments where I felt like we could be living at any time within the last 30 - 40 years (minus the cell phones, of course). The stark contrast of my life in New York City and life in some of the parts of India I visited were like night and day (duh!), and I loved that about traveling there. I didn't want to be in someplace familiar.

I have been telling people that India is not for the faint of heart or weak of stomach, and I truly believe that. I found it by far the most challenging place that I've ever traveled. I knew that going in; and, to be quite honest, I wanted to be challenged by what I saw and experienced while there. Even at the most frustrating moments, I was always happy that I made the decision to go.  I already know that I want to go back and see even more of the country, especially the south.

In any given day in India, I would be left in a fit of giggles by one of my new "friends" I'd made through an interaction on the street, and at other moments I just wanted to slink away unseen (it was very hard for me to blend in in India [understatement of the year]...more on that another time). If anything, India confirmed yet again to me how the world is slowly becoming similar in how we live our every day lives but distinct customs, cultural viewpoints and lifestyles aren't going away any time soon.

If you can't tell by the paragraph above, many of my posts about india will be a bit more reflective. I'll write about all of the history, sights and good food (although the latter is going to be hard to do, I think because I ate so darn much and was sometimes too hungry to take pictures), but there will definitely be more about how my travels affected me personally.

I thought I'd leave you with some snippets of what I saw and did in my three weeks there. Get ready for a whole lotta India posts. :)

The B'Hai (aka Lotus) Temple in New Delhi

 A sambar deer in Ranthambore National Park 

Riding camels in Pushkar

My very large breakfast. I ate this in Delhi, but the food is actually more South Indian.

 This kind man let me take a picture of him while we made a stop for chai. I loved his chai spot, and they were very welcoming to us. I miss Masala chai already.

 On the way to the Happy Valley Tea Estate in Darjeeling. I drank some Darjeeling tea while writing this post. :) 

 The saris..oh, the saris (and pretty much any other traditional Indian women's clothing). So beautiful and so colorful. Indian women are never wrinkly (unlike me while I was there). 

 Indian sweets are SWEET. We had some kaju katli (milk, sugar and nut bar-like sweets) in Jaipur. Loved the edible silver (it's fabulous eat to silver food, isn't it?). 

Bundi Palace. I saw many forts and palaces while in Rajasthan. Lots of them.

Me in Darjeeling. Can you see the tips of the Kangchenjunga range of the Himalayas through all those clouds? It was one of the better days of visibility while I was there.  

As always, is there anything in particular that you're interested in learning about my experience in India? Just let me know in the comments section, and I'll be sure to include a post about it. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

100 Foods to Eat Before You Die

I came across this post on the the blog of the stylish Ms. Tiffany of Makes Me Blush. I warned her in the comments section that I was stealing this. Apparently, this was on Facebook, but my food nerd friends missed it! :) 

Here's a list of 100 things that you should try to eat before you die. I was surprised by a few items on this because I just thought that most people would have eaten these items already, but maybe that's the small food snob in me?

However, the overachieving blogger in me has added some links in case you might not know what something is. In some cases, I just assumed that most people would know a particular item.

How many of these items have you eaten? Mine are in bold, and my final number is below.

1. Abalone

2. Absinthe - I've actually had this in a mixed drink, so I'm going to count this one.

3. Alligator - Err? Big props if you've had this.

4. Baba Ghanoush - Yumm...not as good as my favorite Meditteranean spread, hummus.

5. Bagel and lox - If I haven't had this, then I should turn in my New Yorker card. Seriously.

6. Baklava

7. Barbecue Ribs - Are there people who eat meat who haven't had ribs? If so, my people, we must mount a crusade, so that all meat eaters have had the chance to eat ribs. I'm not kidding.

8. Bellini - Yes, please!

9. Bird's Nest Soup - Whoa...not sure I'd eat that.

10. Biscuits and gravy

11. Black pudding - There's an Antiguan version of this called rice pudding. Same difference. Plus, I've eaten similar in Bali and in Argentina (that's coming up).

12. Black truffle

13. Borscht

14. Calamari

15. Carp

16. Caviar - Not my favorite

17. Cheese Fondue

18. Chicken & Waffles - I went to Roscoe's in L.A., and I ended up sitting next to the blonde kid from 7th Heaven.

19. Chicken Tikka Masala - I'm not having Indian food for a few months. :(

20. Chile Relleno

21. Chitterlings/Chitlins - I need to try these, I guess.

22. Churros - I have a post about churros coming up soon.

23. Clam Chowder - I'm married to someone from New England (although I tried it before meeting him, I've had the best chowders with Husband J). There's no way I can avoid eating this.

24. Cognac - Pass the Courvoisier (That was my party jam back in my party 20's. I love that song)!

25. Crabcake

26. Crickets - Really?! People eat these?

27. Currywurst

28. Dandelion wine -?!

29. Dulce de leche - Oh, yes. You can't leave Argentina without having had this. Best crepe ever coming up in a post.

30. Durian - :( Maybe I've been avoiding the smell?

31. Eel

32. Eggs Benedict

33. Fish Tacos

34. Foie Gras - Yes, I'm horrible for eating foie gras.

35. Fresh Spring Rolls (Is this supposed to be Summer Rolls?)

36. Fried Catfish

37. Fried Green Tomatoes

38. Fried Plaintain - I'd have to give up my Caribbean Person Card, if I haven't had this.

39. Frito Pie - I had to look this up. Interesting idea.

40. Frog's Legs

41. Fugu (Pufferfish) - Voluntarily eating poison? Hmm...

42. Funnel Cake

43. Gazpacho - I didn't learn to love this until a few years ago.

44. Goat - I love curry goat (another Caribbean dish).

45. Goat's Milk - I don't think cheese counts, so I'll have to look for this.

46. Goulash

47. Gumbo

48. Haggis - Husband J wants to go to Scotland, so maybe soon?

49. Head cheese

50. Heirloom Tomatoes - I can't wait for late in the summer when these are in season!

51. Honeycomb

52. Hostess Fruit Pie - Used to be a staple in my packed school lunch back in the day

53. Huevos Rancheros

54. Jerk Chicken - Again, my Caribbean Person Card would need to be forfeited. Here's some good jerk chicken I reviewed on the blog.

55. Kangaroo

56. Key Lime Pie - Not a big fan, actually

57. Kobe Beef

58. Lassi - This almost messed up my stomach while in India. More on that.....I usually like mango lassi.

59. Lobster

60. Mimosa

61. Moon Pie - I'm blanking about whether I've had this, so I'm going to say no.

62. Morel Mushrooms

63. Nettle Tea

64. Octopus

65. Oxtail Soup - I've had Oxtail but not in soup. Does that count? Half Point

66. Paella - It's hard to find well-made paella.

67. Paneer - No more paneer for awhile....I'm paneer-ed out from India.

68. Pastrami on Rye - NYer-ness is at stake here.

69. Pavlova - I tend not to like meringue...

70. Phaal - When I get over my Indian food overload, I may have to try this.

71. Philly Cheesesteak

72. Pho - I don't eat enough of this.

73. Pineapple Cottage Cheese - I haven't eaten cottage cheese in years.

74. Pistachio Ice Cream

75. Po' Boy

76. Pocky

77. Polenta

78. Prickly Pear - does having it a margarita count? Half Point.

79. Rabbit Stew - I've had rabbit but not in a stew. I'll give myself a half point.

80. Raw Oysters - With a little cocktail sauce or mignonette.......oh, yeah....

81. Root Beer Float - maybe once? I'm not really into root beer.

82. S'Mores

83. Sauerkraut

84. Sea Urchin - I'm blanking on whether I've had this, so I'm going to say no. I feel like I should have had this.

85. Shark

86. Snail - Escargot, mai ouis!

87. Snake

88. Soft Shell Crab - They were in season last month. In an upcoming post.

89. Som Tam (Green Papaya Salad)

90. Spaetzle - Not really a fan

91. Spam - Blanking...I feel like I would really remember if I've had this. I feel like it was part of a dish I've had, but I'm not sure.

92. Squirrel - I might have to pass....

93. Steak Tartare - Raw meat...I don't know about that.

94. Sweet Potato Fries

95. Sweetbreads

96. Tom Yum - I need to do another Thai restaurant review.

97. Umeboshi

98. Venison - I try to forget it's deer/antelope. :(

99. Wasabi Peas

100. Zucchini Flowers - I'm blanking on this, so another no.

69.5 out of 100 (including my half points). I feel like I could have gotten a few more points, if I could actually remember things. That's what happens when you reach my age. :)

Are any of these foods on your "No way" list of eating items? 

 Post your number in the comments section!

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Around Buenos Aires - The Capital City

Buenos Aires is Argentina's largest city as well as its capital, so it's really a grand, dignified kind of place. Swagger? Check! There are monuments everywhere, and you can easily find yourself wondering who is immortalized in yet another statue. I have to admit that I kept getting confused by many of the names of places because so many were named after dates important in Argentine history. What happened on July 9? May 25 is important because...? Oops...I'd read a little bit about Argentine history before leaving, but I guess it just wasn't enough.

The best places to see the grandeur of the city in all of its glory are in Buenos Aires' downtown. Many things are close together, and even for the ones that aren't, it's a nice walk getting there. By the way, B.A. is a walking city, so be prepared with some comfortable shoes.

Here are just a few of the national monuments or places of interest we saw.

Argentina has 23 provinces, and each is represented here at the Congreso Nacional (National Congress) by elected officials in two houses: the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies (the latter sounds kinda cool, doesn't it?).
in front of the Congreso Nacional Building 

I particularly liked this shield with all of the provincial seals on the building's front gate.

Here's a close up of the seal of Santa Cruz Province where we were heading in a few days to El Calafate and the Perito Moreno Glacier.

We headed over to Plaza de Mayo, a political hot spot where Argentines have come for generations to speak their minds about a variety of issues. One of the most important protests in recent memory has been the Madres de Plaza de Mayo (Mothers of Plaza de Mayo), who weekly held vigils to demand answers about the whereabouts of their missing adult children, many of whom were political prisoners that were kidnapped, tortured and killed during Argentina's military dictatorship in power from the 1970's to early 80's.

Since it's smack dab in the middle of the Plaza, you won't miss the Piramide de Mayo.
May 25, 1810 is the date commemorating Argentina of self-rule from the Spanish government.

A statue of Senor Manuel Belgrano, one of many important Argentine founding fathers is in the Plaza, too. This statue of him is in front of the Casa Gobierno aka Casa Rosada (see below).

This sign below is regarding the Malvinas/Falkland Islands. This year is the 30th Anniversary of the conflict between Argentina and the UK over rightful ownership of this small South Atlantic island chain. It was definitely back as part of the national conversation while we were in the country. 
In case you're interested in what this says, essentially it's a sign from ex-combatants of the Malvinas/Falklands War who believe that the government should bring greater public discussion about the Rattenbach Report, which attempts to explain Argentina's defeat in the Malvinas/Falklands War, and the plight of combatants. Many Argentines felt the war was an unnecessary military "intervention" propogated by the much reviled military dictatorship of that time. This part of Argentine history is pretty charged, for lack of a better word. Although that seems to be pretty commonplace. Read a little about 20th century Argentine history, and you might agree. 

Casa Rosada, at the end of Plaza de Mayo, is important since so much of early history of Buenos Aires unfolded right where it's located.  It's the official government house for the President of Argentina, although few have actually lived there recently.

It's where Ms. Evita herself spoke to the Argentine public from this very balcony. 

Historic, majestic, and political is definitely one way to describe Buenos Aires. 

I like capital cities since they teach me about a country's history and politics.  

Do you like visiting capital cities? Do you have a favorite capital city that you've visited? Which one? 

Programming Note

It's me again. :)

So I was reading my post on Pushkar and noticed a horrible mistake. I wrote "HOTELS are not allowed to serve meat..." and the lovely IPad autocorrect, put HOES!!!!! ARRRGGGGHHHH!!!! ***SHAKING FISTS IN ANGER** Mental note: No blogging on IPad for awhile. Anyway, I hope I didn't offend anyone. I don't use that word in everyday speech, so I am sorry that it made it onto the blog.

Also while I was gone and not blogging, Blogger decided to change up a bit. I'm actually in the process of moving the blog over to Wordpress very soon. If you notice things like off formatting, just know that I notice it, too.

I hope you enjoy today's post. India pics are coming soon!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Namaste, Y'all! Part II

Hey, everyone!

I'm finally back from India, and I hope to start blogging again soon. I've been trying to figure out how to encapsulate everything I saw and did in an intro-like post, but I think that may need to wait for right now (It's coming though). I'm also awake fighting both jet lag and a possible cold. It seems that I've been getting them after long haul flights (13 1/2 hours non-stop from Abu Dhabi to New York City! Eek!).

I should be posting regularly again from now on, so thanks for holding on during the hiatus of sorts.

I wanted to leave you with a short video that I used to love from the Garfield cartoons that I watched as a kid. I used to crack up at the name Abu Dhabi (Hey, I was 8!), but I ended up flying through this part of the United Arab Emirates to get back and forth from New Delhi.  I hope this brings back memories for someone (and that you don't think I'm too old).

Do you have any childhood memories that somehow cropped up in your travels?

Do you have anything in particular that you are interested in learning about regarding my trip to India? Definitely let me know in the comments section!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Howdy from Pushkar!

Hey, all! I'm still alive. :) I did want to let you know that if you're at all interested in some of the things I've been up to the past two weeks, please check me out on Facebook and Twitter. I've got updates and even a few pictures. Just click on the links on the top right. I'm currently in a small town called Pushkar for today and most of tomorrow. The town is completely vegetarian (no hoes are allowed to serve meat), and it's dry (no alcohol). There's some history to this that I'll explain. I'm off to get ready to ride a camel. :) I hope you had a great week! Happy weekend!

Updated: I meant Hotels not hoes!! Sigh....

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