Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Emma's Birthday

My sweet little Emma turned 1 in February. I hate it when they turn 1! I always go to bed shedding a few tears that night because it means they are growing up and it's happening a lot faster than I thought, and catches me off guard. She's so sweet and happy and we absolutely adore her. Happy Birthday little Emma lulu.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


It's only taken me several months to post about my trip to India... o wellllllll...
As a few months have passed I can still say that India is not my cup of tea... I love to explore and have adventures but I wouldn't/didn't feel comfortable in India without my husband. The mass amount of people is chaotic, especially since 99% of them are men and seems like they all just stand there in the street for a living staring at you. No joke where are the woman? At home.

I was in India for two days, so it was enough to get a feel for it but some may not agree. I think India has a horrible first impression (think runaway!), if you're not prepared. I think if I could spend a good amount of time there, through the whole country I think I would really like it a lot, especially with Aaron.

We had arranged for a driver for the days we were there. It was about $190 I believe for him to be with us basically 24/7 and that included everything plus a 4 hour drive to Agra to see the Taj Mahal with an English tour guide. I found this driver through trip advisor, click HERE. He unfortunately was not available and said that his brother Monu could drive for us. They provided a nice Toyota SUV that fit the four of us fine and it had AC, but in February that wasn't a problem. Monu was a nice, safe driver. I thought it was interesting when my dad asked him how India as whole felt about Obama as our president. He said we love Obama... I was like whattt??? Thumbs down...
We got there in the afternoon, where we straight to the hotel to check-in and afterward headed out for some evening sight-seeing. We went to Qutub Minar in Delhi... it was cool. The grounds were pretty to walk around. The ticket line for foreigners to Indians was like 1:50. That was a first.

My parents wanted to look at some rugs and so he took us to a place. It didn't work out. But then we headed to a restaurant for dinner called The Panchshila Rendezvous in New Delhi. This was on recommendation from our driver and I wasn't sure what to expect, but it was nice. We pulled up and it was definitely one of the nicer buildings all lit up with white lights. They sat us right away and we ordered. Since we are familiar with India food, we had an idea of what we wanted and didn't have any problems ordering. It was pretty good!!! I can't say it was better than what I have had here in the states, but it definitely was good. So all in all I really liked this place.

The next morning we woke up at the crack of dawn and headed for Agra. The drive was beautiful once we got out of the city. The country was just so pretty, especially when you compare to the the deteriorating buildings and slums of the city. The craziest part of India is the ANIMALS!! I mean we saw everything walking down the road along side of us as if they were cars too!! Cows, dogs, cats, monkeys, goats, etc... When I saw monkeys, I was like are you kidding?! I'm so glad I wasn't driving! Not to mention the sheer amount of people they can stuff in a car (see pictures).

When we arrived in Agra which is a small city, we randomly pulled over and picked up this guy who happened to be our tour guide, but it was random. We then went to a place called Taj Darbar for some breakfast. There was no one else there except us. They had some American plates on the menu, and if I remember right some one ordered scramble eggs, and they came out like watery yellow mush... but I ordered an Indian breakfast called Paratha. It was soooo good! I ended up ordering another order and we ate it all.
As we arrived at the Taj Mahal with our tour guide, we were dropped off at a place down the street where we bought tickets and then took a tuck tuck to the entrance. We walked right in without a wait and our tour began. I can't remember the guides name, but his english was fantastic. He was knowledgeable and gave us everything you would want to hear/know. He then teased us about taking pictures AFTER asking us if we wanted him to take a picture of us and that the first one was free and then he would start charging!!! LOL! And as the day went on people were asking us to take a picture with them, and our tour guide said you should charge them! LOL again! He says a lot of people who travel to the Taj Mahal have never been anywhere nor ever seen a white person! So they stare.
But really, what you don't see in the pictures of The Taj Mahal are the surroundings. It's beautiful. The pools, gardens, and other buildings are amazing. It's huge! It doesn't seem real that I was there. We didn't have take off our shoes to go inside, they had footies to go over your shoes. But as you exit there is a huge area where I guess the majority of people put their shoes into an area and it looked like chaos. We sat on the benches outside that looked toward the Taj Mahal while our guide told us facts and stories. It was perfect. The weather couldn't have been more ideal. It is definitely worth going to if you ever decide to go to India, I believe it is a must even if that is the only reason why you are going! We ran into a group of school kids that had driven up from Southern India. They were so excited to meet us, and talk, and take pictures. They were probably about 12 years old I think. On our way out there was a group of young girls and their mom's and they were dressed so amazing! The bright colors are just ahhh! I told them they looked beautiful and if I could take a picture with them haha... The Taj Mahal was probably my favorite part of the trip. Afterward, I really wanted to go to the local market right there in Agra because the lady at my Wells Fargo was like you need to go there! It's better than the markets in Delhi... I was bummed because 1. We didn't really have time 2. When I mentioned it the driver, he was like no. Of course if were gonna buy something he has to take us to his people so he can get a cut. We drove back to Delhi and he took us to this place for rugs, and he said they have jewelry too, and spices. Because I really wanted some spices! They had beautiful rugs!!! But their jewelry was awful and so were their spices. I was disappointed to not make it to an outdoor market. That's one of the things I really don't like about drivers, especially this one.
 It was then time for us to head back to the hotel and start packing up because we were on the red eye back home that night. My sister and I flew home together and as we were going through security no joke the security shmucks harassed me. Not to mention it's a little scary to walk into an airport where the military is patrolling and they carry these huge bazooka guns! My bag goes through the scan and they tell me there's a water bottle in my bag... I'm like no, but you can check... so two guys no joke pulled apart my entire bag and took everything out, looking through everything! One of them even winked at me!!!!! Barf... I was so irritated. I finally was like there is nothing in here! and started just throwing my stuff back in my bag not caring that it wasn't fitting and walking away with one boot on and one off... See ya India.

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Ps. You're the best dad! This is probably my favorite picture of you haha