Monday, April 30, 2012


 Many of you have asked me 
who organized
our fabulous trip to India!

Vivek, of Elegant Journeys did! 
Here is his information:

ELEGANT JOURNEYS D-8 / 8048, Vasant Kunj New Delhi - 110070
India Phone India: (+91) 98-1153-9696 
USA: (+1) 855-790-8484 
Toll Free USA: (+1) 813-358-4455 
Local UK: (+44) 79-3741-3279 
Local Australia: (+61) 2-8011-3300
Local Email: 
Website: www.ElegantJourneys.CO

If you, or anyone you know, are planning
a trip to India.....give Vivek a call!
You certainly won't regret it!


It was certainly 
on the golf course yesterday morning!

Sunday, April 29, 2012


FRIDAY, APRIL 27, 2012




Yes, if you wait long enough here in Dubai....
you're almost always guaranteed a beautiful day!

Thursday, April 26, 2012


It is now official -- John and I will be staying in Dubai for a couple more years!  We are excited to continue our adventure here!  We are still learning what living in the Middle East is all about and still have things to accomplish!

John's position will be changing and he will be back doing what he does (and LOVES) best!  He will be traveling (and, hopefully, me too!) throughout the Middle East, Europe, India and Africa!

I am thrilled that Jonathan and Jason love Dubai because John and I certainly LOVE it when they come to visit!  (Hint, hint!)  And it's extra special when they bring friends along!
(Hint, hint!)

That being said, we totally miss friends and family back in the States.  But we'll be there SOON!  I leave May 17 and will, hopefully, see everyone while there for a two month visit!  And John will be coming in a bit later for a family reunion as well as visits with family and friends.  Let me tell you, WE CANNOT WAIT!!!

Just wanted to fill you in that it is now official!  And what does that actually mean?  Why, there's time for YOU to start making plans to come to Dubai and visit us!!!

Yup, it is OFFICIAL!!


Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Sorry, but I can't stop thinking about my time in India!  So I  decided to write down some of my memories so that I wouldn't forget them!  I LOVE my photographs....they are certainly worth a million words each, however, there were things that happened; things that were said; things that we saw that I found really special!  So here goes!!

1. Driving in India is absolutely unlike driving anywhere else I've ever been in the world!  Dubai pales in comparison (but I now understand why the taxi drivers from India here drive the way they do!).  While in our van, cruising from one place to another, our tour guide, Sonny, told us, "See that line in the middle of the road?  Here in India, it is just a suggestion!"  OMG, he was not kidding!  If there were three lanes on a road, that explained why there were six trucks driving parallel to each other!  OMG!

2. I think I mentioned that "Honk Please" is written in bright and fancy lettering on the back of most of the cars and trucks in India.  What I don't think I explained was that the drivers honk ALL THE TIME -- they honk to let other vehicles know they are passing.  AND IT'S ACCEPTED!  They smile at one another as they weave in and out of traffic!  All I could think about was "this would NEVER work in the States!"  When I think of the road rage that takes place there -- nope, it would NEVER work!  But, magically, it does work in India!  Yes, it is utter chaos...but it is organized chaos....and, yes, somehow it works!

3. The Indian people have the best balance in the world.  I kid you not!  They can balance five on a motorcycle with no problem.  Women sit sidewise and may have a toddler in one hand while holding an infant in the other -- all while balancing behind the driver.  Men and women sit cross-legged on top of buses and trucks that are overflowing with people, while driving down rough (and do I mean rough) roads.  It is absolutely unbelievable to see!  And I certainly don't want to forget how the people of India can squat FOR HOURS!  I hurt just thinking about it!!

4. "Don't put a frown on your forehead" was written on a sign at the airport.   What it meant was, that if you had a complaint about something to please tell someone about it so that it could be rectified. 

5. I asked one of our guides at what age can you get a driver's license in India.  He told us that anyone can drive -- age does not matter.  OMG!

6.  Another guide said he has seen taxis drive by that should hold a maximum of five people that actually have over ten passengers inside.  He said several of them in the front seat help the driver -- someone steers; another person pushes on the gas pedal; someone else shifts gears.  Again, OMG!

7.  The children of India are absolutely beautiful.  Their dark skin, white teeth, and gorgeous big brown eyes are a sight to behold.  Many of the infants and children have kohl (eyeliner) outlining their eyes.  It makes them look exotic as well as adorable.

8.  Amidst all the poverty and the garbage, men are sitting or squating in groups beside the roads everywhere.  I asked our guide what they were doing and he replied, "They are gossiping!"  It seems the men LOVE to sit around and talk about everyone!

9.  There is no trash service in India.  It just piles up EVERYWHERE.  Just imagine....

10.  Walking down streets in Delhi, Udaipur, Jaipur, Ranthambore and Agra are cows, pigs, monkeys, camels and elephants.  It is unbelievable to see!  I never thought I would get used to it (who could get used to seeing an elephant walking ahead of your vehicle?), but used to it I did eventually get!!

11.  One tour guide told us that 90% of marriages in India are arranged.  That being said, they have a divorce rate of 1%.  Hmmmmm.

12.  Weddings are a HUGE thing in India.  While we never actually attended a wedding while there, we did see evidence of them in the streets.  We were told that a marriage ceremony encompasses four days of processions, ceremonies, and parties with up to 1,500 guests!

13.  Every morning milk is brought into town in stainless steel containers.  People bring their smaller containers and fill them with the milk they deem the best.  (They actually open the lids, put their hands it the milk, and scoop some out to look at it and smell it!)  The milk is taken home and must be boiled before being used.  The Oberoi staff goes into town to purchase its milk, just like everyone else!  (Pass the vodka bottle, please!)

14.   The carpet vendors are pretty smart in India.  After we saw several demonstrations of how carpets are made we would be ushered into the stores and invited to shop.  At the same time, we were treated to beer, rum & name it!  I'll never ever forget Katie, hot and tired like the rest of us, saying under her breath, "Bring me another beer and I'll buy anything!"  Gosh, did we ever laugh, and guess what?  She bought something!

15.  Just thinking about our yoga in India makes me smile!

16.  The Oberoi hotels are absolutely wonderful places to stay.  Talk about "getting away from it all" -- WOW!!  But be warned: if you hear meowing -- it's those darn peacocks!

17.  Our guide, Raj, told us that people in India don't think about what they don't have.  They're not jealous of someone who has more than they do.  They simply are happy with what they do have....  With soooo many people with soooo little, it's almost impossible to imagine.  But the genuine smiles and waves I saw along the way proved this to be true.

18.  Katie and I went and saw the movie, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel  as soon as we got back to Dubai.  Sorry, it doesn't open in the States til next month.  But one line from that movie summed up, for me at least, how people in India regard life.  And I think we all can learn from these words:


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

THIS is India! Homeward Bound!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Last night we arrived in Gurgaon, India.

We saw our first highrise of the week,

and a sign that made us all chuckle!

in India: The Oberoi, Gurgaon.

It was a beautiful hotel, marked by sharp contrasts
to the previous Oberois where we have stayed 
throughout our journey.

First, and foremost, we were
NOT greeted by the hotel manager.
Second, we were NOT
given the traditional red dot to the forehead!
Third, there was NO welcoming drinks offered.
(However, there was a bottle of awesome wine in the room!)
And finally, the hotel was contemporary!

(Ready or Not -- it looked like it was back to reality for us!)

Vivek, the gentleman who put together
this FABULOUS trip for us (Elegant Journeys),
and his lovely wife met us for dinner
and then off we went for a night of Bollywood!!!


And, would you believe,
something happened that hadn't happened the entire trip....
my camera battery died!!!

The show was amazing; the venue was unbelievable;
it was truly a memorable LAST NIGHT!

That brings us to TODAY, Wednesday, April 11.
It is time to head home!

Lots of memories were made the last 11 days.
Lots of visions will (hopefully) remain with me forever.

But, there's no place like HOME!

And THAT, my friends, was INDIA!!

Monday, April 23, 2012

THIS is India! AGRA! (Day Two)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Oh Lordy,
morning certainly came too early today!
We were up at "oh dark hour" so that we could be
across the river from
The Taj Mahal
at sunrise!

"Visit the Mughal Garden of Mehtab Bagh,
which is located
across from the Taj Mahal on the other side
of the Yamuna River. 
Enjoy a walk and view the the
Taj Mahal from across the river at sunrise."

I can honestly say, however, that it
was, oh, so worth the early wake up call!

Yes, memories were made
in the wee early hours this morning!

Next on the morning's agenda,
(after we couldn't think of another pose to take pictures of)
we visited the....

"Itmad-ud-Daulah, regarded as an imminent precursor
of the Taj Mahal.
(Also known as the Baby Taj.)
This memorial was built in the year 1628 by the
Mughal Emperor Jehangir's queen
as a memorial to her father.
Like the Taj, it has amazingly intricate
'Pietra Dura' inlay and lattice marble screens."

Then back to The (BEAUTIFUL) Oberoi
to relax
(for the briefest of moments)
and enjoy a quick

We LOOKED at the crisp blue water of the swimming pools,
and LOOKED at the comfy, padded chaise lounges,
and LOOKED at the awesome outside tables and chairs.....
we didn't have time 
(darn it)
to actually enjoy any of them!

Off we went, upstairs, to pack and to check out
of The (BEAUTIFUL) Oberoi.
We met Manoosh (we LOVE you, Manoosh!)
with our van (home away from home) for the trip
back to Delhi!

But we had one more stop before we left Agra behind!

"Visit Agra Fort, this first red sandstone fort
of North India.
It was built by Mughal Emperor Akbar in the year 1565.
Its royal audience halls, immense stone courtyards,
marble mosque and the private royal chambers
gives a glimpse of the grandeur and talent
for combining defensive architecture
with beauty and design of the
Mughal Empire."

I really hate to admit it,
but all four of us were "forted out" by this time!
So we were certainly grateful when "D"
recommended we finish the tour
with a drive by as
she filled us in with all the information!
(Thank you, "D"!!!!)

We experienced our very last (sob)
shopping adventure
with a stop at a leather shop.
Nope, we didn't see a demonstration this time, 
however, we WERE invited to shop.....and shop we did!

Here was our very last glimpse of the infamous
Taj Mahal!
Good bye Agra, India!

And we were on the road again,
with Manoosh at the wheel
of our comfortable, air-conditioned vehicle.
Ahhh, the sights from India's streets
were not quite as shocking now,
after seeing them
for the past ten days.
Oh, but how I'll miss these sights.

I will miss the women trying hard to clean
the raw garbage from
their meager homes and businesses.....

I will miss seeing laundry hung from bushes
and rooftops; laundry washed in the river
and left to dry on its banks....

I'll miss the children with their
big brown eyes,
their sparkling white teeth,
and their smiles.....

I'll miss the street vendors
with their rickety stands and shantys
selling their wares and their services
on the sides of the roads....

I'll miss the craziness of the crowded streets
with the ladies donning bright saris
riding sideways on motorcycles,
and the automatic rickshaws
honking and passing,
and honking again,
and men adorned in their
plaid or striped (or both) bed sheets.....

Yes, I will certainly miss the
sights and the smells
that are INDIA!!

And, without a doubt,
I will miss my
traveling buddies....

What a trip it was, it was!

Yes, THIS is India!  AGRA!