This is why you endure the lengthy travel, airport meltdowns, Delhi belly and crushing jetlag- to get pictures of your cutie stripey kiddos posing among the ruins of a 15th century Hindu temple. All kidding aside it felt like our travel mojo really fell into place while journeying through Jaipur and Udaipur. While still bustling, crowded, sensory-overloading cities, they offer such beauty to the willing traveler.
One of the challenges of this trip is the amount of travel involved. From Bhutan we flew to Delhi where we stayed for a night before catching a flight to Jaipur. There are long car rides in hair-raising traffic back and forth from airports to hotels. Travel in India, whether by car, plane, boat or camel is not easy. This calls for serious stamina, both from us and the kids. The boys have been amazing- beyond amazing, really. I am immensely proud of them for their adaptability and adventurous little spirits. We are faring far better than I ever dreamed we would.
On previous trips we’ve tried not to fall prey to all the touristy stuff, but I’ll confess that is often the stuff kids love. Elephant rides, camel rides, boat rides, toy train rides….you catch my drift. While at first I’m rolling my eyes, it always ends up being a blast simply because of the boys unabashed exuberance. Such was the case when we took an elephant ride up to the Amer Fort along with the hoards of other tourists. The boys were pretty chuffed at the idea of riding an elephant (!!!) and of course once we were there, I was the one going insane over the painting- the colors, the patterns, the architecture. This is what I love about the region in general- the colors. The women in their bright saris against the dusty landscape, the brightly painted homes, the little shops packed to the brim with this and that.
Perhaps our favorite outing was one that happened by pure chance while driving in the outskirts of Udaipur. We wanted to see some of the rural landscape and villages. When a herd of goats passed us by, I asked to stop- the scene was just too beautiful to miss. Our “quick stop” turned into an afternoon of touring the goat-herders farm, and being invited for lunch at another family’s farm where our boys played trucks with their five boys. Without knowing us, they fed us and welcoming us into their lived for the afternoon (poor Vik- everyone wants to hold him- from Bhutan to Udaipur- he can’t escape it and our rule of thumb is if you can catch him, you can hold him!).
We’re back in Delhi now (hence the blog post- internet again, hooray!) and I think we’re all pretty beat. I’m hearing reports of freezing temps and blustery snowstorms back home, but I am still missing Providence. I miss good coffee, chocolate chip cookies, our family and friends, down time to knit and watch my shows (Downton Season 4 I’M COMING FOR YOU!), driving my own car, big leafy green salads and sleeping in our own rooms…and not necessarily in that order! And for those of you that have asked, I am planning a post of traveling with kids- some of the offbeat things that worked for us- and I promise it won’t be all those super obvious ones (pack snacks for the plane- wow, really, would have never thought of that!?). I’ll also be laying out some of the realities of our trip- it is not all marigold garlands and baskets of roses…traveling (especially in a third world country) has its challenges, and when you add kids in the mix, things get really interesting. More on that in a bit. To all our friends back home…stay warm and cozy!