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  • The faces of India

    The common thread throughout all of my posts about India, was the hospitality and sincerity of the Indian people. I thought there was no better way to represent the feeling, than through their many faces. Enjoy.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    A few things you should know about India

    Before I visited India myself, I hadn’t really talked to anyone personally about their experience. Sure, I had friends of friends that had been, but that’s about it. I’m thankful that we used a travel company that specializes in India, and I know their service made the trip phenomenal. But after spending 10 days in India, there were things I’d wish I’d known about India and visiting there before I

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    Shopping in India…good grief!!

    Shopping in India was so different for me, that I find it hard to explain. At home, I’m not a big shopper. As for clothes, I follow the fit, not trends. As for home accessories, less is more. I tend to do more online shopping than anything else. Which helps earn points to travel more, of course. However, by our 4th day in India, I needed to buy another suitcase to

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    Eating in India

    Thinking about eating in India was something that made me really nervous before our trip. Stories of Delhi belly are infamous. It doesn’t help that when you live in the heartland of America, there aren’t a lot of Indian restaurants to frequent. Let’s just say that my exposure to Indian food was limited. I like spicy food a lot more than Gabi (my traveling companion this trip), so at least

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    Hotels in India

    Several friends that had already traveled to India, said do not pinch pennies on hotels. It will be worth it. We had no idea how true that really was until we experienced it for ourselves.

     

    Hotel grounds like you’ve never seen…in Udaipur.

     

    Choosing hotels in India was a different process than usual for me. I almost always try to earn or

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    Visiting Udaipur

    Visiting Udaipur in India was a great choice for us. Udaipur is one of the most picturesque cities in Rajasthan with beautiful lakes, hills, and of course, palaces. The famous Lake Palace sits on man made Lake Pichola, which sets it apart from the many other palaces that we had seen so far in India. So we spent an afternoon wandering yet another palace.

     

     

    One other thing that

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    Jaipur and the Amber Fort

    The Amber Fort is one of the iconic structures in India just outside of Jaipur. The Amber Fort was built in the 16th century and served as the capital before they moved it to Jaipur in the 1750’s. During the drive, the highway opens up to Maota Lake with the Amber Fort looming high above it.

     

    One day in Jaipur

    The city of Jaipur is also known as the Pink City. Pink is the color of hospitality. So when the Queen of England came to town in 1876, the Maharaja of Jaipur had the city painted pink to welcome her. The tradition stuck and eventually became law. I have to say that Jaipur was my favorite city on this trip. It seemed to all come together brilliantly. Our city guide

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    The abandoned capital of Fatehpur Sikri

    I promised you a little soap opera style story when it came to the abandoned capital of Fatehpur Sikri. This is a city easily accessible by those driving from Agra to Jaipur, whether on your own, or with a driver.

     

    Intricate carvings for the palace kitchen…

     

    The city of Fatehpur Sikri was built by Akbar, one of the Mughal Emperors. Also

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    Visiting the Taj Mahal

    While planning our trip to India, I read very little about the Taj Mahal. The Taj Mahal is located in Agra, about a 4 hour drive from New Delhi. As an iconic structure, the Taj Mahal is on many people’s bucket lists. Others call it a tourist trap. After traveling all that way to India, and being so close, there was no way we were going to miss it.

     

    A day in New Delhi

    New Delhi was the first city we explored on our trip to India. We booked a privately guided trip in India with a company called India Beat, that I found on Wendy Perrin’s Wow List. I followed Wendy Perrin while she was with Travel and Leisure magazine all those years, and continue to follow

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    Happy Holidays Everyone!!

    Just a quick post to wish everyone Happy Holidays. Junior and I got back yesterday evening from our long ski weekend in Beaver Creek. We are happy and grateful to be home, sharing this season with everyone we love. But it got me thinking about the different travels we’ve done during this holiday break over the years. So here are some flashback photos for you to enjoy..

    Adventures in Alaska – Fairbanks

    This Alaska series will cover traveling with Adventures by Disney as well as extending our trip and spending 4 days in the Alaskan Bush on our own.  Since our trip, ABD has changed the itinerary for this trip, so read the fine print.  This is NOT a sponsored post, what you read,

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    Lake Arenal Day 2 – Costa Rica

    Adventure time!!

    There are so many things to do in Costa Rica, it is hard to pick. The group tour we were on had free time built in so that we could choose a few of our own activities. We were trying to pick between Caves and Zip line. You can kayak through underground caves and swim around to see wildlife. It sounded pretty awesome, but since

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    Los Angeles beyond the mouse (part 3 of 3)

    So, we’ve already been to Hollywood and Beverly Hills. What’s left?

    Science.

    Our last day we decided to visit the Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits as well as Griffith Park.  The Tar Pits always interested me, but I wasn’t so sure about the boys. So we watched the movie Volcano (1997) with Tommy Lee Jones before we left home. Pathetic ploy, or genius

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    Los Angeles beyond the Mouse (part 2 of 3)

    Hooray for Hollywood!!

    There were two recurring themes when I told people we were going to the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  It is really touristy, and not the safest area.

    I would not to be deterred.  We went anyway.

    My plan was to get to Hollywood Boulevard around 10am when everything starts to open, and leave before dark. Then we gave the same speech we

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    Los Angeles beyond the Mouse (Part 1of 3)

    After a harsh winter it is nice to head to warmer climates in California.  So, we took a 7 day trip to Los Angeles for Spring Break last year.  I’m not gonna lie, we visited Disneyland first.  But all things Disney require a post of their own, so if that’s what you are looking for, you’re outta luck here.

    The nice thing about the hotels close to

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    The Big Apple without kids…let’s play!

    Since we’ve already covered the stay, move, and eat portion of New York City for couples, let’s get to all the fun things to do.

    Sleeping a little later, visiting the hotel gym, and maybe the spa are the easy no brainer ideas for couples to do on any trip without the kids.  But New York City has so many amazing things to offer, so let me

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    The Big Apple without children…sleep, move, and eat

    Hubby and I have been lucky enough to get to NYC without kids 3 or 4 times.  Here’s a few items on my eat, stay, and play list when traveling there as a couple.  From the middle of the country, it takes at least half a day to get to NYC.  So, here’s what we did on a recent long weekend visit in November.

    Where we rested

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    Snow, Snow and more Snow!!

    So, like most of the country, we are covered in snow.  The boys have had two snow days this week, and it looks like there will be a few more next week.  Isn’t it funny that we pay good money to spend all day and ski in this stuff in the mountains, but when it hits at home, we are stuck inside and complaining?

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    24 hours in New Orleans with kids

    Yes, internet.  You read that correctly.  Most people don’t consider New Orleans a top pick for kids. I am one of them. The last time I was there for business, I saw an ice cream truck parked on Bourbon Street mid-morning next to an establishment with a lingerie clad lady trying to entice customers inside. Calling her a lady is generous.

    But when you live in the

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    The Superdome for a Super Game!

    Let me preface this post by saying that Hubby is a sports fanatic. Sure, I like sports, some more than others, but maybe just not so many of them. Even before we got married we used spectator sports as a negotiation opportunity.

    Hubby: I want to see the Pittsburgh Steelers play this year.  

    Me: What city are they playing in that we can travel

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    Money Saving Tips in the Historic Triangle

    So you’ve booked your hotel and air travel for a trip to the Historic Triangle area in Virginia.  Now, how do you save money on meals and activities once you get there?  Here are some money saving tips:

    Staying at a Williamsburg property – If you get a package with tickets and breakfast included, you are way ahead of the game.  Because breakfast can be expensive and

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    Monticello with kids in the Winter!

    Thomas Jefferson’s speech in Williamsburg.

    Our visit to Monticello was the last stop after a 7 day trip to the Historic Triangle. I was a little nervous that I had used up all of my boys curiosity about history in the preceding 6 days.  Luckily, while at Williamsburg, I had made a point for us to listen to an actor’s speech as

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    Busch Gardens Christmas Town Review

    Our Christmas time visit to the Historic Triangle was full of history and education. Although this education was really fun at all the living museums, after a few days, my brain began to hurt. I was on information overload for sure.

    Luckily, Busch Gardens opens to reveal ChristmasTown during the holidays. The park is open from 3pm until 10pm and decorated with over six

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    Taking kids to the Yorktown Victory Center and Battlefield

    Just like Jamestown, a visit to Yorktown is comprised of two parts:

    Yorktown Victory Center: A center dedicated to recreating the revolutionary community during the period of colonial unrest through the formation of a new nation.

    Yorktown Battlefield: The site of the last major

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    Historic Jamestowne with kids

    Historic Jamestowne is the ACTUAL site of the first English settlement in America in 1607. How could you not take your kids to see that if you’re anywhere close?

    We started our adventure right after lunch. Historic Jamestowne is a part of the National Park Service. It is an actual island connected

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    Jamestown Settlement with your kids

    One of the most important things to glean from this post is that there are two places to soak in the history of Jamestown.

    Jamestown Settlement:  A recreation of the first permanent American settlement in 1607.  Yes, even before the pilgrims, people.

    Historic Jamestowne: The ACTUAL site of the first permanent American settlement. If you can believe it, no one thought to start digging around here

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    Eating in Colonial Williamsburg with kids

    The good news about eating in Colonial Williamsburg is there are tons of choices within walking distance. Basically you can eat in a pub or bakery on the main strip of the Colonial Town, or you can eat in the adjacent modern shopping area where restaurants abound.

    Shields Tavern view of the Fife and Drum march

    No matter where you

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    Happenings around the Colonial Town

    Ready to start the day in Colonial Williamsburg

    As part of my series on the historic triangle, I wanted to go over some of the things we did in Colonial Williamsburg.  My boys are ages 10-13 and I felt like it was the perfect age.  First order of business for kids is to buy a hat or rent a costume! The price

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    Colonial Williamsburg Christmas with kids

    We got a great recommendation from some locals that Christmas is the best time to visit Colonial Williamsburg with kids.  After spending 2 1/2 days there after Christmas in 2013, I can tell you their recommendation was spot on.  They have almost all of the same programs as they do during the crowded, hot, smelly summer season (those old costumes are hot, y’all),

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