29 November 2010

The most beautiful building in the world

Possibly the best part about traveling is getting to those places and seeing those things that just make you stop and stare. Wonder and amazement are not part of every day life...but they should be.

Sometimes if you travel enough or too much, you can get jaded and forget to enjoy all the sights, sounds and smells. You have to remember why you travel and to stop and smell the roses, enjoy every last detail.

Sometimes you expect to be disappointed because of the hype or by the presence of throngs of tourists.

...and then there are the times, that what you came to see is so absolutely amazing nothing could take away from the experience. I travel....a lot. I have been many places and seen many things.

Nothing prepared me for the Taj Mahal. This is why I travel.

Waiting in line for over an hour to get onto the grounds, constantly harassed by shop keepers and touts, the brutal heat......it didn't matter. The minute I could see the Taj Mahal through the gates of the main gateway, it was worth every minute waiting in line and every minute of the trip to India.

As we emerged from the gate, I understood what people have said for hundreds of years...the Taj Mahal is the most beautiful building in the world. It just is.

Jaw dropping....inspiring....I was at a loss for words. We wandered around the grounds and the building...went inside...wandered around more. What a beautiful place...absolutely breath taking.

We got loads of pictures. Literally hundreds.

We sat around and admired this beautiful, beautiful place.

Above, Will enjoying the view.

We stayed at a really crappy hotel that was under construction and was absolutely horrible in every category...except for one.

The view from the roof.

It was a great ending to a great trip.

The next day we took a taxi to a real hotel, not like the ones we had been staying in, and hung out by their pool all day, relaxing, drinking some cold beers and contemplating all the mysteries of India. What a fantastic freakin trip.

Guillaume, Will & Chris - India, August/September 2010

07 November 2010

The Pink City of Jaipur.

On the 11th day of our India trip, Will, Guillaume and I arrived in Jaipur, the capital of the Indian state of Rajasthan.

It was a short stay, only one day, but we got to see the biggest city in Rajasthan.

The Pink City is impressive, chaotic, dirty and beautiful.

We would've liked to stay longer, but we were anxious to get to Agra and the Taj Mahal.

03 November 2010

Down on the Farm

 I hadn't seen old Tampa neighbors Brett & Monica since they visited Ireland 2 years ago....but we got a chance to catch up when they were visiting Bretts family at the Farm near Houston.

Bretts family farm has been the subject of many stories over the years. Apparently growing up on a farm in Texas is quite dangerous....I had to see for myself. First order of business, touring the place on 4 wheelers.

 We grabbed a couple of Bretts friends kids, tossed them on the back, and headed out.

 Its a good thing we had the kids to keep us from tearing it up too much.

 It was a lot of fun. Brett got to show me all the sights, and I got to get comfortable on the 4 wheeler..which would come in handy later. :)

 The Farm is, of course, big and beautiful. Its completely different then where I grew up, but I was totally at home..down on the farm.

 The day was full of meeting new people, bbq, laughing and hanging out...but we also went out on the 4wheelers 4 times...sometimes, without the kids...muhuhahahahahahah!

 It was a really wonderful day. Thanks to Will on 4wheeler #3 for taking these pics.

..and thanks to the bulls for not charging when we were riding amongst the herd of cattle.