What a wonderful way to end a wonder-full year!
Tired but happy after two weeks with our daughter, along with her husband, and children (4 and 8) visiting India for the first time...no time to journal or blog between travel (Guntur to Hyderabad, Hyderabad to Guntur and one of 'our' villages, Guntur to Hyderabad, Hyderabad to Agra (via half day fog delay in Delhi), Agra to New Delhi, and Delhi-Hyd, Hyd-Gnt) by train, car, and taxi), visiting relatives (Hyd and Gnt), shopping (Hyd Bangle bazaar, Gnt handicraft mela--nada, Agra marble crafts, Delhi clothes and crafts--and of course a book, Shobha De's Indi-chick-lit SISTERS), sightseeing (Golconda Fort sound-and-light show w sleeping grand-kids, zoo w zoo train, and Charminar in Hyd, the Taj on foggy day in Agra, Red Fort, children's center and Lodi Gardens in Delhi) and staying and/or eating at wonderful hotels and restaurants. (Notably "Angeethi" in Hyderabad, styled as typical north Indian dhaba restaurant ala 'truck stop,' w. pottery-, clay bangle-, and henna demos thrown in) and "Lodi Garden Restaurant" in Delhi--fantastic Moroccan leg of lamb with garlic mashed potatoes and ratatouille--who would've thought?!)
Oh, and did I mention a children's playground (the Bal Bhavan was closed for a holiday) in Hyderabad, picnicking in a breezy kiosk overlooking the sunny beach...fine sand and waves being enjoyed by families and groups of friends as far as the eye can see in either direction on the Bay of Bengal in Surya Lanka (look it up--you know you want to!), dozens of dioramas depicting events in Indian history and mythology at the New Delhi Children's Museum, and Christmas Day among thousands of worshippers, dressed in their best and seated on red, white, or blue plastic chairs under vast shamianas all around our neighborhood Lutheran church?!
'And a good time was had by all' is a very great understatement. Loved it!