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India part 3…. Delhi and Agra

30 Jan

We spent the night in Mumbai. We didn’t leave our hotel… we just lounged around and watched television. It was wonderful.

The next day we laid around some more and then went to the airport to catch our flight to Delhi. We flew on an airline named Spice Jet. We thought that it was a fun name, but it was also fairly cheap. You had to pay for all of the snacks and drinks. So, we didn’t have anything.DSC_0406

Once we got to Delhi, we met up with our tour guide. He was very wonderful and he helped us get to our hotel and check in. This was New Years Eve and we were hoping that our hotel would have a wonderful party for us to go to. They had some pretty awesome parties if you wanted to cut your legs off to attend them. Some of them were around $500 for us to attend. Um… no thank you. Instead we ordered room service and went to the classy bar and had some drinks.

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The next morning, we headed our for our tour of Delhi. We went to the largest mosque in India and I had to wear this awesome gown.

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We took a rickshaw ride through the streets of Old Delhi. It was pretty cold but it was a lot of fun. Also, it was such an awesome way to start out the new year.

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This is probably one of my favorite pictures from our trip in Delhi… GOATS IN COATS! Please notice the one in the black coat with its hood up. Holla!

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We visited Ghandi’s cremation site.

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We played around at another site.

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People loved to take pictures of us while we were waiting for our food. Totally awkward but oh well. We also went to another mosque.

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After a day of touring Delhi, the next morning we set out for Agra. It is a 3 hour drive so that was a nice little nap. But seriously… it is totally worth it to see this beautiful building and to check another thing off of the bucket list.

The Taj.

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The final picture from our trip, me bowling. We had a bowling alley in our hotel. So awesome. Later that night, we had a wonderful dinner and the next morning we woke up with food poisoning. Very sad.

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I had so much fun on this trip. It was a wonderful adventure and I feel so blessed that I was able to do this with my best friend. I love you babe!

India Part 2… Mumbai and Goa

29 Jan

Our second day in Mumbai consisted of TGI Fridays and  a lovely shopping mall. We wanted to go see a movie but the times didn’t work out well with our flight to Goa.

We knew that people might think that we were crazy for eating American food in India. Well, when you can’t get American food all of the time, you eat it at every opportunity that you can! So, we nommed away at our TGI Friday’s food. It was delicious and soooo good. It was also our most expensive meal the ENTIRE trip!

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We flew to Goa. It was only an hour flight and so worth it. I really wanted to ride on a train and have the experience of that but, we didn’t have time and we couldn’t figure out how to buy the tickets in time. We were also told that it was safer to fly because the trains can be a bit scary. When we went to board our flight, we walked right outside and this bus was waiting for us. We were a bit surprised because it seems like this is the common way to board flights in India. We did this for almost EVERY flight that we took.

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Once we got to Goa, it was late so we just relaxed at our hotel and ate in the restaurant there. It was really cheap and had delicious food. The next day we hired another taxi to drive us around and show us the sites. I read about a spice plantation tour in our Lonely Planet book that I got for free at our hostel in Beijing. I was pretty excited about that since that book normally costs about $75 USD!

The plantation was a lot of fun. It was really neat to get to see what the spices look like growing in the wild. We had a delicious lunch and then afterwards we got to ride on an elephant for $2!!

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We then went to see some pretty awesome churches. It was really cool to see the Portuguese influence on the Indian culture.

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We then asked to go to the beach so I could dip my feet in the Indian Ocean. Yet ANOTHER thing to check off of my bucket list. Sah-weet!

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We ate dinner in our hotel again. This is just a picture of our delicious feast that we had. The entire meal cost us about $12.

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The next day we got ANOTHER taxi and had this one take us to the beach. We were only there for a few hours but it was well worth it. It was so warm and just nice to be able to have a drink while looking out at the ocean. This was probably one of my favorite days on our trip.

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After that we flew back to Mumbai for the evening and then the next day we were headed to Delhi.

India part 3, Delhi and Agra coming up next….

India- part 1… Mumbai

28 Jan

I have always dreamed of going to India. It started with the magic of Aladdin, even though that isn’t “set” in India. I have always loved bright colors and the thought of seeing the Taj Mahal. If you head over to my bucket list, you’ll see that just going to India was one of the things that I wanted to do before I die. Well, I did.

We flew from Beijing to Mumbai. It took an entire day to do that. We got to Mumbai and to our hotel around 3 am. My first impression of India was a little scary. We were dropped off by a taxi and the driver left before our hotel had the door open. I was a little freaked out and almost in tears. But, the next morning was MUCH better.

The first day we hired a taxi and Nawab drove us all around. He showed us the main sites of Mumbai. First we went to this place that is called Laundry. Hotels and businesses bring their linens here so that these people will wash them and get paid. You can see that this is in a slum.

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Next we went to Victoria Terminus. If you’ve ever seen Slumdog Millionaire, you will recognize this place.

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Across the street was McDonalds. We HAD to go. Being that we were in India and Indians don’t eat cow… we thought that it would be a great experience.

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We headed over to The Gateway to India. Here we had some fun experiences. We saw the gateway which was pretty awesome.

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Then we were “blessed” by a holy man.

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After this, we asked Nawab if he knew of Starbucks Coffee. It just came to India in October 2012 so we thought that it was likely that he didn’t know where it would be. But alas he asked another taxi driver and we were SO thankful to get to go here.

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We saw the ocean, or the bay… and the skyline. It was nice.

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We were so hungry at this point, we didn’t care what we ate. We headed across the street from our hotel to a vegetarian restaurant. It was delicious. We ended up eating a bunch of food for about $5 for the both of us. We couldn’t believe it!

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Tomorrow… Mumbai day 2 and Goa

China part 3

26 Jan

The main reason why we wanted to go to China was to climb the Great Wall. We only had 3 days in China so not much time to squeeze it in. We decided to do it on Christmas Day. Such an amazing experience!

We had to drive around 3 hours out of Beijing to get to the wall. When we got there I seriously thought that I was going to freeze to death. It was -29 oC!!!! For all you non metric people that is -20 oF!!! SO COLD! Thankfully the sun was out and there wasn’t much wind.

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It may look like we are photoshopped but I promise.. we aren’t. It was just THE perfect spot to take a picture with some of the wall in the background.

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Now some of you may think that walking along the wall is easy. Well, some parts maybe but the part that we CLIMBED first was super crazy. There was snow and ice and not many hand rails. This picture just depicts one of the few handrails that we saw that day.

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CLIMBING the wall

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It was such a beautiful Christmas morning. Probably one of my favorite Christmas mornings EVER.

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This is one of my favorite pictures from our trip. I love it.

After our tour, we went back to our hostel and attempted to warm up a bit. We hadn’t had any dinner or street food so we headed out to find something to eat. We ended up finding this street that had all kinds of crazy food.

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That’s right… starfish, seahorses, snake… you name it. Scary.

Aaron decided that he was going to try some delicious food from this one stall that all of the locals were going to…

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It smelled like he was eating poop. Gag. I couldn’t walk near him and needless to say he couldn’t finish it. After we returned to Japan and I had told this story to one of our coworkers, we found out it was ROTTEN tofu!

Our time in China was short but we made lots of memories and learned that Chinese people love to spit anywhere.

China part 2

24 Jan

The first full day that we were in China, we decided to figure out the subway system and go to the Forbidden City.

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This is THE palace of so many dynasties. It was really awesome to get to walk around where Emperors walked thousands of years ago. But once we got inside we realized that we were STARVING because we didn’t eat breakfast. So, we ate some traditional Chinese dumplings.

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We sat inside this tiny restaurant so thankful that it was *somewhat* warm. We were freezing our faces off. Thankfully we put on so many layers that we weren’t frozen to the bone… yet. After breakfast we walked around and I rented an automatic guide. It was nice but after a while, everything started to look the same. Kinda unfortunate.

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After we decided that we had enough of the Forbidden City, we walked down the street a ways to find a bus to hop on to take us back to the subway station. Now this is where the adventure really begins. We got on the bus and we are riding along, we wanted to find a place with WIFI, I look out the window and see McDonald’s and I am off the bus in a flash of lightning. We wanted to eat McDonald’s in China to see what it tasted like compared to Japanese McDonald’s.

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We then got back on the bus to what we thought would take us to the subway station. WRONG. We were taken to some bus stop and they told us all to get off. We had NO idea where we were. After we walked around a bit, we  I decided that Aaron should hail a cab. I’m sure he loves hailing cabs by now. :] We told our taxi driver to take us to Tiananmen Square. We were in the car for over 45 minutes. I’m sure we were on the other side of town. Woopsy.

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Before we headed back to our hostel, we decided that we should get Starbucks.

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Later that evening we decided that we wanted to go to an acrobat show. It was awesome. I am so amazed at the craziness that happened during that show. People standing on a free-standing lader while holding a bunch of other people off of your body. Don’t believe me… look at this picture!

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Madness.

But what also is madness, 5 men riding motorcycles in a steel cage. The picture doesn’t do it justice but you gotta believe me.

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After the show we headed back to our hostel because we had to rest up for our adventure to the Great Wall for Christmas Day!

Part 3 coming up tomorrow.

China part 1

23 Jan

I have always dreamed about going to China. I fell in love with the way that it was portrayed through movies and I loved reading about it in books. I always knew that I would go to China and climb the Great Wall but I never knew that I would do it over Christmas.

Over Christmas vacation, my boyfriend and I headed to China. We wanted to climb the Great Wall and see some other things in Beijing. It was a trip that I will never forget.

The first night that we got there, we walked around for almost 45 minutes trying to find our hostel. We were walking down the wrong street. It was horribly cold outside and we had our backpacks. Finally I asked Aaron if he would attempt to hail a taxi for us. This little old man stopped and we weren’t sure what to think of it. Let me try and paint a picture of it for you. It was a man who was probably 60 or so on this scooter. On the back of the scooter was a wooden box. He told us that it would be 10 Yuan for a ride. The box that we got into was seriously SO small and both of us had our backpacks. Thankfully we fit and he brought us to our hotel. It was pretty awesome.

Once we got to our hostel, we met a girl who was staying in our room with us. She had been traveling around China for 10 weeks. She took us out to dinner down the street. We had this delicious noodle soup. You had to pick whatever you wanted and they were all on sticks.

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They then made it into a soup. It was so wonderful and spicy!

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After all of that madness we headed back for our showers and we were out before 10pm. We felt a little lame but it’s vacation… you can relax and sleep as much as you want.

I’ll post another post about all of the touristy things that we did. Stay tuned. :]

Hong to the Kong Ya’ll!

25 May

At the end of March… I know so long ago… I went to Hong Kong and Macau with my friend Christina for Spring Break.

BEST VACATION EVER.

I fell in LOVE with Hong Kong.

There were so many great things about Hong Kong that I don’t know if I will be able to list them all.

Hong Kong has… great food, people that make this loud American girl feel quiet, EVERYONE SPEAKS ENGLISH, Disney Land, cheep shops, transportation everywhere, the feel of a city but also an island and of course… more amazing food.

I wasn’t sure if I would be bored while I was in Hong Kong because I thought maybe there wouldn’t be enough to do… man was I wrong. I feel like Christina and I left our hotel at 10 or 11 and didn’t get back until 10 or so every night. We were busy all day long.

One day we decided to hop on over to Macau. It is another island that has its own government separate from mainland China. The main reason why I wanted to go to Macau is because I wanted to jump off of Macau tower.

So after touring around the city, I DID jump off of that tower… oh man was it the scariest thing I have ever done. 764 feet.

JUMPING!!!!

I’m gald that I was able to go to Hong Kong and do/ eat lots of crazy things. I really hope that sometime soon, I will be able to go back.

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