India trip part 1 of …?

Whew, we made it to India in one piece. I didn’t think we’d have an ounce of sanity left upon arrival but it actually went surprisingly (wonderfully) well.

The trip started with E dropping my mum and all the luggage off at Rosslyn station to wait for the bus. He then came home and we loaded the boys into the Kelty’s and jumped on another bus, then metro, to meet her.

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Here we are with the mountains of luggage waiting for the bus to Dulles airport. Yes, the bus driver did think we were nuts for hauling 3 adults, 2 infants, and 6 suitcases on a bus for an hour drive, but honestly we didn’t have much of a choice. Main problem? Taxis and Super Shuttle-like businesses will not pick you up at home with infants and drive you anywhere without car seats. And since we weren’t taking the car seats to India (rickshaws don’t have seat belts, never mind clips), we had to figure out another way to get to the airport.

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Anyway, we made it to Dulles, checked the bags and boarded a pretty full flight to Frankfurt. United was unable to accommodate our requests for bassinets (therefore bulkhead seats), and the “vegetarian, non-dairy” meals (for Oliver’s egg and milk allergies) were a joke. Seriously, the breakfast was a dinner roll, which had milk in it, and a cup of apple sauce. The one saving grace is that we had a seat free next to two of ours, therefore when the boys fell asleep, we were able to lay them down on the seat and let them stretch out.

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Unlike the trip to Dallas at the end of May, the boys were so well-behaved and almost dare I say it happy in the air. We did learn from our mistakes and take lollipops for takeoff and landing instead of relying on bottles, since you can’t always guarantee that they’ll want a bottle right then, or that they’ll continue to drink the entire ascent/descent. However, the Dum-Dum’s were so sticky and we had such a hard time prying the empty sticks out of their sugary hands, that by the landing in Bangalore we learned again from our mistakes and chose to use organic fruit strips instead. They were sweet, so the boys sucked on them, but less messy and no sticks to worry about. Worked like magic.

Our three-hour layover in FRA was uneventful; just gave us enough time to stretch our legs and change the boys. There was a ridiculous moment, though, when E went to use the family bathroom (the only one with a changing table). I suddenly noticed he’d been standing outside the door waiting for ten minutes and went to see what the hold-up was. He asked me to knock and see if anyone was in there, although he’d already tried twice. I approach the door and my eyes wander down to a sign attached below the handle. The first bit was in German, with the English translation underneath, “This bathroom is closed”. So simple, yet E only saw the line in German and thought, “Oh, not meant for me”. I almost wish I hadn’t pointed it out; I think he would have waited an hour there. Too bad we had a flight to catch.

Our second leg was with Lufthansa, and the difference between the two airlines was like night and day. We were given bulkhead seats with these amazing bassinets that locked on the wall, so we had leg room and our own laps free. They gave us blankets for the boys, good food, and a great movie selection.

Sidenote: Before we left the States, I’d downloaded a sample of The Hunger Games to my NOOK and got hooked. However, I forgot to download the full book, so when I saw they had the movie onboard, I went against all that I believe in, and watched the movie before reading the book. Of course I loved it and am now dying to get busy on the second and third books (plus, I still want to read the first to see how it differed from the movie).

At 12:30am local time Friday, we landed in Bangalore and about dropped dead from exhaustion by the time we made it through customs and out into the awesomely hot, sticky night.

I forgot until that moment the unique smell India has. It’s unlike anything in the US; I’d say it’s a mix of lush vegetation, water droplets in the air, heavy spices, marigolds, jasmine, and incense. Heavenly.

Although my Nana lives just south of Bangalore and it’s where we’ll be staying in a week, the drive from the airport is over an hour each way. To save time, we chose to bunk in a nearby hotel for the few hours before our flight to Goa.

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When the sun came up, the boys had a field day cruising around on the rooftop deck.

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Eli even tested his muscles in the gym…

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And then we hopped on a relatively painless one hour flight to Goa along with my Nana, Auntie Wendy, and Uncle Ryan. Blue skies and sunshine awaited us, despite the fact that it’s monsoon season. And that’s where we are now, settling into the Haati Mahal resort near Cavelossim beach in south Goa. Can’t wait to see how the week pans out, but you know I’ll have lots of photos to share by the end.

*The internet was worse than spotty at the resort, so I’m just now posting this a week later. We actually left Goa today and flew back to Bangalore, but I wanted to post this as it was and I’ll be back soon with stories of the past week. Until then, keep your fingers crossed for good weather in Bangalore. Oh and I did this in a hurry from my iPhone, so blame autocorrect if there are horrendous spelling mistakes or bits that don’t make sense, and obviously they’re all phone pics, but you know I’ve got hundreds already on my Canon to post later.