After flying from Delhi to Cochin with great laughters in between it all, we arrived to this meal.  FINALLY–Kaci, Mel, and I ventured out and tried food in the restuarant.  Our friend’s family we stayed with was protecting us from trying any type of street food so we won’t get sick.  You would think three nurses would be more careful.  This moment felt like our childhood again–we know we shouldn’t and we did anyways.  Ohh that pineapple juice shake..YES we tried it.  My crazy body and the no spicy food rule.  I took a second venture and ate the REALLY spicy food anyways knowing what it will do to me later. It was delish!!!  We ordered chicken fried rice, fish curry, and butter chicken.  WOW!  In the mean while the meal was great and we glad we ventured out.  More to come later on what happened later on that day!

Adventures, Art, Design

Taj Mahal


On the express way to get from Noida to Agra we drove in complete thick, white fog. This was pretty thrilling and scary simultaneously.  Due to the danger of driving like you were blind a detour into the inner streets to get to Agra.  This reminded me of the days driving early from Belle Glade to get to West Palm Beach.  So instead of going the inner routes that would have took us 3 hours to get to Agra, the express way (2 hours) was no good and it took us a complete 4 hours to get there. that moment I told myself this better be worth it!


 Local farmers selling their goods while there was crazy traffic and I felt like we were not going to survive.  The drivers and driving here is out of this world.  I have experienced this once before in Vietnam a decade and half ago and it wasn’t half as bad as this.  I would start having tachycardia as we make a turn and another car or motorcycle looks like they are about to T-bone us. Ahhhh…CRAZY!


We finally arrived and I came across these camels.


Ahhhmazingly enough I was able to ride one.  My that wooden handmade seat was oh so not comfortable!  The camel’s caretaker made me ride it all the way to the Taj Mahal entrance!!! What an experience already…

What a beautiful story.  To hear it is one thing and to walk the palace and be on its ground took me to another level.  As our tour guide gave us the intricate detailed story of how this palace came about I was having chills of romance rush! Taj means Crown and Mahal means palace.  Mughal emperor Shah Hahan built the palace upon his third’s wife, Mumtaz Mahal’s death wish.  There are four entrance to this palace and the North entrance is the main gate to get to the Taj Mahal.  Above this entrance is 11 domes in the front and 11 domes in the back to represent the years it took to build the Taj Mahal.  It is built our of white marble mausoleum.  Everything surrounding this palace is symmetrical besides Mumataz’s tomb, which is the central focus of the entire complex of Taj Mahal.  Here are some photos to share of the intricate details I was admiring.  I was lucky enough to be able to ride a camel to the Taj Mahal front entrance.


The corridors the  20,000 workers each slept in while building this palace.


North entrance “GREAT GATE” into the Taj Mahal made of red sandstone walls.



Arabic calligraphy.  From top to bottom of the sides of the North entrance “great gate”.  The writing says: “O Soul, thou art at rest. Return to the Lord at peace with Him, and He at peace with you.”


These precious red stones from Afghan surrounds the building of the Taj Mahal and the gates.  When there is a full moon the light reflects onto the red stones and lights it up like red fire.


The water reflection pool.IMG_4144

The Great palace: Taj Mahal.


Our tour guy was our personal photographer as well. He did a pretty good job at placing me for this photo.


Melody (my plus one on this trip) and Shreya (our lovely hostess).


Water reflection pool while standing on the grounds of the Taj Mahal.IMG_4159


Shoe covers to keep the floors clean.


The front of the Taj Mahal details.


Taj Mahal Minaret.  There is one on each corner of the Taj.


The entrance of each Minaret.


Inside the Taj Mahal looking through the hexagons to see the guest house.  There were no pictures allowed inside the tomb sight area.

There you have it, that was my experience of the Taj Mahal.  More photos of the Taj Mahal experience via my instagram.  This should be on everyone’s bucket list to check off if you are heading over to INDIA!  Glad Mel and I had a chance to see this!

Once again, jet lagging on day 3!


NOIDA stay.


IMG_4031 IMG_4033




Mel and I stayed at our friend’s family house in Noida, India.  The great generosity these people shared with us was greater than we had expected.  I won’t forget this experience of GREAT and ahhhhmazing hospitality.  From the generous opening of their home to us and the personal chef and drivers provided to us.  This started our trip out so right and so BLESSED!  We want to thank the Malhotra’s for opening your doors to us and sharing the great experience of home cook meals.  Very family oriented for every meal we ate at home.  Chit-chat around the dinner table allowed bonding time, which was great!  A room provided to us with warm water and mineral drinking water during our stay in Noida.  Fresh farmers market filled with vegetables and fruits nearby.  The little things that matter when your traveling!!  Chai every morning and afternoon was a MUST!  I have a new found love for chai with spices!  Thank you Rohit for making this happen.  Without your connection we would not have been able to experience this.  Many more India post to come.  I am up jet lagging, so decided what the heck might as well do some blogging. I have been waking up same time everyday and unable to go back to sleep until 5-6 AM.  Ahh one more day of work and I get to rest up for two days before next week’s start!

Adventures, illustrator

Update of India Bucketlist


Plenty was not checked off of my list and overall I still had great times with the unexpected plans. Sessions of sifting through the photos has begun and i am organizing them in sections to share with you. So stay tune in mean time.

Adventures, Art, Design, illustrator



Bucket lists can be small, big, adventurous as you want it to be… It’s whatever you want to make of it. Before arriving to India these were the things Mel and I had in mind and its been going as planned! I hope to have this all checked off by the end of my trip…doesn’t hurt to be hopeful you never know what will come your way! I will be disconnected for a few days and when I can reconnect with you all, ( which is probably when I return to the states) many photos and more experiences to share.

Happy Saturday!!!



Adventures, Art, illustrator, Inspirational juice of the day.

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