Our trip to India!

Every few years, Kian's family takes a big international vacation to somewhere to catch up and bond as a family. The last time they went was Japan in fall 2011, and Kian was apparently a bit distracted talking to this girl he'd met online... fast forward 3 1/2 years, and that girl he'd met online found herself in Delhi, visiting the Taj Mahal, and so much as part of the family.

I'm so incredibly grateful to Kian's mom and dad, Caryl and Martin, for including me on this trip! Also joining us were Paul and Marta, Kian's older brother and his girlfriend, who we've visited in San Francisco. 

Travel selfie! The bus to NYC, where our journey began.

Travel selfie! The bus to NYC, where our journey began.

2014 and early 2015 have been incredible but astonishingly busy for me, so I couldn't have been more excited to unplug from everything here in DC and dive headfirst into adventure. Our first stop after our 13-hour Air India flight from JFK? Delhi, India's capital and an absolutely gigantic, sprawling city.  

We traveled with a tour group called SmarTours that the family has used before. One of the quirks is that Kian and Paul are always (by a lot) the youngest people on the trip... but this time I was! But everyone we travelled with was so, so nice, and very fun, including the group's elder statesman, Tom (and his wife Mary), who we got to know as our seatmate on the flight over.

If I wrote in detail about each and every part of our trip, this blog post would take as long to write as the trip took to experience, so here are some of my favorite moments and photos from the trip. Namaste!

 
A peaceful corner at Jama Masjid mosque, India's largest. I love how colorful!

A peaceful corner at Jama Masjid mosque, India's largest. I love how colorful!

 
Sunrise view from our hotel, the Sheraton Four Points, in Jaipur. Apparently the "Four Points" part is very important or your tuk tuk driver will take you to the wrong hotel.

Sunrise view from our hotel, the Sheraton Four Points, in Jaipur. Apparently the "Four Points" part is very important or your tuk tuk driver will take you to the wrong hotel.

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A glimpse of a side street of Jaipur's famous markets.

A glimpse of a side street of Jaipur's famous markets.

 
5 seconds after this photo was taken, this monkey scared me hard-core as he ran down a railing inches away from me.

5 seconds after this photo was taken, this monkey scared me hard-core as he ran down a railing inches away from me.

 
We got up before sunrise, and took a taxi across town to a budget hostel with the best sunrise rooftop cafe for a view of the Taj Mahal.  We were the second people at the rooftop cafe -- and all 3-4 tables that were occupied were full of travelers and students much closer to our age than the tour group.  A girl at the next table over abandoned her Fanta for a moment, and this enterprising monkey came along and stole it! After drinking the Fanta, he came looking for more and and I snapped what is possibly my favorite photo of all time.

We got up before sunrise, and took a taxi across town to a budget hostel with the best sunrise rooftop cafe for a view of the Taj Mahal. 

We were the second people at the rooftop cafe -- and all 3-4 tables that were occupied were full of travelers and students much closer to our age than the tour group. 

A girl at the next table over abandoned her Fanta for a moment, and this enterprising monkey came along and stole it! After drinking the Fanta, he came looking for more and and I snapped what is possibly my favorite photo of all time.

 
 
A sunrise tour of Varanasi's Ganges River is well worth the early start.

A sunrise tour of Varanasi's Ganges River is well worth the early start.

 


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