Delhi : Breakfast

Our days started with a beautiful display of fruits and foods we had never seen or tried before.  The colors, the looks, the tastes, the smells… all different.  They also had some potatoes and waffles we didn’t try or photographed.   Here’s some of what we liked.

I think this is our most favorite (new) fruit so far.

This is not a great picture but I couldn’t get a better one.  The honey.  This one in a beautiful display.  The raw comb on top dripping honey to the bowl where you could dip and get what you wanted.   Delicious and beautiful!  Besides the other flavored honey (ginger and mint).


Delhi : The Hotel

Finally have some internet connection AND some free time to download pictures.  We are in Gwalior already, in our new home, but wanted to share the photos from the very nice hotel we stayed for 3 days in Delhi.  We enjoyed every bit of it! Come and see it.

Here’s where we saw our first monkey and peacocks, from very far away.  Second floor bedroom window.

Our view.

A fun elevator.

An amazing lobby.

Details like these tell me India.


Outside.  It rained every day a little bit but with heat so it dried out very quickly.

This picture we took for Siena’s and Lucas’s friends in Portland and their ‘Butler Game’ they made up in the backyard.

We really enjoyed the swimming pool as well.  Perfect for cooling off as many times as needed!  Such a big change in the temperature from our very cool summer we were having in Portland.

I’ll share our breakfast foods in my next post!

Arriving in Delhi

I was a little nervous arriving at the airport at 11:30pm, after traveling for almost 24 hours.  But it turned out to be the best thing.  It wasn’t crowded at all.  The line at customs was minimal.  Our suitcases arrived quickly.    ALL of our suitcases!

No line to change dollars into Rupees.

And still had cute smiling kids!

Our next step was to get through customs (didn’t check anything) and find our ride to the hotel.  We were a little worried that we didn’t have it anymore being so late and Monday, August 15, India’s Independence Day.

We stepped out of the airport after midnight and the heat and the humidity hit us right away.  We had our ride, so we didn’t have to get a taxi.  And we just had to figure out how to put all these suitcases in the car.  It all worked out and we rode to the hotel in an air conditioned car, with the streets almost empty.   Just a short 20-minute drive to the hotel but we realized right away we were not home anymore.   (More on this on a another post soon.)

We were warmly welcomed at the Taj Mahal Hotel with a beautiful necklace of fresh flowers.

Silly faces and all. We loved these flowers and made us all warm and happy to be in our new home for the next 5 months.

To India we go!

After many months, 11 to be precise, we are finally here.  It took so much planning, so much of our time and lots of ‘ourselves’ that is exciting.  We had a beautiful trip. Portland to Delhi via Amsterdam.  We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect trip. Here we go!

Five suitcases in all for five months. I’m sure we brought more than enough.

From Portland to Delhi via Amsterdam. It was a little over 10-hour flight and a beautiful flight.  We slept some. Played some. Watched a movie. Read some.  But mostly, enjoyed ourselves.

As we were waiting in the airport in Portland, we wanted to see if we could say goodbye on Skype to the grandparents, but we found no one.  But we did find Niharika and Karitkay and Shantanu.  And what a great way to start our journey to India.  From a family so familiar to what is completely new to us.  It was a perfect farewell.

The flight was beautiful.  We picked through the windows few times and from mostly hours of sunshine we saw the sunset.  It seemed,  since we were chasing the sun, with the sun in the horizon most of time, it felt that the time had stopped.  We had a red sunset and sunrise for a long time (mostly while crossing the Atlantic) until we arrived in Amsterdam early the next day in the morning.  A beautiful view, a beautiful beginning  to an adventure we will never forget.

Europe for the first time for Siena and Lucas.

We have landed in Delhi, after almost 24 hours of traveling.

Everyone very tired.  But we couldn’t have asked for a more perfect traveling experience.  We are up to a great start!


As the day to our trip gets closer we’ve had the chance to meet and share few days with the other side of this adventure.  Another family with very similar fears, thoughts and excitement.

We are so lucky we had the chance to meet Niharika and her two sons before we leave to India this weekend.  And start our new adventure with new friendships already.

We’ve had conversations of how it is to live in the US.  How to use the dishwasher and washer and dryer.  How to use the transportation system.  Where to buy the foods they want.  How much is a dime and a nickel.  What can you buy with a quarter or a dollar here in the US and what can we buy in India.

We’ve talked about what will we do when we try to catch the train and carry our suitcases. What should we wear and how will the weather be.  How am I going to learn to cook and what should we try first.   What will the days be like for Mark teaching in a new school.  And what types of games do the kids play there.   Should we take a rain coat or will an umbrella be fine.

So many questions and so many unknowns it makes it even more exciting that they know what is waiting for us next week.  A little unfair that we can see Niharika and her two sons struggle with the new time change, new beds and new foods, and new customs. But also it’s been fun to see them explore and see so many things for the first time.

They’ll miss our first days in India when we are struggling with the same issues in a completely new place for us.

We are doing our best to help them get settled in their new home.  Hope their experience as well as ours is the best we can have.

There’s nothing better to start a friendship with a party.  A block Party that is!  Here’s to celebrate new friendships (and old ones!)  In our own neighborhood and all the way across the globe.

Decorating the bike for the “bike parade.”

Learning to pogo stick.

The “snow cone bike.”

A visit from the Fire fighters to the block party.

The snow cone business is doing well.

Trying new foods.

Two beautiful friends.

Four square.

Old friends and new friends.

Water balloon toss.

Looking at the moon with a telescope.  An amazing view!

A blurry picture of the moon through the telescope.  But mostly for me, as a reminder of the first time I have ever seen the moon through a telescope, so close, and able to see the craters!  And today as I type this, a full moon already.  Saying goodbye from my comfortable place I call home and ‘Namaste’  to a new place we’ll call home the next 5 months.





this moment

A beautiful and fun Friday ritual. Inspired by SouleMama.

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. – Amanda Soule
If you’d like to share ‘your moment‘ leave a comment and a link to your post here.  Thanks for sharing!  Have a beautiful weekend.

berry picking

We went to pick blueberries and raspberries.  For the first time in the last 17 years, I think, we are not picking  berries to make jam. ‘Just to eat’ (and well, freeze a few bags and out them in our friends freezer, because we can’t think we wouldn’t have our own frozen berries when we come back form India).  It’s crazy.  And we couldn’t really do it. We still picked more than we could eat.  We need these berries in the middle of the winter.  A little variety in color and flavor. It keeps us going through the wet winter months here in the Northwest, knowing we can eat something besides apples and oranges and that soon (OK, 6 months later) we can pick more berries.

We love our day trips to Savie Island.  The largest island in the Columbia River.  I like the drive there passing the parked trains, and those carts waiting for something to happen. We decided long time ago that the black ones carry coffee and the white ones carry milk and it makes my family happy to agree on this simple fact.  We then pass the church with a mass in Latin at 6 or 7 am. Then you see the bridge.  It’s new now but it’s still very pretty and especially when crossing it and seeing the Columbia River and Mt. St. Helen and Mt. Hood when it’s a clear day.  Such a beautiful place.

The farms are beautiful at this time of the year. As well as in autumn, with the orange pumpkins spread throughout the fields.  I will miss that this year.

Now, few bags of bluberries put away.  Lots of them eaten fresh and frozen already and maybe a smoothies or a pie waiting to be made in the next few days still at home.

And we also picked raspberries. Oh so delicious and another beautiful spot in the Island!

Perfect for a picnic lunch.

Climbing trees.

Seeing the farm.

Seeing nature up close.

And cooling off after picking for a while.

A beautiful and perfect day indeed.

this moment

A beautiful and fun Friday ritual. Inspired by SouleMama.

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. – Amanda Soule
If you’d like to share ‘your moment‘ leave a comment and a link to your post here.  Thanks for sharing!  Have a beautiful weekend.

the ladies

Yes! We saw ‘our queen’. So, so very exciting.

We had some ‘structural malfunction’ in the hive so the bees where getting out from the little viewing window, but Matt from Bee Thinking came to help us out.  Mark tried to fix the window on his own few days ago, but it was harder than it looked.

It was a hot day.  I won’t say much about that because here in Portland, we’ve had about 7 days of summer so far!  While Mark tried to carefully straighten out the combs that were crooked, they came off.

This way we got to see up close these beautiful cells! So perfect, just so amazing!

Look at all their work.

The sad part of the story was this sight.  These baby bees were taken out of their home.

It was hard to see and we are hoping the colony will be fine.

The ‘good part’ of the story is that in this mishap we got to try some of their honey.  It’s delicious!   We need to eat it before too long because it’s not ‘pure honey’.  It’s a mix of honey and nectar and you can taste and smell the flowers.  It’s so good.  We can’t wait to have more next spring.

We got to see the inside of our hive and the almost 16 combs they’ve built in just few short months.  Just amazing how hard they work and how much they know!


A dozen bee stings later, we asked for help. It was so much fun to see them working.

Our QUEEN!!!  Briefly a picture and then tuck them away.