Sunday, September 17, 2006

Bombay baby!

I just got back from Mumbai India. (formerly known as Bombay) We fly from Paris, overflying several countries including Iran and Pakistan. Iran is very mountainous, so we carry supplemental oxygen as we would not be able to fly below 10000 feet MSL in the event of a loss of pressurization. We also have emergency routes we would fly if an engine failed and we couldn't maintain our altitude. (The routes would keep us clear of the mountains.) Other than that, the flight is typical and the air traffic controllers are nice.

We left Paris midday and arrived in Mumbai after midnight. As we left the terminal building, a man (the same guy every time) approached us and led us through the large group of people crowding the exit. He led us to a bus and loaded our bags. The ride downtown is exciting - the driver ignores the red lights and weaves about. The man who led us from the terminal rides shotgun, blowing a horn to get cars, dogs and people out of the way.

This religious picture is on the wall in the bus. DO NOT TOUCH! I have heard that it is a big problem and the bus will stop immediately if the light on this is not working properly!

This is the Taj Majal hotel, where we stay. It's awesome.

This was the view from my room. That is the Gateway to India.

Hold on, I'll show you another view of that...

Here's a closeup of the inscription because I'm too lazy to type it. This is a Roman numeral test.*

These are some of the many little black taxis in the city.

Here is a fishing bay on the other side of the city. The Indians have been filling in the bay to build new buildings, seen in the distance.

See the fish drying?

We also went to Gandhi's house.

With his bust inside the entrance:

There are many interesting pictures, letters and dioramas of his life:

This is a copy of the letter he wrote Hitler:

With Indira Gandhi, in 1924 (not related, just a family friend):

"Quit India" campaign of 1942:

This is Gandhi's room. There was no description of the items in the room so I'm not sure what round spiky things do. Any ideas?

This is my favorite Gandhi quote. GENTLEMEN PLEASE TAKE NOTE!

This temple was another interesting place to see. We took off our shoes and left them with a woman at the entrance.

Nobody seemed to mind that we were there watching them pray.

I took a video with my camera because it was so difficult to capture this experience in pictures. I've uploaded it to You Tube so click HERE to see it!

This is an Indian laundry:

Click HERE to see a short video of it.

These guys are at the entrance of the hotel. They let me get a picture with them before I left.

Check out the chaise lounges in the airport. I think they have the right idea!

Bombay is quite an experience. Hope you liked the pictures!


Thursday, September 07, 2006

Are You Ready For Some Football?

The NFL football season just kicked off as I am typing this. I wish it was the Patriots playing, but the Steelers vs the Dolphins will have to do. I thought it was funny when The Bus (Jerome Bettis) came into the stadium in a big school bus. Is he an announcer this year? Anyway...

It was a busy day here. Bob had his first day of preschool. He was very excited to go and I didn't get a very good picture, but here he is:

Cranky and I found ourselves home alone without kids for the first time in a VERY long time. So we celebrated by hiking up Mt. Sunapee. Here is Cranky near the summit with a nice view of Lake Sunapee behind him.

After reaching the summit (2 miles), we hiked down the backside to Lake Solitude (1 mile from the summit). We ate lunch while enjoying the awesome view. We were the only people up there today so it was quiet and peaceful.

In this picture you can see Lake Solitude behind us. We have a very similar picture in our photo album from our honeymoon, 13 years ago.

This is called White Ledges. One of the many big-ass rocks in New Hampshire!

After we got home, we assembled Raymond's birthday present. He will be 7 on October 6th, but we gave him his electric (24 volt) dirt bike today. That way he can ride it for a couple of months before the snow comes. I wish they had these when I was a kid!

He loves it!

Bob had a great time at preschool (he didn't want to leave), Cranky and I had a great time hiking, and Raymond got his birthday present early. Not bad, huh?

Time to go back to work though. I'm leaving for Paris and Mumbai on Saturday. Have a great week.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Nice Saturno Dude

The Pope was sporting a new hat today at the vatican. What is that all about? Apparently he needed it because it was so sunny. (It is sometimes called a "Saturno" because it resembles the planet Saturn.)

He also wears red Prada shoes:

Doesn't make me want to go to church.

In other news, I did not win the Aerosmith guitar. Some people from freakin' Massachusetts won. Figures...

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Wouldn't This Look Good on My Wall?

Our town is raising money for a new library and this guitar is being raffled. It was donated by Aerosmith and signed by all the band members.

In a previous post I showed a picture of Steve Tyler's house on Lake Sunapee. Here's a few interesting tidbits on his link to Sunapee.

1. Steve Tyler's grandparents ran a music camp called Trowrico. (If anyone saw VH1's Behind the Music of Aerosmith, he is sitting on the grass there for his interview.)

Sunapee has a brick walkway in the harbor with personalized bricks. Here is the brick commemorating the music camp:

2. When the band first started, they played local gigs, including the Sunapee High School prom in 1971. A few years later, my older sisters saw them play a concert at a race track 2 towns over.

3. My sister was out in our boat one summer and managed to get Steve to come out onto his dock to chat.

4. When I was home from college one summer, I babysat for his daughter Mia. She was only about 6 years old at the time and a very sweet girl. I took her out in my boat and she thought I was wonderful! Steve and his wife were separated/divorced or maybe just still fighting at the time so he wasn't around. Cyrinda Tyler didn't pay much attention to Mia and didn't really care who watched her. It was not a typical babsitting gig, I actually just took her with me. Now I wished we had hung out at her house, at least to look around...

4. Steve and his wife also have a brick on this walkway in the harbor. (His name was Tallarico before he got famous.) Cranky and I have one with our names and another for the kids too.

And of course one for the band:

The drawing for the guitar is tomorrow afternoon. Wish me luck!