Showing posts from April, 2017

Celebrities at Talakaveri, I hate you like I love you.

There's a scene in Kung-Fu Panda  where Po, voiced by Jack Black, attempts to climb the stairs to a temple in China. Perhaps, this comparison is a bit culturally misappropriated as we are in India and Talakaveri, is a Hindu temple dedicated to the Goddess Kaveriamma, but that's what I thought as our driver swerved and weaved up the mountains on a narrow road, fifty kilometers from Madikeri. As we left, just before sunset, the temperatures were still mid 90s (35c), but by the time we reached the top of the mountains, it was about 60f/15c with a cool breeze and heavy fog surrounding the area.

Shannon survived the trip well (from a motion sickness point of view), as she had abandoned me to sit up front, leaving me in the back seat alone (apparently someone does put Baby in the corner). With the front seat being less prone to car-sickness, she was now carrying on conversations, laughing with our driver and feeding Tai-Ji chewing gum as I was muted by the four windows of air in my…

Sightseeing in Coorg and Farting Indians.

The storm of yesterday's chaos gave way to a sunrise that filled our souls in Coorg. Shannon was back to her smiling self, though somewhat hesitant to return to the car. Our adopted dog, Blacky, came running to us as we unzipped the Swiss tent overlooking the meadow on the plantation. Despite the very hot temperatures during the day, the mornings were cold and timid. The sun rose just over the treeline, a sun that's robust, close, and unlike those of North America. It's as if you could reach out and touch it, it's that intimate. The sun becomes a companion to your day, a powerful reminder to its gifts, when it's gone at night and complete darkness shadows our camp.

After another huuuuuuge breakfast from Mr and Mrs Prakash, Tai-ji showed up like a 50s sitcom, arms crossed over the Dutch door with a smile saying, "Good morning". With everyone in a great mood, we popped into the car and headed off for some sightseeing in Madikeri and Coorg. First stop was R…

The Revenge of Karnataka on the road from Bangalore to Coorg

Our #homestay was amazing on a #coffee bean plantation. #coorg #india A post shared by Liv Jones (@liv_adara) on Apr 2, 2017 at 5:10pm PDT
The third day blurred into the fourth. Shannon was exceedingly sick. We were scheduled to check out of the hotel and meet our driver down in the lobby at 6:30 AM but Shannon just wanted to lay in bed the rest of the day. I completely understood, as I, myself, slept little the night before. However, such events are normal when traveling with Shannon. She's prone to motion sickness and generally comes with a handle with care label. When she's on, she's 100%. When she's tired or nauseous, she's either passed out or irritable, throwing the itinerary into a tailspin. We discussed canceling our trip or me going alone, but we both knew if she didn't get in that car, she'd regret it for the rest of her life.

I knew when I booked our tour to Coorg that I was playing with fire but I also knew it's exactly where she wanted to g…

Balance in India: What begins must end. - Cubbon Park, Commercial Street.

By the beginning of the third day we were beginning to forget life before our departure to this place. The purpose of a vacation is to vacate your life, to become someone else for a time. Yet, time was running out. What seemed like enough days and hours on paper would never be satisfying in this place where you could spend forever. Our time in the city was coming to an end and this was our last full day before moving on from Bangaluru.

I can truly say I've fallen in love with #bangalore. Beautiful city, beautiful people. I could stay forever. A post shared by Liv Jones (@liv_adara) on Mar 29, 2017 at 8:48am PDT

Once again the morning greeted us with the Indian sun playing shadows on the walls. A playful and friendly reminder of how perfect mornings are here. It's warm and gentle, kissing you on the forehead to wake-up, reminding you to move before its full might comes bearing down on you in the mid-afternoon. We replayed our breakfast routine with lighter portions that morning…

Kissing Bangaluru, Tasting Kerala and Brahmins' Coffee Bar

Can mornings get any better than this? #poolside #breakfast #bangalore A post shared by Liv Jones (@liv_adara) on Mar 27, 2017 at 11:33pm PDT
Nine thousand miles away I woke up in Bangaluru, India to birds chirping outside the window. The sun's edge cutting through the shades warming my feet as I cut across the hotel room barefoot. I was excited to get outside and begin our second day in the capital of Karnataka. However, the day would begin in the most western of ways, at a white cloth table, rooftop, poolside with a breakfast of massive proportions. Our hotel had prepared nearly thirty different dishes of various Indian, Middle-Eastern, and Western recipes. Our vegetarian-only hotel provided all this for free, under the relaxing morning sun of a bustling city. We could have never afforded such luxuries in America, but in India the cost of living well is affordable by American standards. It's paradoxical to our sense of relativity knowing that our our status of being poor, r…

Beyond the Beautiful: Bangalore

When I begin writing, I always contemplate where to begin the story. In between long flights, many buses and countless trains, the monotony of the untold occurs. I'm a rare breed in that I thrive in airplane seats, washing myself in toilet stalls and surviving the hours and hours it takes to get from destination to destination. I suppose my story began before all this, beyond the beautiful. It began in a time before 9/11 and security checks, when I was a child and my father would take me to the airport to stare out of the windows at the Toledo airport to watch the airplanes take-off and land. Travelling to India wasn't even in the realm of possibility growing up. Even visiting London seemed exotic and only a place that "rich people" visited. That child who dreamt of far off lands grew up but never really changed. She still travels with a sense of childlike wonderment, always peering out through the window as if it's the first time. I'm always celebrating how…