Thursday, August 20, 2009
The Kids Learned How to Kill Stingrays
So, I need to start out with a belated happy 1st birthday to our dear Jovie. She turned one on August 7th while we were in Goa. We celebrated with root beer floats. We can’t get root beer in Ooty, so I thought that would be a fun treat, but when I got back to our rental house I discovered that I grabbed cream soda instead. For whatever reason, I thought the kids wouldn’t mind, but they gave it the kibosh and just scooped the ice cream out. So close, and yet it slipped right through my fingers... Jovie is simply delightful. She gives us lots of smiles and good cuddles. I don’t think she will be a push over though, being the baby of the family... whenever her siblings get in her space a bit too much she gives them a commanding scream. Go Jovie.
On to the second part of our first holiday in India. Goa. Goa is the smallest state in India by area, and lies on the Arabian Sea. Portugal had control over it until 1961 and it boasts beautiful beaches and is visited by huge numbers of foreign and domestic tourists. Because we went during the “monsoon season”, it was actually very quiet. Despite the crouching monsoon season, we actually had quite a bit of sun and it was probably in the 90’s the whole time.
But enough of the encyclopedia. We got into Goa and found our way to the house we were renting. Upon arrival, the first order of business was to dunk the kids in a vat of super clean water and extra strength soap - to ward off all the loveliness of the trains. After that was done, we barreled down to the beach. Let’s talk about the Arabian Sea during monsoon. It’s daunting. No, that’s not the right word, I guess I would say it was humbling. There were some serious waves and some serious undertow - I felt oh so small. I do believe that my blood pressure reached near record breaking highs while the kids played in the waves. But they loved every moment of the ocean, except when Ani had a jellyfish wrap around her wrist, leaving a sweet design. Trivia: What do you put on a jellyfish sting? Leave a comment following our blog to see if you are a jellyfish pro... (We’ll give the Goan lifeguard answer in our next blog entry.)
How about a few highlights... Fresh seafood that gave us such delight that it made us want to sell all the we have, quit Freedom Firm and move to a hut on the Arabian Sea, spending the rest of our days catching seafood and then eating it... Ani swimming lengths of the pool by herself and seeing how proud she was... James wrestling the waves (and winning)... Jayson pretending to be Matt Damon in Bourne Supremacy (which was filmed in Goa). He seriously had me video him running on the beach in front of these fishing boats just like Matt Damon did in the movie... the kids learned how to kill stingrays while watching local fisherman bring their nets in. To quote Ani, “All you have to do is flop them over once and pull off their tail - and then their dead, it’s easy”.
It was a great four days. Full of playing, relaxing and exploring. The Goa train station was not as overwhelming as the central station in Mumbai. Again, our family was split up on the train - Ani, Jovie and I on one side and then Jayson, James and Sydney on the top bunks across the aisle (with two random people sleeping on the bottom bunks...). Hilarious really. Anyway, we got into Shoranur the next morning and then took a 5 hour taxi ride back to Ooty. The taxi ride nearly made me want to pitch all of our kids out the window one by one, but I had self control and just asked the driver to close the windows...
On that super special note, we’ll say goodbye for this week. Be sure to cast your vote about the jellyfish!