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Monday, December 30, 2013

Neemrana

Before I go into this cool adventure we went on today, let me quickly address my absence from the blog world in the last several months. My excuses are not very good but they are all I’ve got, so they’ll have to do.

The main reason for my silence is life. I didn’t intend to stop blogging and it didn’t happen because of a lack of blogworthy events. On the contrary, there’s been probably too much blog fodder and it’s been difficult for me to focus on any one thing before the next one hit. Before I knew it, four very eventful months had flown by and I hadn’t blogged about any of it. But as any blogger knows, the longer you spend without blogging, the harder it is to get back to it.

And let me just say for the record – blogging when you work full-time and try to be a halfway decent parent and an OK host to visitors and have some semblance of a social life is a challenge. Being a blogging diplomat is also tricky. The job is very interesting and I want to talk about it on this here blog but I really can’t because there are a lot of sensitivities around most of what we do and that’s hard. I am the kind of person, who likes to talk through things. So, if I had my druthers, I’d be spilling it all out here. But then I’d lose my job and we wouldn’t want that, would we? So I have to curb my enthusiasm for spirited work-related story-telling.

But enough excuses… Back to my story.

So today we went to Neemrana, which is a small town about 2.5 hours from Delhi in Rajasthan. The main attraction there as far as we were concerned was the Neemrana Fort and the Flying Fox (a zip line). We heard about Neemrana soon after we arrived in India and have wanted to go ever since but we wanted to zipline and we wanted to do it with Nia (Max is way too young). Unfortunately, you are not allowed to zipline unless you are 10, so until recently, Nia simply couldn’t do it (which also means that she had a birthday and her horrible mother didn’t blog about it – shame on her mother!)

But now that’s she’s 10 and we are all in town, we decided to do it. And it was well worth it. The fort is built on the side of a hill and the ziplining course consists of 5 lines, that look like this:

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You have to walk up a steepish hill to get to the beginning of the course but then you get to zip above this really cool fort – 5 times! It’s awesome. I have to admit I was a little skittish at first but within a couple of seconds I was having a blast and so was the rest of the gang – Nia, Paul and my Mom. Yes, even my 68-year old Mom did it and loved it, though the hike up to the beginning of the zip line course was a bit too much for her. My Dad chose not to zipline because he’s a cancer survivor and breathes through a hole in his throat, so he was worried that he would not be able to breathe because of the rushing air. He watched us from the fort.

Here’s a brief (38-second) video of us going down the shortest line. Doesn’t it look awesome?

It was a lot of fun and I highly recommend it to anyone over 10.  At $35 for adults and $30 for children, it is not exactly cheap but it’s not something we do every day, so we decided to splurge. You can get about $5 off, if you book online but we were a little nervous about sharing our credit card number with an unknown company, so we ended up paying cash. We paid an extra $12 for the staff to take the above (and more) videos of us too. They turned out alright, except they had a smudge on their camera lens, which is annoying but what are you gonna do?

After we were done ziplining, we took a nice walk around the fort, which is a heritage hotel, so you can stay there. Each room/suite is unique and has a veranda or a turret with a spectacular view and a lovely pool, so if we go back, perhaps we’ll stay at the hotel too. We had several friends, who had gone there and had gotten food poisoning, so we packed sandwiches but whatever was wrong with the food when our friends visited, may well be fixed by now, so don’t let that stop you.

I am going to leave you with a few pictures from the fort.

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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Happy Holidays!

 

Lineup

I know I certainly have a lot of ‘splainin’ to do on this blog but I can’t do it now. Hopefully, soon.

I just wanted to let you know that we are all well and to wish you wonderful holidays and a terrific new year!!!

Love,

The Swiders and the Yonovi (my parents)

P.S. A big thank you goes to Dani from The Hot Pot Blog for taking the picture and to Summer from Summertime Designs for the Christmas card idea.

 
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