Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Sri Lanka

So- After a long 2 MONTHS of heavy hitting WORK... Vacation is here!!! YAY! We wanted to go somewhere that would be WARM. Believe it or not, it gets cold in KUWAIT.

Off to Sri Lanka! The flight was not too bad. A 1 hour cleaning stop in Dubai and then straight to Sri Lanka. I know I sound bad, but I HATE multiple connection flights!!!

I would like to note that I had NO IDEA how huge the island of Sri Lanka was... IT IS HUGE! It takes 3-4 hours to get from city to city. There is only one major highway which goes between Colombo and Galle. A major mover in Sri Lanka.. The Toot-Toots! See below:

This was probably the best way to get around. 

Day 1: Hilton Residence-Colombo: I loved the breakfast buffet! I was not told that construction was going on so imagine my response to the loud hammering. The staff was not great and we decided to check out 6 nights early. The Strawberry margaritas were the best I had in Sri Lanka though.
http://www1.hilton.com/en_US/hi/hotel/COLJTTW-Hilton-Colombo-Residence-/index.do
 The Living Room
 The view off the balcony from the Living Room
 The Kitchen
This was the Master Bedroom. There were two smaller rooms as well. It was so cute to see the kids un-pack and hang up their clothes!
Inside a temple in Colombo
It was so beautiful there
These were HUGE
There is a baby elephant behind us
Gustavo in front of OLD books
Peacock seat
This was interesting
I wasn't fast enough to get her with her foot up. She did that all on her own
So many Gods
Stuffed Elephant
Showing some love
More cool stuff
The lil guys around the edge are full of character
Jewel Shop
She got earrings made
Ronald was in Sri Lanka too
Everyone knows I love Chicken and Rice!!!
Day 2: We get into a car at 1000 AM and head to Galle. (DJ Maye deleted all the photos from this stop)
An old woman tried hitting on Gustavo. It was really cute. Everyone thought that he was from Sri Lanka! One thing great about Gustavo... It doesn't matter where we are... He blends in. Back in the car for 3 more hours... We finally arrived to our hotel, Tangalle Bay. It was beautiful. The staff was great. I got the best massage in my life!!! The hotel was outdated but we loved it there. The beach was fabulous!
http://www.jetwinghotels.com/tangallabay/
 Somewhere in between Galle and Tangalle
 View from our room
 View from where we were eating
 DJ Maye and his cute self
 The kids on the beach. It was a hike to get down there, but worth it! My babies in the Indian Ocean!
 The view from the pool area
At the pool!. At times during this vacation... I felt like a pool tester. The kids loved it

***Cool Note- The drivers get to stay and eat at your hotel... For no additional cost. I am not sure where they sleep or what they eat... I just know they do***

Day 3: Yala Area- Mandara  Rosen Hotel:  http://www.rosenhotelsrilanka.com/rosen/main.htm
 Ready to go up this huge hill to a temple
 On top. Siblings that love each other:)
In the temple. You give money and the man in there puts ashes on your forehead with his thumb
 At the hotel
 I love these people!
 We were unable to use the pool. We were too busy
 Going to grub
 We paid 1/2 board and ate off the regular menu for lunch and Buffet for Dinner.
 Walking to the room
Awaiting our FOOD
 On the way to the Yala Park
 Safari Time
 Beautiful Rock
 What a shock... Another Beach:)
 Our family. On the way out some women were going crazy for Mimi and touching her face as if they thought her beauty would rub off on them. She looked a lil crazy at first but then soaked it all up.
An elephant on the way out of the park.
To get into the Yala National Park, You must be in a Safari Jeep. They are easy to find. Well, Our cab driver took us to someone's house and then we loaded the Jeep. It was quite a long ride to get to the beginning of the park. There were Boars, Lizards, Peacocks, Crocs, A LOT of birds... then after a long wait- We get to see the Leopards. There were two of them up in a tree. You can really only see the out line. We actually got to see a family of elephants and the beach. There were small pieces of the observatory left from the tsunami. On the way out our jeep lost a tired! Scary! So we had to jump in with another group of people. They were nice to us. A couple from Russia:) Thanks!

Day 4: Kandy- Mahawli Reach Hotel: http://www.mahaweli.com/
Basically we ate and slept there... And let the kids swim. The food was good here. There was a pasta bar and Mongolian BBQ. It took us such a long time to get there though. We stopped in Nur Eliya to eat. We went horseback riding. It was fun. Driving down the mountains- Not so much. There are SEVERAL tea factories on this road. Kinda cool to see.

                                                                             Do you see this?

In the Middle of the road! I fed it cookies.
It is corn... On the road.
Looks so beautiful
I loved this photo
Family. That is what it is all about
They can catch! Good job
 Snatched the Cookie from Mims. She laughed.
 Gustavo riding a horse
 Don't feed the Monkeys:) Oppps



Day 5: Colombo Galle Face Hotel: http://www.gallefacehotel.com/
This hotel was nice for the most part. They brag about how Scarlett Johansson once stayed there. Great:) So it is about 30-45 minutes to the airport from Colombo... I wish I had known that.
 Knocked out! On the way to Colombo
 Pretty statue in the park
 Crazy man and snake, that snake was BIG too
 Our FINAL hotel
 On the way to the pool
 Come to find out... It is a SALT water pool
 Nice view
 The kids posing 
 In the lobby at check in counter
 Going to our room- We didn't use the elevator
 Foyer...
 Amber and Gustavo after the swim
So- The man asked would I like water. I said, "Yes" I guess he didn't want to be wrong so he brought me room temp and cold. I drank neither. I refuse to drink TAP water in foreign countries. Gustavo thought that I was rude to the waiter... so I left him such a big tip that he thought that I over-paid the bill. He came after us and was very happy when I told him it was in fact... HIS TIP. Then I looked at Gustavo and smirked. Ha Ha.
Over all- Nice trip. I wish we could have done more, but I charge that to the AWFUL driver. There is a lot of nothing but also a lot of something there. The people were friendly for the most part. It was strange at times because the stares are over-whelming. The money stretches a long way there.

Getting ready to VA-CAY!!!

After a LOT of thought... We have decided to go on vacation to SRI LANKA. I think that there is something for all of us there... Including learning... Which means this is a great trip for our 5 and 7 year old children. I have been looking EVERYWHERE for great and fun things to do. I will be taking A LOT of pictures! So stay tuned!!!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

We are ENGAGED

Wham Bam Thank You Ma'am!!!

I used to watch Kelly Ripa in the morning and I recalled that she said, "A man knows if he wants to marry you after one year..." It has stayed in the back of my mind. (well- Maybe not completely the back of it because I had mentioned it once or twice to Gustavo)

Now- We are engaged. I am completely excited and I can not wait to spend the rest of my life with this man! No plans on a wedding as of yet.




Mrs. Banegas... I like the sound of it. Amber Banegas.