Sunday, December 16, 2012

Almost Famous

Today I had nothing to do. I didn't want to sit around the hotel because that's not my traveling style.  Plus, I would have driven myself crazy knowing that Munni was only 10 minutes away!  I dont get to meet her until tomorrow morning so the best thing was for me was to stay busy.  After the most amazing breakfast ( I had orange juice that really tasted like fresh squeezed clementines!) I went to the front desk and asked them to get me a driver for the day.  They gave ideas of places to go and set it all up.

25 minutes later I came down to lobby and it was as if a transformation had happened. I felt like I was famous. Everyone was calling me by name, opening doors, a bunch of "yes ma'am's" it made me feel like royalty!

Raja was my driver and adventure buddy for the day and he knew how to get it done!  First stop was the Birla Mandir temple. This is absolutely breathtaking!  It's made out of all marble like the Taj.  I had to take my shoes off and go through it barefoot. I wasn't allowed to bring my camera in which was a huge bummer because the detail of the carvings are incredible.  My blue eyes continued the famous tend I was feeling because whenever anyone looked at me they did a double take and giggled. Then some people started following me around. We went to where they were giving the blessings with incense but I got denied. I guess blue eyes can only get you so far;). After the blessing, which Raja received, we walked out and he told me to take this stuff that looked like rock candy. He said it was sweet blessings and you are supposed to eat it.  I wasn't sure if I was allowed but he said I could so I did.  It was sweet!  When we got back outside, I started taking pictures with my real camera. That's when even more people started paying attention to me. Then they asked if they could get there picture with me- see why I was feeling famous?

After that we went to old Hyderabad to see Charminar. This section has a large Muslim population so the prayer calls were sounding while we were there. Between those calls and the crazy, crowded streets, I felt like I was in a Jason Bourne movie-I kept waiting for an awesome car chase to bust out of nowhere! We climbed the monument and the staring continued. I had my camera and was taking pictures the whole time. People kept following me and watching what I was photographing. It was a little weird. And then more people asked to have their picture taken with me. Every now and then someone would get the courage up to say something random in English to see if I understood. When I replied, they would giggle and run away!

After we left there, we went to Chowmahalla Palace. This place is so cool! It was the seat of the Asaf Jahi dynasty and the official residence of the Nazim. First, the architecture is amazing. The grounds are huge and there are a lot of places to check out. They also have tons of artifacts from the royal family which I though was very interesting. One of the main entertaining rooms was so stunning. It was made of all marble and then had about 20 of the biggest, most elaborate glass chandeliers. The way the light came into the room made the chandeliers reflect the sun rays in an amazing way.

From there we headed to the Golkonda Fort. This was a serious workout!! The steps were so narrow, steep, and SO MANY of them I had to keep stopping on the "landings." People were still laughing at me but for some reason at this point I think it had more to do with my heavy breathing than my blue eyes :). We finally got to the top and I was doing the rocky balboa and gave Raja a high five, this made people want to know what was up so again, I had more followers! Then, four 20 something guys got the courage to ask me for a picture. It was hilarious because they were giggling the whole time and switching out who was getting their picture taken. Raja was acting like my bodyguard, which added to the Almost Famous element. After the photo op, they shook my hand and thanked me. I wonder what kind of story will be told about those pics!

Our last stop of the day was the Qutub Shahi Tombs that had the bodies of 7 of the last 8 sultans from that dynasty. The architecture is very cool as it is a mix of Persian and Hindu styles. It is a very peaceful place and the perfect way to end the day. I took so many pictures as today was a photographer's dream!! I was a little frustrated when we were driving because there were so many shots I missed. If we would have walked through the streets, I would have been in heaven! I am thrilled with the pictures ingot but wild have lived some more photojournalistic shots of the day.
To all you Hyderabad mamas out there, I really encourage you to take the time to see the city. It brought up a whole range of emotions for me from sadness, to thankfulness, to joy. I also found myself thinking about MG's birth mom a lot and the circumstances surrounding her, there were so many babies and little children I saw today with their families. I wonder a lot of things about her birth mom and today, it took it to a whole new level. I am very glad that I had the time to see what I saw as I think this will be important to MG as she gets older and has questions about India.
Tomorrow morning I finally get to meet her. I don't know if its because I'm so tired or if this whole thing just seems surreal, but I can't even imagine what it's going to be like! I'm hoping that be ause I'm so tired that I will sleep really well. And you know what's better? This is the last night I will be sleeping alone because tomorrow tha sweet pea will be right next to me!!!!!!!!!!
the time to see the city


  1. Ahhh....I am so glad that you were able to do some sightseeing. And, I can't believe how soon it will be to see M. Wooohooo..... Praying tons for you. And I will definitely take your advice and get a tour of Hyderabad while we are there!!!!! :)

    Love you!

  2. I don't think I'll be able to sleep knowing that you're going to meet Munni in less than 12 hours! (Give or take!!) I might be checking FB every 5 minutes from 3.30 on. =)

    I'm so excited for you, Kristen. I can't believe the time has FINALLY come. I've got butterflies for you!! Good luck, tomorrow!!!


  3. The pics of Hyderabad make me long to get over there!!! So glad you had a great day sightseeing! We definitely plan on taking a little time to explore.

  4. Oh my gracious! I am sure that you are completely beside yourself with excitement. I can hardly wait!!!! Just a few more hours now!

  5. I'm so glad you were able to see some of the city -- and I'm sure your photos will be extremely valuable after you're home with Munni. The "celebrity" treatment happened to us too . . . but I bet people were wondering if you were a journalist or something, because your camera is professional grade??

    Hope you were able to sleep with all the excitement of meeting Munni!!

  6. Kristen-

    I am smiling at work today knowing that right now, at this very moment, you are with little Munni. I have been thinking of you all weekend!

    Sending lots of hugs of excitement and joy,

  7. yes, it is odd to be followed and photographed. We were too. I'm not certain if it was my hair or what. Don't you wonder what they will do with those photos? So glad you went out and made the most of your last Munni-less day. Can't wait for tomorrow. How exciting.


  8. I am so doing the happy dance right now. Can't wait to read the next post.

  9. OH MY GOSH, KRISTEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I haven't been on any of my favorite blogs lately because of my little one, so I didn't know that you had been given the final approval to go get Munni! HOLY COW!!!! SO GREAT! THANK YOU, JESUS!!! Congratulations! I can't wait to see you with your daughter!!!

  10. Oh SOOO excited for you! Praying as you may be meeting her right now! I'm already missing India and living through you on this trip and I've only been home for 5 weeks! It's definitely something beautiful to share your child's country. Love to you and your sweet girl!

  11. Kristen-
    Love the pics and update -- and pics of Muni on fb. So excited for you. You are going to have one precious life book :)

  12. So exciting! I've been silently reading your blog for a bit--I think when you were in India I got the news that I'd been assigned the same RIPA. I'm so happy for you! And so excited to see Hyderabad in your pics...just imagining when we'll journey there!