Christmas in Mumbai

Merry Christmas!  We’re used to spending Christmas away from home – we always celebrate Christmas with family in South Carolina.  [Well, every year except when we were living in Bangalore; there, we celebrated with my parents in our IISc apartment.] But this year was the first time we’ve ever been in a hotel for Christmas, and the first time our kids have had Christmas away from the rest of the family. Furthermore, we had already exchanged gifts back home in NH. So, Christmas Day was necessarily muted.

Amazingly, Santa Claus found the kids anyway! Each had a stocking by their bed, each with gifts, chocolates, and rupees for souvenirs.  We chatted with my parents via FaceTime – it was still Christmas Eve for them. Then, by request from the kids, we had a restful day – no sightseeing or shopping for us.  I went out for a walk, and photographed the many cricket matches underway at the Oval Maidan. We played card games and worked on puzzles. We went for a swim in the pool. (How often do we get to swim outdoors on Christmas day!?) We walked down the street to watch The Hobbit in 3D.  We dressed up and went next door for Christmas dinner at Ziya in the Oberoi hotel. [I’ve traveled all over India, eaten in Indian restaurants in major cities in the US and UK, and I think it’s safe to say that dinner was the most fabulous Indian food I’ve ever had. And, I think, our most expensive family dinner ever.]

Now we’re off to Madurai, in southern India, for a visit to its historic temples and inspirational Aravind Eye Hospital.

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