Now I Need a New #1 Famous Thing I Want to See in My Life That I Haven’t Seen Yet

I’m thinking Great Wall of China; what do you think?

Hello hello!  Happy anniversary to me!  (oh yeah, and to Adam!)  ;-)  Yay!  Anniversary!  Yay being married!  Particularly to Adam!  Yay!  🙂

Being that it is Tuesday, and Adam still has jet lag not to mention work and stuff, we celebrated by watching the debate and eating wedding cake in our pyjamas on our couch.  I KNOW we are SO LAME.  Maybe we’ll go out and do something exciting this weekend (like take Sunshine to the park!  that sounds like a thrilling romantic outing, doesn’t it?).  😉

But we haven’t seen our couch in WEEKS and we MISSED it!  So technically you could say we went to India to celebrate our anniversary, couldn’t you?  Now I am really and truly home; last week I was still in New Jersey, which is lovely and wonderful but seriously lacking in (a) my stuff, (b) non-gross-tasting water, (c) hours of quality recorded TV, and (d) whatever it is that makes me productive in my own house (I’m guessing the ineffable somethingness of an office chair, walls of books, snacks, and knowing there’s hours of quality recorded TV waiting for me if I’d just finish this darn chapter).

So we’re actually extremely happy to be back in our house eating veggie burgers in front of the TV again, which feels quite celebratory to us.  (Plus did I mention the defrosted wedding cake?)  🙂

I couldn’t have handled anything more adventurous tonight anyway, owing to the fact that I woke up this morning with some kind of horrifying food allergy leaving vast swathes of tragic itchy red geographic features all over my skin.  ACK!  BOO!  On my ANNIVERSARY!  I mean, SERIOUSLY!  WOE IS ME!

So I called my mom to say my tragic farewells and give her a list of everything I’ve eaten and/or touched in the last ten weeks in case Dr. House was able to save me, and she laaaaaaughed and laaaaaaaaughed and totally didn’t remember that this also happened to me when I was like eight years old and tried mussels for the first and only time, which incidentally is something I remember REALLY CLEARLY.

However, this all did remind me to be grateful that something like this didn’t happen on our wedding day, which would have been much, much worse.  And then Adam brought me Zyrtec and didn’t run screaming when he saw my woebegone shoulders, which if you ask me is proof right there that I married the right guy.  :-)  Awwwwww.

I am NOT going to share with you the dramatic photos I took of the back of my knees (just in case Dr. House needed to see the progression of my deathly illness) (and by the way, taking photos of the back of one’s knees is SURPRISINGLY DIFFICULT); instead I thought I’d show you more of India (huzzah!  huzzah!) and specifically the very first thing we did there, which was gallop off to the Taj Mahal. 

This is the horse that took us to the Taj Mahal!  Poor thing needs feeding even more than all those too-skinny girls on the new 90210.

We’re going to the Taj Mahal!  Eeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!  

Cows in the street!  This is for you, Dayna!  🙂


I apologize for the dimness of some of these photos; as you can see, it wasn’t the most picturesquely sunny day.  But that’s OK; the Taj Mahal is plenty wondrous even when it’s all gray outside.

Very Serious Security Measures at the Taj Mahal

Oh my goodness, I’m not kidding.  First they totally frisked us and THEN they took away my book!  The lady guard pulled it out and examined the cover and flipped the pages and frowned and was like, "you can’t bring this in here!"  Clearly I should have expected that.  No reading at the Taj Mahal!  Bad Tui!  Of course, this was the book:


which, OK, I’ll admit looks a bit suspicious.  Heaven knows what nefarious things I could do with a book like that at the Taj Mahal.  (Side note: it’s a GREAT book!  If you loved Dr. Horrible, you should check it out!)  But don’t worry, our splendiferous guide Praveen rescued it for me.  Yay! 

There it is!  We’re almost there!

TADA!  TAJ MAHAL!  (Note trusty water bottles, trusty rain jacket, rugged we-are-so-ready-for-India look, etc.)  

Pretty!  Amazing!  Mind-blowing!

I think I expected the Taj Mahal to be just white, like it is in some pictures, but instead it’s all cool and marble-y and there’s all this beautiful inlaid work and it’s too perfect for words.

Also amazing from the side!


That behind us is the mosque on the grounds of the tomb.  There’s a matching building on the other side of the Taj, which is a fake mosque, built to keep the whole thing symmetrical.

The entrance to the tomb

You can’t take pictures inside, but I can tell you what it’s like: dark.  And surprisingly small.  It’s one room with the two cenotaphs in the middle, hidden behind a marble screen.  And everything is inlaid with semi-precious stones in crazy-amazing marble work like this:


Carnelian!  Jade!  Lapis lazuli!  Tiger’s eye!  Jasper!  Praveen said that all the flowers of the world were represented inside the tomb, which would be sort of astonishing, but I couldn’t exactly go around with a flashlight hunting for sunflowers and lilies of the valley, so I’ll just assume it’s true because I like the sound of it. 

Saris make everything prettier.

The cenotaph that’s right in the center of the mausoleum belongs to Mumtaz Mahal, the woman that Shah Jahan built this tomb for.  (And boy did she earn it; she gave him FOURTEEN kids in nineteen years of marriage!  I asked Adam if he’d build me a Taj Mahal, and he said maybe after kid #12, which, hmm, OK, maybe not.)

That’s the Yamuna river, behind the Taj Mahal.  Note EXTREMELY stylish booties!  No shoes on the Taj Mahal! 

The story goes that Shah Jahan was going to build a matching tomb for himself across this river, opposite the Taj Mahal, all in black, but THEN his third son Aurangzeb totally SEIZED POWER while Shah Jahan was sick (perhaps out of revenge for giving him a name like "Aurangzeb," I mean, my goodness), killed his brothers, and imprisoned Shah Jahan in the Red Fort, where on the plus side at least he could see the Taj Mahal he’d built, but unfortunately would obviously have had some trouble getting folks to build him the one he wanted for himself.  So in the end Shah Jahan was buried next to his wife Mumtaz in the Taj, which I reckon is pretty romantic too.  🙂

Possibly the only photo of Mom on the trip that she’ll let me share with you, so appreciate it!

Taj Mahal gardens! 

Maybe my favorite Taj Mahal picture.

Doesn’t Dad look like a Mughal emperor?  (Especially with the big so-the-tour-guide-doesn’t-lose-you button, hee!)  He’s like, yeah, I coulda built that and run an empire at the same time, no problem.  Bring it.  🙂 

And that was Day One!  Taj Mahal, check!  Four Wonders of the World down, four to go!  (I’m including the honorary Pyramids at Giza, of course; I wouldn’t want them to get mad at me!)

Doesn’t it almost look like we’re the only ones there?  🙂

More to come, assuming I survive this exotic leprosy or whatever I have right now.  (Too much information?  OK.)  ;-)  Yay for India and also yay for being home on my couch again!  SO MUCH TV to catch up on!  If only CERTAIN people would stop falling asleep at ridiculously early hours such as midnight, we’d be all caught up on Heroes by now.  Tsk tsk!  Well, we will be soon, I’m sure.  🙂

Quote of the Day:  “A journey is like marriage.  The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.” — John Steinbeck