Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Carpenter

A while back I opened a small cabinet in Dorian's room to see if he had hidden anything in it, as he sometimes like to hide things around the house. I did find a car, a music box and...termites! I had heard about a company that uses a toxic-free, child-safe product and immediately looked them up. The thing was to coordinate the termite people with the carpenter, so as soon as the wood was removed (yes, the damage was that bad) the product could be immediately applied. So, after the termite company's estimate, we called the carpenter to come and take a look. He did more than take a look...I came home to find all the infected wood totally removed. Yikes! I quickly contacted the termite company who agreed to come that afternoon--yay! Then, we had to wait and wait and wait for the carpenter to come back to rebuild the cabinet in Dorian's room--very hard for an impatient 4-year old! The day finally arrived and Dorian was very excited.

Dorian watched his every move...seriously, he put off having dinner until it was done.

The carpenter did everything on-site:

Arthur was equally entranced:

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Safety First

We filled up the gas tank this morning and this sign caught my attention.

Pretty "straightforward"...there was also a sign about switching off your mobile phone. The funny thing, though, is that the guy pumping the gas answered his while at the pump. So, I didn't feel too bad for taking this photo with mine.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The train

If you ask Dorian what his favorite thing in Sri Lanka was, he'll say the train and the beach, in that order. Several times a day, a train would drive right by the hotel and every time we heard it coming was cause for huge excitement.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Some time in Colombo...

When traveling to Sri Lanka, find out when is the full moon. Each month, at the full moon, Sri Lankans celebrate Poya, a time when buddhists traditionally go to temple, and it is a public holiday. In May, Poya is combined with Vesak, which celebrates the birth and enlightenment of Buddha. It's quite amazing to see. The roads are blocked off, people are walking/driving on the streets that are not blocked. They are singing, playing music and having a good time. It all seems to culminate on the Galle Face Green, a huge open lawn facing the sea. It looked like a really good time and people were friendly and waving at us, but traveling with two small kids and being stuck in traffic for hours only to arrive at our hotel at 2am was very exhausting for all.

The Galle Face Green, post Poya celebrations:

Otherwise, going to Colombo from Delhi was a beath of fresh air, literally. We all enjoyed the blue skies and being by the seaside. We also visited some interesting places.

On our way to the National Museum, we saw the hugest banyan tree. It was so amazing. Dorian played inside it.

We visited the Gangaramaya temple and I realized that I really do need to brush up on my knowledge of Buddhism if I'm going to take a curious 4-year old boy to see such sights.

On our way to the Natural History Museum, we stopped off at the Art Gallery

because, well, we couldn't find the museum and everyone we asked about it had no idea. We finally did find it, just behind the Art Gallery. It wasn't really worth the trip--way too hot with no a/c or fans. Dorian was disappointed that there weren't any dinosaurs, but Arthur loved the models of the huge turtles.

Friday, June 11, 2010

On the road...

It takes about an hour and a half to drive from Colombo to Bentota. Much of the drive is through small towns where the road is lined with shops and people going every which way. But, the further you go away from Colombo the more coconut trees, banana trees and ocean views you'll see. Here are some shots from our drive south.

This is a bakery on wheel, how cool is that?

Huge rocks.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Beach time

The boys has such a good time at the beach. It was great to sit and watch them play, run around and enjoy splashing in the waves and all under the pollution-free, blue sky. We have been spoiled where we previously lived to have had the opportunity to swim in lagoons because the waves sure were big on the east coast of Sri Lanka. But, it was nice to have the beach to ourselves.

To get to the beach, we had to walk across the train tracks that were at the edge of our hotel. Dorian was so excited by the proximity of the tracks and trains that passed by.

We saw some cows along the way.

Then the beach...

And, happiness!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Turtle Sanctuary

The one time during our stay in Bentota that we left our wonderful hotel was to visit the turtle sanctuary. Very worth the trip.

The boys enjoyed the rickshaw ride:
That was my attempt at an 'artsy' shot, but really I was just so impressed that Sri Lankan rickshaws have side mirrors.

The rare albino turtle:

Baby turtles:

Dorian wouldn't touch the turtle but no holding Arthur back...this one's only 2 days old:

Turtle egg, that Dorian would touch:

More than just turtles, dogs:

Where they release the baby turtles:

Beautiful beach:

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Bentota, Sri Lanka

The boys and I were so lucky to escape the heat of Delhi last week and join Xavier on his trip to Sri Lanka. We stayed a few days in Colombo, but the highlight for us was our time in Bentota, a small town south of Colombo on the coast. We were fortunate to have been recommended a really nice hotel--that I would highly recommend to anyone going there. The place was beautiful yet simple, the staff was friendly and very accommodating with the boys i.e. making lunch and dinner at any time we wanted and making anything we wanted to eat (fresh fish!). We were served afternoon tea with lots of extra cakes and cookies for the boys, we were upgraded to a larger room with private courtyard AND we were the only people staying at the hotel. Okay, so it was a bit on the expensive side, but totally worth it. I am so in love with the hotel that I'm posting just about it. I'll follow-up with what we actually did in other posts, but thought I'd start here since it was the first time I stayed in a hotel with the boys without X and the hotel really made it possible to not only enjoy our time but for me to relax.

The entry, with goldfish in the pond, where we made daily trips to watch and count the fish.

Our corner of the hotel. The open door and shutters on the left side opened to our courtyard.

Our courtyard.

Plenty of open space to run around, pool on the left.

The hotel had a few shaded courtyard areas with pools of water, like little surprises around every corner.

Next time, we'll have to schedule X away from work so he can enjoy the hotel with us!