Tuesday, November 11, 2008

"A vacation spot out of season always has a very special magic." - Max von Sydow

Post by: Beth

When we learned that Bombay would be our next destination for Raja's rotational program, people familiar with India promptly began urging us to visit the vacation destination known as Goa. Our location made it a perfect pick for our first weekend trip, as it's only a 45 minute flight. There was a holiday approaching, so Raja and I began making plans with our friends, Beej & Kristen, to go for the long weekend. (Funny story: The very first day we met Beej and Kristen, Beej said "You guys have never been to Goa? We should do Goa together." And 3 weeks after that expat brunch... there we were, planning to do Goa together. That's how you know you've made good friends!)

Kristen & Beej have been visiting the area for a few years so are familiar with hotels, beach areas, restaurants to visit, and so on and so on. Raja and Beej teamed up and started looking for a place to stay, and much to their surprise, most of the town was booked solid due to the long holiday weekend. They had to start looking for options that were unchartered territory for Beej & Kristen, which is a bit scary in a place like India. When you see a company's "website," or hear an advertisement, you can pretty much rest assured that what you see and what you hear is NOT going to be what you get. Nevertheless, they found a place and booked tickets, and we were headed to the airport for a 5am Thursday departure to Goa!

The flight was incredibly quick, and before long, we were at Goa's airport. We all breathed a collective sigh of relief when we saw a responsible-looking driver holding a sign that read "Casa Maya - Goa," which was the name of the villa we ended up renting. If there's a driver for the villa, there must really be a villa, yes?? Here we are at the airport and packing our luggage into the car that would take us to our villa.

After about 40 minutes of driving, we arrived to Candolim Beach area, which is where we were staying. Another collective sigh of relief when we saw our villa. It a) actually existed and b) was actually pretty nice. We had no idea what to expect by booking sites unseen in India, so we were pretty happy with our situation's outcome.

This is the entrance to the villa.. The den/living area is on the left, there's one bedroom directly to the right, and you can sort of see into the other bedroom in this picture.

This is the outside patio area.. We ate breakfast here each morning, as well as held a cookout here later in the weekend (stay tuned for THOSE pictures.. they're hilarious).

Here's the pool area, and below you can see the sunbeds. There was also a roof terrace with more sunbeds, but we didn't even spend anytime up there since we spent so much time at the beach.

The lady in the red shirt is Maria. She lives at the villa 24/7 and does the cooking, cleaning, maintenance schedules, grocery shopping, etc. She is such a sweet woman and really made the house feel like a home.

This is the kitchen area through this window.

And here we are relaxing on the patio one morning before heading to the beach.

We spent pretty much all day, every day, relaxing on the beach... We typically only wandered far enough from the water to eat at beach shacks that lined the sand. Most dinners took place in beach shacks as well, and it was so great to sit in a cane-chair eating dinner and watching the sunset. We got to see the sunset each evening, and it's a beautiful time of day in Goa. I took about a dozen photos of the sunsets and Kristen took equally as many, I think. Here are some of my favorites:

More to come from Goa later, but that's about enough blogging for today. :) Hope everyone is doing well! Thanks for reading our blog!


The Freeman Family said...

How pretty!

John and Amanda said...

Sounds like fun and the sunsets are beautiful! It looks like you're adjusting to life overseas beautifully!