Thursday, November 27, 2014

Jaipur Cow - November 28, 2014

Cows wander the streets freely in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India. This fellow seemed to be taking a rest against this orange brick wall.

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Thank You Every Day, Not Just on Thanksgiving - November 27, 2014

Who says we need one special day,
To let our thanks be known?
I find it best to often.
Make sure my gratitude is shown.

Of course, it's nice to gather,
With a special chosen group,
To feast on turkey and great food,
From appetizers down to soup.

But why not do it frequently,
On an ordinary day?
Just to show  our cherished ones,
Turkey's not the only way.

I really am most thankful,
For my loved ones far away,
But I'm thankful, too, to visit,
In  what once was called Bombay.

I won't have a bit of turkey,
While offering special thanks,
But you can rest assured,
I won't feast on beans and franks.

I'm grateful I can travel,
Then go home to the U. S. A.,
To spend time with my family,
And friends who share my way.

I'm thankful that my aches and pain,
Are not so very bad,
I really am much luckier,
Than many friends I've had.

Whatever destiny may hold for me,
I really can't complain,
For, except for a little here and there,
I'd do it all again.

Happy Thanksgiving to all,

Carmen Henesy
Nov 27, 2014

The Ibis Mumbai Airport - Mumbai, India - November 27,2014

Ibis Mumbai Airport is termed a "budget" property.
I discovered it during my second stay in India during
my retirement years.  To be truthful, prior to that, 
during my nursing employment when I often traveled
with three or four of my esteemed forensic friends and
colleagues, we would never consider anything with
the term "budget" attached to it.  Our Royal Caribbean
friends on board the Monarch of the Seas gave us the
title of "Queens" and that name stuck.  We would 
usually pick a posh property, book a suite which we
could afford if we shared, and travel like queens.  

Well, reality hit when retirement came and I suddenly
had to live on a pension and social security.  As a 
traveler all my life, I would either have to make adjustments
or stop seeing the world.  I immediately downsized,
giving up the rented four bedroom house I had occupied
for over twenty years and got rid of most of my belongings. 
I put the things with which I couldn't part in a 10' by
20' storage unit and started coming to India.

Occasionally, I found I needed a hotel for the night in
Mumbai where hotel properties border on the expensive.
After a most horrific experience at one hotel, I decided I
needed to do some research.  After all, I had been an
outside sales travel agent for years, I was fairly proficient
with the computer, and I was a long term Trip Adviser
member.  I got to work and my research led me to the
Ibis Mumbai Airport.  Good, it was near the domestic
airport and I wanted a place that was in that locale for
my trips here and there about India.  Price-wise, it was 
perfect and I liked everything else I read.

The Ibis Mumbai Airport is located 2 minutes from the
domestic airport in Mumbai and 1 km from the international
airport.  It has 159 rooms, either consisting of one
double bed or two single beds, with an attached bathroom, 
WiFi, and an excellent restaurant, Spice It, that offers
individual dining selections as well as sumptiuous buffets.

The Ibis Mumbai Airport is a member of the Accor Hotels

Weekdays, it seems filled with business travelers, while
weekends, usually at a lower rate, attract families.

I have found hotel staff to be friendly and helpful and the 
rooms are spotlessly clean.  The beds, with incredible 
mattresses, are some of the most comfortable I have
experienced.  The rooms and baths are not very large but,
as this is a budget property, mainly used by business 
travelers, I did not expect a suite!  They are quite adequate
for my purposes.

For much more extensive information about the property,
refer to the Ibis Mumbai Airport website at:

Two of the wonderful Ibis Spice It staff.  24-hour room 
service is available from the restaurant and buffets are 
offered at breakfast and dinner.  The special Thursday night
buffets, which feature various regions of India, are not to be

There are always multiple veg and non veg choices at every
meal and, of course, one can always order off the menu.  If
I look at the buffet, though, I can never resist it.

The Kerala evening buffet was especially wonderful.  I wish
I could remember the names of everything I ate because many of the selections I had never tried before.

I usually indulge in a vodka martini but there are assorted other cocktails ( nice cosmopolitan ), alcoholic, beverages, beer, wine and mocktails as well.  Of course, water, soft drinks, coffee and chai are always available.

The main problem I have is that my eyes are bigger than my stomach.  I've learned to take tiny tastes, planning to go back for more later.  Trouble is, once I've finished all the "tastes," 
I am too full even for dessert.

I am also including a few other pictures from the Ibis Mumbai 

The wonderful bed!

Desk work area in room

The lobby bar area

The wonderful front desk staff

Community lobby computer station

I have stayed at four other properties in the domestic airport
area.  I can recommend Ibis Mumbai Airport if you are in the
market for a reasonably priced budget hotel, with an excellent restaurant, and don't require luxury accommodations at a luxury price.

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GPS: N 19° 5' 47.51'' E 72° 51' 11.9

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thursday Challenge: Architecture - The Leaning Tower of Pisa - November 20, 2014


I have been fortunate to visit this structure, the Leaning Tower of Pisa,
on three occasions.  I am always in awe of its incredible beauty.  It is the freestanding
campanile or, bell tower, of the cathedral of Pisa, and was constructed over a period of
199 years. 

During construction, it began to tilt because of an inadequate foundation of ground too soft
to support its weight. Efforts in the late 21st and early 22nd centuries have stabilized it and
partially corrected the tilt.

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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sundays in My City - Homeward Bound in Seventeen Days: I Love You

Coastal Scene Near Pacifica, California

Well, really, it's hard to say where home is nowadays. I have spent about as much time in India as I have in California over the last three years.  If I could establish some sort of
residency, open a bank account, and get health insurance, I would actually live here most of the time and go home twice a year for two months.  Why? Mainly because it is affordable .. and I like this country. I have so many friends here, from youngsters to people my age, get very reasonable massage, can die here without spending a fortune for cremation and departure from this earth and they have some amazing, reasonably priced hospitals as well.  I can eat inexpensively, find someone to clean, cook, wash and iron for barely a dent
in my retirement income and participate in any number
of wonderful festivals that take place.  

The downside, of course, is that my three sons live in
California and so does my daughter-in-love, Laura, and my sweet granddaughter, Harper Ann,and the two granddogs.  In spite of Skype,not one of them seems predisposed to stay in touch with me that way - though, when I am in the U.S., my Indian friends always keep in touch  via those modalities or Viber, We Chat, etc.  I am a woman of the internet. Air fare is costly between the two countries, often $1000+ round trip and it is a long journey, sometimes 25 to 30 hours.

Jal Mahal, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India

I've been very pensive the last week or so, acknowledging
that I am aging and may not be able to continue to keep up this international travel forever.  Words for a poem came to mind so here it is.

I Love You

The days rush by too quickly,
Minutes go so fast.
Those we love pass through our lives, 
The treasured times don't last.

Do we pause to cherish them,
While we have the chance?
Or does God take them from us,
While we look askance?

Three simple words, "I love you,"
Are not so hard to say,
We may feel them very often,
But not say them day by day.

I often feel the anguish of a friend,
And his overwhelming pain,
At the death of one most cherished,
And words cannot be said again.

The world would be much happier,
If we'd take time, now and then,
To tell our loved ones how we feel,
From family to special friend.

Carmen Henesy
November 12, 2014

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veteran's Day Postings From Past Blogs - November 12, 2014

Photo from Bing Images, domain free

I didn't think I could improve on my past writing so I 
am posting blogs from previous years.  I have loved ones,
family and friends, who have served our country well
and to them I give thanks - and to all who continue to
fight for our freedom, be it behind a computer, or 
repairing them on jet planes, or in war zones, or what-
ever they do in the service or our country.  Thanks to
my wonderful son, Shawn Smith, who has been more 
on active duty during his U. S. Air Force Reserve time
than not, to his father, Edward C. Smith, who must have
been his inspiration, to my stepfather, US Army Col.
( retired ) for his long years in the Infantry, three of which
were served in Vietnam, to my son Jeremy's friend,
Toady Hop, an impressive Cal Poly decathlete, to my  
beloved lifelong friend, Warren Fukushima, who also
retired from the Army after three tours of duty in Vietnam -
to them and to the millions I never knew - I give my
heartfelt thanks and prayers for you and your loved 
ones for your continued sacrifices and love for our

Here are the links to my past blogs on Veteran's Day.
I am proud to be an American.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

November 2, 2014 - Happy 30th Birthday to my Youngest Son, Jeremy Vukasinovic

Well, it seems impossible that a year has already
flown by since my last birthday blog for this amazing
young man who is my "baby" boy, Jeremy.  He was
the last born and the heaviest of all three of my sons
in terms of birth weight, though he is tall ( 6'4" ) and

slim now.

He was one of a city of happy San Francisco fans when the Giants won
the World Series!

Jeremy graduated with a degree in kinesiology from
Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo ( what a lovely area in
which to go to college ) and started work almost 
immediately.  After two years at Maxim Integrated 
Products, he is now in a supervisory position at
Genentech.  He was born in San Francisco and seems
to really love the city ( like I do ) and he has also 
acquired my love of travel.  This year, he visited Bali
and Singapore.

So far, he hasn't married and given me grandchildren
but he's a wonderful uncle to little Harper Ann and saw
to it that, before she was a year and a half old, she went 
to her first San Francisco Forty Niner football game ( he 
has season tickets ).  He's also a SF Giants baseball

This is one of my favorite pics of Harper and her Uncle "J"

He was a great help to his appreciative mother in getting
me packed up and moved out of my home, settling my
remaining belongings into storage so I could make these
jaunts to India ( protesting a bit, of course, but who
wouldn't ).

I am proud of him, delighted to call him my son, wish him 
the happiest birthday ever and joy and great
things to come the rest of his life.

Here's the link to last year's blog on his birthday.

Along with a little sage advice, dear Jer, I wish you a
wonderful birthday, always have a designated driver,
travel and see the world ( you are following in my footsteps 
in that ) and follow your own good instincts in saving your
money and investing wisely.  You have a good heart and
soul and that's what counts.  

I love you very much.

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