Today we took our leisurely time taking it all in and joining the hustle and bustle at the many shops in town. First we slept in, and then slowly got ready before even leaving the hotel…one of those days! We went into many stores but also did a lot of walking around allowing ourselves to get lost among the many streets. Gems are the big seller here in India so we started really getting into looking at the various shops for both jewelry, but also the actual large semi-precious stones themselves. The silver was weighed like it is in many other countries to determine the price but what stood out were the many various precious and semi-precious stones everywhere and they definitely like their gold! Tiger’s eye was everywhere since it is local to this country which we thought was very different looking.
After walking around all day , we had a tuk-tuk take us to Restaurant Ambrai which was right on the lake looking over Lake Palace (a Palace turned into a very expensive hotel) in the middle of the water. The restaurant was right outside of the city walls and was the perfect spot to view the sky line and the calming water as the sun set creating a pink glow. It seemed like such the perfect spot, we decided to order a bottle of wine along with a few dishes to get a good taste for the local cuisine. The appetizer was a starter platter with a little bit of everything and then we had a chicken dish in a curry-like sauce which was delicious to dip our naan bread in…
While we were eating and relaxing, we discussed whether or not to buy the pashmina…and decided we should! They would go for much more back home and we may as well get them from the source while we are here. We went back to the original pashmina store even though there are multiple vendors everywhere after our meal. We had him give his best offer and we made the purchase…hoping we weren’t being scammed which is a 50/50 shot here in Udaipur!
We went back to our hotel for the rest of the evening and took it easy until bedtime. Shopping and eating can take a lot out of you!
Published by Giff Kabat
I grew up in Ohio as a kid, so of course I went to college at “THE” Ohio State University. I graduated in 2001 with a major in business finance. A month after graduation, I moved out to California with my college girlfriend (whom I married in 2005)…and started my career in sales (industrial sales for 5 years…then moved into medical laser sales for 4 years).
In 2009 I was 31 years old. I had a great job, a new house, and a beautiful wife. Just when I thought things couldn’t get any better…my wife and I found out we were going to have a baby. Everything was going according to plan…and I couldn’t have scripted a better life for myself.
Then in the same year…everything changed. My wife, Brandey, called me when I was on my way to work and told me over the phone, something I never thought could be possible in a million years. My beautiful 30-year old pregnant wife was just told that she had breast cancer. At that moment, everything stopped all at once. I immediately went to her…and learned of our new plan…which began with her needing surgery immediately…and the rest we would find out later.
The day we returned from the hospital after Brandey’s surgery…my father died. He had been battling an aggressive cancer of his own…and although he was the one person I wanted to speak with about Brandey having cancer…I never told him. My sister, Brooke, had just gotten married a few months ago, and although he was weak, he was able to walk his little girl down the aisle of her wedding. On the night before my sister’s wedding, Brandey and I told him that we were pregnant and about to make him a grandfather. It made no sense to tell him that everything had changed for us…so he died in peace knowing everything was “the way it should be” for his only 2 children.
2010 was the worst year of my life. We had lost our baby…and for 12 months I watched my wife fight cancer with multiple surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation treatments, and drug therapy. It was a difficult year for us…but we made it. When you go through something like this in life, you learn a lot about yourself and the people around you. I was amazed at the strength and courage of my wife…and how many good people there are in this world. I will be forever grateful for the ones who never ceased to amaze me with their kindness during this hard time. Family, friends, and sometimes complete strangers…helped us make it through this. I am, and will always be especially grateful to my mother, who was with my dad at the very end, when I couldn’t be there, and when things were at their worst. She has been so supportive throughout all of this, and without her everything would have been so much harder for me.
It’s 2011 now…and the plan we have for our life this year…is to make it the best year of our lives. Brandey is officially in remission from breast cancer and she has a 95% chance the cancer will never come back. Besides the love that I have for my wife and family, the loves of my life are food, wine, and adventure travel. My wife and I love traveling to new places, seeing natural wonders, and meeting new people from different parts of the world. So for the next 400 days…we’ve decided to travel the world…and celebrate our lives. There are so many things I took for granted in life that I will never take for granted again. My father worked for over 30 years at the same job with the same company…rarely took time off…and died at 64 years old right after his retirement. For me, this trip is a combination of a tribute to him, along with wanting to spend the time of my life with the “love of my life.”
* The only thing I will miss while we are gone is our family and friends (who we hope will meet us somewhere throughout our trip) and especially our 3 little kitties we left with my mom in Ohio to catsit for the next 400 days. I will also miss watching “American Football” over the weekend…but I’ll do my best to check the scores in the middle of the night.
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