It was all Don's idea. I got the offer from Living Social too, but I ignored it. Don, on the other hand, thought the special Gate 1 Travel tour just might be too good a deal to pass up. And when it turned out his lovely wife Wendy wasn't interested, I got a call.
Hey Bill, want to go to India?
Um, sure, I guess, maybe...would we see the Taj Mahal?
OK, I'm in.
So that's how it all started back in early 2013, and just under a year later, January 16, 2014, off we went. The fact that I'd decided to move from DC to Memphis in the interim complicated things a little, but so what? Airplanes fly from Memphis to DC all day long, so that part was easy. The hard part was the long flights from Dulles to Delhi and back again -- Air France over, and KLM back. The only comfortable seat I found was on the Boeing 747 we flew from Delhi to Amsterdam. Otherwise, the flights were butt-busters. Oh my poor aching bottom. Next time it'll be business class.
Here's a map that shows where we went:
We started at A) Delhi for two nights, then off to B) Jaipur for two nights, then over to C) Agra for two nights and then sort of back to Delhi but really the Delhi suburb D) Gurgaon for dinner and bus to the airport for the flights home. That last day, January 23, was a killer for me. Wake up, see the Taj Mahal, back to the hotel to pick up bags, drive to Gurgaon, share a room with others and rest for a couple of hours, then dinner at the hotel, then off to the airport to wait for a 3:30 AM flight to Amsterdam and wait four hours for a flight to Dulles and wait five hours for a flight to Charlotte and wait an hour for a flight to Memphis, arriving at 11:18 pm, January 24. With some quick, (literally) back of the envelope figuring, it looks like it was ~30 hours from the time I woke up to go to the Taj Mahal til my head hit the pillow in Memphis. Whew. And just for the record, it's hard to sleep on an airplane while suffering from a major buttache.
Look at all the Gate 1 tourists!
Here we are! That's our outstanding tour guide, Davinder Singh, seated in front. It was a pleasure to share the journey with these folks, all from the USA I think, though some came by way of the Bahamas. A great group!
Now click on the links above to see where we went.