Today was a huge day – Monday, February 15th – our first official day of the Kerala Blog Express.  30 bloggers from 25 countries on a whirlwind tour throughout the state on a magical looking bus.

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But I was up EARLY…after my first night of very restful sleep, my second was…not so good.  Jet lag came on hard and I was up every hour or two.

Going for a walk, I watched the egg guy make deliveries in the most ornate truck.  Kerala is mainly vegetarian and eggs are very popular.

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Luckily, after getting up to watch a very hazy sunrise (so hazy that you couldn’t actually tell if the sun was up or not), the hotel was organizing for a giant wedding.

Drummers were practicing in the street.  Do you see what I mean by the smokey haze?

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And serious make-up and beautiful costuming was going on…

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Absolutely amazing dress…though I am not exactly sure this says “Welcome to the most romantic day of my life”.

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So so beautiful.

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And then…our bus arrived.  In its many colored splendor.  We are not sneaking around Kerala in the bus above.

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We loaded in to head to Trivandrum.  Time for the press conference.  EEEeek!

The Minister of Tourism and the organizers were there.

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Our names were then presented on the screen and we were asked to introduce ourselves at the podium.

That’s me.

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And I have no idea what I said…but I did say that I live in Belize.  That’s about all I remember.

We headed outside to a media frenzy!  This might be my 15 minutes of fame.

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And then the Minister took a selfie with all of us.  I believe it is on Twitter.

Here is my perspective.

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And from the other side…

We were off…loading into a bus to visit a temple in downtown Trivandrum.  It is not allowed to take photos inside but the women, all dressed to be blessed at the temple, outside were so interested in having their photos taken.  I loved it.

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The temple so intricately carved.  MAN!  I was dying to take pictures from closer but the guards meant business.  No cameras.  And that must be respected.

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A look around the area near the temple and around the capital city.

A look around the area near the temple and around the capital city.

Everyone is happy to have their picture taken and everyone is so friendly.

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And a flower booth to buy temple offerings.

And a flower booth to buy temple offerings.

We headed back to the sea town of Kovalam for tea and the beautiful sunset.  You can’t even imagine the amount of photos and selfies being taken by 30 bloggers, one French film crew and the official photographers of Kerala Tourism.  Insanity.

The Kardashians have nothing on us.

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Exhausted, we headed back to Trivandrum to spend the night.  Our small group checked into the Vivanta by Raj.  Wow.

We met the manager and the staff…I insisted that I couldn’t eat (it was almost 8:30pm and I had a blog to write!) and they sent up a “small taste of Kerala” to the room.

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The small taste that arrived about 15 minutes later…from two types of bread to 4 separate dishes and dessert.

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The official tour has begun!  Kerala – The Trip of a Lifetime, it is called.  And tomorrow we have a 7am pick-up to head out to the “Backwaters” and a night on a fleet of luxury houseboats!

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Namaste Kerala.  One day in and it has been amazing…

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