Sunday, October 21, 2007

SrI Lanka

We have been dragging the kids all around Asia for the past year and decided that the next trip we go on will be their choice, well with some overwhelming influence from Mom and Dad. Left to their own our the kids would just stay at home and eat spicy Kurkure's. So we suggested a beach holiday in Bentota, Sri Lanka, and they agreed!!!

Sri Lanka is a relatively small Island that was recently of course hit by the Tsunami and faced unbelievable devastation. The people of Sri Lanka are very friendly and courteous and like all people over here they are fascinated by the two white foreigners with the three Korean kids.

We landed late in the evening and our driver and van took us directly to our hotel. The Taj Cinnamon is and old style English influenced Hotel. The rooms actually have carpeted floors which is rare here and the woodwork is all dark oak and very "stoic". There was a wedding reception going on when we arrived and Kay was enamored with the bride. We were given a mango welcome drink which was odd being that mangos are not now in season? The kids had been in a car, on a plane, in a car for a total of about 5 hours so it was a welcome surprise that the wedding reception was there because it provide a decoy to the usually arrive of the Loudamericans and what is becoming a tradition of running up and down the hallways while trying to wake up everyone in the hotel! Quite embarrassing for the elder two of the five some.

The next morning at breakfast Jimmy announced that he was hungry. Now for a parent this is usually welcome to hear as most parents, at least these two, trying to convince the kids that they need to eat is much like negotiating the Tready of Versi!

So Jimmy began a five day eating frenzy starting each day with 2 donuts, one cinnamon roll, 3-4 pigs in a blanket( those yummy sausage pancake things) two minutes steaks some fruit and to finish, a cup of hot chocolate this was everyday!!

After that we got into the van for a 3-4 hour ride to the beach. We cancelled the city tour of Columbo and headed directly to beach,waves,pool and God help us naps:)! The drive south out of Columbo to Bentota was somewhat uneventful. The roads are similar the traffic no more educated than their Indian brothers or sisters however one important note of distinction was the absence of domestic farm animals wondering aimlessly the roads!

There are many Buddhist temples as will as Hindu shrines however we did not stop as this trip was about the beach. We arrived at the Taj Exoctica and were greeted by a small band of porters and such and caused quite a moment as we arrived several hours earlier than expected as we cancelled the city tour. The front desk manager was all shook up as to what to do so he gave a welcome coconut drink which was so terrible that we could not even choke down a sip!! we solved his dilemma by having lunch while they got our room ready.

The room was worth the wait as it was a deluxe suite with two separate rooms !! We put the kids in one and us in the other and it was great. We changed clothes and headed down to the pool and to "look" around. The place was somewhat deserted with only about 50 or so guests. The pool was great and it even had a swim up bar that only Jimmy actually used. We were watching Billy and Kay in the little pool and looked over and was Jimmy at the bar drinking an orange soda, only here would they serve a 6 year old at the bar and when asked for money he said I have none, so the next question was "what is your room number", of course.

We spent Sunday afternoon exploring the beach and local area found a turtle hatchery not far away and then settled in for the late afternoon and evening at the hotel. The kids were nap free on Sunday and after swimming all afternoon and dinner at the hotel they crashed. which was our plan. Mom and Dad then had some fine in room dining complete with a linen table cloth!!

We got up and had another big breakfast and then headed down the beach for the turtle hatchery and swimming. The turtle hatchery is well generous to call it that. It is basically several concrete tanks that hold one each of a sea turtle. These turtles have been injured in some sort and are being taken care of by whom, I am not sure with the hopes of returning them to the ocean. There is also a fenced in area that is rumored to have turtle eggs. We were told to come back to the restaurant that night for dinner and we would be able to see the turtles hatching as now is the perfect time.?

We then spent the late morning and early afternoon chasing Jimmy in and out of the ocean. Kay and Billy were content to play in the sand and make sand angels and like that. Finally tired out we headed back for lunch and hopefully naps. Tracy headed out to get some provisions whilst Tom tried to get the kids to nap. Jimmy said" actually I am quite tired form all that swimming I think I am going to lay down for a bit" 2 hours later he was up and ready to while Billy and Kay were losing energy. We took the fine gentleman up on his offer to see the turtles hatch and try the restaurant. There as you would assume no activity in the hatchery and upon inquiry I was told perhaps tomorrow you never know!. The food was quite good, Jimmy eat and Adult size portion of Mac and Cheeses while Kay devoured a plate of pasta and Billy as usual said" I don't like it, I want chocolate milk" but managed to eat a plate of pasta. Fish and prawns for Mom and Dad and we all retired for a good night sleep.


More breakfast and then the beach. Today we acquired a boogie board for jimmy at around 10:00 in the morning and Tracy and him were never seen again. They had a blast for a couple of hours while Tom, Billy and Kay played with the bowls and cups and pictures Tracy had found on her shopping trip. Naming them sand toys made perfect sense to the kids. Pool in the afternoon followed by an auto rickshaw ride to this awesome restaurant. We made the mistake of going out when the kids were again nap free. Food takes along time in Sri Lanka as they usually have a menu but no inventory. So the food is fresh it just takes awhile and poor Billy fell asleep in his chair followed by Jimmy.


More of the same followed by a learning curve for Mom and Dad. Acting on a tip from our friends the Webb's we went to this restaurant called Sun and Surf. They also have massage. This is where the learning curve comes into play.Tracy went to the place in the early afternoon as the kids actually succumbed to a nap. Then she placed our dinner order and got a head,neck and shoulder rub as well as one for Tom.!!

we showed up at 7:00 cold beer was there for Tom and a whole fried chicken and fries for the kids which they devoured. Then the main course of puffin fish,prawns and a cold bottle of Chardonnay!!! It was a great treat. The restuarant is right by the railroad tracks and when the train came the kids all thought that was the coolest thing ever!


We were sad to leave the beach but all good things have to temporarily rest. We were told it would take 4 hours to get to the airport and being that we had an international flight we had to be there two hours early. So to catch our 6:55 flight we left at noon. We had promised the kids a trip to MacDonald's and the driver miss-lead us by telling us there was one at the airport which there is not. He also pulled into the airport at 3:30, it was a long wait!

Sri Lanka is a lovely place, friendly people and a spot that the Loudamericans highly recommend.