Thursday, December 18, 2008

It's Warm Down South

I met a friend for lunch yesterday who just returned from India—and is going back in two weeks. A jewelry designer and goldsmith, she spends much of her time in Southern India near Mysore, and travels around Goa and Kerala. I am envious she is going to the warm, luscious south of the country since Seattle is experiencing a cold spell right now. Today the city is wearing a blanket of white snow and it's still falling. Exceedingly beautiful but downright chilly.

On my last trip to India I went to Kerala for a few days—much too short. I stayed at a wonderful resort on the Arabian Sea and just off the Poovar River called Isola di Cocco I have not traveled to many tropical locales, but it was surely paradise to me. The sprawling property is populated by coconut groves (hence the name "Island of Coconut"), has a private beach you can access by boat, an Ayurvedic spa, gorgeous swimming pool, beautiful outdoor dining, outdoor yoga facility (you can hear the ocean as you practice) and there is water everywhere.

Most of the resort is in the traditional architectural style of Kerala. Cozy cottages are made of teak wood inside and out with gabled roofs, verandahs, and airy bathrooms that are open to the outdoors. It was deliciously hot and humid when I was there in September. While my heat-sensitive roommate watched TV in the air-conditioned room I took walks on the beach, swam in the pool, took a yoga class and watched bright blue kingfishers dive for food in the ponds. I drank fresh watermelon juice and coconut water.

It's a warm memory on this chilly day.

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