A Night at the Dune Eco Village Resort near Pondicherry – Travel with Tom and Priscilla

Tom Asia, Travel, Video 0 Comments

Priscilla had found the Eco Village Resort as a pretty well rated place to stay, but at $40 bucks a night, I was let’s just say a bit skeptical… Wow was I wrong! This is true paradise that feels as if you have been dropped onto another planet of beauty and lifestyle.

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To find the Eco Village, you turn off the paved highway to a pothole ridden dirt road passing by a few less attractive residences… Then you pass through a large gate to circle drive and gravel parking lot to check in. At this point you still don’t know what you’ve gotten yourself into… “Alright let’s try it out” and we parted with our driver for the night and jumped aboard the mini-van fully equipped with a tiger painting.

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Bumpty bump on into the resort along a small one lane dirt path lined with palm trees and mini cottages with thatch roofs. We were really into the village now! As we approached our lodge, the “Flex House” as it is named, was magnificent little rustic cottage with an other worldly feel. Pop open the padlock and enter to a spacious room with a boxed-in bed, high cieling that exposed the natural roof, and totally cool translucent walls with flower photos printed on them. Wow.

We only had one night here, so we were off right away to explore the property. Exotic trees and plants fill every view as we walked through the property at sunset. It was amazing, each “house” on the property was unique and had an authentically different experience. Some had outdoor showers, one was built high above the rest to give the ultimate view of the Indian ocean, and all had a feeling of true India. As we explored the area, we found the farm on site with a number of cows and fresh vegetables. The village was developed to be generally self sustaining, minus the beers and a few other modern conveniences.

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One of my most vivid memories from this stay were the sounds. Our lodging was located just off the beach from the Indian Ocean and the sound of the waves breaking set the baseline for the atmosphere. Then early in the morning, the temple just outside of the village began with chants that remind you that you are definitely not in Illinois any more. Check out this video for a snippet of sound from the early morning hours.

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Mahabalipuram Underwater City, India 10

Mahabalipuram Underwater City, India – Travel with Tom and Priscilla

Tom Asia, Travel 0 Comments

Driving in India is always an adventure and the first few minutes in the car will surely confirm that you are not in Illinois anymore. Our friends Anusha and Barath had arranged for a driver for us and for good reason, because the Indian style of driving is absolutely best left to the professionals. Once out the city and on the Indian “highway” you will notice that no one drives on their side of the road because there is always a need to pass something or other. Maybe because the roads are shared modes of transit including cars, trucks, busses, cows, dogs and humans. My brother the safety guy would have blown a gasket with the regular “close calls” of near death on the road.

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Tom Schmidt Photo Mahabalipuram Underwater City, India 08

But we made it alive to the first stop on our South Indian tour: Mahabalipuram, The Underwater City. As we got the area there were a number of people that approached the car wanting to give us a personal tour of the area. We felt that it may be a scam, but found one man that agreed to a somewhat reasonable rate so we agreed, parked the car and went for a walk around the area to learn about the Underwater city of Mahabalipuram. The story goes something like this: A King built the great monuments, then the sand covered it long ago, and then a number of years ago it was dug up and is still there today. The sculptures and and structures are quite cool and VERY OLD.

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Chennai, India Street Photos and Videos- Travel with Tom and Priscilla

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We went to the faraway place called India… It is a completely different world for this Midwestern boy. We visited in 2015 to attend a friend’s wedding in Chennai and then had a few days for exploring. The weather proved to be quite challenging during our visit with torrential downpours and flooding. When Chennai floods, it really floods! Then the clouds parted for some amazing blue sky as we began our voyage south. Check out a few images and videos from our first day around Chennai!

Tom and Priscilla Visit Chennai, India

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Tom Schmidt Photo in Buffalo Grove Chicago

First Snow in Buffalo Grove – Pictures with Tom

Tom Travel, U.S. 0 Comments

In Chicago it snows.

Winter has always been the most dreaded season for us. The harsh cold wind that pierces through even the thickest and toughest of winter coats, the sharp air that sucks the moisture out of everything and anything, and just the sheer coldness that drives us to hide in our insulated dwellings, safely away from the chilling claws of winter.

Yet, there is magic in the first snow. The dancing snowflakes blanket the land, transforming everything they touch, giving beauty to even the most mundane of landscapes such as the suburb we live in.
What better time to take a stroll and enjoy the silent and mesmerizing snowy day?

Enjoy the first Snow in Chicago with Tom and Priscilla.

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Tom Schmidt Photo in Buffalo Grove Chicago

Tom Schmidt Photo in Buffalo Grove Chicago

Tom Schmidt Photo in Buffalo Grove Chicago

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tahquamenon falls michigan Tom Schmidt Photo travel blog

Tahquamenon Falls, Michigan – Travel with Tom and Priscilla

Tom Travel, U.S. 0 Comments

With the first real summer holiday coming up fast, we wanted to find a spot to camp outdoors at a drive-able distance from Chicago… So we were off to Tahquamenon located on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

And you ask why the UP of Michigan of all places to visit? Well we haven’t been there yet and Tahquamenon is the largest waterfall East of the Mississippi!

tahquamenon falls michigan Tom Schmidt Photo travel blog

Tahquamenon Falls – July 4th weekend 2016

 
We stuffed our little red Toyota Corolla FULL with a tent, ground pads, sleeping bags and food, and began our road trip to the UP.

The drive from Chicago is about 8 hours, and the route hugs Lake Michigan all the way. We passed through the great Midwestern cities of Milwaukee and Green Bay before entering the UP where the terrain changes to gentle hills and endless forests.tahquamenon falls michigan Tom Schmidt Photo travel blog

On the drive up I was recalling my college days at the University of Michigan and the people I had met from throughout the state. When you ask these locals about some Michigan geography or their hometown, Michigan folks instinctively pull up their left hand, point to a location on the back of their hand, and that is where they are from. The Michigan state looks roughly looks like a mitten and this hand trick is as common as the Michigan apples. Somehow, The Upper Peninsula has always been left out of this neat little trick as though it is some unknown place. Truthfully, having lived in Michigan for four years while in college, I don’t actually know much about the UP except that there are trees everywhere.

Let’s Travel!

tahquamenon falls michigan Tom Schmidt Photo travel blog


Tahquamenon Falls – July 4th weekend 2016

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