The Elephant Court

Some days don’t like myself.

Some days I wake up and I think today is going to be a good day. I will be a good person. Then, somewhere along the way I lose myself. I lose my composure and my ability to keep calm. Yesterday that happened. I am embarrassed and I feel bad about it.

We started the day as we have been, by driving from one hotel to the next.  I have been getting car sick, so I have been in the back sleeping, while grandpa is in the front with our driver, Kumar.

I was less than pleased with the Tea County Hotel as I told you yesterday.  I will be giving them bad marks when I write my review.

We made it to the Elephant Court Hotel, which I have been so excited about, since I saw their photos online. Granted photos are deceiving and the hotel wasn’t quite as beautiful as the photos show. Meh.

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We went to the room at 12 pm after checking in and the internet died. I called the front desk and asked for them to help.  They sent someone with the username and password.  I explained to him that it wasn’t a sign in problem, it was a repeater problem.  He said he understood and started to walk away like he was going to get help. He turned around when he figured out that I knew what I was talking about because his cell phone connected when it hit a different repeater. Oh joy, I am not an idiot.  I told the gentleman that I was going on a boat tour and that if they could fix the internet in my room that would be lovely.

The Boat Tour

It was a boat tour, nothing exciting. We did however get to see two different herds of elephants, otters, birds, rocks that grandpa calls elephants that are in disguise, trees that the woman next to us calls snakes that are in hiding, a wild boar, some deer, and that one dudes hand that kept getting in my frame. It was fun. Sadly the boat was big.  We had 8 people per row, so it is hard to get some of the awesome shots of all the above mentioned cool things…oh well.  You will take my word for it right?

 IMG_4072The boat everyone is boarding is our boat

IMG_4082This is Hank

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This is getting OTTER-ly ridiculous but you can see Kevin and his offspring

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As the Spanish call them… El Kevino Familia.

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The Kevin Family

IMG_4060This isn’t a race thing but this is Black Kevin

IMG_4066Kevin and Baby Kevin

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This is Kevin.

The Spice Plantation

So at first I didn’t know what we were going to see. Grandpa and I questioned if we really wanted to go on the tour, but we paid for it and it would be silly not to go. It was only an hour right?

WRONG! We were in the van heading back to the hotel 47 minutes after arriving at the Spice Plantation.

Really? Wow! Nope, I will not say it a was good tour. I wouldn’t even call it an alright tour. It was awesome! The guide was really good and he really enjoys his work. You can tell by the way he explains the tour. It was hands on and we learned a lot from it.

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Our guide for the spice planation

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Cocoa

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Kevin the Elephant

Dinner and the Blow UP!

Grandpa and I live by the rules of: it is 5pm somewhere.

We have a drink together every few nights and discuss everything. If this was a cigar lounge we would be the men with the white mustaches and the monocles. We waited until dinner this evening, which started at 7.  I had gone back to the room and found that the internet still wasn’t working. After about 20 minutes of waiting for no one to show up, I called back and asked that they fix it while I enjoyed my dinner.

Dinner was wonderful! Dessert was amazing and I almost went back for more cake.

I like cake. Cake is good. Let them eat cake! The cakes a lie! Enough about the cake Carl!

So after dinner, we headed back to the room and still no internet. So I called and a gentleman showed up with the same username and password “fix” like before. I could tell that no one else on my block had been contacting them that the wifi was out. After that news, he told me he would see if the IT guy could check it out. They never showed back up. I went to the pool to work and call Texas (where we could get internet).  Low and behold, the gentleman who came to our room found me and told me that the IT guy could fix it and had known since 1pm. This is where I start to dislike myself.

This guy wasn’t the problem and he wanted to be helpful, but he just didn’t have the ability. I asked for his manager and he kindly took me to the front desk.  He called his boss but his boss was heading home and told him to get my cell number so he could call me.  Since I don’t have wifi, he couldn’t do that. At my limit, I asked the gentleman to take me to the overnight GM and we finally found him.

I did my best to remain calm, I really did, I promise.  I explained that I was tired of people coming to my room.  I told him I had explained the problem time and time again over the phone and they just kept sending people who brought me the same username and password. Clearly the IT guy isn’t doing his job. 

I told him I wasn’t looking for anything and that I just wanted him to know that it really makes it hard for someone reviewing his hotel to do their job when they cannot connect to the internet.

The Big Fix

I sat at the pool and talked business for about an hour until my phone was ready to die.  I needed to sleep, but when I got back to my room the internet was fixed. I asked my grandfather and he told me that the IT guy came and fixed it!

I woke up and packed.  I head straight down to the front desk to find the GM, Mr. Shaju Sebastian and I thanked him for getting it fixed.  He told me that when I told him that the ladies in the room next to me were also without internet that he called the IT guy back and told him to fix it. Thank you.

I am sorry for the way that happened!  I am thankful for the service and willingness to fix this. Credit where credit is due and you sir handled my problem and made sure that the guest on our block had internet.

Milkshakes

The Elephant Court is a hotel I intend on returning to with someone special one day. I love south India and I want to spend more time here.

Also they had a vanilla milkshake for breakfast that was amazing!  I will go back just for the milkshake. I guess it is true what they say, The Elephant Courts milkshake brings all the boys to the yard.

Alright, well I need to sleep.  I am going to get this sent on and and pass out!

Baileys: A Whipped Review and Recipe

I was introduced to Baileys through Haagen Dazs ice cream. Growing up my mother would buy their rum raisin ice cream and then act like it was alcoholic so I could only have a small taste (she just didn’t want to share).

Getting Hooked

One night on my way home from the gym I decided to go buy a container of the rum raisin. The store was out, so I figured I would try the Baileys Haagen Dazs ice cream and I was hooked. Sadly, Haagen Dazs has since discontinued the flavor.

original

Since turning 21, I have always kept a bottle Baileys Original Irish Cream in my liquor cabinet. I use Baileys mostly for milkshakes and other tasty treats. Baileys, for me, is more of a dessert drink, making it a liquor that allows for a different creativity when you are making drinks.

Baileys 5 different flavors

1. Baileys Original Irish cream

2. Baileys  Espresso Crème

3. Baileys Salted Caramel

4. Baileys Chocolate Cherry

5. Baileys Vanilla Cinnamon

The Recipe

I wanted to write this review as an excuse to publish my recipe that turned my grandmother into a little kid who demands that she gets to lick the bowl.

Baileys Whipped Cream

8oz Heavy Cream
1Tbs confectioners’ sugar (powdered sugar)
1oz Baileys (I use the original cream because it best mimics the Haagen Dazs)

Combine in a mixing bowl and whisk until peaks form in the whipped cream OR (and this is how I learned how to make it) combine all ingredients into a single serving blender (nutribullet or comparable with the Extractor Blade) and blend until the blender sounds like it is having a harder time whipping through the mix.

Serve Chilled

I serve this chilled for about 15 minutes in the freezer to thicken it up and garnished with chocolate shavings on top.


Vivani 100% Organic Dark Chocolate – Orange (70% cocoa)

I love chocolate… WAIT! Let me rephrase that. If I buy expensive chocolate for myself do not touch it if you plan to keep all your digits. Yes I love chocolate that much. I am not a chocolate connoisseur but I might call myself a chocolate snob at times.

Tafel_Feine_Bitter_Orange

Where I live there are two Central Markets (they offer an unmatched selection of domestic and imported foods) near me that my family and I like to shop at for all of our non staple foods. My father and I have a game of sorts where we each pick out a chocolate bar and then try them out to help feed our love of chocolate.

Last trip we made together we picked up a  Vivani 100% Organic Dark Chocolate – Orange (70% cocoa). For 70% is it a little sweeter than I had expected and the aftertaste was a smooth hint of orange. The bar is scored in rectangles which made for easy breaking to enjoy just a few bites at a time. 

  The chocolate is made in Herford, Germany.

Overall Thoughts:

The orange is not overwhelming and very tasty. I found it to be a more refined taste to the Terry’s chocolate oranges that come in a ball that you tap on a table to split the chocolate “orange slices”  apart.

Rating:

(out of 5 stars)

Smoothness:  ****1/2

Richness: ***

Orange: **1/2 

Chocolatey: ****

Lack of Graininess: ****