1. Joel got the vacation time.
2. American Airlines found us seats with our frequent flyer miles (2+ hours on the phone) – Joel flies in and out of Kochi, I fly in to Kochi and out of Delhi.
3. Availability for the trips we wanted (that turned out to be trickier than expected).
4. Housesitter for the time we are both gone (thanks Sally!)

We are doing the Southern India trip for two weeks together, and then Joel will fly home. I will continue on to Delhi to spend two weeks in northern India – and the really great part is that my cousin Leah is going to join me for those two weeks! So I will have company for the whole trip! Yay!

Southern India includes Kochi, Periyar National Park, Madurai, the Sri Meenakshi Temple, the Ghandi Museum, Pondicherry, Mamallapuram, Mysore Palace, a safari at Bandipur National Park, and the Nilgiri mountains.

Northern India includes Delhi, Agra (home of the Taj Mahal), Keoladeo Bird Sanctuary, Jaipur, Castle Bijaipur, and Pushkar.

It was a tough choice for Joel – but he favors the eclectic over the crowds, so he chose, as I predicted, the southern trip. We leave mid-January.