Thursday, July 1, 2010

My Crazy Georgian Adventure Part Two

In the last post we left off with art exhibits, wine chateaus, and presidential helicopters going off to a mystery destination. Here is Part Two to my Crazy Georgian Adventure.

Part Two: Batumi + Saakashvili Summer Home
The First Lady, her kids and all of us get off the old Russian helicopter and jump into a series of SUV's to drop the teenage son, Edward off to summer camp.

EXTREME SUV CONVOY. Apparently security is measured in the amount of gallons of green house gas you put into the atmosphere. Given that we had 6-7 SUVs for 15 people, we were EXTRA safe.

It was quite a contrast to have this huge convoy accompanied by police roll through the Georgian villages. The villagers, cows and farm life came out to send us off to this mysterious camp.

THE CAMP. No one told me we were taking him to Michael Jackson's fantasy land. (ps.yo watch out for that deathstar unterseeboot on the prowl!)

Poor kid. Everyone came out to see who was arriving with such a flashy escort. 14 year old, first time at camp, tall and skinny and into sciences. Apparently he hates the security that's around all the time. I hope he does alright at camp.. After we jump back into the helicopter and head to the summer home of the Saakashvili's.

Head to Batumi, an amazingly beautiful coastal city with mountains. There are no sandy beaches yet, nor is the boardwalk quite developed, but it's in the process of being done and clubs are being built and renovated. Batumi, Georgia is my bet for number one up and coming party spot.

Cheesy kiss with the sunset. Waiting to have seafood dinner with the First Lady along the sea.

They roll in, police escort and we get in trouble for taking pictures. We have a lovely dinner in a restaurant called Goldfish, along the sea with the sun setting. It was perfect. I felt horrible however, when my chocolate craving kicked in and the simple task of stopping by the store on the way home meant breaking up the security envoy.. I explain to the First Lady and she completely understands because she can't live without chocolate either!

The next day at the Botanical Gardens. Sandra Roelofs is trying to hide Nikolai's video games for the photo. Boyfriend's dad and her are friends because apparently they're both Frisian, or something like that. She is really one of the nicest people you can meet and so pretty! She met Saakashvili at a summer school course on human rights. Makes me want to read her book, The Story of an Idealist. 

This trip is my first time seeing the Black Sea. It looks so beautiful how can there be relatively almost no life in there? After more family times and security guards, boyfriend and I break off and go search for waterfalls (one of my fav' things to do in hot, mountainous places).

 The trip through the mountains. Apparently there are not many tour companies yet to take people there so the only way to the waterfall is by car. Lucky for us (maybe..) that we had our own mini escort team to take us. They were Georgian locals who worked for the government so they knew their way around and I guess made travel much easier than when trying to do it indie styles...

It was great having help but there were downsides, such as no alone time or freedom to go exploring where ever we wanted, I really do love adventure.. Oh well, finally there we were too cold to jump in.

He looks like he's about to literally die from the cold. Brave soul takes the first leap.

Like walruses in the sun, we try desperately to dry off from the refreshingly cold swim. My people aren't made for these temperatures!

After, our guides took us to the oldest bridge in Georgia. Scared? Hell naw. They almost flipped their shizzle though when they saw us dangling our feet off the side of this unprotected area. I'm still trying to decide how I feel about not having an indie trip. On one hand, we would have had an extremely hard time finding any of this without them (still possible, just harder), but then again, isn't that part of the adventure..language barriers, getting lost, trying to get rides... I dunno

At least we got great pictures of the two of us which is always hard when we're alone. We get back into the car and head back to the President's home for seafood dinner along Black Sea and then the best part to come.. JET SKIIS!!!!!!

The view from our balcony. Behind the trees is the sea! The room we had had two balconies, beautiful bed, great shower and bathroom, a bidet (which I HIGHLY enjoy as a female), fresh fruit ready all the time. Holy shit, the room and the view along the sea made all the security almost worth it. Whateves, I cannot thank Ms. Roelofs enough for giving us the best birthday present a young couple could ask for.

Preparing the jetskiis. Man what a mother frackin' life of a president, eh. I would kill for this place! But still, it must be hard being the First Lady. Did you know that the wife of the president in Georgia is not allowed to have her own income or own job?!?! I would have a hard time being cool with that, but at the same time she has and she takes the opportunity to do so much good. Just in the next couple days Ms. Roelofs was inviting a couple classes of school girls from the mountains to let them see the city. She had went to the rural areas to talk about sexual education for females when the topic is still so taboo.

Finally, freedom to go exploring the coast and find cliffs to jump off of! But even in the water we had an escort, Georgian George. He wouldn't allow us to go off on our own. We spent the time racing in the water, trying to flip each other off and then jumping into the water while the sun was setting. Our time was limited and we would have to go soon..

We got the idea that it was time to peace out when our HELICOPTER came to pick us up. I'm sorry I can't stop capitalizing helicopter. It's just so damn cool!!!

Reluctant to leave one of the coolest days of our lives, we take one last jump into the black abyss of the sea. Even though it wasn't the Aladdin, poverty adventure I was used to I cannot express how happy and lucky I feel to even have had the chance to be Prince Ali. It got tiring sometimes, all the security and precautions and rules (kind of the antithesis of my personality). I guess in the end though, it really gave me some perspective, and made me truly appreciate my humble goal of creating the indie guides to the world so regular shmucks like us can travel and ball out without bling bling. Anyways, the First Lady said that when (when!?!)  boyfriend and I get married we can honey moon there. Great offer, but like I'd ever marry this chump :P

Speaking of Arabian tales, get ready for our Egyptian trip we embarked on that very night. Complete 180 from Georgia, this was one rough ass and difficult trip...
Haha the least of our difficulties would start with the misspelling of names at the airport. Mr. Paul Taulsen.

See also..
Georgia Part One: Of Castles, Helicopters and the KGB

This has nothing to do with the country I've been in, but it's my coup de coeur at the moment. Broken Bells, it is hip hop producer Danger Mouse with James Mercer of the Shins. Amazing collaboration, funky and sexy rock meets jazzy cool beats...

Broken Bells-The Ghost Inside.mp3


  1. The waterfall and bridge shots are amazing!
    Hookups with royal families = also amazing.
    Don't feel guilty about that.

    Also, despite your couple-y pics and adorableness, you can joke about not wanting to marry him. hahah, i love that. way to keep him on his toes :P

  2. Ummmm... you're bathing suit(s) look amazing! Just saying.
    MISS YOU SO MUCH. Such a wonderful experience and I'm so jealous about that helicopter!

  3. wow you're so lucky!

  4. Nice trip to Batumi! I luv it.