Category Archives: Travel

Travel Diaries-Chandigarh and Delhi

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I got back from a month long visit home, in this case Chandigarh, since my parents retired and moved back to India. It was a month of catching up with my parents, cousins, aunts and uncles, and all of them getting to meet my son. He definitely had a blast and loved that everyone wanted to run behind him, and basically fulfill anything that came out of his mouth.

Sticker books are a must while traveling to keep your little one busy and entertained

Sticker books are a must while traveling to keep your little one busy and entertained

Flying with a toddler can get difficult, I have been lucky that in the ten or flights we have taken with Vivaan, he has slept through them. We also try and pick flights close to his nap times, so that definitely helps. The only difficulty I had to face was the 15kg weight allowance. I just cannot travel light. At least Go Air allows you to pre-book additional luggage, which turns out to be a lot cheaper than paying by the kilo during check-in. If you are travelling with babies or going to a wedding, this is the flight to take.

Dressed up for the Cocktail

Dressed up for the Cocktail

Showing his dance moves at the Engagement

Showing his dance moves at the Engagement

During my trip home, we went for a short four days to Delhi to attend a beautiful wedding. After having attended quite a bit of Maharashtrian weddings, a North Indian wedding can be a bit of a shocker. It is almost taken for granted that everything will be running late, and strangely everyone is calm about it going around eating their appetizers and sipping on their drinks. And when it comes to dressing up there is no such thing as too much, leaving me forever feeling under dressed.

The gorgeous wedding mandap at The Lalit

The gorgeous wedding mandap at The Lalit

Back in Chandigarh, we played tourist and took my son to Sukhna Lake, Mansa Devi, Chattbir Zoo, on a picnic, to Sector 17 and Elante. He absolutely loved the zoo, and would get so excited every time we came across an animal he recognized from his books. My husband’s family visited last year, and they fell in love with the city-it is so clean and organized and people mostly follow travel rules. It is an excellent place to explore, and then from there to head to one of the nearby hill stations.

Selfie at Mansa Devi

Selfie at Mansa Devi

Vivaan and my dad at the zoo

Vivaan and my dad at the zoo

And there is no shortage of places to eat and shop either. A lot of my Indian wear is from there, and without fail every time I wear a piece I receive compliments. The designs and the colors are louder and so different than what I find in Mumbai and Nasik.

It was a fun holiday, meeting up with family, friends and their babies, and talking as if no time had passed since the last time we were physically in the same place.

Amazing Thailand!!!!

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Hello! Hello! I know it’s been a while for us writing…like my blogging partner said, the last 6 months of 2014 went by in a whirlwind. Honestly, a lot of times I did sit down in front of my laptop and thought about writing a post, but I then I was like “I have nothing to share.” So back again, I would switch off the laptop, and go on with the daily routine. My husband constantly asked why I wasn’t blogging and I kept saying I have nothing to write about; in all honesty, I was getting a bit lazy. But as they say, absence makes the heart go fonder and I am back!

Bangkok Traffic

Bangkok Traffic

A lot happened in 2014….probably the biggest is the fact that we are expecting a baby in May!!!! A million emotions are constantly running through me, feelings of excitement an d nervousness. I think I might write a separate post on all that I keep constantly thinking about.

Let me get back to what this blog is supposed to be about, as the title suggests, I just came from a quick 4 day trip to Bangkok. It’s the city I grew up in and even though most of my friends and family have moved on….the city still holds a super special place in my heart. The last time I visited Bangkok was almost 6/7 years ago and while a lot has changed, a lot hasn’t.

Strolling around Lumpini Park

Strolling around Lumpini Park

So what did I do in Bangkok? I ate, shopped, slept, ate, shopped, slept….on repeat. I guess that is what a good vacation is about. I constantly complain that the Thai food in India doesn’t quite make the cut. Some places (ex: Baan Tao or Polka Dots in Pune have good curries), but they don’t get that 100% authentic taste. Also they say, street food in Thailand is the best, so I was pretty much on a mission to make my husband try all the food that I grew up eating…from the krapao kai…to Swensens ice-cream to Paprika chips.

Mama Tom Yum

Mama Tom Yum

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Sticky Chewy Fantasy at Swensens….still my favorite ice cream flavor!

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Mango Ice Cream & Mango Custard at Mango Tango, Siam

 

We, also, did do a lot of shopping for the baby. Yes, you can find almost everything you need for a baby in India (thank you Amazon.in), but variety is an issue. I fell in love with almost all the baby things I saw and actually had to be told to stop shopping for the baby (the malls in Bangkok probably deserve a separate post as well).

It was a much needed trip. I am back feeling rejuvenated, refreshed and ready to take on the next 6 weeks of work. Bangkok….I am not sure when we will meet next, but till next time….see ya!

The trendy Terminal 21 mall, which is designed like an airport with each floor representing a different global city.

The trendy Terminal 21 mall, which is designed like an airport with each floor representing a different global city.

Travel Diaries – Maldives

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It has been a while-it is wedding season in India, and it can get a bit exhausting getting ready for the functions. And then we just got a bit lazy.

But, finally here my pics from the trip to the Maldives in November. We were there for four days, and wish that we could have stayed there longer. We stayed at the Paradise Beach Resort, which was approximately 20 minutes away from the airport in a speed boat.

View from the seaplane ride

View from the seaplane ride

From our 6am photosession

From our 6am photosession

Overwater villas (morning, noon and night views)

Overwater villas (morning, noon and night views)

Jump shots are a must

Jump shots are a must

You can choose to do as much or as little in the Maldives.There is snorkeling, diving, jet sking, submarine ride, sea plane ride, island hopping, fishing, sunset cruises, and Male sightseeing to choose from. Also, most resorts tend to organize events in the evening as well- there was crab racing, live band, and a Bollywood night while we were staying.

We chose to simply relax, and let our son enjoy the sand and the water. And boy did he love it. We had a beach front villa, and he would wake up and just want to step out onto the sand and start playing with his toys. Even during breakfast, all he wanted to do was go into the pool.

Vivaan and his toys

Vivaan and his toys

Once you have kids, I think you need to plan holidays keeping in mind what they would enjoy the most. Toddlers are really too young to understand or appreciate culture or monuments. All they want to do is be able to play and eat when they are hungry and nap, and then repeat the cycle. Our son probably enjoyed the most, and for that we are so glad to have made this trip.

Travel Diaries – Sri Lanka

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I just got back from a week long family holiday in Sri Lanka and the Maldives (that country deserves a separate post). We were initially a bit hesitant traveling with a toddler, not sure how well he would adjust to the traveling. But, he could not have enjoyed more-napping while we were on the road, and ready to run around the minute we had arrived at our destination. He managed to develop quite a fan club at the airports and hotels as well. DSC_1072

Going from India, a few things that hit you is how clean the country is, how green it is, and there is a distinct lack of honking on the streets. Also, everyone seems to follow traffic rules.

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Elephant Orphanage

We were in Sri Lanka for four days before flying out to the Maldives, and since the trip was with a group, it did get a bit hectic. We flew down to Colombo, and straight off made our way to Kandy stopping on the way to visit the Pinnawalla Elephant Orphanage.

After a quick rest at our hotel, Mahaweli Reach, we headed for a cultural dance in the evening followed by a visit to the Temple of the Tooth Relic.

Tea Estates of Nuwara Eliya

Tea Estates of Nuwara Eliya

The next day we did a day trip to Ashok Vatika in Nuwara Eliya, which was almost a three hour ride each way. This was a detour from our original plan, but a site many wanted to visit because of its importance in Hinduism. It is an uphill ride, and definitely not for those who get car sick easily.

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Next day we headed towards Dambulla to visit the UNESCO listed Golden Temple, then stopped to visit the Luckgrove Spice and Herbal Garden, before heading off to Bentota. We stayed at the gorgeous Cinnamon Bey Beruwala for the night, and really hoped that we had stayed there longer. It is such a gorgeous sea facing property.

On our final day in the country we visited a turtle hatchery, and then headed off to the capital. We drove around the city visiting popular landmarks, and ended the day with some shopping at the House of Fashion, which is basically an outlet mall. I ended up picking books and some clothes from Zara Baby and US Polo for my baby for a fraction of what it would have cost me here. My husband picked a sports jacket from Zara for roughly 1000 INR, and my sister in law picked dresses from Mango. We did an overnight at the Berjaya Hotel Colombo before catching our early flight to the super gorgeous, and our dream holiday destination-Maldives.

Summer in U.S.

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Last week I made a super quick trip back to the States! Looking back I can’t believe that I have been living in India for close to two years. How has it been? Well, somedays have been excruciatingly difficult-I was constantly questioning will I  ever adjust to India. Somedays, the smallest task would emotionally drain me. On other days, living in India was no different (I mean sure it is different – but I felt content on an emotional level); I felt like I actually fit in.

A lot of my friends asked me how it felt to be back in the States. My answer is that it felt very comforting. Having called the States my home for 10 years made me super familiar with things. I mean I knew where to go for things, how to get things done, the directions, what questions will be asked while ordering my favourite sushi or meal, etc., and it felt really good. In India, I am still figuring a lot of this out. In all honesty, going to a new place in India on my own freaks me out because I feel I never know what to expect or more importantly how people will react. In States, I feel, there is a certain decorum and I probably feel that way because I am so familiar with everything. In one way, I felt me and free. I think a lot of this stems from the fact that I did my “growing up” in the States-meaning I spent probably the most crucial years of me being who I am now there.

What I enjoyed the most during my one week stay was meeting up with people and talking as if nothing has changed. While in India, I am still getting to know most people; in the States, I have a group of friends, who are practically family, that have known me for years. We bonded over some amazing food and made new memories to hold on to.

Catching up with co-workers!

Catching up with co-workers!

Now no trip of mine is without food and oh boy did I try to fit as much as I could in my stomach. Now some might say, that I am all talk with food and usually just eat a bit or two and then I am done; I beg to differ in my thought. I stuffed my face with sushi from Pacific East, Chipotle, Melt sandwiches, Oreo Cheesecake, and Dave’s Cosmic Sub’s “The Grateful Dave”! Never did I think I would miss food so much-but I guess it’s the small things that you miss the most.

A beautiful morning run along Lakewood Park.

A beautiful morning run along Lakewood Park.

School is starting next week, so I am grateful that I had a chance to make this trip. The summer was a good one-nice balance of travel and rest. On my flight back to India, I also realised that it took me almost 3-4 years to completely adjust to the States, may be it will take me as long to start feeling 100% comfortable in India (I hope it’s sooner). So cheers to India! Let’s get start a new phase now!

A chicken burrito bowl from Chipotle- I dreamt about this in India!

A chicken burrito bowl from Chipotle- I dreamt about this in India!