Sunday, January 09, 2011

'Tis The Season To... Er... Travel

Every year, when December rolls around, we pack our bags and go traipsing across the countryside. It's never a simple visit to one place and one year, I even needed a flowchart to explain our wanderings! This year was no different and starting with a trip to Calcutta in the east, we proceeded to cover all the other directions as well.

First, we headed northwards to Delhi for my cousin's wedding. This was a pretty complicated event in itself since the pre-wedding celebrations were in Delhi, the wedding was in Neemrana and the reception was back in Delhi! As a result, we spent most of our time between getting dressed, attending functions and traveling in the car. But it was fun and Neemrana makes for an amazingly grand backdrop to a wedding - the whole thing had a royal feel to it. The kids got nicely pampered by the extended family. Tarana, being the only baby in attendance, got almost as much attention as the bride! She charmed everyone with her cheesy grin and even perfected her fake, social smile in the course of the wedding.

Done with the wedding festivities, we flew south to Bangalore for our annual Christmas visit. It was a full house with my sister-in-law, my brother-in-law and his wife in residence. We took every opportunity to palm off the kids on to the willing tribe of baby-sitters so that we could get some R&R. Mornings were the responsibility of the grandparents as Ayaan was taken off for an early morning jaunt in the park by my father-in-law and Tarana had an al fresco breakfast with her grandmother.

Ayaan also took to my brother-in-law's wife in a big way and happily went off with her to unlikely places like her parents or aunt's houses. He also had great fun leading the Christmas tree decoration effort and we ended up a monstrosity where you could barely see the tree for the ornaments. But he was super-thrilled with the results and we actually had to ferret away some of the ornaments when he wasn't looking so that they didn't end up on the tree as well.

He remembered his trip to the giant Xmas tree and gingerbread house at the Leela last year and insisted on being taken there again. He went crazy with all the eats up for grabs and had a huge sugar high for the rest of the day. (I know that the latest research says there is no such thing as a sugar high but there is a boy in my house who proves otherwise)

Unsurprisingly, the exchange of presents on Xmas day was the highlight of the trip. He even made a tracking sheet to monitor the number of presents each person got and was happy to note that he won the 'race' by far. His favourite gifts were an airplane cup from his uncle, a gingerbread man dinner plate from his grandma and a picture atlas from us. (My favoruite was my swanly new Kindle from Jai - yay!)

We got back to Mumbai a couple of days before New Year's eve, did a rushed round of unpacking, laundry and repacking before heading off a friend's farmhouse near Murud to bring in the New Year. It was a relaxing couple of days, spent lounging around and taking desultory care of the kids. This picture says it all:

The kids were pretty good and kept themselves busy.  Tarana spent her time chasing after the resident dog, flashing her fake grin at all present and foraging for crumbs on the floor. Ayaan's favoruite activities included picking shells at the beach, watering (read drowning) plants and fishing with a mug in the little pond in the front garden.

We got back last weekend and since then it has been a jumble of unpacking, putting away woollies, getting back into the school routine, catching up with my favourite blogs and kick-starting my neglected freelance work. The resolutions have been somewhat on the backburner for the last three weeks but now's the time to kick their ass. So expect to see more of me around these parts :)


  1. Re: "The kids were pretty good and kept themselves busy", sigh yes I have heard such strange creatures do exist. Pray, how does one lure them to one's backyard?

  2. I have heard Neemrana resort to be worth a visit, sadly never got to travel there when I was in Delhi. The pics are good as always, kids look good on your lap

  3. [Aneela] Totally depends on the surroundings. Mine can out-cling the best but with a friendly dog, a pond full of fishes and a bunch of affectionate adults, what do they need Mama for? :)

    [Pesto] Definitely worth the visit but a tad over-rated. The food, for example is terrible and there is no room service - stuff that one would expect for the price one pays

  4. Preeti7:23 pm

    Hi Ro! It seems to have been a really busy but fun few days:) And the pics are really lovely, esp the one of Tarana in B'lore - she's looking very pretty there:) And love Ayaan's 'tracking sheet' as well!

  5. I liked 'Antey' :-D

    My brat is also proof of the sugar highs...he gets galvanised just seeing a soda, so I hear you!!

  6. [Preeti] Thanks :)

    {Starry] See! They'll probably redo the research some years down the line and say that sugar highs do exist after all!

  7. A really action packed holiday! Happy New Year and all the best towards realisation of your resolutions.

  8. Sounds fun!

    The Christmas tree looks very Christmasy indeed :) And the spellings on the tracking sheet are the cutest. I love this age when they are constantly trying to use their newly acquired skills of writing/reading.

  9. I LOVE that toothy fake grin. And the gifts list. Always sensible to make sure you're top dog :)

  10. I thought I'd travelled a lot in December, but you beat me hollow!
    Loved Ayaan's tracking sheet (reminds me of your methodical way of thinking, that!), and the photograph of you with the kids sprawled all over you. Looks like a great way to end the year!
    Lovely photos of Bangalore too.

  11. You are great! period. fullstop. How can you travel so much with two kids!!! awesome :):) I cant even dream of doing it with only one child in tow. I love Tarana's photo with your MIL..she looks adorable..and of course the one with the two of them sprawled all over you :) Cute!

  12. Sounds like a good time was had by all! Here's wishing you and the rest of the family a very happy and safe 2011!

  13. - Happy New Year Ro!....
    - Love Tarana's grin...Its complete :D
    - Yeah! Its a big relief when kids have the 'sometime-I-don't-need-mom' breaks.
    - Lovely pics :)
    - waiting for those resolutions :b

  14. Looks like you had a great time! Wish you a very Happy new year ahead :)

  15. [HGM] Thanks and happy new year to you!

    [Chox] I know! The spellings are the cutest!

    [U] He also kept hoping that the biggest gift under the tree was his. And it was! So he was quite a happy camper...

    [Dipali] And with two brats in tow. I definitely beat you hollow :)

    [R's Mom] I was very wary about traveling with Ayaan. But decided to be more adventurous once Tarana was born. Seems to be going fine so far :)

    [Lawyeramma] Happy new year!

    [Gayatri] Happy New Year. Next post is WIP (should be up tomorrow) and I have been to the gym 4 times in the last 6 days, so I'd say I am back on track :)

    [Violet] We did. Happy new year to you as well.

  16. the cheeky smile is just too good!

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  18. Great description of your travels - love the interspersing(that word sounded right in my head?) of photos.

    Sugar high - but of course - my kids are not allowed anything sweet after 6 pm else we would never make bedtime!

    Do let me know how you find the Kindle.. have been wanting a first-hand review but don't know anyone who has it :).

  19. [RP] Thanks :)

    [Aparna] I am little pissed off with Amazon right now. They charge an extra $2 per book for non-US buyers for 'roaming charges'. Am still trying to get over my rage and actually buy books :)

  20. I <3 Ayaan's list. And that grin of Spidey's ain't fake. Seen the glee in it?

  21. I always love to read about fashion and shoes especially innovation in shoes now I was looking for shoe shop and I came into this blog I like it to read

  22. *whistle*

    sexy legs!!!

  23. [Sue] it's the glee of flashing you a totally fake smile and knowing she'll get away with it :)

    [MM] *blushes* Thanks :)