We head to Malaysia and Vietnam for our family vacation, this year. Two very different countries in more than one way. Malaysia is more developed; landscape is different, and holds a mix of cultures, from Chinese to Muslims, Indians and native Malays. While Vietnam is diverse and full of history. People here mainly follow Buddhism. The food in both Malaysia and Vietnam is great, provided you are a non-vegetarian. Vegetarians don’t have much of a choice, but that shouldn’t discourage you from visiting any of these places. This was my first international trip, post turning a vegetarian and I not only survived, but had a fabulous time.
Come winter, the Food Street in V V Puram Bangalore gets thronged by the foodies, and also the non-foodies, for the annual Avarekalu mela. This pulsating-with-life-and-fresh-aromas-festival, is held by the farmers who produce “avarekai ” (hyacinth beans), a winter specialty bean.
Piles of fresh round and green avarekalu right from the farms, meet your eyes as you meander around the food street. Lined up with stalls, food street offered about 30-40 varieties of food, both sweets and savoury made out of this bean. Avare dosa with avarekalu sambhar , idli, akki roti, vada, Avarekai Panipuri, obbattu, holige, jalebis etc., one cannot decide, one particular food highlight from this annual festival !
Sometimes you don’t mind a delayed train, when instead of whiling time away at the train station; you get to try out something, very specific to the region. On the suggestion of our host and friend, we headed to a restaurant at Indraprastha hotel, located near the famous maidan (ground) or the Palakkad Fort (Tipu’s Fort) to try out the famous Ramaserry Idli. (Trivia about the fort : Our friend mentioned that an underground tunnel existed within the confines of this majestic fort; a tunnel that extended from Palghat till Mysore city! Mighty impressive!)
Very excited to share with you all, a news article, which appeared in the local newspaper. As we start a brand new year, sending you happy vibes… May this year bring in lots of abundance in the form of health, wealth, peace and joy…
Happy New Year 🙂
Standing tall, undeterred
Alongside the crashing waves
Those majestic mounts
Blue or was it green,
The colour of grand vastness
It was heavenly calm
On the shores of Krabi…
Krabi, a province on Southern Thailand’s Andaman coast constitutes of archipelagos offering stunning seascape, numerous adventurous activities and tranquility in abundance. The islands offer secluded beaches, some of them we have seen in movies. James Bond Island or Koh Khao Ping Gan is one such.
It’s been 7 years since that crazy backpacking trip across Europe happened, good amount of time spent in France following the riders competing in Tour de France. With an intention to spend some quality time with my husband, I had decided to learn a new sport, of which I had absolutely no clue about – Cycling!
Despite having an option to explore the country on my own, I decided to accompany hubby while he enjoyed the sport and watched Alberto Contador, Mark Cavendish & Lance Armstrong in live action up close. I relentlessly took photographs with my then brand new Nikon D90 while hubby wrote about the event for a news publication back home.
Traveling with kids requires some planning that too in good measures to ensure worry-free trip. Well, as much as possible! If a smooth and stress-free trip is on your mind; then might as well not travel, because, with kids at tow, it’s not even remotely possible.
My travel genie granted me more than I wished for this year. During summer I found myself traveling to 7 different locations – Goa, Marari, Kumarakom, Krabi, Bangkok, Sepang and Kuala Lumpur, in that order. My kids (5 year and 1 year old) traveled with me. And voila! I survived! Was it exhausting? Bet, it was.
While on a vacation, we the mothers generally don’t get to be on a break, with kids walking, jumping even trampling our already frail nerves. Myself along with few other mothers, decided to award our husbands with some bonding time with the kids and go somewhere. One would think of a hill station for a getaway from scorching heat. We chose the beach.
Armed with our swimwear, a hat, sunscreen, beach ball, games, et all, five of us set out for Marari Beach. Not much planning went into it. The only criterion was to go somewhere close to Kochi, preferably at a driving distance.
Once upon a planet, there were, approximately, two kinds of folk. The first cannot be separated from home and hearth for all the goodies in the world, and the second could not be kept off the road, for whatever reason. (Yes, some there were – like me – who oscillated like pendulums between these two ends – but that is another story!)
Call it coincidence. One of my friend posts her pictures on Facebook of her three week road trip around North India; another friend starts her weekend road trip to Rameshwaram, while I sit and generally glance information about Turo company’s services (from USA) over the internet.
All this transported me back to the time, where I took several road trips with my spouse. Most of them were decided on the spur of the moment. Packing happened in a tizzy. Things flew into the bag in the order it came to mind! Now with two little kids, such last minute planning is a strict no, no! I thought why not put together a list of things that are a must for me?