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SoftyPink n GloriousRed

…. the colours of life with my kids

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Family outing

Ooty!!

From the drafts..

We went to Ooty in the first week of April. It was a much awaited family trip, as we got the opportunity after a gap of 2 years. Last year was quite stressful with sis, dad down with health problems that required surgeries. To top it, even our house help had her share of difficulty with her mom and dad also facing health issues. Which meant we were left to our own devices for a few months!

Somehow we sailed through and as the days went by the only thing on our minds was to go on a break! The summer vacations was what we were waiting for. Luckily, both dad and sis recovered enough to be able to go on a road trip. So, we zeroed in on Ooty after some thought to journey time and the bookings were done in a jiffy!

What stuck me most about this trip was the host. BIL had booked a cottage that belonged to someone he knew. Generally, the host hands over the keys and guests are left on their own. But in our case, the host was very generous. He himself cooked for us, requested us not to take our vehicles out and drove us around in his vehicle. Stayed with us for most part, enjoyed being around the family. His son came too and was happy to be part of the fun for some time. All this because BIL was a friend and had come with family!

I was totally amazed to say the least. The best part of him taking us around was that we were able to avoid usual tourist spots and the crowds, got to drive around in the beautiful hilly areas without fear of taking the wrong route and, eating local delicacies. To top it all, he is a local politician who was greeted with respect wherever we went! We felt really special and privileged to be so taken care of and attended to by such a person . We were left wondering why and how we deserved such kindness and such a lovely treatment.

The cottage was good, with bare essential amenities and the food was not great. But it was homely and the host’s generousness more than made up for anything that was lacking. All in all we had a great time and this trip will be a very memorable one for us all !!

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Road trips are awesome!
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En route to Ooty..
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Gulmohur in all its splendour.. En route to Ooty..
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En route to Ooty..
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The view that greeted us !
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View from the cottage
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A close up..
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Tea gardens..
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Tea gardens..


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Pine! cones and needles..
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M is for mist!

Pics from our visit to Ooty over the weekend. It was a fun family trip… a much awaited one as we were doing one after a gap of 2 years!!
The weather was awesome.. a lovely brief relief from the soaring temperatures in Bangalore.

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Linking this to the letter M at ABC Wednesdays – 18th Round

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Tirthahalli trip -3

The plan was to visit Sakrebailu Elephant camp on our way back to Bangalore. This is on the banks of the Tunga, on the Shimoga – Tirthahalli road. We had passed this one on our way to Tirthahalli and were eager to visit. However, we could not start early in the morning since no one was in a mood to hurry up!! We had a leisurely breakfast and then started after saying our byes.

Here are a few more pics!

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The area where we spotted the fireflies at night!
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The pink Frangipani!
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A closer view..
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Water lilies !! A pleasant surprise 🙂

A signboard on our way made us take a wrong deviation. After quite some distance, we hailed a passing car and asked for directions. Again, we were told to go back and go straight from where we had taken the deviation!! When we got near the camp, we actually passed it and went 2 km ahead. There at the check post, the guard said that we had crossed it and had to go back. He also added that it was already late and we might not be able to see any elephants at that time 😦

We were a tad disappointed but thought that it was good in a way. We did not want to get too late reaching Bangalore. So, just went ahead, had lunch in Shimoga and carried on with the rest of the journey… mostly in peace 🙂 The lunch and the afternoon heat made sure that everyone was sleepy and lazy! Except BIL and me of course :P. He was driving and I was busy with the camera..looking out for the Gulmohurs!! Of course, after sometime to my surprise, everyone was busy looking out for Gulmohurs too and cheering for me when I clicked!! 🙂

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On our way back…
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The road ahead…
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Golden showers!
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Gulmohurs!

All in all it was a fun filled family outing !!

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After a restful night, we woke up refreshed and eager to enjoy the day! We depended mostly on the host’s suggestions for visiting nearby places, though I did have Kuppali and Sakkarebayalu Elephant camp on my list.

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We decided to visit Chibbalgudde first as suggested by them. We were told that we could see a lot of big fishes and even feed them puffed rice. The place is actually famous for the Siddhivinayaka temple and we had to go through the premises in order to get to the river. The rice/puffed rice was sold in a house near the temple. After paying our obeisance to the deity, we descended a flight of stairs to get to the river. Hordes of fishes were seen just below the water surface and we could see them clambering whenever we put some rice in the water! The kids enjoyed a lot!

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Watching the fishes…
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View to our left..
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The view in front of us. See the fishes just below the water surface ?
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View..to the right..

Next, we proceeded to Kuppalli, the home town of the great poet Kuvempu. His home has been converted to a museum. Apart from that there is Kavishaila, which is a rock monument made of megalithic rocks and dedicated to Kuvempu. the visit was good though the heat was way too much and eventually the kids became cranky as it was lunch time already!

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Kuvempu’s home… now a museum.
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Kavishaila… the place where Kuvempu was laid to rest.
The path from Kuvempu’s home to Kavishaila. View from Kavishaila!

On our way back, we took the wrong route. After driving for quite some distance,about 10 – 12 kms, we felt that we had not come this way! There was not a soul in the ghats. The lack of directions/sign boards was glaring wherever we went. Also, there are hardly people around who can give directions, it can get esp tough if you dont know the local language. Luckily we spotted someone on the way and he gave us directions !!  We went back, and thankfully reached the home stay!! Had lunch and relaxed for a while.

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In the evening, we headed to a nearby place called Bheemanakatte. Here, there is a temple on the banks of the river Tunga. We were told that we could actually go to the river bank and get into water! That was the main attraction of the place for us 🙂 We had started around 5 pm which was a bit late. This was good in a way. Most everyone else had left and we had the place to ourselves. Got into the water, splashed on each other and generally had a good time. We wanted to stay back for some more time but the sun was setting, signalling that it was time for us to head back! We were so enthralled that we thought we should come back the next day too, before finally leaving for home 🙂

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A Shiva shrine at Bheemanakatte.
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The Tunga at Bheemanakatte.
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Bheemanakatte… The sandy bank of river Tunga. Almost beach-like!

Back at the home stay, we relaxed, chatted, played a bit. Sisters had a good time with basketball, in fact sis1 said it was the highlight of the trip for her since she played basketball after a very long time. Post dinner, we went around the place, taking in the sights. Then we sat on the swing and chatted some more. The power went off for a brief time and we were excited to see a lot of fireflies!! Unforgettable.

To be continued..

Tirthahalli trip!

It was a long time since we had taken a proper break and I was itching to go somewhere, away from the bustle and just relax. Just when I was in such a mood, my friend told me about her trip to Tirthahalli. She told me that they stayed in a home stay and had a good relaxing time. It sounded quite interesting and I made up my mind that our next destination should be Tirthahalli.

I convinced the others and accommodation was promptly booked in the home stay. The vacation was due during the long weekend of May 1 to May 4. As the mercury rose in Bangalore and other parts, I kept checking the weather in Tirthahalli. It was not any better. But there was a forecast of rains and I was hoping that there would be at least some respite from the heat.

D day arrived and we excitedly began our journey. However, we secretly and sometimes not so secretly dreaded how we would manage with both Ammu n Adi during the journey. This time it was only BIL1, we sisters and the kids and we’d decided to go in a single car.Luckily, the journey was done without too much of a hassle. Ammu had brought along a couple of books and a small pocket book to sketch, which kept her occupied. We took turns holding Adi. Surprisingly, Adi co-operated and we made the journey quite peacefully and in good spirits.

As an added bonus, we were treated to the most beautiful colours of Summer! The avenue trees were in full bloom and we feasted our eyes on the beauties! Of course the glorious Gulmohurs take the cake!!Yes.. a whole post dedicated to Gulmohurs.. Do click the link to view the pics..!! We had least expected this and it made us very glad in spite of the heat 🙂

We took almost 8 hours to reach the destination. We were tired and hungry by the time we reached. But the venue and its surroundings refreshed and cheered us up. Our host suggested that we have our lunch first and then go about getting settled or exploring some nearby tourist spot. We were in no mood to hurry things up. We had a nice lunch and decided to relax for a while. Not too keen on going out sight seeing, we decided to take a walk nearby, as suggested by the host. Luckily for us, it started drizzling and then it rained for sometime. We just sat outside the home, sipping tea, enjoying the scenery, the rain, the kids’ excitement. A perfect evening it was !!

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Once the rain stopped, we went around the homestay. Sis and Ammu took to basketball, while Adi enjoyed riding the bicycle.

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Swing – the eternal favourite!! Isnt it gorgeous 🙂
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One of the cottages..

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A highlight of the trip was that we had the honour of being befriended by a cute lil girl, our host’s daughter. Apparently, she rarely ever went to the guests and even if she did, it would be brief. In our case, she was totally excited to be konjified /pampered by Ammu n Adi, and also us!! She stayed with us the whole time that we were in the premises. Our host was surprised and also thankful for the respite she got from her daughter’s constant demands 🙂

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Here.. Sis1 intently listening to her cute, innocence filled chatter !!
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Ammu trying her hand at basketball !! Super excited 🙂
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Adi.. with the lil one for company!

Later we went for a , just outside the property. On a curving road, in the midst of trees!! The sun was setting or had probably just set and we decided not to venture too far. In fact, when we turned around we could no longer see the house and were quite eager to get back quickly!

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We had just been relaxing after coming back from the walk when we were asked to join at the bonfire!! Yes.. bonfire in the Summer! We were quite perplexed. But once we were out in the open , the air felt quite chill. And we actually enjoyed sitting around the bonfire. There, out in the open, under the sky… chatting…it was a nice experience. It was a first for the kids and they were intrigued by the whole thing.

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Dancing around the bonfire 🙂

We were served soup and starters. And also some varieties of home made wine for tasting. Once the other guests retired to their rooms, we had fun dancing around the bonfire.  Later we proceeded to have dinner which comprised items from the typical Malnad cuisine. Food was good and the hosts personally took care to ensure our satisfaction. After a brief discussion regarding the next day’s plans we retired to our rooms. Tired but happy and kinda excited about the next day 🙂

Just like that!

Well… life did become easier after D returned but I became busier too… Personal unread emails are piling up, the list of blog posts to be read is huge.. and growing by the day!

The role I am in now in my current job requires me to deal with a lot of email… never before have i had such an experience! Feel overwhelmed at times.. but then its kind of challenging as well. And, I’m trying hard to do justice to whatever it is that I need to do.. Haven’t felt this way in a long time.

But then there was a welcome break.. a much needed one. Last Friday, we had a team outing to Club Cabana, to celebrate 2 years of our company’s existence. Here, the team refers to all the people in our office 🙂 It was great fun.. especially since its a fun loving team and also, I went on a team outing after a long time… after 4 years I guess..

The next day, we were off to Mysore.. the annual trip during Dasara. This time the whole family planned to go and there was much excitement and anticipation. Sadly, Sis 2 fell sick and even though she came, she didnt have the energy to go around the city with us. She didnt do anything much except taking rest for all the 4 days that we were in Mysore, except on one evening when we went to the Dasara exhibition.

Apart from the usual roaming on the superbly lit city streets and visiting the Dasara exhibition, one afternoon we went to the Chamundi hills to see the Nandi.  This huge sculpture of Nandi is made from a single rock of Granite. This outing was quickly planned, thanks to Adi’s desire to see Mysore from  hilltop! Funny thing is he did not, at first, realize that we were on the top of the hill !! Well, funny for us.. but I guess that’s how kid’s minds work.

Later, we went near Lalitha Mahal palace. The jogging tracks, the greenery and the helipad… the kids running around in that open space and sis 1 running , playing with the kids.. made it an unforgettable outing that day!!

In all, it was a memorable Dasara vacation. But when I came back to all the pending work, it almost made me feel never to go on a vacation again! Anyway, that’s another story… 😀 Perhaps, its a learning experience as well.. on how to get better at managing stuff..

P.S: I’m going to hit publish, as is. Excuse the typos or errors if any. Pleaseeee 🙂

Lapping it up!

Here are a few pics from our visit to a beach in Pondicherry, in December last.

DSC03778The excitement is so evident.. is it not? 🙂

DSC03780-001It had been raining… and had reduced to a drizzle. See the wet sand and the grey sky? Though we had to have the jackets/stoles on, we had loads of fun 🙂 It was the kids’ first visit to a beach!

DSC03783-001Waiting for the waves.. 🙂

Hope you all liked 🙂
Linking this to the theme “WET” (Beverages, Rain, Swimming Pool, Fountain, Puddle, Water,…) at Thursday Challenge.

August round up…

August has been quite eventful, especially the latter half…

A trip to Mysore during the 2nd weekend…  celebrated Raksha Bandhan and Independence day. While we were there the kids had a good time at the nearby park. Though the play area is not maintained, the kids love playing with whatever still exists 🙂

Rakhsha bandhan..
Going for the slide...
Raring to go..

Then, the next weekend … it was an impromptu trip to the Golden temple at Sripuram near Vellore. Honestly speaking I had not heard of this temple before. After the PT meeting that Saturday , we all got together and left just after 1 PM. The trip was a good one.. the drive was comfortable coz of the relatively less or non existent traffic on the highway when compared to the B’lore Mysore one.

After the toll gate before Vellore, we took a right… a  route through a village to reach Sripuram. The rural scene was comforting and we could feel the freshness in the air. Felt so very nice 🙂 We decided to go to the temple later..so we just passed by it and went on to Vellore. After finding an accommodation in Vellore, we freshened up and returned to the temple, just in time to get entry. No entry after 8 PM. After security checks, strictly no mobiles or cameras are allowed, we had to walk quite a bit in order to reach near the Sanctum Sanctorum. The deity is Sri Lakhsmi Narayani.

The entire temple is covered in layers of gold and is a sight to behold, especially when it is lit up… thats one reason why we chose to visit the temple after dusk. Later, read up on the net and realized that we had walked along a star shaped pathway to reach the Sanctum Sanctorum.

The next day, we decided to have it relaxed and cancelled the plan to visit the Vellore fort. Also, Adi had been suffering from fever since the previous evening and we didn’t want to strain him out. We again proceeded towards the temple. There, outside the temple, we went around looking at the stuff being sold … bought some girly things and then headed back. Once again on the road through the villages… couple of times we stopped to click some pics of the serene surroundings 🙂

The drive back was also good and we reached home by evening… in time to prepare for the week ahead 🙂

The last weekend of August was a hectic one… busy preparing for Adi’s bday and the festival. Celebrated Gauri pooja and Adi’s 4th bday on Wednesday, the 31st of August and Ganesh Chaturthi on Thursday, the 1st of Sep.

Here are some snapshots..

Gauri pooja at sis1's place..
Cutting the cake...
Yummm!
Ooh..aaah.. 🙂
Ganesh pooja

Hope you enjoyed looking the pics 🙂

Family trip – day 3

Day 3 was marked by the visit to Cauvery Nisargadhama. It is an island surrounded by the river Cauvery. The lush vegetation, mostly bamboos and the cool waters make for an interesting and inviting picnic spot!!

The entrance..
The hanging bridge..
Swingg!!

As we had to reach Bangalore by evening, we decided to just go straight to the spot where we could get into the waters 🙂 there were lots of monkeys for company.. actually scaring people around. Most had to hold sticks/logs to ward them off   😦

The waters were shallow and we could easily move around. In fact it tempted us so much that we went and got wet through n through 😀 inspite of being in jeans 😀

Us with the kids 🙂
Chilling out!
  
Sooper fun!!
All for a pic 🙂

We left Nisargadhama by 12 pm… reached Mysore around 2 pm, in time for lunch…

Adi.. swinging again 🙂 At the hotel in Mysore...

After lunch, we headed for B’lore 🙂 Reached home around 7 pm … a little exhausted bodily but the spirits, a whole lot excited and rejuvenated!!

P.S: Phew! Finally done with it. This trip update… pending since a month! Uploading and formatting the pics is a bit daunting but … such posts without the pics is no fun at all. And to just select the pics from the lot has been the most difficult part 😉 Hope you enjoyed looking at them!

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