Category Archives: Trips

A peek inside Quebec City

If you are a regular reader here, you would know by now that most of our holidays happen without any prior planning. We decide and go just in the last minute. So like every other time, our bags weren’t packed. The hotels weren’t booked. We did not know French. There was a snow storm on our way and frigid winter temperature was in place. But we expected our holiday to start as-per-our-last-minute-plan.

Since our anniversary fell on a weekday this year, we couldn’t do much. So, we decided to opt for a weekend getaway. At around 1 PM on Friday, we decided to go to Quebec City, Canada. It was a 6 hr drive from home. 

I left from work at around 2:30 PM. It took me almost 1/2 an hour to clean the snow from my car. It was difficult. In frustration, I sent an angry message to Lemon and started driving home. How the message went to my boss instead of Lemon is another story. Lets leave it at that.

Below is how the roads looked-like that day.

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As soon as I reached home, I decided to pack dinner for us while Lemon cleaned the snow from our driveway. To my surprise, we finished everything we wanted to do just in time and left home around 5:30 PM. 

We drove for about 4.5 hrs and stayed at a hotel for the night. Next morning, we reached Quebec City at around 12 PM. The french-speaking-city with European-style architecture was charming and beautiful.

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The Parliament Hill

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Old Quebec

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8 Adventures in my Life

Both Lemon and I love being outdoor.  We are a big fan of adventure travel and find it exciting to visit new places and experience something unique. Here are our eight most fantastic adventures so far –

Submarine in Hawaii: When I look back at the past few years, I realize most of our holidays have been so much fun. My very first big trip in this country was Hawaii. The trip was terrific. One of my first one was the submarine experience. As we descended down the ocean, we saw sea turtles, shipwreck, some underwater pyramid structure, other wildlife and colorful fish – cool! I got a little sea sick after we started to ascend – but was proud to claim myself a submariner. 

That's our submarine!

That’s our Atlantis Submarine!

Parasailing in Key West – This was something on our bucket list for Hawaii but we couldn’t do it due to our last minute plans. So we got ourselves scheduled in Key West. It was an early morning experience. I was very excited for this adventure and it felt like I was participating in some reality show. I was scared initially but now that I’ve done it once, I’m willing to try this just about anywhere. 

 

Snorkeling in Cayman Islands – This was not for me. I neither know swimming or can just walk in waist level water. Lemon enjoyed this though. He snorkeled somewhere in the reef in the middle of the ocean. Here’s the pic.

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Visit to the Stingray City –   Stingray City is one of the main reasons we wanted to go to the Cayman. We first boarded the yacht and sailed out through the turquoise water  to the Stingray city. It was my first time seeing a stingray and they were all a lot bigger than I thought. I heard they are friendly but was afraid of them. I was carrying Lime and the waist-level water only frightened me more. It was such a unique experience to be so close to stingrays. They were very very soft when gliding past us. We even kissed the stingray.  May be it will bring us 7 years of good luck? Ha ha ha!

White Water Rafting in Charlotte  –  Who doesn’t think whitewater rafting is cool? The water splashing wave after wave , the occasional intentional drop over one side and another unintentional drop on the other side is soooo much fun. We did this before Lime with the sister-in-law and the brother-in-law. Since all of us were rafting, we hadn’t taken any pics. 

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Formula Rossa: The World’s fastest roller coaster [Abu Dhabi] – Ferrari World is the home to this fastest ride in the world. Again, this one was not for me. Lemon went on this with the cousin-in-law. Actually, they went on it just to say they have been on it. They had endless waiting in line but so much fun at the ride. 

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Luray Caverns, Virginia – The caves had something unique and a story to tell. There were tons of formations to see and they are were enormous. The mirror pool reflecting the formations was gorgeous. This was quite a site to see.

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Alberta, Canada – The Canadian Rockies are just beautiful. We did a lot of hiking in Banff and Jasper national parks. The visit to the Columbia Icefield Glacier was well worth the trip. 

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Our unique experiences are what that made our vacations a memorable experience! What were your adventures and how much did you like them? 

#Blogathon 2016

And we are off!

House is cleaned. Laundry done. Dishes are washed. The bags are packed. Our holiday begins in a few hours. 

I’ve been doing a happy dance since 8 AM today. No wait! Actually since last night 😛 

We are going to the Cayman Islands. For a good 5 days. This is a long pending trip. Lemon promised to take me to the Cayman’s for my birthday. But due to his MBA course work this trip was postponed. Every time we see an opportunity to travel we always try to go to a new place. Downtown’s, tall buildings, busy streets all amuse me.. but what we need now is a nice calm vacation. So, we decided to be away from all these hassles.

Last years’ Turks and Caicos Vacation was one of our bests’. I hope this one becomes our best-est! 

Grand Cayman – I can’t wait to see you! 

So, tada peeps. Have a nice long weekend. See you all soon! 

Catching a late night train? No Thank you!

This happened a long time ago. In 2009.

My mom and I had to go for my cousins wedding in Trichy. Mom had asked me to book our tickets. So, there I was browsing through yatra.com and irctc.com for the best possible deals. All looked great except for getting us the return ticket. For the date I needed to be back, only two tickets were available on a late night train. Since both of us had to go to office the next day, I had no other choice but to book that late night train. The train was at 00.30 AM. I got the AC Coach. I booked it. I took the printouts and was all set.

The Wedding was so much fun. I had a very good time with my cousins. The food was delicious and the weather was perfect. And then, it was time for us to leave. We said our good bye and arrived at the train station. 

One of our other relatives also had to catch a train at 11 PM and they came along with us to the station. As soon as they left, the station seemed very deserted to me. It looked to me as if we were alone. At 00:00 hrs, mom asked me to take the tickets from the suitcase and keep it ready. I took it out and looked at the train number, date and coach details. Only to realize that my train was for the previous day.

It was a mistake. A very big mistake. It hit me hard and I realized that I had booked our train tickets for the wrong date. I always thought I was booking a night train at 12: 30 for the 12th November. I did not realize the date changes at 12’o clk at night!! I had mistakenly booked an early morning train on the 12th Nov when I was supposed to book the tickets for the 12th night!! Or I should have at least selected 13th as the date when booking the train ticket. Sigh! 

My mom took it easy and did not get tensed. She asked me to relax. Knowing that we were waiting for a train that already left a day before was scary that too in the wee hours of the morning.

Mom was strong. She did not scold me. She knew I was tensed. She looked tensed and that much I can tell. But she asked me to pick up our luggage and we walked out of the station. There was no one around. I only spotted few porters and some homeless here and there. I thought we were going to the ticket counter to check if we can find a seat for that night’s train. But mom walked past the counter. So, where were we going? Are we going back to my cousins house? Or are we going to just wait in the station till its dawn. I did not know.

But mom had a different idea. We took an auto, went to the nearby bus station and took a bus to Madras and reached safely. Apparently we caught the very last bus that was magically just waiting for us. Believe me! It was such a weird experience.

May be I should I shown the tickers to my mom before the trip? May be she should NOT have trusted me with the tickets? May be we should have both looked at our tickets before leaving my cousins house? Yeah!!! May be!!! But catching missing a late night train and getting into a random bus and reaching home was one hellava experience! Phew!

Turks and Caicos Islands

Yay! It was a super awesome birthday guys. I couldn’t wait any longer to post all about the awesomeness.

It all started couple of months back. We were all about going to a Caribbean vacation and were mostly interested in Bermuda since t’was close to where we live compared to the other Caribbean Islands. All flight and hotel deals were checked and places to visit were noted down. Only to find out in the last minute that Bermuda had no rental car and we would have to commute by taxis or local buses. That hit us hard. With Lime it would be very difficult for us. And so, for that reason Bermuda plan was dropped out.

And then past weeks, we had been browsing through ‘Trip Adviser’, a zillion times, to find the best Caribbean island to visit with a toddler. And that’s when I came across this beautiful place called ‘Turks and Caicos Islands‘ (TCI). Believe me, we never knew Providenciales (Provo) existed in this world. Neither have we heard from someone nor read about it anywhere. But the-crazy-Lemon-and-Lavender that we are, we decided to go this place. The photos, the reviews, the flights, the resorts, the deals were all super awesome. Everything was decided and booked in a day and we left early morning on April 4th, the-best-day-of-my-life!

It was a 6 hr journey from our place with one stop in Charlotte. I was thrilled to see the plane full actually. Full with people – girlfriends & boyfriends, young couples with toddlers, old couples with grand kids, teenagers,the pilots and flight attendants. How did so many people know about the island that we have never heard of? Are they all like us? Travelling for the first time or are they returning visitors? Bunch of questions popped my mind. But I threw those thoughts away and tried to relax.

We fell in love with Provo even before touchdown.The view from the flight was awesome. We landed at around 12.30 PM. The moment I stepped out of the flight, it was hot but pleasant. Lime started sweating in just few seconds. I had to change his T-shirt and pants while waiting for Immigration (Yes! TCI is a UK Territory and requires immigration). We then picked up our rental car. Lemon was jiggling with the GPS for sometime and then he shouted “It’s not working!“. “How will it work? Aren’t we in a different country?“, I shouted back. After that we realized that we had to use the map (which the rental car company gave us) and find our own way. To add more confusion, people drive on the left-side in TCI. So, I will leave it you guys to imagine all the chaos that I would have created in giving directions from a stupid map that had no much details to Lemon.

Our plan for the first day was to relax in our resort and enjoy the oceanfront suite. We booked Northwest Point Resort in the last minute and had no idea what to expect. It was about 30 minutes drive from the airport. We stayed in a ocean front suite and were not disappointed. The only thing was that we had to drive through a dirt road to get to the resort. Yes, the resort is remote, but was definitely worth it.

We went to the Grand Turks Island one of the days. The beaches were so beautiful. We went to the Cruise Center and spent our entire afternoon there. It was initially quiet and empty. And then a cruise arrived with lots and lots of people. But the beach was so wide that it never felt crowded. We had our fun. It was so glorious. 

Everyday was lovely. I would just lie back in the lounge chair and enjoy nature. It was just perfect! All evenings we would get take-outs from Garam Masala and return back to our resort to rest. The food was definitely good. We ordered Shahi Paneer and it was terrific.

Snorkeling in TCI was lot of fun for Lemon. The water was crystal clear with lots of tropical fish and the weather was just perfect. We had our own snorkel gear and all Lemon had to do was force me into trying it. He first asked me to wear the gear and see what it feels like… And then he made me float in water.. I did all that he said only to realize that the water was calm but alive in the beach. The ocean moved and it would just take me wherever it wanted to.. I was so scared. But then, I tried doing it once and I saw not just one but plenty of colorful fish. I jumped in excitement. They were all near my legs you know. Some in blue, some in white and some in rainbow. It was just beautiful but I din’t want to go away with the waves and so I stopped. Lemon enjoyed a lot of this and all I can say is he simply loved this sport.

Next on the list was Grace Bay beach. It was an extraordinary beach. There was no one around and we had it all to ourselves. We were the only two people in sight, if you ask. And then, we also went to Leeward / Pelican beach. This one also had the white sand and turquoise water like every other beach in Provo. I personally loved both leeward and grace bay more than any other beach in Provo.

Surprisingly, I got bored of shopping in the island. Did not like anything other than the souvenirs. 

For the last day of our trip, I just had one mission in mind: Floating in water with Lime. While Lemon did all swimming and snorkeling. I on the other hand got all aquaphobic. Tubes wouldn’t help me as well. So, I usually opted out all water activities. But this time, besides snorkeling, Lemon also insisted that I at least try the Tube.. So, I did it finally.. in Sapodilla Bay! Next time around, I am planning to take a water noodle to help me float. Let’s wait and see how well I do it next time.

Oh, we also met a lot of nice people in TCI. Mostly those were the ones who took our photos. One of them was from Italy, the other came from Colorado to escape the cold just like us and then another came from England to visit their daughter who lived in TCI. It was so nice to know about people.. everyone had a different story but we all loved TCI.

What more do I say? I had a wonderful time standing beneath the bright blue sky surrounded by turquoise water and white sand everyday. All I know now is that I am dazzled by turquoise and aquamarine water and the sparkling white sand. I even remember telling Lemon that I wouldn’t mind dying there. For which he just laughed and said ‘We are not coming back here again. We have so many other places to see in the world‘. Huh! Good for him. But for me, I can never imagine getting tired of TCI. Providenciales, I love you!

Some pictures…

The first glimpse of the radiant sea - Ah I loved it. I wanted to jump off.. but that would be so stupid and so, I stayed in the plane.

The first glimpse of the radiant sea – Ah I loved it. I wanted to jump off.. but that would be so stupid, and so I stayed in the plane.

Our way to the beach

Our way to the beach

This was super relaxing

We enjoyed watching him play in sand and the beach

We enjoyed watching him play in sand and the beach

It was funny seeing him talk to the ocean

It was funny seeing him talk to the ocean

Lemon and Lime - Can you spot them?

Lime & Lemon in the sea – Can you spot them?

The colors made me fall in love

The Grace Bay ~ The colors made me fall in love

Loved walking in the shore with my chweet baby

Loved walking in the sea shore with my chweet baby

My darling Lemon setting up the the camera

My darling Lemon setting up the the camera

hi5 in the ocean ;)

hi5 in the ocean 😉

And just because Lime loved the pool-like-ocean, we let him float for a while..

And just because Lime loved the pool-like-ocean, we let him float for a while..

That's Lime exploring the yellow cooper

That’s Lime exploring the yellow cooper

Look what I found in the island.

Look what I found in the island: Lemon 2 go Coffee 😉

And it was fun eating this shaved ice - Lemon, Margarita and Mango flavor :)

And it was fun eating this shaved ice – Lemon, Margarita and Mango flavor 🙂

Okay okay, now I will stop. I am done talking about the beautiful relaxing vacation and all that… Next post, I will come back to reality and talk about cooking, work, laundry, dishes etc! Tada!

#100happydays (Days: 11-14)