Friday, July 30, 2010

the simpler things

Some things are best left simple.

The beauty of the everyday appeals to me even more now. I don't have time to all the things I would like to do since Elisha takes up so much of my time, but I relish living a simpler life.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Weekend in Kasauli

Last weekend we drove up to Kasauli for a couple of days of relaxation. It was Elisha's first vacation and her first trip to the hills. She was so good, slept the entire journey, but woke up when we stopped at Cafe Coffee Day on the way, cooing and looking around contentedly, then falling off the sleep again once the car was in motion.

Kasauli is one of our favorite close-by destinations and somewhere that I have been going since I myself was a baby. I studied in boarding school on the next hill and on Sundays we would walk to Kas as we called it and indulge in bun-sams, or bun-samosa's, g-jams (gulab jamuns) and hot jalebs. We always went to Gupta Bros to check out the photos, as he was and still is the official school photographer.

When we visit we always stay at the Kasauli Club which has really great views both of Chandigarh as well as Sanawar, Dagshai and the Simla Hills. The club has a several blocks of rooms, many with very interesting names such as Arcadia, Shangri-La, and some boring ones such as Snow-View (overlooking the snow covered peaks beyond Simla), Court View (overlooking the tennis courts) and Capital View (overlooking Chandigarh). There are of course the requisite Honeymoon cottages as well. We stayed in Court View 1 which has a full kitchen in it for long term stay.

The Clubhouse itself has lots of facilities, including a reading room and a great library, pool and billiards, table tennis, and card and bridge rooms. For most of the year the Club is quiet, with visitors only coming on the weekends, but June (due to Kasauli week and the heat of course) and the first week of October (due to Founders celebration at Sanawar) are super busy and very crowded.

There are always lots of flowers blooming all year round. The windows are of the card room.

The back verandah is a great place to sit and have a beer. On clear days the views of Chandigarh are great, and there's always a lovely cool breeze here.

The large window of the Bridge room, with the verandah on one side and a passageway on the other. I love how the photo is part reflection, part reality.

Clear blue skies and passing clouds make for some interesting sights. As good as people watching while sitting at a cafe!

Nothing like a tall glass of chilled shandy to sit back and relax.

And, if you've got company then it's all the better!

A close up of a lovely colored geranium on the back verandah.

Window in our room overlooking the Sanawar hill. I wanted to move the sofa-chair by the window to read, but it was too noisy and little E was sleeping, so made do with this chair.

A window in the kitchenette of our room. The area outside was a little private garden of sorts.

All the cooking and eating utensils you could need stacked up nicely in front of another window in the kitchenette.

The rooms are decorated very simply, but the floral chintz curtains are a must for every room!

We woke up to a rainy and misty day. I went out to explore and loved the chilly breeze and thick mists that one could actually see moving.

Such a wonderful feeling to be enveloped by such lovely coolness!

That's me wandering around in my nightie and a jacket. How could I resist a vacation foot shot!

A misty view of my old school, Lawrence School Sanawar, through the wire mesh of the window.

As is always the case, it always clears up to lovely clear skies in Kasauli, which gave me good opportunity to go explore and take photos. This is on the front sitting area of the club.

A view of the main clubhouse (on the left) taken from the side verandah. The large red sloping roof is of the squash court.

 A new gazebo overlooking Chandigarh. It was great to find it empty, since it's a popular spot.

Detail of a hanging plant at the gazebo.

So that was our trip to Kasauli. Wasn't it a wonderful time!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

airline tickets: the earlier the better

Well, being ambitious is good but it's just too soon to be traveling half-way across the world with the 2 and a half month old. So, no Australia, no Sydney, no Tasmania for now. We will be sticking to close by locations till the little one is a bit older.

For the winter, we'll be coming back for a couple of weddings, so I have been searching for tickets to book and finish it off while the fares are low. Everyone knows that cheap airline tickets are easily available if one books in advance, right, so 4 months ahead of time is a good enough margin I thought.

We found some good deals and so our winter travel plans are almost ready. Almost...yes, almost since we're considering a quick getaway in between the weddings. A getaway where? Why to a beachy place like Goa, of course! It would be the busy time there of course, but great nevertheless.

So, I continue dreaming!

Friday, July 02, 2010

...and travel lured me back

I'm blogging after a record break of 2 months....something I haven't done on this blog for a long time. My break's been good, wonderful actually, with the little one keeping me on my toes.

We're already planning for a vacation once she's a bit older and able to travel and enjoy the sights. A family trip is what we're thinking of, since it'll be a lot of help for me and a lot of fun for everyone to be with her as well. So, now that I have a bit of free time now and then, like right now :-), I've started browsing through sites for interesting offers and places to go to.

And so what is catching my attention these days, well it's Australia! I know the flights there are long and tiring, but there's just so much to see there, that I'm really intrigued. Long international flights are something that really put me off at times, especially when there are so many great places to explore nearby, but then there are some great cheap flights to tempt you with a trip as well.

Quantas is by far the best airline to fly to Australia, since it has the maximum number of flights and numerous connections, but other airlines like Jetstar, Singapore Airlines and United are also viable options.

Since the little one is just 2 months old as yet, we're not packing our bags just yet, especially for a long-haul flight, but it's great to know the options at least and see what all is available out there.