Saturday, September 9, 2023

The Gift of Wings: Our Family's First Flight Journey

 Click below to read about planning this birthday surprise and flight journey

In this article, I will share the story of how my father-in-law, mother-in-law, and my son, Hethvick, embarked on their first flight journey, creating memories that will be cherished.

Birthdays are a time for celebration and surprises. This year, I decided make my husband's special day truly unforgettable. 

As the clock struck midnight, the stage was set for a momentous surprise. After unwrapping all the gifts, I presented him with an oversized box. The big box seemed to raise suspicions, and he thought it was a prank. He then began to carefully unwrap the large box. Little did he know that inside the box lay a surprise that would take his breath away. 

As he finally opened the box and gazed inside, nestled within the confines of the box was a flight ticket. The seconds seemed to stretch as we all waited for his reaction. The surprise, carefully concealed within the box, was now out in the open. His eyes sparkled with a mix of astonishment, gratitude, and sheer joy. That's how I revealed his birthday gift: a flight journey for his parents and our son.

Waiting for Their First Flight Journey

Hand in Hand, Embarking to the Airport

My Son Thrilled for Upcoming Trip!

Our journey began with a thrilling secret. As per our plan, we headed to Bangalore airport without revealing to my father-in-law that we were going to travel by flight. It was all part of the grand birthday surprise! We had our boarding passes ready and were eagerly waiting for the moment to spill the beans. After we had our boarding passes in hand, we excitedly informed our father-in-law that this surprise trip was his anniversary gift.

However, just when we thought everything was going smoothly, I received a call from the airport. There was an 'unrestricted item' in our suitcase, and after some suspenseful moments in front of a virtual camera, they opened our suitcase to discover the culprit – a simple power bank! It may have been a minor hiccup, but it added an unexpected twist to our adventure.

The flight attendants warmly welcomed us onboard, and we took our seats. As the engines roared to life and the plane taxied towards the runway, there was an undeniable thrill in the air. 

My son, on the other hand, was in absolute awe. His wide-eyed wonder and infectious enthusiasm were heartwarming. The view from the window was like something out of a storybook for him. He pointed out the tiny houses on the roads below, the fluffy clouds outside, and the seemingly endless expanse of sky.

My father-in-law and mother-in-law, despite their initial apprehension, were soon drawn into the magic of the flight. They marveled at the fact that they were soaring through the sky, above the clouds, and heading to a new destination.

What surprised me the most was when we were about to reach Chennai, I could see the breathtaking beauty of the ocean as we were flying above it.

After landing, We met Ganesh Anna and took his car and embarked on a journey along ECR (East Coast Road) with its breathtaking views until we reached our destination.

As my primary focus was on planning the trip and I had conducted thorough research, I ended up booking a room at Coco Retreat Farm Mahabalipuram based on the appealing photos I saw online. Furthermore, all the hotels were fully booked for Saturday night and this was the only option I was left with. 

However, upon arrival, we were met with a rather disappointing surprise. The room was located deep within a forest, and the atmosphere was quite eerie. The quality of the bedsheet left much to be desired.

Just as I was feeling disheartened, thinking that this was not the way to conclude my husband's birthday celebration, we quickly decided to look for another resort. Fortunately, we found an available option for the following Sunday. Since we were tried we made the necessary adjustments and decided to fly to the new resort the next day.

The next day, we stopped at a tender coconut shop to refresh ourselves. While discussing our travels, the shop owner mentioned that the place we stayed last night wasn't in Mahabalipuram and it's too far from it. 

Well, it sounds like that I might need a geography lesson along with the coconuts! 🌴😂

Though, I felt disappointed about being misled by the resort staff, I quickly decided to focus on enjoying the present moment.

Arriving at Chariot Beach Resort:

Once we reached resort, we decided to spend the entire next day exploring the resort. Our accommodation was at the stunning Chariot Beach Resort, which offered a beautiful golf view room opposite the beach. We checked in and had an electric cab at our disposal to navigate the resort's vast expanse.

Exploring Mahabalipuram:

After a bit of relaxation, we headed for lunch and enjoyed some quality time at the resort's swimming pool. Our first destination was the India Seashell Museum, just a short walk from our resort. The museum left us in awe with its astonishing shell collections, some so lifelike that they resembled real creatures. 

Next up, we ventured to the Mamalla Fish World, where my in-laws indulged in a unique fish spa experience. The Mini Asia and Mineral Museum were equally fascinating, with intriguing displays to explore. The luxury inside the Pearl Museum made me wish I had a costly pearl to adorn myself with!

For a thrilling experience, we visited the Horror Museum, where my brave in-laws found more amusement than fright in terrorizing the ghostly inhabitants. Pancha Rathas, an architectural marvel, captivated us with its intricate stone carvings and historic significance. 

As the day wound down, we relaxed at the beach, and my husband and I took a leisurely walk, hand in hand. The serene waves and the starlit sky created a perfect backdrop for a romantic end to the day.

The next day, we spent some more time swimming and then checked out for the day.

My husband's birthday trip and his parents' anniversary trip to Mahabalipuram were filled with surprises, adventure, and quality time with loved ones. It's amazing how a simple power bank mishap can turn into a memorable part of the journey. Mahabalipuram's hidden gems, from the Seashell Museum to the Pancha Rathas, left us in awe of India's rich heritage. This birthday celebration was a reminder of how travel can create lasting memories and bring families closer together, one adventure at a time.

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Flying High with Loved Ones : A Journey of Love

When it comes to celebrating the special people in our lives, finding the perfect gift can be a challenge. For me, that special person is my husband, and I have always believed that a gift should be unique, memorable, and filled with love. 

Party like it's your day

Having previously presented him with 33 diverse gifts for his 33rd birthday, each with its unique meaning, I found choosing this year's gift to be quite a challenge. Moreover, he had already set the bar high for my own birthday celebrations. Hence, I was determined to create a birthday experience that he would cherish forever.

The Idea Takes Flight:
While I was brainstorming ideas for the perfect birthday gift, a conversation sparked by watching the movie "Vimanam" ignited his deep desire to take his parents on a flight journey at least once in their lifetime. That is when it hit me – his birthday gift would be a surprise flight experience for his parents!

The Planning:

With this exciting idea in mind, I started planning our journey. I knew that I had to keep this a secret from my husband to make it truly special. His parents were due to visit us in Bangalore around Grandparents' Day on September 9th, but they had not confirmed their travel plans yet due to thier work commitments.

Selecting the Destination:

Selecting the perfect destination was of paramount importance. I had to meticulously select a place that not only offered comfort but also catered to their health requirements, ensured timely meal arrangements, and a shorter travel duration. With just three days remaining, the timeframe was relatively short, and flight ticket prices were on the rise, while most resorts had already been booked. 

With these challenges, my plan was still wavering between various flight journeys, including options from Bangalore to Goa, Bangalore to Chennai, Bangalore to Coimbatore, or even Bangalore to Mangalore. However, since Goa and Mangalore were relatively unfamiliar to us, I decided to stick with the familiar route Chennai or Coimbatore.

I considered the itinerary which involved traveling from Bangalore to Coimbatore via flight and then reaching Erode via cab, but I had concerns that the trip might feel too short for the grand birthday celebration I had in mind.

Finally, after a lot of contemplation, I settled on the Bangalore to Chennai flight route, striking the right balance for our trip. But there was another decision to make – the destination. Should it be Chennai, Mahabalipuram, or Pondicherry?

The Surprise:

As soon as their parents confirmed their trip to Bangalore, on September 6th, I took the plunge and booked Air Asia flight tickets for all of us, including my 4-year son, who would be experiencing his first flight journey. I was thrilled but nervous, knowing that I had to keep this a secret from my husband until the big day.

Making it Extra Special:

Our flight was scheduled to land in Chennai at 5:15 PM, and the next item on my agenda was to arrange for transportation for our commute. When I attempted to rent a vehicle, I found that most rental services required us to go to their office to pick up the car and return it afterward, which would eat up a significant amount of our precious time. 

That is when my brain decided to sprinkle on some extra surprise and excitement. I reached out to the one and only Ganesh Anna for some expert advice. And guess what? He came up with this gem of an idea - "Take a pit stop in Mahabalipuram, a wonderful place" 

And just to show how grateful we were for his "world-class" expertise, we convinced him to lend us his car for a two-day. He was such a sweetheart that he showed up at the airport, car keys in hand, ready to hand over the keys for our ride!

So, here is the master plan, folks! The Itinerary goes like this:

**Saturday: ** The big day! At 12 o'clock sharp, I will unveil the surprise to my husband. The next day book us a cab to whisk us away to Bangalore airport. Our destination: Chennai. From there, we will head straight to Mahabalipuram for a peaceful night's stay, where we can kick back and bask in the coastal beauty.

**Sunday:** After a leisurely morning in Mahabalipuram, we'll either make our way to Pondicherry or decide to stay and explore Mahabalipuram itself (which we lovingly call "Pondy Junier."). 

Then, on Monday, we will return to Erode or Bangalore. 

Birthday surprise: Mission accomplished

As the days drew closer to my husband's birthday, I couldn't help but feel a mix of excitement and nervousness. The anticipation of the surprise and the joy of creating this special memory for my husband and his parents filled my heart with happiness. Sometimes, the best gifts are not material possessions but experiences that bring loved ones closer together, and I couldn't wait to see the smiles on their faces as we embarked on this unexpected travel. Stay tuned to find out how the surprise unfolds and the memories we create along the way!

Saturday, September 2, 2023

Managing Motherhood and Work

 We all have been there – juggling our roles as professionals and moms.

Picture this: We are in the middle of an important client meeting. You have prepped, engaged and are totally ready to nail the pitch and have practically put a "Do Not Disturb" sign on your forehead. And then, it happens – the door creaks open, and your little one walks in, wide-eyed and curious.


You have laid down the ground rules as strict as a military boot camp and requested no interruptions, declaring a state of  "No Interruption- No-Entry Zone!" 

But kids have their own sense of timing, don't they? They barge in, like a volcanic eruption, shouting with boundless enthusiasm and energy. In that moment, a surge of emotions washes over you – a mix of frustration, embarrassment, and even a tinge of guilt. You shoot a quick glance toward your child, silently pleading for them to understand the gravity of the situation.

But here's the thing: your child's innocent entry isn't a sign of disregard for your work or your instructions. It's actually a beautiful display of their love and their longing for your attention. Their little hearts don't understand the intricacies of corporate meetings or deadlines. What they do understand is that their mommy is in that room, and they just want to share a moment, even if it's brief.

You might have caught that glimpse of sadness on your child's face as you gave them the stern look, and in that moment, something profound hits you – the realization that in our quest to excel as professionals and parents, we might unintentionally be hurting the ones we cherish the most. As young moms, we often find ourselves walking a tightrope, trying to strike that elusive balance between our demanding careers and the endless demands of motherhood.

So, what can we do? How do we manage these conflicting worlds without sacrificing our own well-being or the happiness of our children?

Communication is key. As your child grows, involve them in your work life to the extent that they can understand. Share stories about what you do, and explain why those meetings matter. This can create a sense of connection and even pride in what you achieve.

Consider setting up dedicated "mommy time." In the midst of your busy day, allocate pockets of time when you can give your undivided attention to your child. These moments, even if short, can work wonders in reinforcing the bond between you.

And finally, let go of the guilt. Remember that you are doing an incredible job – you are not just a mom, but a role model showcasing the essence of dedication, hard work, and love.

So, the next time your child interrupts a meeting, pause for a second. Take in their innocent smile or the sparkle in their eyes, and remember that these fleeting moments are the ones that create the cherished memories. Embrace the journey of being a young mom, with all its ups, downs, and unexpected interruptions. After all, it's these very interruptions that might just be the most beautiful part of your day.