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!

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