Friday, September 08, 2017

R&R during Monsoons

Every time we have come back from a trip, I want to write about it and become so held up with other stuff that it gets relegated to the backend and slowly forgotten too. The other day, I was going through some draft posts and saw a half written post from 2005 about a trip to Mysore with in-laws. It brought back such delightful memories, so this time I decided that come what may I will finish this blog.

This trip was totally different from the trips that we usually have - where the focus is on getting the most out of the place that we are visiting. But this time there was only one thing on mind - I wanted to put my feet up and leave it there for the next 2 days while I am being fed food cooked by somebody else, without having to worry about cleaning the dishes or cleaning the house ... and we did get that sort of a vacation!!! And some bonus features too :)

After a round of debating on where to go, we dropped the pin on Chickmagaluru. Mr. jumped in to do his favourite activity of vetting out the hotels and landed on the most amazing homestay I have stayed in - Nirvana Kutira. Then when he floated the idea with a friend of his and at work, 2 colleagues of his agreed and thus the deal of the vacation was sealed.

As always, the Mr. proposed to start at sharp 5 and set up his alarm for 5:30 😆, while the sati-savitri in me woke up at 5, got ready and woke him up with a steaming cuppa coffee in bed.. I was so charged up for the vacation. We started at 6 with a light drizzle following us all through our initial journey. After a really awesome breakfast followed by deliciously bitter coffee at Swati delicacy , we got a brilliant brain wave of visiting the Hoysala temple at Halebidu, as it was just a short detour. En Route we stopped at our usual favourites - a swing on the banyan trees and photo shoot admist corn fields. 

The temple in Halebeedu is maintained very neat and is very beautiful. I simply loved the architectural beauty of the walls and pillars - the intricate designs on the statues - all carved in stone ...Though I was puzzled why somebody would carve the roofs also - with so much painstaking effort when most people dont even lift up their heads and notice it.
We got some really lovely pictures taken here. Off we got on our way to our destination. 

The homestay is a few minutes away from the Chickmagaluru town. Just after leaving the town, we crossed a lovely cafe called 'Siri's Cafe' where there was a beautiful woman's statue (lying on her hand) carved out of mud and stone I think. It is so tastefully done, that the entire woman's body is covered with different types of grass, thus giving different shades of clothing. The artist has even created accessories for her - two hanging pots form her ear rings and one pot of flowers acts as her ring. The expression on the lady's face is that of absolutely serenity. 

Immediately after the left that takes you to Sithalayangiri and Mullayanagiri mountains, is the entrance road to Nirvana Kutira - which was indeed our "Nirvana" destination. It is a quaint little resort with just 4 cottages - one main building that hosts the dining hall, kitchen and two rooms on the top(which I never got a chance to inspect too). These living areas are separated by concrete pathways that are lined with the most beautiful flowering plants. One of the rooms has a small white picket fence bordering it and a tastefully planted bluebells creeper falling over it - the whole place was amazingly picturesque.

I dont know what to pick the best part of the homestay - its nature abundant ambience, the most awesome home cooked veg food, the courteous and helpful owners and staff or the just rightfully furnished rooms. And us par yeh mausam - hai hai - Kya baat thi!!

After having been on so many trips, one comes to realize that on a  trip which is less adventurous and more relaxing , one of the most important ingredient is food. And this place beats the other places I have been to by aces in that department. While the variety is not spectacularly large, each and every dish is made with so much love that you find it difficult to even justify the small variety that they have - because your are confused - kis cheez ka tenth helping loo? and the best part is even if you over-eat, the next step your stomach is not going to complain - since there are no masala and oily stuff.

The first afternoon we spent inside the room, sleeping off the fatigue of our drive and snuggling into warm blankets befitting the cool rain fed weather outside.
We woke up to an awesome Tea/Coffee (i forgot how many cups of coffee i drank every time they served it) and a plate of hot hot mirchi bajji. While the kids were busy playing among themselves with some games we had brought along with us and the carrom - that was provided by the place, we adults started some ice breaking conversations. When we realized it was darkening, we asked them to light the bonfire and moved out to the outdoors and were entertained with some good performances of songs and dances by children and adults alike. When it started to drizzle, we moved indoors again. Before dinner, started the saga of pictionary - which was the highlight of the weekend. The adults game of pictionary became so loud and interesting that the kids could not resist and barged into our game, demanding to be a part the next night. 

After a lovely dinner and rounds of pictionary and loads and loads of laughter we all were thrown out of the dinning area by the helpers in the homestay and we reluctantly retired to our cosy rooms, with a plan to trek to Mullayangiri the next morning.

The next morning dawned, dark and cloudy and pouring. Still nothing deterred the spirits of the brave trekkers who tucked in a super brilliant breakfast and drove over to Sithalayangiri mountain. The saddest part of India is just how much lobbying is done to not make attraction spots more reachable, clean and organized. The road leading to the mountain top is hardly a strip and it has two way traffic which often gets blocked because there is hardly place for two vehicles to pass. There are no railings on the side opening to the valley and it is very difficult for the driver to judge if you are going to plunge into the depths of death due to one small pass. The Mr. had to get out of the car many a times to guide me to ensure I dont kill us all but still maneuver the car safely on the road when we got blocked due to an oncoming vehicle. 

When we reached the top, the chaos to park the vehicle, though anticipated, was so annoying. It feels like what the hell is the governance body doing ???? People spend so much money coming for a vacation and still everything has to be made a pain ? Luckily we 3 managed to snag some really good parking spots. 

After much questioning folks on where the trekking path is - because all around us people were just scrambling about and we had no clue which direction we had to walk - or to be precise what is it that we were trekking towards or to be even more clear - what had to be done there .. we got some information from the hawkers selling grapefuit and bhutta on where to walk. We climbed over a mountain with nearly zero visibility to reach a top - from where we could see few folks climb down a steep path that was not even seen. Then we realized that is not something we can do with the kids and came down to figure out that there was an alternative route to trek - which was walking on the tarred roads. So, began the long walk to the highest peak in Karnataka. The roads are pretty nice -and I am sure so would be the views - had it not been pelting rain and fog all around us. As we reached the top nearly one and half hours later - must say that the kids did put up an awesome show of not even cribbing a single time - the wind was blowing at the maximum. I had to hold on to the girls for the fear that they would fly away.

It was a blessed sight to find two vehicles parked at the top selling tea and mirchi bajjis - what a balm it was to us wind-blown and rain soaked souls. Nothing like typical snacks to fuel the energy to climb the 410 odd steps upto the temple on top of the mountain. While kids munched on Soya sticks, we adults quickly disposed off the 2,3,4 (i stopped counting) packets of bajjis and gathered our forces again to do a steep climb on the steps to the temple. The steps were more in number, the wind terribly strong , the rain unrelenting and visibility not more than 10 steps ahead - but we still marched on encouraging and pulling each other to reach the top and what an exhilarating moment it was!! After taking the customary pictures we decided to skip the visit to the temple as we were beyond exhausted and drenched to even open our shoes and socks. The journey back needed more motivation than the way up because it was tough trying to make 4 exhausted little ones walk on their own. 

When we arrived back at the homestay, boy! where we glad to be rid of all the wet clothes and shoes and sink into the comfy dining chairs and eat a hot and tasty meal. Then guess what came next ? Absolutely right - zzzzzzz..... ah! the monsoon and comfy beds ... what else does one need? Woke up to the most aromatic and tastiest coffee - we were hoping for bajjis too but were told that they were served only on the day that we arrived. And then settled down for Round #2 of gup-chup followed by pictionary and dumb-charades ... What a ruckus we created !! It was just as well that there were no other families staying over that night. Finally after dinner, the helpers cleaned up and they could no longer wait back and came and politely asked us to leave the place :) .... 

I went back to bed with a big smile of having had a very very lovely weekend. It was really a R&R weekend - thanks to the good food, lovely homestay and the jovial company.

The next morning, we packed our stuff in the car and stopped by at Souza Bakery to take a part of chikmagalur in the form of the tasty bread and plum cakes .. Stopped at Swati Delicacies for a lovely lunch on the way back and said our byes to come back to "Home Sweet Home"....

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Temple Trip - 2

... and the saga continues.
My friends tell me that I associate every small thing into a story and make a big deal out of it. I guess that is what I am doing here, making a 3 hour trip to Malleswaram sound like a 15 day trip to Switzerland 😉...

So, after saying bye to the fishies, the turtles and the 'beku' cat at the Nandi Thirtha temple, we plodded (read M&M plodded) to the next temple - the Laxmi Narasimha temple - which had a big queue lined up to see the god, who got covered with the 'sacred' screen - while the esteemed pujaris had their 'secret' conversations with the almighty. I always wondered why they close the screen and what they do behind - wish we could have a sneak peek sometime. So, at the time of the Hide 'n' Seek, they ran the bell loudly and there was a guy beating a big drum rhythmically. It was so mesmerizing the twin sounds - i felt transported to a place in my mind where I could dance unlimited to no audience except my own self. We waited and waited ... the holy pujaris would go one from one Sannidi to another but didnt show signs of opening the drapes and kids got restless and finally my mom suggested we go around the temple and come back - and as she mentioned - we did so, but still the drapes would not open. So, we decided to give this god a break and bug another one - and walked to the next and last temple - A Shiva temple again...

This time we had to climb up some steps to reach the temple - which hosted probably the smallest shiv ling I have seen and it seemed to have sprouted from the bottom of the earth itself. There I met my 'competitor' - this Aunty (well technically i am also an Aunty now - but she looked older than me) was wearing a beautiful black silk saree with an orange border. She was wearing awesome matching bangles and the blouse was designer - it has such wonderful embroidery work. Amma and I couldnt take eyes off her. By the time we came out of the temple, it was quite dark. The surroundings were so peaceful and calm - the dimly lit Gopuram was fascinatingly serene.

When we came down we peeped into the Lakshmi Narasimha temple, hoping to get a bit of the prasadam that was smelling awesome.. No such luck - guess Ummachi(the name we use for gods when we talk to little kids) was not pleased with our impatience...and decided we should not have any prasadam. But we got to go very very near to the God's idol - oh that was magnificent. 

I was so satisfied, I told amma that this will carry me on for another 6 months, but Big M so done she said no more temple visits for another year!!!

Walking through the lovely narrow houses and shops lined streets we happily reached Maiyas for a yummy dinner. There I realized another Vishnu/Krishna temple that we seemed to have missed :( ... Ah! Well for another time maybe ... We walked through the very very narrow "East Temple Street" savoring the sight of unending vegetable and flower shops, picking one or two veges here and there to reach amma's Holige Mane - where we got some really scrumptious Holiges... coconut, dhaal, badam ... and they had other flavours too which we were not brave enough to try ... 

The wonderous evening ended with M&Ms each getting a cone of Joy chocolate ice cream (and peace in the car for us as they were busy devouring it)... 

I am now waiting for the next exploration of temples in Malleswaram.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Temple Trip - 1

I wouldnt say I am a very religious temple. Infact these days I am wondering if I am going on the path of being an atheist, considering the lack of any religious activities at home. Thankfully this weekend vetoed that out :)... not that I am believer that lighting the lamp daily or visiting the temple every week proves that I am religious.

So, with the Mr. gone to meet mama dearest, I had the Sunday free - so decided to make best use of it - doing something which he probably would anyway not been party to - temple hopping in Malleswaram. Like I said, I dont consider myself too religious - in the traditional sense because I dont know many Slokas, or dont know what needs to be done on certain festival days - but I have a very good relationship with gods in my own way. I love temples in my own way - I love the chanting of mantras, the lamps being shown in Aarthi, the variety of decorations that are done to the gods and goddesses using flowers, the most amazing colored sarees and jewellery, the smell of the incense, the slightly wet floors due to the theertham falling down when people receive it, the ringing of bells and in some temples the beating of the drums and above all not to forget my two most favourites - Kolams and malli poo. 

We started off by visiting the Circle Mariamma temple. I must say I was quite disappointed. Having crossed this particular circle couple of times or more, while cycling, I have always been fascinated by the gorgeous facade of the temple - picturing a very big statue of a Devi. Unfortunately the temple was being repainted, so I could only have peeks of the facade from in between the gaps of the thatched covering around the temple.I was not quite impressed by the inside of the temple. There needs to be a certain kind of structure missing in the inside of the temple. It was not quite clear where one must go next and so on. Also I liked it when there is a bit of fresh air circulating inside and a bit of cleanliness that was missing here. Strangely though
, this was the only temple that gave us prasadam that evening :) .


We took an auto from there to go to the next temple that we thought will be the start of the rest of the visit. The first time we cycled to Veena stores we got a flavour of the galis of Malleswaram - they are all made of roads that are either a steep up or down. The Auto too us through such galis and such narrow ones, it almost felt that we drove inside one home and came out from the other side of the house :).. The kids had never seen such small roads and were quite amazed how people even had cars in such houses. 

We reached the most amazing place I have ever seen. It was like a Temple Square. A big area on the road that houses only temples on both sides. I just wished I could stay there forever. We first went to the Gangamma temple. OMG! the idol of the goddess was so radiant. But a better version of the goddess are the two statues that are outside the main sanctum sanctorum. The life size idol of the Ganga devi on the left side is outstandingly radiant. Dressed in the most beautiful embroidered maroon saree and adorned with two Thali chains admist other ornaments - what stands out are her eyes - they have been painted just so beautifully that they look real. It is as if the goddess can stare into your soul and find your inner desires and soothe all your troubles just by looking at you. Her lips were also painted so lively - they glowed and had the most peaceful smile on them.  The other goddess that was outstandingly cute and beautiful was the tiny version of the goddess - I am guessing which is used for for processions outside the temple. She was wearing the most beautiful orange-violet saree I have ever seen. Though her eyes were sort of mismatched - left eye and right eye did not match ; she had the cutest little feet that I have seen. What the kids loved the most about this temple was that we were given a lemon each along with a flower as a prasadam - their favourite - lemon. 

Opposite the Gangamma temple is the most fascinatingly cute little Shiva temple I have ever seen in my life. The area surrounding the temple is large with many big tall trees and small paths and even some small benches - it was getting dark by that time so we could not explore much (maybe another day during daytime). The temple inside is very tiny, in comparision, and has the most unique layout. It is a two level layout - with a tiny pond right in the center of the temple. Stairs are laid around the square pond where people can sit and watch the fish and the turtles swimming in biss in the tiny pond. From the top level, one can see across at the other end a huge gold plated background depicting Lord Shiva, Parvathi and Nandi and a small Nandi idol on the ground. Water pours out of the Nandi's mouth, which falls through a hole into the floor below into a pot and directly on top of the Lord Shiva's linga to depict as if Nandi is doing pooja to the Lord. It is the most aesthetic thing I have seen I felt. Wonder who thought of this brilliant idea. The water from the side of the Shiva linga then flows back to feed into the pond. The best part of the temple that it is open to air. Sitting there, in the darkening evening, with a slight breeze flowing watching and hearing the sound of the water, while viewing the swimming fish and turtles - it felt very therapeutic. I just wanted to stay there forever. Big M started feeling hungry and they were giving prasadam packets - 40 rs - for 2 laddoos and 1 Holige - both of which were very yummy - because of being shared with two other kids sitting next to us. A small cat came over to sit next wanting to be petted. Very reluctantly we left the temple as we had 3 more temples to cover .. 


.... so to be continued.... 

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Chocolat(i) Chunnu.... Biscutta Bunnu.....

Has it every happened that there is this movie that you just happen to adore beyond reasons and when you tell that to people, who otherwise like your tastes pretty much, look at you as if you have lost your mind ? That you watch the same movie twice in two days and even then you are ready to watch it a third time too, without batting an eyelid ... 

This is how I am feeling about 'Jagga Jasoos'. I keep scouring the internet hoping for news that the movie is as hit as I am feeling it should be. Everytime I ask a friend to watch the movie, I am hoping he/she feels what I felt about the movie - that I loved every frame of the movie (except of that really unnecessary "khana-peena-chale-gaye" song).

In a very very long time, I have felt this about a movie I feel. And I have been racking my brains, what is there in it that makes me feel so? So, I thought what better than to jot it all down here.

Some things that I loved about the movie :

  • In a movie world where a "good" movie means having an overdose of gadgets and jargons that otherwise would be limited only to the unused dictionaries ; or sleazy romance with lack of clothes or otherwise; or over-the-top action scenes and songs which just seem to be patched into a story which is non-existent ; comes a movie that makes sense from the very word "Go" .... a story that brings a fresh air of hope, positive spirit and simplicity at its core. 
  • I have always been a, if not completely firm but to a larger extent, believer in the "Red Circle" and to see that being established and described so beautifully in front of my eyes - was overwhelming and beautiful...
  • I loved the musical part of the movie - the lyrics or should I say conversations were so simple yet so magically rhyming.. Kudos to the brilliance of Amitabh Bhattacharya... every single "conversational" song is filled with beauty - beauty of the words ... The best being of course Chocolate-a Chunnu.... what a brilliant ice breaker and conversation starter :)
  • There are many scenes that stand out in the movie. One of them is the first sight of the house that they are going to live in - I simply adored the expressions Tutti-Futti and Jagga had on their faces - one was filled with abundant joy of finally having a house to live in ; and the other a silent pride in showing the place where he is going to house his new found partner-in-crime.
  • One another scene that inadvertently bought tears  to my eyes is the scene where little jagga carries the bench containing the names of two sweethearts in school and drops it at the old man's host and how he breaks seeing the bench....how many times in our lives have we accidently chanced upon an old letter or an old piece of cloth that was once upon a time our favorite or an old photo and how it has brought back flood of memories....
  • I just adored every single song in the movie...most mornings you will still find me making chapathis or dosas savouring 'jhumritalaya' or 'musafir' or 'phir wohi'... I love dancing to 'galti se mistake' with mili just as much as I loved drooling over RK in the movie... I let even promotional calls ring on just to listen to my ringtone - 'ullu ka patta'...in the theatre I was dancing  completely to the song....did you notice the amazing synchronized quality of dancing that RK and Katrina did? I don't know why it was not so praised as much as any hrithik dance...guess the world is prejudiced... Shiamak is certainly one extraordinary choreographer...kick out the jhatkas and matkas.
  • The depiction of 'bad luck' was extremely hilarious....and so creative...especially the one where they find Tutti-futti thanks to the stairs!!! And the Rock!!
  • Did you notice the entry scene of Saurabh Shukla and how is was exactly the same copy of his scene in Barfi - his scratching his beard while the hero escapes from the backdoor...
  • I am sure 90% of folks would have been bored post interval - the nimboo-mirchi song...but do you realize how this is the current state of our world where we are totally agnostic to what happens to the others as long as we are safe behind our shatter proof glass house...
  • I absolutely loved the cinematography....want to visit Africa right at this moment....how lovely the crowded houses and streets have been depicted....
  • Last but the most important of all is the most romantic scene in the movie - the 'hoth phatt Gaye the'....according to my buddies who I watched the movie with, I was almost at the screen...to provide the much needed 'moisture'...😉
I could go on....but better part this atleast now....especially for S who has been waiting for this post. 

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Relationships ....

... These days are no longer simple. Things seem to be getting too deep, personal and complicated. Relationships are getting thickened, the fear of moving apart is causing a gaping hole started to get created, trying to cram as much as possible in the little time available. Conversations dont seem to be wanting to be ended, the seats that are taken dont want to be vacated, excuses are being made to prolong every single discussion... 

What a time to start reading the Sadhguru book that S lent to me.. and it starts off with the topic of Relationships.. Is it a mere coincidence! Though the book did not give me any solution to my dilemna, it set me off thinking.. 

How do I get into relationships knowing that there is always an end to them and then there is pain bound to happen? Yet I keep doing the same thing again and again. It just brings me back to this story that I read somewhere long ago. Guess it is the way I live life - that if I give, I give completely - else I dont - because I feel that there is no better way to live life. R said the same thing today - if you are really into the relationship - then what is the point of not giving yourself completely to it, you are just faking it then. Guess some of us made that way.

Being detached while being attached is an art. But is it a must that I must learn that art? No doubt if I do learn it, I will hurt less. But during that attachment, will I be completely happy ? Should I try it sometime ? Over the years, there have been so many scars, so many gaps in the heart - yet not once it occurs to stop giving pieces away... 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Change ....

How Strange .... I was going through my last post on 2016 and the very things that had defined happiness is about to be thoroughly tested now. 
A Big change has been declared in the Organization which has ruthlessly split us 'Fabulous Four' and thrown us apart onto different floors and different teams - thus threatening the very foundations of our relationship/friendship. How are we going to come out of this acid test ? .....

Very Successful - I am CONFIDENT! ... 
But like each one of has said this oft and again .. "Things wont be the same anymore". So what? We will create NEW Things .. that will define us! - in a new and enhanced way! 

Tea sessions might be fewer and in different venues - but the laughter will be just as loud and the affection stronger now that we cant just turn our head to find the other person.. 

But yes - things wont be the same...... 

Everyday as I come up the stairs and rummage through that blasted lunch bag (with just one big gaping hole - which is more often than not crammed with dozens of boxes) - except on those uniquely blessed days when I remember to hang the ID card from the side - for my ID card and sashay into the foyer and am about to turn around the glass corner I eagerly wait for my first glimpse of my "eternal laughing buddha" and she would lift her head to follow my path till I reach my desk and would look forward to that expression on my face - which would define that moment - it could be one of a mischief - meaning I have something to tell her that will make her burst into a kaleidoscope of laughter rays - or one of just happiness and glow - or rarely one of exaggerated irritation over something the Mr had done.... 

that ...........
will no longer be there ... 

I dont know if I will have a corner to turn around - I dont know if there will be anybody waiting to acknowledge my entrance , I dont know if there will be anybody to see that each day is a different expression on my face ... no - it wont be the same.... 

Every now and then, something would strike my head - some half baked thought and I would turn to my right and a little doll would immediately roll over towards me.. I wouldnt even have to finish my statements and the understanding light will be in the eyes... It is as if she can read my mind ... and then we would giggle over somethings better left unwritten here and we would always wonder just how similar we are thinking and we can complete each other's statement without having to say it aloud.... 

that ...
hopefully ... will not change... 
if not to my right ... I am okay if it moves to my left ...

Someone would often be in her shell but would have one corner of her eye towards this side - she would gauge the slightest shift of three seats coming together and would within seconds be present by the side ... either to stop us from giggling and discussing further and push it to tea time or to encourage us to continue ... If she has something pressing, she would be so fidgety till she reaches us and give us that one stern look and one pleading request ----- please not now ... just go back and do your work .... There would be times when we couldn't resist disturbing her and would press our emergency 'laugh' button just to pull her towards us ... to share something so absurd that we would all be cackling and "irritating-the-hell" out of the rest of the floor. 

that ...
SIGH! ... ... would no longer be there ...

But of one thing I am confident and do want to make sure will happen. Friendships like these don't come often. It started out of nothing ... and blossomed into one of the most unique piece in each of ours hearts - something that none of us had before... Of course we all have had our fair share of relationships and friends - but this is something so unique as the group in itself... We are going to try our bestest to continue this unique bond we share - to whatever extent this "change" will allow us to... 

Little M's best buddy in school moved away and how easily I was able to soothe her hurt heart by showing her the positive side of life that she will make new friends and though far away her best friend will forever be in her heart.... But now, despite having all the knowledge, years of experience and wisdom in the world,  I am not able to soothe my heart and say the same thing to myself as we all are at the brink of this "change"...



Saturday, January 21, 2017

2016 ... The year that came and went ...

Every year that time comes, when there is a lot of excitement around, smiles for no reason, same questions asked and brains racking to give new answers but failing to do so ... Yes it is the year end.... 
2016 just went by .... 2017 is brand new ... this is the only time when we can reflect on what actually went by... another week into 2017 and all of that will be totally lost, in the dust of memories that get collected in a hidden alcove in the deepest recess of the brain. 

2016 was the year of making deep friendships! We create the bond of the 'Fabulous Four' at office. Tea slowly became the sole reason for coming to office ! As we sat and introspected when the transformation actually happened, we were not able to put our finger on it - but whenever it happened it happened for the best.

It was filled with those long lunches we took, to bond and just laugh our hearts out. It also included two memorable movie watching - where what we watched more was our laughter and bonding more than the movie - while wiping the drool off each other's chin while watching RK ! Can't wait for our next movie outing. The second movie was the heart-to-heart connecting over 4 cups of piping hot chai glasses and an average-but-yet-tasty maggi!

Office played a primary role in 2016. It was a much welcomed blessing after what happened couple of years ago. Finding the right niche is not always the most easy thing. It was just more than work and accolades, it is finding the right kind of people around, fun things to be done, people to share woes with... and of course the saree days and coffee breaks!!! ... 

On the home front, it was one of those awesomely blessed years, where we got to spend as much time as possible as a family. Made those really GREAT trips that we always wanted to. Added a feather to our cap by embracing trekking. Kids are growing up so fast, I wish i could just record every single family time we have and keep replaying that it in my mind again and again. Those goofy laughing sessions that the Mr. has with the kids, those crazy dance sessions, Mili's litter sessions, their fights, their put-up plays.... Thanks dear Lord for all of this and more! Maya grows beautiful and mature every day and Mili grows naughtier and cuter every day....

Trips ... i think it is a few years now that the Mr. and I made it out goal to maximize our vacations and our life to give us the best possible experiences with our trips. This year was a break to travelling outside the borders, but we managed to make small and one big trip within the country. 

2016 is still very fresh in mind ... and the mind is looking forward to seeing how the new year pans to be ....