Our memorable family vacation this summer was the trip to my parents' and brother's house in Chennai, where the whole family got together with all of us having a blast!
We live in Bangalore and Chennai is second home for us with sweet memories; the place where I and my husband met each other and lived for a couple of years after our wedding. Though we have been going to Chennai once in a while, we usually drop off our daughter and spend less time there due to work constraints. But this year, we consciously decided to spend time as a whole family and soak in Chennai, along with our kids, my parents, my brothers' family with their two sons. We, as many other long time chennaiites, have a love for the city that is equivalent to what some others feel for our 'mumbai!
The drive to Chennai from Bangalore itself is a pleasurable one; this highway being one of the best in South India to be driven.
During our stay, we visited our favourite hang-outs; the first one being 'Fruit shop on Graems Road' (I wish they would start one in Bangalore!), the beach (and dont we all wish Bangalore was on the coast!), the ECR and our all-time favourite mall ‘Spencers Plaza’; we added some more ‘favourites of Chennai’ to our list – including the Rail museum, Chamiers cafe. We had an elaborate family dinner on one of the days. Our elder daughter loved seeing the place where I and my husband first met each other, the hall where we got married, the apartment where we lived after marriage, the hospital where she was born and the one where her father was born, etc etc – well, it was such a nostalgic trip for us while she was thrilled to see those places and connect with us in a unique way (well, she has this crib that we should all have been together right from the beginning and it is not fair that she came into our lives a few years after we were married!!) We also did our fair share of 'visiting relatives' - something initially thought of as a chore, but finally, a very fulfilling experience.
The best part of the trip was the family time; the kids could not get enough of the time and were all the time sticking together, doing things, and just did not need any 'external' recreation at all! They would be making crafts, do pretend plays, stage shows (they staged a play for all of us based on a story from Tinkle), or just chattering. Both my daughters were pampered silly by my nephews, brother and his wife and my parents – and boy, they adored it!! The elders caught on to all the happenings in life – things that we normally don’t have time to talk about! The vacation was so fulfilling that all of us are already pining for another long trip to Chennai! My younger daughter, all of 3 years, keeps asking when the next vacation would be (without even fully understanding what a vacation is!) so that we could go over there.
Sometimes, simple pleasures of life come cheap and are irreplaceable, as was our vacation!!