Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Kerala Trip Part I - Trivandrum

 The Planning :
The whole trip was planned in a jiffy, a matter of 2 days. The initial plan was to have been in the last week of April or first week of May, but then we had to attend a couple of important functions (engagement/weddings) which could not be skipped. (Hey, newly engaged buddy, I hope you are reading this! If so, please make note :) ) And later part of May was not feasible for various reasons as well. So the trip was advanced and we just had a weekend to make all the arrangements and the bookings. Thankfully, my aunt (Athai) is in Kovalam and hence we could take her help as well. She was a great help :). She took care of booking the car for the whole tour, arranged a wonderful driver and also took care of charting the route for us :) Thank you, Athai, so much for all your help, in spite of your very busy and hectic schedule! But I wonder if you will ever have time to read this ! And then, it was left to us booking airline tickets to and fro and hotels online. I would have loved to travel by train, that would have been a wonderful experience for Jillu as well ! But that has to got to wait for the next time, as we cannot imagine getting train tickets in 2 days, that too in summer holidays, even in dreams.

As we had only short time, we could not think too much and there were a lot of firsts for Jillu in the upcoming days! I just hoped she would cope well with all that came ! And I was also fairly confident that between me and Sriram, somehow we would handle whatever came up !

The D Day:
Jillu, needless to say, was very excited about the BIGGGGGG taataa and was eagerly awaiting for it ! Our first leg of the journey was to Trivandrum by flight. This is a first for Jillu, the flying experience! Our flight was scheduled to depart at 2:30 in the afnoon and we planned to leave the house only at 12:00 noon or so.

On the day of the departure, she kept saying right from the morning till we started
"mani aachu...9:45 aachu... taataa ponum.. seekiram ". (Hurry up. Its late. Its 9:45 am, Need to go taataa)

The Bon Voyage (for Jillu): 
On the way to the airport, we prepared her for the take off and the landing.  Talked to her about loud noises, the seat belts and the need for cotton buds in the ear etc. (though I personally do not need them, I thought it is better for the kid).
Once we reached the airport and it was time for baggage screening and check-in, I pointed her to the machine for baggage screening - both as a distraction (as she was extremely worried that her dresses were being taken away) and to teach her new things :). She was completely taken in and was fascinated by the procedure.
And thus emerged her standard dialogue : "ulla poittu, velila vandhudhu...chhoiiiiinnnu vandhudhu" (In it went and came out !!!)

Take off : I needn't have worried at all ! It was a breeze for her and she enjoyed herself by playing with the cotton balls. In-->Out-->In-->Out of the ear. She alternately wanted them plugged in and the next minute wanted them out ! This became a game :)
After the take off, she dozed off on my lap for an hour :)
Landing :  we woke her up for the landing and the same game with the cotton balls continued :). Once at the Trivadrum airport, we were waiting for our baggage and we could see that her fascination had not waned at all.. take a look at her eagerly waiting for her baggage and her dresses, of course !

Trivandrum :
We landed at Trivandrum and from there it was a 40minutes drive to Kovalam.My aunt stays there and we had a wonderful time in Kovalam. Where else ? at the beach...
First, look at the pics of Arabian sea taken in kovalam

Needless to say, we all had a wonderful time at the beach and the water :). Mom and daughter were fully drenched amidst loads of fun :)

Day 2 :
The next day, our first stop was the famous Padmanabhaswamy temple. The Lord is in a reclining position and is viewed through 3 different doors.The head and torso is visible through the first opening. The midriff and hands are visible through the second door and the feet are visible through the third door.The temple is huge and beautiful and is till date headed and maintained by the royal family of Travancore.

On the way to the temple, we saw this fantastic sight on the road and I was busy clicking from our car. I had just about half a sec really as the car was speeding away

I was completely taken in by my frenzy in clicking snaps and then only later realized that they were not real elephants. But were dummies! Sriram told me that they were all in sync when they were waving their trunks and hence they could not be real and then we saw the ad (Note the middle one)

Our next visit was to the Trivandrum Zoo. Jillu, when she first heard the term 'Zoo', kept linking it to 'zu-zu', the  famous vodafone caricatures. We had to really instill in her that we will not be seeing zu-zu over there, but will be seeing a lot of animals and birds. I don't think she got it though, then :)
Now, on to the snaps ..

Most of the enclosures were heavily wired and the animals were too far for the camera's range. Hence we couldn't get good pics of many.
Apart from these, we saw hippopotamus, varieties of snakes, parrots, love birds, crocodiles, leopard, bats

The heat and humidity was more when compared to chennai and Jillu, quite understandably, got very tired and insisted on being lifted. The poor girl had walked quite a lot, already. Fortunately, we were nearing the exit and a tired family went back to the car to have a good lunch in the city. Post the lunch, Jillu slept in the car while we were on our way to another beach, Varkala.

The beach was splendid! Jillu, as is her habit, woke up just as soon as the car stopped in Varkala (the sound of the car engine is Thalaatu for her ). She was initially hesitant in getting into the water as she was still sleepy, but later on cheered up and joined the game :). But we restrained her this time and did not let go fully because we did not have  alternate outfits in the car. 

And then it is back home to my aunt's place for a wonderful dinner and sleep. 
The next day was an early start and we had to be up and ready early..

To be continued ..


A journey called Life said...

KOvalam?? Beaches.. awesome.. i have been wanting to go to that place like forever..

This said, totally loved Jillu's excitment u potrayed (being her first flight journey and all), i love her snap (the one at the conveyor belt)even though she has her back to us..

Nice crisp write up.. awaiting more pics and the rest of the trip details..


Good good. Seems like you had good fun. Funny to see an elephant in a Kerala ZOO!! ha ha ha..

Satish N said...

Jillu, when she first heard the term 'Zoo', kept linking it to 'zu-zu' - ROTFL ... that was awesome ...

So you are now eligible to become a mega serial director. And thanks a zillion for taking time to come and attend my engagement :)

Anuradha Shankar said...

looks like u had a wonderful time..... and a much needed vacation! i am sure Jillu must have loved the zoo! samhith did! that is one of the few places he remembers from our trivandrum trip!!

Lavanya Sriram said...

@AJCL : you should definitely visit there once ! you would love it !

@LR : haha :)

@Sat : yep ! she repeatedly said "zu-zu" paaka porom namba. I was scared ! anga poi naan yengendhu avulukku zu-zu kaamipeen ? and no mention, please!

@Anu : oh yes ! much needed vacation indeed! this is the first proper vacation for us after 2006.

Swaram said...

Woww fond memories! I hd been to Trivandrum when I ws in 11th I think .. long time :P Thanks for taking me thru a journey again :)

So, Jillu made a game out of the cotton buds ..ha ha hw sweet :) Kids do know li'l things can bring us joy :)

Lovely pics .. esp. loved the last one @ the beach :)

Lavanya Sriram said...

@Swaram : it is lovely to look back on past trips na ? glad you enjoyed :)

and that dress was a gift from my Aunt to Jillu :)

subu.ps said...

Great to see places of trivandrum in another blog. I am a resident of this beautiful city and of late more into finding beautiful spots and publishing it in my blog. Gr8 fotos and equally good description.
A passionate travel blogger

Lavanya Sriram said...

@subu : welcome here to my space :) loved the time spent in trivandrum and Kovalam :) and Thank you :)