Showing posts with label Vacations. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vacations. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Of Buckets and Lessons- 2018 reminiscences

Here I am, sitting on the upper deck of sun-soaked cruiser, floating amongst the ancient ruins along the majestic Nile. As we watch yet another sunset, I realize that we are about to close out one more year.  And step into a new one …. a full circle of ending and beginning…. The resilience of life.

Our year has had its moments. It’s pleasure to watch the girls grow and come into their own. Anya had to live through a painful surgery this summer; which, as a mother, I pray is the last hardship of her life. Baby P, no longer the baby who fit into the crook of my arm, is still my baby forever. Then us- A and I. We both started to see the gray in our hair and crow’s feet around the eyes, albeit with the help of glasses. Without those damned glasses, I bet we wouldn’t look a mite different than the winter morning we got married on, 18 years ago!

In his typical spur of the moment style, A booked us a trip to Egypt this December. Amongst the excitement of finally making it to exotic Africa & knocking one out from my bucket list of destinations to visit, I learnt a few lessons:

  1. Giving it time. A and I have grown accustomed to a comfortable silence. In a world with no pressing demands on life, we can sit around with a cup of chai and no conversation, without feeling awkward. We can throw out random comments at each other, and understand where that came from. We can almost finish each other’s thoughts, given the right place and time. Considering that we were strangers entering matrimony almost two decades ago, and how low our relationship quotient had fallen once – this level of friendship is enlightening. Don’t get me wrong. We still have our differences, some of them seem almost insurmountable. Despite that, there’s a companionship that I had always longed for.  He remembers places from my bucket list, he is trying to knock them off. He pays no heed to budgets or financials when he plans our vacations…but, he tries. I just need to give him another decade or two to come around :-). Letting time take its course will be my life lesson in 2018.

  2. Living the moment. I’ve grown cynical with time. My mind wanders off to what SHOULD be, rather than what IS. Planning this trip was filled more with anxiety than excitement. My brain churned around the lists of what to bring, and where to find places to feed the kids. On this trip, baby P brought me back to earth, to the wonders of exploration and mindful meanderings. She had collected all the books on Egypt from her library. Read every mythology she could lay her hands on. And in all my fretting, I didn’t know!! I loved traipsing the museums and temples of Egypt with her, reacquainting myself with history and culture through her babbling and wide-eyed wonder. She was exceptional with her memory. Once she knew what we were looking at, she connected the stories together and built me the bigger picture. Even when I missed a couple of excursions because of a stomach bug, she stored it all in her dad’s camera and her memory for me to look at. Becoming a 10-year old again is my goal this year.
  3. Motherhood is hard. Letting go is tougher than it looks. My daughters are young, pretty and old enough to attract unwanted attention. Nowhere is this more evident in a patriarchal society of a third world country. As a mom, that’s a hard pill to swallow.  I wanted to wrap them up in a cocoon or smack the fellows around us. Good thing the girls are still oblivious to oblique comments we encountered! Keeping them safe whike letting them grow up at their pace is all I want to do. Giving them this freedom to experience life  - is the hardest thing about being a mother. Trying to not be such a mother hen and giving them space will be my task for 2018.

Sunset on River Nile, Dec 2017
I am not the one for making resolutions or writing down goals. Just because sometimes, I feel like achievement is over-rated. The fact that you tried, and tried again; then changed strategies…. that you didn’t just break and not mend…. that is more important. Being whole, staying positive and persevering on. That is my new year wish for myself and everyone of you.

Wish you all a very Happy New year. Bright beginnings. Contentment. Happy Endings.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Swedish Red Beet salad (Rodbetsallad) - an adaptation.

This summer our vacation took an impromptu, unplanned detour through the three Scandinavian countries. Although rushed, the trip was amazing. Being handicapped by language, I had many escapades in Norway- hilarious in hindsight, but really frustrating then. At one time, I had a collection of 9 bottles of water- all weird tasting- when all I'd asked for in all the supermarkets was clear, unflavored water!

Sweden was different. We were met with A's cousin and her family - so language was no barrier.  The first day we were treated to an all-Indian breakfast, lunch and dinner. By next day, the host's young daughter could take Indian no more. So, she laid out a breakfast of several different kinds of cereals, breads, cheeses and condiments - all surprisingly foreign-looking. A being more adventurous tasted first- and I nibbled from his plate before getting anything on my own.  The breads were good, and the cheeses better; but I'd prefer American breakfast cereal any day to their cereal. That leaves out the outstanding-

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

With Love from Mexico

This post has been just as jinxed as the trip itself.

I was so excited about our trip to Cancun last year, that when it fell apart by my sudden illness, I took it as an omen to not plan anything so far out in advance. Except that it was pretty hard to ignore the financial loss that we accrued. A fought a bit, but in the end the airlines gave us a partial credit for a future vacation.  Despite that,  we (I) couldn't muster up enough courage to plan an extended overseas trip for almost a year.  Then one day, out of the blue, A mentioned that our vacation credit was about to expire (he does this all the time, I swear, because he gets that perverse pleasure from seeing me freak out about finances). Then he sat back and watched (and smirked) while I planned this trip in a frenzy.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Once upon a vacation.....and an open palm chair for B & W Wednesday

We've had quite a slow summer this year. Being sick and recuperating took away most of the season. The girls have been pretty forgiving most of the time. But when Anya saw summer slowly ticking away, she asked to go to the beach 'just one time before school'. Thanks to Irene and a last minute cancellation,  we found a 4-day rental in Ocean City, Maryland. I wasn't completely convinced of getting good beach weather so soon after the hurricane, but we took our chance. The ocean was surprisingly calm, and blue skies dotted with kites.