London Paris New York

First things first, after all the Hullabaloo I created about this Blog turning 10 years old before it  did, when it actually did, I did not even bother to wish it. Here I mean. Ofcourse I wished it multiple times in my head while we were worming our way through extremely incomprehensible amounts of traffic on the Mumbai-Pune expressway near Khandala around midnight (I mean who would’ve thunk?). But anyway, better late than never is our motto so here we are! To the blog which has survived almost a third of my life!

April was an amazing month otherwise. Other than crazy heat (which technically Pune is not supposed to have because hello, mountains and ghats and what not), it was a very anticipated month because it brought along our much anticipated vacation. To – wait for it – Europe! Yes! So we did three days each in 3 cities which we carefully picked based on location, interests, and costs. Brussels. Paris. Amsterdam.

Travel of any kind makes me ecstatic and like already mentioned is the only thing I would be ok indulging in. Not so much luxury, here I firmly believe quantity over quality, because if you say I can see 10 countries in the same budget economically, as I would do 3 luxuriously, guess what I would choose? Yes, yes, always greedy for more!

If you think I would atleast sort of a travelogue here, no, no, not happening. But I will definitely tell you which my favorite of the three places. I had a serious surprise winner in – Brussels! Loved loved loved the place. We even did a day trip to Brughes, an hour away and Oh my God was it the prettiest place ever! You know, like story book Europe with it’s small lanes, and pretty houses with flowers on the window sills, and beautiful old Churches, and streams, and flowers and ducks swimming around. The last bit made Zo one happy cookie.

Paris was lovely too, in the much hyped way I expected, and of of course I sat and stared at the Eiffel for a good two hours, no not because it was mesmerizing, but because it is Europe and it takes until bloody 9 30 PM for it to get dark and for them to light up the tower and I wouldn’t miss the sparkly lights for anything. Actually unlit, it was quite a let down (more like a massive TV tower rusting with time), but it came to life when the lights went on and this time, I was one happy cookie.

Amsterdam should be synonymous with party, because everyone seemed to having one. We were no exception and it was just awesome walk around the city center (which we did every single day) or lie around at the Museum square and soak up the sun. I actually returned much more tanned than I did from Goa and that is something. We also ensured and kept up our scandalous parents resolve and visited every must-see, and did every must-do in Amsterdam, however scandalous, yes, with Zo in tow.

Food, if not a review deserves a mention, because vacations are the one time we tend to forget all my healthy resolves (and rightly so) and gorge on anything that pleases the eye, and the taste buds. So there were multiple serves of Belgian Waffles, beer, French wine, cheese, and bits of Dutch cuisine which kind of believes in deep frying everything, especially street food. There was also the buttered breakfasts, the chocolate croissants and pastries, the cream and nutella intake, which is going to need a month long diet and extensive workout to lose.

There was a lot of walking around. I had been very skeptical of doing a trip like this, with all arrangements done by ourselves, and no known people around, and ofcourse, in the company of a two and a half year old. But it was a breeze. And I have to say Zo was a rock star throughout. She was sufficiently excited by the water, boats, and ducks (yes, deserves a two time mention) to get annoyed. When she did, she would curl up and go to sleep while we would continue taking in the sights, the smells and the sounds.

A close second in the rock star category was the baby stroller we decided to take along, though we were unsure till the last day if it would be allowed for it’s size on the flights. But guess what! Not only was it allowed, but the Swiss Air chaps were extra nice and made it a special delivery, by which we mean we got to push it till we entered the aircraft and got it as soon as we stepped out. In the cities, the extent of support you get if you have a baby (and a stroller) was amazing. In the Dude’s words, we pretty much recovered the entire price we paid for the stroller 3 years ago, just in this trip.

All in all, it was every bit as amazing as I had hoped it would be, if not more. Except for a few glitches – like me forgetting my very light jacket and there being weather requiring a jacket for a couple of days, and a horrid old man asking us to move even if it meant Zo would have to stand in the rain (which she did anyway, useless kid) – I think it was perfect. The best thing the trip gave us was this confidence that we can plan, and do trips by ourselves, from scratch, along with Zo, at our own pace, and have a wonderful time.

So yes, that’s where I have been. No, not in London and New York as the title suggests, but then no one made a movie called Brussels Paris Amsterdam no? The rest of the time I am on Twitter where I am spewing the same incoherent stuff that I do here, only in smaller doses. So if you are game for that (rather, if you can handle that), see me there too (Shameless plug I know, but I need followers dammit, handle on the blog page on the right!)? I will try and settle back into what we call routine, however tough it might seem.

And for whenever it gets too tough, there is always the next vacation to plan!


40 thoughts on “London Paris New York

  1. *Falls at DI’s and Dude’s feet* Really really ..three cities with a 2.5 year…wow…you guys are really really great!!! Zo is a super traveler eh??? big hugs to the chamat girl 🙂

    1. RM! I was equally, actually much more unsure! She is in this angry tantrum phase and I was like we need to see so much 😐 But honestly, she was super chamathu *touchwood* 🙂
      And I really hope she catches on the travel bug! She asked yesterday if we would go to ‘new home’ again (by which she meant another hotel!)

  2. I thought you could be the first to make that movie 🙂 brussels – Paris-Amsterdam.. when i read the title .. I had alreayd made up my mind to say YOU WERE IN LONDON.. how come you did catch up with me 🙂 ..

  3. Like R’s Mom, I’m also in awe of you travelling all that way with a 2.5 year old. I am reluctant to take my 2.5 year old to India on holiday, where we have parents and all.

    1. Honestly, I think we do it again and again to prove to ourselves that we just HAVE to continue with the travel and vacationing whatever happens! Zo is just a new companion 🙂 And it went smoother than expected, so Phew!

  4. You picked Brussels as your favourite too? So many people seem to. So I don’t know what I might have missed, but for me, Brussels was a let down. Though we didn’t visit Brughes. For that matter, the Monalisa painting in Louvre that everybody raves about was also a huge let down for us. We saw it and gasped. Not because we thought it was so amazing, but because we were like.. What? This is it? We yawned and moved away.. when people keep raving about it, I wonder if something is wrong with us or with them.. 😐

    I loved Paris and Amsterdam though (I want to know all that you did in Amsterdam. I want to know if you did all what we did there..let me ping you sometime). But if I had to pick my favourite place in Europe, I would pick Prague. The place is soooo sooos soo (pardon the stupid emphasis) beautiful. And the dark beers you get there are to die for. Not sure if you have been there, but if you haven’t, I highly recommend it!

    1. Really? I went to Belgium with the least expectations and it came out a winner! Paris was a slight let down with more filth than I thought!
      Amsterdam was amazing too! Pinging is a must 😐 We need to talk!
      Czech is UP there on the most visit list, only it was not close to Paris, which was a must see for me 🙂 So next time! Everyone raves about Prague!

  5. Your vacation does sound lovely. And so true! Noone ever mentions Brussels, but whoever has been there loves it. I would have probably also covered Venice, I think. Just to complete the picture. 😀
    And I did tweet to you on Twitter. Just that you ignored me! x-(
    In fact, I came here to check if my Reader had gone mad or if you really hadn’t blogged in a while. Then I went to Twitter to ask you. So much effort. ;(

  6. wow…………………i really enjoyed reading this, and right now I am so jealous bcoz I never visited these places…………….but whenever i do i’ll definitely write a blog on that………..:p

  7. Sounds like an amazing trip! I can totally understand your takeaway from the trip – the fact that you have the confidence to successfully plan one. Whenever I find wailing kids in public transport, whether on commute to work/a leisure trip, I wonder. Is it skill that some parents have and others don’t? Or is it a matter of fate? Anyhow, your little darling is a total rockstar! 🙂

  8. YAY to Zoey!!! She did let you guys be, right 🙂 A big round of applause and lots of mwaaahs!!
    And you know I loved your pictures… all of them and waiting for the Dude to upload with his timeless captions 🙂

  9. wow wow wow!

    I have been secretly planning and day dreaming about doing a solo trip to Italy later this year. And your post is such a push in that direction. I was smiling all through this post. You sure had a lot of fun. And Zo is super duper 🙂 She seems to be one of those *rare* kids that I’d adore. You are a super mom.

    Now since I have no way to ping you anywhere, and I am quite the shameless kind, and curious – What fun in Amsterdam? *wink wink* How was Zo? Did you buy any of those funky merchandise? You must do a post on Amsterdam!

    And I want to see your fun pictures too! Why you no post pictures here?

    1. Wow! Italy will be a country visit standalone with all the places to see. You should have fun! I am a bad lone traveller, so I would not be the best person to say anything!
      Zo has her tough days S! And she can get quite difficult to manage then. I was so very about this trip because of the horror stories I get to hear, plus Europeans aren’t as tolerant about screaming, whiny kids 😐 But like I said, magic! I am quite the intolerant mom too 😦
      Abt the Amsterdam stuff, I think I will just give you a place to ping me on, I cannot officially ruin my reputation here *wink* Let’s just say, we had some ‘happy’ times!
      Ooh, the blog has a no pic rule, but I can put some w/o us! 😀

  10. Woooow.. I take it back, share the food pics.. please!

    Ickle Zo wants mum and dad to have fun, such a nice kiddo already.

    Did you shop? What did you buy?

    How was Zo in the flight?

  11. “..but then no one made a movie called Brussels Paris Amsterdam no?” That sure made me chuckle. 😀
    That sounds like one fun vacation you had there! And you sure describe it pretty well too. 🙂

      1. Ah! How I wish I had a decent answer for that! I really don’t know why I don’t blog anymore. Maybe I ran out of ideas, or maybe fun stuff stopped happening around me, or the blogger in me is just plain lazy. 🙂

  12. I have learned that kids always surprise you on trips, no matter what your expectations are and I see Zo lived up to that 🙂
    Europe is on her list of places to go but between D and I, we can never agree on the places we want to visit. His list starts with Austria and all the ski town and of course his vacation happens in the winter. I start out with Prague and I dream of a spring vacation. Sigh!!!

  13. Pingback: V is for Victory | And that's what it's all about

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