About me

Am a contradiction of sorts. i love going out and having a good time with friends, and i can also stay home chill out over a book or a movie..

Am very passionate about writing, so give me a topic and watch me float away into wonderland... Love reading books- sometimes i read 3books simultaneously, crazy about music- need it all around me, all the time and ofcourse, i totally am ga ga goo goo over my 7yr old naughty brat- Floppy!! errr, Prince Floppy!! :)

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Skywatch... The rolling hills

We were doing with the wedding rehearsal, it was time to go drop off a friend whose daughter was part of the wedding entourage and head over to the Bridal dress store. The venue was quite a distance from their house and the route my aunt took was absolutely breathtaking. 

The day I landed in LA, I realised that people relied completely on GPS/Maps to get them to their destination. Nobody drives based on self knowledge, you would end up in circles I was told. So, this afternoon she had the GPS on, and we went.. Took us about an Hour which is exactly what the Map told us and the route was magical. Along the way, we saw nothing but sprawling mountains, some covered in mustard and others just lush green. One section of the road had Orange trees lined up on one side with the fruit hanging low. The sky was clear blue and not a single cloud in sight...  

Oh and we also spotted a farm that had horses, goats and even llamas enroute...Here are a few photographs taken along the way [some are blurry cos I was clicking from a moving car] :-) 

For more beautiful skies, visit Skywatch Friday

Monday, May 15, 2017

Long haul and the hours after...

This was the 1st time I was taking a flight that was over 4hours in duration and so there was a lot of apprehension in the mind. I also had people giving me inputs and suggestions- make sure to walk up and down, visit the loo and don’t hold it in, remove your shoes and ask the steward for a flight sock or shoe, sleep as much as possible, wear ear plugs, etc etc.. I heard them all out, but at the same time tuned it all out.

I love travelling, have no qualms about asking people for help if am unsure and well, I am a happy camper. So, it irks me when people ask "Oh you are travelling alone, is there anyone else you know flying with you, I know so & so here/there/everywhere-shall I ask them to take you to the flight, blah blah..." Thanks but no thanks! 

I believe in figuring things out on my own, and learning it as I go along. It was 19th and I had just a few hours before I was headed out to the airport. For those who know me, they know what a freak I am when it comes to travelling. I travel light and I mean really light, but this time I was carrying lot more than I would, but was carrying only one suitcase and a backpack [ laptop, camera, ipod, wallet, one set of clothes, some bites, chargers etc]

Once done with the checkin and security, I had a few hours to kill before my flight. Spoke to a friend, read a book, walked around the lounge aimlessly. Once inside the flight, I made a beeline to my seat [for the 1st time I was in the middle seat – sigh, downside of checking in late I guess] and had was slightly worried how the journey would be. But then the 1st leg was only 5hours and I had 3hour transit in Hongkong. Settled in, plugged in the headphones and watched a movie on the screen, dozed for a while, and had a meal as well. Before I knew it, we had landed in Hongkong.

I got off the plane and went about locating my uncle & co who were flying the same airline on the 2nd leg. Said hi hello, chit chatted and went off to wander about the airport.  Hong kong airport is huge- plenty of eateries, stores, and did I mention free wifi? Lolz. Yes! Because my airtel was dead [ I chose not to activate international roaming], the wifi came in handy. God bless whatsapp[ yes, as much as I hate it, it helped during my travels]

With an hour to spare, we went ahead to check the gate and it was one long walk. They had quite a few moving walkways/ travelator but somehow I get the sense I walk faster when am outside, but yes, I did hop on one just to give my feet some rest. This leg of the flight was a long one- 13hours. The funny part was we flew ahead in time from Chennai to Hongkong and then were flying backwards to USA.. I left Chennai 19th April early morning 1.40am and would be reaching LA 19th April 11.10am. Crazy right?! That’s what happens when you fly across the world. But you save a day when you fly here, and lose a day when flying back home. Sigh… mysteries of the world.

This second leg I had managed to snare a window seat and if you thought I was busy staring outside all the time, nope, I was fast asleep most of the time. I had a father-son next to me, they were Spanish, heading back after a weekend in Hongkong. Were curious to know where I was from and how on earth was I doing this long a flight. Hahaha…

Had one meal, skipped the other [cos I was snoozing], had a couple of cups of coffee, few visits to the loo, some walking about and voila, we were in LA… In total, must have slept about 5hours in this leg and 2.5-3hrs in the 1st one.

View from my seat just before we landed in LA

After completing all the crazy immigration formalities where I was sent to a different queue from the family [I had to fill out information on a kiosk, that clicked a scary pic and printed out a receipt which is what I showed to the officer at the counter, who looked at me, asked just 2 questions- First time in USA? How long are you here? and he sent me on my way with a "have a fun trip".. I then proceeded to go downstairs and picked up my red suitacase [ it was among the first few to land with a thud on the conveyor], waiting for uncle & co forever, we were finally out of the airport. I was her, I was actually in LA… woohooo~!! So much excitement. My sis, cousin had come along with uncle to pick us up, in two cars cos they thought we would bring a tonne of baggage.. Ha.. Along the way to grab a bite, my sis & cousin kept telling me to hold off sleeping, that I will feel sleepy around 8pm, I should control , should be busy or stay out etc… I was so sure I would nod off, but lo behold I was perfectly fine and fresh till 10pm when zzz happened. Yoohoo.. Guess my body was just all prepped and ready for the days ahead, and knew I would tolerate no slacking off.. J

Well, what all did I do in America? Read on the upcoming posts to know more…  And if you are the impatient kind, go check out my instagram feed for stories.- http://instagram.com/talesfromaaroo/ or look for #aarootravels in search option on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. 


 More to come in upcoming posts... stay tuned.. 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Off to explore a new destination...

Its been a few weeks since I got back from my last trip, which was with my girl friends. We headed to Gujarat- wandering around in Baroda... It is already time for my next trip. I know what you are thinking- this girl has wheels on her feet.  I wish! I do love to travel and dont get to do it as often as I would enjoy, and so when the opportunity strikes, I make a beeline for it. 

This trip just fell into place within a few weeks. It wasn't really on my plan for this year, but then when the red carpet is being laid out, it is but to put on them glittery sneakers and waltz on them, right? That is exactly what am doing. After the initial emotional high wore out, I began to plan the trip, figure out where all I wanna go, what I wanna do, who I wanna meet.. 

What is different about this trip? 

For one, it is the longest holiday I have ever taken, most of them were either weekend or max 5-6days.. I am gonna miss Floppy, and hope he behaves without troubling family too much... 

Trust me when I tell you this trip involved lot more hours of planning and research than any of my earlier ones have. Maybe because it is a big country, and one I haven't been to before. I could go here, do this, or maybe go there and do that, but then what about the other one.. hahaha.. Ya ya that is how puzzled I was. 

I have had to pack more than I have ever packed in my life. More clothes, more this and that.. and then there is the deal about carrying stuff for people... 

Spending more than I ever have on a trip, it did pinch initially. But then, what the heck- I deserve this holiday and am gonna indulge in it... 

Finally, things are in place. No fixed itinerary, just a general plan in the head with a few items from my bucket list waiting to be ticked off. 

While I do know people all over, I am being selective about who I spend time with, or which area I am visiting.. :-) [lucky folks, right?..lol]

The few who know of the trip have been quite excited and helpful [as always], some are my pillars while others have shared inputs and tips. And then there are a few who are on the fence, they are happy but not sure if they want to share it with me. Oh well, no sweat... 

So, I fly in a few hours and shall be in that country till mid May.. Yabadabadoooeeee... Shall keep updating this space as I go along... 

Monday, April 3, 2017

The archways at Lakshmi Vilas palace, Baroda

On a hot sunny day, all you want is to stay indoors/relax in an air conditioned space and sip on something cool. Right? Well, what did we do? Just the opposite. We were up and out at 8.45am, done with breakfast and on the way to Lakshmi Vilas Palace in Baroda. The car was packed with water bottles, sunscreen lotion, scarves and we had borrowed few umbrellas from the resort as well [just in case it got too much]

One friend in the gang had been to the Palace not so long ago with her in laws and told us it was one that we needed to savour and take our time. She was sweet enough to give us insights, stories about the place which helped us immensely, especially since in many places we were so taken in by the architecture, furniture, etc that we missed out on the audio guide and were lazy to go back & forth on the device. 

Like many other historical places I have been to, here too the architecture was truly marvellous. True to what a friend commented, this palace was beyond words. Infact legend has it this Palace is bigger and better than the Buckingham palace in London. Not been there, so I shall not comment on it, but shall take his word for it. 

Even though there were times I felt like I was walking in circles, it was a place worth a few hours [ even though there are technically only 11 rooms], lets not forget the sprawling gardens and the beautiful ornate exterior walls. Oh and the show stopper were the beautiful archways and windows, tall and beautiful. 

As we walked down the steps towards the first section of the palace, I could hear a large group enter the office area and ask for their headsets.. We rushed out before they landed upon us...