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Trip to the Hills

October 30, 2015

Kids had a two week break from school, and we tagged along with a cousin’s family sans husband for a trip to the foothills of Himalayas. The trip was for a week and a full three days was spent in traveling on the ghat roads being miserable with motion sickness (for 4 out of the 7 members). While both Shimla and Manali were beautiful, the kids and I weren’t really impressed. The month long US vacation earlier this year where we covered all types of sightseeing from national parks, historical locations, theme parks etc.. seems to have spoiled us for the smaller Indian vacations.

We did some fun stuff such as river rafting with the boys, and went on horses to the mountain top. After paying through our noses to get up there on the horses, we saw that they’ve cordoned off the view point and are extorting money to get the nicer views and take pictures. I just refused to pay up and the cousin agreed. The fun part was riding on the well trained horses. Daughter and I were a little scared, but also quite excited to be riding on the horses. Son thoroughly enjoyed with his Clint Eastwood impersonation on the horses. Daughter in her usual mode started throwing her quips one of which was “Amma this is not majaa, but saja”. I had no idea what saja meant and my cousin translated it for me. The travel to Rohtang pass was a huge waste of time. Two and half hours of travel each way with no decent food options, all for a little bit of snow play.

Moms and the girls got a fish pedicure at the resort and I found it disgusting. My cousin and the daughter were ticklish and did a lot of drama before they got into the mode and enjoyed it. I however couldn’t get over the yucky feeling and decided no more fish pedicures for me. Daughter was so concerned that the nail polish on my toes will kill the fishes. Sure enough, the next day they were scooping out many dead fish from the tanks. Unfortunately the tank I put my feet in had more dead fish. It prompted the “I told you so”‘s again from my daughter. To be fair though, there were 3 other people who put their feet in the tank for the pedicure, so it probably wasn’t just me that killed them.

The best part of the vacation was spending time with the cousin’s family and bonding with them (kids and adults alike). I have a lot of cousins most of whom I used to be very close with as a child and still maintain good relationships with some of them. I wanted the same thing for my kids and these joint vacations make it happen. I also feel like I get to know my children better during vacations. At home I don’t pay much attention to them, but outside there is plenty of time to observe and bond with them. They are good kids and are so much better behaved compared to other kids (except for the ONE major meltdown by son which scared everyone, and my daughter’s sarcastic comments on anything and everything).

It was good to see the mountain folk in Manali – simple, hard-working, very friendly and pleasant people. Shimla had a big city/town feeling to it and the people there were impersonal. The fruits were amazing, apples were so cheap. And I even saw persimmons and promptly bought them. One of those fruits that I miss very much in India. All in all, a good vacation.

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