[This is second in a series of travel posts from the Summer of 2017 (2/4)]

So you thought I was going to spare you some more travel posts huh? uhhh–NOPES

Travelling all the way to London and not venturing outside of it would have been a shame, so we took a week-long road trip to Scotland and back. This was our route: London-Bristol-Lancaster-Edinburgh-Newcastle-London. Lancaster and Newcastle were just there to break down the journey as travelling with a two year old strapped in a car seat for long distances…eeez NOT recommended.

UK map

Our Route

We rented Avis from London City airport, and well, it took three whole hours. It was an AWFUL experience; Read More →

[This is the first in a series of travel posts from the Summer of 2017 (1/4)]

 

It’s been a while folks. I’m sorry to keep you waiting. Trust me I’ve really missed the thrill of a published post. I haven’t been procrastinating, just wrapped up in loads of work. Well not work exactly, a vacation was involved. So here you will get to hear all about that. June-July: Vacation planning and vacation. July-Aug: Post vacation stress disorder, summer school, prep for school and school itself. Now Eid is over and so begins full time school for the tot. I’m busy looking for freelance work online while he’s off at school and overall life is good.vacation quote

So, yes, vacation talk. My favorite type of talk. For those of you who have gone through my previous travel posts, will be surprised at the destination this time around: London and parts of UK. Yeah it sounds like plain vanilla compared to our usually unusual previous holidays. Actually we had been planning this trip since a few years and it would keep getting delayed. We stayed with my husband’s friends, (this really amazing couple who are more family than friends), who have a charming little one year old. They opened their home and hearts to us and made each day truly memorable. And I have often thought about this and now more so after this trip: couples with kids should travel with couples with kids. The empathy and sheer understanding they have for all your toddler-related constraints is terrifically consoling. After putting the kids down each night, the four of us would sit down for endless rounds of dessert and gossip. Yeah the pounds were piling up, but so were the amazing memories.

Anything I have to say about the city would sound incredibly hackneyed because London truly IS the capital of the world. It is so vast, so cosmopolitan and so overwhelming that the less said the better. But I am itching to tell you my version of it… especially for parents of toddlers planning such a vacation. London does serve to satiate all tastes and palates. If you want those lovely narrow cobblestoned lanes Read More →

Gorgeous stretch of sea, Great Ocean Road

I am a sucker for the beach. But I love mountains too. I am one of those really whimsical people who just can’t decide if they want a house by the sea or up in the mountains. And I have always wondered if there is a place on earth that has both together. That was until I visited The Great Ocean Road. People, this place is ALL THAT. It is a huge stretch of the bluest ocean with powder sand beach RIGHT NEXT THE MOUNTAINS. And not just some average mountains. These are rolling green mountains with lush valleys snuggled within. I am not joking I promise. The ocean is dotted with cliffs and creeks. And the mountains have these valleys with rolling pastures and guess what? Rainforests! Yes! And these rainforests are the real thing, with foliage so thick and the green so green your eyes hurt. And air so fresh and pure, you feel each molecule you take in is vacuuming your lungs and making you five days younger. And between this ocean and these mountains runs the Great Ocean Road. I swear I am not exaggerating. You still don’t believe me. If you did, you would leave everything you are doing at the moment and apply for your Australian visa and head to this place to see it for yourself. Please you cannot leave this planet without having seen so compelling a patch of earth. Read More →

Dessert shop display, Block Arcade Melbourne

If you are looking to lap up the real Australian culture, head to Melbourne.  Initially the city took us by surprise. We had heard SO much about it and our curiosity was quite piqued. As soon as we stepped off the Airport Skybus and out the station, we gulped in the city. It didn’t quite WOW. But we had been hasty. Melbourne is like that cup of tea with the tea bag slowly infusing flavor and each sip is better than the one before. Try not to drink it all in immediately. Let the city charm you. Melbourne has sneaky ways to make you fall in love with it. It will continue to charm you till you are totally smitten.

Things to do in the city with the little folk: Read More →

View from the top deck of the Live Aboard ferry

Two days on a ferry with a two year old. In the middle of the ocean. Would you venture? We did. And it was just as insane as it sounds!

This is how the story begins:

My husband is an avid diver. Our vacations are usually beach ones to enable him to clock in some more dives at a new, exotic coast. Since the Great Barrier Reef was very high on the bucket list it was impossible to go all the way to Australia and not dive there. So from Sydney we headed to this small town called Cairns, on the Queensland coast, that gets tourists largely for its proximity to the Great Barrier Reef. But what about the baby? Well the Husband did his homework and found a dive company that allows families with tots.

Of all the 2900 or so reefs that make up the Great Barrier Reef, hardly any are located near the coast. The solution? Catch a two-hour long ferry ride to where you find a suitable reef and dive. So since we had to go all the way with the Toddler anyway, why not exercise the more feasible option and sleep on the ferry for the night? Read More →