Landour: Of Stunning Views and Steaming Khao Suey

With steep hill climb, sweeping history lessons, stunning scenery, pinewoods, old churches and Ruskin Bond’s house around the corner. Landour is probably the oddest destination one could have picked to travel with kids (10 months and 4). Odd because of the sheer amount of uphill walking one has to do ( with kids that could be a pain). Plus, there’s nothing much to do as said by many friends. However, husband and I wanted to runoff to a quiet and non-touristy place; so on a gorgeous summer afternoon we landed up in Landour, a small cantonment town roughly 4 kilometer away from Mussoorie.

As I stood in the gate of Ivy Cottage, a sense of calm descended on me. How do you describe a feeling you don’t have words for? With clouds touching my nose, I hugged the baby and descended down the stairs to reach where our cottage was.

…and the sight just stole my heart.

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The 180 degree view of the hill, nestled Woodstock school in the distance and a small window with colorful hanging flower pots (I was told that is Ruskin Bond’s balcony) held me in spot. I had seen different shades of the sky, but never before have I witnessed the magic of green, blue, aqua and white mingle in a manner so cohesive that you can’t help but get teleported to the fantasy world of your childhood.

The next three days were spent doing that– staring at the hills for hours, playing peek a boo with the sun and clouds, amidst lots of laughter, diaper change, baby food and conversation.

Plus, we abandoned all the plans of usually site seeing that our driver suggested.

Kempty Falls, Gun Hill, Mall road…NO.

Instead, we did this.

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…spent hours staring at the horizon.

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over many cups of coffees at Cafe Ivy.

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and many heated arguments on world politics.

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There were discussions on experiencing Landour in winters, just so we can curl up in bed with a book under the glowing orange flame from a fireplace.

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Not to mention, how unashamedly we posed for pictures in every possible corner of Rokeby Manor

Tell me why, the food taste so good on holidays? or was there something special about this Khao Suey at Doma’s Inn.


and this Salmon at Rokeby Manor

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What can I tell you about this old-fashioned library at Rokeby? Just pick any book from here, and find your favorite corner.

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and this oh-so-inviting living room which called for cuddles and hot-chocolate.

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Did I mention, how often we huffed and puffed like a dragon in Landour?

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There were times, when the pebbled streets looked far too quiet and spooky near Stubli, The Stray Dog.

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We saw other interesting things..

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Landour stole my heart; we couldn’t help doing the touristy things.

Landour taught me what slowing down means.It taught me, I don’t have to tick items out of my bucket list to be happy, I need to appreciate life for what I’ve now.

#Travellingwithkids #Travelogue #Landour #Mussorie #Ruskinbond #RokebyManor #IVYCottages #CafeIvy #TheStrayDog #Stubli #IvyCottages #CharDukan #Travelling #slowingdown

Of Travelling with Kids and other Ambiguities

 

Strutting her high heels, she sashayed her way up in the aircraft holding Kafka on the Shore and a Starbuck coffee. On her head not a single hair was out of place. I saw her enter because I was given a special privilege— family with kids first. I dream of travelling like that someday—kids-free and holding a tiny LV bag. But for now reality bites.

Recently, I took my first flight alone with the kids (10 months and 4 year) and I am happy that we made it in one piece. Most parents stress over travelling with kids and I’ve had my share of nervous moments. Primarily, I had three concerns: how will I use the washroom, handling unfriendly passengers, and a possibility of a tantrum (this was freaking me out) at 30’000 feet.

The bad news is all the three happened, and I survived to tell-the-tale. So here’s my two cents worth of advice for surviving an airplane with two-kid:

1. Of Pockets, spare tee, and easy-to pull down pants 

Stop enviously looking at that woman reading Kafka on the Shore and sipping on a coffee, looking all relaxed. You too, will travel in style someday. But for now, you need an easy-to pull down pants because baby wearing in tight-fitting jeans is too-hard to shimmy down. Plus, you need pockets to carry your mobile (can’t miss Instagram now, can we), a bottle, boarding pass or whatever. Also, don’t forget to carry a spare tee for you and kids, coz you don’t want be smelling the puke in your entire journey.

2. Of using a little imagination

Kids don’t need toy when they are trying to make your life miserable at 30’000 feet. Also, babies usually don’t want the toys you are carrying. Instead of fretting over what they may or may not love, give them anything that’s handy—security leaflet, plastic cups, tissues, air-sickness bag whatever. When nothing seems to be working, I gave the baby an empty juice can and its jingling sound worked like magic, much to the distress of my neighbor. For the boy I carried a thin Pixar Cars (he is obsessed with Lightening McQueen) sticking book.

3. Of crabby uncles and nosy aunties

I totally get it why people don’t want kids around on an airplane. But I am mommy now, and I strongly believe in karma. So you may not understand why I am not able to discipline my 10-months old. I say—do-what-you-gotta-do—nurse, walk, distract, whatever! If nothing works, remember this too shall pass. That crabby business men giving you stinky eye is probably tired of travelling with hysterical kids, and that nosy aunty has already been in your shoe but has short memory. So do your mama-things, and then put on an umbrella to let the snide “tuts and sign” fall in the ground. BTW, do you have any other choice? No. So go find your Zen!

4. Of keeping your hands free

If you are planning a trip with younger kids— go buy a backpack as hand luggage so that you have both hands free. I have a sturdy small backpack that I am using since the boy was a baby. It makes it easier to carry your child or hold their hand or show your passports or help a potty-trained kindergartner in the loo— or whatever else you need to do at the airport.

5. Of sweating over small stuffs

Now the pressure of the airplane taking off drives most kids crazy and they don’t understand why their ears are suddenly hurting. So carry some chewy finger food—small box of fruits, lollypop, nuggets, chocolate cookies. For small babies nursing helps, but only if they are game for it.

 

Now that you have successfully gotten the children settled in-flight and they look somewhat quiet, happy or even asleep. Look over to that woman reading Kafka on Shore with perfect manicured nails, and call in a drink (I mean coffee) for a treat.

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Have no picture of three of us together as my attempt at taking selfies sucks. Period.

Tags: #travellingwithkids #travelogue #travelstory #parenting #mommytraveller #mommyblogger