This post is specially for Jo, who was a good host to us virtually wishing us a great vacation in the city that is her home. This post is also a result of a couple of reminders from her – if not for her, this vacation series would not have made it to this blog in spite of being quite a memorable one for us.
Every year we take atleast two trips – one to coincide with my birthday and our wedding anniversary and the other during S’s birthday. It so happened last year that we couldn’t plan a trip in the second half of the year at all. Having S as husband who likes to keep his birthday celebrations as low as possible, did not help as well. Work kept the both of us very busy and soon, I had to let go of the vacation idea. You know how they say – when something is supposed to happen, it’s bound to happen anyway?! That’s how this vacation plan was conceived.
A day before Christmas, I had taken the day off. I was randomly lazing around at home, when I got a call from S. He casually asked me if I would like to go on a road trip. Not being too amused by the idea of wasting the long weekend at home, I immediately said yes. That’s when, he decided to drop the bomb on me. It seemed one of his friends from his new office wanted to join us. Knowing me very well and my discomfort towards making small talk with new people, S still stood by his plan. I started looking for good deals and as expected, found none. Our original plan was to drive to Wayanad but because these friends had already been there (that and there were no accommodations available), I was forced to look out for other options. After going about every single travel site for the next two hours, I felt staying put at home would be much better. Either the prices of the hotels were sky-rocketing (of course) or there were no accommodations available at all. Having spent wasted almost three hours of my precious day-off time on planning a trip that we might not even make, I was super bugged. And that irritation led to the desire to somehow make it happen. So, while the three of them (S, his friend and his wife) were going about their day as usual, I was frantically back to my google search. Out of all the options available (or unavailable) I loved Calicut. On any given day, I prefer beaches to any other landscape and convinced the others to this idea.
For the next few hours I was running like a headless chicken, cleaning up the house, loading the washing machine with dirty laundry, preparing lunch, putting out the washed clothes to dry, finishing off a few tasks on the work front, folding up the clean laundry, preparing dinner and finally waiting for S to be home. Things fastened up once S was around. Car was quickly cleaned, a proper plan was laid out, luggage was packed and dinner was had. Meanwhile, I checked with my BFF on the places to visit at Calicut, as it happened to be her in-laws’ place. To my surprise, she counter checked with me on whats there to see in Calicut. But isnt that true for any non-commercial not so touristy location? I have lived in Chennai for 21 years and have visited it ever so frequently over the last few years but I have never once seen it as a tourist. So, we were back with our vacation as per plan. The excitement of such a sudden trip was too much for me, as I couldn’t not even sleep for a couple of hours that night. We were start by 4 in the morning on the day of Christmas, picking up S’s friend and his wife to reach Calicut around noon. Even as we started our car next morning, I was too apprehensive about taking this trip with another couple I have never met before.
Road trip means only one thing to me – nonstop banter. I keep S engaged enough with small and big stories, occasionally singing along the songs he plays. Going along with new people meant, I had to keep quiet. Within five minutes, I was couldn’t believe what I had accepted to. Soon, it was time for us to meet this couple and they were nice people. They seemed to prefer the silence, just like us. Within next hour, they fell asleep leaving us to ourselves. I started to feel quite normal and for once, I thought I should try making small talk, if they decide to wake up during the course of the trip. As usual, I was S’s GPS reader guiding him with the route from Google Maps. We had to cross over 9 steep hair pins bends, right after Wayanad and the view was pretty amazing. For the rest of the trip, our new friends were fast sleep (again) and it was pretty uneventful. S and I had been wide awake ever since the start of the trip and tiredness started to grow on us. After what seemed like forever, we were reaching our hotel and it was only 2 min drive from where we were. Apparently, the hotel was at Jail Road, right in front of the Central Jail. On our next turn, we were welcomed by a hoard of police men. They demanded that they had to check our car and the documents. When the hotel was just about 100 metres, we were subjected to this. Sigh. It was found that we had all (read ALL) the required documents except for one and we were charged a fine for it. And I thought – what a great start! 🙂
This post is getting bigger than I expected (huh I can never tell any story short, remember?), will put up the next part tomorrow.