Christmas

Baby takes Manali

5:58 PM

First of all : Happy New Year!

We spent the holidays up North and took the road from Delhi to Manali where we spent a week and then headed to Lucknow to seen DH's parents before heading back to Bangalore.

And we found out that Ishita is a quite a natural at travelling, Air, Rail, road, she will take it all without a fuss. And apparently the cold climate isn't bugging her as much as it bothered me, her only beef being that wearing too many layers is getting in the way of her freedom of movement (she was a newborn who hated swaddling).

We took the plane from Bangalore to Delhi on December 24th, and since DH has a credit card that allows us to spend time in the Kingfisher executive lounge, waiting at the airport was a breeze, we got to wait for 2 hours (we reached early) in a plush quiet room, with a free breakfast buffet, a non crowded bathroom where I could change Ishita's diaper and without 3 gazillion people wanting to take pictures, hold, or pinch baby's cheek. Having a baby in India is like having a people magnet strapped to your body, so getting a little peace and quiet was welcome.
In the plane, she didn't care about the pressure when the plane landed or took off, nope all she enjoyed was the flight attendants stopping to say hi and play with her, the little built in screen in my seat which I switched to the kiddie channel so she could see something cute, and of course my meal tray...parents beware, you need to travel with a partner if you want to taste your meal in a plane, Ishi constantly tried to attack mine, and even almost managed to dig her fingers deep in my chocolate cake. I had the aisle seat and DH got the middle so her food attacks were limited to our food tray fortunately no attack on a stranger's tray which could be quite annoying.
We took the road for Manali on the 25th, and it was a very good thing that I brought the car seat with me, Ishi spent her time sleeping or laughing in it, and it made feeding her on the go extremely easy with the help of a few bottles filled with water before the trip and my super formula dispenser box, so I could even prepare the bottles while the car was in motion, the only stops we did that day were for tea and diaper changes, which I did on the back seat of the car without problem. On the 25th at night we stopped to Chandigarh to take a good night of sleep (we were travelling with DH's 2 brothers and families), the next day we attacked the second leg of our trip already feeling a bit cold knowing it would be much colder once in Manali, this time we had to add a few more stops because my nephew was car sick, so I had a few more opportunities to check Ishita's diaper, and we reached Manali at 7pm in freezing cold. The guest house we stayed at was nice but not well insulated, so the rooms were cold and had difficulties heating up, Ishita hates to sleep with too many layers, but found it comforting to be in our bed (we couldn't take the pack an play as it was taking a lot of space and was heavy).
In Manali we spent a week of sightseeing, hiking seeing the snow, enjoying the sun and fresh air, and Ishita loved looking around while I did an acrobatic act carrying her in one arm and walking on rough terrain (or skipping stone in the Beas river bed), but more than anything she LOVED all the attention she was getting, from familyto total stranger stopping to take pictures, carry her, and play with her, India for small children is never boring, there is always someone giving them attention and entertaining them.
The way back to Delhi was equally uneventful, and the day of our return to the capital we just spent 3-4 hours at BIL's place before all heading to the train station to catch the night train to Lucknow. That I was worried about, the berth aren't very wide, and more than all I was fearing Ishta would be fussy and cry disturbing the other passenger in the coach, but she fell asleep immediately, spreading herself in such a way I was on the edge of the berth the whole night, and she didn't even get disturbed by the "monster snore family" that was staying in our compartment of 8 beds...ugh. The train was delayed due to the fog so we reached Lucknow a bit late the next morning, but again Ishi didn't think it was a problem, she got all the entertainment she needed. The way back to Delhi a couple of days later went equally well, and so did the flight back to Bangalore, where once again she won over the staff in the lounge and on board the plane.
My only regret was that while exiting the plane I didn't take a picture, because we were some of the last passenger to exit so the whole crew of flight attendants had time to greet and play with Ishita and my little cutie laughed and squealed being held by them, I can say that Ishi was happy to "Fly the Good Times" as Kingfisher Airline's motto says. and Seriously seeing a baby carried by smiling happy flight attendant would also have been a great advertising picture.

After 17 days away from home I was glad to get back to a warm climate, my own shower, clean clothes, and quiet. Ishita? Not so much, the first thing she did back home after I put her in the crib so I could use the bathroom and change into lighter clothes was to throw a hissy fit. I think over 2 weeks of being carried around, always having someone pay attention to her and co sleeping with us was rather enjoyable and she didn't want that to end. Oh well she better learn now that holidays never last forever and that there is a reason why they are so enjoyable.

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