Aug 12 – We started to Chennai on a road trip in our car by 8.15 am. Traffic in Bangalore was more chaotic than usual. It took us almost two and half hours to reach Hosur which usually should have taken about 45 minutes. In the midway around 2 p.m., we stopped for lunch in Anandhas which was near Saibaba Temple, Ambur. We reached my Brother’s apartment in Chennai at around 5 pm. Despite the GPRS, we got lost just before we reached our destination. My Brother and Father came on the scooter to guide us the last mile. Luckily there was no rain the entire way, but it started raining heavily at night.
Aug 13 – It was raining cats and dogs even in the morning. The ground floor of the apartments was waterlogged.
We (Me, Hubby, Daughter, Mom, Dad, Brother and his wife) started to Mahabalipuram despite the rain, at 10 am. The rain stopped by the time we reached Mahabalipuram, but now with the sun out, it was quite hot and humid. We had our caps, umbrellas, and water to protect us from the sun. We began exploring the rock structures, climbing them, did sightseeing of the temples carved out of rocks, Krishna’s Butterball and lighthouse. It was amazing to see these man-made structures standing there after thousands of years. We saw a group of monkeys wandering around us and were careful to hide our food packets. There were huge rocks that were in the shape of an elephant, with scriptures on the rock depicting gods, goddess, and animals. We had fun climbing to the top of the rock hill and could see the spectacular sight of the whole city. Because of the humid weather, we couldn’t walk further and planned to return before having lunch on the way. There was a restaurant nearby but as there was a heavy rush of people, and not wanting to wait for a long time we planned to have lunch on our way back to Chennai. We had fabulous lunch at Delhi Dhaba, Mahabalipuram. Both Veg and Non Veg available including seafood. The food was good and the service not bad either. We reached home by evening, and thank God, it hadn’t rained since we left for Mahabalipuram. But after 1 hour it started raining once again.
We planned to go for a dinner at Coal Barbeque’s (CB) since it was still raining heavily. We had a tough time in driving because of waterlogged roads and foggy windshield as we were unable to see anything inside the car. We reached CB in about 1/2 an hour and since our table was reserved we were quickly escorted to our table.
Coming to the food, firstly the complimentary drink was really thirst quenching, then the starters, just like every other barbeque restaurants, CB has a variety of unlimited veg and non-veg starters. Cheese potatoes and barbecue pineapple are their best dishes according to me, and one should never ever miss them.
A wide variety of the main course, most of which I didn’t try because my tummy was stuffed with starters. Biryani, noodles and curd rice – we both really enjoyed it. Desserts were the Jewel in the crown, a separate counter for waffles and they were quite exquisite.
There was a tall shelf full of small cakes and other desserts like mango shots (which was pretty good), chocolate truffle pastry (good) and gajar ka Halwa which was kept in a temperature controlled dish. That went excellently with the wide variety of choices one had for ice creams. The stand out dessert item for me was the warm jalebis which were just as good as any you would find in a good sweet shop. The jamuns were good dipped in warm syrup. I was totally full by now so skipped having any more desserts.
But wait, we had a surprise after all these, you have to take up a challenge, a coal team guy suddenly pops out and will hand you over a hide n seek biscuit which would be dipped in liquid nitrogen, once you gobble up that there will be smoke from your nose and mouth, I didn’t try it but whoever tasted said their tongue just froze instantly, the most hilarious stuff. We came out of the restaurant with all smiles.
Aug 14 – Started at 11 am to visit VGP snow world. Located on ECR next to VGP Golden beach, this place recreates the magic of Snow in a temperature-controlled environment. Entry fees are quite high, but if one book it online – the cost drops by about 30%. They provide waterproof jackets, shoes, and gloves required to enter the snow area. The allotted time to enjoy the snow world was around 45 mins. It is too cold for kids, hence ensure that proper protective gear is taken along. Upon entering the main door, the first glimpse of the massive kingdom makes your mouth wide open and say “WOW”… as the water vapor smoke follows…. ACTION begins…
A small poem which aptly fits the fun inside the snow world,
“Grab your mobile for some FROZEN clicks. Make snowballs to thrash each other. Climb the wall once, IF YOU CAN. Slide the fall more than once, WHICH ANYONE CAN. Push and Pull each other in the sled. Shake your body to the grooving music amidst the SNOWFALL.“
Next, we went to 3D Click Art Museum inside the same VGP Snow world complex. We had a wonderful time here. Everyone was motivated to get out of their comfort zone and explore the 3D world around them. It was a fantastic experience. Suggested positions to be taken beside the 3D art for best photographs, by the creator, was well thought out as it gives you the best pictures.
Lunch at Dakshinapuram Hotel near ISKCON Temple. They have both Andhra and Kerala specialty food. Varieties of Pickles. The ambiance was also great. After lunch, we went to Kulfi zone where I had yummy flavors of mouth-watering kulfis.
From there, we headed to Besant Nagar beach and had loads of fun for about 2 hrs. Then we headed back home.
Aug 15 – It was the last day of our vacation, and we started back our road trip to Bangalore at 8.45 am. We took the Old Madras Road route instead of Madiwala due to the inconvenience we faced when we came to Chennai. Had a brief halt at Petrol Bunk where the people distributed sweets on occasion of Independence Day. Roads on this route were also good, though it was a two-lane road most of the way. It passes through Andhra Pradesh border and towards Karnataka and one can drive at around 80 km/hr. After we reached the New Madras toll road, the road became a 6 lane expressway, and one could drive at 120 k.m/hr. We reached Bangalore by 2.30pm.
That’s the end of our short vacation….