Wedding Dresses

Seems the wedding fever has really got into me! With so many weddings lined up one after another in the coming months, I simply can't seem to put away the thought of it! Some of my friends are requesting me for giving them suggestions  on what to wear. While in the other case (the more significant one) I am hunting for the perfect dresses to wear to the coming weddings! Just because I am married that does not mean that weddings do not mean anything now! In fact I just LOVE getting dressed!

To find such outfits I am perpetually browsing the internet; waiting for some miracle to happen. This is when I stumbled across a perfect website which had everything I was looking for!

When it comes to weddings, we customarily think of white. White represents purity and that's what brides were expected to be! ( I don't want to sound judgmental but I am stating what the society used to think). So maximum brides opt for an all white outfit! A white wedding dress looks divine nonetheless.

Lately the brides have been thinking out of the box and trying to break the stereotype without ditching the customs altogether. Here is when the colour Ivory comes to rescue. Its not white but its neither non white! You know what I mean! So an ivory wedding dress is the safest and the most beautiful way to look different without abandoning traditions!

Now comes my role! Yes that of a bridesmaid! When it comes to Bridesmaid dresses I like to keep it short and non flowey so as to permit easy movement. You don't want to be that kind of a bride's friend who takes more time in walking than the Bride herself! I feel that purple is a beautiful yet elegant colour for a bridesmaid.

So whether you are the bride yourself or her close friend, find your perfect fit now!

Hello Netherlands!

Just arrived at the Schiphol (Amsterdam) Airport
After a travel parched period of five months (last vacation was in Dalhousie in February and it was a very short one) we set off for the longest vacation of our lives. Our last international trip was in July 2015 and my passport was craving for another stamp. I was hungrily looking forward to this two week journey. It was the longest vacation of our lives till date. But fate had something else planned for us.

Just like last year, we planned to leave our daughter with our parents, Just before the day of our departure, my paternal grandma became gravely ill. She was so serious that my father had to leave immediately for Bengal leaving my mom with my daughter. Now that was really alarming. My grandmother was critically ill and that meant the absence of my father here for an indefinite period.

Now what? Hubs suggested on cancelling our trip. My mom could not possibly handle my naughty daughter all alone! But mom was insistent. She said that she could not accept lakhs of hard earned money going down the drain! Everything had been booked and it was non refundable!

With a heavy heart, we left for our trip. It was a ridiculously rainy day. Our entire neighborhood was in knee deep water. One of our sweet neighbours dropped us to the station. Taking the road on this kind of rainy day could have never let us reach the airport. Thankfully we took the metro and reached the airport on time. My inlaws joined in few days after our departure to support Mom. Anyways as soon as we reached Terminal 3, somehow all the stress back home vanished and I was overburdened with the stress of being away from home for two weeks!

All set to proceed for immigration with boarding pass and passport in hand...India see you in a while! Excited for Netherlands!
The trip got off to an awesome start with some serious shopping at Victoria's Secret!
After we got our boarding passes, I did my bit of shopping. Hubs did not sleep two nights before (he was handling patients at the hospital) and neither did I (I had packing to do!) While I browsed the innumerable shops, Hubs snored for sometime.

Goodbye India for two weeks!
We boarded our flight at 3 in the morning. All the rush from shopping vanished as soon as I slid into my chair. We were travelling by the Royal Dutch Airlines KLM and I was deep asleep within no time. 
It was 3 in the morning and I was awake two nights before...So just dozed off immediately!
Right after boarding, they served a midnight snack which I missed as I deep asleep.
Delicious knick knacks at 3 AM! Midnight snack in true sense..
I woke up after a few hours and watched Mothers Day. I especially like ensemble casts and when its a Garry Marshal movie with Julia Roberts, its a must watch for me! 
Watched 'Mothers' Day' which I had longing to see since long...along with my breakfast...
Finally after being in the air for nine and a half hours, we landed in Schiphol Airport! I was immensely excited to explore Amsterdam and the Dutch countryside! The next day we were flying to Italy, our main destination. So our luggage did not get disembarked here at Amsterdam. Initially we were scared of losing our checked in bags but we were assured by the officials that we would receive them as soon as we land in Rome. This saved our cloak room charges. However we explored entire Amsterdam with all our hand baggages in the midst of rain and cold wind! 

Holidays in the sun

So you all know that I am a summer person. I just hate piling up on clothes! So even during winters, I am hunting for some beach location. This summer, the situation was however different. We came back from the longest vacation of our lives and it was not an exclusive summer destination! We were two days in Holland and believe me Amsterdam and the countryside was freezing! Okay not freezing but it was raining non stop and all the people were in heavy coats except for us! (We did not pack any) The next fourteen days were in Italy which had a varied climate. While Rome and Tuscany were burning hot during the daytime, it was pretty cool under a shade. Florence's temperature dipped during evening and the fellow travellers took out their woolens. However in Venice, Cinque Terre and Bari, it was really chilly during the morning and evening. In fact it rained so much in Venice that we were literally sun bathing by the Grand Canal when the sun came out! This kind of activity we do during winters in Delhi!
The gorgeous Neemrana Fort
Anyways just because I came back from such cold weather without having caught a flu, that does not mean I am over the heat. I look forward to more such warm vacations! I especially reminisce our first summer vacation after I became a mother. It was a short yet very beautiful getaway in Neemrana Fort. I was desperately in need of a break and  Neemrana had everything to cheer me up!

It was a lovely road trip to Alwar. The broad NH 8 surrounded by the Aravallis and desert gave me a 'Nevada' kind of feeling. It took around four hours to reach there (pit stop included) and after we arrived, my happiness knew no bounds. The fort was perched on top of a hill and the site was pretty impressive even from the parking area!
After we freshened up, we set to explore the rest of the property. It was the perfect amalgamation of heritage, good maintenance and spectacular views. Alwar could be seen from the top. There were huge doors, cannons and other artifacts that would take you back to the Rajput era. There were well manicured lawns and colourful flowers too which gave a respite from the arid desert vibe.
We particularly enjoyed the evening high tea where we got to sip in style in a private room. This getaway was the perfect remedy for my post partum blues!

Delicious high tea

After Neemrana, the second vacation after we became parents was in the same year itself and it was none other than Goa! Though it was in November but this travellers' paradise is temperate throughout the year! After browsing through many hotels in Goa we decided to stay in two properties for a diverse in Anjuna and the other in Calangute.

Chilling out in Goa!
We had every kind of adventure in Goa. From trying all the adventure sports to falling off from our bike when a fellow biker hit us, we had experienced the worst and best. The end was however when I twisted my ankle in my heels and ended up in a wheelchair. Even after all these, that trip remains one of the most memorable ones. After being all around the world, the most memorable ones are those back home!

What to wear to a wedding

Okay loves for us Indians, the wedding season is right at our doorstep. Unlike the West, we people like to get married when the weather is pleasant or a bit on the colder side. In fact you can see girls flaunting their bare backs even in the thick of Delhi winters! Oh what can we do? Any level of pain can be taken for the sake of fashion! So many of my friends are getting married this year end and I have a lot of outfit planning to do!

Now coming to what to wear. We all girls swear by the line: A closet full of clothes yet I have nothing to wear! There are so many ceremonies in an Indian wedding. I would skip the main wedding day and concentrate on other yet important ceremonies like cocktail dinner or reception for now.

A Western outfit is perfect for the cocktail night or Reception. You can dance and drink as much as you like! Shaking booty becomes a bit difficult in a floor grazing Lehenga or saree. So here's what I have picked up for my coming friend's reception. I found this amazing site  which has everything that I want!

 Dress: You can find it here.
A lacy dress in a jewel tone. Green has always been my favourite colour and emerald has emerged as my new party favourite.

Pumps: You can find it here
Embellished with pointy heels. Perfect for an elegant party!

Clutch: You can find it here
Since blue goes so beautifully with green, I chose this clutch in a complimentary jewel tone.

Watch: You can find it here
An elegant silver watch. Period.

Necklace: You can find it here
Again blue jewelry to go with the rest of the outfit.

Earrings: You can find it here
Two hearts in blue representing the essence of the wedding!

Bracelet: You can find it here
Again an elegant blue and silver piece to complement the emerald dress.

What do you think about this party look?

Monolithos, Santorini

Saluting the Greek Flag..
After Kamari, we were on our way to Monolithos. Just like Perissa, Perivolos and Kamari, Monolithos was on the Eastern coast of Santorini.The way to the beach was a very picturesque one (as if other routes were not). Not only the countryside was beautiful but we were crossing vineyards after vineyards on the way. Grapes is not something that meets my eye in Delhi. I am obsessed with the colour green and grapes is the best looking fruit according to me (strawberry and dragonfruit too).
Got down from the bike to touch the grapes!
\Picking grapes on the way..
I stopped on a lot of farms on the way to fondle the tender grapes. The harvesting season is September and hence in July they were unripe and immature. We were wondering how these tender vines survive the crazy wind and ferocious sun. We were exhausted by both of these natural forces!

The Monolithos beach was a very wide one. Monolithos means single rock. Maybe the name came from the fact that a huge piece of rock was adorning on side of the beach across the road. The sand was not as black as Perisaa or Kamari but was hot nonetheless. Most of the people sea bathing here were nude. It was not a nude beach but the first beach of this kind for me.
Wide and rocky beach...
According to me Monolithos is the best beach to swim. There are no rocks to hurt you in the water and the water is super comfortable. Part of it maybe because it was afternoon so the water had warmed up. Anyways this place will remain on the top for swimming in entire Santorini.

After having a blast in the crisp water, it was time to leave. The most awaited destination of my life was awaiting...Fira. On the way back we spotted an abandoned settlement in midst of the huge hill. First it looked spooky but then I gathered up my courage and took pictorial evidence. Satisfied from the great swim, we were feeling as fresh as a daisy. The most beautiful spot of Santorini awaited us.

Red Beach Akrotiri, Santorini

Red sand and the blue Aegean Sea
Remember the mesmerising song Meherbaan from Bang Bang movie? Its no secret that it had been shot entirely in Greece, Santorini and Mykonos to be precise. The first part of the song is in Fira and Oia; and we specifically took pictures in the exact same locations. I not only love this song but Hrithik and Katerina are looking sizzling hot against the backdrop of these gorgeous locations. The second part of the song has been shot here at the Red Beach. I am confident that the shooting had been done early morning because the otherwise bustling beach is absolutely deserted n the song. The best part that I loved about Greece is the abundance of daylight hours. Morning started at half past five and darkness struck at around quarter to nine in the evening. WE Indians are not at all used to so much of daylight! I don't know what happens in winters but I thoroughly enjoyed my time. I could take pictures without the pressure of sunset creeping in!

It was our third morning in Santorini. Red Beach was on our itinerary. It was quite far from where we wee staying in Perissa and hence we started early. Red Beach comes under Akrotiri district; the Minoan Bronze Age Settlement. It is famous for its excavations and hence of utmost archaeological importance. It was destroyed during a volcanic eruption. Red Beach and white beach are two beaches which are accessible by both land and sea. Some prefer a boatride to this beach, while others like us who have their own conveyance prefer it by land.
A rocky climb to the red beach..

The Red beach is indeed a hidden gem tucked into the lap of Volcanic hills. The sand is red; reminiscent of volcanic origin. The way is tough uphill and downhill walk with many danger zones in between. There were many tourists who got scared of the climb and left after shooting a glance from the top. We were not faint hearted; whatever was in our itinerary was meant to be conquered.
After the strenous task, I was happy to see the sea. It was just eight in the morning and the sand was scalding hot. When I jumped into the water, it was icy cold.

We took turns in swimming. When the hubs went into the water, he was facing me when I was taking pictures. Suddenly I realised that a big wave was coming. Before I could warn anyone, it crashed and flooded everything that was on the beach....everyone's towels, sunbeds, belongings....and we were shocked! The swimmers were gasping for breath. It was such a funny as well as alarming situation that I did not know whether to laugh or cry. All our things were wet. Relieved that the camera was in my hands.It was really hilarious.
Hubby just before being knocked off by the waves..
That is not the end of our ways. While going back, we climbed a hill which gave a 360 degree view of the Aegean Sea. The wind was s strong that it tried to blow my hat. When I tried to hold it, the wind knocked me off! The surface was so rocky that I got bruised badly on my left leg. Hubby threatened to take all my accessories away :( There are still scars! Phew so many pains of a traveller/blogger! My overenthusiasm always lands me in trouble :D
The sequence of my hat flying away and retrieving it back! A sweet Turkish man took this pic...

Hot Burning black sand

FIRA, Santorini, Greece

The picturesque backdrop of Fira
If you have any pre conceived image about Santorini (like white houses with blue doors on a hill with a waterbody in between that has the deepest possible blue colour) then that picture is of Fira. Fira is the capital of Santorini and hence the largest town (I can't call it a city; I live in Delhi!) of this volcanic island. Fira is the land of luxury and wealth and if you dream of staying in a boutique hotel that has an infinity pool overlooking the caldera, then you should be able to shell out at least 50,000 Indian Rupees per night! I can't spend that much on a single night that too when I am tight on time. I have to cover as much as possible; and hence for me hotels are just for sleeping at night with a little pool time. Okay the grapes are sour. I had very high expectations of Fira and it turned out to be more than I expected!
The deep blue Caldera in the backdrop
WE reached Fira in the afternoon at around 2 from Monolithos. We could not find anything vegetarian so we went to a bakery and got veg pizza for hubs while I gorged on various chicken items. One thing I noticed that all the bakeries in Santorini were open for 24 hours which was a blessing for travellers like us who were looking for cheap eats. By cheap I mean 200 rs (2.5 euro) for a patty :D Cheap as per European standards but expensive according to us :D We were so tired from the long bike ride and as our stomachs filled, we felt really drowsy. The sun was shining bright and we had our bike parked in front of the bakery. WE needed a nap. So we went to the nearest park and lied down on the bench. In no time we were deep asleep. It was around 4 when we woke up. We were in a hurry. We had Oia as the next stop on our list. I went to the nearest washroom to freshen up (it cost me 1 euro) and got ready to explore Fira.

Cobbled streets
I pranced around the cobbled streets and asked my faithful photographer to take as many pictures of me as possible.. in every possible angle. All the fellow travellers were impeccably dressed. Musicians were playing music in different corners, vendors were selling knick knacks, people were taking photographs, ambling, a nutshell the exact definition of merriment. It seemed that no problem existed in this world. I simply can't forget the winding narrow streets, boutiques on both sides overshadowed by pink bougainvilleas.
Boutiques and Bouganvilleas
There was a road that came directly from the port. It was a rocky road that came from the foot of the hill ( the entire island is on a volcanic hill) , winding upward to reach Fira. It is known as the donkey trail as hundreds of donkeys walked to carry goods or people too! It was filled with donkey poop and was not meant for walking.
There are three ways to reach Fira from the port...the donkey trail, ropeway and of course taxi. Hubs was fascinated with donkeys and we went to that smelly section of Fira to take pictures. I really love donkeys. They look so innocent and cute. I even bought a stuffed donkey as a souvenir which read I love Santorini :D I also bought fridge magnets from there (my favourite item to gift my loved ones) and a tee for my munchkin. Things in Greece were wayy to expensive as compared to Indian currency! We tried to save as we still had so many days left of our vacation.
The donkey trail
The streets were really narrow on that part. When I was shopping for souvenirs from the street I was almost crushed by a huge group of donkeys! I scurried inside a shop for my life :D After a few more pictures in and around the donkey trail we decided to leave. It was almost half past six and Oia was about an hour ride away. Goodbye to the most beautiful place on earth!

Catch the video of the picturesque place!

Skirt: Zara
Top: mango
Purse: Furla Candy
Sunnies: Aldo