XMAS day in Navsari, very different to XMAS in Brisbane. Nothing to differentiate today from any other day – except it was my last day in Navsari today – going to Mumbai this afternoon.
Made my last round to the local bakery for some pau, was sure going to miss this routine.
Today we were invited to lunch at Nita’s Vinod kaka’s place. He had given us a great time on our last visit – 5 years back. Kids were all dressed in the indian kurtis, why not, when in India, be Indian!
(Girls heading to Vinod kaka’s place for lunch – in their Kurtis)
(Lunch time @ Vinod kaka’s place)
Lunch was great – had Chicken cooked in a special Chicken 65 masala, very yum! Was great having lunch with the entire family.
Finished off by 2, had to be off to Mumbai @ 2:30 pm.
Parimal and his cousin dropped us off on their bikes – very cool experience indeed (second for Neha and me, however first for Nita and Pooja).
(our ride back home to Kalyan Bhavan)
Once home, Parimal took Neha and Pooja together for another round on the bike – I was still waiting for my suit, we had to kill time somehow!
(bike ride time – Neha and Pooja with Parimal)
My suit did arrive around 2:30pm, was a great fit – was very impressed that they managed to complete, my shirt, pants and suit in under 24 hours!
Whilst waiting, said farewell to Arvind kaka and Pushpa kaki, they had been immensely helpful to us in Navsari and having them around here gave me a great sense of comfort – Nita will be alone with kids for around a week!
Arvind kaka was moving out today into his new flat.
Our car and driver arrived soon after, by the time we all got into the car, and off, it was close to 3pm. Felt sad locking up the place, knowing I will not be seeing this place again for a few years atleast, our Navsari home had been very good to us – thanks Kalyan Bhavan!!
Stopped over in Valsad to meet Nita’s Padmani foi and fua. We had stayed with them on our first visit to India in ‘98, they had then shown us around lots. Meeting Henish and Parash again after all those years brought back great memories, they were so little when I had seen them last, now they were both adults!!
Back on the road again, a short distance away in VIPA, very quick stop @ McDonalds – had to feed Neha and Pooja with Nuggets & fries.
(passed a truck overflowing with people, notice the kid between the yellow shirted guys leg!!)
Around 6:30 pm, we stopped over @ Atiti Hotel for Dinner, apparently most travellers stop here for a break.
Approx 9 pm we reached the outskirts of Mumbai, so far it had taken us 6 hours to get there, however the worst traffic was yet to come. It took us a further 2 hours to reach Mumbai Central!! Along the way we used the new toll bridge going across sea, connecting North Mumbai to WORLI, a very impressive structure
(New toll bridge connecting North Mumbai to WORLI)
Reached Gulistan around 11 pm, was surprised to see all the same faces I had seen 5 years back! Room was all booked – thanks to Chetan. We stayed up for a while – kids were all fresh, they had slept through in the car and were now wide awake. Nita soon nodded off, kids and I were up till 1 am then we hit the sack!