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The Goa Getaway Again

One fine day, Ekta, Rachita & me met at gallops for a few drinks. The discussion revolved around going & seeing a house in Goa for their aunt. Randomly we all agreed & decided on a roadtrip to our most favorite holiday destination… somewhere through the week, we also convinced Vishal to come with us, a point to be noted here is we also tried to get Aashay to come with us, though he wasn’t allowed as his parents think we are a bad influence on him – this has definitely not gone down well with all of us…

Heaven is a place on Earth!!!

Heaven is a place on Earth!!!

Banyan Soul

Banyan Soul

Moving on & now to the interesting part, we started the roadtrip by about 4 a.m. on a Friday, made good time as we didn’t stop anywhere except for the occasional bathroom breaks & reached Goa by about 2 p.m. This time around, we were on a tight budget so were staying at a place called The Banyan Soul, a relatively inexpensive place at Anjuna. The Hotel is built around a huge-ass banyan tree as you can see in the pictures. It was nothing to rave about, but considering in Goa we use the hotel only for crashing, it served our purpose. After resting for a bit, decided to explore the surroundings on foot, walked passed German Bakery which was 100 meters from our Hotel, had a beer there, then decided to go to Curlies which was about a 15 minute walk away.

German Bakery

German Bakery

A Must Visit Place...

A Must Visit Place…

The place was pretty crowded, though we did get a quiet corner to chill, beers & rum were ordered. Also ordered some food which pretty damn awful, though the whole angle of being in Goa & on the beach with alcohol made up for the same :-). Next day started off with some photography and playing the guitar under the banyan tree which was super cool! For breakfast we decided to go to Lila’s Cafe where the roesti, sandwiches, bacon, etc is phenomenal. Side by side, we ordered some beer, which by now you have figured is mandatory with meals as well as generally while you are in Goa. Post a superb breakfast, we went to see the house. Nothing exciting happening there, as in it was a nice property and all that, but too far from the beach & general activity & thus a definite no show. Then we decided to go to Calamari, a shack ahead of Candolim. More beer was drunk & some more good food eaten, post chilling for a while, decided to head back to the hotel, crashed for a bit; dinner plans for the night were at Florentine, one of the most awesome places for authentic Goan food. We ate awesome vindaloo, fish cafreal & egg curry with beers, rum & fried papads.

Super View at Calamari!!!

Super View at Calamari!!!

Superb Crab Curry!!!

Superb Crab Curry!!!

Next morning, Ekta & me went out for a drive for some photography & general chilling. We went around Vagator which has some awesome opportunities for great photography; for brunch, we decided to go to Calamari again. Post general lethargy & laziness through the day with beers & alcohol, we decided to go for dinner to Souza Lobo’s one of the oldest sea food eateries in Goa located at Calangute beach, we ordered some awesome crab curry……. this was the 1st time we ate crab & it was instant love….. we finished every last bit availaible in the curry bowl i.e. ekta & me did. We also ordered vindaloo which was superb. Beach photography started off the next day, post which we decided to go to the Casino. This was interesting because Casino Royale is located on  a ship away from the dock, in what qualifies as international waters, thus making gambling legal. In the casino,  played some black jack & slots with Rachita, won about 2k & then after a while got bored & went home, though decided that at some point in life, need to buy a boat which is kind of cool. For dinner, Rachita & I went to this shack at Anjuna called Seashore Bar which had super view of the ocean, had a few mojitos & beers accompanied by bhajiyas which was total awesomeness!!!

We were chilling here...

Shopping!!!

Shopping!!!

The final day in goa was spent having breakfast at this quaint place called Artjuna which had some great food & a brilliant ambiance. The concept basically is an eatery with a selected menu card, add to that pieces of art, sculpture & a lifestlye store in the open where you can buy whatever you like. Post breakfast, Rachita & Vishal decided to go finish some shopping, while Ekta & me went to Anjuna beach, got ourselves a couple of loungers & lazed there for a while. Shortly Rachita & Vishal also joined us as the area where we were living had no electricity so the breeze on the beach was more then welcome. Early evening, went shopping again with Rachita at Candolim. Finally, dinner was at a place called Sussee Cafe which was ahead of the Kingfisher Villa at Candolim. Ordered mussels, chicken, etc….. ate, chilled with beers, got back to the hotel & crashed. Next day roadtrip to Bombay was in full effect. Goa, this time around, was a revelation in terms of all of us trying & eating different kinds of seafood. Other than that, it also reconfirmed the fact that there is no other place in the country which is so super chilled out. Now we have decided to go there at least once every 3 months :-).

Susse Cafe!!!

Susse Cafe!!!

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Posted by on December 17, 2012 in Bikes & Builders

 

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Goa Getaway Part 3

We Love Her…

This post is a continuation of the first 2 as the header suggests. Intitially, I was not going to be adding this one & the Goa Getaway Part 2 was going to be the last basis our trip; however, basis the last 3 days spent in Goa this post just had to happen.

Awesomeness!!!

Best Place to Eat in Goa!!!

Rs 5/- Fenny

So post the 4th day in Goa where we decide to extend our vacation super excitment time had happened! Immediately, we went and bought booze food, etc. etc. Also jumped into the pool & vegged there for a good few hours post which, basis a recommendation from our Villa manager, we decide to go to Florentine, a local joint, which according Henry serves the best Chicken Cafreal in Goa! Also, by now, we had a new bike added to our list of Activa & Avenger which was the Yamaha Frazer. So come dinner time, I decided to try my hand at riding the Yamaha. The same had a very differnt feel compared to the Avenger which I am so used to, also the gear system which is totally different – 1 down the rest up. Felt kinda like Valentino Rossi on the same, though was riding at a snail speed trying to get used to the system. Post reaching Florentine, realized this was a classic local joint with cheap food & alcohol, considering their cheapest drink on the menu was at Rs 5/- for the local fenny. Ordered loads of food – Chicken Cafreal, Vindaloo, Egg Curry & Loads of Papads – devoured all of the same, had a few drinks & for about 8 people and loads of food paid only Rs.1400/- which is simply spectacular. Everyone visiting Goa has to try this place – it’s got the best Goan food ever!!!

Next morning, Ekta, Aashay & me who were up early decided to go for a bike ride 🙂 Ekta was riding the Yamaha, I was on the Avenger & Aashay was riding the Activa. We decided to head towards Aguada Jail road and take a detour towards the Helipad, further to that road there is a dead end which has a small lane which allows you to ride your bike towards the edge of a cliff which overlooks the sea and is simply brilliant!!! (Check the Gallery Below for some awesome Pics of the Bike Ride)

Our Awesome Rides!!!

The view from the edge compares to nothing you have ever seen… also the feeling of peace, tranquility & all that jazz is absolutely & totally sensational. Rest of the day was spent sleeping. In the evening we decided to go to a pub on the road to Taj Vivanta called Charcoal & Cheese – had loads of our Goa drink which was invented there (Goa Drink is Rum, Thumbs Up, Loads of Ice & Chat Masala…. totally Ulti Bakka). Post that, we decided to head to the Park hotel which had a ladies night where drinks for ladies were free! Went there, chilled for a bit & decided to come back the next day as the ambiance was super and also we reached at 9:30 pm and the place shuts at 10:00pm for music; some new crap policy by Goa police to shut blaring music by 10:00pm everynight, preposterous I tell you…

The Park Goa!

Charcoal & Cheese!

Next day, which was our last day in Goa, finally, was spent lying in the pool to start the day, heading for a bike ride; further to the same mandatory nap happend after which Rachita, Aashay & I decided to head out and finish some shopping. Enroute we realized suddenly Goa had become extremely packed with tourists and was quite a buzz, post quickly picking up some hairbands & crocs we decided to grab a bite at Britto’s… by then Ekta had also joined us. We entered Britto’s & in the same breathe exited after seeing the crowd which comprised of grannies & little kids (horrifying i tell you absolutely horrifying). Though by now we were hungry, so went to this place called “La Pub” which is on the way to Britto’s, ordered our Goa drink fix, also ordered some superb Sausages Wraped in Bacon &  Non Veg Platter which was brilliant. Post this, it was early evening so we decided to head to the Park for some general chilling. Reached there, saw the brilliant view on the beach, the breeze was spectacular, add to that some fun music & crazy ass drinks :-). Most of the evening was spent dancing with Aashay, Ekta & Vishal. Rachita was also there though she was sitting and enjoying her sheesha. Post a crazy evening & night, went back to the villa & passed out. Next day woke up early and then proceeded to drive back to Bombay. Left at 6am from Goa and was home by 6pm in Bombay… Also a special mention to Moti (our adopted dog in Goa) who was totally suffering from ADHD, though was very lovable and super cute. She spent a good deal of about a week living in the villa with us and following us evreywhere including inside the Park Hotel. Shout to Moti to end this article “we miss you :-)”

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Posted by on August 24, 2012 in Trips & Rides

 

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Goa Getaway Part 2

Pure Awesomeness!!!

Our Private Pool!!!

Today’s post is also a continuation of the Goa Getaway post. For all of you who read part one about the roadtrip this one is the conclusive one which is all about our awesome experience in Goa… So post the amazing car journey we reached Goa Saturday afternoon by about 1pm, went directly to the Villa we had rented – the anticipation & the excitement of how the place would be was unnerving. Though post reaching Calangute & figuring directions to Villa Alina we were finally there! The property looked spectacular with a super old world charm. Immediately, made a run to check our personal infinity pool – the same was totally sensational & very inviting; post figuring rooms and getting the luggage out, we decided to dive into the pool and laze there for a few hours. Meanwhile, Aashay & Rachita had gone out to pick up some alcohol. Once the booze was in, things got into a better perspective and life was all sorted 🙂

Love the old school charm!!!

So for all of you coming to Goa, do check out luxury villas which people rent out. They are cheaper and better than your regular hotels; also, if like us, you prefer an old school getaway place to live then this is the place you need to rent. Ok so the way this works is, you rent the Villa, you have hired help who manage the housekeeping, breakfast & are on call if you need something or the other. There is also a fully furnished kitchen which can be used to make meals, breakfast for us was included in the package. Also basic amenities like towels, etc. are provided by the Villa.

Alcohol & More!!!

Day 1 more or less went into exploring the vastness of Villa Alina & lazing in the pool with oodles of beer & other alco which included Smirnoff vodka, a bottle of JD, some Carona’s, etc…  The feeling of owning  your own Villa with a private pool kind of makes you feel like someone from the “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous” absolutely unmatched that feeling is.  Day 2 Ekta & Aashay decided to get bikes on rent which is the norm in Goa, so an Avenger & a FZ was rented. We also tried the breakfast offered at the Villa which was your basic: Fruits, Cereals, Juices & Egg Preps. Rest of the day went in the pool wherein random pitchers of JD, Rum, wine, etc were being made & served. Also dinner was a barbecue party where Rachita had cooked some amazing seekh kebabs, chicken, potatoes, paneer & mushrooms.  Too much fun was becoming 🙂

Heaven!!!

Day 3 started off with Rachita, Keisha & me going for breakfast at the iconic Infantaria Cafe – some bacon, goan sausages, mushrooms on toast, croissants, etc. were had with a pint of Millers beer which was on an introductory scheme.  Post that Ekta, Rachita & me decided to go on a roadtrip to explore south Goa, drove through some awesome scenic views of Goa, went past Ponda towards Colva beach road and then towards Colva beach which clearly wasn’t very happening, it kind of reminded me of Juhu beach in Bombay with no real excitement and just the crowd was a major put off. Came back, crashed for a bit and then was back in the pool with the gang.  For dinner went to the Park and had some crazy spicy Vindaloo & Xacutti which was brain blasting!!!

Beautiful Drive to South Goa

POA General Chilling!!!

Day 4 started off with Rachita & me swimming in the pool where we decided on extending our vacation for another 3 days, actually day 4 was going to be our last day, so spoke to the Villa owners, got a good discount and also extended our trip by another 3 days. Most of the day then was spent sleeping & lazing in the pool like a buffalo. For dinner, Rachita had made some awesome coconut chicken curry with rice and kheema with bread accompanied with beers! So the POA for the next 3 days is to rest, drink, eat & generally chill!!!! Mota mote (Long & Short of it) Goa is an absolute must visit at least once a year and if, like us, you have the option of extending your vacation whether in Goa or anywhere you have to do that, the feeling is fabulous, sensational and all that jazz for sure.

 
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Posted by on August 15, 2012 in Trips & Rides

 

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The Piekers

After 8 Pie made by Rachita

Wikipedia Says – A pie is a baked dish which is usually made of a pastry dough casing that covers or completely contains a filling of various sweet or savory ingredients. Pies are defined by their crusts. A filled pie (also single-crust or bottom-crust), has pastry lining the baking dish, and the filling is placed on top of the pastry, but left open. A top-crust pie, which may also be called a cobbler, has the filling in the bottom of the dish and the filling covered with a pastry or other covering before baking. A two-crust pie has the filling completely enclosed in the pastry shell. Flaky pastry is a typical kind of pastry used for pie crusts, but many things can be used, including baking powder biscuits, mashed potatoes and crumbs. Pies can be a variety of sizes, ranging from bite-size to ones designed for multiple servings.Random use of a Pie – Cream filled or topped pies are favorite props for humor. Throwing a pie in a person’s face has been a staple of film comedy since Ben Turpin received one in Mr. Flip in 1909. More recently, pieing  has also become a political act.

The Avengers Inspiration!

The Pie, an unassuming dish which a lot of people love to eat or make. To most people in India though, the introduction to this dish was the famous and awesome movie American Pie….. ha ha ha ha ha ha! Agreed that in the context of the movie and the use of the pie was totally skewed versus the one which people eat, but it still established interest and intrigue in this wonderful creation. Today’s article primary is with regards to our, actually more importantly, “The Mrs’” interest in baking & the lovely pies made by her.

Red Velvet Cup Cakes

The story starts off at about the same time we went and got our bike. Rachita, my wife, who is extremely fond of cooking, started to show renewed interest in baking the same was extremely evident when red velvet cupcakes which were absolutely awesome were made by her & were a super smash hit in terms of look, feel & taste. Post this she tried her hand at the Hulk cake (post us watching the Avengers and being in that zone for a long time). You can also check the details of the Red Velvet Cupcakes & the Hulk Cake in our previous posts :-).

Super Stuff!!!

Awesomeness!!!

Then there was the brilliant Baked Philadelphia Cheesecake, and then came in the Pies – starting off with the brilliant Peach Crumble which raised the bar to some crazy level. The crust was totally spectacular add to that the fresh peaches and stuff, absolutely unbelievable! The complete pie was devoured in about 20 minutes by all of us & some pieces which were sent to the in-laws had the same fate. Further to which discussions on the brilliance of the dish continued for multiple days… Next in line the absolutely sensational After 8 chocolate ganache pie! Yup, I know! Sounds mouth watering delicious! Trust me, it tasted even better……I mean this was hands down one of the most awesome desserts made by Rachita!!! Finally there was the breath taking Raspberry Pie which was just a sensational change from the regular taste of pies in your mind. The crust and the use of cheesecake to add just that little bit of pizzaz made this last pie a true slice of heaven!!!

Enough said…. take a moment to check the gallery which has the awesome creations made by Rachita and have a visual treat 🙂 Also below some crazy numbers & facts about the Pie.

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Super Duper!!!

Approx. $700 million in pies (approx. 186 million units) are sold in grocery stores every year. This does not include restaurants, food service or price clubs, only grocery stores. If you lined up the number of pies sold at U.S. grocery stores in one year, they would circle the globe and then some.

According to a 2008 survey by Crisco® and American Pie Council:
•Nearly one out of five (19%) Americans prefer apple pie, followed by pumpkin (13%), pecan (12%), banana cream (10%) and cherry (9%)
•Pie just isn’t for after-dinner dessert. Thirty-five percent of Americans say they’ve had pies for breakfast. Pies as lunch (66%) and midnight snacks (59%) also have a popular following.
•When asked what dessert Americans would prefer a friend or family member bring to their house for a holiday dinner, pie was the winner with 29%. Cake (17%) and cookies (15%) rounded out the top-three spots.

Pumpkin pie was first introduced to the holiday table at the pilgrim’s second Thanksgiving in 1623.

Pie was not always America’s favorite dessert – in the 19th Century, fruit pies were a common breakfast food eaten before the start of a long day.

Pie By the Numbers
•36 million number of Americans who identify apple pie as their favorite
•47% Americans for whom the word “comforting” comes to mind when they think of pie
•6 million Number of American men ages 35-54 who have eaten the last slice of pie and denied it
•27% Americans who believe chocolate pie is the most romantic to share with someone special
•1 in 5 Proportion of Americans who have eaten an entire pie by themselves
•113 million Number of Americans who have eaten pie for breakfast
•75 million Number of Americans who prefer to drink milk with their pie
•32% Americans who prefer no crust on top of their pie
•90% Americans who agree that a slice of pie represents one of the simple pleasures in life
•9% Americans who prefer to eat their pie crust-first
•7% Americans who have passed off a store-bought pie as homemade
•18% Men who say their wife makes the best homemade pie
•2% Women who say their husband makes the best homemade pie

Unbelievable!!!

Pie Personalities
If you love… You are likely to describe yourself as…
Apple Pie – Independent, realistic and compassionate
Pecan Pie – Thoughtful and analytical
Chocolate Pie – Loving
Pumpkin Pie – Funny and independent

Pie Preferences
•More than one-third of Americans have eaten pie in bed

•Nearly one in four women believe that they make the best pie – better than Mom or Grandma
•More than one-third of Americans have craved pie in the middle of the night
The first mention of a fruit pie in print is from Robert Green’s Arcadia (1590): “thy breath is like the steame of apple-pyes.”

 
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Posted by on July 4, 2012 in Bikes & Builders

 

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