Pondicherry

There is a bit of French aura in India and it is called Pondicherry.

We had been planning for an all girls trip for a long time and turns out Pondicherry was the place we were meant to visit.

The last time I traveled on a flight was when I was like 6 so this was literally my first time on a flight.

Boarding Passes

Lucky to have window seats both times

Loved this expansive view of night lights

We reached Chennai, safe and sound into the hands of our master planner Niee and spent the night catching up, digging into jar truffles and raiding Niee’s wardrobe.

Next morning we took a bus to Pondi. The East Coast Road which links Chennai to Pondicherry is so beautiful 😍

If u can, have a road trip along this road. It takes like 3 n half hours to reach Pondicherry and if you have the time you can aaram se stop along this amazing road and take in the beautiful landscapes

After we had refreshed ourselves, we set out for brunch in White town.

At Cafe des Arts

The Brunch Spread

White town holds the French essence of Pondicherry. It is spaced out with colonial style buildings with vibrant colors.

The architecture of the churches is incredible.

Basilica of Sacred heart of Jesus

Eglis de Notre Dame des Agnes

Architecture inside

We also visited the Aurobindo Ashram.

Other places to visit in white town are

Immaculate conception cathedral

Sri Manakula Vinayagar temple

Botanical Gardens

Pondicherry Museum

Park Monument

Next we went to the Paradise beach. The water is soo bluee… It’s a refreshing feeling to just look at it.

Take a boat ride from Chunnambar Boat house to Paradise beach and enjoy these clear waters.

Shadow art 😁

In the evening, we did a bit of bar hopping

We checked out Icecubes and Crosskeys.

If you want a more relaxed night life experience, visit the Le Club garden restaurant or any open rooftop restaurant and don’t miss out on ordering the wine.

One of the best things to do in Pondi is to watch the sunrise. And what better place than the Promenade Beach.

Grab a coffee from Le Cafe and sit on the rocks to watch the sun rise up.

Later stroll along the Promenade and see the many statues here.

Mahatma Gandhi statue

French war memorial

Joan of Arc statue

Dupliex statue

Kargil war memorial

Old lighthouse

We also visited Coromandal Cafe.

Most of the cafes here are like eateries equipped with boutiques and books. It’s a break to recharge your batteries.

Stop along on Serenity beach on the way to Auroville

We visited Matrimandir to see the Golden Globe. It’s a meditating center and visitors are allowed to see it only from a view point.

Its a 2 km walk to the viewing point. Enjoy the relaxed walk or if you want rent a cycle along.

Auroville is an experimental town where people from all the world are allowed to live in harmony irrespective of religion and race.

A beautiful thought!! 😊

See the Auro beach too

We visited Bakers street to complete the French cuisine cravings and also to take some for home.

Evening we returned back our bikes and came back to Chennai. But we didn’t leave Chennai without tasting the spicy Chettinaad chicken 😋

Street graffiti

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B 13 Solo Seat

I mostly avoid watching horror movies in the theater because well it doesn’t let me sleep at night. 

Before this, I did watch IT with my friends but that didn’t scare me. Then for the “Darkest Chapter in the Conjuring Universe”, we couldn’t get our group seats, so each of us had to go solo. 

And I got B 13.

This number has horror significance in Hindi movies. And I thought solo seat B 13 to the show of The Nun – I need to make sure I don’t scream out aloud. 

But it wasn’t truly a horror experience. For one, “Nun” of the scenes were scary. I mean Conjuring 1 scenes are still fresh in my mind but nothing in The Nun could make me feel that, you know, the heart thud. Most of the scenes were just jump horror – oh there’s someone behind you, oh something is gonna fall from the top. After a time even Valak stops looking terrifying. 

And secondly, the packed theater audience kept laughing and wolf whistling and clapping whenever Frenchie came on screen. It all dilutes the paranomal experience you see. 

Am I upto a solo real horror movie night again? Ohoo, I don’t know. Because this one just happened. Maybe if the next one also just happens. I’ll really never know 👻

​I Heart Series, xoxo

Good books always manage to find you when you are not looking out to read anything. And then when you come to know that that particular book is part of a series, would you not hunt them all down?

Author Lindsey Kelk was inspired to write her first book of this series after returning from a holiday to New York City to her home in London and being unable to get over post-vacation blues. She immediately decided that it would be a series of books, each taking in different cities.

Angela is a fun character – she’s flawed in so many ways yet hilarious all the way. And the easy breezy writing of Kelk makes Angela’s journey sound really like The Adventures of Angela that they are meant to be.

I love how she brings about the essence of each city; almost like the city is a person in itself ( Although strictly speaking, the last two books focus only on Angela).

I heart New York

Angela Clark busts her fiancée cheating on her at her best friend’s wedding. Wanting to put as much space as possible between her and the pain, she boards a plane and takes off to the first destination that comes in her mind – NYC. Here, she befriends Jenny Lopez (not the movie one).

A makeover and a Marc Jacobs satchel later –  Angela moves in with Jenny , is dating two incredibly hot men at the same time and is blogging about her life for a living on the website of TheLook.com. But is New York really her home or is she just running away from her real home?

It’s impossible not to fall in love with New York when it is described through Angela’s eyes. New York is a city where people come to become something new. While reading the book you feel the highs and lows that Angela is going through. If you ever felt like you needed a new beginning sometimes, you will heart this book!!

I heart Hollywood

The glitz of LA is well captured in this one. And if you thought looking good and hanging out with a celeb on a Hollywood weekend was glam, Angela is here to tell you otherwise.

Angela’s magazine is sending her to Hollywood to interview the British heartthrob James Jacobs. But this adventure sparks off new heartaches and headaches for Angela. Can she convince her editor and her boyfriend , Alex,  that all that is printed on newspapers is not as it appears?

I heart Paris

The City of Love is calling… Alex has offered Angela a romantic getaway and Belle magazine has offered an article. But right upon landing at Charles de Gaulle Airport, Angela has a bunch of problems up her sleeve. With her old life in London just a train away, fate is tempting Angela…

All those who have lived away from home and feel that need for a quick home visit just to feel better again will relate to this. Adulting is not the most comfortable ride and Angela’s Parisian adventures tell us just that.

I heart Vegas

 

Angela is out of savings, out of work and in danger of potentially being thrown out of the country. And La Lopez’s solution to all of this is – a weekend getaway in Vegas. And what happens in Vegas……

I liked how the author points out that people have been just using this city as an excuse to explain away their behavior. Vegas toh ainvayi badnaam hai. 

 

 

I heart London

 

The time has come to return home and face all the music. Albeit reluctantly, Angela comes home to her besides-their-minds-with-worry parents, a confused ex, a battle of besties and an impending marriage.

 

 

 

I heart Christmas

 

Christmas is Angela’s most favorite season. And it is all set to be ruined!!! Can Angela bring back her festive spirit?

 

 

 

 

I heart Forever

 

With this book, we reach to the end of the series. Read to find how Angela’s story settles down in the Big Apple.

 

 

 

There are two more supplementary short stories in this series, which need to be read to catch up with Jenny’s life.

Jenny Lopez has a Bad Week(read after I heart Paris)

Jenny Lopez saves Christmas (read after I heart Christmas)

I absolutely ❤️ this series!!!