Our first international trip with our toddler Paisley was eventful, to say the least. It was filled with ups and downs, firsts and lasts, and of course memories that will last a lifetime. When we first started planning our trip, we envisioned a non-stop travel marathon that would take us from the Southern most point of India, and then far north into the Himalayan Mountains. About five seconds into our research, we realized that this was not the best way to travel India with a three-year-old. We changed our approach and decided to explore Kerala, the state where Vishnu was born and the place most connected to our roots.
We ate our way through the capital, Kochi, and explored the rich tea plantations in Munnar. Our favorite stop on our trip, however, was in the Periyar National Park where we stayed at the quaint resort, Quiet By the River during our partnership with CGH properties. Now, we would definitely not describe ourselves as the resort type. What intrigued us most about this property and convinced us to put away our traditional sleeping bags and tents for room service and a king size bed, was their emphasis on nature. Just to get to the darn place we took a 2-hour taxi cab, a 30-minute jeep ride, and a 20-minute canoe ride all to get to the resort which is not so conveniently located on an island in the middle of the Periyar River in Periyar National Park. We’ve been pretty “out there” before, and this felt almost as “out there” as backpacking through the trail-less Denali National Park in Alaska. Ninety percent of the food cooked on the island is grown on the island, with the remaining brought in fresh daily (there are no freezers on the property). We fished, we hiked, we swam in the natural pool in the Periyar River, and we lay in the hammocks at night listening to sounds of the jungle. Paisley had just turned three at the time of our visit, and months later, still talks about Quiet By the River and the fun she had there. It means the most to us that some of these moments had such an impact on her short life; we hope that she keeps these fond memories of India always.
Paisley doesn’t care for spicy food (we’re working on her), but she LOVED the tea cookies.
The only thing we consumed that was not grown on the property while we were at Quiet By the River was beer. All of this goodness came straight from the resort’s garden.
We’re not sure if we’re insanely lucky, or if India’s sunsets are simply the best, but every evening we were treated to a cotton candy sky.
Pureed pineapple orange juice, the best juice that is made on this planet.