We are spending a week at a lovely hill station called panchagani. Just the four boys, our nanny and me. It’s a lovely place…and so much to explore.
The resort we are at is actually quite basic but the trick is to look at things through the eyes of a kid…suddenly everything is fascinating and magical. As we walked into a slightly stuffy 1 bdrm apt and realized that 2 lights were not working, the boys had already discovered the bath tub and were jumping up and down all set to get right in.
They ran outside and made friends with the gardeners and the cleaning ladies who were more than happy to chat with the little men and explain to them all that they were doing. The mundane task of sweeping up leaves suddenly took on such a fascinating angle and the kids exclaimed in joy over everything they were seeing and being shown. The golf cart taking us from the parking lot to our room was another highlight and the boys extracted promises of several rides from the driver.
We have spent today discovering the eucalyptus tree. We crushed the leaves and smelled them. We discovered that the bark actually fell off and that we could write on the bark bits with out felt pens. We even found resin on the tree bark and pulled some of it off to observe it closely. Sid discovered that the it looked really pretty when help up to the sunlight.
Nish went around collecting leaves and giving them interesting names. So a red leaf was a beet root red leaf…and orangish one was a sun orange leaf, and so on. This was completely spontaneous and fun. We also saw creepers and talked a little about them.
Once the boys were done with breakfast (chocos, milk and strawberries that we bought at the market…its a divine combination), we all set out for strawberry picking. We went to a nearby farm…and the boys saw their first real scarecrow – we had only read about poldy the scarecrow in a story.
The strawberry farm was lovely. The owner Mr. Sunil Bhilare showed us the strawberry patch and then left us there to pick. We had carried baskets for the twins which was a great idea because they could carry the baskets around and fill them up with the fruit they were picking. There were lots of strawberries and it was fun plucking the luscious juicy ruby red fruit off the vines and filling up our baskets. The boys ran up and down the rows of strawberry vines looking for “big” and “red” berries to pick. Nish and Amu stuffed a couple of juicy ones into their mouth and then walked around with tell tale pinkish red stains on around their mouths and on their chins.
There were other things growing there too…we saw red chillies, brinjals, broccoli, pumpkins, bitter gourd, cabbage and mulberries as well. It was great because the boys got to see what a field looks like and see how things grow (because they are so used to seeing this stuff only in cane and plastic baskets in the market!)
At the end of our picking, Mr. Bhilare weighed the strawberries and we paid for them…very reasonable too!
A really fun morning!!! And the boys have been gorging on strawberries since! Esp Amu and SId who absolutely love the fruit!
Will upload pics in a day or so…really slow internet here.