LogoToddler On A Trip
March 3, 2023

Welcoming the terrible twos in a terrific way: Our Toddler's Birthday Getaway

Statue of Unity | March 2023

No matter how "terrible" turning two is, it is a milestone in itself. While we bid goodbye to the little infant who just smiled and cooed around, we welcome a little monster who is mastering the art of annoying us by each passing day!

Green cake with a Panda. Just as specified.Green cake with a Panda. Just as specified.

Ayaansh's 2nd birthday was a long-awaited event for us. Having celebrated his 1st birthday in what we believe to be a grand way, we wanted this one to be a little more intimate. We wanted to celebrate it with a weekend getaway, however unlike our other trips that involved a ton of excel sheets and planning, this one was supposed to be a low-friction trip, as close to Vadodara as possible.

With Ayaansh's love of books, and his willingness to skim through the pages of anything that has pictures, his latest attraction has been towards animals, irrespective of where they fit in the food chain. We had been wanting to visit the Jungle Safari at the Statue of Unity for some time now, and this occasion seemed to be the perfect time for us to do it.

We had already visited the Statue of Unity a couple of times (before Ayaansh), and so that was not really the point of our visit, but we decided to stay there for a couple of nights to visit the newer attractions that are more kid-friendly in nature.

Ramada Encore Booking the Ramada Encore for our 2-night stay meant that we were very strategically located near all major attractions to visit at the SOU. Reaching there post lunch meant we had a sleepy toddler with us, who now refused to sleep after a a short nap on the way. While Vrunda and I were evaluating the room and the food options, Ayaansh had already given a thumbs up, because they had a pool!

Mumma said these vegetables are not to be eaten...I'm not sure what that meansMumma said these vegetables are not to be eaten...I'm not sure what that means
The gentleman look. I think it suits me.The gentleman look. I think it suits me.

With the kind of water-baby he is, there was no way he could be kept away from the pool, specially in the early March heat of Gujarat.

Jungle Safari Visiting the zoo during the hot hours of the day was a bold decision, but that was the only way to have the animals meet an active Ayaansh, and for Ayaansh to wear himself out before he got his well deserved shut-eye in the afternoon.

Time and again, Ayaansh's visits to various zoos has led us to believe that you can surround him with animals and he will not care who you are. Be it the bird section, or the tiger, the leopard, the giraffe or the zebra, Ayaansh kept himself busy gazing at them, while Mumma and Dadda had to find answers for what each one of them would eat for lunch.

Pet Zone

One of the finer things built at the SOU, the pet zone is home to a variety of pet animals, giving you open access to their enclosures, where you can feed them. You can pet some of them too! With roosters and hens, goats, cows, parrots, horses, ducks and rabbits, we spent a decent amount of time with the animals who were very friendly. Feeding the rabbits was an activity that we struggled to come out of, because we had a little member who refused to stop feeding them, until they lost senses. I feel bad for the gastric condition of the rabbits that day, after the heavy lunch!

I am not sure I can touch, can I...?I am not sure I can touch, can I...?
What do you mean you don't want to eat? I don't get that option...What do you mean you don't want to eat? I don't get that option...

Children Nutrition Park

Just opposite the Ramada Encore is this wonderful little theme park, that focuses on nutrition and healthy eating, keeping children as the focal point at every step. The best part about the park is the toy train that serves as the means to travel in the park, with train stations that represented different zones, focusing on the various aspects of food production and consumption. With farming, milk production, nutrients, and the various kinds of healthy food consumed across the country as the key concepts, the overall experience was very informative. The information was a little difficult for a 2-year old to understand, but may be not as difficult as choosing between the red/blue/yellow/green/purple train compartments to sit in. Toddlers have a lot more stress than we can think of!

Saying goodbye to a place that had so many fun things to do was not something Ayaansh had signed up for, but he gave in because Mumma-Dadda didn't save enough to keep a permanent room at the Ramada Encore! But nonetheless, the animals, birds and most importantly, "Sardar" kept him great company for 2 days, making his birthday worth remembering.

With every trip we take with Ayaansh, he always conveys that he is ready to travel more, and often. Unfortunately for his parents, for longer trips he has now reached the age where airlines will not allow the three of us to travel with two tickets. And so that is a sign for us to brace ourselves! But ready we are, like we always have been!

From here and beyond...!