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Trip to Lonavala - Weekday Smartstay Fun!

- By Smartstay Team, 9th of December 2014, Budget Travel, Views: 1875
It was a gorgeous Monday morning in the last week of September and unlike others who were dragging their souls to work, we were off to Lonavala for a crazy team outing! We started at around 9 am from Thane and reached Blossom Villa in Tungarli, Lonavala at around 11:30 am with a snack break in between. We were greeted by cool atmosphere, a pleasant change from Mumbai's sultry rains and each of us seemed to soak in the magnetic aura and enjoy the views of the low floating clouds at a distance. The guys occupied Blossom Villa while we girls took over Gulmohar Villa, both of which are AC Row-house Villas with 2 bedrooms, a balcony, living room, a kitchen with backyard, 3 bathrooms and a green lawn.

Nobody seemed to be in a mood for heavy lunch; hence we got Shiva, the caretaker, to bring us some spicy Misal Pav from the nearby food outlet which we relished thoroughly. It was almost 3 pm when we got into the cars and zoomed off to Tungarli Lake which is hardly 2 km away from the Villa. The drive to the lake on a hillock was very beautiful!

Gorgeous Lake! The water was calm and inviting and sure enough, we stepped in!

The backdrop was a stunning green landscape...serene and mysterious! Most of us stayed in the water while others enjoyed a gossip and music by the lakeside. We actually had a strategy meeting in the middle of the lake accompanied by constant chatter of teeth and short shivers each time there was a mountain breeze! By 5 pm we finally dragged ourselves out of the water and played music from the car deck. 'Green Dancing!' someone called out and each of us 'dirty' danced for the next half hour.

And then, it rained! It was too cold to handle and we got into the cars and headed back to the Villas. Thankfully, it wasn't raining here and our plans for the evening were so far so good.

Some of us indulged in Green Tea prepared by one of our seniors with Lemon grass and bay leaves growing in the backyard, and my! It was a delight! It's not every day that you get your senior to make and serve you tea. It was 6 pm and everybody was given time until 8 pm to freshen up and gather at Blossom Villa. With the help of Shiva, we go a few kitchen supplies and 2 full chicken which we washed and marinated with hot spices. By 8 pm, the Barbecue was lit!

Vegetarians threw potatoes and onions into the charcoal while the chicken took the space on the Grill. The chicken was basted with some red wine towards the end while we had yet another interactive meeting but, this time, around the Barbecue. Before you 'boo', I must say, it was really energizing! Our meetings are never a bore!

While we ate, we played Dumb-charades which was a cheater's delight! Shiva had prepared the usual Dal and Rice which tasted so good in the cool outdoors! It was around 1 am when we decided to play some music indoors. Since it is a residential area, we played the music soft and danced through the night! By 3 am, we all had settled down either on the couch or on the extra bed on the floor. We had a long inspiring dialogue by our Director...he praised each of us; we discussed ideas, spoke about the future course of action and lots more until 4:30 am! Later on we disbursed and took to our villas for a short night nap.

It was morning in no time! Shiva prepared us some hot tea and we started back at around 10 am in half sleepy mode. On our way back we halted at a food court on the Express Highway for some yummy Maharashtrian breakfast and buttermilk.

Trip Complete! Satisfied! Next trip to be announced soon! But for now, back to work!

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