My First #RoadTrip From Beaches To Mountains – Part 1 Reaching Lahore the same day

Go!! Every year to a place you’ve never been before. 

I kinda took this quote seriously few years back when I decided to start saving for trip to North. My first ever Northern areas trip happened in 2009 – after 6 years of marriage and an year long committe savings. That explains how middle class I am. It was kinda our honeymoon too coz we weren’t blessed with kids back then. I still have the diary keeping records of that trip expenses. We were a group of cousins, 6 couples and that American system wala trip was a memorable one. From a lotta for train journey that we bought from Pindi station to a cup of tea at Ayubia we documented everything lol.

After that it is like chutt’ti nahi hy ghalib munn ko lagi hoi. I crave for vacations. Something that has never happened before. The biggest question was how to save money for a trip while living in a rented house and on budget always. Well, we decided to carry on with committee system for savings and made every effort to at least save a salary every year. Then we plan our trip as per available budget and Voila!!

God has been kind and in past 7 years we’ve been blessed with two kids and a car Alhamdulilah. Ever since we’ve bought Vitz it was a dream to go for a road trip up North. Finally we headed to Northern Areas from Karachi this July.  I’ve documented my trip live in tweets on the hashtag #RoadTrip and you must have read my experiences if you’re following me on Twitter. 

Anyway, so it was our first ever road trip and our first destination was Lahore. We were accompanied by Brother in law who is an expert of driving and an avid traveler too. Luckily he was in Karachi and going back to Lahore the same day. So we invited him to give company & tips during the ride. He was like raat tak lahore hongay bus subha 6 bje niklo. Although I was a bit skeptical about it coz Karachi to Lahore is actually 1200+Km and as per Google maps you’ll be needing more than 18hrs to get there if you drive without staying in between. 

We went to pick him up at 5:30am anyway and started my Cinderella ride. A trip that has to end at midnight. Follow this thread to get every detail from fuel to finger licking good dhabba food. 

Karachi to Lahore from 6am to Midnight:

  • Started the journey at 6am from Karachi. 
  • I was accompanied by my husband, brother in law and two kids (4+ & 2+ yrs old). 
  • Kept them engaged with Disney movies on LCD and a Tablet with some games. Some Lays, their feeders and cupcakes etc. 
  • Reached Moro at 11:30 am and it was our first stop for breakfast/brunch at Royal Taj restaurant. Wasted good 45-55 minutes there. Not worth it. 
  • Reached Ghotki at 2pm and entered Punjab at 3pm.
  • Reached Sadiqabad from Karachi in full tank. Refilled the tank after almost 569 km. 
  • Vitz gave 14±Km/ltr average.
  • Next stop was for lunch/dinner at around 6:30 pm near Ahmed pur East. The dhabba was at Jalla Arain and the food was scrumptious.

  • Continued the journey and crossed Multan-faisalabad motorway at 9pm.
  • Third refueling was at Mian Chunnu after driving 955km in two tanks. 
  • By 11:30 we’ve reached Manga mandi where brother in law lives. 

That’s how we managed to reach Lahore before midnight the same day and I kinda consider it an achievement because of traveling with 2 kids. Also, it is important to mention that I was pregnant while on this trip. What’s your excuse of staying away from a Road trip? 

Will follow up with part two of my road trip to cover my lahore experience and Road trip to Naran from Lahore. 

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Give your life Flavor ka Daily Dose coz #LifeNeedsFlavor 

Every moment of life deserves to be cherished and I am the type of person who never believed in planning. I like to live it in the moment and enjoy it to the fullest but sometimes you need to boost up a little. Like when you’re with friends the energy is totally different as compared to when you’re with family or colleagues. Fun times needs to be celebrated differently and what better than lays. Instant mood upgrade guaranteed. 

Recently I went to a road trip from Karachi to Northern Areas of Pakistan for the first time with my two kids. The experience was surreal. It has its ups and downs and my mood swings too. Trust me with kids a road trip can be so much fun or a mess. There’s no other way around. Thank God I had an ample stock of lays with me throughout the journey to keep kids munching on while enjoying the ride. Uptill Babusar Top from Karachi there’s no dearth of Lays too. They’re available at every gas station and shop which is remarkable. Afterall life needs flavor and a road trip is incomplete without fighting over the last lays chips in the bag. 

My little one is a fan of masala lays while elder one likes to have French cheese flavour. My daily favourite is Lays salted and for a gathering of siblings I prefer special edition flavours. We seldom get together for tea time, probably once a week and the time calls for special fun filled flavorful evening. So we like to munch on new lays offerings and then discuss life and happenings. Such memorable discussions we had over a cup of tea and Lays. The most consumed flavor so far is yougurt and herb in our meetings. Soon to be beaten by new launches I guess. 

While treating guests on special occasions, I like to serve some wavy Lays or salted ones because of their presentation and different taste profile. During a movie marathon at home, we love to munch on a combo of Salted and French cheese lays with few dips like salsa, garlic mayo etc. There’s a flavor for every moment of life.  

Wondering which flavour we’ll go for our next fun filled meet up? Lays has introduced two new flavours,  Mexican Paprika and Thai chili and both are tempting me. Can’t wait to try them and pick my favourite. What’s your daily dose of Flavor for a life boosting experience? 

I watched #JabHarryMetSejal first day first show and I am disappointed 

I am Shah Rukh Khan fan. I just adore him. His charizma is unmatched, although I have grown up seeing him in movies on a VCR and later on TV mostly. Just few years back Indian movies started to release in Pakistan and I went to see SRK’s charismatic persona on 70mm for the first time in my life. The movie was “My name is Khan” and I loved it. Capri cinema’s audience was generous to clap, whistle and shout during his entry and performance. It was a memorable experience. As I am already his fan, the experience was of a lifetime for me. Afterwards his few other movies got released in Pakistan but I couldn’t manage to watch them in cinema because kids happen or some other issues.

Raees was his recent much awaited release but it couldn’t make it to Pakistani cinema despite Mahira Khan being in the lead. Sad indeed. Anyway, I was excited for Imtiaz Ali’s first venture with Shah Rukh Khan. As soon as the movie title was announced the buzz was the there. Although I didn’t like the title at all. Definitely because of the vibes it gave of previous Imtiaz Ali hit, Jab we met. 

I went for the first day first show of “Jab Harry Met Sejal” at Atrium cinema Karachi as a SRK fan for an experience of a lifetime with his fanclub, “SRK universe Pk”. The show was advanced booked and a housefull one. Families flocked to watch him on screen. 

I am disappointed because I was expecting something of standard and substance from the trio but all I can remember the movie for is Europe ki locations or SRK’s button down shirts exposing half of his tattoo on his shoulder and chest. What else will I remember? Maybe Safar main raha song or the cheese fries that I had after the movie. Did I enjoy? Yes coz his appearance made me smile, his Punjabi accent and dialogues were catchy and his persona always has a magical effect. Did I like the movie? Sigh….!!! What was that Imtiaz Ali? I can’t believe that it is actually a movie made by Imtiaz. There’s no character building, no relation of the protagonist with his ancestral town established or explained, Female lead (played by Anushka Sharma) impresses with her accent and antics but why was she forcing herself on him despite being engaged? The plot is so confusing that you’ll feel bored. 

Dear Shah Rukh Khan!! You were a heartthrob, you’re still one for many but we all should age gracefully. If red chillies or Gauri didn’t produce the film it might have a different impact I believe (I could be wrong but maybe). You were adorbs in Dear Zindagi, I loved you in fan (Fabulous fan act), Raees was cool too. JHMS wasn’t.

PS: I don’t review movies and this is not a movie review either.  

#MeriShaanMeraPakistan – Beautifying Karachi with thematic Wall Art 

Karachi, being the biggest metropolis deserves much more than it has got from the citizens and government on so many levels. Be it cleanliness of the city or beautification drives, we all need to take the ownership and work to make this city a better place. It is always good to see people working towards causes that make their cities proud. One such drive is happening for the past couple of years by EFU Life insurance and I am Karachi. 

#MeriShaanMeraPakistan drive is all about getting rid of those Bengali baba ads from Karachi walls. The city don’t deserve such ugly graffiti and wall chalking all over it. In order to pay an artistic tribute to our dear homeland EFU Life initiated “Meri Shaan, Mera Pakistan” project In 2016. Under the guidance of Commissioner Karachi, Mr.Ejaz Ahmed Khan and his esteemed team of the project of beautifying Pakistan through thematic wall art commenced and produced such beautiful results that they’re continuing it this year to celebrate Pakistan’s 70th Independence day on a bigger scale. 

Last year #MeriShaanMeraPakistan project has covered Ayesha Manzil and NCC walls. A 2000 sq.ft wall at Ayesha Manzil and a 3000 sq.ft wall of NCC Sports Complex has been painted with thematic Wall Art depicting our culture and love for our dear homeland. EFU Life has now extended this project to a third location, the Aga Khan Park, Garden, opposite Ismaili JamaatKhana covering a space of over 7000 sq. ft. This year the Independence Day celebrations are even bigger and with Meri Shaan Mera Pakistan artwork Karachi can proudly be part of the celebrations with pride. EFU Life had a contest for artists too in which they’ve asked to submit artworks. The winning artwork is going to be featured on Agha Khan Park wall. Look at all the fabulous artwork that has been painted so far. 

Hats off to the talented artists who are making efforts to paint such beautiful artwork capturing the essence of Pakistan. From food identities like Anday wala burger to our train stations and the lost tradition of travelling in Tongas, #MeriShaanMeraPakistan themed art walls are a treat to watch. I can’t wait to visit the Agha Khan park and have a look at it myself closely. Definitely going there with my kids. It is like an exhibition and a walk through the history via art. 

Hope we all treat this effort of EFU life with care and also take care of this art in coming years by preserving it and further working to make Karachi even cleaner. 

Pakistan Zindabad. 

A couple landed at McDonald’s on their wedding day and #ImlovinIt 

“Shadi main gueston ko sabse ziada kiya acha lagna chahiae?” 

“Khana!! Ye lighting shigting phool bail sab bhool jaega”. 

(From the movie Band Baja Baraat)

Isn’t it the truth? Desi weddings are all about food in the end. All the guests will talk about shaadi ka khana more than anything else. What about the bride and groom? I was that bride who couldn’t enjoy the food of her own wedding (various reasons including the nose jewellery I was wearing lol). Wedding is the most important day of one’s life and what pity that you don’t gotta eat your favourite meal on the biggest day of your life. Damn!! Heartbreaking.

Times are changing and so does the rituals. What an amazing couple Munawal and Zubair are to break the stereotype of desi wedding food on their wedding day. The bride loves McDonald’s and the groom loves her, so he takes her to a McDonald’s right after their Nikah event. And they went there in their wedding attire. Imagine!! I don’t know which branch it was but wasn’t it surprising for McDonald’s staff or other diners? I am sure it was. I find it so cute tbh. Kinda wedding goals. Oh Gosh!! I was so hungry when I had to travel for 5 hours after my rukhsati and there wasn’t any McDonald’s on the way back then. I am not crying, you are. *wipes tears* Why am I having flashbacks of my own wedding. Kinda regret not going to McDonald’s, perhaps. 

Can I call this a McFairy Tale wedding? Absolutely delicious beginnings.  Imagine gobbling down your favorite McMeal on such an important day of your life. How celebratory. Thank you Munawal and Zubair for thinking out of the box and being so casual about your desires. Such chotti chotti khushyian makes life worth living for. Wishing you a wonderful and McDonald’s filled life ahead. 

*Going to have McFlurry in spirit of your cutesy wedding celebration*

Urban desi mom's blog about everything interesting around.

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