Our first holiday in Mumbai was Thanksgiving. Like the week in September, we had no idea that this was another popular time for expat families to take another long vacation. The school doesn’t follow the standard US holidays since their students are from all around the world, but they get close. In fact you had a half day of school on Thanksgiving day.
With most of our friends leaving town for the long weekend we decided to have a stay-cation here in Mumbai. Looking back we probably should have picked a hotel that we hadn’t been to, but we’re creatures of habit so we booked a room at the Powai Marriott, The Renaissance. We headed straight there after school and stayed through Sunday.
I spent a good amount of effort making sure that the room we booked was large enough for the 5 of us, and that we’d have access to the Executive Lounge so that we had a place to go outside of the room to stretch out. To be honest Pravin at work set the entire thing up and did all the leg work, Thanks Pravin.
When we arrived at the hotel and checked in we found out that they upgraded us into a lake facing room so we had a better view. When I asked about the two double beds they told me that it would be a single kind sized bed. I spent probably 5 minutes explaining why that wasn’t acceptable only to find out that this was our only option for the night. So we compromised with getting two cots for the boys. We had the pack and play for Madelyn.
It was frustrating, since I put so much effort in making sure that it didn’t end up this way, but we survived. We agreed to have two cots brought to the room at 7:00 pm, when we were going to be at dinner, but when we got back there were no beds. We spent at least an hour and a half getting both beds, which involved explaining to the staff that two were required and agreed upon. It was not a good way to end the first night of vacation, but we finally got them in the room and got everyone to bed.
After dropping our luggage off in our room we proceeded to head down the pool to get some swimming done before dinner. It was short lived because the pool was pretty cold. Lucky for us we had access to the Executive Lounge on the 26th floor, and happy hour started at 5:30 pm. We spent around an hour in the lounge snacking and talking about the few days ahead.
After a few drinks in the lounge we headed to the Hotel’s Thanksgiving Dinner, where we met up with some other friends who were also around. You can see Logan in photo of Johnathon below. We were told that a hotel Thanksgiving Dinner would be the best option for getting as close to traditional Thanksgiving meal. They didn’t disappoint. The food was amazing with Turkey and Mashed Potatoes, but no cranberry sauce. I really needed cranberry sauce. They also had Italian, Chinese, Indian, and other cultural foods. It was great…even though the boys only ate crackers and cheese.
I took the day off of work on Friday, since it wasn’t a BMI holiday, and we scheduled a fun outing for everyone at Let’s Play in Thane. When we got there we found out that they actually have locations in the United States. The guy who started this location actually worked at the other location for several years before seeing an opportunity in Mumbai.
The place is a climbing store for kids and adults alike. We also did this with friends to help keep everyone engaged. What we didn’t plan on was the entire place being filled with only ASB families looking for a place to take their kids on a day off. The local school were still in so there wasn’t much competition.
On Saturday, after an awesome breakfast, we spent most of the day at the pool, which was really pretty great. The more I think about it, that was the first time since we arrived in Mumbai that we spent the day at the pool. Originally we planned to do that more often. Throughout the day we also learned that 90% of the families that were at the pool were also doing the Stay-Cation…and went to ASB. We really do live in a bubble.
That night we really took advantage of the lounge where we actually learned that the kids you were playing with all day at the pool were also from ASB. You kids really connected and we had a great time talking with their parents. They originally lived in the US, investment bankers, and moved back to Mumbai around 10 years ago. The lounge was great because it gave us space to spread out instead of staying confined to a 400 sq ft room. Plus, I felt like very one had kids so no one cared about the shenanigans.
The stay-cation was, in our eyes, a complete success. It reset us all for life back in the busy city of Mumbai. Getting away from our daily grind and enjoying being a family leveled us all back out for our next stretch before before our next adventure, Australia.
Mom and Dad