Blogging Marathon # 50th Edition Celebration - Day 1

It all started in 2010! Srivalli started an event - Blogging Marathon and I signed up for the first edition.30 days of non stop blogging and there were just a few of us for the first edition. Slowly the group grew and soon we got blogging on a regular basis 3 days a week for 4 weeks every month with very interesting and intriguing themes.

Then in 2013, I took the trip of a lifetime! Vaishali hosted the 25th anniversary celebration at her place and many from the blogging marathon group met for the meet.For many of us it was meeting the rest of the gang for the first time.Even though we visited each others blogs and exchanged mails and spoke over the phone, that was the time we put a face behind the person!

Over the next two years we got even more close, thanks to Whatsapp! Now we are on constant chatter all through the day and night.

When it was time to celebrate the 50th edition, it was hinted that we celebrate it in Delhi! I was so sure I would not be attending it.When we met last year for a small meet in Priya Srinivas's place,I put up a small 'drama' that the girls in our group will never forget .And then the venue got changed to Chennai.

The planning started a year earlier and plans were made, tickets books, dress color code decided. Mails flew back and forth and so did the messages in whatsapp.Stuffs for the goodie bag were planned and shopped for.

Finally it was just a day to go before the meet when I told Srivalli I wouldn't be able to make it for the celebration. All of us fell sick and I was running between clinics for checkups and blood checks. I was exhausted.Luckily by evening, health issues got settled and by late in the evening I pulled out suitcases to pack for me and Lil Dude.

I packed late into the night and hardly slept. One because it was early morning by the time I finishes and two because I was super excited.

Unlike the previous trip [where I arrived very late at the airport and almost missed the flight], I arrived early and waited impatiently for the flight. Lil Dude was super excited to be going on this trip and was literally jumping all through the flight!

This time, Padma Rekha hosted the 12 of us in her home.A few of the members flew in a couple of days earlier and had other travel plans. The rest of them had arrived the previous day / earlier that day. I was the last to arrive. The girls kept sending me pics of breakfast and other activities an housed I really wanted to rush to her place.

Finally when I reached there, I was so excited, more like a school girl, almost doing a happy dance. This time, I had met almost everyone except Kalyani and Gayathri. Since we were in touch through mails and messages, it hardly took time to recognize them.

So, here is the gang...

The moment I entered the house and searched for a place to keep my bags, I caught sight of rows and rows of goodie bags![Image - Thanks to Srivalli]

I arrived just in time for lunch and the girls had cooked up a feast!!

Being true blue food bloggers, we were more intent on clicking the pics than indulging on the dishes!! Padma's Aloo Kurma ,Vishali's green garlic rice and cucumber raita, Pradnya's Bakhri and Zunka, curd rice, Mysurpa and Poli.It was a very heavy lunch indeed which was rounded off by Archana's Ginnu - Steamed Colostrum dessert. This was something I was looking forward to tasting as I have heard a lot about it but never got around to making it at home or even tasting.{Image- Thanks to Gayathri]


After the heavy lunch, Usha shared with us a few tips and tricks on photography patiently answering our questions and doing a demo for us.[Thanks for the pic Srivalli]

We had a group snap session in whites and the aprons that Vaishali had specially made for the occasion.Then we celebrated Srivalli's and Kalyani's birthday.

 Then it was time to dress up for dinner. We had planned for traditional outfit .Lil dude was very shy all through and I knew why!He was probably over whelmed to be amidst 12 very gorgeous looking women :)

Before we started out for dinner, we had Vaishali's Pani puri shots..

We were pretty much stuffed after lunch yet we were not deterred by the prospect of dinner at  Annalakshmi Restaurant...We had arranged for Mahalakshmi Preeti Bojan- a thali comprising of North Indian and South Indian Dishes.Dishes upon dishes came to the table and we sampled the whole lot. It was very sad that we were not able to do justice to the meal! The sampling alone made us so full that we could hardly walk out!.

Part of the meal[Pic from Srivalli..]

We also had a bread making session with Nandini who explained about sour dough breads and shared her experiences with us.

Then it was time to exchange the goody bags and we were giddy with joy looking into the gifts! The bags had everything- Props, cook books, home made masala mixes, pickles, cake mix, chocolates, baked goodies,sweets,beauty aids, loads of gifts for the kids...Priya Srinivas who was not able to come down for the meet, sent us goodies all the way from Dubai! Thanks Priya and we missed you a lot...

Each one was so thoughtful in selecting gifts and it was reflected as the smiles and wow's that could be seen and heard. Even the bags were tastefully tagged and presented. Wow!!!

It was pretty late by the time we talked about the gifts. Yet none of us wanted to sleep. We sat there chatting away and hardly slept for an hour!

I can go on and on about this but I will stop here so that you can check out what my friends have to share about Day 1 celebration....

Padma Rekha

Will be back with Day 2 events....

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