Sunday, January 29, 2023

A small road trip with my 2 babies

I had been itching to go on a long drive since the past few weeks..My Tata Altroz XZ was turning 2 years and I wanted to celebrate that with her. My wife was making plans with her friends for the Republic Day long weekend. 

Voila! That gave me a perfect excuse to visit my friend in Pune and do a short road trip with my Altroz to celebrate her 2 years with us!

I decided to add a twist in the tale: Bring her older sibling (my 2.5 year old toddler) with me on the road trip!

We have trained Vivaan to be seated in a child seat since he was a year old and we also have generally taken him out with my wife on 4-5 hour road drives.. This was a similar situation.

But this was him with me alone..So it was exciting to spend time with him, but all by myself!

And I was hoping for the best!

I had planned a visit to Pune Zoo with him. That's one of the things we do, explore the zoo in whichever city we visit with him. He loves talking about animals

And so i started preparing for the itinerary and informed my friend of the arrival..The route was planned and we were all set for a mini picnic!

  1. Clothes
  2. Baby Food for emergencies
  3. Baby Cycle
  4. Foldable Potty seat
  5. Books and Toys for the Car
  6. Baby Playlist in case he gets bored
  7. Google Maps Offline Download
The day started with getting out of Thane and Navi Mumbai at noon. So i was expecting lesser traffic than usual till i reached Panvel. My Altroz was cruising along in the 5th gear once we started the Mumbai-Pune Expressway.The ride and handling of the car are the best when you drive it on the highways..The stability (compared to my previous car) gives you the confidence that this car can go above and beyond 120 on highways and won't break a sweat!

But with Vivaan, I had to keep the speed under 100 KMPH.He was fast asleep in the car after a karaoke session for the first 30 minutes!

We drove for about 90 mins before reaching out first pit-stop for lunch after the Talegaon Toll for some Dosa and Lassi for both of us. I planned to reach the zoo by around 4 PM so that we can come during a relatively easier time post noon and the animals would not be sleeping inside their shade.

There was no parking inside the zoo, but fortunately I found a parking spot on the side..Time to bring out the baby cycle so he can sit the long walks in the zoo! The boot space in Altroz was plenty to accommodate the cycle and the luggage for a day..

After walking for around 4KMS (8,000 steps done, workout for today is over!) the zoo closed at around 5:30 PM.Now we needed to drive back to Wakad at my friend's place in the evening hoping Pune's traffic isn't as bad as Mumbai's..

Happily that wasn't the case and we covered the distance in 45 minutes..

After spending the night at the friends place, I decided to head back via a stop at Mapro's for lunch..I love the Strawberry Thickshake and so i decided to indulge for a day with Vivaan..Ended up ordering one too many dishes, Vivaan ate his share of Fries and Sandwich but I did not account for my wife not being there to share the food with me.. Never mind, Everything goes well with a strawberry thickshake!

Here's what I loved about the drive in my Altroz XZ 2021 version:
1. You can clock 140kmph and you will still feel you can take the car further. 
2. You won't get tired on a 2-3 hour drive.. The driver seat comfort is great
3. I love the music system!
4. Although the ground clearance is low compared to the competition, never in my 2 year journey the car has scrapped or touched any speed breaker! Apt for an occasional Village road visit

And here's what I wish could have been better:
1. The suspension at slower speeds is stiff and you feel every bump!
2. Lackluster thrust in the first gear takes getting used to..
3. Panel Gaps! Why Tata Why!!!

How did I do? Let the stats speak for themselves:
  • Trip Duration: 8 Hours of Driving
  • Distance: 354 KMs
  • Avg. Fuel Economy: 18.2 KMPL
  • Avg. Speed: 44 KMPH
  • Top Speed: 103 KMPH
  • Proper Gear Utilization: 86%