Saturday, June 27, 2015

#LiveLodgyCal...the most happening event of the Blogosphere !!!

The announcement of #LiveLodgyCal event in GOA, sponsored by Renault India in collaboration with Blogadda brought a storm in the Blogosphere. All eyes were on the event, the 40 lucky bloggers who will be part of it and the various activities they would be involved it.

There was also a contest organized by Blogadda whose 5 winners were going to get the opportunity to be part of the 40 chosen ones. 

On a fine Tuesday morning, 3 days before the event I got the invite from Blogadda to be part of this awesomeness.
I was on cloud 9. Without wasting any time I filled the form to confirm my presence.

The event was scheduled from 19th to 21st June 15.  Next day I got my ticket which confirmed by presence at the event and also took my excitement to a new level.

Air India was our airline. Flight from Mumbai was scheduled to depart at 1 p.m. on Friday. 
In the meanwhile twitter was buzzing with the updates on #LiveLodgyCal event.

Everyone was eager to know what all is in store, when suddenly a tweet from Blogadda unveiled some of the suspense.

All the 40 bloggers were divided into a team of 4.
I was excited to know my team members.
The suspense was killing me; I was refreshing my mail box every 15 minutes when finally a mail from Blogadda brought a smile on my face.  It had the twitter handles of my team members.
Atul, Tanmay and Kunal were going to be my family in GOA.
We had to decide on our team name and announce the same to the world.
Finally #LodgyCool were all set to rock GOA.

Atul took the initiative to create the WhatsApp group for the team and also tweeted the banner announcing the team name.

Because of hectic office hours I couldn’t get time for packing so had to wake up early on Friday morning to get all the packing done. 
Finally I was all set for “Go, GOA, Gone”.

It was raining heavily in Mumbai so Blogadda advised us to reach airport early for a hassle free journey.
I reached airport by 11:30 a.m. and was excited to meet all my teammates in person.
Atul, the co-founder at eVeltio Education Consulting appeared to be a jolly person.
Tanmay seemed to a cool guy who was all set in the party mood.
Kunal, a college student looked quite studious. ..:P

There were other famous Mumbai bloggers too at the airport.
Deepak uncle, a very famous national level rider and photographer.
@rutaagayire , a hotelier, rider and founder of PhotoKhatta. She is an inspiration for many women riders.
It was an honor to meet them all.

Our flight got delayed by an hour because of the bad weather.
We landed at GOA airport around 4 p.m.
There was a coach to take us to the venue of the event, “Hotel Leela Palace”.
Bloggers from other places of India were also there to join us.
Everyone was damn hungry.
Finally after travelling for an hour we reached the venue.
Leela Staff welcomed us with a tilak and garland.

Leela Palace justifies its name making you feel like a king/queen.
It's like a kingdom where you will get everything you can imagine of.

On my next glance I could see the Blogadda team, all smiling and happy to see us.
They escorted us to the hall where snacks were served. After appeasing the hungry stomach we got the keys of our room and a baggage containing all the details of the schedule for the event.

Kunal my teammate was also now my roommate.

We were escorted to our rooms in a Baggi, you can call it a big golf car.
The rooms were high on luxury, space and facilities. Our room had classic interiors, a king sized bed and a large bath tub.
Balcony was its main attraction which had an awesome lake view.

After refreshing up a bit we were requested to gather at the Banquet Hall, Hampi, for the first set of activities and presentation.

RJ Archana from Radio Mirchi, Kasa Kai Mumbai was our host for the eve.

There were tables set for everyone to get settled.
All the bloggers were set in the GOA mood which was evident from their attire.
Atul had booked a table for our team, so we quickly grabbed our seats.

Finally the eve started with team introduction.
Each team was called on the stage and asked to reveal the team name with a brief introduction about each team member.

There were people from all walks of life.

We had an hotelier cum biker, an army man wife who was an author, an education consultant, a biker cum photographer who had travelled for 13000 km in one go that also at the age of 60+, a fulltime blogger, few tech bloggers who had their own startups, auto mainstream journalists and many more interesting profiles.

After the introduction we had the Renault team on the stage with their presentation.
For next half an hour we were briefed about Renault Lodgy , its presence in the market, comparison with other MPVs and reviews from automobile experts.

After the session got over we were asked to head over to “ The Restaurant” as dinner was served.
There were lots of new dishes to try out.

After having a sumptuous dinner we headed to our room to relax and prepare ourselves for the next day as we were going for the #LodgyDrive.

6:30 was the wakeup call as the drive was going to start from 9 a.m.
We had our breakfast and headed towards the lake side of the hotel for the flag off.

Atul was very excited to drive the new Lodgy so we took back seat to enjoy the view as our route had a beautiful GHAT section on the way.

Finally the drive started with all Lodgys in a queue following the one ahead of them.

Our destination was Hotel Lalit where we were supposed to have lunch.

As it was monsoon time we had an awesome view to capture in our DSLRs.

Full points to Lodgy in the space department.  There is ample of leg space available for the front and rear seats. Also among all MPVs it provides the maximum boot space.
The rear seats are flexible and can be easily folded to make enough space to accommodate even a cycle.
Music system is powerful and the quality of sound is superb. There is noise reduction mechanism which improves the clarity of sound and we are able to hear even the minute details.
The interiors are classy and stylish.
Lodgy has a superb pickup and provides a smooth driving experience.
Even on the curves in the GHAT section we don’t have to decrease the speed.

Btw we had a funny incident on our way to Lalit.
A person driving another car asked us to stop. We were a bit skeptical about his intensions so were cautious in talking to him. Next came the hilarious part of the story when he asked us to show the Lodgy we were driving as he too wanted to buy it…:P
We asked him to go to the showroom of Renault as we had to reach somewhere urgently.
After he went we kept on laughing till our stomach started to ache.

Finally we reached our destination which was Hotel Lalit.
There were huge lavish golf grounds on both sides of the road. I assumed it to be one of the most famous golf destinations in GOA.
The interiors of Lalit were not very glistening but sober and classy.
After having a sumptuous lunch at the “Canacona” we headed towards the private beach of Lalit.

It was a clean and beautiful beach which had an awesome panoramic view. 
The tides were high and a cool breeze was making our stay more pleasant.
After clicking a lot of selfies and pics we started for our return journey to Leela.

Some of the bloggers also had video bytes describing their Lodgy experience.

On the way to Leela I got the opportunity to drive and I was really satisfied by my overall Lodgy experience.

When we reached Leela, tea & coffee was served at Hampi.
As we were a bit tired so we quickly had our part and went to the room to relax a bit and also prepare ourselves for the impromptu sessions and activities which were going to happen next.

Around 7:15 p.m. everyone was at the Banquet hall dressed in their best.
The stage was all set for a rock band performance. I was super excited and eagerly waiting for the performance to start.

Meanwhile Blogadda marketing head, the gorgeous Ankita took the centre stage.

She called on stage some of the great personalities we had among us who had their success story to share.
After the impromptu sessions we had the panel discussion where 5 coveted bloggers were at the centre stage discussing about their experience as a blogger, how they got famous and what inspired them to become part of the blogging world.

With the end of panel discussion everyone’s eyes were set on stage as Goa’s one of the most famous band was ready to set the stage on fire. It was time to rock n roll.

Officially the bar was also open now so without wasting any time people quickly made their way to grab their favorite drink.

The band started with some famous English hits and then slowly paced their way towards Bollywood party numbers.
For the first 15-20 minutes everyone was at the bar or their seat, enjoying the show, but soon all the shy bloggers started getting the kick. In no time the dance floor was set ablaze with the thumkas of
rockstar bloggers.
After the dance party got over dinner was served.

I was too tired to eat so quickly had a bit and headed towards the room to have a good night sleep.

Next day morning we woke up a bit late.
12 p.m. was the time to check out of the hotel Leela.
Quickly we did our packing and headed towards “The Restaurant” to have our breakfast.

Finally it was time to say adieu to the fellow bloggers who were now more like friends and head towards the airport to return back to our respective destinations.

Many Many thanks to Blogadda and Renault for such an awesome experience.
Blogosphere has never witnessed such a phenomenal event where super heroes of the blogging fraternity are under a single roof. Not only I learned a lot but lived like a king for 2 days and also improved as a person. Memories of this event will always travel through my mind whenever I will remember my journey as a blogger.

I was a part of the #LiveLodgycal Drive by in association with Renault India