Flashback 2016

December 31, 2016

diwali-2016

This year has been very eventful in many ways.So eventful that travel had to take somewhat of a backseat. The first half of the year feels like it happened in another lifetime, but we did go enjoy cherry blossoms locally and camping in summer. We saw a snow leopard at the Binghamton zoo. We even saw bald eagles and flocks of migratory waterfowl at the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. This was the trip of spectacular sunsets. This was actual the year of gorgeous sunsets, we were blessed with some soul stirring sunset vistas this year.  There was the trip to Montreal. So many people – so much fun! Sometime in between, we spent a week in India, flight tickets courtesy Etihad. Yours truly won those tickets in a contest last year. Soon after, life caught up with us and a million things happened, including a new house and a new job.  We spent almost all our spring weekends looking at houses. Most of our flower viewing this year was checked off outside prospective homes. Between jobs, I spent a few days with the family at San Diego. I didn’t go to Tijuana, instead I took the kids to the park where we rode a train, went on a carousel and splashed in the fountain. Best time off ever. The husband’s parents visited and we took them on a disastrous bus tour of the West Coast. I call it disastrous, but I think they had a good time. I got highlights – first time ever. Mum visited us for a few weeks and made our first Navratri and Diwali in our new house truly special. I completed my Masters (in Sustainability Management) this year. Working around the school calendar and both our work schedules left us with very little travel time, but it is not so easy to beat us. We still managed to squeeze in a trip to Death Valley and Zion. We even threw a couple of (oh wth!) fabulous house parties, made it to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade and shopped over Thanksgiving. We set up our first full size Christmas tree and had a blast decorating it. We browsed the Christmas markets and bought ourselves one of the many/few things I have been eyeing for the past three (3) years. I never got around to baking that cake, but we did fire up the oven and make lasagna.  I tried my hand at making apple cider (non-fermented).I discovered Buddha’s Hand and made Buddha-Cello.  I finally pulled an all-nighter – we stayed up playing board games till 5 a.m. I made it to the ice rink. I am by no means a great skater, but just being on the ice makes me so happy. We will ring the old year out and the new year in, surrounded by friends in our own home, in this far away land.

So much more was supposed to happen in 2016, but that year is gone.

January 1, 2017

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For 2017,

I want make a trip to London, Scotland, and continental Europe

I want to go to the Yellowstone National Park

I want to go back to Kashmir, our first post-wedding destination to celebrate five (5) years of togetherness

I want to go to South America

I want to see gorillas in the wild

I want to ride a camel in the Sahara Desert

I want to invest in a telescope and a good book on astronomy, and stargaze

 

2017, be kind!

Sunny San Diego

August 2016

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At Balboa Park, where we rode the train, saw ducklings, tried to get touch the fish, saw some art, admired some plants, dipped our feet in the fountain, went on the carousel and in all had fun

I’m spending my break between jobs at our holiday home in San Diego. People often ask me, if I’m not weary of the east coast winters and would I not like to move to California? My answer is, that’s where I go to holiday. Everyone needs a getaway spot. A place where you can bury yourself under the covers and pretend the rest of the world does not exist. My is sunny San Diego. Could it get better? Under the covers there, there exists a world inhabited by giants and jedi; lorikeets are our friends, eating from our hands and carrying messages. A world that’s constantly changing as the years go by, but magical nonetheless.

This visit was supposed to be a surprise for the kids and for amma.The surprise was broken, but the thrill and joy was intact.

Of Fathers, Daughters and Sons

Aug 1, 2015

akashs bday group pic

They say San Diego has the best zoo in the world. It truly is a magnificent zoo. After a lot of debate about not having his party in the park as always and wanting a reptile birthday, our little boy got to bring in his BIG FIVE at reptile house at San Diego Zoo. Appa and I visited together for Akash’s 1st and 3rd birthdays. We even had our own little adventure on our way to his first. Incidentally my first time at San Diego zoo was with Appa too. We ended up walking all around the massive grounds just looking for the bus stops. By the end, both of us were exhausted. I guess I should have seen the signs, but it was a lot of walking and we were still a little jet lagged.  Appa, we missed you terribly.

Akash's big 5 at the zoo

Junnu leads the pack through the reptile house;pointing out the snakes and at times reading the information plaques

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The babies don’t want to leave the play area. Slides are FUN!!

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Time to munch on the goodies in the goody bag

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Egging goats to fight at the petting zoo

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Snack Time! Tacos and Bro-made Sandwiches

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Singing for Cake

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Blast from the Past

 

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Today’s post is a blast from the past.When I was working in Delhi, I took my parents on a trip to Jaipur and Udaipur. Amma was keen on the architecture. They were flying in from Bombay. I was flying in from Delhi. Their flight landed before mine. I had reserved  rooms for us at heritage stays. When I reached the hotel, I found them having breakfast on the roof. The look on their faces when they saw me, was priceless. Their joy,  excitement, and pride was so evident that the German (I think) couple on the next table broke into smiles. “You must be their daughter.”, they divined.

Later the same friendly gentleman enquired,” Is he a strict father? Is he compelling you to get married?” ( or something on those lines). It was my turn to laugh.

Museum of American Finance

2016

Note to self – Never agree when the husband says, meet me in the city in the middle of a work day.

Pictures1He asked me to meet him and then went to say hello to a colleague, promising to be back in ten minutes, while I browsed the Museum of American Finance on Wall street . Thirty minutes later, he took the ferry and rushed off to his meeting without as much as a goodbye!

GRRR!!!!

Kings and Queens

Photo courtesy Flickr

I’ve seen African Lions in Kenya and Asian Lions in India. Next on my list is to see the Desert Lions.

The place to see these lions is the Namib desert of Namibia. Another reason to visit Namib desert  is that it is the oldest desert in the world. Other inhabitants of the Namib desert include the Himba tribe. What is so unique about the Himba people is that each  each Himba belongs to the clan of both their mother and their father. How beautiful!

*Original photo can be viewed here. If this picture belongs to you,please let me know if you have any objections to my using it and I will take it down. If not, thank you for letting me use it.

 

Daffodils

I first came across this flower on a winter night in Delhi. Its fragrance, warm and heady, heavy in the cold still air, drew me straight to the seller. I made a few enquires and found out it was called nargis. A few google searches, and I found its English name – daffodil.

...and then my heart with pleasure fills and dances with the daffodils

…and then my heart with pleasure fills and dances with the daffodils

This simple wild flower is often overlooked. In the United States, it blooms around the same time as the cherry blossoms. Everybody goes cherry blossom viewing, but no one goes daffodil watching in particular. Few pause to admire them as they toss their golden heads, and flutter and dance in the breeze.

This post is my tribute to this elegant harbinger of spring.