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

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!

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2015 – Recap

ice hotel1We started 2015, freezing our toes in Montreal and Quebec. Both cities are perfect summer destinations, but winter has its own charm! Next we stopped over at Istanbul on our way to India. London was our first choice, but Turkish Airways offered us such a sweet deal that we had to take it. As much as we would have loved to see more of Turkey – Cappadocia, Pamukkale; we had just about  enough time to cover Istanbul – one city; two continents. Shortly after landing in India, we rushed off to Kutch for a spot of bird watching, and to enjoy the white expanse of the salt flats under an almost full moon.

Vermont -Leaf Peeping1Back in the United States, summer started in the mountains of Maine and ended on the beaches of Cape Cod. Every weekend in between was spent grilling and chilling. We managed to squeeze some kayaking, row boating, hiking, wine tasting and two camping trips including our camping debut before we went leaf peeping in Vermont. We saw bears (and elk, and other wildlife) in the Great Smoky Mountains. We ate soul food in Charlotte. We learnt to fly an airplane. Summer saw the bestie take over the house for a few days and the husband’s bestie make himself at home. Fall was little slow as the husband was upto to his eyeballs  preparing for a competitive exam. By the time he got done, I was swamped with work stuff, school and project work. No complaints; we had our grand finale trip coming up in December. December saw us in Norway chasing the Northern Lights in Tromso and  finding them in Svalbard. We missed the polar bears, but we experienced the  unending polar night. When we came back we had family waiting for us. A darling friend made us Christmas sweets because we couldn’t find the ones we grew up with in the market. Nosiest, craziest, BEST Christmas EVER!!

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Svalbard – Polar days, Polar Nights and the Aurora Borealis

In other news, I kept my word about publishing one post every week. I even got published in the Cape Cod Daily. Thank you 2015, you’ve been simply spectacular! Thank you everyone for following along!

 

“I’m sharing my #TalesOf2015 with BlogAdda.”

..and so another year begins

 

Health and Happiness to All!!

Health and Happiness to All!!

Hello Peeps!!

The last year went out in a flurry of activities. I checked out the 4 big holiday markets of NYC. We drove down to Luray Caverns,Virginia for a holiday weekend. Came back and met visiting friends; did a walking tour with them. Enjoyed 4 sets of New Year fireworks, all from the comfort of our (rented) apartment. No jostling crowd. No heels on slippery hardwood floors. No shivering in the cold. Good friends, good food, good music – that’s how we brought  2015 in. I was then whisked off for a surprise holiday in Quebec.

Here I am now, trying to settle into the new year. After 2 days of sub zero temperature in Canada, it feels like early fall in NYC today. When asked about my plans for the year, I realized that for maybe the first time I have concrete goals. There is so much I want to do, and a lot more that I have to do. Bear with me.

I just realized this is my 200th post. This blog has come a long long way, and it would not have been possible without all of you. Your love and support, your shares, likes, comments, just the fact that you read it – means a lot.

May the new year fulfill old dreams and set the stage for new ones!!

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