Posts Tagged Memories
And I did.
The weekend before last we rented a cabin in the mountains and took off Saturday morning. The drive was a bit stretched out (breaks, traffic, etc.), but it was fun nonetheless. We had two cars, six of us shuffling between the cars. And once we got near the mountain area, the fall colors were so breathtaking that the drive wasn’t a bother to anyone.
We reached the cabin around four in the evening. Temperature had gone down considerably by then. Heater was turned on. Fireplace was put to good use. All of us gathered around the orange-yellow flames of the fire for a while before venturing out to the balcony to enjoy the mountain views from all angles. Cameras were brought out and click, click, click – photos were taken of the colorful mountains, dark grey clouds, shy sun, fallen leaves.
Once it started getting dark, Ran stepped into the kitchen to start preparing for dinner. He started with cleaning and marinating the fish and the chicken we’d bought earlier that day, followed by cutting the veggies and prepping them for baking. Each one of stepped in and out of the kitchen, offering a helping hand every now and then. And the partner, as always, began playing music to up the cheery mood that all of us were in. And a song or two later, he also began moving to the rhythm.
There I was standing on the sidelines, watching the big smile on his face as he danced around, sinking in all the joy that the evening brought with it, and moments later he pulled me in. And what happened next surprised me to no end. I joined him! Without any hesitation, without second thoughts, without feeling conscious about everyone else around, I was hopping along on my happy feet.
These were some of my closest friends I was with. And then of course there was the partner. Yet, it startled me to spot that behavior of mine. It’s so unlike me to have given in so quickly. And there I was, doing just that. Of course, I am glad I did. Because had it been any other way, it might not have been as much fun and I may have regretted it later. That evening brought with it a lot of excitement. Enough to last the days to come.
We danced. For hours together. Some more than the others. We danced as the dinner cooked. We danced as Ree took a nice relaxing bath and then had her dinner. We danced as the food called out to us. We danced until our feet hurt. We danced like there was no tomorrow. We danced until we could label it one of the most memorable evenings ever, because almost all of us hadn’t danced like that in years. And yes, we danced like no one was watching.
And after about five or six hours, it came to a stop. The partner and Ran still had the momentum to go on. But hunger and weariness took over the rest of us. So we dropped, one after another. And that was the end of it… well almost – the partner and Ran danced for one last song before calling it quits. The others sat and watched, astounded by their energy levels.
We had plans to play a game of Monopoly after dinner. But none of us had it in us to sit a few more hours and see a game through. After the time that we had just had, sleep was extremely eager to embrace us. So we called it a night right after dinner.
Great friends. Tons of fun. Delicious food. What’s not to love?
The last day we were in the small island off the mainland PR, we wanted to go snorkeling in the crystal clear waters. Unfortunately, we realized as we woke that morning that a storm was brewing. The partner got a little concerned and talked to various people about whether or not it was a good idea to carry on as planned. Some said that it would be ok since the storm was moving a totally different direction; some said they would think twice before venturing into the water. The mixed responses that we got were not to satisfactory, so, we promptly canceled the idea to go snorkeling as soon as the owner of the guiding company said it wasn’t advisable to go brave the ocean in such a situation.
Now we found ourselves with a good few hours in hand before it would be time for the Ferry’s scheduled departure. At once, we took a cab to get to the other side of the island since we hadn’t explored that part much the previous day. We decided we would walk around for a while before stopping by some local place for lunch, and then head to the terminal.
And merrily pace the quiet streets we did. There was no crowd, no noise to face. We went, hand in hand, here and there. The open courtyard of the Mayor’s office caught the partner’s fancy and we stepped in after asking the guard on duty for permission. She might have thought that we were interested in building itself, so she kept prompting us to the upper floor showing us a room where the Mayor’s office probably was. The partner politely thanked her and let her know that he was more fascinated by the beautiful tree that stood in the middle of the courtyard. And we stood there for quite some time taking it all in. As we got out of there, another guard was in conversation with the one that let us in. We thanked them for letting us take a peek, and told them that the tree standing tall over there was magnificent. Did those Spanish speaking folks understand what we communicated to them? I don’t know. Were they wondering why this crazy duo was so mesmerized by a tree that was for them was an everyday sight? I don’t know. It was fun, though.
After that, we rambled along more. Most of the shops were closed. It started drizzling a little right when we came across a café. It was open, so obviously we went in. While I ordered a coffee and was going through their book collection, the partner went out to the back and stood there positively charmed by the downpour. This feels just the way monsoon rains in India feels, he said as I took my place by him, leaning on his shoulder. We listened to the music of cloudburst. We saw the million cats at the café find and take shelter from the rainfall. I sipped on the bitter coffee as the partner struck a conversation with one of the owners. And right when we came in to sit and relax for a bit, the lady let us know that she was going to close the place for the day. With the drink in hand we were out again, this time under the bawling sky.
We treaded along the walls trying to keep ourselves under the roofs of the buildings. It a while before the canopy of black clouds up above moved away. And then, without the song of falling rain ringing in the air, all we heard was the gushing water that ran along every street trying to find its escape into the drains. Let’s make boats and set them to sail, flickered the partner’s brilliant mind. Without losing any time to discussion, we leaped into action. He cut pieces out of a big sheet of some tourist map we had and I made the boats.
We set the first one on water. It went away with rushing stream while we stood there watching. Within a minute or two, it was out of our sight. The next boat was made. And set to sail. This time, though, the partner said we should tag along with it before bidding it goodbye. So we did. As the boat sailed along the roadside river, we ran beside it. The tiny boat endured a few rough tracks on its path. Yet, it kept on sailing. And sailing. It went a few blocks before finding it’s resting place behind a truck’s huge tire. And that’s where we stopped too. We bent over, looked for it under the truck. It was nowhere in sight. We lingered nearby, glimpsing at every point around the truck to see if we could spot our boat. Alas, we couldn’t.
We had to let go and move on because we started getting unwanted stares. There were people on the streets clearly eyeing the madness of our actions. I don’t know if they knew that we were behind our precious boat or if they only saw two silly tourists running on the wet streets of their town and observing closely a lone parked truck. My bets are on the latter; I am pretty sure they found us / our activity peculiar, bordering on suspicious. It wouldn’t have been ideal to wait for them to understand the emotions behind our childlike behavior now, would it? Hence, so as to not give them any wrong ideas, we moved on with our faces beaming with joy.
Splendor. Silliness. Smiles. What’s not to love?
An amazing dinner is served. Conversations linger as everyone devours the delicacies. After eating, all of us, except aunty, gather around in the living room, continuing the thought-provoking discussion that started hours ago. Aunty is in the kitchen, still. I can hear the clatter of the dirty dishes as they get rinsed and put into the dish washer. I walk in and ask her if she needs any help; it’s all done, she says and we head back. Each of us find ourselves a seat in the living room – I sit by the partner while aunty finds her place on the floor where she is most comfortable.
Dialogues continue. Calming music plays in the background. Uncle’s lectures are listened to intently. Stories are shared. Jokes are made. Laughter echoes through the walls. While all this goes on, I look at aunty, who is quiet as usual, sitting by her daughter’s feet. Her eyes closed, she massages P’s foot, one toe at a time, one stroke at a time. And every now and then she opens her eyes to catch a glimpse of her daughter’s beaming face, and smiles.
I keep watching, time and again, because that sight, frozen in time, I attribute to my understanding of inner peace. I close my eyes and take it all in. It helps calm my disturbed state. The tranquility that she exudes passes on to my heart and mind. Though her, I experience that state of meditation that I have never before been able to.
Pure joy, pure harmony. Sacred.
…seeing the partner spend time with baby M and hearing him gush about how she’s so fond of him. She is about 15 months old and this past weekend is the first time that the partner has held her, fed her, played with her. He usually stays away from babies who can’t walk, says he’s too scared to handle the tiny beings; so I guess her wobbling on her two little feet gave him enough confidence to pick her up.
…trying something new – especially for someone like me who is resistant to experiments most of the times. The partner is very fond of seafood; ever so often he contemplates becoming a vegetarian but says that the only thing that stops him is his love for seafood. So, on a whim, sometime in the past month, I mentioned to the partner that I wanted to taste fish the next time he had it. Partner then suggested that I should have homemade fish before trying outside food. A friend invited us over for lunch on Sunday and had cooked fish. So, there I was, munching on my veggies when the partner remembered my comment from few weeks ago and asked me if I wanted to give the fish a try. And try I did. A teensy bite. I didn’t like it and that was that. But, I did surprise myself doing what I did and that made me glad. Egg white – that’s what is next on list.
…dreaming about the next vacation. One more week to go.
…playing with the M and M duo all afternoon long. Didi M, probably sensing that I would be enamored by the baby once I laid my eyes on her, made sure she got her share of time to play with me too by dragging me upstairs as soon as I entered their home. We did all that we usually do together – solved puzzles, drew on the black board, read stories and had fun, over all. And then for the rest of the time Baby M had all my attention with Didi making appearance, every now and then, and demanding her rightful place on my lap.
…deciding on Monday morning to take the day off and heading off to a nearby park to hike and relax. Most of the Sunday evenings the partner puts on his oh-it’s-already-the-end-of-the-weekend face and asks if taking off on Monday is an option. And many a times, both he and I know that it’s not. This Sunday night though, I said why not. He thought for a couple of minutes and said that he would check his schedule first thing Monday morning and if there was nothing too important going on at work then we should take the day off. Monday morning happened; the partner checking his calendar happened; happy shriek of nothing-much-going-on-today happened; and then, both of us taking the day off happened. Once all that was settled, we decided where we wanted to go, got ready and headed off. We hiked for a couple of hours, relaxed near the lake for the next hour or two, and got back home feeling contended. Why can’t all Mondays be like this?
…being with the partner.
…where during the train rides you can find so many people reading books, savoring each and every word. Just going through the different titles in different hands is enough to pass the time. At times you wonder how that book is, and then there are times you’ve read it and all you can wonder about is how much that person is liking/disliking it.
…where during the train ride you also find amusement in the form of little ones being their naughty best. Climbing the support poles, jumping in and out seats, to their parents’ dismay, smiling that shy smile to melt the heart of anyone that’s watching.
…where during the train rides you find that the person sitting next to the person next to you is writing (with a pen, notebook and all that, yes!) intently. Wouldn’t you be ever so charmed by the sight of it? I know I was.
Also, where else other than Boston would you be able to spend an entire weekend morning/afternoon watching a live the game of Quidditch? The sight of the human Snitch, in its bright yellow suit, running and hiding, as the two Seekers calmly walking around the park, almost hand in hand, in the name of “seeking” is precious.
All in all, it’s always a pleasant to be in or even just think of Boston. Miss you, dear city!
So, we just got back from a vacation. This is our, the partner and my, first vacation together. We’ve done weekend outings all these years, we’ve taken a couple of days here and there to do Fall trips the past few years, but we’d never actually gone on a long vacation before. Every year until now it’s been either him planning a trip to India or me saving my vacation time for this and that. This time though, with everything else taken care of, both of us had plenty of time we could use towards planning a vacation or two together. Thus, an afternoon was spent looking at our schedules and buying tickets (which were canceled and rebooked eventually).
Time went by. A rough plan was made merely a week before our set departure. Calls were made and campsites were booked a day before our departure. Bags were packed the day of departure. And off we went.
While most of the initial travel was tiring and unexciting, with us dreaming about the upcoming days and all the fun that was in store, here’s something that jolted us right back into reality – we rented a car as soon as we got off the plane and started our drive to our first destination. Within half an hour into that drive, we were pulled over for speeding. And the cop ended up giving us a big fat ticket. What a way to start a vacation, right? Blah. The rest of the 2+ hour drive was spent reassuring each other that it was ok, that we should forget about it and not let this incident ruin the fun that’s to follow. So forget and let go we did.
Day 1 – The first of our destinations was the city of Vancouver. We took a train from our hotel into the city and spent the entire day walking around. We saw pretty much all there was to see, and realized, towards the end of the day, that we are not the vacation-in-a-city kind of people. As the partner aptly put it, it takes a long time to build a bond with a city and fall in love with it. Being there and sightseeing around for a day or two does nothing for us; it just leaves us with a ‘this is just another city, what’s the big deal?’ feeling, which may or may not be fair. It tired us to no end to see building after building, to walk the streets that didn’t seem to have any power to pull us any closer. So, by the end of that evening, we decided that going forward we won’t plan to stay in any city for more than a day because it would surely be a waste of time for us. We’re happier if we are able to spend even a handful of extra hours in the mountains or beaches instead.
Day 2 – With that, we dropped the plan to come back to the city on the next day and headed right out to experience a suspension bridge nearby. This was my first time walking on a suspension bridge and what fun that was! I was afraid the first couple of times I crossed the bridge. I held on to the railings every second of the walk. But after having done that a few times, I got a little brave, let go of the railing and strutted along the dancing bridge. There was so much excitement that we crossed the bridge probably six or seven times, by the end of which the partner was still in a temporary still-walking-on-the-suspension-bridge mode as we strode towards our car.
Next, we were headed towards Whistler. We made numerous stops on the way – to soak in the ocean view along the highway, to see a gorgeous waterfall, to bask along green lakes, to absorb the sight of beautiful mountains, to take in the scene of a glacier upon a mountain top. The usual 1.5 hour drive took us about 4 hours that afternoon. By the time we were done with all our breaks and reached our destination, I was famished. We quickly stopped by at our campground to put up our tent and left to the town immediately after. Oh wait, we only left after we had taken a lot of time to enjoy the sight of where our campsite sat. From our site we could see and hear the gushing turquoise river below. Every cell in my body that was crying for food relaxed a bit at this sight. Of course I couldn’t take advantage of this temporary state of mine for long, so we headed out for dinner only with the single super excited thought that after the meal we are to head back to the campsite and spend the night sleeping under the stars while listening to the whitewater melody.
In town that evening, we had a chance to witness a few people complete the triathlon that had started earlier during the day. Inspiring, that’s what it was – people training so much to take part in such events and successfully completing them. The pride in their and their family’s/friends’ faces as they crossed the finish line was priceless. So, after dinner and a short walk around the town watching the last batch of runners finishing their triathlon, we headed right back to the campground and called it a night.
Day 3 – Camping rejuvenates me so much more than the nights spent on my own bed, really. Even though the weather was a bit chilly, it didn’t affect my sleep as much – I woke the next morning extremely refreshed. We chugged a few cereal bars for breakfast and started the day off with a hike to see a waterfall and followed that up with another hike to and around a nearby lake. And let me not forget to note that during those hikes we saw a few people who had participated in the previous day’s triathlon. I couldn’t help but wonder how they had the energy to complete go hiking merely hours after they had completed such an event.
After hiking, we sat down at the campsite to snack a little and then left to go eat and sightsee around the town. We had food, walked around for a bit, went to the visitor center to get ideas about how to plan the day ahead, and then finally spent a little time at a café discussing our options. This was followed by another chilly night in the tent. This night though, things got a little more adventurous. It rained a bit during the day, I suppose, and our tent started leaking. So we found ourselves with slightly wet tent floor and damp sleeping bags. We made some rearrangements inside to make sure we stayed away from where the leak was happening and dozed off to another blissful night (Well, the partner might disagree. Apparently, I pushed him off his sleeping mat and occupied the whole space while he had to spend the night in shivers owing to the cold floor.)
Day 4 – The next morning, we had our breakfast, packed up, checked out of the campground and headed towards the town. Our plan for the day was to get a Gondola ride up to Whistler Mountain, do a hike or two there, and then go to the Blackcomb Mountain to do a couple of hikes there before heading off to our next destination. While we also hoped to go to the peak of Whistler and do a hike there, but the day was so cloudy that visibility was extremely poor to make way for a safe hike. The other ones we did were wonderful that we wished we had more time to spend there to explore more. Next time, perhaps.
After our adventure on the top of the mountains, we headed down, had our dinner, shopped around for propane tank and cooking pot (we had packed bunch of noodle packets with us, but forgot to take utensils to cook it in), and started the drive. Again, within half an hour of the drive we were pulled over. This time though, more than carelessness, there were factors that contributed to the speeding. As the partner was driving, he was also trying to show me the lake that we walked around a day ago. While he was busy diverting my attention to that beautiful lake, he failed to keep a tab on the speedometer as the car went downhill. And unfortunately for us, the cop was right there, riding up towards us. As soon as he saw our car descending that fast, he turned around and stopped us. The partner tried explaining to the officer exactly what happened and asked if he could be let go with a warning. The cop got all the information, told the partner that he would give it a thought and came back to tell us know that he would indeed give us the benefit of the doubt this time around, that he was not after our hard earned money, and let us go with a warning. What a nice man he was! Relieved would be an understatement to use for what we felt then.
While the rest of the drive was picturesque, it got a late and dark by the time we reached the hotel that we were going to be staying for the night. All we did that night was take a hot shower, lay out the tent and sleeping bags in the room to let them dry so they could be ready to go for the next night, and slept.
Day 5 – And the next day, for the most part, was spent driving to the Canadian Rockies.
By the time we reached the campground, the partner started feeling a little feverish. We stopped by at the nearby town to grad some meds. Once we reached the campground, we found that someone else had taken the site we had reserved. The girl explained that they had taken it because there was no one in the campground when they arrived. We were told that their site was the adjacent one and asked if we would mind setting up our tent there instead. Since there was no real difference as far as views (again, by the riverside with mountains in the background) were concerned, we agreed and set our site (only to figure out then that this site was so uneven with root and rocky surface making it a unsuitable place to set up tent in. Oh well). We then had a sumptuous dinner of maggi, sat under the starlit sky for a while (until I started to whine that it’s getting really cold), and went to bed.
Day 6 – The next morning we had our breakfast (soup for breakfast on a wintery morning is as good as it gets!) and went on a nearby hike. After completing that beautiful trek around five different lakes, our plan was to drive to a natural hot springs close by and do one of the trails there before soaking in the hot springs. But by the time we got there, the partner was feeling a little restless due to his fever (and I, too, probably was a bit tired), that we decided to just soak in the hot springs without any further ado.
This experience, again, was one of my firsts – I had never been to a natural hot springs before, and to be in one on a chilly afternoon felt just right. The temperature they said was about 40C. There were other pools around where the water was cold, so people could cool off if they got too warm soaking in the hot springs. After a while, I cooled off by having some ice cream. The partner, in spite of his fever, came out to share the ice cream with me. And while we were enjoying our cold treat, the partner got into a conversation with another patron. He mentioned that he was a regular here and that this was one of the best hot springs around. And he also happened to tell the partner that getting into the really cold pool to cool off was an experience in itself. So now, the partner, not caring about the fever, alternated between the cold pool and the hot spring pool who knows how many times. I tried the cold pool once, got off and swore never to go in there again. Yupe, that’s all how daring I am.
After we got enough of the hot water, we left and were extremely hungry. We decided to make maggi at the picnic area near the parking lot, had our lunch/dinner and off we went to the town for an evening stroll and then to campground for another good night’s sleep.
Day 7 – Another day, another adventure. The morning started off with breakfast of soup and toast. With that taken care of, we packed and were on our way to drive through the Icefields Parkway. Before embarking on the drive though, we stopped to see another waterfall. The drive through the Parkway was so scenic in every which direction one turned. We stopped at the Columbia Icefield to take a bus that goes to a glacier. Although we had plans to complete a hike before taking that tour, due to time constraints the hike was dropped and we hopped on to the bus at the first chance. And what a wonderful experience that turned out to be – we got to walk on a glacier for about twenty minutes. I was beyond myself, out of the world during that time. How exhilarating it was, I can’t put in words.
The rest of the afternoon comprised of eating lunch, completing the leftover stretch of drive, setting up our campsite at the new location and then cooking/having dinner. After which, I think, we headed out to the town and spent a little time wandering around there. This night also we spent a little time gazing at the stars from our campsite for a while – this time around, the weather permitted me sit out for a little longer than the previous attempt and the sky was also much clearer than the nights before.
Day 8 – Morning sunshine brought a lot of delight with it. After the usual waking up, having breakfast routine later, we planned to head to for another hike in the mountains. We decided to keep things on the easier side for the day because we hoped to do a harder trail the day after. We chose one of the low key hikes and went through it in our own relaxed pace. The sun was burning hot that afternoon, I remember. Since everywhere we had been the past week the weather was anything but warm, I had worn layers on this day. And so there I was, sweating profusely and feeling grateful that this campground had shower facilities.
After finishing the walk, we headed into the town to have lunch, get ice cream / milkshake (which was so so yummy!) and then stopped by at the visitor center to get some info on other hikes around the area. We then spent a little time in the town and around six in the evening, headed off to climb to yet another waterfall. We were glad we started this trail so late in the afternoon since it was so crowded even then; had we started it early during the day, I am not sure we would have had the chance to stop and enjoy it as much as we would have liked. We spent quite some time sitting at the base of the fall and taking in the rushing sound of the water. That evening we headed back into the town, strolled for a bit and then settled down at a coffee shop for some time sipping on hot chocolate. The night was warm and nice, letting us jump into a deep slumber.
Day 9 – This day was pretty stimulating yet again. The original plan was to wake up early and get a head start on one of the hikes we had chosen. But knowing me, the “wake up early” plan didn’t really happen. Hence, we had to settle for a different hike for the day. Which turned out to be a hard one, after all. We climbed a mountain, with me huffing and puffing all along the way. Had it not been for the partner’s constant push, I would’ve given up half way for sure. I whined and whined more as we ascended. The number of breaks I took and the amount of time I took to catch my breath put me to shame, considering all those people running up the mountain as if it was nothing. We even walked past a couple of really old people (definitely 65+) along the way. I guess that, their determination and energy, motivated me a bit along the way. And finally when we arrived on the top, I was extremely shocked to find myself standing there because I really didn’t I was going to make it. A big thanks to the partner, again, for putting up with my constant complaining and for being so positive that even I could do it only if I tried.
Once up, we relaxed there for a bit. I remember eating and then even napping for a few minutes. The partner meanwhile went around and soaked in all the good views – the valleys around, the distant glaciers, the other Rocky Mountains around, the little town beneath. One of the old women, whom we passed as we came up, arrived. Partner gave her two thumbs up and she spent some time talking to us, sharing with us anecdotes from her past. It was so enlightening for me to see how enthusiastic she was about these energy consuming activities even at her age. As the saying goes, age is but a number, I guess… it’s all in one’s heart and mind.
We spent more time up there, walking on the boardwalk to get to an old Cosmic Ray station. As we were making our way up, we saw a guy in suit with two others trying to hide his presence on that bench. The partner guessed that he was waiting to propose to someone and he was right. We waited to see the scene unfold and it sure was sweet. The girl was on a weekend out with her friends (which was planned by him, as we learned later), and he showed up there on the top of the mountain to ask her to marry him. He proposed, she accepted, they celebrated. And that’s how that went.
After the strenuous climb to the top, the descend was easy. The partner twisted his ankle going down, though. Once we were down, we stopped to get some lunch and then spent some time people watching near a lake (watching people pose for photos is amusing every now and then). What we had in mind for the rest of the evening was to go to the nearby hot springs and soak for a few hours, while watching the starlit sky. And so we went.
Here we chanced upon one of the couples we had met days earlier during few of our hikes. It was very surprising because we were hundreds of miles away from where we had seen them first. And once we got to talking, it seemed like they were also visiting almost the same places as we were. Even though our roads met along the way, we were actually following different paths. It was nice to chat with them and learn a little bit about them.
After three or four hours at the hot springs, we left to get late dinner. Only a couple of places were open that late and it was good that we had gotten information about those places from the visitor center earlier during the day. Finishing dinner, we headed to our campground and spent another blissful night under the stars.
The unofficial end of vacation was upon us. We packed up, prepared quick breakfast, headed to town to get milkshake and then started our drive back. The next couple of days had a lot of driving in and around the mountains, as we headed to catch our flight. We stopped when and where we liked. We spent a lot of time reminiscing how amazing the last nine days were. We ate more ice cream. We started feeling post vacation blues. By the time we reached the airport to catch our flight we were already discussing upcoming holidays and do/don’ts while planning any vacation going ahead.
- The color of the water in every one of the lakes/ponds/rivers we visited during the whole trip deserves a special mention – we saw an array of the shades of green. Due to my lack of knowledge about the names of any of these shades, I started making up my own as we went.
- Hot springs is healing water (fever, the first time and the twisted ankle, the second time) says the partner.
- Of all the wildlife that we were told would possibly be around, we only spotted bighorn sheep, mountain goats, elks and very many deer. I was really hoping to see a bear and the partner was expecting to catch a glimpse of cougars or wolves. But none of that happened. Maybe next time?
- Canada is expensive.
- An extremely stressful and crappy August had dampened my spirits (and the partner’s too because of me). So I am super glad this trip happened and the month ended with a very positive note.
- We really think that the car we rented was cursed. Something or the other happened the first 4 days we used it. The first day we got a ticket. The second time we used it we got a parking violation warning. The third time, we were given yet another speeding warning. And the fourth was when the front of the car got a little dented. Only after a bighorn sheep kissed the side of the car the next day did the jinx fade.
- Milk and ice cream there tasted amazing, compared to what we get here.
- The partner noted that even though the vacation was relaxing, there was not even one day where we didn’t do anything. So next time we go somewhere, we surely will plan to have a laid back day with absolutely nothing to do.
- The entire trip we did without any proper plans. No extensive research on where to go or what to do. All we had when we started from here was the list of places of that we were going to stay. Everything else, we learned as we went and we did as we pleased. And that spontaneity is something I treasure.
I miss the endless views of glaciers, green lakes/rivers, the gushing waterfalls, the magnificent mountains in every direction… all of it. Why do vacations end?
I didn’t take many pictures. That the partner does exceptionally well, so I simply carry my camera and soon forget where it is. The problem though is that the partner hardly ever sorts / uploads the photos that he clicks. I’ll update the photoblog with snaps by the partner if he ever gets around to handing them to me.
There have been a few amazing weekends so far this year that I’ve missed writing about here. At this point I am sure I’ve forgotten the little details that I would have liked to note down, but better late than never. So here’s what I remember of the adventures so far –
A weekend in February was spent roaming around DC Metro and MD. We visited a museum or two; other than that, though, most of our sightseeing escapades involved spending time outdoors. The weather was biting cold those three days, but that didn’t deter us from visiting one waterfront after another. When there’s good company and great conversations to be had, nothing else matters, right? Amazing weekend, yes it was.
For the Easter weekend, plans were initially made and canceled due to my fever, etc. But as Friday morning approached, we decided to go ahead and head out for the weekend. I was getting better, that was good news; also, staying home all week only strengthened my urge to get going. So, we woke up, got ready, packed, and hit the road.
We drove to Wilmington, NC on Friday and spent the afternoon there. Given that it was still early in the season, the places were relatively less crowded. We got a chance to roam around the town and its neighboring beaches without the usual hustle-bustle.
After roaming around for a while, we stepped in to one of the local cafes (how is any trip complete without a stop at at least one local coffee shop?) to have some hot chocolate in order to fight the chill outside. The owner there enlightened us with some interesting points about the neighborhood, recommended some local restaurants for dinner, and also let us in on an insider secret about how to escape the never-ending queue at the famous local shop that sold country’s best donuts. Yes, we tried her trick; yes, it worked – within minutes of putting her words into action, I walked in and out with half a dozen donuts in my hand to the envy of people who’d been standing in the line for much longer. Ha!
As time approached for dinner, the partner pointed out to the cozy Parisian looking, waterfront facing balconies in a restaurant that looked very inviting. We stepped in, asked to be seated in one of the balconies, forgetting the cold wind. We sat there, with our winter jackets still on and enjoyed the view for a while. When it came time to place orders, though, we ran out of luck. I am a vegetarian and a picky eater. The restaurant only had one vegetarian appetizer, which we ordered, and two vegetarian main courses. Of the two main courses, one had eggplant in it, which I do not eat, and the other had so much cheese in it that I decided not to have that either. Hence, once we finished appetizer we walked out in search of another restaurant for the rest of the dinner. By the time we decided on another place and went there, our appetite had died down and we ended up, again, ordering an appetizer, sharing that and calling it a meal. Good times.
We spent that night in Wilmington and drove to Savannah, GA on Saturday. What can I say about this place? Where do I start? The partner has been here before and I’ve seen the pictures he’d taken during that trip. To top that, the partner had only fond things to say about the town. So here I was, all excited to experience the beauty and form warm memories of my own. And to say that I was not let down would be an understatement. That tranquil feeling this tiny European town look-alike evoked in me was enough to make me fall in love with the place once and for all. Ireland – that’s what came to mind after the first few hours we spent in Savannah. So much that we even wove dreams of maybe someday moving to an Irish city and exploring that side of the world. Anyway, I couldn’t get enough of it during the two days I was there. And I can’t wait to go back there someday.
When we moved here last year, I remember seeing our current home for the first time and falling in love with all the space it had to offer. Coming from a city like Boston where we lived in tiny apartments, the porches and the backyards here seemed heavenly. As we were in the process of finalizing the place, there was one thing that the partner pointed out that we put aside as something to plan when the right time came. “Look at the backyard; it’s a perfect place to play Holi, don’t you think? We should definitely do it” he had said.
Fast forward so many months and the time eventually came. We chose a day, keeping in mind the weather, to celebrate Holi and welcome Spring. Colors and water balloons were bought. Invitations were sent out. Plans were made and finalized. And the day arrived in all its glory.
As people starting coming in right around the planned time, I was inside filling the water balloons. I could hear the guests cheer, and the kids laughing and running around. The partner called out and asked me to come join the fun. “Only a few more balloons and I’ll be there”, I announced, trying hard to get the job done quicker. And by the time I stepped out, I could hardly put a name to the colorful faces around me. Within seconds, I was one of them – an unrecognizable blob of color running behind the next person of interest with balloon in one hand and powder of some bright color in another.
Age was no barrier for all the excitement that was in the air. Grownups enjoyed it as much as the kids did. Everyone had fun… even our neighbor’s father who must be 80+ years of age – he didn’t play with us, but he sat there watching everyone go crazy and that, he said, was enjoyable in its own way. It sure was a success and the kids are already asking us when we can do it again.
This past weekend, one of our friends had us over for a sumptuous lunch; we watched a movie after, walked around Duke Gardens in the evening, played pool for a while before returning home to have another go at the grand meal that night. I still can’t get over how so delicious everything was. Yum!
There have been other fun weekends too – the afternoon when we went on a 10+ mile bike ride, all those evenings spent at cafes listening to live music, the time we went mini golfing and bowling, the night (which turned into day by the time we were finished) we spent playing Monopoly.
Ahh, the fun… may it continue forever.