Arches National Park

Posted September 12th, 2018 by Deepa and filed in Travel
Tags: , ,
Add a Comment

Utah-2018-22

We have been traveling the world with our kids since they were infants. And no doubt, it has been challenging to juggle sleep schedules and potty routines and short attention spans with trying to see as much of a new place in the few vacation days that we have. But then a trip like this happens and all off those initial struggles suddenly become worthwhile.
Seejo and I had coincidental work trips to Salt Lake City (and suburbs) around the same time. After a bit of adjusting, we managed to get those schedules coordinated in the same week.  We took turns working Thursday &  Friday with the other one managing the kids and then could wrangle time to see Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park over the weekend.  Early Friday evening, we drove the 3.5 hours from Orem (where Seejo’s Utah office is) to Dead Horse Point State Park in Moab. The kids had spent the morning in the hotel pool so they were pleasantly tired out and happy to nap in the car.  The drive was beautiful – minimal traffic, huge mountains that changed color from white to gray to deep red as we neared the town of Moab.

Continue Reading »

Year End Summary 2017

Posted February 14th, 2018 by Deepa and filed in Personal
Comments Off

NYCARD2018Here are my 2017 highlights!

Achievements this year: This was the year of #fakenews and #MeToo. Like many of you, reading the news, whether from India or US was an exercise in restraint and fortitude. The biggest achievement this year was just keeping calm each day while reading the news. In other ways, this was a productive year; I co-authored three different book chapters and one review article, although they were not related to my day job.

On the personal front, I have realized that as the years go by, I am becoming more and more of a homebody! Some might call it lazy – but I prefer this explanation! This year, instead of going out to eat at restaurants, we ended up entertaining at home, a lot more than usual. I have enjoyed cooking and experimenting with several different dishes – some successful, some not so much. Continue Reading »

Costa Rica -Pura Vida!

Posted December 28th, 2017 by Deepa and filed in Travel, Uncategorized
Comments Off

Costa Rica 1-1-11Costa Rica was on my bucket list for the past 8 years. I used to dream and plan this trip whenever I was bored at work  , so this was a pretty well fleshed out plan!  So when we decided to make a trip in early December, I was ready with my excel spreadsheet, list of activities I wanted to do and places I wanted to see.  The  beginning of the trip was inauspicious. Tanay had a lingering cough for the past week and we were hoping it would get better soon. Unfortunately, three days before the trip,  he was diagnosed with pneumonia.  On the morning we were supposed to leave for the airport, we got up early in the morning, checked up on Tanay and decided we cannot go and just turned back and went to sleep. Fortunately, Tanay had really perked up by morning and seemed much better by afternoon. Another trip to the doctor confirmed that his wheezing had reduced, so we rearranged our itinerary, got a new flight for the next day and managed to salvage the rest of the trip.

We reached San Jose at night and were greeted by the rental car company representative. We hired our rental car through Adobe Rent A Car.Costa Rica 1-1They were most accommodating when we had to push our car rental by a day and were prompt in picking us up and transporting us and our baggage to the car rental place.  Though the formalities took some time  (they seem to have adopted the Southern African motto of “Hurry Up Slowly), they were done with a smile and before we knew it we were sent off with a recommendation to stop at Denny’s for dinner.  The airport area was crowded with flashy restaurants but many of them had a huge wait time, so we decided to grab something by our hotel. Unfortunately, by the time we reached the hotel, it was late night and there was no one that spoke or understood our English  help us.  By this time (it was past 10pm), we were tired and decided to make do with the snacks that we had in our bags and pretty much crashed.  We woke up to appreciate the beauty of the Hotel La Rosa De America. Beautiful cottages, all decorated with flower motif, the sound of birds in the air and the promise of a hot Costa Rican breakfast! Continue Reading »

In and around Washington DC

Posted November 14th, 2017 by Deepa and filed in Uncategorized
Comments Off

IMG_2925Hirshhorn Museum : Washington DC has a number of really excellent museums  – all world class and most of them completely free. Despite our wish to see all of them, we tend to go to Washington DC primarily when we have guests.  And then we take them to the two most visited museums, the Air and Space Museum and the Museum of Natural History.  These are great museums but now we have been slowly badmouthing these museums to our guests and suggesting that they visit some other museum.  Most folks are clever enough to not fall for our trick but my cousin really didn’t care enough about museums and let us lead us into Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.  Now we entered the museum not knowing anything about anything about contemporary art. Right at the door, we were met with a young docent who was giving a free guided tour of the main exhibit , so we decided to take advantage of it. While waiting for the tour to start we took a stroll in the gardens to look at the various sculptures they have.

The exhibit that was featured were works by Ilya and Emilia kabakov-Russian born American sculpture artists.  Our young guide was trying to explain to us the major themes of their work whicn revolved around freedom, hope and the pursuit to escape Communism.  The guide aspired to be a teacher because he was good at asking us the right questions to get us to the answer he was looking for.  Thanks to his efforts, we appeared to be getting the message. It was all going really well, till we reached one of their final works – a small antenna – which was a miniature representation of one of their larger installations. “What do you see when you look here”, asked the guide.  “An antenna”, we chorused. Like all good teachers, he was quick to praise.  “Now whats different about this antenna”, he continued. This was apparently the question Seejo was waiting for.

IMG_2937 (2)This is is all wrong, said Seejo.  Antennas are supposed to be parabolic in nature to capture the signal. These IMG_2938 (2)antennas don’t make any sense – they just won’t work.  The poor guide was speechless. He was trying to get us to see that underneath the antenna, there were words written that spoke of wide open spaces and loving without boundaries.  Seejo brushed those lofty feeling aside – but this is technically wrong he insisted. It was at that point, when I steered Seejo away from the Ilya and Emilia exhibit to some lego faces and colorful paintings.  We really understood that well.

Continue Reading »

Weekend trips

Posted November 14th, 2017 by Deepa and filed in Uncategorized
Comments Off

IMG_0234Fredericksburg, TX We visited Austin, TX for the Easter weekend for my nephew’s 5th birthday. While we were there, we took a day trip to the Texas Hill Country town of Fredericksburg, about 1.5 hours drive from Austin.  Fredericksburg was a quaint little town, with pronounced German influence filled with art galleries, restaurants serving German inspired cuisine and wineries specializing in Texas hill country wines. We stopped at the Torre di Pietra Vineyards – a Tuscan inspired winery, primarily because that was the winery that my brother in law and sister in law patronize. We did taste a few different varieties of wines and I found one that I liked – a sweet red wine called Red Flirt. The winery had a herb garden and vineyard and some benches and gazebos for us to drink the wine and nibble on the cheese and crackers that they provided. After wine tasting, we visited a nearby Wildflower farm and that proved to be the highlight of this day trip. Although the bluebonnets were gone, the poppies were in full bloom. We managed to get some lovely family pictures with the background of the poppy field. We had a late lunch at a restaurant called Rathskeller that had a curious mix of German influenced food such as sausages and schnitzels but also Tex-Mex food such as quesadillas and southern food like chicken fried steak.  The food was what I would call “strictly ok” – but the variety helped with 4 kids who all wanted different kinds of food. Continue Reading »

Yellowstone – a photo diary.

Posted September 15th, 2017 by Deepa and filed in Uncategorized
Comments Off

It is no secret that Yellowstone is one of our favorite places in USA. This was our third trip to Yellowstone and the Tetons and we are still every bit in love with this place as before. The excuse for this trip was to take my mom to see Yellowstone. We were accompanied by our friends with their mother & my cousin Robin

yellowstone-5-1-18

The crew for the trip Continue Reading »

Year End Summary 2016!

Posted January 12th, 2017 by Deepa and filed in Personal
Tags:
Comments Off

NYCARD2017Following the tradition, here are my 2016 highlights.

Lowest Point of the Year: As was the case for most folks in USA and around the world, the year was dominated by the US election coverage and the unfortunate ascendance of Donald Trump. We received US citizenship in early 2016 and voted in USA for the first time. Once the election results were announced, it felt exactly like failing a major exam that you had studied for.  We were clearly living in a bubble because I didn’t know a single Trump supporter personally.  And now we have our fingers crossed and hoping for the best! Continue Reading »

Mini travel reviews

Posted December 24th, 2016 by Deepa and filed in Uncategorized
Comments Off

Mini Travel Reviews

14317400_10155306659479698_3608287758138915347_nMost of the places we went to this year were all places we had been to before. With my sister I visited NYC and Niagara and Luray and Dubai again. But these were some of the new places I got to see this year

Please Touch Museum: This is a kid’s museum/play area in Philadelphia. My undergrad friends (3 families with six kids) met here for an overnight trip. It is not a museum as much as it is a play area for kids. There are different zones: a water play area, a train station, a construction site, a bus terminal, a food mart, a14329935_10155306659754698_5466652502740686362_n fairy tale maze , a painting corner– each of which could keep the kids engaged for a long time. For me, the biggest plus of this place was that each & every zone had a special corner to accommodate infants & toddlers – so both kids could play nearby – if not together. Most of the kids were Annika’s age – so she did have a great time with friends. They also have a carousel so both kids had multiple rides and they ended the day with a performance from a jester with the kids following him about like Pied Piper.  There were multiple theatre shows that the kids can attend throughout the day. All in all, it was well worth the $20 admission fee for the entire day. Continue Reading »

Aloha Hawaii

Posted December 21st, 2016 by Deepa and filed in Food, Travel
Comments Off

unnamed4

One of the benefits of planning a vacation, is that you learn so much about a place even before you start from home.  Seejo and I are of course not the “fly by the seat of your pants” vacation people.  When I planned to attend a conference in the  Big Island of Hawaii and decided to combine that with a short vacation with Seejo and the kids, the research began in earnest.   And even before we landed in Hawaii, I learnt that Hawaiian archipelago consists of hundreds of islands with 7 main inhabited islands. Some of these 7 islands like Niihau has a population of only 170!.  I also learnt that one of the islands , Lanai,  is owned 98% by Larry Ellison (Oracle CEO). OF these the largest by area is the Big Island of Hawaii. I also learnt that Big Island has two major towns – Kona on the west and Hilo on the east ( the center). Population tended to be centered around the rim of the island, the central area was mostly volcanic national park. Continue Reading »

A sneak peak at Annika’s diary.

Posted December 12th, 2016 by Deepa and filed in Uncategorized
Comments Off

image1(2)

When we were in Hawaii, Annika asked me how to spell volcano. When I asked her why, I realized that she had been maintaining a diary in my phone.  Here is a quick excerpt

image1image3

image1(1)

image3(1)