Year End Summary 2016!

Posted January 12th, 2017 by Deepa and filed in Personal
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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
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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
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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
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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

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Year End Summary: 2015

Posted January 30th, 2016 by Deepa and filed in Personal
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Following the tradition ( 2006, 2007 , 2008, 2009 , 2010 , 2011 , 2012 , 2013 & 2014), here are my 2015 highlights.

NYcard 2016High point of the  Year: The birth of our son Tanay in July of this year.  After another tough pregnancy –complete with bed-rest, frequent doctor visits, gestational diabetes , and borderline IUGR,  this pregnancy was filled with enough drama.   Annika was super excited to be a big sister —she was all set to teach him to walk, talk, eat and write!  Annika is an incredibly protective elder sister and makes sure that we are taking care of her baby brother.

Lowest Point of the Year: My maternal grandmother  died just about a week after Tanay was born.  She was 92. My mother had to rush back to India soon after Tanay’s birth but she did get a chance to talk to her mother and spend one day with her. My grandmother who had been slipping into almost a coma like state awakened to talk to my mother before passing away. Continue Reading »

Year End Summary: 2014

Posted January 9th, 2015 by Deepa and filed in Uncategorized
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Following the tradition ( 2006, 2007 , 2008, 2009 , 2010 , 2011 , 2012 & 2013), here are my 2014 highlights.

HNYAchievements this Year: When I was in school, we used to have regular inspection of our nails as part of our PT (Physical Training) class. While most of the other girls hated it as they had to cut their nails short, I hated it because I had to show my severely bitten nails. In fact the habit was so bad that I used to even chew off the skin around my nails rill they were scabby and disgusting.  The habit of biting skin died a natural death soon after but I never ever stopped biting my finger nails.  For a long time, “Stop biting nails” was an auto-entry on any new year resolution list! It all changed this year – when I now finally have normal looking nails.  So that is this year’s big achievement : manicured nails! Continue Reading »

Applepalooza!

Posted October 19th, 2014 by Deepa and filed in Food
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Apple 1We were inundated with apples this fall.  I was tempted with the wonderful varieties we had in my supermarket and bought home a huge bushel. However that turned out to be the height of apple picking season. Annika came home with a few after being on her farm visit from school and then my cousins dropped off a bagful from their visit.

My challenge that weekend was to turn all of those apples into something yummy before they went bad.  And if that were not enough of a challenge, – I laid down the following rules—nothing too sweet.  Which means no pies or tarts or cakes or jams or jellies. Continue Reading »

Rhode Island & Cape Cod

Posted August 29th, 2014 by Deepa and filed in Travel
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Rhode-Island-4Rhode Island has been on my bucket list for a long time. Seejo has been flying to RI a few times a year for the past few years for work. I have always thought of accompanying him but for some reason the plans have never materialized. So this summer, we decided to plan an extra long weekend to Rhode Island & Cape Cod.

Rhode Island was once the summer getaway place for America’s millionaires in the late 1800s and early 1900s otherwise called the Gilded Age. It is here that they constructed their summer “cottages” and spent the summer in their waterfront homes. Calling them as cottages is definitely absurd as many of these are 50+ room castles decorated in a luxurious style and furnished with amazing artwork and surrounded by stunning landscaped gardens. These nouveau rich Americans flush with their railroad , shipping or mining fortunes vied with each other in creating the most opulent, over the top mansions – all for spending just 8 weeks in a year. This was where the Astors and the Vanderbilts and their ilk flaunted their wealth, threw over the top parties and in general lived a life of excess – not surprising that  it was called an age of conspicuous consumption!

Continue Reading »

Annika’s Syllabus.

Posted August 22nd, 2014 by Deepa and filed in Personal
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IMG_0305Annika attends Childrens’ Manor Montessori School and has been doing so since she was 5 months old. She is now 3.  I confess that I am totally ignorant about Montessori curriculum so I have no idea how well they follow it at her school.  However I am flabbergasted at the kind of things that forms Annika’s syllabus. Apart from the usual letters & numbers & colors & months of the year – here is a smattering of the things that Annika learnt in school this year: Continue Reading »

Puerto Rico

Posted July 24th, 2014 by Deepa and filed in Travel
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pr6We visited Puerto Rico for a 4 day trip at the beginning of summer. PR is a tiny island in the Caribbean, much closer to West Indies than the United States, but is part of the US. All PR residents are officially US citizens.  It is a 4 hour flight from Washington DC but after surviving the brutal winter we had, we were looking forward to warmer climates, sandy beaches, rainforests, Caribbean cuisine and some much wanted downtime.  Although PR is officially a territory of the US, the fact that Spanish is the main language of communication, makes you feel instantly like you are in a foreign country.  Unlike Spanish speaking pockets in main land US, everything here is in Spanish: restaurant menus, street signs and it is the language spoken by street vendors and tradesman. Although almost everybody in the touristy areas spoke English, there were enough folks we interacted with such as the nail technician at the spa, the street vendor selling mangoes, the mother of two adorable girls I bumped into near the pool and the kiosk vendor selling arepas who spoke only Spanish.  Nothing makes you feel like you are in a foreign land till you have to resort to hand gestures and sound effects to make yourself understood! Continue Reading »