The Canadian Rockies!

Posted September 16th, 2019 by Deepa and filed in Travel
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Title picThe American Rockies have been one of our favorite places to visit in the world. Despite making a sort of unofficial pact not to repeat a destination, we have ended up at Yellowstone and Grand Tetons about 4 times. So we knew we would love the Canadian Rockies. We visited Banff and Jasper for a 5 day trip this July and really enjoyed it.  For a change, I am structuring this trip report as an FAQ. These are some of the questions I got after the trip. Continue Reading »

Another OBX trip!

Posted August 16th, 2019 by Deepa and filed in Travel
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00100lPORTRAIT_00100_BURST20190803140443451_COVERBy early March, the kids were tired of the winter and ready to go to the beach. “Is it summer, already?”, asked Tanay.  “Can I take my cars to the beach? “.  So, I knew a beach vacation was on the cards sometime in the summer.  But by the time we could make concrete plans, most of summer had sped by.  On a whim, Seejo suggested going to Outer Banks for the upcoming weekend.  We loved Outer Banks the last time we were there but we also knew that it a tad too far for a weekend trip.  However, when we broached the idea to our friends Ketan and Sheetal, they were game as well for an impromptu beach weekend and Outer Banks. Continue Reading »

Year End Summary 2018

Posted January 23rd, 2019 by Deepa and filed in Uncategorized
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Here are my 2018 highlights!

NYCARD2019V2Achievements this year: 2018 wasn’t a great year for personal achievements.  Most of what I achieved tends to center around writing manuscripts. I had three book chapters published in three different books by Elsevier Publications (with one more from Springer that is pending). I also co –authored 4 different papers – so a productive year from a publishing stand point but little else.

Books this year: It wasn’t a great year for good books, either. Despite reading a ton of romances (The Hating Game, Josh Lanyon’s books) , mysteries(Sherry Thomas’ Holmes series, Antony Horowitz’s Magpie Murders) , non-fiction (Educated by Tara Westover, the feminist manifesto by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie)  &  and travelogues (Travel as a political Act by Rick Steves), I found that there were few that I could recall at the end of the year that made an impact or landed in my must recommend to others list.  I did manage to collect a huge To Read in 2019 pile, so I have hope for next year. Continue Reading »

A Resort Vacation

Posted December 23rd, 2018 by Deepa and filed in Travel
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Punta-Cana-14We had our first ever resort vacation this December.  Though we have stayed in a couple of resorts before, we really treated those as just a place to crash after a busy day of sightseeing.   But this December, we (along with another family)  went on an all-inclusive 5 day vacation to the Dreams Palm Beach Resort at Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.  We booked the vacation package through Costco and it worked out incredibly well. This was our very first experience with an all inclusive , kick back and relax and do nothing kind of vacation.  We were met at the airport by Costco folks who escorted us and our luggage to the resort.  The drive to the resort and back was all that we saw of the country.  One of the reasons that we picked the DR/Punta Cana was because there wasn’t anything in the must see to see/do that really seemed exciting to us.  A location with interesting to do items outside would leave us antsy to go and do and see things – and would be counterproductive to relaxing at the hotel. Continue Reading »

Bath & Cotswolds

Posted September 29th, 2018 by Deepa and filed in Travel
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Cotswolds-2018-1The Cotswolds district boasts of a series of rural villages about an hours drive form London and is designated as an “Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty”. Pretty villages with picture postcard views abound. We visited just three of them during our one day drive through the Cotswolds. The reason that we picked Bibury as our starting point was that it is the home of the Arlington Row cottages. Continue Reading »

Arches National Park

Posted September 12th, 2018 by Deepa and filed in Travel
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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.

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A 4 day London itinerary

Posted September 11th, 2018 by Deepa and filed in Travel
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London-2018-70A few days ago, I read an article that indicated that millennials were returning to vacation at the same spots because they didn’t want to spend time and effort researching the vacation spots or optimal flights, best hotels, figuring out the itinerary, what to see etc. This is rather strange to me because I really enjoy researching new destinations. Sometimes I research new places and plan travels even when I have no immediate travel plans!  I like doing the research because it helps me get the most of my (always short) vacation. As I have mentioned before, due to leave concerns my style of travel is not “lets visit this town for a week and immerse ourselves to understand local culture”. My research helps me understand more of the “local culture” – so even when I spend less time in a city I already feel like I have a boost in knowing the pulse of the city. Continue Reading »

Scottish Highlands in 5 days

Posted September 4th, 2018 by Deepa and filed in Uncategorized
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Scotland-2018-2Scottish Highland driving tour started from Inverness – the unofficial capital of the Highlands.  We took the overnight sleeper train up from London’s King Cross and reached Inverness comfortably early morning.  Our plan was to drive all the way from Inverness to the Isle of Skye and back to Edinburgh (via Stirling) in the next 4 days. Continue Reading »

London Food Diary

Posted September 3rd, 2018 by Deepa and filed in Food, Travel
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Fortnum and Mason

It is no secret that I love food.  My exposure to food beyond Indian cuisine started with British food – thanks to the Enid Blyton books that I devoured in my childhood.   In almost every Enid Blyton book, there is a detailed description of the “scrumptious” food that the main characters enjoy either at a picnic or at tea time or perhaps at a clandestine midnight feast.  Other enterprising Blyton foodies have written detailed articles about this here , here and here.  However, my first real exposure to British food was thoroughly underwhelming.  I was on my way to USA for my Master’s and I had to spend a night at London, courtesy delay due to weather issues and British Airways.  The Sheraton near Heathrow provided dinner and I recall that despite all of the anxieties of my first international trip, in fact my first solo trip , I was excited to taste the food eaten by the Famous Five! Instead I got bland baked chicken, boiled peas and a few carrots.  This was about 20 years ago. Continue Reading »

Castles in Great Britain

Posted August 30th, 2018 by Deepa and filed in Travel
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We saw many castles in UK.  Here are some of my favorite things about each castle

Tower of London

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The Tower of London

The tower of London was built in the first century to commemorate Norman victory of England.  Over the past 1000 years, this tower has had a long and interesting history.  At various times it has been a royal palace, a prison,  as a palace, a prison, a fort,  a place for executions, a treasury, a war hospital and also hosted a menagerie including polar bears that were fishing in the Thames and now it is the home of the British crown Jewels. Continue Reading »