Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Loooooooong Drive

Yes, it was indeed a very long drive from Greenville, South Carolina to San Diego, CA covering close to 2236 Miles rather 3598 Kms and 10+ states. No doubt that this is one of the best year-end vacations I had!

We were at Houston on Christmas Eve, traveled and chilled at San Diego beach, walked on Rodeo Drive at Los Angeles, gained/lost a few dollars in MGM Casino at Las Vegas, saw the last Sunset of 2008 at Grand Canyon. It’s quite exhilarating just to recap it now! We did watch the beautiful sunrise of 2009 at Grand Canyon too.

The other exciting feature of this trip is I got an opportunity rather privilege to join an amiable Chinese group. I may have missed some instant jokes, as I did not follow Mandarin/Chinese. Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed each and every moment..its jus that it would have been more if I had known Chinese.
Two things you gain on a drive like this
- Budget, it was far less from what I had planned/expected!
- Countryside views are breathtaking and they slurp you without any mercy!

Other highlight of this trip is the perfect planning by my Chinese friends! Every hotel, show and tickets were booked in advance.

Not a minute was wasted on deciding what to see! Infact, the plan was more sophisticated than a multiphase project plan with percentages of fun, travel and hotel stay marked for entire trip! The photos were consolidated at the end, written into DVDs ad were distributed.

Phew..they are simply superb! One of my friends cautioned and asked me to think twice before I go for this!
The reason being that the group is new and I need to get engaged with them for almost 2 weeks.

On quick retrospection, guess I would have missed a lovely expedition by not joining them !!

Monday, July 27, 2009

US Visit

Recollection of places I have been...

· Atlanta GA (This was done very often even if one in the group needs to get groceries). Visited the Aquarium, Coca cola factory, Indian groceries, Hindu Temples (Balaji and Swaminarayana) "n" number of times
· Greensboro NC. One of my colleagues’ friend stayed here. This also had many weekend visits with "Cherry picking" as the highlight!
· Grandfather Mountain NC
· Smoky Mountain, Gatlinburg TN. The visit during falls here was amazing!
· Drive to west coast trip from Greenville, SC. This covered many states inbetween with "stop-visits" at Houston, Galveston TX, San Diego CA, Los Angeles CA, Las Vegas NV and Grand Canyon AZ More at http://trudgingthoughts.blogspot.com/2009/07/loooooooong-drive-yes-it-was-indeed.html
· Erie PA.This had amazing beaches!
· Niagara Falls, both from US and Canada sides
· Charleston SC
· Cincinnati OH
· Myrtle Beach SC
· Disney World at Florida
· Near by places from Greenville SC like Ashville, Ceaser's head, Table Rock, Chimney Rock and Cherokee hills

I met 'S'

It has been almost a year and then 3 weekends of “planning to meet”. Finally, it happened this weekend! Along with M, I went to meet S. The word “Shradha” led to confusion and we landed up in a wrong apartment. S came out and was having fun to see us carrying a big gift* and roaming down the street to find her apartment.

After quick call and clarification we went to her apartment. Guess, who was on the TV - it was none other than daily visitor named “Rakhi Sawant”. Iam not a big fan of reality shows and usually watch these to get a few laughs. On the contrary, my friends were dissecting each and every dialogue of Rakhi and her episodes. S and I agreed that M is almost making her way to get fame like Rakhi!!

S was the same except for her change in hairstyle!, that actually gave her a fresh look! After 3 rounds of Chai and one round of beer, the mood was highly elated! Crappy discussion made us to laugh out whole-heartedly. “Set up of a mini bar” in our kitchen and “Toyun” switch to tune FM in mp3 player were a few of them! There were lots of “LOL” and “ROFL”

Of course, the dinner menu - Pasta, Roti and Baingan Bharta topped all this! S’s Pasta was tasty and she did it with an expert touch! The taste is still lingering in my mouth! Chit-chat was on till 3:00AM with a quick touch of all common friends, treks, PGs, PG mates and PG aunties!

Though we hit the bed, none of us could catch sound sleep and morning was waiting with another round of Chai! This get together would stay green for quite some time! Thanks to M and S!!

M felt that I looked happy – guess that’s true for all of us. And it happens when friends get together!! It’s just that we need to do more of this to break the mundane work!
* Big gift is not for S though she did get other gifts!