This and That

December 28, 2013

2nd half of 2013 travel in bullets and pictures

2nd half of 2014 saw us traveling within the US.

  • 2nd Half started with our friend from New Jersey visiting. And we did our usual San Francisco tour with them. It was still great visiting the city for the nth time. Couldn’t get enough of the golden gate bridge, the twin peaks, Lombard streets, the Ghirardeli ice cream, etc.
  • Followed by a road trip to Redwood National Park with another friends family. Wonder why we didn’t visit this place which is not too far from home this long. Such a beautiful park. Fern Canyon hike is dreamy. The Lady Bird Johnson grove and Stout grove reminds one how insignificant we humans are. The beaches are pretty much empty and invites you to play. This park is not too crowded although the Fern Canyon parking lot gets full very fast. It was fun having picnics in the middle of the grove. Very thankful to the Govt for the restrooms and picnic benches all over. The kids loved the guided hike.
Stout Grove

Stout Grove

Tiger Lily at the Lady Bird Johnson Grove

Towering Redwoods

  • Labor Day weekend saw us in Lassen National Park. One of the best National Parks we have visited. Another National Park so close to home that we have neglected all these years. We did loads of hikes. The 4 hour Cinder cone Volcano hike was tiring but well worth it. The view is breathtaking and unlike I have ever seen. The Kings Creek Falls hike is another beautiful hike. Bumpass Hell Hike is a must see just for the boiling mud pots and the steam vents. We also went to see to the Sundial bridge in Redding, but not too impressive when compared to the beauty of Lassen.
Kings Creek Falls

Kings Creek Falls

Cinder Cone Hike Entrance

Cinder Cone Hike

Cinder Cone Hike

Bumpass Hell

Bumpass Hell

  • October, husband participated in a 100 mile bike ride for ASHA for Education. We were in Davis for a day. It was fun driving around the beautiful Davis area pretending to help the bikers.
  • Dec has been a busy month with Kauai and Lake Tahoe trips. Tahoe trip was fun as usual. We went with a couple of families, rented a big house at Northstar, cooked up a storm, ski-ed to our hearts content. The kids enjoyed the most since some of them were seeing snow for the first time. Will do a separate post for Kauai since it definitely deserves one and it is fresh in my memory.

1st half of 2013 travel in bullets and pictures

  • 2014 started in Switzerland with boo and family. We were at Klosters at a Spa skiing away to glory. We welcomed the new year from our room viewing fireworks and flying lantern. Though bil hurt his leg while skiing, other than that drishti, it did start with the bang
Klosters Serneus Bad

Klosters Serneus Bad

Parsenn Ski resort

  • Feb – May saw many ski trips to Tahoe.
  • Sneaked in a 2 week trip to India by myself for a cousin’s wedding. Had a wonderful time at the wedding.  Within the short trip, took a weekend trip to Hyderabad to visit Utbt and family. Wish I had more time with the kids and Utbt.
  • End of May, beginning of June saw us in Swiss again. A visit to surprise my mom on her 60th bday. We went on a trip to Lake Como, Italy. Bellagio, Lake Lugano, Villa Carlotta, Villa Bilbianello, Verenna took our breaths along with the awesome gelato. A cousin of ours also joined the trip. On the way back to Swiss, went to Verzasca(The dam from Golden eye) and Lavertezzo (A picturesque bridge). The pictures cannot capture their beauty.


Villa Bilbianello

Villa Bilbianello

View from Villa Carlotta balcony

View from Villa Carlotta balcony

Valle Verzasca

Valle Verzasca


  • As if the above was not enough, husband and I took my parents to Austria and Germany as a birthday present. Drove through the autobahn. It was thrilling to drive with no speed limits. It was fun reliving Sound of Music and visiting the castles/fortess of Salzburg and more importantly the birth house of Mozart. On the way back we stopped at Hohenschwangau and Neushwanstein castle. One has to see the castles to believe the beauty of it.

Salzburg from Hohensalzburg fortress

Hohenschwangau Castle

Hohenschwangau Castle

Neuschwanstein castle from Marie Brucke

Marie Brucke from Neuschwanstein castle

November 16, 2013

10dulkar, Sachin

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — yaadayaada @ 1:26 am

Although I don’t follow cricket these days, glad to have caught the glimpses of Sachin Tendulkar’s last test match. The school days that we skipped to watch him play, the silly superstitions, the big fight with my sister and how it ended with she tearing the Tendulkar picture I had stuck in our book shelf and me slapping her. The memories come flooding. Miss those fun cricket days(not the slapping part though!! :-)) The writer in the family can do a better jobof articulating the sibling fight than me. And I am sure everyone will get to read that in the commment 😉

February 15, 2013

Valentine’s Day – Dinner for two

We have never been big on Valentine’s Day. This year we decided to be different! I got roses(although the previous day, well, the thought that counts).  I decided to cook a 6 course meal. What was I thinking! It was the middle of the week, work is hectic, had to buy groceries and these were things that I have never cooked before. Well, nothing can stop craziness. I had to skip the dessert and a main course due to lack of time and bought gelato(Has anyone tried Talenti gelato. They are awesome. So far, Pista, Black rasberry and Black cherry are my favorites.). Anyway, this is the menu/recipe I followed (Skipped Tempeh and dessert)!! It took all off 45 mins from scratch for the 4 course (Eggplant Cornucopias, heirloom tomato salad, steamed asparagus, Roasted veggie Quinoa, Roasted Beets)!!

Valentine' Day Dinner 2013 Valentine2013

December 21, 2012

Ramanujam -125

125th Birthday for the great mathematician Ramanujam! So proud to have gone to the same school he went to. Here is my high school notebook commemorating the centenary birth celebration.

Ramanujam Centenary celebration notebook

Ramanujam Centenary celebration notebook

September 21, 2012

British Columbia Trip – Seatle – Vancouver

We decided to go to British Columbia at the last minute for the labor day weekend. Initially we thought we would drive and quickly realized it was not practical if we had only a week in hand. So we flew to Seattle and then drove to Vancouver from there. In Seattle we stayed with a friend for a night. We sneaked a visit to Snoqualmie falls thanks to M and R with the company of their kids T & S. It was great fun. See for yourself. There were many blackberry bushes around this place. Had fun picking them with little T. Although they were very sour!!

Snoqualmie Falls

The next day, after a hearty breakfast left for Vancouver. Close to the border, found out that the border was traffic heavy, thanks to the radio, so took a detour and drove via less crowded border crossing. Drove straight to Granville island. Parked our car and strolled around this quaint village. Had nice lunch at the market. Lots of vegetarian options. It was fun having lunch overlooking the water and the street performers. Then headed to our hotel near downtown. Took the map of the city and walked to English bay beach. It was a short walk from our hotel. It was beautiful walk. Then we headed to Grouse Mountain. Our friends M & family joined us in Grouse Mountain. Beautiful view of the entire Vancouver from the mountain top. This is also a home for couple bears. The wooden carved structures are a treat to our eyes. We took the skychair to the top and took an elevator ride to the top of the windmill there. It was breathtaking from there. It is a very unique experience. Although 50$+ person ticket does seem very steep for this experience. We had dinner at the lodge there and came back at night. The view in the night was awesome. If you reserve and eat dinner at the restaurant, I hear the ticket to the top is free. Wish we had known that before. Also it gets cold in the evening. Also if I had gone there in the evening, would have loved to try the Grouse Grind hike.

Grouse Mountain

The next day morning, had breakfast at hotel and headed to Lynn Canyon. It is a state park which is very similar to Capillano suspension bridge park. This place also has a suspension bridge although not as big as Capillano but free. We had a fun couple of hours hiking and enjoying the huge trees. We hiked to a waterfall and the river and we pretty much has the place for ourselves. Our friends left for Seattle after Lynn Canyon.

Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge

Lynn Canyon – Twin Falls

We headed out to our beautiful bed and breakfast. Left our baggage, our host gave us some ideas to where to eat, what to do for the rest of the day. We parked at our hotel from the previous night and walked to Cactus Cafe. Had very good food there. Their drink was also excellent. Then headed to the bicycle rental shop, parked our car, rented a couple of bikes and went to the famouse Stanley Park. It was a lovely scenic easy 8KM ride. We soaked on the scenaries and also enjoyed the blackberry bushes along the way.

Stanley Park

After a nice ride, we headed towards lighthouse park in West Vancouver. After a short hike, got to see the wonderful light house and the beautiful Vancouver downtown with a back drop of Mt.Baker.

View from lighthouse park






After a quiet dinner at an Italian restaurant(not bad), headed out to North Vancouver to have a nice view of the downtown at night. Our B & B was very beautiful and had a great view of Vancouver. The breakfast overlooking the garden and Vancouver downtown was magical.

View from B & B

B & B Backyard





Next day morning we headed for Whistler.

July 31, 2012

What do you feel seeing this?

Filed under: emotions, Rant, Uncategorized — Tags: , — yaadayaada @ 8:30 pm

Saw the following image in facebook.

English Translation – “You selected your wife. While your mom is a gift from God. Don’t lose that treasure for the sake of someone you liked/loved and selected.”
What is your thought on seeing this?
My household feelings,
Husband : neutral
Mine : Rage

July 5, 2012

Brain dump

Filed under: family, hiking — Tags: , — yaadayaada @ 11:00 pm

Brain dump!

  • Did another 10K walk for Vibha with some friends second week of June while the other half ran a half marathon. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Want to walk a half marathon. Let us see.
  • A dear friend from college days came to visit. It was great catching up while the husband made awesome dosas for us.
  • Hiked the Mission Peak , Fremont with husband and some friends! Was awesome. Great sense of accomplishment! Although my calf muscles and gluts were cursing me for the rest of the week! Want to do more of these hikes.
  • Checked out a relatively new Thai restaurant nearby . Was great! Nice ambience, reasonable price, good food, nice drinks. More importantly, they know what I mean when I ask for vegetarian!
  • Plums are ripening faster than we can consume!! Tomatoes, beans, bell peppers, green peppers and other veggies are doing great!
  • Lots of good news at work for my team!
  • Bought new dining table set and a couch. Rearranged the house(More like husband made me accept the rearrangement plan!)
  • Had a fun BBQ with friends for July 4th. Ended the day with a dip in a friend’s pool with their kids!!
  • Another dear friend is planning a trip to my place in Aug! Looking forward to it!!
  • Have a growing list of people that I need to invite home for dinner! Need to get to that!!
  • It will be a year since we lost a good friend. Hope he is having fun on the other side! Recently a colleague of mine lost his battle to cancer! He was only 52 when he passed away couple of days back! I have a 101 year old recently bed ridden grand uncle awaiting for his turn! A hale and healthy 96 year old grandma who claims she is ready to go see the other side. While they are waiting, a neighbor of theirs, all of 52 years old, suddenly passed away due to a heart attack! Grandma wondering why Yama forgot about the grand uncle and herself! Don’t understand the game plan of God!!


May 30, 2012

Help the girl child!

Filed under: Uncategorized — yaadayaada @ 7:22 am

Our society believes that girl children are a liability. They have always been targeted. New born girl children have been killed and abandoned for decades. Ultrasound technology has only made this worse. Girls children are being aborted as early as 20 weeks, while still in the mother’s womb. Which is less humane, no body can tell.

Many of us feel strongly for this and due to many reasons, we have been arm chair activists. Now is a chance to be an arm chair activist AND make a difference.

Arti Home For Girls is an orphanage for abandoned girls children based out of Kadappa, Andhra Pradesh. Its founder Sandhya, has been working with abandoned girls children and women forced to abort their unborn girl children for the past 20 years. She has contributed in many levels and has made a difference in the lives of more than 1000 girl children.

Arti Home is participating in the IMPACT CONTEST. Winning this contest will give many unborn children a chance of survival, women a possibility to stand up for their girl children, educational and vocational training for the abandoned girls.

Please vote and show your support.

What to do:

– Click on the link

– Right top corner will have a link to log in to FB. Give appropriate permissions for FB, if asked.


Thanks a bunch, you have made a difference in a child’s life.

May 28, 2012

My first race – BolderBoulder

Filed under: hiking, sports — Tags: , — yaadayaada @ 5:13 pm

Thanks to my lovely sister in law who gifted me the registration for BolderBoulder, completed my first 10 K race. It was great fun. There were hunk huggers, pole dancers, belly dancers and lots of others and refreshments, snacks cheering us. It was just so great running (in our case walking) among 50000 runners. Some of them were Olympians. It was so inspiring seeing 5 year olds and 90 old year olds running.
Here is my statistics
My Official Timex Time for BolderBoulder: MMile=0:19:32, M2=0:16:10, M3=0:16:36, M4=0:16:38, M5=0:18:03, M6=0:17:31, Finish=1:47:58 (Never mind the runners who finished in 31 minutes.. Show offs!!)

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