"Magnolia Bakery" - this little corner in New York doesnot need any introduction. Everything you find there is delicious and beware of the never ending, long lines for their goodies at almost any point of time.
"The Big Apple", as it is fondly & popularly called, New York City is the mecca for ultimate- vacationing. We had to pay a visit to holy grail (at least for us), soak in all of its awesomeness, once last time. That is exactly what we did. :-).
Though we were worried about rain, the whole day - it turned out that we were a tad bit lucky. It started to rain as soon as we hit the gas pedal to go back home. Phew!
We didn't know on Sunday morning that we would attend the very famous and informal Easter Parade in New York City. (along Fifth Avenue from 49th to 57th Streets, around St. Patrick's Cathedral). It is indeed a lovely spectacle to see so many dressed in a variety of outfits like the Easter Egg outfit above and the movie "Up" outfit below.
..during all of my Masters days in Syracuse, NY as soon as my classes were done, I would gather up all my change and enter the Kimmel Food court for my 75 cent Raspberry-Jelly donut delight. I have tried almost everything on their menu and to this day, the Jelly donut is my favorite. :-)
It will be no. 2 on our *things-that-we-will-terribly-miss-once-we-go-back-to-india* list after the Qdoba's Mexican Gumbo .
The next time you visit east coast, especially NYC or Washington DC, google for its locations and just go for it. It has already got an another fan in K and next could be YOU. :-)
Qdoba Mexican Grill in NYC
Their vegetarian version of Mexican Gumbo has - cilantro-lime-rice, tortilla soup, beans (pinto or black) and extra add ins like guacamole, sour cream, tomato salsa (from mild to hot), lettuce and tortilla chips. You mix it all it and just slurp slurp slurp....The tortilla soup in there is the star ingredient which make it so tasty.
Now that we have tasted it one last time, we can go back to India in peace ;-).
We were pleasantly surprised to see a *cute dog* in our cruise room when we returned back from our excursions on Day 1. Later I came to know that "Towel Origami" is quite popular and done on most of the cruises. It definitely adds an oomph and cuteness factor to the whole cruise experience. :0)
"WE, the rustling leaves,
have a voice that answers the storms,
but who are you so silent?"
"I am a mere flower."
~ Rabindranath Tagore (Stray Birds)
P.S - On my personal front, there is lots of packing, cleaning and shopping that is happening. I don't have my camera yet to capture any interesting moments. Hence these pictures of flowers to set off the dull moments :-)
..and now we are again packing our bags to move back to India. It will be a big change, but I hope it will be a change for some *good times*.
I have met some amazing people at my very short stint at Cisco and got to do some good work, career-wise. I am glad, I have got this opportunity and hope to meet atleast some of them in near future. :-)
P.S - I took this photo with my iphone and later applied *pixelazation* using FX Photo Studio. I sold my previous Sony DSLR and soon a new one will be on its way!
This guy at Le Boulanger definitely bakes one of the best bagels here in Mountain View. Countless number of times, we had our breakfast here as I am a HUGE fan of bagels. Almost everyday, for 5 long years I had a bagel for my morning breakfast.
Do we get bagels in Hyderabad or Bangalore. Somebody please say Yes. :-(
Here are violets, beautiful violets!
All bright in their purple, and fresh in their bloom!
The scent of the jasmine, the breath of the rose,
Cannot rival these sweet simple flow'rs' perfume.
Fair daughters of shade! how fondly we love them!
Contentment and peace meekly dwell in their breast;
The first when the spring comes to follow her footsteps,
The last to forget on her bosom to rest!
The sun is just up, and the dew of the morn
Rests balmy and bright in their half-opened eyes,
As, bending with earnest and eloquent praise,
They pour out in fragrance their souls to the skies.
Thus pure in their off'rings should our praises be;
Thus early and true from the heart they should spring;
Then heav'n in its mercy would show'r on our bosoms,
The dew of its blessing! the shade of its wing!
We were shopping in Kona (Big Island) Hawaii and I found a perfect gift for my little darling niece Shriya. I was so disappointed when it was not available in her size, so had to snap a picture so that I can at least pass on this message to Little S. ;-)
It was our one opportunity to see the paradise from *up in the air* and we did go for it! - a helicopter ride over the entire Hilo area (the windward side of Big Island) and we could also see a tiny bit of lava still flowing from the active volcanoes there.
Haleakala in Hawaii translates to "House of Sun". It is on the island of Maui and watching sun rise over an elevation of 9,740 feet above sea level is one of the few must-do things , atleast once in a life time. The locals say - it is so beautiful that an year will be added to your life span. :-).
To watch the sun rise, we started off at 3 AM below the summit and it takes atleast 1.5 to 2 hours by car to reach up the crater. After a small hike, once you reach the top, all you have around are dense clouds. As the clock strikes 5:19 AM, the sun started to peek out of the clouds and there you have the most beautiful view, ever. The sun rays are so powerful, that we were told not to look at it directly for more than couple of seconds. We have also seen some helium batteries conked off around us, because of the elevation. (no one knows why).
No one can ever predict the weather in Hawaii, for sure.
Any daily weather report would say - "70% of chances of rain", around the year. Luckily for us, we had the *weather god's* blessings and it was a beautiful, sunny day, here at Ma'a'aea Harbor, Maui. We went sailing on a boat many miles off the coast for whale watching. For 2 long hours, we were with them, as the mama whales and baby whales played around in the Maui waters.
Their story of humpback whale migration - on how they do it all the way from Alaska is mesmerizing and even the scientists haven't able to figure out how they do it, tread the same path, every single year - that too without a GPS ;-).
..and only the male humpback whales sing too, the same song (with a slight note difference here & there) every year to woo the females, mate and have babies.
Never in our lives before, we went on a cruise. We were a bit apprehensive at first to spend 7 days on sea but then the excitement won over the fear. I am so glad we did this as it will be one of the memorable experiences for sure. :-)
If you are like us who want to visit all 4 main islands of Hawaii (Oahu, Maui, Big Island and Kaui) in one week, then the best way to island hop is via a cruise. No hassle of flying and booking hotels in every single island. From whale watching to witnessing Kilauea Volcano or for some dramatic views of the Napali Coast, all can be done during the day time and as the night falls, you can return back to the ship, ready for sail to the next island.