Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Jet Ski and Wave Runners

Some people call it wave runners while some say jet ski. I was trying to find the difference between the two. When i googled I learnt that "Jet-Ski is a registered trademark to Kawasaki. Wave runner is with Yamaha" They also say the best term to use is "PWC or personal watercraft". I also heard some say, when you sit down its the wave runner one while in Jet ski, the person behind will stand. In New York, I found that it was called Jet ski but in Chicago I see it as Wave runner. But well whats in the name as long as you enjoy :) I just tried some googling to know the basic info before going for the fun!

I am no good when it comes to water sports. I am really scared. But still we made our first attempt with kayak in Bay area in San Fransisco. That was indeed fun but somehow I was really scared. This time in Chicago I was no different. After a few promises from Suresh that he will drive slow and make me feel good, I decided to go for it :) We went for a 30 min ride and well to share the truth it was amazing. I did get scared once in while when he raised the speed, but still I would say I enjoyed most of it :) I was in a double mind if I should try a ride myself, but somehow I could not set myself for doing it. Inspite of that, I enjoyed it a lot.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Power Cut

I had never heard of power cut in US. But when we experienced it 2 days back, I realised life comes to a halt here in case of power cut for more than couple of hrs :( Some transformers were down and hence power cut for 12 hrs. Nothing worked. No phone, no gas, no intercom nothing. You turn any side you learn nothing is working. That's why I said everything came to a halt. It was a very different experience. To add on the fire alarm went on to shout due to loss of power. Physical removal (that's a security breach)of that was the only way to get peaceful sleep. But I ended up having a miserable sleep due to that painful sound all through the night. I was just wondering how would it be in Chennai. In fact nothing would come to a stop except for the fact we will sweat out in irritation due to loss of power :(

Friday, July 10, 2009

Birthday Wishes

I love wishing people on their birthday. I feel more happy when I learn that I am the first to wish them. I know it sounds a little crazy. Sometimes I even try hard to wish them at 12 in the night. But some people find nothing special about birthday leave alone wishing others :)

I can recollect a lot of those sweet memories. Few in school days were when we used to celebrate buying some cake and coke in the shop outside school and those days a budget of Rs 200 was something hard to get from parents :) Then one special time in college was probably the 2nd yr bday. It fell on a Saturday and still I got the maximum wishes that yr. It always takes a special place in my heart. While at work, biggest surprise was my sister wishing me at 12 in 2005, and 2006 was special with some friends in Hyd and specially opening a gift at 12 AM, and then 2007 was kind of unforgettable. Again on a Saturday with so many people wishing and not to forget a small party we had on Friday bowling and dinner. Who can forget the crazy things Nesa (my friend) does :)

At the same time I should say, I have enjoyed some other friends bday more than mine at times :) Cutting a cake in the car at 12AM in Hyd for a friend, Making a friend open his gift at 12AM , calling up the US hotel desk phone at 12 AM and making them connect to the room for wishing, visiting a friend at 6.30 AM and waking her from sleep... Haha.. I know reading these will only irritate few people who feel I disturb sleeping people, but somehow I love to wish them in some special way and the best idea for that is wake them from sleep :)

To all my friends, don't worry I will trouble you too very soon :)

Fireworks in Mt Rushmore - Messed Up

I took so long for this post because I was disappointed. I dint have the chance to enjoy the fireworks in Rushmore :(

As we drove on July 3rd towards Rapid City, we got delayed due to scattered rain right from 9AM to 2PM. But after that we were little pleased to see some clear skies and the sun showing up which made us energetic to drive to Mt Rushmore. Even then we knew the chances of enjoying fireworks was low.

At 5 PM we reached there to find not just the parking full but cars parked up to 3 miles away from the Mt Rushmore entrance. We almost spent an hr driving around trying to see if we can find a parking spot closer to the entrance but in vain. Finally we ended up parking 3 miles away from the original entrance. Few pics I clicked from the car itself :)

We were happy even then to see clear skies and started walking the 3 miles to the entrance. It took us almost 45 min to reach, but then seeing huge crowd around dint make us tired at all.

I know we see such crowds for ball drop and New yr fireworks here but this is the first time I was part of such a crowd. The below pic is just part of the Amphitheater crowd, we saw people right from one mile of entrance as you see view of the faces from there till the real memorial area.

No exaggeration here... I entered the memorial and picked my camera and looked above the mountain. Oh my god, where are the faces?? Just gone in moments?? Yes Fog came from nowhere and took control :( We still thought it will clear up. 7PM became 8 and then 8.30...Hope dies :( I ended up putting the camera back in my bag.

As part of Independence day special, they had a team from Army performing musical show for the crowd. We saw huge crowds eagerly hoping the fog will clear and we can see the fireworks. As per the schedule, the first trial firework came up at 9.20. All I heard was a THUD sound and nothing else :(

With the hope it will still work out and also not to disappoint the huge crowds, they went on to have the fireworks at 9.30 for the next 30 minutes. All we saw were just few stars once in while coming out of it and nothing more. Till the end we never got to see the Rushmore faces in the mountain with the fireworks :(

Again a long walk to pick the car and drive home. One thing I have to mention here is the discipline with which people went to take the car and drive home. At 11 PM I was so worried if we can drive safe without any mess due to thousands of cars and people walking thru the mountain area. I was so surprised to see how organised people were and till the end I dint hear even one person using the car horn. I was reminded of the match I watched in Chennai stadium and went back home in the night. It was a nightmare for us to get home that night. I wonder when we will learn these good things.

We could not click a pic together in front of MT Rushmore which made us feel we need to visit the place again next evening. This was again a shock to me as we drove same way around 7PM on July 4th only to see the complete pathway free and hardly few cars in the parking ramp. We went in parked and visited the place. This time there was no climatic issues and we could click good pics, just that fireworks was missed :(

Though sometime it seems like a place of least interest to visit as its just a place to see and walk away, when you think on the work involved in carving the four faces on the top of a mountain rock involving 14 yrs work, it deserves a visit and appreciation :)

Though I don't know how it would have felt to drive thru those places, I would still add that the drive to the place is amazing and enjoyable as commented by my husband :)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Woow Vacation Time :-)

Its really new for me to see Independence of a country celebrated so much :-) It was a huge surprise for me to see fireworks on sale every where for July 4th celebrations. In some places, they have fireworks on 3rd night and in some places its on 4th.

The idea of so much fireworks and fun comes to me only for Diwali :) This experience will be totally new and hoping to enjoy it in Mt Rushmore :) But at the same time, it does make sense to celebrate the Independence in this way.

However its not the celebration that counts but the happiness and satisfaction of living in a country which makes us feel proud of our country. I wonder how many people get that feel in our country.

Guess I should write more after I watch them celebrate :)