100 Happy Days: Day 89

The weather was unseasonably warm and husband working from home gave me the opportunity to take the car and go do some of my own stuff. Went out from 10am to 2pm loitering in the nearest strip mall. Went to Ulta and bought stuff that I probably will use once? AND got a free goodie bag with products that I have no clue how to use! But it was good to just get out of the house, drive by myself and get some stuff done. That independence means a lot to me. Ending the day watching a movie online-a midweek treat.

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100 Happy Days: Day 86

Last year in May, I spent a week at work in New Jersey while hubby handled the house in my absence. By the end of the week, on a family whatsapp conversation in reply to some forward, he posted this below message which was/is the most I have heard him appreciate all the tasks I do. So, at that time, I had copied that message onto my phone memo πŸ˜€ Now, while I was looking for my memo of grocery list, I got this. Being Valentine’s day and all, I thought I should post it here πŸ˜‰ :

 This is so true and couldn’t have come at a better time!! R is in NJ on business this week and that leaves me to do all the chores in the morning, starting from preparation of breakfast and lunch for Sam to waking him up, pushing him into bath, getting him ready for school, ensuring he has his breakfast, drinks milk, keeps his homework and books in the bag, wear his glasses (yes this also a chore) and then getting him to the bus stop on time ( phew!!) at the same time having a pair of ear phones plugged into my ears, dealing with crazy client escalations and leaving me sapped at the end of it all only to realize that the day hasn’t even started yet. On the other hand, R weaves a magic wand. A wand that lets her do all this in parallel thus ensuring that Sam is happily ready well before time and at the same time calmly handling all the queries that her client throws at her ( yes she has daily calls staring at 7AM) along with packing lunch and snack for Sam and lunch dabba for me. All done with a smile on her face. Now this is what is called multitask and we (read men) are incapable of it. R please come back fast…..πŸ˜₯

100 Happy Days: Day 85

Pani Puri dinner: 

Sam is home today with a bad cold and congestion in his throat but no fever. I decided that he wouldn’t go to school as he didn’t sleep well last night. So I cooked fresh for lunch, comfort food of saaru(rasam), rice and cabbage palya. The boy ate a hot lunch and then said “Amma, you know what, if everything in my nose and throat has to come out I have to eat something spicy, how about hot and spicy pani puri for dinner?” Hmmm… over the weekend when we went grocery shopping the husband refused to get the pani pooris when I had asked him so I said no to Sam. 

Well, what do you think happened? How could the loving Dad refuse his unwell son? Sam asked for it while hubby called on his way home, so the pooris along with some jalebis came home. 

We had an awesome hot and spicy pani puri for dinner with jalebis for dessert. This reminds me of pre Sam days when I used to have masala puri and pani puri for dinner to help with my sinus and phlegm 😁 My son seems to have understood at 8 what I understood at 18!  

100 Happy Days: Day 84

Sitting jobless at home, most days are just ‘bleh’ (yes, thinking of you, SmitπŸ˜™) but suddenly a small moment happens that I notice, thanks to this happiness challenge. I wrote here in the beginning of Jan about the 10k steps that a few bloggers convinced me to do and I try and stick to it atleast weekdays. Today was one day where I was severly lagging behind (no lengthy phone conversations πŸ˜‰) so at the end of the day, I asked hubby to play some of the latest hindi songs and danced away for 25mins just so that I could complete those steps, walking suddenly felt boring. A good cardio and laughter from the boys, a good end to a completely boring day. Thank you, ladies, you know who you are πŸ€—

100 Happy Days: Day 82

Do you feel/hear the hush when it snows? There is a pleasant sound when it rains but there is a quiet, no not quite quiet, a hushhhh when it snows. I love it. Like the world is waiting and we are in a cocoon. And then just to disturb that peace we go out and do this πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜Ž πŸ‘‡

Yes, thats me in pajamas rushing out when I could not hold it inside me-I just HAD to go out and feel the snow on my face. Later we all packed up and went out for a snowball fight. Today’s happiest moments.

100 Happy Days: Day 80

Plenty of things to be happy about today. 

a. I mentioned yesterday that I reapplied for a card that was considered lost despite multiple calls and queries. Finally I can convince myself that all those calls did not go waste. Guess what?!! Miracle of miracles, that card came home in priority mail today!!! I can finally go back to work, yaaay! 

On the flip side, we had to scramble to intercept the mail in which all my documents were sent yesterday! AND pay to stop that mail. If this is not fate playing, then what is it?

b. Smaller life’s moments of joy, having an impromptu dinner of dhabha style aloo parathas and drive around a new locality where I love to see all these new houses. 

c. Sam’s innocence – I always tell Sam that I will put him back in my tummy, so today while eating dinner I whispered to him that I felt so much love for him last night that I ate his right tiny toe. He just laughed, said I was joking and looked at me. I told him very seriously that it was true and that in the morning school hurry he might have not noticed it. The first thing he did as soon as we came home was to take off the shoe saying “NOW I will reallllly know if you ate it”. He was relieved to see it was still very much intact πŸ˜†πŸ˜† I am so glad that he has so much faith in his mom that he kind of believes what ever I say even though he understands its practically not possible. I love teasing him like this.

100 Happy Days: Day 79 and CA Trip day 7

Woohooo! Another year of blogathon done! πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘ Good job to everyone who participated.

Though year after year, I fear my posts are loosing the substance and I have been cribbing about it everytime. So, to make it better, maybe I will start putting up drafts here everytime I get a good thought? Hmm…food for thought 

That said, my happy moment of the day is, after thinking, procastinating and cribbing about the lost card, I finally reapplied again today. Like my Dad always says “An attempt can be a failure, but there should never be failure of attempt“. For that reason alone, this step has been taken.

Day 7: San Francisco

It was a Friday and the cousins were quite relaxed about getting to work, so we decided to take it easy too. It was also our anniversary, so my cousin B had got cupcakes for us. We did a small cake cutting and after they left to work at about 8am we got ready and started the hour long drive to SFO. There wasn’t much we wanted to see – husband and I had seen the place before and we wanted to show Sam around. We drove and walked along the ‘crooked’ Lombard street which the boy thoroughly enjoyed – his Dad is the ‘best driver in the world’ πŸ˜› and then went to the Pier. Cousin D (who just had a baby on the 25th:-D) had told us about this amazing place from crepes. We did not bother to check any other place and went directly there. Stuffed ourselves with yummy crepes, Sam went on the carousel ride and we walked along the SFO market and pier all the way to Ghirardelli Square. I was the kid in the chocolate shop πŸ˜€ Bought all the new varieties for us and for the cousins too. Sam saw how chocolate is made and then we had the double fudge sundae (ofcourse!) before we called Uber to take us back to the Pier. We wanted to drive on the Golden Gate bridge to the other side as we did not have time to walk on it. Sam enjoyed getting down at the other end to extreme winds ( Catch me, Amma! I am going to fly away otherwise :-D) and then drove back to Land’s End to get a good view of the bridge. We were supposed to meet both the cousin couples at this restaurant in Mountain View for our anniversary treat dinner at 7pm. Unfortunately, cousin D got work and we only met my cousin B and her husband. That night and the next day, Saturday was supposed to be spent with hubby’s cousin R, his wife D at their home in San Jose. We packed dinner for them and reached home by 10pm. They had also ordered cake for our anniversary – 12 years and we got to cut 2 cakes! hehehe. If only life was as easy as cutting cakes! Again a late night chatting session and we were all tired enough to sleep by midnight. Cousin R warned us that we had to get ready and be out of the house by 9:30am if we were to get to the NAPA valley wine tour he had booked for 12pm.

 

100 Happy Days: Day 78/31

My happy moment of the day- Since yesterday I have been having a very bad headache and even though I slept early, I didn’t wake up in a good mood. For the last 1 month, Sam and I have been playing old hindi songs while he gets ready for school and we have both realized that it helps control our morning stress. Meaning lesser arguements. But today, I am feeling the difference. I knew I had a frown on my face but now after listening to some old favourites (wasn’t that luck that the radio played lovely romantic songs?) I am feeling much better. Music definitely is healing! 

Days 5 & 6: Yosemite National Park  

This was a dream of mine for the last 10 years. I always wanted to see this place. I wanted to see if this lives up to the American hype too. I really do not have words to describe the nature here! This country has abundant beautiful nature and they know how to make it accessible to the people too. No matter what adjectives I use, I am sure words fall short for this post.

By the time we drove from San Jose to Yosemite it was nearly 11 am. We first decided to see the far places by car like the Hetch Hetchy reservoir. We got really lucky that we even saw a black bear (which is actually brown) too! It crossed the road right in front of us and hid behind a rock when we stopped to see. It waited until we moved again and then it went on its way. I was too scared to open the car window and take a picture though!

We spent nearly an hour near Hetch Hetchy and then got back to the camp grounds where we had home packed good lunch. We then began our drive around the park on our way to the Majestic Hotel for our 1 night stay. While I did my research, I realized  2 things: We had to stay inside the park to maximize our limited time at the park and I did not want to stay at any camp sites – so we paid the price and told each other that this was our anniversary treat to ourselves. On the way, we saw the Bridal Veil falls which was in full flow. We took a small trek to the bottom of the falls just so we could get wet πŸ™‚ We stopped at a couple of scenic spots and reached the hotel by 6pm. We had already booked breakfast but we were told that we had to also book for dinner otherwise it will not be available. We took the 8pm dinner time and checked in. The minute Sam saw that there was an outdoor pool he was all excited to go swim. That activity done and a shower later we went for dinner. Sadly, I have to say it was a disaster. I don’t remember what Sam and hubby ordered but I ordered veggie pasta with no mushrooms. Unfortunately it came with mushrooms, so I couldn’t eat it. The very apologetic waitress took it back saying she will get me fresh one which took forever. By that time, I filled my stomach with salad and bread and Sam was so tired that he just put his head on the table and slept. So my food was boxed to take back to the room. Thankfully I did not eat it then.

The next morning, our breakfast was supposed to be at 10am so I decided to heat the boxed pasta so we could all eat a bite before we went to see the Lower Yosemite falls which was very close to the hotel and we knew we could be back before breakfast. As soon as I opened it I saw it had bits of meat in it! What a total waste of food! Only thing is when we showed the bits of bacon, they did not charge for my food 😦  The breakfast was good though, hearty and full with coffee giving us enough energy to last the day until we drove back to San Jose. We had finished the Lower Yosemite falls before breakfast, so we drove to Glacier point. Unfortunately we were stopped as no private vehicles could go at that time because of the snow and ice still at the top. We did not realize we were so late as the parking lot was full to even take the park’s vehicle to the top. We decided to drop that and drove to Vernal Falls trek. On the way we saw the tunnel overlook and Half Dome (hard to miss!). We realized we were too late for any major hikes as there was absolutely no parking space anywhere! A good 2miles walk/hike later we reached the footbridge at the base of the  Vernal fall. By this time it was nearly 1.30 pm and we knew we did not have much time. We got back to the base, stopped at the river and then decided to drive to Tuolumne Grove for the gaint Sequoia trees. Unfortunately for us the popular Mariposa grove was closed for restoration. The Tuolumne grove is a much steeper hike and lesser people visit the grove. By the time we reached the grove it was nearly 4pm and it looked like rain. But I did not want to go back without seeing the Sequoia trees. We decided to hike until we found atleast 1 of them. The grove is so thick with tall trees that it felt like it would get dark in no time. So we hurried to the grove from where we could hear some voices. Hubby picked up a thick stick as there was fear of bears too. Only once we saw the size of those trees did we realize why the trees are such a big deal! They are so thick and broad and we look like tiny ants next to their trunks. We trekked back (which was tougher as it was a 1 mile, 500ft elevation climb up) and were back at the car by 5:40pm. We then started the drive back to San Jose with the clouds giving way to beautiful, double rainbows – a fitting way to end this nature adventure. We reached home by 10pm happy and tired.

Am I satisfied with Yosemite – No! I really want to go again and spend more time at the park and visit the places we missed. But I am happy that we managed to see the key places and attractions of the place however.

One really good advantage for us was that it was spring and all the waterfalls were full from the ice melts. Every one of them was a beauty and worth every hike we did. Just getting wet under that cool mist felt wonderful.

I have tried hard to choose only 10 pictures πŸ™‚

Blogathon 2018: Day 24

Hibernating in winter is something I love to do – All the pictures of snow I take are mostly from the patio doors. So, my mind starts dreaming up lists of places to visit – the laptop screen that gives me a new picture every day doesn’t help to quell the desire to travel.

For now, I still have the Yellowstone National Park, Rocky mountains and the Arches national park that we were supposed to go last year but as usual we were late and didn’t get the accommodations anywhere. It is now on the back burner. I am disappointed in myself that I have not logged our travelogue of California in June last year – the 3 things ticked – the Pacific coastal highway, NAPA valley and wine tasting and ofcourse Yosemite. Ha! I got fodder for atleast a couple of posts now! πŸ˜€

Some other lofty dream vacations are the African Safari (its been husband’s no.1 ever since I have known him), Alaska and Hawaii – hopefully while we are here, Spain and Greece. There is still a cruise that I had done some research on – to Thailand and Malaysia.

So what are your dream vacation destinations? Do tell!

100 Happy Days: Day 74/21

I remember writing around 10 days back about the 10k steps everyday thing. I have finally realised, after failing at it miserably for the 3rd day in a row, that it just doesn’t happen by itself. I thought with all the grocery shopping and extra cooking and cleaning I would be atleast close to the mark but nada, nope, didn’t happen. Additional effort is definitely required and I better get to it. Only thing that is happening religiously is the calorie count but sometimes I wonder how accurate the app is for our desi foods. I am giving myself the excuse for laziness by labelling it as weekend.

Watched Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara again, I have lost count of the number of times we have watched it but it never fails to crack me up. Spain got bumped up on the must-visit list once more.