Friday, January 4, 2008

Bon Voyage time

The last couple of days mom and dad spent time at Ramakrishna annayya's house going around shopping a bit and and meeting dad's friends from working days. I was in CT catching up on tons and tons of e-mail and piled up work.

Today (04-JAN-2008) mom and dad are leaving for India. They packed their stuff and are all set to go. Mom seems to be a bit upset with me and I do not know the reason. I'll let her come out of the shell to tell me why later.

We reached the airport well ahead of the departure time. We had a snack at a Mexican joint and caught up on some final discussions.

Their 5 week trip to USA has come to a successful completion. They were very eager to get back to their routine life back in India.

Bon Voyage

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Year in NJ

After the reception on 30-DEC-2007, I packed my car with luggage and at 11:15pm headed towards Virginia, all by myself. I reached VA by 11:15am on 31-DEC-2007. Mom and dad flew out of Atlanta to reach New Jersey on the 31-DEC-2007 5:45pm.

After loading the rest of the luggage into my car in VA, I started driving towards NJ. I reached Mona and Kirit's place by 11:15pm, right in time for the New Year's bash. Mom and dad spent their new year's with Ramakrishna annayya and family.

NewYear in NJ

Monday, December 31, 2007

Desi style and Pardesi style wedding

On 29-DEC-2007, Aruna akka/Murthy bava rallied the gang and got the troops ready early in the morning for the initial phase of the desi style wedding.

All of us, dressed up in traditional Indian attire headed towards the Balaji temple in Riverdale, GA for the proceedings. We had prasaadam for lunch (pulihora, curd-rice and pongal - pongal the best of the three)

Desi Wedding

The next day, Sunday 30-DEC-2007, we attended the pardesi style wedding in the afternoon at a presbyterian church in Duluth, GA. It was a unique wedding in its own way. A true mixture of appropriate portions of both the cultures (Western and Eastern.)

The bride and the groom came up with an excellent idea of intertwining the important phases of a Hindu wedding with that of a Christian wedding. We thoroughly enjoyed this creative spin to a new kind of wedding.

Pardesi Wedding

Rehearsal dinner

Padma bhabhi made lovely breakfast (medhu vada and sambar) and all of us had a heavy meal. Immediate family went for the rehearsal while we lazed around after a heavy breakfast.

Towards the evening we got ready for the rehearsal dinner. The dress code was business casual for gentleman and desi/pardesi for the ladies.

No alcohol was served at the rehearsal dinner and that upset a few of the stags. After returning from the rehearsal dinner we got some "flavored" liquids to control the commotion.

Rehearsal Dinner

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Trip to downtown Atlanta

We woke up late after a late nighter. I booked tickets online to visit Georgia Aquarium and Coca-cola museum. We had a quick lunch and left for our tour of Atlanta downtown.

We spent about an hour or so at the Coca-cola museum first and then went to spend the next couple of hours at the Georgia Aquarium. I would highly recommend spending at least 4 hours at the Georgia Aquarium. It is definitely worth a trip or two.

We came back home exhausted and spent the rest of the evening with the family. Mehendi and Karaoke are the main events of the night, in addition to the routine savoring of the colored liquids.

The highlight of the evening was the "samoohika lungar" - community dining

Coke and Aquarium

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Stone mountain in Lilburn

After a good brunch we stepped out to see Stone Mountain Park in Lilburn home of Stone Mountain - a 1 trillion pound, rock formation from volcanic eruption 3 million years ago.

We went up to the top of the mountain on a cable car. From the top of the mountain we trekked 1 mile down from the other side of the mountain and back to the top to get down to the base camp on the cable car.

Southern states are not immune to cold weather this time of the year. It was cold in the evening and we reached home at about 5:30pm, had hot cup of tea. Other relatives started pouring in - pick up from airport, dinner settings and sleeping arrangements.

We had a pizza dinner with Steven and his parents, followed by Happy Birthday to Ramanesh Bhayya.

Stone Mountain Park

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas in Atlanta

After a late night, long tour of the town we came back home, slept and woke up late - to a Christmas carol by Metallica.

Santa put some gifts under the Christmas tree for all of us - Steve and Pummy had the honors of distributing the gifts to everyone.

We had a fresh round of family picture time (one of the many more to come). We had a "baithak" (sitting at night), played couple of rounds of carom board games and hit the bed very late.

Christmas in Atlanta