Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Hawaii 2nd Visit : Part 2

For Part 1 go to


Dec 10th 2019:
We lazily woke up at about 6:30 am which is 10:30 am our time and then started looking at the guide books on where to go. Finally we decided to go to the Napali Coast as that is near the North Side where we were.  As we left I was reading the books and realized that since the flooding in early Aprile they had day passes to enter the park which had to be booked well in advance. Everything for December was sold out.
We quickly stopped at a juice stop nearby , got some yummy local juice and asked the server for some good locations to visit.
She suggested the Kokee State Park and some falls. We decided to go to the Kokee State Park which was 2 hrs to the other side of where we were. We started driving, on the way packed some fish and shrimp tacos and took them with us.
Soon we were at the bottom of the mountain and then it was a uphill ride with the weather getting very pleasant, there were lots of lookout on the way and we stopped at a few and went in like the Waimea Canyon Ridge.
The color of the canyon were beautiful, red and green shades. We even saw a local Hawaiian there who gave us some information about the area.
We then stopped at the Park and visited the small museum there, had lunch, took a small trail hike and then drove back.

On the way we stopped at a beach as the kids were insisting but there was no swimming there, so they played in the waves for few minutes and then we went for the Luau ceremony that we planned to visit.
Luau is one  food, lively music, energetic performances and displays of Hawaii's native culture and across Polynesia. It's where friends and strangers unite to become one ohana (family) as is customary in Hawaii today.

The charges for the 4 of us were $230. We reached at 5:30 and were greeted with flower garlands and Mai Tai's and fruit punches.
Then there was the imu ceremony where they had caught a wild pig and buried it underground in a clay mould with some spices and banana leaves. At 6pm , after 8-9 hrs they took it out and salted it and was ready for the buffet. The buffet was served with a lot of local dishes like rice noodles, chicken teriyaki, salmon salad, macroni, pork(which was delicious), desserts like coconut pudding, pineapple cake etc.
After we were done we had the performances which were spectacular. There was even a fire dancer which the boy enjoyed a lot.
All said and done we were out by 8pm and back to our resort to rest for the day.

Hawaii --2nd Visit_Part 1

Year 2019 and once again we booked a trip to Hawaii, but this time it was with the Kids.

Hubby did all the booking. November we all got sick with flu and then we had work like crazy so there was no time to plan or prepare for anything.
One nite before Dec 8th Sunday we packed our bags.
Monday morning we took the kids from school by 1, went to the airport to Sun Country for a 3:40 flight which left at 4:40 and had a 3 hr flight from MSP to SFO.
It was 6pm PST when we reached SFO, took our rental car, drove to San Jose and checked in the Wyndham.
Baby girl thought this was Huwaii (pronounced by her)  and was not impressed with the hotel room, she wanted to go back immediately.
We went out to dinner, and at first stopped at an Indian place where all they had was buffet, I couldn't eat so heavy at night and we ended up going to Denny's. We had pancakes and eggs and chicken burger, came back and slept off for an early morning departure.

9th Dec 2019:
 We woke up and left to airport by 7am. Did all the check-in and waited for the 9 am flight Hawaiian airlines flight to Maui Island.
It was a 5 hr. flight which went pretty good with breakfast served and finally at 12 pm island time, we were at Hawaii. We took our baggage and got ready for our next flight at 3:40 to Kauai Island.
We reached Kauai by 4:30. Took our convertible and went out in the sun for a 1 hr. drive to the Princeville Resort.
We were welcomed with traditional Lei's and Hibiscus Tea and then we went to our room which was beautiful. We again ventured out for dinner to the top Fish serving restaurant at Dolphin's and had Ahi Tuna and some calamari.
Kauai does not have any street light as they believe in natural surroundings and night is dark which does make driving difficult for first - timers.
By this time we were very tired as it was way past our bedtime and we came back and slept off.


Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Carmalized Banana ice-Cream

I saw this this simple recipe in one of the food blogs..still searching for it and will definitely put it as a link..for now will also put my measurments in preaparing this yummy and simple ice-cream.

Ripe Bananas - 3

Sugar - little

Butter - little

Milk- 1/2 cup

Condensed milk- 1/4th cup.


Here is what I did:-Sliced bananas in a oven sprinkled with sugar and butter and then kept in oven at 400F for 30 mins.

Once they were carmalized and cooled took them out in a bowl, added condesed milk,milk and whipped them.

Garnished with walnuts and went right into the fridge for freezing.

Voila! your yummy ice-cream is ready

The Hawaii Vacation - Part I

Point to be noted is that I am writing this post after almost 6 months after our Hawaii Trip, so obviously I will not remember all the place names clearly but will try my best.

We had left our baby in India for the winter and as soon as I returned back I knew we had to have a vacation. Hawaii was the top contender as I had heard lots of praise from my manager. So after booking our flight tickets and making reservations we finally set out on Jan 13th 2011.

Firstly we had a 3 hr flight to Seattle and after a wait of 2 hours another 6 hr flight to Honolulu. With the time difference by the time we reached there at 9pm it was already 3 am for us. The first thing when we came out of the airport was the tall coconut trees alongside the road and ofcourse the pleasant weather. We were coming from the winters of Minnesota so obviously the weather was beautiful. We picked our convertible from the rental and drove to our hotel. Immediately noticed the expensive gas price(yeah, we are cheap that way). The room in the hotel(a 4 Star one) just had the bare necessities, like a bed, tv, something you would see in a very normal hotel .We were so tired, we both slept off immediately.

Next day morning after getitng ready we checked out the view from our balcony and it was like any Indian city :)(yeah, I am hard to impress)
We decided to go to Pearl harbour also known as USS Arizona. After buying the tickets we could visit the musuem which gave us a brief on how the US was atacked by the Japanese. We were then taken in a boat to the middle of the sea where we could see the submerged naval ship. By the time we left there it was noon. Now the hotel did not give us any complimentary breakfast unlike US hotels so we were very hungry and the heat was killing us.
After grabbing a sandwich we decided to drive around the island.
We went to Diamond head and along the way stopped at various spots to click pictures. It is very picturesque what with the blue ocean and the green trees lining the roads. We wanted to go to Hanuma Bay as that spot is very famous for snorkelling. but it was full and so we did not get parking there. Moreover we did not have any snorkelling equipment with us, so we just drove along the entire stretch. At one of the beaches G changed into shorts and went into the water but I did not. After a while it got boring seeing the beaches(the same blue water, blue sky, though you may ooooh- aaaaah the first few times) and the heat was unbearable.(I know I am repeating this, but I was coming from -20F, what did you expect?) We decided to go and visit the Byuodo-inn Temple. This temple had a huge Buddha statue and the place also had small ponds with ducks and fishes in them. A very calm and peacful place. If you watch the series Lost, one of the episodes has this temple where the Chinese/Japanese couple gets married.

Evening we decided to go to Waikeki beach were there are fire-works every night. There was traffic rush to reach there but once we got there we noticed the posh shops. We wandered around the beach and finally the fire-works started. It did not feel all that spectacular as we both missed our baby a lot. From there we drove to the Makaha Resort Golf Club that we had booked for the night.
This place had little cabins which were very cozy. When I woke up I went outside and there was this huge golf area with the mountains in the background. We did click a lot of pictures here. We decided to explore the other beaches and just rode around the entire island stopping here and there. We did visit the Dole Plantation which is famous for the pineapple facility. We bought a Pineapple icecream but I think a pineapple fuit would have tasted much better.
Evening we drove to the airport as we had to catch our flight to Maui Island.

More in Part II

Monday, October 21, 2019

My color crazy girl

Last nite when I was putting the kids to sleep, they started sleeping by themselves now that granparents left for India. I was asking Riti how many friends she has in school.
R: All girls are my friends amma, but I do not talk to 2 boys
Me: Why baby, are they mean, d they fight with you?
R: No Amma, they are black and I am worried that if I go near them, their color will rub on me and I will become black.

I and Rivvi burst out laughing and at the same time I had my eyes wide  open and like all good parents I gave her gyaan that color is not something we should be bothered about, all are nice blah blah…

Not sure where she will go with this color craziness.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Ritvik's 2nd Birthday Party

Ritvik's 2nd birthday was the first with us (as for the 1st one he was in India) but we had not planned on doing anything major.
I wanted to have a kids party but the age group of 2yrs -3yrs is difficult to manage. We were not as keen as our friends who kept asking us as we were planning to go to India for vacation and was not sure if we would be here. Finally we decided to  book the party hall but that was already booked and so we started checking out other places. We attended another kids birthday party at Mall of America and Ritvik had such a great time that we decided that to be his birthday venue.

By Oct end we finalized the guest list, booked the cake, I wanted the most delicious milk cake that I had tasted, so we booked that Ritvik wanted the Spider man theme which we got on the big cake and a smaller one (just in case we fall short). We couldn't get outside food and hence decided to get pizza from a sop at the MOA. We also wanted it to be a little indianised and hence we ordered some baby corn manchurian as starters and I decided to make some custard for the dessert. We kept 11:30 as the time  as the time hoping that everyone would be in by 12.

Nov 12th early morning dawned as a beautiful day. It was lovely weather for the peak winter, we did not even have to wear jackets. Ritvik had fever, kept us awake most of the night and finally fell asleep at 7am in the morning. Gopi had to leave by 9 to make sure we got the area and set up decorations. I had to cook the custard. Morning, there was no electricity, what a bummer!. Electricity came after some time and I started with my cooking in a big rush. Once done I had my bath and woke Ritvik by 11, he was still feverish, gave him some Tylenol and got him ready. It was already getting late and I had to also pick the cake. Gopi kept calling and asking us to come fast. Finally we left home, picked the cake and reached the mall, only to find no parking spot. I circled for 20 minutes before finding a spot and then when we went inside the lift was not working. All the guests had arrived and finally we reached by 12:30.

Diwali Dhoom 2011 - a Dhamkedar Ending

So finally Diwali Dhoom 2011 was hosted on Oct, 22nd (Saturday) at the apartment complex.
The day started with visiting the party hall at 11 am and helping in the decorations. to be honest all I did was make sure Ritvik kept out of people's way. G helped them put up all the hand-made lanterns and other decorations.
Afternoon quickly made some methi paratha, put Ritvik to sleep and I too napped for an hour.
At 4:30 went to do hair and face-make up. Returned at 5 only to see a cranky baby, was getitng dressed, putting my bangles and Ritzu wanted to wear them too. No amount of reasoning worked and finally ahd to give him two of the bangles to wear.
Programmes were scheduled to start at 5, we reached there by 6pm.
Everyone was beautifully dressed in traditional wear.
Once the mike was set-up there was pooja and a group song.
Next was Welcome Speech by Raji.
Then the hosts myself & Alpesh introduced ourselves and announced the next segment which wa s a bharatnatyam by Ira.
A note to be added here, the mike was bad, we had to shout a lot to be heard by the already noisy public.
Next we had the lttle kids dancing
Then we had kids dance of a slightly bigger group
Followed by a Marathi Lavani Song
then came another kids dance
We had a hindi song
Then we had a marathi performance
Punjabi Folk Song
Hindi Song
Gujarati Dance
Kid Solo Dance
Mens dance
Diya Dance
Prize Distribution

Another Milestone for R Junior

R Junior completed another milestone where in she started eating solid foods. Last Sunday i.e 14th December we went to the temple and gave her some rice payasam to eat. For the older one we had organized a pooja by the temple priest and then invited friends over for lunch, for the younger one we just kept it a low-key family affair. I wanted to start only after 6 months but she is always lookign at us eagerly while we eat and so I felt that maybe it was the right time to start.

I did not get time to buy cereal so even after temple feeding she was only breast feeding for a week, it is only 2 days back I got rice cereal and we started giving her one time in the mornings. Slowly I will  start introducing other foods, let's see how she likes it.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Cruise Vacation to Bahamas - Part 2

The third day(Dec 5th, 2019), since me and my son had booked for Snorkeling we had to embark the boat at 10am and so we had to have an early breakfast, we both woke up at 9 and went quickly to the café to stuff ourselves, the boat was going pretty fast and soon they announced that due to weather conditions the ship would not halt at the private island but would go directly to Bahamas.

Me and my son strolled around for some more time and went back to the cabin and gave the other two the updates, they leisurely woke up and had a late breakfast, we then left the kids to the day - care and pretty soon the ship docked at Bahamas port. Me and hubby went out and left the port area and walked around to the nearby beach, we were also checking what activities we could do the next day with the kids. After a good 2hrs we came back to the cruise, we then checked in, went to the hot tub, had dinner and went for a good nite's rest.

The next day woke up(Dec 6th, 2019), had breakfast and embarked from the ship. Initially we decided to go touristy and get the locals to take us out to some beach but later on just decided to go with what the cruise ship was offering.
We booked a trip to Atlantis--The Lost City. It was pretty expensive but we decided to go with the safe route. A bus took us to the Atlantis hotel where we had a 45 min guided tour of the museum and their artifacts. Then we were left to ourselves, just asking us to reach back to the ship by 5pm. All of us changed and went to the nearby beach. It was chilly for Bahamas weather.
We then took the bus back to the main port and had food from a small shack. The fish tacos and shrimp tacos were just delicious.
We then went and embarked back to the cruise ship.
We wanted to catch a ice skating show on the ship and were just in time for that. Riti got to be one of the child actors to go on stage with them, it was a delightful experience.

We then went for our last dinner which was fabulous, took pictures with the staff and basically everywhere in the cruise.
Night time, we packed our baggage's and kept it outside. Woke up the next morning(Dec7th, 2019), had breakfast and when our time was called we had to vacate the ship. Immigration was a breeze,w e got our luggage, took a taxi and headed to Miami airport.
After a 3 hr flight we were back home

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Shifting to a New Apartment

After living for more than a decade at Broadmoor Apartments, the management decided to renovate it leaving all of us scattering our brains on what to do next.
Many started searching apartments, homes and what-not and led to the final split of everyone leaving there to various other apartments near Eden Prairie.
We moved to Renew Apartments not because we liked it or what-not but for the kid, my boy.

It has been 2 months since we moved but still we do not feel like settled.

Immediately after moving we went on a trip to Florida which was super-fun.
We had a great time with family, after 10 days sister and nephew flew back to India. We then started with Volleyball,Cricket etc , had a camping trip on one of the week-ends.

July started with Dindu'd bday and then just hanging about at home.

We never missed BM till now as we were going there practically every evenings to play VB but last evening the net was taken down from there and that would be sort of a final closure to the place for us.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

English Writing

I had to track this here for future reference

Cruise Vacation to Bahamas

I have been ignoring the blog for long now and it feels sad. I should write down about our Cruise Trip to Bahamas. We , being we wanted to get on a vacation as we had valid visa and wanted it to be somewhere outside US.
After a lot of contemplating we finally booked a 4-night cruise trip to Bahamas via the Royal Carribean.
We wanted to surprise my son and so did not tell him anything, he overheard me booking flight tickets for my daughter and myself to Miami and so I told my kids we (me +Riti) were going to Miami and not the boys.
My little one was super excited while my son is happy to be here with his friends.
Finally we flew from here to Miami Sun noon(Dec 2nd 2019) and reached there by eve. We took a cab to the resort and it was late evening by the time we reached. We then got fresh and went for a quick stroll out and then went for dinner at a Mexican place. Walked back and took rest at the hotel.
Next day (Dec 3rd , 2019..Monday)the kids woke up and kept jumping all about the place. We got them ready and then went to the beach for sometime, had lunch and then drove to the boarding port by noon.
Our luggage was taken at the port and was told would be delivered at our room.
We were then asked to go in the boarding area where our passports, visas and tickets were checked.
We spent some time at the lounge area as hubby had some work.

Finally by 2:30 we went inside the ship, we first went to our room which was a small but spacious area, there was a small bathroom, beds, lot of storage area, a dresser, sofa bunk beds on top for the kids. We placed our baggage and then went to explore the ship, there was a lift to take you everywhere, a huge casino, a swimming pool on top , a golf area, kids play area, a vb court, table tennis boards and many many more. There was a safety drill at the beginning and then we were dispersed off, pretty soon we realized the ship had set sail and we did not even realize we were on a moving vessel.
Soon we were hungry and went to one of the cafes nearby, unlimited food and sweets at our dispose, we ate like crazy. There is also a day care center that took care of the kids, we got fresh and then by 7 we dropped the kids to the day care center and visited the casino. We had dinner reservations at 8:30, so we picked the kids and went there. Dinner was great with the waiter and helper paying every attention to what we need. As soon as they saw we were Indians we got chicken curry and specialized shrimp fried rice which we got on all the days we had dinner.
After a hearty meal we went to our room for the nite.

The next day (Dec 4th, 2019..Tuesday)we woke up late morning and went for break-fast, there was a multiple of things to feast on, the hubby went and registered for table tennis competition which he won ofcourse, so we had to get food for him. We then registered for a game of volleyball which we won winners and runners as we were in two different teams. The boy wanted to play much of tt which he did with other people plus he went on the rides and we all did the bungee jumping, the daughter was not allowed due to age limitations. We then went and had lunch and walked across to make reservations for some snorkeling on the port that we would visit the next day.
Me and the boy registered which father and daughter decided to opt out of snorkeling for the next day.
We again left the kids to the day care in the evening and went to the casino, picked them later and went to the pool and hot tub and then went for dinner which was another feast in waiting.

To be Continued...….


My Little One started Swimming Classes

My little one, so enjoys water, she wants to splash and be in water the whole time, since she is 4.5 now and does not have any activity we decided to enroll her in swimming classes.
We asked her if she wanted to go and she said, nope, i do not want to go for any swimming classes.
Anyway we being parents, we enrolled her in the Winter Session in Foss starting from Jan 2019, Wed 8:15 class.
Come Wed, she went to play with her friend and then at 7:30, I asked the other girl to go home as we had to go out. Now, i had told the other girl's mother we had swimming classes and so while leaving the girl mentions, Oh, Riti has to go for swimming class.
When my little one heard this she went down on the floor with her legs in the air and started howling out loud. I do not want to go swimming waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah. Big brother was on her side as usual and started questioning why we had enrolled her  when she was not interested.
We somehow got her ready and told her there would be lots of toys and if she's not happy we will come back soon and the whole family went for baby's first swimming lesson.
Since it is later in the evening she was the only one in her batch in L1. Baby went fast into the water and put her face in, drew bubbles, did back swimming on a noodle and everything that the teacher wanted her to do.
When the class was over she asks the teacher if she can stay for some more time in the water. :)

Next class she had a fever and we could not take her, let's see how the other classes go.

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

40 new Things @40

I turned 40 this year and I am thinking I shd try and do 40 new things.
Let me list out a few
1)Started Tennis Class (in India, stopped now wish I could continue.)
2)Did Core Fitness (in India)
3)Started Mediation(trying to start)
4)Went to MOA to celebrate new years
5)Went for a movie alone in US (Andhadhun)
6)Went to a Bollywood Nite with girl friends.(Blue Fox@St Louis)
7)Went out with Volleyball Girls for drinks(1st time after playing together for 4 years)
8)Got my hair curled for Diwali Nite
9)Went for a Cruise Vacation
10)Went for a HolidayParty to a 9 round member's home
11)Danced with my son on Dandiya
12)Was up at nite with the girls putting Mehendi
13)Attended a funeral in US(sad moment)
14)Went to a dance pub(Downtown) with girlfriends
15)Had a nite-out at one of the empty apartments in our building with girlfriends.
16)Vacating an apartment, everyone has to move out as they are renovating
17)Started Cricket
18)Traveled to Disney with Family +Parents(Fun Time)
19)Did Warrior Dash for the first time
20) Stayed at home for over a month now(Quarantine Effect)
21) No outside food for over a month now(Quarantine Effect)
22) Did sewing for the first time. Volunteered to make some masks and required to get this from a friend and start sewing.
23) Did Meditation every night continuous for a month.
24) Had the whole family (kids + hubby) at home all time for 24/7. Enjoyed it so much
25)Did PolarPlunge for the first Time last year and followed up this year too.
26)Did workouts at home. 9 round(Quarantine Effect)
27)Became a school Teacher@home as Kids have Distance Learning 


2018 was a wonderful year with it's ups and downs.
To start with we were in India, having fun with cousins/parents/Dindu had to go to her play school and Ritvik went to his new school.
Celebrated Pongal at the farm in true traditional style.

February -The husband and son traveled back to US and we went for a short trip to Pune. Riti had fun with her veliamma, I got pampered as usual.

March--Came back to Coimbatore, went on a one day trip to Chennai  for Biometrics, also joined Tennis, going out for movies with cousins and having fun.

April-again short trip to Pune, visa got issued, passport collected and back to US
May- vacationing.
June-joined back to work , Dindu started daycare, playing a lot of volleyball, went camping
July--celebrated Dindu's bday with friends, she wants more and more bdays :) went out to Willow Farms, won the Summer VB Tournament, completed 200 workouts in 9 rounds and wrote my name on the wall.
Aug--celebrated hubby's birthday, attended india Fest , bday parties, housewarming parties, gave a surprise baby shower to a dear friend, celebrated our own Broadmoor Independence day, celebrated Onam and Raksha Bandhan
Sept--School started, more VB Tournament, watched movies .
Oct-watche dmovies, went for dandiya nite,did a mehendi nite at Broadmoor, kite festival at BM, attended Halloween party at BM
Nov--Diwali function at BM, Diwali get-together at Office,combined the Boys bday celebrations,more bdays,Thanksgiving family dinner.
Dec-Cruise Vacation  to Bahamas, more bday parties, Holiday party, new year at MOA