Continued from here.
The beer sampler did the trick, for the first time on my vacation I slept until 8am PST, that was a big change considering its 10am my time, and finally I was able to get rid of the red eyes, which everybody were making fun of.
Third day was when we were supposed to drive upto Seattle, since most of my cousins are late raisers, the plan got pushed from 8 am to 10:30 am departure. My aunt had made interestingly pongal out of sevai, which apparently they prepare a lot, and I had never tasted it before. Considering its a south Indian dish, I found it odd that I had never tried it before.
My niece T gave me a good hour of “Yo! Gabba Gabba” and “wow wow Wubzy”, it was fun with her explaining what she sees on tv, as we spent time on the couch as others were getting ready.
Drive to Seattle was fun filled with lot of kodbale’s [snack] to be munched and most importantly a discussion I had with one of my cousin as my aunt slept on the back seat, the discussion went beyond an hour and a half, and we spoke a lot of things about his experiences and changes to lifestyle of an Indian who has settled in America for about more than 15 years, and also his point of view of the boom we are seeing in Bangalore, and the attitude. We spoke about investments, education, and also finances. It was by far the most productive discussion in the trip, enjoyed it totally though very much different from the other conversations I had during the vacation.
As we entered Seattle downtown, we began seeing some really cool looking buildings, and we ended up in the downtown to see the “space needle”, the first stop for the day. Apparently there was a fair near that place celebrating memorial day, so it was fun waiting in the queue listening to native American music. As it was the first sunny weekend in Seattle, I could see lot of women interestingly dressed, or should I say undressed ;). Was fun all in all.
The view from there was superb, and I liked the idea of having a bar up at such heights, unfortunately I could not taste any of the wine because my aunt and uncle were present. We spent quite some time looking around the place, and also it was pretty crowded.
As we began to leave the place, we got hooked onto the gift shop and the family portrait they had shot of us, it had come out really good, and we all wanted a copy of that, so this meant my cube at work has a small frame sitting reminding me of every the good times.
For the first time I rode mono rail in Seattle, to get to pike’s market. It was fun and a new experience, even though it was nothing different than a bus, just in shape of a train, the view from it was good.
Pike’s market in Seattle is so much like our avenue road in Bangalore, but slightly less congested and right in front of the ocean. We had fun walking around the place, even though it stinks like hell in there with all kinds of meat being sold. We walked around, goofed around, sat in the park chatting and finally by evening we started our way back to Portland, after a stop for dinner at a joint which serves Indian version of the American pizza. Even though I don’t prefer it, it was fun in group.
I spent the whole trip back sleeping on the back seat, I did not realize 4 hours of drive, when we reached home, we all were tired and just slept like log.
The last day of vacation was supposed to be just home. We had a feast ala a festival which my aunt had prepared, including all south Indian festival food. A perfect send off meal. We did go out to do some memorial day shopping, and I did buy few shirts but we did not have much time so we hurried up.
Finally we had reached the toughest part, saying goodbyes, its horrible to see your vacation end, specially when you have loved it. I did not want it to end at all. Considering that I had to return to he cubeland to horrible queue of meetings the next day.T fell asleep and was totally out of mood, so it was sad we could not have a cheerful goodbye from her, however we just hung at the airport talking for sometime, finally it was time to pass through security.
I had an interesting lady sitting next to me in flight to Denver, she was an old African American lady, who carried a novel with a very sleazy cover. We spoke a lot over next few hours, discussing books, and also family, India, and her work, and my work. She even offered me a drink which she had carried along with her, unfortunately I don’t like the scotch, so had to turn her down.
I had a layover at Denver for a night, the sleep there was horrible, I have never seen an airport which has chairs in such a bad shape, however you try, you could not rest your head. I did try to sleep on the floor for a bit, but carpet cleaners woke me up periodically. Finally I gave up and just woke up.
Reached Texas after a awkward flight from Denver to Dallas. There was a nursing mother sitting next to me, and its really uncomfortable with her feeding her baby now and then, and me being totally embarrassed and trying to look the other way, anyways that forms another big topic for discussion later.
So until next vacation, adios.