Archive for June, 2008

Some people are calling us crazy, but we are making the best of our short summer. On Saturday, we started off @ 8.30 am to one of our favorite bike trails – Cape cod canal trail in Buzzards bay. The day started off damp, cloudy and foggy. But when we arrived there and were getting ready to start off, it cleared up. Although it was a bit muggy, the pleasant breeze from the canal kept us cool through out. Unlike our last year’s experience, the trail was not very crowded. We did the 7 miles in about 50 minutes. AK is not really zipping in his new bike as I had thought he would. I think he still finds it a bit too tall for him. But overall, it was still a good effort. The trail ends in Scusset beach. The beach was deserted and visibility was low from the fog around there. The kids briefly played in the sand. We had a Sagamore bridgequick brunch and started back around noon. We were back at the car by 1 pm. Cape Cod Canal Railroad Bridge

From there, we were off to North Kingstown, RI to attend the annual RI air show. This year the British Red Arrows were the main draw. I was really blown away by the show. I liked it much better than last year’s Blue angels show (although their thundering sounds were more impressive than the Red Arrows). The Red Arrows were so quiet that, at times, I wouldn’t even know where they were coming from, until the announcer would say it. But the show was spectacular – 9 planes, in all sorts of close formation and giving out red, white and blue clouds of smoke in different patterns! The kids enjoyed it too. Although the show was over by 4.30 pm, we hung around there for an extra hour, with few other friends, mainly to avoid the crawl back to the highway. Last year, it was a nightmare, where it took us well over an hour to go about 4 miles to join the highway.

British red ArrowState Capitol In Providence, RI

Next stop was Providence downtown. When we reached there, we found easy street parking and let SK nap in the car a bit longer. PK caught up on calls to friends and I walked around to the capitol and took the picture above. Even though we had snacked on a lot of junk food during the air show, everyone was hungry. Most of us went to the waterplace basin, to snag good spots to see the Waterfire. Two friends were kind enough to get very yummy Pizza, Onion rings and french fries. The weather was very pleasant and we were well fed. So all of us hung around happily for the lighting to start. Once the fire was lit, it was a beautiful sight and the music and the warmth, sweet smell and crackling sound of the wood made it a truly unique experience. I wished we could have hung around longer but all of us were so tired and we had the hour long drive back too, so we left around 10 pm. Then we had a relaxing, lazy Sunday.


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Canoes and Kayaks waiting for the bats\' flight at dusk

State CapitolState Capitol lit at night

 Downtown from Congress Ave Bridge













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It all started about 3 years ago – summer of ’05. PK used to have all kinds of fancy wishes. One of them was to buy a motorcycle. I used to tease him that he had hit an early mid-life crisis and he should just let it pass. After about the fourth time he had asked me if he should go ahead and buy one, I told him to first go get a license and then we could decide. I really wasn’t expecting any action on his part. With in a week, he got his learner’s permit, did the riders’ course and got his license.

Without going into too many details, he put himself in the uncomfortable position of being obliged to buy a friend’s motorcycle. That meant, not much negotiations on any thing. When it officially became his, it was mid-September, almost the end of the riding season. Soon after that, it had some problem and wouldn’t start. He had to get it towed to the repair shop and get it fixed. We were down several hundered dollars, on top of the thousands that we already paid. I began to hate it. The motorcycle itself is actually quite good looking. It is a Harley and is the envy of most of his/our friends. But he barely gets any opportunities to ride it. The weather only permits its use about four or five months in a year. With his constant business travels, he spends little time at home. During those same months, we are busy with all kinds of summer fun. So, he doesn’t get to ride often. And he doesn’t have any company either, so he mostly goes on short rides with in a 50 mile radius. There’s the registration, insurance and other ongoing costs. For how little it gets used, it is draining.

This week, due to some unforeseen circumstances, it spent two nights in heavy rain in my office parking lot. I don’t want to nag him but I’ll be glad when if he gets rid of it.

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If it is father’s day and you are in New England, it has to be at Canobie Lake Park, right? (They have free admission and lunch for dads when you pay for a kid). But this time, the decision was not such a no-brainer. The day started off dark and drizzly. I checked the forecast and the high was supposed to be 62. This, after a week of 90+ days. We had planned to go with four families and slowly one by one, they started to drop out. We decided to bail too. For about half hour. Then I decided we have to go – we have only a few summer weekends and we have stuff planned for most weekends, so if we didn’t do this now, I wasn’t sure we could go back this season at all. I explained this “now or never” to our close friends and they signed back on right away. Because of this dilly-dallying, we were there a bit later than we would have liked to, but it was a day well spent.

The upside to the chilly, damp weather was the short lines. Some of the popular rides with the kids – like the antique cars, the mini-bumper cars etc, the wait was less than 5 minutes. Last year, we had waited about 45 minutes for these rides. They were able to go on these rides several times. Even for some of the bigger roller coasters like corkscrew, star blaster etc, there were no lines at all. We walked right in. Through out the day, all of us had to wear our sweat shirts and fleece tops, so it didn’t really feel like a summer day. We didn’t go on any of the big water rides, but some of us went on a few mildly wet ones. The ponchos we had saved from our trip to the Niagara helped.

The highlight for me was how enjoyable the visits to the parks are, as the kids grow older. AK is now the required height for all rides except one. So, he was able to come on most rides and he has also started to be less afraid and more open to trying the new rides. He has been a late bloomer, in this sense. Up until he was 5, he only did the toddler aged rides and was afraid to try anything new. The classic moment I remember was in StoryLand when he was 4. The bamboo shute is a wet ride which we all love. I didn’t go on any rides that year since I was expecting, so PK was the one going with him. We coaxed him to go once and he agreed. He did ok on the ride, but wasn’t particularly thrilled. When PK was insisting on taking him again, AK says “This is the last time, Ok daddy? After this we really have to go home”. It was funny to see the role reversal since it was mostly the dads saying it to their kids. He used to be very scared of sledding in the snow too and he has come a long way from those years. He went on all the rides with us. When he was going on the antique cars for the third time, he said “I want to take my whole family” and so he and his sister sat in the front and we sat at the back and he drove us. At that moment, I felt very old, in a nice sort of way. It won’t be long before he’s driving us in his own car! SK too, absolutely loves these rides. I remember last year, she was fussing and throwing tantrums to get off when the rides were over, but now she understands the rules. It was great to hear her scream and laugh in delight on many of spinning rides like the tea cups and the rooster ride.

I wish they had better food options – the only thing I liked was the spicy fries and the nachos. We went on more rides after filling up on junk. Despite snack breaks and bath room breaks with four kids, we did cover a lot of rides and some of them, multiple times. We finally left around 8.15 pm. It was a great bonding experience, more so than last year. I’m looking forward to many more visits to the various theme parks in the years to come.

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Yay Celtics!!

It is not officially over yet, but the Celtics are shooting lights out – lots of three pointers!! I’ve never been a fan of the Lakers, so I find this especially satisfying. How thoroughly they have dominated this lopsided game. I guess another 5 minutes and it will be all over for LAL.  I couldn’t be happier.

School year is over for AK and he has the next 2 months off. He’ll be going to a camp for a month and then going to India to see family. We are all excited about the trip.

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Another year gone by

AK turned seven last week. The years have gone by so fast, it is SCARY! He looks and feels like a really big boy now. He chose to have a bowling birthday party at AMF. There were 10 kids from his class and two little ones (our own SK and a friend of hers). Surprisingly, the little ones left older ones alone and didn’t fuss that they wanted to bowl too. I was pleasantly surprised at how well they just hung around playing their own little games. They got to bowl for an hour and was nice to watch. I do think the older kids’ party is more fun. At younger ages, it is more work for the parents, but now, most parents just drop off the kids who play by themselves. We socialized with the few parents who chose to stay.

After the game, there was the party. The pizza was so-so, but the kids really lapped it up, some more than others. I felt it was too salty. Then was the cake cutting – we had ice cream cake. And then it was giving out the party favors and bye-byes. It was a very enjoyable evening.


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Crazy monday morning

SK has been unwell the last couple days. She had mild temperature and very little appetite. I attributed it mostly to the scorching weather here (mid 90s for the third day in a row, expected to continue for 2 more days) since she had no other symptoms. She was fever free last evening, so I was hoping she was on the mend. She woke up at 5.30 am and asked for milk. She drank it all and promptly threw it up all over herself, me, the bed and the bathroom. It took me over an hour to clean up the whole mess, bathe her and shower. Then she went back to bed and I went about my morning, goading AK to get ready, packing his lunch etc, all the while not sure how she would be when she woke up. She was still sleeping at 7.40 am and I was talking to AK about walking to the bus stop all by himself, in case she didn’t wake up. I was also trying to explain to him that I may not be able to attend the medal ceremony in his school in case she was unwell. Just then I heard her awake and went up. She asked for water. I picked her up and she felt a bit warm. Still holding her, I put the thermometer in her ear. That triggered another all out throw up session on both of us and another half hour more of frantic cleaning. I now feel the whole bedroom and bathroom are stinking. The laundry is still pending.

Since I don’t have alternate childcare, armed with lots of extra towels and paper towels, we both attended the award ceremony. She did great, was very quiet and well behaved for the 30 minutes. Then, when we were leaving she started fussing that she wanted to go to her school and not back home. It has taken me an hour now to calm her down and accept that she will be home today. We have the pediatrician appointment in an hour – I just hope it is nothing too bad. And I hope we get some relief from this hot, hellish weather.

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It has been 10 years since I last actively followed NBA. I generally know who’s in the playoffs, finals and ultimately wins, but rarely in recent years have I sat and watched an entire game, let alone a series. But the local radio stations are going crazy with anticipation! (Probably TV stations too, but I don’t watch much TV). On the way to and work, that is all I heard. Especially after the Superbowl disappointment, this must be a saving grace. So, I guess I’ll tune in tonight. Will probably be watching a bit of TV this weekend (French Open is on, you see).

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Summer stress

Here in the Northeast, we wait all winter long for good weather and I put a bit too much pressure on myself to make the most of summer when it arrives. This summer, we will be out of the country for 4 weeks, so I’m trying to cram as much as possible in the remaining 8 weeks that we will be here. But my schedule is being taken over by birthday parties, school year end events, socializing etc.

This was our first year in the public school. It is amazing how many events they cram towards the end – field trips, sports day, award ceremonies, picnic etc. I tried to participate in as many as I can. I did not imagine that they would have a picnic and a kids’ show one day before the last day of school. So I agreed to go on a business trip and it turns out now I’ll miss the picnic and the show. I’m terribly upset and AK was very disappointed. PK’ll go, so hopefully that is some solace for AK, but I would have loved to be around. I was given a 3 week window for my trip and I chose what seemed to be the most harmless dates.

Talking about birthday parties, now little SK also gets invited to her own parties. For both the kids, I politely decline to go if the birthday kids are not close friends, but even the minimal list that we go to is growing. I’m also trying to arrange AK’s party in 2 weeks. Even though I go for the “everything taken care of” types of places, we still have the cards/rsvps/goodie bags to manage. And last year, there was one kid’s parents who showed up with him, without having RSVP’ed. Not a big deal, but I was one goodie bag short (trying to put together 17 goodie bags for boys and girls of different ages is hard!) . I quietly gave away SK’s since she was too young to understand, but one or two more like that and I’d be in a soup. And I won’t be able to do that this year since SK is older and a lot smarter.

Two sets of friends are moving. One has a firm date and I’m trying to organize a small farewell party. The others have a 2 month window (Housing market is bad and I don’t envy anyone who is trying to sell now). Old friends are moving. We are making new friends (mostly families of our kids’ friends). The next one year is probably going to be very different for us …

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