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A Short Trip To Seattle

Sunrise

Last week, Varun, Vipul and I headed to Seattle for a quick trip. We had some personal work to take care of while Vipul had some work to deal with. So, off we went on a long flight to Pacific Northwest. Its been a year since we left Seattle and it was sweet to return!

Spring is in the air and we enjoyed a couple of days of sunshine before the weather returned to classic Seattle pattern of overcast and drizzly.

Crocus in bloom

Enjoying the cold and the flowers

Almost Spring with Hellebores

On overcast days, our day started with a hot chai tea latte – Tall, non fat, extra hot with four pumps of chai for that perfectly hot and sweet energizing start at the corner Starbucks.

Chai Tea at Corner Star bucks

Followed by playtime at Kids cove in Bellevue Square Mall. Varun used to love this as a baby and seemed to love it even more as an active toddler climbing, running and generally having a ball.

Playing at Kids Cove in the mall

We shared a love for Sun Chips and cheesecake. While Vipul was at work, we met with my friends over lunch at Blue C Sushi.

Sharing my love for Sun chips

Lunch at Blue C Sushi

Rainbow Sushi

Or at Med Kitchen when Vipul could sneak out for lunch with us.

Med kitchen

The six days we were there, we caught up with friends, shopped a bit and enjoyed our favorite restaurants. The dinner table at Din Tai Fung was so full that the servers didn’t have space to set the dishes while we ate.

Food and Fun at Din Tai Fung

Juicy pork dumplings I miss ya so

Red Robin burger

Trophy cupckae

The best part was seeing the toddlers play together. Giggles as they chased each other, cries as they wanted the same exact toy and high squeals when they met each other in the evenings (after being away at daycare during the day!)They copied each other and it was fun to just watch them.

moments of fights and love

Missing you vivaas

Vinay and Ashvin

The flight took forever to reach US and since Varun and I were travelling by ourselves it was hard to get any sleep on the flight. Plus it was a challenge to get him to sit in his seat with seat belts on during take off and landing. And with potty training in progress, every hour we were making trips to the restroom where Varun attracted by the red button would end up calling the attendant! I think they were annoyed after the second false alarm. And once at London airport, all he wanted to do was run up and down the escalators. Somehow we managed to get to US without losing each other or our sanity.

I experienced all the things our parents do on short trips to USA – unfriendly flight attendants who don’t understand your accent, delight over the cleanliness of the place and size of the cars, the variety of produce, crispness of salads and the convenience of life in US while being so close to nature. Varun loved seeing squirrels and deer in the backyard with birds flitting around. We even went on a short walk bundled up against the cold picking twigs, leaves and pebbles.

I guess the cold weather was a welcome change from warm and trending to hot Hyderabad. I doubt we would have taken a walk if we were actually living in Seattle.

A visiting deer

Varun and I was jet lagged most of the evenings and by the time we got over jet lag it was time to head back home. It was comforting to be back in Seattle but weird to see some other folks live in our ex-home. When we drove by in the neighborhood after some shopping at Target, it almost seemed natural to take the left turn and pull into our driveway. Vipul’s hand naturally reached for the automatic garage door opener that we had in our car when reality hit us.

Oh, the home cooked goodness by my friends was pure delight. Peach roll with fresh fruits and cream, smoked salmon omelette with avocado and olive bread. Varun loved things that his buddy was eating – Cheddar bunnies, strawberries and french toast while he outright rejected snacks he used to love as a baby – string cheese, blueberries and avocados.

Peach roll with fresh fruits

Smoked Salmon and Avocado on Olive bread

A trip to Costco and Target was nothing short of awesome.I stocked up on clothes, books, toys for Varun, condiments and baking supplies, even a brand new stainless steel set. I love Costco and just going in the giant warehouse made me skip!

Back home, we are still jet lagged. And are missing the lovely time spent with friends. Soon, we will make another trip. When its warmer! Real soon!

Hanging out with Friends and Family

We had a lively and refreshing weekend get together with friends and family in Lonavla.

A couple of friends are on their bi-annual trip to India from US and after a long back and forth we settled on 16th Dec to meet up in Lonavla. With date and destination fixed we reached out and soon we had others joining in. Some we had not seen in years and others whom we are separated from since our move to India nine months ago.

We met them over two days- had lot of good food ( Kutchi Dabeli and Vada pav), shared updates, ooh-ed- aah-ed over the kids antics and laughed till our bellies ached!

Also, as we were in Lonavla, Vipul’s brother and niece made the trip home to see Varun. My parents, brother and SIL came to visit us as well. Megha and Varun climbed like monkeys on the window grill , gave some milk to the cat instead of drinking it themselves and generally kept their grandmom’s busy.

Big sister

Watching the cats drink milk

With aajis

Climbing up the grill

Varun and Megha played with ‘Talking Tom’ on Aniket mama’s phone.

With mama and his Talking Tom

We met Vinay, Nandu and Ashwin after a long time. You guys rock for driving down from Mumbai to see us 🙂 I am so glad you made it. Seeing you made me miss Redmond even more than ever! It was amazing to see Ashwin try and copy Varun and run around in the front yard.

Bhats and Hingnes

Then Ripin and Rachna came next morning with vada pav, chocolates and cheerios. Soon Kunal, Manisha and Aryan joined us. More stories to share, laughter and another round of vada pav. We met rest of the gang at Kinara restaurant along Mumbai- Pune highway. A perfect location for families to linger while kids play around.

Punwanis

P1070240

The Doshi’s and Shah’s drove together from Mumbai 🙂 Jekkin and Shailesh – it was great to see you after almost a decade. Oh, your kids are adorable.

Varun was so excited to see so many kids around.

At lunch!More food

We were simply chatting up a storm while the kids ran around, pushed cradles , sat on swings – all in all a fun afternoon.

Pushing the cradle

Moushika

Aryan and his sweet smile

Playing

Exploring

After hours of chatting, giggling and chasing kids around, and hints from the management, we moved the party to Ripin’s house. After tea we had to make a move to go home and pack for our flight back to Hyderabad. I was surprised how fast the weekend disappeared.

True friends have that effect on you – they make time to visit you and you pick up with them right where you left off , like no time has passed by.Hope Varun is blessed with loving caring friends just as we are !!

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