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First Trip to United States!

November 23, 2007

My first trip to United States came as a surprise (not so pleasant) to me as I had to travel from office just a month after my marriage and that too for 3 months!!!

Taking the change in our stride, we (me and darshit) both started to plan on how to get the best out of this time. And to our amazement it turned out to be an unexpected welcome family break! Yes you heard it right.. a family get-to-gather in US!!

Me and my colleagues flew to US and stayed in Oakwood Appartments at Palo Alto, California. I must say that it is one of the best service appartments in US. Oakwood has its chain in India as well.

It is definitely a comfortable stay for longer duration.

Our stay at oakwood was funfilled. Every day after office hours, we used to gather at my appartment to prepare something edible! After 3 months of great struggle, I must say that Srini definitely learnt chopping onions and oven cooked rice and Sharath the so called round chappatis!! What? You dont belive me?!! Wait I can show you…

hahahaha… See we have a proof too! And this was the final outcome.. Doesn’t it look yummy?!!


Initially we had manageable work but as days passed, I got involved in some work and had to spend some sleepless nights too 😛

But things changed as my brother co-incidentally had to come to Palo Alto, California for a business trip around the same time and… the height of co-incidence was that his office was just a wall away from mine!

This was the best arrangement that I could ever plan of. Darshit joined us immediately a day after my brother landed in US. And then what to say – We three had fantabulous time together!!

The good part of the trip was the places we all visited. And the best part was my trip with darshit to all the beautiful places nearby. I will list them with the most liked place first.

1) Big Sur and Point Reyes

Big Sure Coast runs about 12 miles between the Santa Lucia moutains alongside Pacific Ocean.This coastline just gives a breathtaking view all along…….

Point Reyes Light Station is a lighthouse in the Gulf of Farallones on Point Reyes in Marin County and it gives a 270 degree view of the ocean!! You become a very minor speck sticking to the top of the lighthouse and speechless to see the beauty around. You become aware that how much small atom you are in this vast vast universe.!!!!

And we all were completely mesmerized by the nature surrounding us in its full bloom!!

2) Grand Canyon and the sky walk

Do I need to introduce you to this place? Nat Geo has rated this place as the No. 1 tourist place in the world. And I completely agree with Nat Geo.

You have this huge.. grand canyon with colorado river running approx 6000 feet down! Its just abysmally huge….! And its just SPECTACULAR especially when you walk on that glass (sky walk) and can see 6000 feet below your feet…… Got scared and jumped? Dont worry.. all those walking on the sky walk were just doing that.. hahahaha…

3) Six Flags, theme park

Six flags is one of the world’s largest chains of amusement and theme parks. And after spending one day at six flag, I became more aware of my life.. hehehe.

But I gave a good pat on my back after I realized that I survived one of the most dangerous rides of California called Medusa not only by enjoying the ride but enjoying it from the front most seat!!! Bravo!

4) Camping at Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park, one of the first wilderness parks in the U.S., is best known for its waterfalls. But within its 1170 square miles, deep valleys, grand meadows, ancient giant sequoias, vast wilderness and captivating wildlife also exist. Situated in California’s Sierra Nevada mountain range, Yosemite’s peaks soar to above 13,000 feet above sea level.

The enchanting view of the seamless nature thriving so silently makes you feel a part of it.

I felt a strange oneness with everything in Yosemite and so was exuding happiness after reaching very close to the Yosemite Falls! Really an experience which can only be felt.

5) Las Vegas, Nevada.

The name Las Vegas throws a picture of Casino and gamblers in front of us. The city thrives on gambling but then there is much more it too.

You have choreographed fountain to the worlds most dangerous rides there.

The best part was that we stayed in Stratosphere hotel which holds the most dangerous ride on its terrace and is also the tallest point in Vegas!


The best casino in Vegas is Bellagio which is also famous for its Fountain dance. The others are MGM, Excalibur, Luxor, Caesar’s palace, Mandalay Bay, Flamingo (the first casino in Vegas).

Here you find a other side of yours.. enjoying gambling, roaming on the strip in the night and just let yourself get mesmerized with the man made beauty!

6) Universal Studios, Los Angeles

Universal Studios is located in the heart of Hollywood. We (me and Darshit) just enjoyed this place thoroughly. The rides here are such a fun. If I had to compare the rides of Six Flags with Universal Studios, I would say that Six Flags rides are 20% fun and 80% thrill while here its otherwise. So, if you enjoy the fun on rides, this is a perfect place for you.

Moreover it has a tour to all the famous studios in hollywood and its the only time you get to just sit and relax.. because for the rest of the time, you spend screeming with joy on rides!!

7) Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America and is the second deepest lake in United States.

We all were very excited to visit Lake Tahoe and to our amazement when we reached there, it snowed heavily!! That was the best thing that could have happened. We enjoyed the snow in summer! And this gave us the opportunity to do ice skating!

8) Mystery Spot, SantaCruz.

Its still a mystery. Its fun to see yourself standing slant and not straight! There is some gravity locha (mystery) there…!

But at the end.. its fun to see such weird things which do not fall within your understanding.

9) Los Angeles.

We went to Rhodeo drive in Beverly hills. Probably the most famous star-studded shopping street in the world!! The area is real posh.. is there any word even more superlative? Here we saw those real beauties which I havent seen in India.. Oh come on.. I am talking about cars…. Lambhorgini…. uuuhhh.. speeding through the roads breaking all the speed limits! I was almost gaping at those cars! Whoa what a drive!

Also went to LA downtown and some places nearby like Laguna Beach. It is heard that Laguna Beach has some of the most beautiful beaches in Southern California. And I am in complete complaince with it 🙂

10) San Fransisco

We drove through the Golden Gate bridge in awe! It has an awe inspiring view as you can see that it is a man made wonder! And all you can do is to bow down and appreciate!

I should not forget to mention the crooked street in SF! Its is really really crooked and you need to have a first hand experience of driving on SF roads before trying the crooked street.

Also I kind of believe that even other roads are not so less crooked in SF downtown!

11) Stanford University

Its one of those coveted universities which spans 8,180-acre. And you can just find yourself lost on each step you take!

Also I feel we can not appreciate any beauty with empty stomach. Therefore I am listing few of those restaurants whose food taste I still remember.

Info on some restaurants which I really liked

1. Chat Palace – The only restaurant with authentic indian food. Must try the masala bhindi

2. Chipotle – It has very tasty mexican food. A must try.

3. Stinking Rose – It has garlic everywhere and in everything. A must try for its unique theme and extremely yummy food.

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