Thursday, December 20, 2007

A holiday to remember

This has been one long break on my blog accentuated by the fact that I already got the pizza coupons due to the recall in the mail today, (and no, I did not eat that pizza, although I was pretty confident there would have been no after effects!). At times I wish my work would present me with such a break! Bench sounds awesome at this time, but probably in a month I would be writing about the ill-effects on being on bench. Typical grass is greener on the other side attitude.

Back to business, and it has been an erratic, unpredictable and enjoyable past month culminating with yet another 'change of address'. Erratic is the perfect way to describe my work at this point without getting into details! Unpredictable are my plans for myself and others for me! Let's not talk about that too, I can talk about the enjoyable at length.

The start to the thanksgiving weekend seemed anything but perfect. Decided to avoid the traffic rush and headed out to IAH only about 1.5 hours before my departure time and as fate would have it, the rain God decided to shower us! A treacherous drive got me in time for my 9:15 PM flight and the first thing I noticed on entering the airport was the two hour delay on my flight. Continental did a good job of finding another plane despite the fact that the original aircraft seemed stranded in New Orleans, due to all the rain!(pity those folks).

My destination was Santa Clara, landed at SFO airport, and somehow ended up at the departure terminal (Set to go back already?) Nothing as relaxing as seeing a familiar face after a long time and I was mentally preparing myself to enjoy the holiday. I wouldn't say it was not to be, as I found myself logging into work…just to make sure! And issues there were, although I was spared to quite an extent!!

Thanksgiving Day was reserved for 'The Rock', and the other regular touristy stuff around SFO including the Golden Gate, Fisherman's Wharf and Sausalito. Of course it seemed like one couldn't do without trying out the world famous ice-cream at the Ghirardelli Square. I enjoyed the world famous Hot Fudge Sundae but still think it can't be compared to our own Ideal's.

Lake Tahoe is beautiful in all respects; the drive was scenic and enchanting. It was not snowing, and yet the temperatures were in the late 20's. Since Skiing was first on our list of things to do, we decided to head out to the Boreal ski resort where fake snow was being churned out on the slopes and yet it looked welcoming. Geared up literally with the ski's, ski poles, clothing and the boots all inclusive in a package which included the ski lesson too.

The ski boots are insanely heavy and after trudging in them for a little, I felt like taking them off. A little more than an hour of ski instruction and I knew how to put on my ski's! and the theory of skiing and controlling my speed and stopping although I wasn't able to completely put it to practice. The 2-5 ° slopes sufficed me, yet the chair lift was beckoning us, all I wanted to do was get on them and get back down on the same lifts. Who would have realized that it was only a one-way ticket!.

I didn't even feel confident of getting up on to the beginner slope and how we ended on the inter/expert slope is hence no question of debate. Getting on and off the chairlift itself was such a joke and of -course the staff there probably are used to people who know what to do!

The top of the slope!, an almost 60° slope which looked beautiful and scary!!!, We just stood on the top for a few minutes gazing in awe and I thinking up tactics on how I could ski or rather slide down. Despite all this, a photo op was not to be missed; after all I was one of the few people who decided to carry a camera on a ski slope!!! All the worry of ‘how to get down a ski slope when you did not even get down a beginner slope’ was set to later!

Down we had to go, there was no other way. With kids zooming by and me feeling extremely foolish, I managed to slide down the ski slope!!! With one ski on my foot and the other in hand…Gosh, am I glad there was no one with a video cam! And despite the initial mishaps I managed to get down the slope with minor bruises and in good time!

That was enough skiing for a lifetime and I couldn’t wait to rest my feet and rest we did at the Ferrari Crown Motel, would recommend this place to anyone visiting the area. After a delicious dinner at a local steakhouse, we decided to call it a night and after a scrumptious breakfast the next day, we set out to the casino’s to utilize some of my beginner’s luck only to realize that there’s no such thing as beginner's luck!!! A drive down to South Lake Tahoe and after more oohing and aahing about the vista, we headed back to San Francisco. Eventide had set in when we reached Santa Clara. It was Nov 24th, 2007.

The rest of my vacation was reserved for relaxing and personal time, meeting up with relatives and friends and more drives into San Francisco and the many neighboring towns!

My first experience on a red-eye flight was awesome and I awoke only in time to hear the announcement that we were set to land in Houston. And you know you are in Houston with all the Tuesday morning traffic snarls, and despite that you make it in time for a day at work.

4 years in a single and only organization and the date didn't even register!

Writing about San Francisco and thereabouts (PST), started the post in Houston (CST), wrote the major sections in schiphol airport (CET) and publishing it from Mangalore (IST)...

Excuse the mess up of timelines in this post as it was started a couple of weeks ago and published only today.