Trip to Victoria BC – Day 3

Here is the final post about our Victoria trip. Here are the previous posts – day 1 and day 2. On day 3, we had planned to go whale watching. We checked out of the hotel in the morning, and left for the harbor. Our whale watching boat was in the afternoon.  Since we didn’t have anything specific to do in the morning, we just went around for a walk. The weather was awesome. We just took a stroll around the harbor aimlessly. It was fun. We ate some street food, I bought a couple of earrings and we took a few pics. We then headed to the Noodlebox for lunch. All of us loved that place and wanted to eat there one more time before we headed back to Seattle. We ate some yummy noodles and went for whale watching. We had to go and report to them before we could get on the boat. They talked to us about the different kinds of whales and what we could be seeing that day. The kids had so much fun listening to that talk.

Once we were in the boat, the kids wanted to get to top deck, but were not allowed. They were very disappointed initially, but soon we found out that bottom deck was the best. Once the boat gained speed, it was very very cold out on the deck. We wore our double layered jackets and caps and it was still cold. The bottom part of the boat had doors. So, we shut them and stayed inside. We had a pretty good view from the inside as well. When the boat came to a place where there was a possibility of whale sighting, they slowed down. Then we got on to the deck and waited for the whales to come to the surface. We saw a bunch of them going around in groups. A couple of the whales got very near to our boat. It was amazing to watch them so closely out in the sea. The kids were very excited.

Whale close to our boat
Two whales from a distance

Once we were back from the tour, we went back to the hotel to get our luggage, and got on the ferry. We were very happy with our 3 day trip and were ready to go back home (even if we would only call it home for one more day. We moved to California the next day). I was very worried about being nauseous again and had taken those tablets ahead of time. But, this time we had a better ferry and the ride was much better.  I was not nauseous at all. We reached home at midnight. We were tired and fell asleep very quickly.

I am very happy that we decided to go on that trip even if it was in between our moving and stuff. It was lots of fun.


Trip to Victoria BC – Day 2

Okay, here I am writing about our Victoria trip in bits and pieces. We went for a three day trip. I wrote about Day 1 here.

On the second day, we had planned to go to Butterfly Gardens and Butchart Gardens. We booked this as a package along with the ferry. So, all we did was go to the ferry terminal and boarded a bus. We went to the butterfly gardens first. We had about 45 min to see this place. It was more than enough. It was a small but beautiful place with a tropical climate controlled area. There were many different kinds of butterflies freely flying all around us. They also had some ants and other insects on display. The kids were fascinated by that.

Butterfly Gardens

From there we went to Butchart Gardens. There are a vast number of plants and many different varieties of flowers. It is really beautiful. It is almost like a big maze. It would have been hard to navigate through without a map. It took us about two hours to see the entire place. The kids got bored after a while, but I loved it. I could have spent another hour in the rose garden itself. Oh my god… so many different kinds of roses. Here are some of the roses from the garden.

It was a nice warm and sunny day and after walking around the gardens we were tired. They had an ice cream shop at the end of the gardens. So, we ate ice cream and then I bought some seeds for me and my parents.

We then took the bus back to the ferry terminal and walked back to the hotel. S and the kids wanted to go to the pool, but they were tired. They just relaxed while I worked for a bit. We then went out to dinner. We wanted to go to a restaurant which had some interesting menu options. But, that place had a 30 min wait. We were hungry. So we went to a nearby mall which had a food court. There were some options in the food court including an Indian place. We took some roti and sabji which was okay. We then did a little bit of shopping for souvenirs in a local shop and headed to the hotel.

All of us were very tired. I did have some work stuff to finish. The kids read for a while and fell asleep. It was a wonderful day!!

Trip to Victoria, BC – Day 1

We have been in Seattle for more than 5 years, but we never made the trip to Canada. Vancouver is just 3 hours driving distance away. We had planned a trip multiple times, but always had to cancel it for some reason. So, as soon as we decided to move to CA, we were sad that we never visited Canada. Now that our stuff has gone and we have a week to wrap up stuff, we have some time off. We decided to go to Victoria, BC, Canada as we can go on a whale watching tour and there are some other interesting stuff to see in Victoria.

We took a ferry from Seattle to Victoria. The journey was nice except for me getting motion sickness in the middle. There was about an hour of the journey when the waters a bit rough and I was very nauseous and I almost threw up. Luckily they had medicine on board and they gave me ginger candy which kind of helped. My tummy was so shaken that I felt nauseous even two hours after getting off the ferry. The view from the deck was beautiful. It was very windy and a bit cold on the deck. We didn’t stay for long on the deck.

View from the ferry deck. Seattle downtown and Mt. Rainier(faintly) in the background.

We reached Victoria in the evening at about 6 pm. We checked into our hotel which was just a few blocks from the harbor. We then started searching for a place to eat. We found a noodle place called noodlebox. It was a very nice place. When we were in Madison, we used to go to a place called Noodles n Company. We loved it. Noodlebox was very similar to that. The food we ordered was good, but the quantity was way too much. We couldn’t eat even half of the quantity we ordered. We felt very bad to throw away food, but we just couldn’t eat it all. But, the food was awesome though!

Even though it is the end of June, the weather was a bit chilly when we went out to dinner. We needed light jackets. It was a nice small walk from our hotel to Noodlebox and it felt nice to take a walk back after eating.

Moving Part 3

I am now writing this post from California. We are finally here and the move went as smooth as it could. Since we had a week after the movers left with our stuff, we decided to take a mini vacation. We went to Victoria, BC, Canada. I will write about our trip soon. After our vacation, we packed up the remaining stuff that we were planning to bring with us in the car. I estimated that it would take about 5 hours to get everything packed up, and load the car. I was wrong. It took us a lot of time. We finally left at 5 pm. One of our close friends had asked me to come to their house before leaving. It was a Friday and she wanted to give me some tambulam. So, we went there after packing and loading the minivan. She was so nice to make tea and give it to us in disposable cups since we did not have time to stay for a little bit 🙂

On the first day we drove 5 hours and stayed the night at Salem, OR. The next morning we slept in for a bit to get some rest and started a bit late. We drove for a longer time and reached Redding, CA. It was hot when we got there. We stayed the night in Redding. The third day was our final day of our travel. We went to the Sundial bridge in Redding and then headed to the Bay Area. My mom’s cousin lives pretty close to our place. So, we went to their place to stay for night.

View of Mt.Shasta

My aunt made some yummy rice and dal. It felt so good to eat nice hot home made food after the long drive. We moved into our new home the next day. It has been a couple of months since our move and we like it here. There are days when I miss Seattle and my friends and colleagues, but in general I like it.  The weather is nice, but hot. It has been a while since I lived in this kind of weather. It did go into 90’s and 100’s a couple of days, but that’s it. We are done with the hot weather now. We have started gardening a week after we moved. We now have beans, tomatoes and capsicum (bell peppers) in our back yard. The beans are ready to be harvested in a couple days too. So, that part is very exciting! The kids have never lived in this kind of hot weather. So, they are happy some days and are complaining the other days. During their summer break, they went into the backyard and soaked themselves with the hose a number of times 🙂

The schools are in full swing now and we are all settled in 🙂

Moving – part 2

The move is happening and is happening fast. Since the company S works for gives us the relocation services, we thought we could take it. We took that service when we moved to Seattle and the process was really easy and stress free. So, we were planning to go with that now as well. But, by the time they contacted us, it was a bit too late. They said they cannot do the move until the 1st week of July. We needed to be out of here by the end of June. Even if we could find a way to make it happen in July, they said our stuff will not be delivered to us almost until the 3rd week of July. We would move into our home in California and stay there for about 3 weeks of more with bare minimum stuff. So, we were not happy with the idea. So, we decided to go with the option of them paying us the money and we doing the move ourselves.

So, we ended up taking another service. By the time we decided to go with them, we had about one week to finish the packing. I never would have thought we could do it. We actually finished packing in 1 week. The movers came on Saturday and everything was loaded and sent away. The only things they couldn’t fit was three of our bikes. The house is now empty except for a few comforters, some kitchen stuff and my beloved plants. We are planning to drive to CA and I get to take my plants with me. We bought a bike rack so that we can take those bikes with us. We are now wrapping up stuff here.

It feels weird to leave this place, but at the same time I just want to wrap up everything quickly and leave. I am just ready to finish the move and settle down in our new place. The kids are done with school now and they were pretty excited when the movers were here. But, they have very few toys and books and now they are super bored. I don’t blame them. Yesterday we went to get the bike rack and when it was time for dinner, we didn’t want to come home at all. Myself and S are bored in this empty house now. So, we went to a Thai restaurant. The food was good and we ate way too much.

We now have a week before we have to be in CA. So, we might just visit some places around here before we move out of Washington.



Moving to California

We have been in Seattle for 5.5 years. Before moving here, I was not sure about the move at all. We lived in Wisconsin for about 8 years, we owned a home there, both the boys were born there… way too many memories. It was really really hard to leave that place and move. We put the house for sale, and got ready to move all the way to the Pacific Northwest. While driving to the airport, I was bawling like a baby. I loved our home and I really couldn’t believe that we have to leave it and move.

Once we got here, we fell in the routine of things, and started looking for an apartment. Although we were reluctant to move to Redmond because the commute for S would be a bit too much, we decided to just check out the place. The first time we drove around Redmond, we knew we should live here. It just felt so familiar and nice. We signed a lease and we have been in Redmond all these years. Never regretted our decision.

Moving here also gave us opportunities we did not have in the small town of Wisconsin. I was able to get a job within 6 months of moving, S loved his job, we found a good day care for the kids and we settled down. I always hated the winters, but the summers do make up for it. Summers are beautiful here. The scenery is so good. Time just flew by and I have no idea how 5 years have gone by. We made amazing friends here, the schools are good, my career is blooming and life is just blissful at this point.

Now, we are having to leave all this leave to a new place and start over again. S got an very nice opportunity in CA. After debating for over a month, we decided to move and make it our new home. Saying that I am anxious about the move is putting it mildly. There are days when I am almost hyperventilating because the thought of moving is just too much for me. I have come to love this place and it makes me sad to move. There are days I fantasize about moving and having the opportunity to grow plants all through the year. The gardener in me is excited. It will definitely be nice to not worry about the rain or the gloomy weather. So, there are some perks that come with it.

The kids seem excited. Hopefully writing about it here will help me deal with all of this in a better way 🙂


Being Happy and Healthy

First of all, I want to say that I am officially out of the blogathon 😦 What was I thinking when I committed myself to writing a post EVERYDAY??? Clearly I wasn’t thinking. That is the problem with me. I always sign up myself for a lot of things and I don’t manage to get them done. The same happened with the blogathon. I was not sure if I will be able to write everyday. But, I wanted to. I just couldn’t make it work. There are plenty of reasons why I could not write but, I am not going to dwell on them. This year I decided I am going to focus more of the positive side of life. If I want my kids to stay positive and focus on the good things that life gives us, I should be practicing it right? So, that’s what I plan to do.

As I already said in my first post this year, I plan to work on a lot of things like my health and managing my time efficiently. I also decided to blog regularly but it is really difficult for me to come up with topics when I start writing. I need to improve on this for my work as well. So, I plan to write about my exercise, eating right, time management and the other little things that make me happy. Hopefully, that will give me fodder to write and will also help me go back and look at my progress.

When I say ‘being healthy’, it is a big term and it has various dimensions to it. Eating right (not dieting), exercising, getting my vitamins everyday and most of all focusing on happy thoughts. All this needs to go hand in hand. I read somewhere that we should focus on changing one thing at a time. That is just not working for me. So, I decided to do it all at once. It might be a lot to handle, but by then end of this year, I hope to be a much happier and healthier person 🙂  I am trying to teach my kids to be happy focus on the good and bad parts of their days as well. Every night before they go to bed, I talk to them about their day. They tell me if they think they had a good, bad or a worst day. They also tell me about their worst part and the best part of the day. I have been doing this for about 6 months now and I can see the clarity in their thoughts. They now know that some days they get more things that they like (favorite dinner or candy or play date with a friend or favorite episode on TV etc..) and some days are really bad because they had a fight in school or they had to eat something they don’t like etc. But, now they also realize that no matter how bad the day was, there is always some good that has happened to them. I love how even Sanjay can think so clearly sometimes. This exercise has helped them grow on an emotional level.

I plan to do the same but never get around to actually write down my thoughts. This is where I plan to use this blog and write more positive thoughts here. I might dump my negative thoughts too, but I hope to never publish them. But, then am I actually thinking that I can write my thoughts here everyday? Hell no! I am smarter now and I plan to write here once a week. I’m so hoping I will have some good things to write about my exercise next week (keeping my fingers crossed).

Have a happy weekend!