Jan 24 2016

Happy New Year

Published by at 9:49 pm under Family,Misc

I guess I could add a ‘belated’ to the title of the post but considering we are still in January, the greeting doesn’t seem too delayed. I’m planning – or rather, hoping? – to start writing again after that rather long break. The break itself was unplanned and even after I accepted it as a self-imposed break, it went on much longer than I thought it would. I guess the culprits were the usual suspects of lethargy and a string of unexciting movies, none of which were good enough to wake me up from the slumber and motivate me to pen a review.

On the personal front, we made a trip to Texas over the holidays to visit friends and family. This was a completely ‘not my kinda trip’ in the sense that there were absolutely no nature spots included in the itinerary. The longest part of the trip was spent in Houston. On one day we visited NASA, checked out all the exhibits and went on the tour that took us to the Astronaut training facility.

nasa1 nasa3 nasa2

The next day was a spiritual day as we visited the Meenakshi Amman temple and the Swaminarayan Mandir. The latter was gorgeous and a new visual experience since we haven’t really seen any North Indian-style temples before . A small exhibit they had across from the temple was a nice idea as it highlighted achievements by Indians over time.

temple1 temple2 baps-temple1

On the third day we saw the Water Wall, a tall circular structure with water gently falling down all around, and then whiled away our time in the Galleria Mall.

wall

Our next stop was Plano where we got an inside tour of the University of Texas-Dallas, thanks to a cousin who is a professor there. This was the part of the trip that the kids found the most exciting. We also drove around an upscale neighborhood where there was a competition for the holiday lighting and display arranged by the houses. The lights and decorations were fantastic and one particular house, where they had synced up the lights to the Christmas music playing on a particular radio station, blew our minds.

xmas-lights

We flew back New Year’s eve, which was pretty quiet, as was New Year’s day. Once the work week started in 2016, it was back to the daily grind.

Happy New Year to one and all. May 2016 be the best year yet…

10 responses so far

10 Responses to “Happy New Year”

  1. Kumar says:

    Welcome back BB. Happy new year!

  2. Gayatri says:

    Welcome back Bb. Was afraid your last ever post would be on a rudhramadevi. thank god its not. happy new year!

  3. Sandya says:

    Happy New Year 2016, Balaji. So so glad to bid adieu to Anushka at the very top of your site finally. Wishing you much excitement on the writing front this year! :) :) Come on Kabali! 😉

  4. Mallik says:

    Happy new year to you too. Very happy to see you back. I started going thro your site since 4+months and was eagerly waiting for your next updates. I recommended your articles to my son who is in his grade 12 as another means in improving his English writing skills. Thanks for the piece on David Baldacci’s book. I was not aware of this author before.

  5. Balaji says:

    Kumar/Gayatri/Sandya, thank you! Its good to be back & even better to see such welcoming comments :)

    Mallik, thanks! Appreciate the nice words & glad I introduced you to a new author. Baldacci is one of my favorite authors & I read most of his novels.

  6. karthik says:

    Happy New Year Balaji. I’m reading D.Baldacci’s ‘The Escape’ . I usually like non-fiction books. But, this book so far is entertaining enough ….Checkout The Antman movie. wasn’t bad.

  7. vetha says:

    Welcome back and best wishes for 2016!

  8. Jordan says:

    Happy New Year Balaji! I know, I’m horribly late…

  9. Prakash says:

    Happy New Year, bb. Welcome back.

    We spent some time in Houston also. I don’t know if you felt the same, but I was pretty bored with the NASA visit. Also visited both the temples. Loved the Meenakshi Amman temple actually. Parts of the Swaminarayan Mandir were still under construction, but we could tell it was going to be an impressive structure. Was just as impressed at how much land they had to build it. Texas vs Massachusetts scale difference :)

  10. Balaji says:

    karthik, Baldacci’s books are usually minimum guarantee entertainment :) I just finished his latest ‘The Guilty’. Not one of his best for sure.

    vetha, thanks!

    Jordan, I was quite late too :)

    Prakash, NASA was really crowded but barring the tours, the rest could be covered quite quickly. Both temples were nice. Swaminarayan Mandir is fully built now. Looks very beautiful.