Checking out the Park in Our Neighbourhood

There are a couple of parks near to where we live, so we decided to checkout the one closest to us today. Ruchi was so happy to be in a park after such a long break, that she took to the artificial rock-climbing setup, swings and slides. The rock-climbing for a first for her, and by the end of the play time she mastered climbing it. The cutest part was the way she bowed and said thank-you every time she got to the top of a slide. After the courtesy she used to slide down. Everyone in the par were watching her and laughing at how she never forgot to bow and say thank you every time she was on the slide.


Our House Hunting Begins

Today we drove around the neighborhoods of Santa Clara to see if there were any open houses and also to check an see if we liked any of the neighborhoods. We had an appointment to view one of the houses in the nearby area. The house though old, turned out to be quite decent, except for the appliances and the bathrooms. The appliances in the kitchen and the washer/dryer were so old that I don’t think I want to put any of my food or clothes in them. The state of the bathrooms were also quite bad that I could not picture giving Ruchi a bath in one of them. I am hoping and praying that all the other houses open for rent are not this bad. Another problem with most of these houses are, there is no parks for kids nearby, and that is a big deal for me, since Ruchi needs a place to go and play with other kids everyday.


Ruchi Meets Siddarth for the First Time

Today we went over to Mahesh and Shyamala’s place for dinner. Ruchi had a great time playing with their two and a half year old son Siddarth. Siddarth was so excited that Ruchi was there, that he held her hand and led her to his room to show all his toys to her. He was also very good with sharing his toys. When it was time for us to leave Ruchi and Siddarth started running up the stairs, hoping that we won’t leave if she was up. We literally had to pick her up and carry her to the car. I am so glad they both got along so well, at least now I know where I can take Ruchi if she ever needs a play mate to play with during the weekends.


Everything But Mt. Shastha

When we hit the road today, we were all very excited about going to Mt. Shastha. After having a wonderful time in St. Helens we were hoping to repeat the fun at Mt. Shastha. As luck should have it, we were never meant to view Mt. Shastha, leave alone play on it. While driving the weather we quite good, except for a few wet spots, until we neared Mt. Shastha. As we neared the mountain, it started raining and snowing that we could not see a thing. Since the weather was bad, we decided to just drive through the National Forest without stopping. As soon as we crossed the area, it was nice and sunny again. But we could see from our rear view mirror that the weather in Mt. Shastha city was still bad. We were fortunate enough to get a couple of beautiful views of Shastha Lake and the dam. We even got to see two huge very clear Rainbows at the dam. Ruchi was so excited to see the rainbow, that she kept shouting ‘Daddy look Rainbow over there’ and ‘Amma look Rainbow over there’. We stopped at Redding to have lunch at Olive garden, where Ruchi had fun eating the appetizers, bread and pasta. It was evening by the time we reached our apartment.


Drive to Grants Pass

Today while I was getting ready, Praveen took Ruchi to see the Eagle they had in the lobby of Hotel Monaco in Portland. She was very excited to see the bird that she could not stop talking about it when she got back. When we were all set we hit the road. Since it was Thanksgiving day, we knew we would not have much luck on the road for lunch, so we had an early lunch in the hotel and then hit the road. We first drove around Portland, but realized there really wasn’t much to see in Portland. So we decided to hit the rod and head for our next destination, Grants Pass. The drive was very beautiful, except for some showers. Ruchi especially enjoyed seeing the cows on the hillsides and pastures. It was definitely a very beautiful view of the american country side. We stopped at a couple of viewpoints to take pictures, but stuck to the road most of the time due to the wet and cold conditions.


Visit to Mt. St. Helens

It was such a beautiful day today. We hit the road by 10:00 and first set out to see the State Legislative building. Though I have seen quite a few State Capitol buildings, it still feels wonderful when I see a new one. Washington’s legislative building has a beautiful view of the Puget Sound. Since the weather was great we decided to go check out Mt. St. Helens. Mt. St. Helens is a little different from Mt. Rainier. Due to its massive eruption in 1980 there is a huge one mile horse shoe crater. This is the first crater I have ever seen. Though it was covered with snow it was beautiful. The weather was so pleasant, that most of the time on the mountain, we did not wear our sweaters. We even played in the snow wearing just jeans and T-shirt. When leaving Seattle, I felt bad that we did not get a chance to take Ruchi to Mt. Rainier one last time to play in the snow. This tirp to Mt. St. Helens made up for it. After we were done playing in the snow, we drove to Johnston Ridge Observatory, which was closed for the season. But we were able to go just six miles short of the observatory and had a very clear view of the Crater which was covered in snow. After seeing the crater we hit the road to Portland.


First Day of Our Road Trip

What a day! In the morning we realized that the movers will be done much earlier than expected. So we decided to hit the road today to get an early start tomorrow, instead of staying the night. Praveen found accommodations for us in Olympia, Washington’s capital, while I took Ruchi for one last playgroup with our community kids. Since we were not using our music system anymore, thanks to our IPhones and Ipods, I donated it to our playgroup. They were looking for one and I thought it will better serve them than sitting in our garage. After the playgroup, we went over to Nimmi’s house for lunch. Bhargavi joined us with Ayush, so it ended up being Ruchi’s last playdate with her friends. When the mvoers were done, Praveen called us, so we went to see our house for the past one year one last time. Ruchi was very excited to see the empty house. She started asking us where the TV and couches went. Luc came over for a final move out inspection. He is one of the best landlords any tenant could have. Finally it was time to load our car and hit the road. But I wanted to have Zeeks Thai pizza one last time before we left. So we stopped for an early dinner, had the pizza, went over to Bhargavi’s house for one last goodbye. I fed Ruchi her dinner at Bhargavi’s place and then drove to Olympia. The drive was very pleasant and the hotel we had booked was very good. Since it was a hotel we had never heard about, we were a little apprehensive but it turned out to be a very nice place. As for Ruchi, she was very well-behaved throughout the drive.


The Movers Arrive

Today the movers arrived and got to work early in the morning. There was not much for me and Ruchi to do in the house, we went over to Bhargavi’s place where Ruchi had a great time playing with Ayush and Drithi. After lunch we went back to the house so Ruchi could catch a nap. The movers offered to leave the master bedroom intact for the night, so we could sleep. Praveen wanted to try out Agave, the mexican place near our house. So went there for dinner. The food wasn’t as good as it was the last time I ate there, but Ruchi enjoyed the sweet potato fries we ordered for her. The fact that we will be leaving NW Washington for good, started sinking in today.


Completing Sentences in Rhymes

I have been reading rhymes and stories to Ruchi without realizing that she actually knows almost all the rhymes in her book of 100 nursery rhymes. Today while reading to her, she started saying some of the rhymes with me. So we started playing and I read half of each line and she completed the other half. She knew almost each and everyone of the rhymes.
Finally our moving day is here. The movers are coming tomorrow to pack up our stuff. Today we were able to sort out all our things and separate stuff that we felt we don’t need anymore. Later in the evening, Praveen dropped off all those things in Goodwill (a charitable organization). The first TV I ever bought, my 19″ Phillips Sanyo also found its way to Goodwill. It was still in very good working condition, but there was no use or room for it. It still hasn’t sunk in that we are moving to Bayarea. I am sure it will hit once we hit the road.


Dinner at Ayush’s House

Since we are leaving this in a couple of days, Bhargavi invited us over for dinner. Nimmi also joined us for dinner. Ruchi was in a very playful mood and she had a great time playing with Ayush and Drithi. It was so cute watching the kids play, Ruchi was lost in a world of her own playing with Ayush’s toys. Drithi, who loves to do whatever Ruchi does, was following her around trying to get hold of the toys Ruchi was playing, with as soon as Ruchi left them. As for Ayush, he was very excited to show me and later Ruchi, everything in his house. Watching Ruchi play, I realized what a wonderful group of friends she has here. I am very sure she will miss them very much when we move. I hope she finds good friends like this in Bayarea.