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Visiting NYC

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We spent a few days in New York City this month. We had an apartment right near times square which made the trip very convenient with the kids. We spent time with Janice’s twin sister and her family as well as Janice’s mother. The visit to the metropolitan museum of art was quite an adventure for the children.
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Independence Day in the Capital City


For Independence Day, we decided to spend the long weekend in our capital city, Washington DC. Janice and the kids were already in Maryland for Unity's summer camp. I flew in Friday evening. It was a really hot few days, so we tried to spend as much time indoors as we could. The indoor activities primarily included visiting various museums that the kids would be interested in. We went to the Air and Space Museum, the Museum of Natural History, and the International Spy Museum. Sunday afternoon we camped out under the shade of a tree at the National Mall (halfway between the Capitol and the Washington Memorial) and waited for the fireworks. The fireworks started about a half hour after dusk, about 9:20pm. The two photos above capture the view of the fireworks from our location. The photo below shows us trekking around DC between museums on Saturday. Wesley was getting a piggy back ride from Janice for part of the way.
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Visitng Germany

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During my trip to Germany last month I was able to spend a weekend in Bielefeld with my uncle and aunt (photos above are in Bielefeld). It was great to catch up with them over a relaxing couple of days. During my trip we drove to Osnabrück to visit the Felix Nussbaum museum. Felix Nussbaum was a jewish artist born in Osnabrück in 1904. The museum exhibits more than 160 of Nussbaum’s work of jewish life in Germany that he painted before his extermination in Auschwitz.
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Spring Break


For Spring break this year we went to Joshua Tree National Park in California. There we met up with Janice's mom, Richard and Tamara, and Tamara's parents Carol and Henry. Richard had arranged for an historic adobe house at Twentynine Palms just north of the Park. Click here to view the photographs from the trip and click through for a map. Read More...
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Universal Studios, Orlando, FL

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Unity’s 9th birthday present was a trip to Universal Studios in Orlando to see the Harry Potter World (photo left). We spent two days there during a school holiday. The Harry Potter rides were quite amazing. Wesley wasn’t tall enough for some of the rides, so Janice and I had to take turns with Unity on the rides—she got to ride her favorite ones twice as a result. We also saw/met some of the traditional characters including Scooby Doo (photo right), Back to the Future and the Simpsons.
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San Francisco Photographs


I have added some photographs of San Francisco here. These photographs were taken during three separate trips to San Francisco in 2007.
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Visiting London


In my recent visit to London, I was busy with work related activities for most of the week. On the last day of the trip I made time to have dinner with some old friends. On the left in the picture is Ellen. She recently moved to London from New York and Atlanta. In the center is Katia. She and I went to college together, so I have known her for about 22 years. She lives with Marko and their daughter Nora in Croatia. They were visiting London the same time I was there. Ellen and Katia know each other from high school. This picture was taken at a restaurant by Marko.
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Hudson Valley


After Richard's wedding we all drove up to Hudson Valley to spend a few days at a lake house. It was Janice's mother's 70th birthday the following week, so we all wanted to get together for a family vacation and celebrate the occasion. We went apple picking one day at the apple orchard in a nearby farm; took the children to the children's museum; visited an old 17th century farm and grain mill by the Hudson River; visited the Rockefellar house which is now converted to a museum; visited the Culinary Institute; and the rest of the time we had some good food and relaxed at the lake house. You can see the photos here.
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The Industrial New York


On a recent trip to New York, I came across this interesting view of a Con Edison power plant next to Queensboro Bridge. You can see a sliver of Roosevelt Island in the Hudson River and the skyline of NYC in the background. The cloudy day provided for good lighting. This panorama is made of 36 individual photos stitched together. The photos were taken with a 24 mm lens on a Nikon D700. Unfortunately the tiny version here does not have the same visual impact as the original panorama which is 11160 × 2525 pixels.
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Spring Break

Today is the last day of Spring Break. I was able to take a few days off and spend some recreation time with the family. Monday evening I went to the Rodeo in Houston—you can view the photos here. Then we spent a few days at a lake house in the Hill Country near Austin, TX. When we arrived in Austin, we had lunch at Eastside Café. The food was excellent. They grow some of their own vegetables and herbs in the large garden on the properties behind the restaurant. After lunch we lounged in the garden before heading to the lake house.

The weather was the most ideal, mid-70's to 80 degrees Fahrenheit during the day with a nice breeze and the sun not too strong, dropping to around 60 degrees at night. The view of the lake from the lake house was quite serene and relaxing. The kids ran around and played on the deck and the back yard in the afternoon before dinner.

We enjoyed breakfast on the deck above the boat house the next morning and spent the afternoon at the Llana River. The kids thoroughly enjoyed themselves in the shallow waters. Then in the evening we dined at the famous Lambert's Barbecue and took a leisurely stroll through Austin before heading back to the lake house. You can see the photos of the trip
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Visiting India 5

On the final day of my stay in India I left Bangalore in the morning, spent the afternoon in our office in Delhi and then had an early dinner with some of the team members. After dinner I headed to the IGI airport in Delhi to begin the 28 hour journey back home. During my flight I had time to edit the photos from Bangalore which you can view here. All the photos on this trip were taken with a 12-24mm wide angle DX lens—I now really appreciate the amazing image quality and sharpness of this lens.
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Visiting India 4


I was Bangalore for the first time this week. For dinner last night the team arranged for us to eat at a South Indian restaurant that specializes in food from Kerala. First, I have to say, what an incredible culinary experience, so exquisite, such a different level from any other South Indian food I have had (all previous South Indian culinary experience was physically not in South India since this was my first trip).

We started off with a round of appetizers and a Sauvignon Blanc (Sula) from India. Kerala, being a coastal state, is big on fish and sea food. We had giant, curried prawns and spicy, pan-fried pomfret among other things. The Kerala curry flavor is distinctly different from that of northern India.
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Visiting India 3


On Saturday we made a day trip from Delhi to Agra. There were five of us in a van leaving the hotel at the crack of dawn around 5:30AM and we met up with our guide for the day in Agra. The hotel provided us with breakfast to go and we stopped for coffee on the way. We spent the day at the magnificent Taj Mahal, the Agra Fort which was the original seat of the Mogul Empire before they moved to Delhi, and Emperor Akbar's tomb. Read More...
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Visiting India 2


We just returned from work at the end of the day. Here is a view of us walking into the outdoor 'lobby' of the hotel. We are getting together for dinner this evening in half hour at the Kebab Factory.
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Visiting India 1


I am traveling to India for a few days. I arrived last night India time and checked into the hotel. Here is a view from the outdoor 'hallway' of my hotel when I was walking from my room to the restaurant for breakfast this morning. I will be at work the next two days, then going on a trip to visit the Taj Mahal in Agra on Saturday, and finally spending Monday and Tuesday in Bangalore before returning back to Houston.
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Visiting San Antonio


The weekend after thanksgiving we decided to take a road trip to San Antonio. We packed and loaded up in the minivan and headed out after breakfast. The plan was to see the Alamo in the afternoon, have dinner at the River Walk, then drive west about 50 miles where we would check into a motel for the night; the next day we would spend outdoors in nature by a river. While it was a great trip, the plan didn't quite pan out. Read More...
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My mother turns 70


For my mother's 70th birthday we decided that we should go some place that she had never been to but a place where we could take the kids and family. After much deliberation, consulting and researching we decided that the Grand Canyon was it. My mother was very excited. Janice found a 5 bedroom house that could sleep up to 18 people just outside the Canyon so we went ahead and booked it. We had a 5 day trip planned including travel time over spring break. Shahed and Kim could not make it and Tayyba stayed back with Athena, but Janice's mother joined us. We would fly into Phoenix from Houston and then drive over to the Grand Canyon; Janice's mom would fly into Phoenix from Baltimore and meet us at the airport.

Finally on the departure date we went to the airport and were checking in. We handed all of our ID's to the gentleman behind the counter. A minute later he handed us back what looked like my mother's ID and said this does not match the boarding pass. I looked at it and saw that it was in fact my father's ID!
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Pind Balluchi | India trip


Vinni arrived in Delhi from Houston last night. We had planned to meet up for lunch today with Ruchir. Both Ruchir and Vinni are vegetarian, so they picked a place that had good vegetarian food, this time North Indian, called Pind Balluchi. The apetizers were particularly good. We spent a good two hours catching up in a relaxed setting. Read More...
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Indian breakfast | India trip


This morning I decided to have an Indian breakfast and watermelon juice. It was a traditional vegetarian breakfast with puri, idli, sambar, chick peas, and other items. It was so good that I went for several helpings and ended up eating too much.
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Getting more done | India trip


The second day of the workshop was even more productive than the yesteray. As a team we hit a stride, and although at different times it felt like we were jumping around the topics a lot, the conversations actually converged into a set of decisions. There was some serious out of the box thinking and we tested our ideas again real-life scenarios of the past as well as some future potential scenarios. We had filled all the whiteboards along the 3 walls of the room several times over. The work day ended with a checkpoint with Alan.

Some of us decided to unwind at the Punjabi restaurant right across the street from the office. The kebabs were incredible once again, including the vegetarian ones. We stayed there until they closed at 11:00.
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Getting down to work | India trip


Wednesday was the first day of the two day workshop that brought me to Delhi. Yesterday afternoon, the jetlag had hit me hard, so I was hoping that I would be better adjusted today. After breakfast at the hotel (this time they had fresh watermelon juice) I got in the car which was waiting for me out front. Every ride is an adventure in Delhi - the sights, the traffic (families on motor bikes, overloaded buses, ...), and all the little events along the way like a divine cow trying to cross the highway in rush hour.

Late afternoon, the jetlag hit me again, but not as hard as yesterday. We took a break to get some coffee and continued with work. Dinner was set up at a restaurant called Caraway in the Grand Hotel in Delhi. Caraway is known for its amazing kebabs. I had dined there before, three years ago, so I had some idea of what to expect. The kebabs are some of the best you can get anywhere in the world, but the overall quality and finesse is not quite like the Tamarind in The Mayfair, London.
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Saravana Bhavan | India trip


About eight years ago a colleague, ST, worked with me for six months in San Francisco. Apparently those six months was quite impactful. ST looked me up and set up a dinner meeting for Tuesday night. He is from South India and is also a vegetarian, so he recommended a great South Indian vegetarian restaurant in Delhi called Saravana Bhavan. The owner of this restaurant has also recently opened another restaurant in Decatur, Atlanta. Read More...
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Breakfast | India trip


As I walked into the restaurant at 7:15 am, I saw that in addition to the tables with white tablecloth inside, there were a few tables out in the courtyard. A waiter approached me and started leading me to a table. I asked if I could sit outside and his response was, "it is not very nice out today." I was thinking it would be muggy and hot, but the waiter proceeded to that, "it is too cold outside." I stepped out to check it for myself. The temperature was just perfect - mid to high 60's - there were birds singing, and the tables were under the shade of trees. I could not pass this up for the fluorescent and cool inside.

The food was quite amazing. My favorites were the dragon fruit, the scrambled eggs with asparagus, and the tall glass of lychee juice (I had to go for seconds on the juice).
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Visiting India


It has been over 3 years since I have been to India. A lot has changed during this period. Gurgaon, where the Sapient office is located, has become an even more bustling part of the city with several new glass and concrete towers in the skyline. Sapient now has a new office located in one of these buildings - new since summer 2004.

The last time I visited, I was... Read More...
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Visiting Amsterdam


I have wanted to visit Amsterdam for decades. The art collection in the various museums, the liberal mindset, and the fact that the city is below sea level have always fascinated me.
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I quickly went up to the 3rd floor to look at the exhibit on modern photography. There was a real surprise here: I found photographs from...
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