Posts Tagged ‘ Summer vacation ’

Mid West Adventures – Part I

Should I go for a romantic novel or a pink cowboy hat?

Now that is a question I don’t ask myself too often – but I was ransacking the DFW airport gift shops for a gift for Niti. I had no plans to take anything earlier but ever since her aunt set forth the idea of me showing up in the Chicago airport with flowers in my hand, I knew I had to get something. I picked up ‘Dear John’ by Nicholas Sparks – one of her favorite writers.

After paying for the book I lingered on and was casually looking through other books, when my eyes fell on ‘The God Delusion’ by Richard Dawkins. I had never read the book but I had seen enough of his interviews and lectures to know his thoughts on evils of organized religion and delusion of God’s existence. At that point in time I found myself somewhat agreeing with Dawkins.

I was on a tight schedule. As soon as I landed on Chicago and met Niti, we had to rush to the Union bus station to catch the bus to Des Moines. And the fact that my plane was stranded on the runway for some 25-30 minutes before take-off didn’t help much either.

We were on our way to the bus station on a taxi and already behind schedule. The road was almost stagnant with rush hour traffic which wasn’t rushing anywhere. It’s funny how my faith is God’s existence is dependent on how deep in trouble I am. So assuming that Dawkins was wrong and the God had nothing better to do, I asked him to clear the traffic a little and hold back the bus. Apparently, it worked and we made it on time.

So there I was in the bus – easing into my seat… nothing more to worry about… luggage – check… backpack – check… wireless internet – check… food – check (thanks to Niti).

Aah! finally it was the time to relax. I wished I hadn’t left her gift on the luggage or else I could have given it to her then. I had to wait till we reach Bipin’s place to get it. Still, I was sure she was gonna love it. The pink cowboy hat idea started to look pretty silly by then. But just as I was congratulating myself for getting through a tough day and choosing a fine gift, she turned to me and said –

I hate this sunlight coming in through the window… don’t you have a hat for me?!!

Rocking The East Coast – III

If I pee my pants, it better not end up in facebook!

Braver words were never uttered on top of the boat platform where I was laying, attached to a parachute, which was ready to fling me to the skies any seconds then. My fear would have gotten the better of me if not for the beautiful companion cowering by my side. But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself.

We reached Ocean City the night before, with hungry stomachs, tired bodies and mind plotting on ideas to sneak in five people in rooms of four. After a lengthy and inconvenient check-in everyone freshened up and went out for some food. Well, almost everyone. It was funny to see that two out of three people working in the subway store we went to were Nepali.

We then went for a midnight stroll across the beach. Having found the right settings, I took out my camera and I started working on my ‘spirit’ shots. Apparently, I was a little too good at it. Experts say, sand and water are the biggest enemy of a camera, so I was a bit worried. Little did I know my snap would be destroyed by tears. After a few wonderful shots in the dark, we were done with the night and went back to the hotel.

I’ve had a mere two hours of sleep when the morning came knocking on the door. A quick breakfast, a complicated check-out, and we were heading to the beach. Everyone had fun there. I think I made some sort of record by being probably the only guy to walk on the beaches of the east coast and the west coast and never touch the sea.

The search for a Nepali restaurant proved costly as we barely made to the parasailing in time with half-fed belly. The superman was about to fly! OK I’ll admit it – I was petrified!… But the only way to stop making it worse for myself was to get done with it as soon as possible. So I jumped at the chance to go first – my flying companion, however, wasn’t too thrilled about it. I wasn’t going to show my fear – not after three days of calling myself names like ‘hero’ and ‘superman’. I think I did quite well at that. I don’t know what it is about girls, but as soon as one is around, you feel like you need to be ten times the man you actually are. And it helped.

I sat there on the platform saying my last prayers and the wind started carrying me to the heavens. It was… a bit disappointing to be honest. Specially since we didn’t even get to land on water coz the sea was too rough. The rough sea did take its toll on someone later – personally, I blame the “driver”!!… Now it could be jealousy speaking ;)

Other than a little incident with missing lunch box, the rest of the evening was quite uneventful. We had plans to end the night with booze and long talks but none of us had energy to commit to it.

Next day, the awesome vacation came to and end. We all went our ways with wonderful memories, new friendships, some unfulfilled wishes and a few unspoken complaints… and in my case, a 50$ receipt as a consequence of a missed flight!

“(Pointing at the two buffed guys with tight abs) See that is how a guy should look like!”

“He’s walking with another guy!… I’m walking with a beautiful girl!!… I know what I’m doing!!”

Preying Eyes

Preying Eyes

Stone eagle resting above the main gates of Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, located on top of Lookout Mountain, TN. The park is on the edge of the mountain and has cliffs on all three sides. The view of Chattanooga downtown from the cliff is – well as you can imagine – breathtaking… but that’s a pic for another day.

On Black

And thanks to adebⓞnd for the Lightroom presets, which was the only processing done.

Falling Slowly

Falling Slowly

This is an indoor waterfall in Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center in Nashville, TN. It was one of the scenic places I visited in my two days vacation. I’ll be posting a lot of images from the vacation in days to come.

This was shot with one second long exposure in aperture priority mode to get the white smooth fall. It was already late in the evening so the hall was quite dark, thus I didn’t have to use my ND filter. This is my first flickr upload that was shot in RAW format. I wasn’t quite sure how to process it, so I played around with hue, saturation and intensity in Lightroom and then added borders and signature in Photoshop. I am mostly satisfied with the final result, except in few places where over exposure of green is evident.