On the afternoon of November 19th 2004, it was snowing in Colorado Springs and hence Peggy chose to drive me to the airport herself. We were yet to get accustomed to driving in snow.
At airport, I grabbed a pack of french fries and coke and sat there observing the planes come in and take off. It was a lovely sight.
The flight was amazing. As the plane moved above the clouds in Denver, it transported itself to a clear sky above. It's interesting to notice the difference and watch a blanket of clouds pouring down at the cities while you fly over them in a clear sky.
And then something magical happened. As the sunset the sky was as thought split in two halves. In the west, Orange conquered and east was turning grey or dark with a transition of yellow int he middle. At that moment, I felt a strange but very pleasant happiness. I was happy to be me and witness all that i am witnessing.
My BIL received me at LAX and we drove home. As an expert in cooking that Anu was, she had cooked several dishes for dinner. I started off with homemade veg puff. Chapatti, Brinjal Palya, Panneer Butter Masala and Pulav was a treat.
Next day, Anu, Varsha and me visited Disney land. It was as though entering a magical land of fairy tales. It was beautiful and I could not appreciate any less the details paid attention to. I don’t think anybody should miss a visit to Disney land in their life time. Some of the rides I enjoyed were – Indiana Jones, Jungle ride, splash mountain and Tarzan.
In the Indian Jones ride, the jeep stops at a point and a huge rock rolls down at us. Just when it is about to hit us, we escape through a route below that we did not know existed. It was one of the best moments of that day.
House of Mickey mouse and Donald duck was nice setup to attract the kids. Varsha was so happy and shy at the same time to meet Micky in person.
We watched a play on snow white which was impressive. A parade in the evening were all the Disney characters walk the ramp is just an amazing sight to witness. Cindrella, Aladin, Mickey, Donald duck, Pooh, Goffey, Beauty and the beast, everyone were there and it looked like a grand celebration. This was followed by fireworks. With a sparkling night sky, this eventful day was put to an end.
Next day, we went to Universal studio. I loved the rides there; Jurassic park, mummy, Back to Future to name some. The terminator and Shrek -4D movies are a delight to watch. Water world show, Van hasling, Back to future, Mummy revenge every other show was brilliant. The last bit of Jurassic park ride where we just escape the dinosaur abut to feed on us is brilliant. I bet if you are someone who does not like adventure and amusement parks, then you are going to change your opinion here. It takes one to a world of illusions.
During the day I was at home, I tried a Korean haircut. They tried some spikes on my head too which I thought was cool.
On Saturday evening, we drove to Vegas. It appeared like every car from LA was driving to Vegas for weekend and hence we were stuck in a bad traffic jam with cars moving at 5-10 miles per hour.
When I entered Vegas, I was shocked. It glittered from far away and as I drove close I blended into the sparkling city of casinos. Looking at it now, who could say that this is a dessert? We stayed at Mirage. At the casino’s I played mostly Slot machine. But there was no need to play, I just enjoyed looking around. I played for $20 and won $40 and then continued to lose everything.
Every casino has a theme. – Casino Paris with an Eiffel tower, 1/3rd the actual height and a false roofing of beautiful blue sky; Caesar palace with roman architecture; Excalibur with European castle; Casino Luxor built like a Pyramid. It’s like entering a dream.
The fountain show at Bellagio was brilliant. We returned back to LA next morning.
In LA, we also visited a temple and I was surprised to see a very Indian atmosphere once we entered the campus. On our way back, we drove to Malabo beach which I thought was nothing as compared to the beaches in Suratkal, compared to which the beaches here were not very clean. The sand looked muddier and the beach was filled with dry leaves, branches and impurities. And without any waves the sea looked dead.
During a shopping at Atrecia street full of Indian stores, I bought a idol of Ganesha. For some reason, i felt a need of it. Being raised in a Hindu family worshipping idols, it has become part of my nature to confess my feelings to an idol that is believed to be superior to myself. I missed that and the Ganesh idol I bought in LA made me happy.
While returning, we took a walk on Hollywood Street and saw Kodak theatre were Oscars is held.
After the thankgiving weekend at LA, I returned back to Denver where it was still snowing. Peggy drove me back from Denver to COS. On the way back peggy and I discussed our Novel themes. I had the thought of my novel “ Miasma” very clearly in my mind.
During the drive back, at one place the car almost skidded on snow and Peggy was so scared. However we stopped right on time not to hit the vehicle in front. Driving in snow is a tricky job.