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Archive for the ‘Vacation’ Category

Mexico Vacation

We just got back from our vacation to Mexico City and Huatulco.

We landed in Mexico City and spent the first few days seeing the sights.  We took a day trip to see the pyramids in Teotihuacan.  These are the Sun and Moon pyramids and we got to climb to the top of both of them.

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The ride back from the pyramids is about an hour and a half and we pass thru the mountain ranges and see the the most colorful houses.

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On Day 3, we went to a small town on the Pacific side of Mexico about a 1 hour flight from the city.  We rented a nice beach house right on the sand on Playa Bocana just outside of Huatulco.

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We had the most amazing sunrise every morning.

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Here is a picture from the pool deck.

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About a 10 minute walk up the beach, there was a reservoir with pink flamingos!

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All day long, we would see the pelicans fishing in the ocean.

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On one of the last days in Huatulco, we went for a river rafting excursion.

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It looks pretty scary but wasn’t too bad.

Check out this amazing photo of an eagle we saw on the river.

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We are now back from vacation and getting ready for school after a long summer!

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After Bordeaux, we  drove a few more hours thru the South of France to a town called Toulouse.  My room mate from Harvey Mudd College lives there now with his wife and three kids.

The kids made some new friends and we had a great time.

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Here are me and Laurent – visiting for the first time in 15 years!

 

khare-blog-0018Laurent has been busy for the last few years, building his own house from the ground up.

Here is a picture of the outside.  It is completely off the grid.. all solar powered and assembled from 40 foot shipping containers that he welded together.  Pretty amazing!

 

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From Bilbao, we drove a few hours to Bordeaux.  Along the way, we stopped for lunch at one of the beach towns in the northern part of Spain.

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Bordeaux is the quintessential French town in the south of France.  This is the view from our hotel room.

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We went at the perfect time of the year.  The grapes were abundant and the weather cool.

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We went for a couple of wine tastings, the most memorable was in the Grand Cru area of St. Emilion.

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The winery was Le Chatelet.  The owner was very hospitable and shared a number of fantastic wines.  We ended up buying a magnum of Chateau Le Chatelet vintage 2009 and will save it for a very special occasion!

Their wines are aged in an oak cask and then stored in an underground cave until ready to be sold.

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Here is a parting shot of picturesque St. Emilion.khare-blog-0015

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After a few days in Barcelona, we rented a car and drove about 6 hours  to the northern part of Spain to Bilbao.  Bilbao is famous for the Guggenheim Museum. Here is the entrance to the museum.  Right away, you can tell it is going to be a very different experience.

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Here are the boys on the bridge to the museum.

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Here is the outside of the museum… couldn’t really take pictures inside as they were prohibited.


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This is the giant spider protecting the museum!

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During the week we went, there was a festival in Bilbao.  There was quite the part atmosphere every night.

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Here is Annika enjoying one of the funky stores!

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We just got back from two weeks in Spain and France.  Our adventure started in Barcelona amongst all the fantastic architecture and museums.  From there, we went to Bilboa in the northern part of Spain.  We visited the Guggenheim museum in Bilboa.  Next stop was Bordeaux.  Only two days there but had a chance opportunity for  private tasting and tour of Le Chatelet winery.  Next stop was Toulouse where my roommate from Harvey Mudd College lives with his family.  Then back to Barcelona and the long journey home.  A total of about 1200 miles of driving and a lot of Tolls!

Here are some pictures from Barcelona.  I’ll post the other sights separately.

This is the family on the tour bus the first day in Barcelona.   This is a great way to see the all the major sights in the city.

Barcelona Tour Bus

Barcelona Tour Bus

Barcelona has the most amazing blend of both new and old architecture throughout the city.

Here is a picture of the “bullet” building or the Torre Agbar designed by french architect Jean Nouvel.  The outside lights up in different colors at night.

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One of the most impressive is the Sagrada Familia church designed by Antoni Gaudi with construction going on since 1882.

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The interior is much more impressive than the exterior.

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Gaudi has influenced much of Barcelona architecture.  Here is a local park called Parc Guell.  The views are amazing.

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The crowds were even more so!

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Of course, no trip to Barcelona is complete without the Tapas.  We found our favorite vegetarian friendly Tapas Restaurant called La Ciutat Comtal near Plaza Catalunya.  This was a very short walk from our apartment in the Gracia district.  We tried several different ones but kept going back to La Ciutat.

Try the bravas, cabreados, padron peppers and their sangrias (both the white and red)!

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Fried Egg over Fries – Cabreados

 

Padron Peppers

 

 

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We just got back from our summer vacation in Santa Teresa Beach on the Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica.  Once again we rented a beautiful beach house.  The trip to the house was a little more involved.  Two flights from Los Angeles to San Jose.  A two hour car ride to the Ferry terminal.  A two hour ferry ride  and then a 2 hour car drive!

Here’s the gang on the ferry ride to Santa Teresa.

The first of many beautiful sunsets.

Here’s a picture of the iguana in our back yard, affectionately know as Mr. Fluffy Pants. (don’t ask me why!)

Here is a picture of a parrot in our back yard.

On our second day, we all took surfing lessons.   Getting up on the board was not too difficult for the kids.

 

For me though… not so easy.  Its harder than it looks!

After a hard day of surfing or swimming in 80 degree water.. we would usually go out to eat at one of the many wonderful restaurants in Santa Teresa.

On one of the days, we took a short hike to one of the many waterfalls in the Mal Pais area.

This one took about an hour of pretty strenuous climbing and navigating rocks but was definitely worth the hike.

This is a picture of the swing at our house.  Many an hour was passed staring at the ocean!

Here is Annika enjoying the water and the sunset behind our house.

On one of the days, we went for a hike into the local rainforest.

We saw many capuchin monkeys, parrots, woodpeckers and many other creatures.

The beach on our last day in Santa Teresa.

A very relaxing vacation.  We are already planning our next trip to  (stay tuned).

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We went to India over the Christmas break to visit Anjali’s parents in Pune and my extended family in Nagpur.

Anjali’s parents had their 50th anniversary.  Here is Anjali with her parents in the middle and her brother on the right.  In the front and back row are her cousins.

Here are the kids with their Great Grandmother!

Here are the five of us.

Here are the kids at Anjali’s uncle’s vacation house outside of Pune.

One of the days we went to Sinhagad, a fort from the 1600’s with quite a colorful history.  Here are the kids at the entrance to the fort.

Here is the view from inside the protected walls of the fort.

On most days, we did our shopping trips and visits in a scooter rickshaw.

We did a side trip to Nagpur which is about a two hour flight from Pune.

We visited my uncles and cousins there.

My cousin Shirish (on the left in the photo above) took us to a wildlife sanctuary outside of Pune.

Here are some pictures from the Pench Tiger Sanctuary.  Unfortunately, we didn’t see any tigers but lots of other big game including sambars, horned deer, antelopes and all kinds of monkeys!

On Christmas Day, we went out for Chinese food at Mainland China in Pune.  Probably the best Chinese food in India! Christmas Day in India is like any other day there.

On our last day in Pune, Anjali was lucky enough to catch her 30th year high school reunion at St. Joseph’s.  Here she is with her friends.

What a trip!

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