A Californian Summer – with awesome friends !

After successfully concluding our 21 day marathon American road trip, it was time for a much deserved 10 day break, at buddy Jagdeep and Vipin’s lovely abode in Saratoga, California. While jogging in lovely Californian weather, we gawked at the million-dollar villas in the neighborhood and thanked Adarsh Developers in Bangalore for giving us an equivalent Palm Meadows with its amazing clubhouse – a consolation prize for those of us who got left behind 🙂

Humble to the core – Jagdeep and Vipin are epitome of Indian values in the west

I generally slept and did nothing most of the time while Meha bonded with Jagdeep,

They met 28 years back and the bond continues to grow

And Mika did the same with Jagdeep and Vipin’s lovely children Riya and Sachi.

This is called instant chemistry – the kids hit on like fire !

Kaddu’s (as I fondly call Jagdeep) gorgeous food and the existence of a lovely pool in their villa meant we felt entirely at home and for a moment forgot that we were on the road. Never become too comfortable with life!

We are training for Olympics!
The tan speaks for itself – gorgeous backyard pool of Jagdeep & Vipin
Happy faces but we have to leave soon 🙁

A visit to an amazingly vast San Jose Gurudwara, followed by prayers and langar was a great testimonial to the Indians in California balancing their traditional values with their adopted country.

Very cool Gurudwara – a city in itself
After the lovely langar – Jagdeep was happy she did not have to cook !

Looking at our sloth-like behavior and complete lack of interest in going to San Francisco, Jagdeep announced after a week that we were the worst visitors ever – staring at the dubious distinction of going back to India without a pilgrimage to Golden Gate bridge !

Arun & Sunita, another set of cool friends from Palm Meadows, saved our skin by taking us to SFO.

It was REALLLLY windy !
What a view !

The blustery winds at the golden gate bridge were compensated by the awesome Bhel Puri and beer that Arun had come prepared with.

Arun ROCKS !

Before we left the bridge, it was time for the last snap.

It’s time to leave the bridge

Next up was the Pier 39 with its lovely sea lions, the classic Alcatraz view and a lovely carnival atmosphere.

I love Pier 39 Sea lions !
Unfortunately Alcatraz was sold out – the views were the consolation 🙁

A very cool Arun uncle took Mika to the coolest chocolate store.

I love Arun uncle !

Lombard street, with its winding roads and views, is dubbed as one of the most crooked streets in the world.

Hey I am not crooked, the Lombard street is !

Arun uncle also helped Mika tick off one of her major bucket list items – having ice cream at one of SFO’s coolest joints !

I wish this day never ends ! Uncle where were you all my life !!

My simple bucket list included paying homage to this rock music joint !

Whatever you do in life, don’t forget to ROCK

We then went off to see Arun-Sunita’s new mansion with jaw-dropping views. Smitten by jealously, I forgot to take pictures but stuck a deal for the next holiday. We finished off the day with a lovely chinese dinner at their about-to-leave-house and bid good bye. SFO done !!

With Arun, Sunita and their lovely kids

The festivities with (other) friends continued the next day with a reunion with close college buddies Jeetu and Puneet. I now believe in destiny otherwise why would God ordain a Singaporean-Puneet to be in California!

Jahan teen yaar mil jaaye !

And before that we had visited Tamilian-turned-Punjabi-radically transformed (biwi ka asar hai!) – college buddy Mouli and his lovely family for barbecue.

Mouli is a completely changed man from college !

Shamed by our sloth behavior, we reluctantly agreed to come for a Silicon-Valley trip with Jagdeep and Vipin a couple of days before departure. Boy am I thankful!

During this trip, you are the main connect with friends/family: we love you Facebook!
Being horrible at electronics, I envied all my classmates who did silicon, wafers and all that…
That’s right, that’s why I am foolish to leave IT, do music and waiting to succeed for 7 years now !

But Facebook is our Silicon valley favorite!

Very cool and thoughtful Facebook, you rock !

People over places. Relationships. As we leave California for Washington D.C with heavy hearts, we will cherish being with friends more than anything else. Thanks Radhika, Vipin, Jagdeep, Mouli, Jeetu, Chandra, Arun, Sunita & the rest for your crazy hospitality.

Thanks for reading. See you in D.C.