Another mid-summer update

There must be something about summer in Seattle that slows my blogging down. It’s been almost 3 months since I wrote anything at all. Looking through my blog I also noticed that I my blogging frequency was low most of last summer as well culminating in a mid-summer update exactly 365 days ago 🙂

Anyway, life has been busy over the past few months both at work and outside of it. Stuff I’ve been upto:

  • Work: Nothing major to report here, though we’re getting close. The next year should be exciting, though 🙂


  • Travel: In May, the wife & I hauled ourselves across the little pond called the Atlantic and on to Old World. I’ve been meaning to write up a long, detailed post about our trip (and even wrote up a few hundred words on about our first day on the flight back), but I don’t think I’ll ever get to completing it. Given that, here’s a quick summary of the trip, for posterity’s sake.
  • First, the logistics: We spent 8 days, across the memorial day long weekend, in Europe. We flew in and spent 3 days in Rome, took a train to Venice and spent a day there and then flew to Paris to spend 4 days (5 nights) there to fly back on the 5th day.


    We flew into Rome on an uneventful, if cramped, American Airlines flight via New York JFK. We had a classic ‘Welcome to Italy’ moment as we landed and we realized that the passport control line stretched all the way to the exit gates. It turns out 5 or so international flights had landed at the time and Rome’s Leonardo Da Vinci international airport was ill-equipped and understaffed to handle such a load (especially at 8am on a Sunday morning). That was probably the low point of the trip and the rest of our stay in Rome was amazing – from the ruins of the Roman forum to the Museums at the Vatican to lazy evening walks around the Piazza Navona, we had a ball in Rome and probably loved it the most of the three cities we visited on the trip.


    Venice is probably the most overhyped tourist location in the world. The canals and the decaying old buildings were amazing for a total of 20 minutes before we realized that we had to walk everywhere or take the slow water taxies 🙂 I described Venice to others as a maze filled with tourists and many agreed. We spent a night in Venice and spent the day at the Doge’s Palace and St Mark’s square. It was fun, but only for a day.



    Given how hectic the first part of our trip in Italy was, I wanted to take the it easy in the second part and so, we stayed in Paris for 5 nights. Chilling out, in no hurry, watching TV till 2 in the morning and getting up at noon to check out the Louvre and the Eiffel tower. Paris was beautiful, busy, expensive and classy. But I still preferred Rome.


    Versailles was a day trip from Paris and we took the train there early on a Sunday morning and were back in Paris in the evening. Versailles was probably what we liked the most in France. Touring through the palace and later, though Marie Antoinette’s Domaine, we were awed by the opulence and grandeur with with the French monarchs (and their groupies) lived.


  • More Travel: Now, if flying halfway around the world for a whirlwind tour of the Old World wasn’t hectic enough, I decided to go camping in Montana during the Independence Day long weekend. D bailed on this one, so it was Ullas, me & 7 others. This trip was waay more hectic than our last trip to Montana, but it was arguably more fun inspite of the fact that I got 12 hours of sleep during the entire long weekend (or probably because of it) 🙂

Photos from the trip:

  • Photography: If it wasn’t obvious from the photos so far in this post, I’ve picked up photography in a big way over the past year. I’ve been reading and practicing a lot (10000+ photos in the past 12 months) and will probably write a blog post sometime on the stuff I’ve learned (and have yet to learn). My favorite shot so far:

Stuff I’ve not been upto:

  • Blogging: Self-explanatory.
  • Staying fit: I’ve reneged on my plan to run the Seattle marathon this year since I got only 2 or 3 days of running before laziness set in. I’ve also done no biking this year which makes me worried about how my legs will survive the ski season. Note to self: Fix bike up and get back on the road.
  • Gaming: (Looks at my unopened copy of GTA4). ’nuff said.

Other rambling thoughts:

  • My Roomba died (as in stopped sucking) almost a year back. It’s still in my living room charging itself and running around once in a while. Must figure out what to do with it next – robotic pet project?
  • I finally solved the HD PVR conundrum by getting myself a TivoHD. The news, at 1080i, is beautiful 🙂 So, is Discovery HD and other channels, but somehow the local evening news looks extra sharp.

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