Any of you who has watched OC, or has atleast listened to this song by a group called the Phantom Planet "California" would remember the line "Driving down the 101". Well thats what I did all this weekend. But sadly, for lack of time, I missed going to Orange County, or even Napa Valley for that matter. Missing Napa Valley, home to American wine, hurts less than it would normally have, because I am going to Bordeaux, the wine capital of the world, in September this year, for three whole months!!
But that is besides the point. The point is, that I had another incredible weekend, one that was spent with friends I wanted to be with all through. And after Boston, it was only the second time that New York seemed kind of cold. But a new bottle of Jack Daniels' is there to take care of that.
The flight to San Fransisco, as so happens with me, was delayed, and so I reached the SFO airport only at 1200 a.m. compared to the expected arrival time of 11:30. Maddu was there to recieve me, though, and the ride southwards (in his Honda Civic) that followed was complemented with an indepth understanding of the Bay area geography, and of his daily routine. We finally got into Stanford, and the night went by talking about various things, talking about various things, people, work and life. It was pretty late by the time we slept, and it came as no surprise when my watch showed one o'clock when I awoke next day ( I still had not adjusted the three hours you gain by travelling west, you see), and we were ready to rock the Bay area.
A hasty Saturday plan followed to walk along the trail in the Big Basin red forest area, 34 miles, but more importantly, 1 1/2 hours further south, and Aarti was also invited to be a part of it. She was a bit late, and by the time we did manage (in Aarti's car, a Honda Accord, down the 101 as well) to reach the Big Basin forest, it was already 2 p.m. Two trails and three hours later, in which we saw the Mother of the Forest (the redwood tree that was the tallest) , the Father of the forest (the redwood tree that had the greatest centimeter) and a waterfall, we had already got a call from Dasa ( for those of you, who dont know Dasa, what are you doing here? In this earth, I mean? What have you achieved in life if you havent been able to psyche Dasa even once?) about arriving at the SFO airport. We then proceded to pick him up, and after losing our way and roaming southern SF city for the better part of two hours, we finally checked out on a Mexican restraunt. And that too on a Cinco de Mayo day, what a coincidence (the bill was paid entirely by Dasa, who wanted to treat us for his Mercer and Chevron jobs) ! The food was good, and from there, me, Dasa, and Aarti, separated from Maddu, who took the 280 and then 101 back to Stanford, to start another Sunday of research. I sincerely believe he will be a Nobel Prize winner one day, and that would be one of the proudest days of the lives of all those who know him.
The three of us had planned to visit San Fransisco that night, but a wrong turn took us into the Bay bridge, and we found ourselves in Oakland, from where the only oppurtunate way was the way back to Aarti's home. And after calling a couple of people ( and a couple of hours), we finally got the right way through Google Maps courtesy Karthik (whom we called obviously, and yeah, for all of you ignorant folks, Karthik is the Maddu).
More talking followed saturday night, and then on Sunday, Dasa and me awoke to watch the San Antonio Spurs take on the Phoenix Suns (Dasa supported Suns, so I supported the Spurs, and the other reason in that Manu Ginboli plays for Spurs, and he belongs to Argentina, which is the country producing Maradona and Messi, among others). We missed the first half though, on account of a game of tennis, where I saw Dasa play the best he ever has. And he had me shouting for cover. I am a pretty decent tennis player, by the way (in case you were ignorant enough to know this basic fact, you ought to sink in a small pool of water, out of shame), but when we came back to see the Spurs beat Suns, Dasa's tennis enthusiasm had given in. Then we went to an Italian restraunt in SF (Aarti's job treat!!) , and from there went to the place called the Fisherman's Wharf, saw chocolate be made atChirarDelli's Square (if this sounds like Chirag Delhi, I dont blame you) looked at Alcatzar jail from a distance, Dasa bought a Golden State Warriors Tee, and the weekend was over, just like that. Came back to NYC after a pretty comfortable and late Delta flight, and headed straight to 731,Lexington Avenue for another day in office. One of the only two days (the other was in Boston) when I didnt need alcohol in the US to keep me sane. Life is pretty good, I guess!!!
Thanks, Aarti, Maddu and Dasa, for a great weekend!!!!