Tuesday, February 27, 2007

San Antonio - 2

The second day in San Antonio began, after a sumptous breakfast of toast,fruits and egg, with visits to the historic missions.
A chain of five missions were built in the 18Th century in Texas mainly to acculturate and Christianize the native population and make them Spanish citizens. Built primarily to expand Spanish New World influence northward from Mexico, the missions also served to introduce native inhabitants into Spanish society.






The picture shows Mission Concepcion. This is the only mission church in San Antonio, Texas, that has never collapsed. However, the colorful geometric designs that originally covered the exterior surface of the mission cannot be seen today. This colourful building is said to have been the most attractive one at its time as there was no other obstruction in its vicinity, nwith the patterns and its elegance the mission was a real eye-catcher.

Next we visited the Mission San Jose. Here we were shown a movie on the lives of red Indians, their culture, their lives,their civilization. They once lived in Texas content and in peace.However they soon had to succumb to the Spanish n other European kings. These kings were just to the natives n did not make them slaves but gave them rights on their land and the crops they produced.





But they were unfortunate and declined due to inadequate military support, disease, and increased hostilities with Apaches and Comanches. However their memories are still etched on these lands n we got to hear a lot about their stories from our guide.




Next we went to the Alamo. It has great historic importance and the whole story of the Alamo war can be read here.

All these monuments have been maintained very well and the courtyard behind Alamo is a beautiful place. It is adorned with a garden and is situated right in the heart of the city and hence was pretty crowded with tourists and devotees.(mardi gras is a famous festival here too.)

The most famous of all attractions in San Antonio was next - The River walk. The San Antonio river has many channels and the city is proud to have even a boat taxi.There is a boat ride which is a must on ur visit to San Antonio. The cheerful boat captain gleefully welcomes us n says"The best seats are the red ones!!" I happily look around to find all sets are painted red. lol!

On the river walk is a river centre mall which is a very romantic place.. so many restaurants with seats on the river side..The very ambiance is enough to make an evening memorable!!!



The guide had many stories to tell us about the places and landmarks we saw, the movies which had been shot there(Miss Congeniality, Selena) and the history behind many of the buildings. I also got to know about the flood in 1929 which had affected the city majorly and also the time when the stock markets bombarded and a building worth 3 billion dollars was auctioned out for mere 27 k. :(


The picture on right is called Titanic building or something like that for its boat shaped view from the river walk. Hope you are able to make out the boat shape.

There was more San Antonio had to offer us but as we had leaked out of time, we had to pack up and start back. And i began my journey back home with a heart full of pleasant memories, capturing the river, the bridges, the lights, the people, the boatman and watever i cud gather in my mind till we would go again visiting the beautiful city of San Antonio..

Saturday, February 24, 2007

San Antonio - 1










I have been so engrossed in my driving and glass paintings that blogging had to take a secondary place this week.. But I'm back to tell u about the wonderful trip we had to San Antonio during mardi gras.

The trip towards San Antonio took us 3 hrs and 25 minutes by road and the first stop was at the Wild Life Ranch,Natural Bridge..Although it was not exactly like the wild, adventurous African safaris we see on discovery, it was a first time experience to drive thru a ranch n feed the animals from the window..
There were more than 50 animal species including ostriches,zebras, wallabies, giraffes, llamas, antelopes, jaguars and macaws.The horns of most of them gave me tremors. However after a while i felt comfortable feeding them..May be they knew that we weren't allowed to step out of our vehicles which is why they took pleasure in peeping inside..

Only some of the animals ventured to eat for most seemed either fed up of the food or too full to eat anymore..





It was a real beauty to see them enjoy in their natural habitat. So much better than watching them behind the bars of a cage in a zoo or circus.



N the horns they possessed!! wat shapes and sizes... surely a feast to ones eyes..
Feeding the giraffe and the petting area with lots of cute sheep attracted many tourists too..


















Next we went to the market square - El Mercado.Market Square is the scene of many Hispanic festivals where food and beverage booths spring up alongside the Guadalajara lamps and the strains of mariachi music blend with the excitement of Mexican dances. It was fun to watch the girls in their long flowing skirts, dancing to the beats of foot tapping music..





Next we went to the latest attraction in town The Aztech theatre. It is a palace renovated into a theatre.. every 90 mins there is an introductory laser show in the lobby. It gives u an ancient times feel and is pretty thrilling for kids..
The picture above shows a 2000 pound chandelier. N the palace is beautiful with its statues and lighting..
The night life at san antonio is gorgeous with all the many restaurants by the river walk.. will tell u more abt river walk in my next post.. till then enjoy!!!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

I need a Title..


Friends, Bloggers, Readers,


I would very much appreciate ur help in choosing a title for my blog.. Do leave ur comments n help me choose..


Cheers,

Diya

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Wisdom for wives


When you marry him, Love him.
If he is honest, Honour him.
If he is generous, Appreciate him.
When he is sad, Cheer him.
When he is cross, Amuse him.
When he is talkative, Listen to him.
When he is quarrelsome, Ignore him.
If he is slothful, Spur him.
If he is noble,Praise him.
If he is jealous,Cure him.
If he cares not for pleasures,Coax him.
If he favours society, Accompany him.
If he does you a favour,Thank him.
When he deserves it, Kiss him.
Let him think how well you understand him.
But never let him know what you manage him.
This is a page from the diary of my father-in-law, dated December 1971.
He wrote it for my mother-in-law and I was given this, after my marriage.
I did not have the fortune to meet him as he passed away three years back. But this page, i feel is a gift from him which i will treasure for ever..

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Lovers Day!!


Come Feb 14th and people are running around buying flowers, chocolates, toys, gifts and wat not!!! So was i.. Last year.. Buying this n that for my fiance , and not knowing what he wud like n what he won't.. and running around for couriering it to the US.. Thanks to my dear friend vishak who helped me with all that hurdle...On receiving the parcel he told me it was like opening a akshya pathram (A vessel in Hindu Mythology in which food never gets over..)
N the picture above happens to be a glass painting i made for him last year.. feels gr8 when i look at it now hanging on the wall of our home.. :)
This Valentines day as i turn back to look at all the past years when i had been single, i realize how lovers are ever excited to impress their valentine!! The difference seems really striking..
I will borrow the dialogues from the famous mani ratnam tamil movie "Alaipayuthe" which goes like this:
"Before marriage, love is like a beautiful, tender flower.. Making the entire world around you seem amazing.. But when a strong wind blows the petals fall off..But in marriage love grows roots.. It gets cemented.."
Had i been on the other side of wed lock i wouldn't have liked this particular dialogue.. For i was one of them who said marriage is not necessary in life.. But now i am on this side.. lol!!
But one lesson surely it has taught me. I'm no more running around buying presents and definitely feel more secure :)
I wish each one of u also find bliss in ur love life n have a great valentines day!! Keep smiling and have a cheerful day!

Friday, February 9, 2007

NASA

Wednesday was our day out at the NASA space center, Houston..
And i haven't been able to post about it cos i was busy playing home maker and hostess :) But the place had such a huge impact on me that i thought i must share it with you..
The place is hardly an hours drive from my home and the first attraction there was a tram trip of the entire NASA Johnson Space Center, which included visits to the Historic Mission Control Center, the Space Vehicle Mock up Facility and Sonny Carter Training Facility..
The picture below shows the Historic Mission Control Center which was used during the 60's to control the famous escapades like the one by Neil Armstrong to the moon and the Mercury and Gemini series..It took us a fleet of 87 steep steps to reach the control room and on the floor below that is the current control room to which of course we had no access..

It felt great to be seated on the chairs which were once occupied by ex - Presidents of the United States or famous personalities like Marlyn Monroe when a space ship was launched..
Next our stop was at the Training Center.. The astronauts are Trained in the Sonny Carter Training Facility and Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory. We got a fair picture of their though training and grooming schedules trough a 30 minute movie they played us on the IMax theater the screen of which is 5 stories high and the movie was called "To be an astronaut"




It was thrilling to watch the would be astronauts dress up n get geared up to take their practice sessions in the Mock up room.. As i stood there awestruck, my husband captured a video of the same which I've uploaded below








After the tram tour we were left to explore on our own the various marvels put forth by NASA.. For kids it was all the more fun n excitement for they had games and other amusements..The Blast Off Theatre was another interesting stop where we could interact with one of the Mission Briefing Officers who showed us live pictures of what was happening at the International Space Station(ISS) which has 3 astronauts living in there for the past 145 days.. And it was really a proud feeling when she mentioned that one of the 3 was Ms Sunitha Williams an Indian.
And for those of u who r interested to know more about her http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/williams-s.html




Another exhibit was a living in space module where the officer in charge told us about the various constraints on a space ship and how the astronauts coped up with it.. It was interesting to know that they had magnets attached to their food trays, spoons forks and had special shampoos, soaps which didn't require water.. How they trimmed their hair, how everything is kept sealed in a cupboard lest it all starts flying around etc..The picture below shows a mock up of their space inside a space ship.. Note that the door just behind the officer is the shower.. Imagine wat a pity!!

Next was the Star ship Gallery with many artifacts and hardware on display.. I will let pictures do the talking for if i start describing about each one its gonna take forever..



For all the other attractions i missed out because one day is seriously not enough for the huge place, do check out :- http://www.spacecenter.org/

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Need for Speed..



The Viper zoomed behind the Pontiac.The whole room shook in the heat and thrill of race.. As the kids shrieked in excitement their moms said to each other "These kids!! Don't they ever get fed up of this stupid car race??"

No kids never get tired of car or bike races.. I loved Porsche, road rash and the like.. Even though me n my sis didn't have a brother, these kinda games never ceased to be part of our childhood..

Need for speed.. It was a thrilling game for me which i always looked forward to play!! But when i came here, in Houston all the pictures i saw in the game loomed up as if alive in front of me.. The wide freeways, the beautiful roads leading as if into horizon gushed back memories of the game.. But this time it didn't feel thrilling enough.. The speed and fast paced cars somehow conceived a spark of fear in me. Some fear of the unknown.. As if i was loosing something, in this fast paced life..It seemed most unlikely for someone who grew up playing these kind of games.. N also, i do have a passion for cars being a Scorpio may be.. But suddenly I felt i was not ready for something.. Life was kind of barging in.. speeding in, breaking all limits..

The world sure is changing!! Technology is rampant in every sector!I can c and talk to my mother sitting thousands of miles away, at the cost of just connecting the Internet.. In the Field of medicine, aviation, communication, take any problem, technology has found a solution to a large extent..But has it added value to life? Are we really living an enriched life? In spite of all the facilities and comforts at times the speed seems hogging into you, creating a hollow.. As i slowed down in life with a little free time to think, i realize the impact of speed.. Nobody turns around to see whether ur following.. Opportunity never knocks twice..But my dear friend as u accelerate to attain goals, pulling on the reins of technology,don't miss out to enjoy the beauty of the blooming flowers around u, to smell the earth when the first drops of the showers touch u..N never ignore the innocent child smiling somewhere deep inside u!!

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Tagged!!!

Right when i had been wondering whether i had been writing a lot about myself, Harshal Tagged me.. So here i go... Blabbering more about myself ..

10 FAV0RITES

Fav0rite C0l0r : Blue,Black,Magenta
Fav0rite F00d : Chicken Biriyani.
Fav0rite M0nth : June
Fav0rite S0ng : Nothings gonna change my love..(And many more!!)
Fav0rite M0vie : City of Angels, Jerry McGuire
Fav0rite Sp0rt : Hide and seek(LOL)
Fav0rite Seas0n : Spring and monsoons.
Fav0rite Day 0f the week : Sunday.
Fav0rite Ice Cream Flav0r : Mango, Butter-scotch
Fav0rite Time 0f Day :Evenings

8 CURRENTS
Current M00d : Sulky
Current Taste : Sweet
Current Cl0thes : Black T-shirt, Grey tracks.
Current Deskt0p : Windows XP
Current T0enail C0l0r : Magenta
Current Time :2:40 Pm
Current Surr0undings :My Living Room
Current Th0ughts : This is the stupidest tag yet.

6 FIRSTS
First Best Friend : Some kid..forgot the name.
First Screen Name : screened where??? :O.
First Pet : Dad never allowed pets. :(
First Piercing : Ears.
First Album : Don't remember
First M0vie : Sholey(I went as a baby with mom n dad :))

6 LASTS
Last Cigarette : when I was in college.
Last Drink : Water
Last Car Ride : This morning.My driving classes.
Last M0vie Seen : Guru.
Last Ph0ne Call : Nowadays its mostly through Yahoo messenger..
Last B00k Read : The Good Earth by Pearl.S.Buck

5 Nexts
Next thing to do: publish this blog!
Next Holiday: Not yet decided but I quite fancy California.
Next Movie: Breakfast at Tiffany's'.
Next Book To Read : Time Travellers Wife
Next Blog : This one!!!!


2 CH0ICES
1. Black 0r White : Black
2. H0t 0r C0ld : Cool.

Friday, February 2, 2007

The Weird Blog

I ALWAYS KNEW I WAS WEIRD...

n this is what i found.. Try out how weird you are and do let me know!!

You Are 40% Weird

Normal enough to know that you're weird...
But too damn weird to do anything about it!
source : Blogthings.com

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