# SVL 1.4: The Great Outdoors and Indoors

29th July 2014

After I wrote to you the previous time, we went out and went to DeeDees, a Gujarati restaurant for dinner. Just near where we parked, I took these pictures.

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​That Sunday we went to my nephew&#8217;s birthday party in Lemos Farm near Half Moon Bay. It was a great venue for a kids party because there are domesticated animals in different parts of the farm like ponies, goats etc. that kids can ride on or feed. We had passed it on our scenic drive after our first visit to my cousin&#8217;s place the weekend after we got here so I remembered it. The only thing was that I had misread Lemos as Lemons farm 🙂 It was nice to hang out with their family, this time along with many visiting relatives from India and different parts of the Bay Area. The little man was turning two! His mum had made &#8216;mac and cheese&#8217; and cupcakes for the kids and they had ordered awesome food from a South Indian place for the lunch that followed the big cake cutting. I took some pictures with my phone before I switched to their SLR. My cousin&#8217;s wife&#8217;s mum liked that I was walking around with an SLR because it is exactly what I did during her son&#8217;s wedding 3 years ago and those had came out well 🙂
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We went for a drive along Skyline Boulevard after the party and rested at home until the temperatures cooled. Then we headed to Santosh’s office parking lot for my first driving lesson. I started off shaky, drifting left and right and too far in the middle out of fear of hitting the edge. But as I practiced, I got better with going straight, stopping gently and with my turns. I even parked 🙂 Santosh was a good teacher.

On Tuesday we went Mini-Golfing nearby. I had never played golf before but Santosh has been familiar with it for quite some time. We took a round of 18 holes, me with a yellow ball and Santosh with a dark blue one. We got one putter each. Santosh scored better than me and we found that while he’s about subtle and nuanced movements, I’m about force and power. I’m sure our (in)experience also played a role. It was really fun and relaxing, the weather was just perfect to be out golfing.
On Thursday just as the previous week I went out for the writers meet up. I spoke even more with my new friend about writing, children, policies etc. We may meet up for a meal sometime with our partners.
On Saturday Santosh and I went to out for some eye tests and then for driving practice again. This time I was far more confident and Santosh said I was smoother. I can feel the progress and driving is getting easier and less scary.

On Sunday, we went swimming together in the apartment pool. Neither of us had swum in a long time and it felt awesome to be in the water again! Because I learnt how to swim at a very young age, a lot of it has stuck with me. Santosh on the other hand, remembered a lot less so in part it also became a swimming lesson. When we got back to the house, I noticed sharp tan lines bordering the edges of my 40s style swimming costume and felt almost Aussie again :). I had been hesitant to wear that swimsuit out here because it’s so modest but I’d be too shy to wear anything else. And when I went there, two of the ladies sitting in the shade, watching their children swim asked me where I got it (India) and whether they could try to get it in Indian stores here. Fashion, it seems, takes these cycles.

Apart from these outdoor activities, we have been enjoying movies indoors and doing some elaborate cooking at home together including Adai,Hirekai chutney,Rajma basedsubji which I invented in Germany withthepla,gothumaravaiupma, and more recently, divine tastingAkki Roti (Santosh’s specialty) – which I took pictures of:

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​But we have also been going out sampling cuisines during weekends like Amici&#8217;s pizza, Wholefoods Japanese rolls and Buritos, Merit Vegetarian Chinese restaurant, Chaathouse, Deedees, Nirvanah Icecreams (where I had Mochachip icecream and Santosh had SweetPan).
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Today is Mangala Gowri Poojai. It’s the day the wife prays for her husbands good health and long life. It is especially special because it’s my first. We got things ready together and performed it in ourkindof amateur way. But as we will be doing it again for the next four Tuesdays, I’m sure I’ll get better at it 🙂 Here are some pictures from today.

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We then opened a gift sent by Santosh&#8217;s cousin, which was a large picture of us together from our reception. That&#8217;s the first one that we have from the wedding which is printed and framed so professionally! Really great to have that in our living room. Then we decided the time had come to nail up all the pictures we had and rearrange the gods to include the new ones we got for the wedding. Now our house looks so much more ours, and settled.
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Apart from this picture fest I have sent you, I’m pleased to inform you that my first draft of my first short story was completed yesterday. It needs a Lot of work though before it’s ready to be read by others. And in other news, Santosh has discovered my weakness for coffee, I’ve started drinking again. I’ll have more to report after this weekend’s trip to Michigan for Santosh’s niece’s graduation party. But for now that’s it from here.
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Enjoy 🙂