27 September 2005

Miscellaneous pictures

Other places around Lexington

Visit to Berea, the Arts and Craft capital of Kentucky

Berea is a charming town an hour's drive from Lexington. We passed lots of (what else) horse farms on our way there. I'm kind of hitting a saturation point with horses here. But I did see cows in one pasture. I have this doubt whether they are brought out on Derby day to make some of the non-performing horses look good!

Berea was full of handicraft and antique stores. Candle-making, quilting, stained glass, fused glass, glass jewelry, weaving and quilting studios dominate the little town. There's even an art college where attempts are on to revitalise fading arts and crafts. Did I forget to mention that Berea's a shopper's paradise too? Quaint little shops with the most amazing collection of knick-knacks and antiques! My credit card wanted to swipe for the most amazing quilt made with over 8,000 patches of fabric, but I had to put my foot down. My poor suitcase insisted that it possibly couldn't carry all that! I loved some awesome stained glass sun-catchers. But for the pain of transporting it!

Even Pa found something to his taste in Berea. See these thingies, they are made of recycled inner tubes. They are (supposedly) arty type of pins. It's not the Arty part of it that appealed to him anyway... hehehe...

Visit to Woodford Reserve Distillery at Glenn's creek

The distillery

sour mash under fermentation

copper vats

How could I be in Kentucky, and not see where and how Bourbon is made? Gowri drove us to Glenn's Creek, where Woodford Reserve is distilled. A charming distillery that blends into the surroundings beautifully in a picturesque vale. We had a nice tour of the old fashioned distillery where the mash is still distilled through three copper kettles. We saw the entire process starting from grain measures and cooking of the mash to bottling. But since we visited on a Sunday, when the law says that Kentucky stays dry, all we could do was sniff. No samples. How tragic... Ate lots of the bourbon candy samples and picked up a few as gifts.

Frankfort, KY

Gowra took us on a drive to Frankfort, the capital of Kentucky one evening. This is the Capitol. I expected the capital to be a larger place, but it was a small quiet town along the river.

We even saw a paddleboat!

This is the flower clock. The minute hand is 20 feet long and supposedly moves almost a foot to mark the minute!

And what's Kentucky's motto??

'Unbridled Spirit'.. with an abstract of a horse in motion!

Enough horsing around already!

Jacobson Park, Lexington

These Pictures were taken at Jacobson Park in Lexington. More than the well designed play area, Aditi is totally fascinated by ducks.

We see ducks where ever we happen to be in Lexington! By common consensus, we have decided to carry along duck food as well as baby food whenever we set out on any outing!

This utterly charming park has a large lake (home to the gazillion docks), sprawling grounds, and a lovely kids play area! If the weather is fine, we have plans to go boating in the lake some weekend.

What does Aditi remember best about the outing to the park? The utterly fearless goose that walked up to her and took a biscuit out of her hand!

17 September 2005

I can't help falling in love with..

... NEW YORK. Clichéd as it sounds, I was totally floored by my visit to the Big Apple! It was like falling in love again... first time of course being with 'Death By Chocolate' at good old Corner House!
Manhattan is totally awesome. That place has an energy that's totally infectious! 15 minutes into Manhattan and all my fatigue and jetlag were forgotten. I was infused with a sudden burst of energy that left my folks and Murali uncle zapped. Aditi, the sweetheart that she is, kept up with my enthusiasm!
We started out with a visit to see the dame with the torch. Only ma and I had any enthu to walk up the pedestal and take in the view. After that it was off on a train to downtown Manhattan. The train from Jersey City took us straight to Ground Zero.
What happened at the WTC four years ago was a tragedy, but seeing that desolate hole in the ground in person did something to me. Somehow seeing it in person, standing that and seeing a big crater on the ground and skyscrapers all around, and the flags around flying at half mast made the horror and the sheer magnitude of the tragedy very real.
After that we all grabbed a bite and walked to the Empire State Building. Crappy part of it was that we stood in queues and went through all sorts of security checks only and finally got to the ticket counter after nearly an hour only to be told that visibility from the observation deck was zero. I hate cloudy weather!
So we navigated our way out of there and headed to Time Square. I asked Axe to meet me there. And he was annoyed that I stopped for a moment to take a picture of something. Apparently that makes me a "tourist" . Wow.... i guess that's a complete faux pas! How could I do something so thoroughly clumsy or inconsiderate!!! So native New Yorkers may now think of me as a 'tourist'. Damn... I brought that on myself!
I decided to call it a day after that, and just try to catch up on sleep. And I convinced my folks that we should go back there again the next day, and that's just what we did. But what with getting Aditi ready and taking a train to the big apple from NJ, we didn't get there till almost noon.
This time we played it better and took one of those hop-on-hop-off-tours. That was a really good call, imho. We got to the top of the empire state buildings, where dad took lots of videos (I really have no clue why), and Aditi was fast asleep. I take my daughter to the top of the world and she falls asleep...... those certainly aren't MY genes.
And then we spent better part of the afternoon on the bus seeing all the 'Patel points'. I was totally kicked at the sheer number of buildings with Art Deco trimmings. Some of the older ones, especially like the NY Public Library were really ornate. I never thought New York had that many old-fashioned buildings trimmed with scrollwork. And the guide on the tour bus was a bit of an architecture buff, and he pointed out some really lovely examples. We saw Greenwish village, Lower East Side, Wall Street, Time Square and other assorted 'must see' points of on interest.
The evening tour was great. Boy, does Manhattan light up pretty! We were driven over the bridge to Brooklyn, to see the lights of Manhattan.
Seriously though, I could spend a week in Manhattan and still not see all there is! I didn't get to see the Metropolitan Museum of Art. That was the one thing I really wanted to see! So maybe on my way back Singy I will..... This is one place I wish I could come to and explore it on my own. I could leave Aditi with Arun and come over to NY and explore and enjoy it to the hilt. Sigh.... total wishful thinking!
Pics?? definitely.... when I get around to downloading them. No enthu for that right now

Musings from Kentucky

All I could see from the window as the plane descended towards Lexington was lots of grassy paddocks and lots of horses! Imagine seeing that many horses.

It was great seeing Gowra after such a long time. This place is quite pretty. After all the highrises of Singy, a residential area where I can't hear traffic, where the houses are spaced wide apart, where there's no bright light shining thru windows late into the night, this is really strange! Which is why I'm awake all odd hours updating my blog.
And bear with me, people, about the word verification before posting comments. Got too much spam lately, so enabled that.

12 September 2005

Off to spend a month with sis

It's been a totally hectic couple of weeks. I still havent figured out which way is up. But finally am off tomorrow on a nice holiday, and spend a month with Gowra..... Aditi is going to miss Arun like crazy. I just hope she doesn't cry too much at the airport! More blogging from the US.