A different approach to learning


I am a person who is extremely frustrated with the normal schooling style of fixed subjects and less option to concentrate on my favourite field. I used to hate sitting in the classroom, waiting for my teacher to lecture about those interesting things ,straight from the book, and make it as uninteresting as possible. I wanted this kind of education style to change. But I never knew what a possible solution could be or if there could be a solution, because every time I come up with an idea, there will be a loophole somewhere, and finally i made myself believe that this was how it was supposed to be.

But finally, now I found some interesting way. I am doing a project with Mary Ann Johnson,the TJED closet coach on her homeschooling blog . Anyone who has kids and love them so much enough,not to burden them with education and want a creatively educating style,this blog is a must for you. Her primary focus is on using “The Closet” as an educational tool to inspire kids to learn. Her teachings are based on The Thomas Jefferson Education method. Here the system is not to burden children with a set of common subjects that everyone should learn. Parents should search for a spark in the kids, an unusual liking that they show toward something, and then inspire the kids to ask more questions, and familiarise them with stuff that are related to the spark. So here there is no coaxing and teaching, but just answering questions and taking them to a world filled with their interests and teaching them there. But they do learn everything what is taught at school (math, science, language) before its time to apply to a university as per the system. It happens in phases. Do check out the blog for more details.


She doesn’t wish to confine her teaching only for home schoolers . So this closet concept can be applied to all children. I am also not a big fan of day care, we should spend time with our kids atleast till they start going to school. The reason everyone would give is, if they don’t start learning now, then they won’t be able to keep up in school. But when we can bring forth little scientists in our home, then why keep them so far away? Visit the blog for all the fun ideas and simple things in your house that can be used to inspire and teach them.

Sep02

My First Onam In The US

What is Onam? The instant answer that comes to my mind is “Onam is the national festival of our state, Kerala”. This was the first line of the essay or composition writing (as it was called in our curriculum vitae) on “Onam”,in my grade 4. So whenever I hear this question, I think about my composition note book. Since Onam is a big story, I don’t want to elaborate it here( I have been telling the story to every non malayali, I meet here, in the past 1 week, and infact even my hubby who is a malayali). Let me just mention that Onam is celebrated in memory and honor of a very benevolent King who ruled Kerala ages and ages ago; Mahabali or Maveli. If you would like to know the full story and the traditions, its available here .

This Onam was really special for us, since it is the first Onam after our wedding.Our grandmothers deeply felt that “our first onam” should be celebrated in full pomp,like in Kerala,with a good feast, flower carpet,traditional dressing,etc, though we were in the US.Its like a custom. Even we wanted to make it a memorable one. So we thought of inviting a few friends over , and cook some authentic Kerala dishes. And make a small flower carpet ; together.

All these years, my duty on Onam day was to put the flowers.Till I reached high school, my mom would give me a hand, but after that I took on complete authority. I used to enter the kitchen very rarely on that day, if time permitted after my flower carpet work. I just loved to make very big flower carpets and that generally took me from early morning upto noon, to get it done. But this year, with a lot of responsibilities, it felt like I was in my mom’s shoes : cooking two three dishes, giving instructions, giving a hand in the flower carpet project going. It was total fun.

Our friends came home the previous day and we did all the vegetable chopping part. Sunday morning we started cooking, one by one. The only thing I felt bad was , we got all our guests into kitchen and made them do something or the other. We have a saying, “Athithi Devo Bavah”, which means “Treat Guests like God. But, because of the different items we had to prepare, once we added all the main ingredients, we would hand over the spatula to someone, to keep stirring and cook it, without letting it burn off. So all our “Athithis” were kept busy throughout.But thats the real spirit of Onam, everyone participated in every thing.


Our Onam Sadhya menu had Plain Rice, Sambhar, Pulisseri, Koottucurry, Oolan, Cabbage thooran, Chammanthi, Pappadam, Pickle, Chicken Fry(usually not a part, but few of us can’t manage without it), Paayasam and Coke(again an irregularity).

Our flower carpet came out quite well too, though they were not familiar with it. I helped them only for a while and then got drifted with cooking. After that every time I managed to take a peep at the flower carpet,it was getting more and more beautiful. They/them here are Meesu(the guy in blue shirt at the left end of the pic above) and Keets ( the lady sitting third from the right side in saari). Back home we used to buy boxes of flowers for the day, but here we just bought two three bouquets, since flowers are very expensive here.

Another highlight for the day was we were in traditional Kerala clothes,as you would have seen in the pics. We even made our non-Kerala friends wear traditional Kerala outfit. After our delicious lunch we went to our apartment park to click some pictures in our outfits. We knew everyone would be surprised to see us, and yeah, all eyes turned in our direction. They just couldn’t understand what we were in. Though we were willing to help anyone who wanted to know what we were upto, no one asked us anything, except for staring at us from head to feet. And there we stood like some new species smiling vainly, but indeed enjoying the very expected stares.

We made our first Onam together very memorable with all our friends who joined us..Though away from Kerala, we managed to celebrate a wonderful one here, as our grandmothers suggested we should. Hope the next Onam, and the next, and the one after that, is as beautiful as this one. :)

Aug24

Look Who Is Talking – Kanzi

I was reading this article “Inside The Minds Of Animals”, in the Time magazine,few days back. It was about animals ability to complex thinking like human beings. I do share a great relationship with dogs. And I have always felt they understand every word I speak , they understand my gestures. So when I read about the bonobo who could understand language and perfectly follow instructions,it didn’t surprise me much. But, when I got to know that he could speak, he could communicate to humans with a lexigram keyboard and that he would even have telephone conversations, was far from I could assimilate.

Lexigram

Kanzi is the bonobo am talking about.The Time magazine describes Kanzi “ as a fellow of few words-384 of them by formal count,though he probably knows dozens more.” He is a 29 year old male Bonobo (born October 28, 1980) who has been featured in several studies on great ape language.Great ape language involves teaching chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans to communicate with human beings and with each other using sign language, physical tokens, and lexigrams.A lexigram is a symbol that represents a word but is not necessarily indicative of the object referenced by the word. He was brought up at the Great Ape Trust near Des Moines along with his adopted mother and siblings.

Kanzi,The Talking Bonobo
Image courtesy:”www.scenicreflections.com”

According to Sue Savage-Rumbaugh, a primatologist who has studied the bonobo throughout her life and also the head scientist at the Great Ape Trust , Kanzi has exhibited advanced linguistic aptitude,becoming the first observed ape to have learned aspects of language naturalistically; rather than through direct training.

Sue discovered Kanzi’s flair for learning accidentally.Kanzi used to be playing around in the class when she was trying to teach his mother. He would often fall in and pick out things for Sue, when his mom was asked to do so. And later she found that he was trying to communicate with her using the lexigram. The lexigram keyboard had keys, which if pressed would tell out the word. Once he learnt the words he would use a lexigram sheet(mat-like sheets),which was filled with hundreds of colorful symbols, he would build sentences by pointing to it. His lexigram sheet even contained words like from, later and words indicating tenses like -ing and -ed .

Kanzi and his teacher Sue

Sue believed that he would acquire and learn the language better if he learnt like how human babies did. Babies learn by listening to others around them , speaking;and they start using it when they have some need, to ask something or convey something. Similarly Kanzi was allowed to mingle with people, when eating or playing. He mingled with his human friends who used to talk to him in their language. Before long he started picking it up and he even started talking complete sentences vaguely.He could use language almost the way humans did.

She conducted a test to prove that he was not reacting to gestures, but understanding her complete sentences. In a test she wore a welder’s mask and gave instructions,so that Kanzi couldn’t see her expressions and she didn’t make any gestures, he followed her instructions perfectly.

Welding Mask Test, Sue and Kanzi

Kanzi uses his hand for communication (sign language), because unlike other great apes who use their hand for clinging around their mom, Kanzi was carried in arms, when he was a baby at the trust, which left his hand available for commuting. Kanzi could make sounds similar to “yes” or “no” in telephone conversations. For very complex telephone conversations he used his lexigram keyboards.

In an outing in the Georgia woods, Kanzi touched the symbols for “marshmallows” and “fire.” Susan Savage-Rumbaugh said in an interview that, “Given matches and marshmallows, Kanzi snapped twigs for a fire, lit them with the matches and toasted the marshmallows on a stick.”

Kanzi reading from lexigram

Kanzi’s accomplishments also include tool use and tool crafting. Kanzi is an accomplished stone tool maker and can flake Oldowan Style cutting knives. He learned this skill from Dr. Nick Toth, who is an anthropologist with the Stone Age Institute in Bloomington, Indiana. The stone knives Kanzi creates are very sharp and can cut animal hide and thick ropes.

When Kanzi was given Kale, he combined the symbols for slow and lettuce from his lexigram and named it Slow Lettuce, since it took longer time to chew Kale.

I had seen a funny video, in which a dog (I don’t remember the breed), saying “I love you”, in a way baby’s say when they start talking, “ayooveuu”. Now this leaves me musing, if we are approaching an era, where, our pets are going to speak as well as we do. Wow!!! Who is going to be the next one? Lets wait and see…
To watch Kanzi video, click here.

Aug19

Home Shifting


Need for shift:
Our (first)apartment in The Falls At The Hunters Point, was sufficient when Ratish was staying alone. But once I moved in after our wedding, we felt the space was not good enough for us. It was a two bedroom apartment, but the second bedroom was like a den room.

I didn’t have a prayer room. I knew it was impossible to set out a separate room for praying, but I wanted a tidy,calm corner atleast. If we had any guests staying home, then they would have to use the den room. So I didn’t want to set my pooja (prayer) table there,and make the den room even more small.

Our bedroom was already stuffed with the computer and its accessories and my dresser.So there was no place there either. There was no attached bath. There was only a common bathroom, which, our guests had to use too. The lease of the apartment was getting over in a month.So finally we decided we could do with a little more space.

So we decided to move to a three bedroom apartment in the same apartment complex, but again the third room was the den. But that didn’t matter,we had enough space . So next step was packing up. I didn’t have trouble with my clothes because I hadn’t unpacked completely due to the no space problem. But Ratish’s clothes, that was really a lot. The new apartment was three blocks behind the old one. . So we decided to rent a U-Haul , and transfer everything in 1 or 2 trips. Thankfully, we had a few friends who came over and helped us shift.

I got some few house shifting tips from my friends who had this shifting experience,and that did help us to get things done faster.
So here are some packing tips/moving tips on how to pack at
moving packing tips.

Aug11

Moving Packing Tips

Collect boxes: Try getting boxes from your place of work, from friends, from stores or buy from moving companies like U-Haul.Our friend Anoop, working in Coke agreed to get us some boxes. So that solved our box problem.


Label boxes: Pack up section by section, and finish each section in a go. Label each and every box with entire contents, so that you know what is exactly there in each box. I also noted the location of contents in my house on the label. This made my unpacking easier, with the labels we knew where each box had to go; exactly . Also label the boxes which have fragile items. This way the person carrying the box will take care not to handle it roughly.

Another important thing, the box with knife has to be noted. This happened to me, long time back, when we were on a trip, my mom had put fruits and a knife in a paper bag. Though she had covered the knife edge with a cloth, the knife pierced out through it. So when I was trying to take something from the cover, my hand went straight on to the knife and I got a deep cut. From then I have been very careful when packing and unpacking knives.
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When packing brickly items , stuff a lot of clothes,towels, linens,etc in between so that they don’t break. Even your pillows will help. So some of your clothes can be transported along with that. Do label this box too.

You might use suitcases to transfer your clothes. An easy way is to dump all your clothes in a large polythene like the ones we use for garbage disposal. It can hold large amounts of clothes

We dismantled all the furniture, as much as we could, to make it easier to move. We put the screws, bolts and other small pieces into a zip lock bag and labeled it. It can also be taped to the furniture, so that we know where it belongs.

The best way to move your computer is to take it in your car(if you are taking the car with you), rather than packing it in any box. If not, you will have to get an appropriate box, or if you have the box that your computer came in when you bought it, that would be the perfect choice.

I put all documents and important papers in a backpack, so that I could comfortably carry it with me till everything was transfered. I didn’t want to leave it with anyone.

Here,I have written only about “those few things” that we had to transfer.I guess many of you might have more things to be packed and moved .Still, I hope this was useful to you for packing “those few things”,atleast.

Aug10

My First Debit Card Experience

In Kerala, my native, its not very common to use cards; instead of cash, infact only less than 5% of the population would be using it. My dad was never a fan of cards either. He always felt it would make us extravagant; “we keep swiping without an idea of how much money is being spent”,thats what he said. I was telling all these stories to make the point that I never had a credit/debit card of my own and never used it until I got to US,and here its only card or cheque business, not many seems to be using money. So here goes my first card experience.

I got my own card just a month back and I used it for the first time last week at JCPenneys when we went to Newyork. That was the first time I was going for shopping in US without Ratish. We had gone to Newyork for his office annual meeting and party. My friend,Sharanya, who was studying in Newyork had come to meet me, we went for a walk ;did some window shopping and finally got to the accessory’s section at JC Penney’s. I didn’t find much of these (earrings,rings,etc) in Utah, so I did a great shopping. Since I didn’t carry a lot of cash,I had to use my debit card.

I don’t know why, but, looking at the card machine , I could feel a lot of butterflies fluttering in my stomach. I was not sure how or where to swipe it.


I was searching for the slot, if it was on the side or on the top.

And then I saw a red light blinking , showing the direction of swipe. I swiped, entered my pin and submitted. They didn’t ask my signature. I was a bit confused. Then Sharanya swiped her card and signed.

I was terrified, I didn’t show it out though . I asked her calmly ,” how come I didn’t have to sign”, she said I don’t know, we will ask the cashier. But I was getting more and more nervous. I started attacking Sharanya with questions, “Was somethging wrong with the transaction? Will they be able to take more money than the actual amount? Could they have hacked my pin number?” I don’t know what was running through her mind then, but with an expression less face, she said, might be yours was a debit card, mine was credit,didn’t you enter your pin, I didn’t. Thoughtfully I nodded, that made sense to me, but; after a while. I hope my cashier didn’t hear my doubts, she would have thought I was crazy.
Sharanya’s answer couldn’t contain my dubious mind. I just wanted to get back to the hotel so that I could confirm it with Ratish. When I asked him, he thought for a while and said , ” may be”.

Aug02

1Dollar= ??? Rupees

1$=???rupees

When I landed in US the first place I visited was Walmart Super Store. We had to get groceries that we might need the next day morning. Walmart was so huge compared to whatever I had seen in India, no city in India had a super market with such variety of things accumulated in one place. So I actually got deviated from my shopping list and was checking out cosmetics, and everything there.
Now,the first thing that was gaining my attraction was the rate in dollars. I would immediately convert it into rupees*, roll my eyes and move on. Food stuff, I knew it was no point converting, whatever the rate was , we had to buy that ; or starve here. But other things Ratish had to take a lot of effort to convince me that it was ok to buy that. Gradually I started showing some improvement in this, the first time I was in Walmart, I was so particular about making the conversion as per each day’s $ rate. I used to be like now how much is 12.50* 46.40, of course I was not Raamanuja,the great mathematician , to calculate that in my mind. So I would pull out my iphone and switch on the calculator and do it.When I got really fed up of doing that I finally decided to round off the dollar value to 40 or 50 rupees. :) :) . That did make my job a lot easier. :) . This kept happening where ever we went for shopping (clothes/sandals/even sanitary napkins).
I didn’t appreciate this habit, neither did Ratish. So I decided to change this somehow. The only way I found, was to understand clearly the standard of living and quality was really high in the US. Ratish read this post when it was just a rough draft and he told me that the way I was trying to find out, how the Indianised cost would be was actually wrong ; and there was some parameter kept as the standard to do this. It is called the Purchasing Power Parity(PPP). This concept is a bit complicated though. It is complicated by the fact that countries do not simply differ in a uniform price level; rather, the difference in food prices may be greater than the difference in housing prices, while also less than the difference in entertainment prices. People in different countries typically consume different baskets of goods. So let us take an example of PPP that is easy to understand. One of that would be, The Big Mac Index. The index takes its name from the Big Mac, a hamburger sold at McDonald’s restaurants. The Big Mac was chosen because it is available to a common specification in many countries around the world as local McDonald’s franchisees at least in theory have significant responsibility for negotiating input prices. For these reasons, the index enables a comparison between many countries’ currencies.
McDonald's Big Mac

Now, the big mac costs $3.57 in USA and the same cost 1.22 $ in India. Today July 27 2010 1$=46.5 rupees.
So 1 big mac is 56.73 rupees, and accordingly 1$ would be 15.89 rupees.
With this as the basic parameter we can calculate the price of other things. Similarly we can find the conversions for other currencies too.

So now I am happy with my shopping as I was in India and no more confusions.So all of you who are still having this conversion disease, and who might develop this, the difference is not as huge as we think. Another strange thing I came across was, a lot of things are more expensive in India than in the US, and that is obviously what we call inflation.

*Rupees is the currency used in my country,India. In the above image the sign on the right is the symbolic representation of rupees , this was released in July 2010.

Jul27

Hot Wonders of Yellowstone

I am writing this post as a reference for my previous post Yellowstone National Park Trip Day 2
to explain the theories of various features at Yellowstone National Park that I have mentioned there. I got most of the details from their official newspaper,Yellowstone Today.
How Yellowstone Was Formed:
Yellowstone area was formed by a vast volcanic explosion.Much of Yellowstone sits inside an ancient volcanic caldera (the exploded crater of a volcano). The last major caldera forming eruption occurred 600,000 years ago. For hundreds of thousands of years following that, subsequent lava flows slowly filled in most of the caldera. Even now, in some places, nearly molten rock resides as little as 2-5 miles below the surface. Heat from the volcanic activity makes its presence known by heating ground water and creating the thermal features we now see. The four basic types of thermal features present in the Park are geysers, hot springs, fumaroles, and mudpots. I had seen all these four treasures of the park , but I thought all four were geysers in different stages, after seeing the movie and reading an article on these furthered my understanding.

How Geysers Work:
Geysers are hot springs with narrow spaces in their plumbing,usually near the surface. These constrictions prevent water from circulating freely to the surface where heat would escape.The deepest circulating water can exceed the surface boiling point(199 degF/93 deg C). The surrounding pressure also increases with depth, much as it does with depth in the ocean. Increased pressure exerted by the enormous weight of the overlying rock and water prevents the water from vaporizing.As the water rises steam forms.Bubbling upward,steam expands as it nears the top of the water column until the bubbles are too large and numerous to pass freely through the constrictions. At a critical point, the confined bubbles actually lift the water above,causing the geyser to splash or overflow. This decreases pressure on the system,and violent boiling results. Tremendous amounts of steam force water out of the vent, and the eruption begins. Water is expelled faster than it can enter the geyser’s plumbing system, and the heat and pressure gradually decrease. The eruption stops when the water reservoir is exhausted or when the gas bubbles diminish enough to be able to rise without ejecting the water.

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Facts about Old Faithful Geyser:
As of January 2010 an eruption lasts for 1.5 to 5 minutes.The average interval between eruption is 90 minutes, though the eruption duration, height,and the interval between eruptions varies daily and yearly,there has never been a day when Old Faithful Geyser has not erupted at around the same interval of time. This geyser’s height averages 130 feet (106- more than 180 feet), 3,700 to 8,400 gallons of water are expelled per eruption. The water temperature at the vent ,just prior to eruption is 204 deg F(95.6 deg c). Surprising ???

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If you would like to watch the video click here:

Hot Springs, are the most common hydrothermal features in the park. Unlike geysers, their plumbing has no constrictions.Superheated water cools as it reaches the surface,sinks, and is replaced by hotter water from below.This circulation,called convection, prevents water from reaching the temperature needed to set off an eruption.

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Mudpots, are acidic hot springs with a limited water supply. Some microorganisms use hydrogen sulfide, which rises from deep within the earth,as an energy source. They help convert the gas to sulfuric acid,which breaks down rock into clay. Various gases escape through the wet clay mud,causing it to bubble. Mudpot consistency and activity varies with the seasons and precipitation.

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If you would like to watch the video click here

Fumaroles or steam vents are the hottest hydrothermal features in the park.They have so little water that it all flashes into steam before reaching the surface.The result is a loud hissing of steam and gases.

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If you would like to watch the video click here

Hope this post helped you to understand the basic theory of geysers,hot springs, mudpots and fumaroles. This was just to show you what I was talking about and not any technical stuff as you can see.

Jul13

Yellowstone National Park Trip Day 2

contd from Jackson Hole Via Bear Lake Trip Day 1

Next day, early in the morning(according to us), at 11.00 AM we checked out of the wonderful “Cowboy Village Resorts” and bid goodbye to Jackson Hole and continued to Yellowstone National Park. I was all excited about seeing the wildlife ,especially the Grizzly Bears,and could you believe my luck? Before we entered the park, I saw a couple of bears in the distance, I could hardly breathe and I nearly choked when I said out,” grizzly bear” . Ratish took a glance in the direction where I was looking and doubled up laughing. :-| . He asked me how come the whole bear family is out? There were a lot of them actually,but that was just a herd of black and dark brown cows grazing. For the rest of the trip whenever Ratish spots a cow, he would start screaming, “grizzly Beaaaaaaaar”. :( .
We made our entry through Grand Teton. Till we reached Jenny Lake we didn’t find any animals. From South Jenny Lake Junction we took a shuttle Boat across and hiked from there up to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point. Hidden Falls was very beautiful, the white frothy water gushing all the while, was alluring. When we disembarked we were warned of finding bears , and so whenever we were alone on any trail, I kept thinking if we were trying to explore Pandora’s box.
This is my first hike after coming to US, and it was a terrific experience. Jenny Lake looked striking from up there.

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Rest of the drive was a bit monotonous except for a few deers and a moose and spectacular mountains and lakes. This was the first time I was seeing a deer and its fawn, we were very close to it, that didn’t seem to bother them, guess they were used to seeing crowd and looked like they were really aware about what would happen to anyone(by law) who hurt or annoyed them.
We visited Old Faithful Geyser . Yellowstone National Park has over 500 geysers and this place has severe winter, that people can’t endure. This was far from what I could fathom. Won’t such severe winter make the heat deep below subside to some extent? That left me wondering for a long time. Old Faithful is the world’s most famous geyser, as its name suggests this geyser has been faithful from the time it was discovered till date. It erupts every day with an average interval of 90 minutes
We had decided before starting the trip that we were visiting the Yellowstone IMax Theatre to watch their 3D effect movie, whatever they played.They were playing “Yellowstone” movie that night and since I couldn’t make any sense out of the technique behind geysers, we decided that we had to watch the movie. First of all I-Max was awesome. The whole story might make this post pretty long, so am putting the details in another post, Hot Wonders of Yellowstone
Still I don’t know how Old faithful Geyser erupts at correct intervals. The perfection of the geological forces that causes it is amazing . Even in winter the snow clad surface around the geysers are warm, so animals like bison lie around the geyser for some warmth. Walking by mudpots was really difficult because of the stench. Its caused by the hydrogen sulphide gas that escapes from the vent, this gas has the smell of rotten eggs. Pooh! We held our breath and walked the area.
For the night stay we had booked The Stage Coach Inn at yellowstone, and that was a terrible mistake. First of all the room was overpriced. But since this was a last minute plan and we didn’t want any more delayed booking we decided to take it. There was no proper parking area.We had reserved for a King size bed, but they gave us a Queen size bed with no reduction in rate. The size and quality of this room was less than average. Even the American prisons would have bigger bathrooms than what was there in our room. The shower place was so small that we could hardly stand straight inside that. All this for 130$.And finally when we complained about all this, came a purring “soorry”. That was the worst experience we had at any hotel.
Except for this we had a wonderful trip. Looking forward to our next one.

Jul13

Jackson Hole Via Bear Lake Trip Day 1

July 4th was a much awaited holiday, it was the first break we would be taking in nearly one and a half months; after our wedding. May sped off with our wedding shopping, wedding, reception, visiting relatives, flying to Chennai for the visa interview. All we had was 2 weeks, spent in different parts of Kerala and 2 days in Chennai. Reached US on June 30th, sometime went off with jetlag, sometime went off with unpacking, and again repacking and moving to a new house.
By the time we finished setting it up we knew that we had to have some fun and was so happily waiting for July 4th. The plan was to visit Grand Teton and Yellow Stone and stay there for a night each. As usual our plan for packing early and sleeping early the night before leaving, flopped. We started packing at 11 PM. And of course our departure time got postponed from on or before 7.00 AM to 9.30 AM. Whatever!!! Finally we started. :) .

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Our GPS took us through a really interesting route, the roads were going in between the mountains and there were a lot of brooks, the water was so freezing. We halted at Bear Lake for a while on the way, it was really beautiful and I have decided to go there for our next trip. The blue waters was really tempting.

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We were heading to Jackson hole for the nights stay. We reached there at around 5.30 in the evening. We were staying at the Cowboy Village Resorts. We had booked for a cabin and it was really nice. It was a wooden cabin, every part of it was done with wood, there was a bedroom, a bathroom, a kitchen area(equipped with all necessary utensils), a drawing room and dining area. There was a bench and table outside too, in the lawn and verandah. And a barbecue griller. Wow!!!. Only thing we were staying there only for a night and leaving the next morning.

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That was too short to enjoy such a wonderful cabin.
We got there ,took a shower,and went out for a walk. There was a cowboys show at Town Square . We were lucky, we got there just before they started.They do the show every day at 6.00 PM . It was a fun show, but all kids were terrified with their gun shots. To be frank, even I was startled by each shot till the end of the show.
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The Jackson city has a lot of art and antique museums and lots of photography exhibitions. I have to say each piece I saw there was mind blowing. The antique sculptures were so huge and each of them breathed life (picture along with the cabin picture). Even the paintings, they didn’t look like paint on a canvass , but a real photograph. So now can you tell me how a photograph there looked like? Of course those looked so real and alive. Climate was fine in the evening, but as darkness crept over , I started feeling really cold. Thanks to Anoop and Keerthana, our friends, who insisted that i carry Keerthana’s winter jacket. They predicted it right that it will be too cold for me since I hadn’t experienced the US winter yet. We devoured a delicious dinner at Ape-Thai and headed back to our cabin with glow stick bangles on our hands (I had five and Ratish had just one, wasn’t that mean of him?), through the dark streets,with everyone who passed us staring at our hands:). But the bangles helped us to cross the roads, we just had to raise our hands, and those in the driving seat could see us from quite a distance and slow down. :) The bed was really cosy, I cuddled up to him for warmth and closed my eyes, and there I was in a cowboy world with horses and sculptures and red Indians.
To be Contd…. Day 2 at Yellowstone National Park

Jul09