Pictures from some of our trips

We have been to many places in these few years. This is a small effort from our side to portray some of the places we have visited. Living in California has given us a lot of opportunities to visit many beautiful places in and around California. This is a humble effort from our side to open our trip albums in front of you.

Durga Puja in Bay Area

We have been involved with Sanskriti's Durga Puja for sometime now. It all started with getting bored during Durga Puja. I am sure Bengalis will agree that puja is not the time when you want to feel bored. So we ( read some of my friends and I) decided to get involved during Durga Puja. Over the years we have been more and more involved in organizing the event and Durga Puja has become a very hectic and exciting time for us. I have tried to potray some of the aspects of our puja here.

Lake Tahoe Log cabin Trip

After almost a year's planning we finally managed to plan our famous "Log cabin Trip". Kudos to Nilendu for sending out the first fiery email that got everyone all worked up to plan the trip. After booking and cancelling almost 9 SUVs we finally managed to get thr right choice of cars to make our trip on evening of 28th December. The cabin was really beautiful set on the shores of North Lake Tahoe. Since we stayed at the log cabin we had to cook our food ar "Bangali-r to pathar mangsho nahole cholena. ". So we bought close to 10lbs of "Patha" and drove to Lake Tahoe in 3 SUVs. The next three days were filled with a lot of activities from Soumen trying to learn ice skating( we all know that he took the lessons so that he could hold the cute blonde instructor's hands !), to Snowmobiling to, bon fire on the beach front and Nilendu spending 3 hours trying to cook 10 lbs of "Patha". We really enjoyed the trip and look forward to make more such trips in the future. Oh btw in the last picture you will find Nilendu, Sukanya, Soumen, Sanchita, Abhijit, Anindita, Sourav, Vaishali, Myself, Amrita, Anindya, Minakshi.

YellowStone and Grand Teton national Park

Christmas 2005, we visited YellowStone National park and and Grand Teton National park . The planning of the trip was really unique. Five days before Christmas Anindya gives me a call and asks if we are interested in joining them for a trip to YellowStone. I told him that it would be impossible to get tickets at such a short notice and then he stuns me by saying we will drive. The thought of driving close to 1000 miles each way in a period of 4 days in the snow was intimidating. Nevertheless Shiba,Manisha,Anindya,Meenakshi, Amrita and I rented a huge SUV and set out towards YellowStone. Yellowstone is a dream world of ice and steam in winter. Although the park is closed to normal vehicles snow mobiling ( there is huge controversy around this) is allowed. So we decided the spend a day snow mobiling in Yellowstone. The trip was worth every second. The adrenaline rush of speeding ( read 40 mph only) on the snow laden roads was truly exhilarating. We managed to spot wolves, elks, bison a moose and some more wildlife. We took the route from the West Yellowstone entrance to Old faithful and back. On our way back from Yellowstone we took a detour and visited Grand Teton. Although this was more of a touch and go visit we still managed to capture a few nice shots of the Tetons. Ee had an appropriate finale to the trip by enjoying a grand casino style buffet at Reno. Although we drove close to 2300 miles in a span of 4 days the trip was not much tiring. Oh and on the way back we managed to stay at this small casino town in Nevada called Jackpot for only $20 a night. Cheap rooms are still available in America but it is tough to find lunch in a ski town on Christmas Day. We learnt that the hard way.

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Labor Day 2005, Kundan,Soma, Kanishka,Ranjita,Snigdha,Amrita and I decided to visit Santa fe, New Mexico. We decided to get together to give Snigdha a bachelorette party. Snigha would be moving back to India and we thought this would be the best opportunity to meet up. Santa fe is a truly laid back place and one can spend time just enjoying the culnary diversity of this place. Everyday we had a sumptous breakfasts then a light lunch and finally freak out on dinner again. In between the food we managed to visit a pueblo ( Indian village) at Taos, and Bandelier National Monument where we came across some really old Indian dwellings. It was short relaxing trip.

Las Vegas , Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park

Christmas 2004, we visited Las Vegas ,Bryce Canyon national Park and Zion National Park. Soumen, Sanchita,Sourav, Vaishali, Amrita and myself rented a minivan and drove down to Vegas. Please do not rely on Sourav's driving directions he will invariably take you in the opposite direction. We spent the first day in Vegas at MGM Grand and then moved to Westin. Our Vegas stay was exciting. We got to see the blue man show and I also had the honor of getting a kiss from a blue man :-). The blue man show experience was amazing, you might want to check it out if it is playing in your city. Also what is Vegas without the grand buffets, we had the opportunity of experiencing the gourmet delicacies of the MGM and Luxor buffets. Our Vegas trip also saw the birth of the "Bihari Sisters". Sanchita,Vaishali and Amrita will be able to elucidate on this matter. After Vegas we drove to Southern Utah towards Bryce Canyon National Park and Zion National Park. We spent around 24 hours in Bryce. Sunrise over Bryce Amphitheater was really worth the subzero temparature . The park was mostly covered with snow and so we could only drive through some vista points. I need to go there again to do the horse ride down to the bottom of the canyon. We did a small drive through tour of Zion. One needs to do extensive hikes to see Zion so I plan to go back there in summer.

Southern Utah - Arches and Canyonlands National Park

Memorial Day 2004, we visited Arches national Park and CanyonLands National Park. Asamanja, Kanishka,Ranjita,Snigdha ,Kundan, Amrita and myself flew down to SaltLake City. We rented a huge Chevy Silverado and drove to the red canyon land of Souther Utah. We visited both Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park. We did the three hour hike to the "Delicate Arch". Sunrise over the "LandScape Arch" was also a memorable experience. The fiery furnace hike was exciting although Amrita might not agree with us !. In CanyonLands we drove part of the "Shafer's Trail" it was pretty scary. The "Islands in the Sky" district is a must see for anyone visiting Canyonlands. We did not have time to visit the Needles district. I would like to go down again over there to do an ATV tour. I guess that part of Utah is a dreamland for ATV enthusiasts.

Welcome to New York City

The Big Apple , Labor Day 2003 , finally I could fulfill Amrita’s long term dream of visiting New York City. The true melting pot of cultures ,cuisines languages and every other social and cultural aspect of humanity. Studying at Rutgers had given me some opportunity to visit New York City. But this trip was like a hurricane. We reached NYC on a Saturday afternoon and came back on Monday morning. But in that short span of 2 1/2 days we managed to see the famous phantom of the opera broadway musical. That was truly a lifetime experience. We then visited Central park, Empire State Building, popped into a dance floor in the city and also had the opportunity to taste Brazilian cusine and authentic Chinese in the NYC’s very own Chinatown. Thanks to Snigdha,Kundan,Kanishka and Bikram we had a gala Labor day weekend on the east Coast. New York city is truly amazing ,you will not get the feeling of the city unless you visit it. Oh did I forget to mention that Kundan has this really cool small nest in the city. Obviously you cannot miss his metrosexual fashion sense now that he has moved to “The City”.

                                                            Lassen Volcanic National Park

Our next trip was to Lassen Volcanic National Park on Memorial Day 2003. Well it wasn’t a great time to visit the park. We could go only 10 miles into the park. We did try some small hikes but nothing much. We had to drive all around the park to reach the other end of the park only to come back because of the rain. Manohar, Sukesh, Suman, Namita and we set out in this huge ford expedition SUV. Luckily Manzanita Lake campground was open and so we had a gala time making chicken tandoori and other goodies over charcoal. I will have to visit Lassen again to see the sulphur springs and trek up Mt. Lassen. In the mean time enjoy the few snaps we managed to take around Mt. Lassen and Lake Manzanita.


Death Valley National Park

The first major place we visited was DeathValley. This was in April 2003. Kundan , Bikram and Snigdha flew in from the east coast. Vinay , Amrita and myself joined them from .the west coast. We had rented this huge minivan ( which was more like a small mini bus that can be seen on the streets of Kolkata) and off we were on our trip to death valley. The place was really a shocker for us. I never realized that a desert could be so beautiful. Right from the open vast stretches  of dry arid red soil covered with savannah style small shrubs to the majestic telescope peak which is 11,049 feet above sea level. Death Valley National Park  has the lowest point in continental United States, Badwater is 282 feet below sea level. We stayed at Beatty for a night.( Kundan,Bikram and Vinay will still laugh on hearing Beatty - that is another story ) and we camped at furnace creek the other night. We couldn’t make it to “The race track” so I need to visit Death Valley again. I guess I can visit Death Valley once a year. There is so much to see and yes I still have to climb up Telescope Peak.