Summer Trip to Texas

1 Heart to take to Texas.
2 Eyes & Ears to soak up Texas.
3 Boys to give me company during the Texas trip.
4 Chatted each night with my cousin until 4am.
5 Days in Texas – Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday.
6 Families that we meet in Texas – The Chinni’s (my cousin), The Tony’s (my Cisco buddy), The Palaniswamy’s (Kumar’s college buddy), The Ebby’s (Kumar’s school and college buddy), The Venky’s (Kumar’s school buddy),The Rema’s (Kumar’s cousin).
7 Cities/Towns visited during Texas trip – Dallas, Irving, Plano, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, Austin.
8 We went to the new escape rooms in Fort Worth which was the most fun I’ve had in ages!

I had a great reunion with friends and family. I was overwhelmed with the hospitality and the love shared on us during this trip. I laughed till my guts hurt and cried till my eyes hurt. I fell in love with Texas…despite the 100+ temperature.

Thank you to my buddies for being such gracious hosts.

Thank you to my friends Lalitha, Ganesh and Abi for providing a loving, caring house for our dog Rainbow while we were away. Thank you to my friend Vandana and her lovely girls for watching over Adi’s betta fish named Little Guy Jr while we were away.

National Bridges at Santa Cruz in California

Did you know that our beloved Earth appears like a blue (because of the water, which covers most parts of the Earth) marble with white swirls (clouds) from space?

Did you know there are more than 20 state beaches only at Santa Cruz in California

Every summer, I make it a point to take (at least once) the boys to the beach. I want them to experience and share my love for the ocean (and the mountains, peaks, plateaus…everything). During this lifetime, I won’t be able to visit all the gorgeous beaches on our planet. But, that is OK. I will try my best to dip my feet in every ocean, every river and every lake that I can take the family to.

The taste of the salt water.
The sound of the rushing waves.
The sight of the endless horizon.
The feel of the warm sand.
The smell of being at the beach!

Today, I was very fortunate to stand beside the beautiful Pacific Ocean. I had a blast at National Bridges (there’s only one natural bridge at Natural Bridges, a naturally formed sea arch) in Santa Cruz with family and friends.

We laughed. We chatted. We gossiped. We ate. We drank chai. All small moments. The small moments that are our beautiful life is composed of. Trust me. Life is about the small moments.

Please take some time out this summer. Go dip your feet in the ocean.

Put your hand in mine. No, I am not kidding. Seriously. Put your hand in mine. Now. Make a pact with me.

Say this with me : “Ambal, I live near the <fill in this blank> beach. I promise. I will take a weekend off this summer. I will gather my family and friends. I will go visit the beach. I will.I promise. Because, our life is about the small moments. Is it not?!”

Del Valle Camping Trip

There is something to be said about being outdoors on a camping trip.

It makes you realize how little you actually need to live and thrive. A tent, a sleeping bag and some basic food.

I just got back from a terrific camping trip to Del Valle with family and friends.

I clicked hundreds of pictures. This one is my favorite. Because, it marks the beautiful (and fleeting) nature of a child’s childhood moment.

Del Valle Camping Trip - 1 - Ambal Balakrishnan

What is your behind the Wheel Story?

I am Adi’s personalized chauffeur.

What is your behind the Wheel Story - Ambal Balakrishnan

Dropping.
Waiting.
Pickup.
Conversing in the car.
Playing his favorite songs on the car stereo.
Taking him to the park.
Taking him to play dates.
Taking him to parties.
Taking him to classes.
Briefing him.
Debriefing with him.
All in the car.

If my Toyota Sienna had to tell its story, I am sure it will be an interesting and fun one….and a very long story.

What is your behind the wheel story?