Our summer trip to Thailand

Out of all the trips we have taken as a family since Reya was born, we all felt that the trip to Thailand was by far one of our best vacations. Whether it was the fact that we had all been so busy for weeks leading up to the vacation, or it was purely the people and the place that made the trip so special, is hard to tell.

The entire school year just flew by. I have been very wound up with running the business and Vasanth has been very busy with work too. When we arrived in Thailand after a very long flight, I think all of us were ready to completely unplug and unwind.

We spent two days in Bangkok, most of which were spent getting over the jetlag. But the hospitality at the Banyan Tree hotel, and the taste of the local food, were enough to get us started on the right foot. Bangkok is well known to tourists for their floating markets and their weekend markets that attract a very large crowd. There are a lot of merchandise to choose from or simply indulge your senses in and taste local street food. We made or way to one such market called Chatuchak.

Our time in Bangkok was mostly spent adjusting to the time change and the very hot and humid weather. Although we did explore a little, Reya was too tired and over whelmed to enjoy any of it. So we took it easy until we got to Koh-Samui. Even in the two days she spent at Bangkok, she came back with fond memories of a young girl names Jay that spent an hour with her doing craft and just chatting. Here are some pics from our 2 quick days in Bangkok.

 

We flew out of Bangkok and went to Koh-Samui where we were booked in Melati Resort and spa for 8 nights. It was a resort that beat all our expectations, whether it was the location, the service, the maintenance of the place or the staff. Koh-Samui is a pretty large island with a lot of areas and beaches  to explore. Our resort stepped out into a wonderful beach that was over looked from the infinity pool and the restaurant. Most days that we spent in Samui, there was light to moderate rain, but we made the most of the dry time.

Reya got to experience zip-lining and snorkeling for the first time and she was a champion at both, although she preferred zip-lining. As her parents, we felt a little nervous letting a 6 year old do it, but she was a total champ 🙂

 

The next day, we took a day trip out to some different islands and made 3 different snorkeling stops. The first one was in very shallow waters, and she got scratched by coral as soon as we got started, so that took a while to convince her to go back in the water, but once she was out again and started to see all the fish, she was totally in awe of the ocean. We made a couple of deep water stops too, she went out with the snorkeling crew at one of those stops since I am terrified of the deep waters. After she got stung by a jelly fish she decided to stay put on the boat.

Every day after a day out on the hot and humid island, we would go back to the pool in the hotel and spend the rest of the day just hanging out. Popcorn and drinks by the pool along with great staff and people from all over the world, doesn’t get better than that.

One of the other highlights of the trip, was also a visit to an Elephant Sanctuary. Elephants have been abused for a long time in Thailand, but there is now a small group of people that have come together to protect and save who they can . It was really sad to see the condition in which these beautiful, majestic animals come from, but it was heart warming to see that they are finally getting the help they need. Reya had a great time learning about their circumstances and of course feeding them heaps and heaps of water melons and bananas 🙂

We are counting down days to our trip back……these folks really made our trip very special and memorable

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Bookends

As the school year winds down next week, i have many fond memories of school and new friends. The year started with one Birthday party – Luis Mirabel and now ends with one for Spencer Wallace. Both parties were a blast and are bookends in a rapid year that we went through. As with most milestones, this one is bitter sweet as well – KG is done and we have had great memories to carry forward. Some photos from the parties below

Almost a year in

It’s been a long time since we last posted. Time flies and Reya is almost done with KG @ Del Mar pines. While it has been a great year, it is a bit sad to see them grow up this fast. We have had our share of tantrums, hugs, smiles, laughs, cries and sleepovers. Reya has done really well @ the school and adjusted well to her new digs. Highlights include singing at her Holiday party, 3 piggie opera and the fabulous spring sing. The school has wonderful teachers who are devoted and go the extra mile. Ms. Murphy is her class teacher and she has been unbelievably patient with the kids – she has 3 of her own as well :-).

Nothing gives me more joy than hugging her during drop-off in the morning. It is my meditation of sorts and preps me for the rugged day ahead. Initially Reya used to cling to me during these morning drop-offs but has now found her groove. it is also the time when the fathers hang out and chat about stock picks, wives among many topics. Every day is a fun ride to school and I have a great time dropping her off and talking to her on the way to school.

So another year rolls on and more memories are made. The future always holds surprises and with Reya they are all fun.

First Day of School

Today was officially the first day of school for Reya – she started Kindergarten today at Del Mar Pines. So begins a life long journey of learning and entry into the “true” life of sorts.  She was really excited to join her new school especially due to her new uniform, shoes, bags etc. But as every parent can attest to it – we are filled with trepidation and questions: how will she adjust? will she make friends? Are we cloistering her from the real world by sending her to a private school – one will never know.

But for now these are exciting times. it is a time of wonder and fun. It does signal a new milestone in our lives. I am happy to see her progress to her next stage.

It goes by fast…

As a parent, you often hear from other parents that the time with the kids flies by fast. “Enjoy it, it goes by fast…” or some variant of it “I missed a lot of those years, you never get it back”. I work with colleagues most of whom have older kids and they all yearn and sound melancholic when they think back to the preadolescence days of their kids. These words gives me pause, especially since Reya is our only child. Today is one such day… One of my close friends also told me before that you become a sap when you become a parent and the smallest incidents make you tear up. I feel those emotions today – Reya leaves her old school to join Kindergarten starting next week. I felt weirdly sad and almost teared up dropping her and saying my goodbyes to her principal Ms.Carol and her teacher Ms.Char.

These emotions aside, we have been very lucky to have her spend her last 2 years @ SVCC. They are truly wonderful caregivers and that is not a word that one can use with abandon for other places – these are teachers who care and who begin the process of chiseling these young minds to the challenges of the real world. Reya’s last 2 years here have flown by partly because she is growing like a weed and our schedules are crazy but also mainly because we never worried about her well-being @ SVCC. We have had wonderful teachers from Ms.Jenny to Ms.Char. Her friends also came by and went – Matthew, Kavya, Ella, Adele and Reya’s twin and foil – Jocelyn. It is amazing how our circle has widened in the last 5 years – Reya’s friends are our friends and Reya’s interests are our interest. We have met great people @ SVCC and will forever cherish Reya’s times there. I always look back fondly to my school days and i can only wish that Reya remembers these days in a similar fashion. They say it takes a village to raise a child and we are glad that SVCC was one such village in our journey with Reya.

 

This 5 year old…..

Reya turned 5 this last January. Since then there have been some significant personality changes, some I love, some I am not so sure of….

For instance, her girly side has started to show more (not like she was a tom boy before 🙂 ), but the Emotional Quotient can be off the charts some days and the tears roll like they are running out of fashion, I remember being like this too…but this is all new for daddy, who has to my surprise been extremely patient.

She has also become very self aware, she wants to dress well all the time, she wants to look pretty. She decides what clothes she wants to wear, how her hair should be done, what clips should match etc!!! She wants to use all of my lovely smelling lotions and wants me to save my shoes up for when she is old enough to wear them! It’s happening to fast and I am not ready for it, hence looking forward to the uniforms at school starting Kindergarten!

She has grown more independent not only in her daily chores but even in her opinions and stands up better for herself against the not so nice kids. This makes me very proud :-).

She loves reading and has suddenly made leaps of progress in reading on her own. She is ready for real school I think. It’s amazing to see the changes, the tiny steps towards independence. As a parent the felling is always bitter sweet, as much as you want them to be free and self sufficient and good decision makers, you miss the little baby there was once :-(.

Here is to a whole new phase and more fun and exciting times, all of which we cherish each day.

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Look at me mom, I look pretty today

2016 Christmas break

We had 2 weeks off for winter break and it was time to get away. We decided to take a road trip to Zion national, we hadn’t made it out to a National park in a couple of years. Our friend Ganesh decided to join us with his daughter Ziva and it was great because Reya had company throughout the trip.

Reya was excited to see the snow, however the cold temperatures took her a couple of days to get used to. She also did a couple of hikes with us , however not without complains :-). We hope she starts enjoying more physical activity as she grows up and builds more resilience. Our Christmas day was in Vegas this year and Reya had asked Santa for a kids camera, so Santa delivered it to Vegas so Reya could use it and take it along on the road trip. I will make a different post with Reya’s own pictures from the trip.

Here are some we took along the way