4 June 2022

Coeur d’Alene Trip

  1. Off to Coeur d’Alene Apr 2, 2016

    Half the fun will be trying to remember how to pronounce the name. Sadly this is our last spring break before Natasha leaves for college this year. I am going to so miss the constant fights between Sharmila and Natasha during vacation time…


  2. First tulip is out in our yard… Apr 2, 2016


  3. Finally… Relaxing… Apr 3, 2016

    Let’s see… First flight was a comedy of errors. A door won’t close. Five mechanics and an hour later, we pushed out. Then there was an engine issue. More mechanics. More delay. Finally we took off … with very little chance of catching our connecting flight. Thankfully, Delta had held the other plane back for a few minutes and we made it. Except, that got delayed … because… you guessed it – more door issues. Eventually, we reached our destination and joined our friends -Joydeep and Swapna from our good old Dallas days for a few days of R&R in the scenic resort of Coeur d’Alene.

    Time to sip wine past 1am (that is 4am for me) catching up on old friends. (Ours are the only two families among a close set of families in Dallas that left Dallas)



  4. The girls and their walking sticks… err… iPhones… Apr 3, 2016

    Stopping point during the hike up Tubbs Hill…


  5. This is what beautiful surroundings do… Apr 3, 2016

    It brought out the hiker out of even somebody as sedentary as Natasha!


  6. Morning silliness… Apr 3, 2016


  7. The long hike calls for some OH-molecule-induced relaxation Apr 3, 2016

    That and the Vitamin D!!


  8. The whole gang!! Apr 4, 2016


  9. Karate Kid – anyone? Apr 4, 2016


  10. Coeur d’Alene’s version of Al Burj Khalifa? Apr 4, 2016

    Not sure why but this dead tree caught my attention during the hike and I was immediately reminded of the tall building in Dubai!!


  11. Beautiful Lake Coeur d’Alene early in the morning… Apr 4, 2016


  12. Coeur d’Alene scenic bypass (ID 97) Apr 4, 2016

    Great ride along ID 97 up and down the mountains continuously skirting the lake on this cloudy day…


  13. Unique fans!! Apr 4, 2016

    On our drive along the scenic highway, we came upon a small coffee shop and I decided to pull over. None of us were particularly hungry but I figured a coffee is always welcome plus I would get an opportunity to talk to some locals…

    And that is how as I made friends with Tal, the manager of the place, he explained how the three ceiling fans work… If you notice carefully, one single motor is connected to the three fans by daisy chaining conveyor style belts. The fans themselves have no motors!!!

    That was an unique engineering experience…


  14. Wait, that is too small!!! Apr 4, 2016

    I had told theropod that there was a historic town called Harrison on the way right on the lake. Maybe we can stop for lunch there. As we entered the town, the attached sign came up and Natasha’s first reaction was – “Wait a minute. That is less than half my class size. We are not having lunch here.”

    And we didn’t… 🙂


  15. Herculean effort… Apr 4, 2016

    Harrison might be a town of paltry 267 people – but it still can be a lot of weight on your shoulders… especially with the ladies leaning in… 🙂


  16. Usual routine… Apr 5, 2016

    A 4 mile hike and breakfast later, a familiar scene ensued… Sharmila and Swapna started shopping fast and furious in the cute streetside shops. Joydeep and I went back to our familiar territory – sitting in the sun by the streetside drinking wine…

    As they say, to each his (her) own…


  17. Looking different is overrated Apr 5, 2016

    I thought women won’t be caught dead next to another wearing similar stuff as them. And here is Sharmila and Swapna shopping for similar rings, sunglasses and such…


  18. Joydeep… Apr 5, 2016

    I can’t even remember when we met first – I think it was in the context of work and some common friends in Houston. Both of us had kids in Dallas and both of us then moved out of Dallas. It was good to see Joydeep for spring break this time…


  19. Swapna… Apr 5, 2016

    Swapna – we got to know her as Joydeep’s better half – or in those days, his better one fifths…
    Over the years the Roy family and the Haldar family became very close to the point Swapna became one of the “cool Masis” for our daughters and I became comfortable enough to crack jokes about her weight… although, these days there is not much left in her to make jokes of….

  20. Sharmila… Apr 5, 2016

    Sitting out by the deck on the lake enjoying a drink… or two…


  21. The normally feuding siblings… Apr 5, 2016

    … amazingly stick together during the hikes. This is Natasha and Nikita this morning peeling off from the rest of us to go down to the bottom of the trail and climb to the top of the hill…


  22. Few moments from this morning’s hike… Apr 5, 2016


  23. One good turn deserves another… Apr 6, 2016

    After completing a 4 mile trail up and down the hills (55 floor of total elevation), the sisters decided for a repeat performance in the afternoon.

    Taking a short break halfway into the second hike…


  24. Second hike. Second break. Apr 6, 2016

    This time under a humongous rock…


  25. Flashlight from Heaven? Apr 6, 2016


  26. Among mostly green and grey… Apr 6, 2016

    … there was this colorful tree standing out…


  27. Apologies upfront for the terrible joke… Apr 6, 2016

    Viral Kohli “Run-aut”? I thought he only hits 4s and 6s? 🙂


  28. An un-bear-able hike Apr 6, 2016

    Unbeknownst to his soon-to-be hapless prey, Joy had stealthily taken a little-trodden digression from the trail and moved up the hill quickly and waited behind an undergrowth. The aforementioned prey – also referred to in real life as Joy’s wife Swapna – plodded along the trail – at a pace that would make a sloth yawn. Her exclamations of “What a beautiful sight” was interspersed only with her exasperations of “Are we there yet. Mountain Goat?”.

    The Mountain Goat – yours truly at that moment – never to miss a chance to bore the audience with completely meaningless information, proceeded to take pride in his nom de guerre and then elucidate further – “Did you know that a mountain goat is not a goat – it is actually a sheep?”. Which, beyond being pointless to the context did nothing to ease the pain of climbing for Swapna. Or to a mountain goat, for that matter.

    Presently, Swapna did reach the bushes where Joy lay in wait while I had bleated my way to about fifty yards ahead already. Just as she prepared to negotiate the undergrowth to her right – undoubtedly with the fullest intention to take a sharp turn – as the trail demanded – a very confusing set of events ensued. To borrow a line from P.G.Wodehouse, as I reckon, the said bush, which was hitherto unusually quiet, suddenly said “Roar”.

    For a moment, I will spare you the obvious dissonance of a bear never roaring – for that was what Joy was trying to pretend to be – a mountain bear to scare his wife – and “Roar” was what this UK-born lad of otherwise exquisite grip on the language English could unfortunately come up with. Far from a swooning wife – who I must mention was mortified by a suspension bridge a mile before and was petrified mistaking a branch that could barely pass as non-linear as a lethal snake, Swapna, at that juncture was a picture of an even mix of disdain and contempt. Maybe 60-40, if you looked at her closely, as the visage of Joy appeared from behind the bushes after the admittedly rather sonorous roar.

    “Joy, shut up”! is what I heard when I looked back to see what was happening. Even the untrained eye could detect the dismay writ all over the bear’s face from the ignominy of its prey unceremoniously addressing it by its first name.

    Reflecting back, I think Swapna’s biggest mistake was asking me how much more of the trail was left. Not knowing any better and remembering roughly the Google map I had seen, I estimated we were one third in. Turns out my estimates can be off by as much margin as those airlines folks’ timetables.

    Eventually, this came to pass too. Especially after the last pass we passed. The exuberant exultation from the hiking group yelling “We made it! We made it!” gave me a rough idea about how the base camp at Mount Everest must sound like every time a team comes down from the peak.

    The hot tub and the wine that followed, however, I daresay was much better than of any base camp.


    (Apologies, Swapna, for overly exaggerating your travails in your travels)


  29. From the bartender’s corner – Mrs. Taylors Apr 7, 2016

    Rather unique drink in that the cocktail is served in a red wine glass, the orange peel used as a garnish has to be burnt first and you never stir or mix the ingredients – which incidentally, are gin, lillet blanc, triple sec and club soda.


  30. Sunbathing… deep in the woods… Apr 8, 2016

    A Northern Cardinal

  31. Interrupted during its meal… Apr 8, 2016

    This American goldfinch was sitting at the birdfeed for at least ten minutes happily pecking away at the seeds. After sometime, it got wind of the fact that somebody was watching. It looked back with a frown (you can see it in the eyes 🙂 ) with a seed in its beak and spotted me with my camera trained on it. This was a nanosecond before it promptly flew away…


  32. Making new friends in Coeur d’Alene! Apr 9, 2016

    We had finished our hikes and were on the street hoping to get a drink and then dinner. But our youngest member Gublu wanted to eat some candy. And I promised him I would get him some. Which, in of itself, should have been a breeze if not for all the stores closing early in the evening in the sleepy town of Coeur d’Alene. However, Gublu and I marched on hoping to find a candy shop. And I am glad we did.

    We eventually came to a store called Shenanigans which could have as well been named Kids’ Heavenland. They had all sorts of candy and icecream. All the adults and kids sat down. We bought a lot of candy and then we all had icecream. As the group huddled to enjoy their icecream, I peeled off to make friends with the young guy and girl at the counter.

    Found out that Mallary and Sean were both from around the area and each had some really interesting life story. Unfortunately, I do not have Sean’s picture here since my iPhone crashed that night and I lost all local data. The picture you see here is the next day when all of us had breakfast at the same place where Mallary made some lovely crepes.

    The most interesting story about Mallary was when I asked her if she was from the area. Turns out she was but she was moving to Alabama. My first question was how do you go from the picturesque North West Idaho to the other end of the country in Alabama? Found out she got married recently.

    Which led to the next question – How did you meet a guy from Alabama in Idaho? It appeared that they actually met while vacationing in Florida. Not exactly while vacationing so much as in the plane. When, well not so much in the plane as waiting for the plane!! Apparently, they were sitting there waiting for their plane and they started a conversation which led to being Facebook friends which eventually led them to get closer as friends and eventually got married!! [It did make me think twice before sending her a FB invite myself – but I did it nonetheless 🙂 ]. I sure hope that she will open a crepe store in Alabama. They were delicious!!

    Unfortunately, that day Sean was not there, because as luck would have it, the previous day was his last day in the store. From whatever I could gather from him the previous day, he is going to a local college (NIC). Loves languages, communication etc. As is my wont, I asked him what would he want to be when he grew up.

    Sean was ready with the answer. He wants to start a company to produce movies and TV serials. Seems like he already has a couple of friends who is collaborating with him. They have their storyline written up already. I got an insider’s view from Sean about how the local geography in Coeur d’Alene and Spokane is perfect for most of the scenes they need to capture.

    Delighted by the dual life stories of one – whose life got changed for ever waiting for a plane and another who is determined to make something of himself so early in his life…