Thursday, June 4, 2009

weekend trip

Last week Anurag finally got his driver's license here. So we decided to rent a car for the weekend. I should write about the fun and food before it gets too late. On Saturday evening, we went to the temple at Charlotte. It was only recently we found out that there is a temple here.
It might just have been the first centrally airconditioned temple I have been to :) Next to the temple was another small building. We saw many people going there. So we thought of checking out what it was. It turned out to be a dining hall and people were having dinner. We were not sure if it was for everyone so we started to go back. But a person called us and asked us to have dinner and go. And dinner we had!! I still remember the vaghareli khichadi and bateka nu shaak and the cooling chaas (that is khichadi, potato curry and buttermilk). Yummy! And also got to eat sukhadi as prasad. It was pretty nice to go to a temple after a long time and meet some friendly desi folks. Because otherwise, the desi folks just see through you while the Americans stop to say hi.

The next day was Sunday. After a late start to the day, we ran some errands for grocery shopping and after lunch, headed out to Lazy 5 ranch It is quite an amazing place for a privately owned, no federal funding setup. And it doesn't burn a hole in the pocket. We reached the place after an hour long drive. At the gate, we paid the entry fee and bought the feed buckets. No sooner did we enter the safari drive, we were surrounded by ostrich. I asked Anurag to feed him from his hand. It was not such a good idea! The ranch recommends feeding only from the feed buckets. And we hadn't read that. Well, Anurag's fingers are still intact. But the ostrich was still hungry and he saw the feed bucket in the car and was trying to get in to reach it. There was some screaming in the car, it was mostly me! But Anurag managed to move the car forward a bit and the ostrich thankfully didn't try to follow. The windows were quickly closed and noone tried to feed any more ostriches!! :)
There are around 750 animals at the ranch including the lama, different types of deer, rhino, giraffe, zebra, bison, cows, bulls and birds. We had a fun time getting them to eat. Be prepared for dusty roads and dirty cars because the animals spill their food on the car if you don't keep the bucket completely outside the car. And as you must have guessed, I am speaking from experience :)

This was our first time driving experience in the US and for that matter, in a car. And we did nearly 100 miles that day. Even though I was not the one who was driving, I was thinking from the front seat, wow, this is difficult! Although the absence of clutch and gears makes it a bit easier, there needs to be a lot of multitasking. Checking the speed limits, the GPS, changing lanes and all that stuff. It was a good driving trip. Hope we have more soon.

1 comment:

Achyut Telang said...

This post was a good read! :)