24 October 2017

Fall colors in naperville

One of the streets in naperville, looks beautiful with fall colors all around

The fall is here in all its glory. In the midwest, especially around the Chicago area where we live, I often hear from people that the lake(Lake Michigan) ensures that fall colors come in earlier here. I have no way to agree or disagree to that.
All I can confirm is that this year, the weather didnt continue going down, which has led to some change in patterns. the fall has come in slower and suddenly sped up in past few days with mercury dropping finally.

happy diwali to all

We had a fun filled diwali this year with a lot of activities at home and fun decorations. I took off on the diwali day, and spent time with my wife, dipti on setting decorations at home and preparing for the diwali pooja in the evening.
We had bought fire crackers to burst in the evening and it was super fun for umika to enjoy all of this with her friends.

I leave you with some photos from diwali. Hope you had a good time with your family and friends during diwali.

12 October 2017

How has using a standing desk changed my work life and health (with photos)

I have now been using my standing desk- from autonomous. The buying decision was a bigger hustle than using it. there are multiple options in the market which makes it difficult for the end customer to decide on what will be the best solution for them. these products also sell across a wide range of price brackets.

04 October 2017

Trip to Niagara falls from Chicago

niagara falls, newyork, travel

During the labor day holiday weekend, we made a road trip from Naperville, IL to Niagra Falls, NY and it was a wonderful experience.
The road trip was fantastic for a couple of reasons. It was going to be time out when I would get to plug off from my routine work which has been pretty packed. Secondly, I was travelling in from California, so there was this anticipation of completing a business trip and getting into a fun family trip.

Getting close to the falls from the boat tour

Some details on travel:

Distance between Naperville, IL to Niagra Falls,NY: approx 580 Miles.
Major routes:- Shortest is the one which goes north via Detroit through Canada. We took the one which keeps the journey through united states, crossing through Cleveland.
Time to destination(one way): 9 hrs
Number of breaks or minutes of stoppage: 3 breaks totalling to 45 mins.
Place of stay: used AirBnb to find a place, and stayed at the lavida cottage which was a good 20 mins drive from the niagra falls. We rented this place for 2 nights where we were 2 families living in. Excellent location to stay as long as you are not looking for good place to eat outside. the location was in a small town with not many options to eat, however, it was perfect for us.

My friend and me at the niagara falls. Side view.

Things to do at Niagra falls:

  1. The small town we stayed at had tons of farms, lone beaches and countryside to see. if you stay in a vicinity of such a location, you need more time than a day to explore everything. We were pretty short on time.
  2. With our situation, we focused on taking it easy. On our second day, we went to Niagara Falls and spent a full day there, without trying to cover different places etc. With kids, we took it pretty easy and had a big lunch followed by ice cream treat and looking through all the touristy shops selling souvenirs there.
    1. Ticket to the boat tour of Niagara falls.
    2. Enjoy the gushing water power from the side of the falls. I envy the view which you may get from the canadian side.
    3. Enjoy helicopter ride and the bird's eye view.
    4. A plethora of Indian food to feed yourself. I rate that food 2/5
    5. A Couple of really good ice-cream parlours around.
    6. Crowds and prepare for a long queue on holidays especially
    7. Lots of souvenir shopping. 
Bridge between USA and Canada

Observations at the Niagara Falls:

  1. There are a ton of hotels right beside the falls. If booked in advance that is a good spot too, however, you will miss living in nature or countryside feel for sure.
  2. For some reason, it was a sea of Indians at this spot. where ever you see, there is an Indian restaurant (Punjabi, Gujarati, and whatnot). Never had this feeling other than oaktree road in NJ. I felt like I was somewhere in India.
  3. I haven't traveled to Canada yet, however, I didn't realize before that Canada comes one bridge away at this place. you can literally see the Canada mainland, hotels, people, businesses right across from here. if you have authorization, you could literally walk your way into Canada or vice versa.

Overall it was pretty good trip for us. I wish we planned for additional 2 days to spend more time there. May be for the next time.