last weekend was my first “Long weekend” in the US. 3 days holiday and there was a great charm in everyones face. In fact my work manager was set to a lake nearby with his friends for 2 days. Long weekends are more of roaming and people enjoy travel here.
As every Indian would love, I too, had a great sleep on the day 1. Not satisfied, I continued it for the day 2. Suddenly i got a call from my cousin who stays in Dallas that she is going to come to my place in another 4 hrs. Ooooops!!! I spoke to myself for a minute about this perfect “SABOTAGE” plan to spoil my sleep. Since they were a family and also with a kid, we planned for going to some tourist locations nearby. I went hunting behind all my friends to find out the best palces to visit nearby. It was 12 noon and no one was awake. I went to almost all apartments where Indians live and tried calling up everyone..(I realized, yes, truely we are Indians). I Just surfed the internet and got few information, went back and slept off untill my cousin knocked the door.
Her kid typically looks like “Aravind Swamy”. A great charm in his face. He loves and enjoys every moment with us. he was born and is being brought up in the US and mingles mostly with americans in school and neighboorhood. Thanks to my cousin, she taught him “tamil” right from the begining. Else, he too might have found my not so good english skills[ 🙂 ] .
We hanged out to a nearby lake(Lake Fayetteville) and then to a Italian restaurant – “olive Garden”. I had an option of an Indian Restaurant but I dropped it. I am however, not a great fan of international cuisines simply because I never had them. Ennakku terunjadhu ellam “appa, pogha, samayal kattu, sambhar, varadhukutti..ippo maligai kada…” [ remembring the classic kamal comedy with urvashi in Michel madana kamarajan”].. When hungry, cuisines hardly matters for me and I proceeeded with an “Italian…….”[forgot that complex name], soup and as usual coke. Coke is a drink that one would get addicted faster than cigars here in the US.
The very next day we proceeded to a Wildlife sanctury and it was told to be very good and different from others. Gentry, Arkansas is located about 30 miles from Fayetteville. There were all kinds of animals, few which I haven’t seen before. They allow safari trips and we can take our own cars in to the forests. My cousin’s kid simply enjoyed seeing animals.. Years back, I too loved watching animals and “Monkey” was the animal I loved watching.. But these days, I love to see ferocious tigers. This sanctury had provisions for people to pet animals, touch them and play with them. As we began our safari, I was finding a lot of domestic animals like deer, cows and goats. I was expecting more from this place. But as we proceeded we saw a group of Bisons blocking our way. They were harmless but were huge and stood like a tall rise building infront if our car. We also saw a lots of birds(like ostrich, turkey). I have seen them in channels like Discovery and NGC but looking at them live was a wonderful ecperience. As we proceeded, I got to meet my old friends(‘monkeys’).. They were of various kinds and were damn active as always. My cousin’s kid enjoyed watching these monkeys. They have a great attraction and no one can deny it. further, we went watching tigers, lions and bears and this maked a complete safari. A safari without seeing Tiger would be an incomplete one.
We then proceeded to Eureka Springs, another hill spot near fayetteville. We went to a pizza place and had a great lunch on our way. Again coke!
Eurekka springs has a lots of places to see but since we were running out of time we had to compress our visit to a cave named Onyx cave. This cave was carved out to show the science behind formation of caves. These caves had limestones and one could find roots of trees inscribed on such stones. Wonderful cuts and was a great piece. Caves are very cold inside and one gets to breath fresh air inside.
Photo sessions are always very important for us and we went on taking as many as possible in alll places.. (got to send it across to everyone and try to show off!!! (lol). I went a step ahead taking photos with different pose.
With a great mood we got back to Fayetteville and my cousin left back to Dallas. Immediately after she left, I realized two things – “Her visit to my place had only one reason which is to “Just see me”. My cousins were alomost like my dearest friends in the past and even after years of being separated from them physically, they getting married/kids, they continue to have the same affection and attachment. Secondly- My word “sabotage” earlier must be replaced with the word “GIFT”.