Weekly Photo Challenge: My 2012 in Pictures

First, the settling into the new house, and all those home improvement projects.

And some significant family events.

Mia came home in March and celebrated her first birthday in December.

Mia in action

Mia in action

My niece, Ira, made her presence felt with her non-stop activity and, in Reva’s words, comic relief.

Never-sit-still Ira

Never-sit-still Ira

Kelu came home 14/15 years ago, and refused to leave. This November, he ran off to the hills and never came back. Missing you, Kelubhau!

Kelu

Kelu

For me, it was the year of the water sports.

And finally, all that delicious travel!

Malaysia

Canada

USA

and, of course, Indonesia!

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Day 9: Toronto Thrills

We gave ourselves half a day to spend in Toronto, and the boys insisted that the #1 activity would be going up the CN tower. Having spent a day with them already, we knew that we wouldn’t lack in excitement or energy, no matter what we did.
On the way to the tower, Shahana gave us a great tour of the underground interconnected pathways in the downtown area as well as interesting tidbits about the city. I had my opportunity to take some good, some lousy pictures (mostly from a moving car), and those paths were perfect for the boys to let off steam with their sprints. Soon Souvik joined them in the races, and quite made up for missing his half-planned morning run!

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The CN tower tour itself was quite spectacular – the once-tallest, now 2nd or 3rd tallest building in the world with panoramic views of Toronto city, and as the kids claimed, views all the way to Niagara Falls and USA! We loved the views all around the observation deck, as well as the glass floor.

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There was even a spider(man) situation that made the view even more interesting!

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We ended our Toronto tour with an excellent lunch at Crêpes à GoGo – a crêpe each to eat there, and another on the go!

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What followed was a little mad rush to get to the airport, some tearful farewells, and lots of promises to meet in Jakarta. Soon we were on a flight to get to our next adventure, of which you shall read tomorrow!

Day 8: The Big Shower

If you went to North America and saw a street that looked like this, where would you be?

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I can believe Vegas or L.A. looking like this (which they do), but never Niagara Falls, that too on the Canadian side! In my mind, there was a lot of untamed, rugged landscape, and loud gushing of the waterfall heard from a mile away, and loud gasps at the first sighting of this awesome phenomenon.

Well, the gasps were there, but only at the street leading up to the falls. Shahana had warned us of the tacky marketplace, so we weren’t surprised, only disappointed. Lunch put us all in a good mood, and the sight of the falls cheered us immensely.

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We had plenty of photographs of course:

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And we just HAD to do the ride on the Maid of the Mist to get up close to the falls, like every other tourist out there. What can I say? It was wet and wild!

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Day 7: Vancouver to Toronto

It’s leaving day after an action-packed week in Vancouver. We’ll spend most of the day on the flight to Toronto, plus the time difference, so day 7 probably won’t have much to be written about. But I’m on a (writing) roll here, and I didn’t want to stay away from blogging, so I’m posting pictures of the lovely flora that I captured all over town. Don’t ask me to name any of them, but feel free to add to my very limited knowledge!

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Day 6: University of British Columbia

The hectic holiday started to take its toll on us last night, and we set an easy pace today, simply moving from one meal to another.
From a late breakfast we went straight to lunch, visiting the University of British Columbia, or UBC, Harish’s workplace. The day was wet and cold, quite perfect for hot soup and an indoor tour of the Museum of Anthropology. The museum had some of the most striking exhibits I have seen. Both Souvik and I came away impressed with the First Nations’ art.

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In a break from tradition, I have included two pictures taken by Souvik (the last two above). Piali and Ravi joined us at the museum, and I was able to get an interesting composition:

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We spent the rest of the afternoon walking around the University campus, never tiring of the lush green landscape and views of the not-so-faraway mountains.
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After all that walking, we hankered for samosas, for which we drove to the Punjabi market and stuffed our faces. We had grand plans of walking over the suspension bridge or browsing through Gastown, but those samosas and chole had us groaning and eager to head home and relax. Then Niti baked a chocolate cake, and Harish rustled up some guacamole, and we were happy enough to indulge in a late night snack!

Day 5: back to Stanley Park

Today we said goodbye to the family Nichols and Aunty Dagmar and moved to Niti & Harish’s home. After a very early lunch, we all set out to cycle around Stanley Park. Yes! Didn’t have to work too hard to get that wish checked off.
Predictably, the route was beautiful, with the added bonus of the sun shining and spreading cheer. The sea wall was as majestic as all the websites boasted. I didn’t get my fill in one round, so I took off on another, while the rest of them played in the park. I can never get bored of the pictures of the park, so here are a few more:

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With all this exercise, we felt the need for some nourishment, and what could be better than the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory?

A few short and pleasant walks around downtown first, and then Commercial Drive, and we were ready for more food! I wanted to see the Christ Church cathedral up close (after admiring it from the bus yesterday), but by the time we got there it was shut. Very quaint church!

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I haven’t gone around Vancouver city, photographing buildings as I normally do, but I did get a few shots here and there. The nicest view is towards the north on any street, so see the big mountains in the distance!

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We haven’t left Vancouver yet, but I’m missing it already!