December 25th, Sunday
Merry Christmas :-)
“Misty mountain hop”
Sunday morning dawned misty and beautiful. We decided to spend the day in Santa Monica and Pacific Palisades. Ah joy! As I set eyes on the beautiful Pacific Ocean again…. it was rising to welcome me back…. pure bliss. Do I sound narcissistic? (That’s a tough word to spell btw). Just kidding…was just trying to express the joy of being reunited with the ocean. I just love the way the blue waters melt into the horizon. I couldn’t wait to soak my feet in the cool water. But first, we went to visit Lake Shrine (Self Realization Fellowship) and attended Christmas service there. Lake Shrine is one of my favorite places in USA. Not only is it beautiful and picturesque…but there is an overwhelming sense of peace when you step foot on the grounds or the lake. We spent some time on the lake and visiting the Gandhi samadhi. One of the couple of places in the world to actually house his ashes.
Next stop: LAX International to pick up Rags. He was making a day’s stopover in LA on his way to India. So we welcomed him with some leftover black forest cake and banana chips which he happily devoured. Ha!
Santa Monica! Santa Monica!
We headed to Santa Monica pier…took in the sights and sounds, parked our car, and set out to search for food, which turned out to be a hard task as everything was closed for Christmas. Our savior was (surprise, surprise)…an Indian restaurant. Here, the waiter kept asking weird questions out of the blue like: “How many bottles of wine?”… duh! But the food was good and well needed. Then it was time for the beach!! Yay!! :-) We played around and had fun in the freezing water….but it just felt soooo gooood to be back in the Pacific waters! Ahhhhh!! We roamed around the pier a little more…ate Churros! I love those!
As the sun set, we walked over to the 3rd st promenade in search of some entertainment of the artsy kind. The Santa Monica promenade is usually abuzz with street performers and shoppers…so it’s always nice and festive. This time around there was even Christmas decoration to add to the festivities. We ran into a guitarist specializing in gypsy music…so you can imagine just how happy I was!! Gypsy music!! Awesome. His name was Estas and he was really really really good. (And did I mention…very cute? ;-) he he) We enjoyed his performance a lot…a very interesting note…he used Indian agarbattis around his ‘stage’. When I asked him about that he said he loved the fragrance. I thought he was doing some ritual ….heh!
“All I wanna do is have some fun…”
Just when you thought the day was over…we thought of more stuff to do. Ha! Cruised down Santa Monica Boulevard…and headed to the very posh Beverly Hills and Bell Air areas. After ogling at some of the mansions and gasping at the spectacle of Rodeo Drive…we headed back to LAX to drop off Rags. (Bye!)
Some more people …and some sleep....
This was probably the most packed day of the vacation…and we had an absolute BLAST! Also went over to Hollywood to meet up with Sumit who now works with Yahoo. It was good to see him again. Then homeward bound to some well deserved sleep. Tooodlooo! :-)