Friday, December 24, 2010

Bali with the Family

As our parents came to Asia for the graduation, we planned a trip for us to visit Bali together. We stayed at beautiful villa in Ubud called Tepi Sawah Villas & Spa Hotel which was situated in the middle of rice paddies. We then stayed in Nusa Dua at the Swiss-Belhotel Bay View Suites & Villas.

Untitled

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

INSEAD Grad!

An amazing year full of memories caped off with a great graduation ceremony. Reshma graduated with distinction from INSEAD. Both our parents flew in for the ceremony. Unfortunately, Hemanshu's parents got stuck in Scotland as they were snowed in but we had a chance to celebrate together in Bali!

Check out this graduation video followed by a picture slideshow. 

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Sri Lanka Grad Trip

Reshma's INSEAD graduation was coming up! The soon-to-be graduates from Fontainebleau and Singapore agreed on celebrating in Sri Lanka! Reshma went ahead of time and visited Dambulla, Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, Kandy, Sigiriya, and N'Eliya tea plantations. Hemanshu joined afterwards for the big celebration in Beruwala and also visited Dal.
  
IMG_0269

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

5 city tour of India

Hemanshu visited 5 cities in India for work to recruit and train partners. He had a chance to visit Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, Hyderabad, and Bangalore. He also had a chance to catch up with family in each city!

IMG_9865

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Shanghai

We flew from Beijing to Shanghai to meet up with Adam and check out the last days of Expo 2010! The Canadian Pavilion was (of course) awesome - we got VIP treatment by simply showing our passports. The US Pavilion wouldn't accept our Canadian passport - they turned us away saying that they have way more people than Canada (even though the Canadian lineup was way longer!).

The Bund walkway had some of the best night-photography options. One side of the Huangpu River has these really old colonial buildings and the other side has these huge modern skyscrapers that were built over the past two decades!

We also made a friend - Adam and Amy's cat - Mao Mao - she was very shy and cute :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Beijing

Spent 3 days in Beijing. We had a chance to visit Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Temple of Heaven, Great Wall (Sibmatai section), Acrobatic show, Summer Palace, and the Hutongs of Beijing!

Great Wall and the acrobatic show were the highlights! The weather was really cold and we were not prepared - both of us had at least 4 layers on at all time :) It always seemed foggy and we weren't sure if it was fog or smog. We also visited The Bird's Nest and The Cube - the Olympics 2008 venues!

Friday, September 03, 2010

Phuket

We had an amazing long-weekend in Phuket in-between Reshma's semesters. We actually met up with Neil and Shilpi and celebrated Neil's birthday together!

Highlights included the Hong Caves, Simon Cabaret (drag queen show) and a 6 hour mountain-bike ride on a small island where we saw buffalos, rode on the beach and through rice-paddies. Patong is definitely worth avoiding so we stayed at the Avista Resort and Spa by Kata beach.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Sumatra

Short weekend trip to Sumatra where we vistied Medan and Lake Toba. Lake Toba is the largest volcanic lake in the world. We stayed on Samosir Island in the middle of the Lake so we basically stayed on an island within a bigger island (Sumatra).

We also visited Barestagi where they have two active volcanoes. We created an I-N-S-E-A-D rock sign in the crater! Just a few days after we left Mount Sinabung erupted after several days of rumbling! This mountain was right opposite Mount Sibayak that we had visited!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Surprise 30th Bday

Reshma threw me an awesome surprise party. Everyone was waiting on the roof-top terrace of One-North. We had pani-puri and paw bhaji along with chocolate and mango cake!

We later went to the Lantern launch party on the roof-top of the Fullerton Bay Hotel. It is located on Marina Bay with fantastic views of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel.

Guess I got my annual Patio Party after all! ;)



Friday, July 02, 2010

Japan - Land of the Rising Sun

Took a week vacation for a trip to Japan where we visited Tokyo, Kyoto, and Hiroshima! Reshma flew in from her semester at France, Hemanshu flew in from Singapore, and Reshma's parents flew in from Vancouver - we all stayed with Shantanu, Vrunda, and Shrey in Tokyo. Shrey turned 3 when we were there!

Tokyo highlights included the Imperial Palace, Harajuko, Omoto-sando, Shibuja, Hachinko, Meiji Shrine, and Hakone National Park. There is so much to do there. We even went on a vintage ship on Lake Ashinoko to view Mt. Fuji.

Travelled by Shinkansen (bullet-train) to Kyoto for two nights and Hiroshima for one night. The Shinkansen was awesome with speeds of 300km/h! Kyoto is full of temples and we visited many of them. Ones that we would recommend are Fushimi Inari Shrine, Sanjusangendo (1001 Buddha status from 1164 AD), Kiyomizu-dera (on top of a hill with beautiful views of Kyoto), and Kinkakuji (Golden Temple). We do not recommend Riyonji Temple which is basically a very boring zen rock garden (unless you like staring at stones). Also Nijo Castle was not that impressive.

Hiroshima was a must to gain an insight into how devastating the atomic bomb was and the effects it had on people for generations to come. The entire city was wiped out when the bomb was dropped on Aug 6, 1945!

It was great to have Shantanu and Vrunda who speak fluent Japanese in Tokyo as langaunge was a definite barrier there. We found people in Kyoto and Hiroshima spoke more English as the two cities are more touristy. For vegetarians, Subway was a life saver with basil-mayo in their sandwiches; also McDonalds with their pancake (hot cakes) breakfast!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City)

When Reshma was in Fontainebleau, I had the chance to visit Saigon, Vietnam with some friends - including my first trip with Dheeraj who recently moved to Singapore. Highlights included our hotel illegally running Deep Freeze on their workstations, Vanessa's purse being snatched by a motorcyclist, crawling through the secret Cu Chi tunnels, shooting an AK-47, and boating down the Saigon River. The War Remnants Museum was a sad reminder of all the atrocities that took place until Saigon fell in April 1975.

Side note: I would recommend watching The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers, which is a 2009 documentary film that follows Daniel Ellsberg and explores the events leading up to the publication of the Pentagon Papers, which exposed the top-secret military history of the United States involvement in Vietnam.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Kuching, Borneo

Good times in Kuching, Malaysia which is located in Borneo - the third largest island in the world. We checked out Bako National Park where we hiked through a rainforest and saw monkeys, boars, and a viper snake. Excellent organization by JJH Travel and Monocole corporation ;)

We stayed at Singgahsana Lodge which was a slightly nicer guesthouse/hostel with shared bathrooms. Nice bar on top. The only thing was that someone stole my Nike shoes which forced me to hike in my slippers the next day!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Happy Birthday Reshma!

Reshma is in France celebrating her birthday today! Since we could not be with her there, I have put together a surprise video to wish her a fantastic birthday. This will be Reshma's second birthday in a row in Fontainebleau, a little town known for it's famous chateau, and scenic forests. It is also the home of INSEAD, Reshma's business school.

Hope you like the video Reshma! Make sure you watch it in HD :)

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Whistler

Whistler was a must as I missed the Olympics. We went snowmobiling in Whistler and stayed one night at the Delta Suites. At one point, we went as fast 89km/h! The weather was wonderful. It was barely zero degrees Celsius and snowed all day. We checked out Buffalo Bills night club afterwards. Neil, Shilpi, Amar, and Dorian made it out.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Vancouver 2010

Hemanshu had a chance to go back to Vancouver for two weeks and meet his friends, family, and work colleagues. Below are some pictures from his trip.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Cambodia

We had the pleasure of visiting Cambodia for 4 days during the P1/P2 break - We flew into Siem Reap where we spent 2 days, and then rented a group bus to Phnom Penh.

Siem Reap was the capital city and home of the 12 Century Ankor Wat temple that was built as the state temple and capital city. This temple is the symbol of Cambodia and appears on the national flag. We also visited other temples like Ankor Tom, Bayon, and Ta Prohm (Tomb Raider Temple). The "floating village" of Kompong Phluk was a must-see - the village is built high on stilts for the flood season. We visited a primary school there and gave the students books and pencils.

Phnom Penh is the capital today, and is a growing city. We had a chance to share a sunset boat cruise with a group of friends...thanks Lucinda and Jeff for organizing! The Royal Palace was okay.. we ran into some interesting challenges with the dress code - apparently shawls are not allowed so ladies make sure you cover your shoulders some other way. Bought some neat souvenirs such as paintings from the Russian Market. The most important place to visit (and saddest) was the S21 genocide museum (Toul Sleng). During the Khemr Rouge regime (1975 - 1979), this high school was converted into a prison. It is estimated that between 1.5 to 3 million Cambodians were killed during this period...a very heavy experience visiting the museum, but very insightful into the history of this country.

The food in Cambodia was amazing - we ate at some great restaurants which had a blend of European and Asia food. Also, finding vegetarian food was quite easy. All in all, this trip was fantastic!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Yogyakarta, Indonesia

We flew to Yogyakarta, Indonesia for the weekend. The highlight of the trip was to watch the sunrise at Borobudur. Borobudur was built in the 8th century and is the largest Buddhist temple in Indonesia - it is located between two twin volcanoes and two rivers. We started at 3:30am from the Phoenix Hotel ("Ponik" for the locals) and were at the top of the temple by 5am to watched the sunrise - it was spectacular!!

We also visited the Bird Market (Ngasem), Water Castle (Taman Sari), and Prambanan which is the largest Hindu temple in Indonesia built in the 9th century. The locals we met were very friendly and always smiling and willing to help. FYI: there is an entry visa fee and an exit fee for Indonesia so be ready to pay that.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Russian Week @ New Asia

As part of Russian Week at Reshma's university, we headed down to New Asia located on the 71st floor of the Fairmont Singapore Hotel. The views were fantastic and the drinks were just as expensive ;)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Happy Chinese New Year

A collage of pictures from the past week as we celebrated Chinese New Year in Singapore. Pictures from China Town, The River Hong Bao Carnival, and One North party.

Chinese New Year fireworks

Celebrated Chinese New Year along River Hong Bao in Singapore. The fireworks started at midnight and lasted for about 5 minutes. I added the Singapore national anthem as the background music. To the right is Marina Bay where the Merlion is and to the left is the River Hong Bao Carnvial where they have nightly performances to celebrate the year of the Tiger.



Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Latin Week @ Movida

To cap of Latin week's craziness, we headed down to Club Movida located inside the St. James Power Station. The theme of course for Latin Week was Carnaval. Everyone dressed in their very creative carnaval outfits!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur was awesome. Took the Nice Shuttle Bus there from Singapore. We had a chance to stay with Hemanshu's cousin Ketul, his wife Archana and daughters Maher and Kiana. Some of the places we checked out included the Thean Hou Temple, National Mosque, the soon-to-be capital Putrajaya, KL Tower, Petronas twin-towers, and Batu Caves where the world's largest Thaipusam Festival took place that weekend! Eric, our Taxi driver, was great - he even played the Michael Buble DVD for us in his car :)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Estela Birthday Celebration

Estela Bday

Happy Birthday Estela! We celebrated Estela's birthday in Holland Village. The Lebanese food was delicious and lots of people turned up for drinks.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Cafe Del Mar

Cafe Del Mar

To cap off a crazy week of orientations, courses, and initiations... the school coordinated a final party at Cafe Del Mar on Sentosa island. This place has changed significantly from our last visit 7 years ago. No one was allowed to stay dry. If you were dry, you were thrown into the pool!

Friday, January 08, 2010

Happy Bday Yee Ning!

Yee Ning Bday

We met Yee Ning in Singapore over 7 years ago during our student exchange program with NUS. Yee Ning since moved to Singapore from Seattle so we get to hang with her in Singapore again! Happy Birthday.

Friday, January 01, 2010

NYE at Helipad

NYE at Helipad

So we actually did end up going to Helipad after all! One of the INSEAD students had arranged a VIP list and we were on the "helipad" outside all night overlooking Clark Quay. We also got to see some fireworks. The helipad was on the 6th floor and not the 50th floor as I had imagined it but we had a great time. Good times..

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

One North

One North

We made it to Singapore finally! After a week of hardcore searching, we chose the first place we saw... check out some pics of our new studio along with a BBQ that the students coordinated.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Holiday Party 2009

Holiday Party 2009

Yet another year has gone by. We worked extra hard this time because we had to change the venue since Canada Place was unavailable due to the Olympics. Sutton Place was an awesome venue and the party went off without a hitch. This was the third party I helped coordinate and also my last day at work in Vancouver! More pictures at this link.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Las Vegas

Las Vegas 008

Finally posting these pictures after a year! We had a great time visiting Vegas with Reshma's colleagues! First night was Tao at the Venetian and next night was at XS in Encore. At XS we saw Puff Daddy, Mario Lopez, and some hot shot football player!

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Run for the Cure 2009

Run for the Cure 2009

Team Mari Behn raised $4,511 this year thanks to 45+ donors (just to Hemanshu) and 16 team members! Even with a later start and the tough economic times, people generously donated and participated in the Run for the Cure!

In two years Team Mari Behn raised $11,854!! THANK YOU for all your efforts and making a difference for the fight against breast cancer. Also, a big thank you to Nanubhai and Vik for their continued contributions and support.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Congrats Zeph and Iris

IMG_1138
We had a great time at Zeph and Iris's wedding and reception. Bruce and Fong Yee (the MCs) had coordinated some impressive games. One had Zeph wearing a panda head and searching for Iris blindfolded. The other game involved them mimicking kisses from other couples. Reshma and I demonstrated the Spiderman kiss with the assistance of Paul and Rob. Zeph mimicked it well, although we were afraid that he may injure himself :)

Congratulations Zeph and Iris.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

PaTIo PaRTy VII - Havana Nights

PatioPartyVII 006
PaTIo PaRTy VII was a blast! Thanks for making the 7th iteration of the party a memorable one. We celebrated summer with friends, volleyball, sangria (coconut Havana Club rum, vine, and fruit), and lots of food. We also celebrated Hemanshu's 29th birthday with 2 mango cakes.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Paris et Fontainebleau

France 330

Ohh La La Paris... the city of lights! We had a great time eating, drinking, and checking out the sites. Unlike the previous Europe trip, we took it easy this time and tried to also spend some time at parks - eating baguettes, drinking vine, and enjoying the sun. Nous nous sommes bien amuses, et nous esperons de retourner a Paris tres tot!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Reshma's Bday & Mother's Day

Reshma Bday + Mother Day 014
Celebrated Reshma's 28th birthday and Mother's Day at Seema's. Happy Birthday Reshma!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Sis on NBC's Today Show!


Sis was on the Today Show! More often than not, moms are so busy taking care of their families and other obligations that they forget to pamper themselves! So in honor of National Women's Health Week, iVillage teamed up with Estee Lauder and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center to give two of their patients, Snehal Mehta and Angelita Gentile, a personalized styling for its Health is Beautiful initiative. Check out her makeover pictures here.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Our Gunvanti Ma

Ma
Our grandmother (Ma), Hemanshu’s mum’s mum, passed away on April 29th.

Ma always had a smile on her face and was one of the most modern grandmothers I have ever met. She also used to understand and read English so it was fun testing her! I used to love bugging her when she was absorbed into watching her special Hindi TV shows :)

Ma is with Daddy now. May god rest her soul. We love you Ma. Here are the pictures from the time Ma visited New Jersey and Vancouver.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Hitansh at VHP temple



Hitansh recently participated at the VHP temple for Mahvir Jayanti! Check out the video!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Our Sharda Ba

0049_rcpt_IMG_9242_d
Our grandmother (Ba), Hemanshu's dad's mum, passed away on February 21st. Luckily dad made it there earlier and was able to spend a week with her before she left us... unfortunately mum did not make it there on time.

My grandparents used to live in Khartoum before they moved to India. Since we used to live in Port Sudan, they used to often visit and she was responsible for teaching us religion and reading/writing Gujarati. Later on in life, I had the chance to help her with her English studies. She was am amazing cook and loved us unconditionally.

Ba will be dearly missed by all of us. Here are the pictures from the time she visited Vancouver for our wedding.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Run for the Cure

Papa turns 60 033
The final numbers are in! We raised $7,343 to find a cure for Breast Cancer. The team was at 147% of the $5,000 goal. As promised, my dad and I shaved our heads because we met our outlined goals to raise $3k and $5k respectively.

Many thanks to all the team members, friends and especially the sponsors who made this possible. Special thanks to Vik, Nanubhai, and Seema!

Cancer is a terrible disease and has contributed to alot of pain and suffering. Your support and contributions will make a huge difference.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Papa turns 60!

Papa turns 60 032
Yes, our very young looking Dad is actually 60 years old! We shaved his head in preparation for the Run for the Cure run. Read that blog for more information. We celebrated his birthday with his closest friends and family.