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Winter 1999 Tour in USA

I travelled the below places with
Vineet: my class-mate from BHU
Saurabh: my colony friend from Bombay
Chandra: my colony friend from Bombay, (together only in New York)

The places I visited were:

Philadelphia.
Here I saw an IMax show. It's a show in which it feels like u r in an aeroplane and the aeroplane is moving at fast speed. The whole movie is though thee eyes of the aeroplane. It was a great experience. Philadelphia has not much to see. We visited Hard Rock Cafe there. It was a lovely place. This cafe serves snacks. tea/coffee/cold-drinks and drinks. It was full of items of Rock stars such as a Guitar of Eric Clapton, autographed pic of Jim Morrison, coat of Elvis Priestly and lots of things.....a fabulous sight indeed. Our next stop was Baltimore where we saw USA's second largest Aquarium. It was nice. We also saw a Dolphin show there. The ESPN headquarters is in Baltimore. Baltimore is more beautiful than Philadelphia. We also visited the hard rock cafe there. We used to take a Cold drink or coffee and sit there for 1-2 hrs. since refills were free....

One thing that was good in our trip was that every city we visited was better than the previous one and so we never got bored or felt let down. Third stop was at Washington DC....capital of USA. Here we saw the Capitol (we went inside it), Ariane Space Museum (wonderful), Museum of Natural History (great) and of course THE WHITE HOUSE. Believe me our own Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi is at least 10 times better than the WHITE HOUSE. We also saw the War Memorial (something on lines of Shaheed Jawan Memorial near India Gate). The area where all the high rise/posh buildings and big shops are there and where one can generally roam about is called Downtown of a city in US...something like City side in Bombay and CP in Delhi. The downtown area of Washington was marvellous.

Next stop was the 2nd largest gambling center in US, Altantic City (largest is Las Vegas). We reached this city at 11:30 pm, went into thee largest Casino and of course gambled...I started with $10...made it $30 and then lost all. I basically played the slot machines. All other games like Roulette, Cards were costly with a min. bet of $10. The slot machines had a min. bet of 25 cents, so it took a long time bfore I eveentualy lost all my money. Vineet lost $20 while Saurabh lost $25. It was great fun. Then at 3am we had a Pizza in some small joint...roamed about the city and then returned back to Philadelphia at 6am in the morning.

We travelled to all the above places in FORD Taurus, a car hired by us. We spent our nights in Philadelphia at Saurabh's cousin's place, in Washinton at Saurabh's friend's place. While in Washinton we also visited Aju (Anil's cousin). He & his wife were down with fever. It was however nice meeting them.

After travelling 910 miles by Car...all throughout driven by Saurabh (poor guy), we took a train from Philadelphia to New York. In NY we stayed in a posh hotel in Manhattan (NY downtown)..thanks to Saurabh's classmate who was given that hoteel room by his company. The house being in Downtown, it was easy for us to see all places without a need to travel much in NY. In NY we were joined by Chandra. Saurabh took ill in NY due to fatigue (2 much driving i guess....) He wanted to rest and get well as he was on vacation. So it was Chandra, Vineet & me who visited NY while Saurabh slept was watched TV. We had reached NY on 30th...so we were in Times Square on 31st...The most happening place in USA. We were at Times square by 1pm. By 4pm there were 1 million people there and the crowd was enormous. By 7pm there were 2 million and all roads had to blocked to prevent people from entering. But Times Square was not as rosy as it seems. It was boring as there was no music being played. They were celebrating every country's New Year there (10 min. of some cultural bull-shit and then silence for 30-45min. till next country's New year came). We saw Indian New Year being celebrated there on TV at 1:30pm US time. At midnight a huge ball fell and 2000 was lit up and that was the end of Times Square. We roamed abt. the streets till 1:30am and came back & slept like logs.

Next day we visited the World Trade Centre in NY. We went atop the 107th floor to the terrace. It was a great sight. We could see the whole of NY. Then we visited the just did walking around the streets of NY. Day before, we visited the Statue of Liberty (we climbed to the head of the structure). The whole Manhattan skyline could be seen and it was 2 much. (Manhattan is NY Downtown). We went to Ellis Island which was the only place through which Immigrants could enter the US till mid 1900s. Back in Manhattan we saw the Empire State Building, UN Headquarters and Central Park (a huge park). In the evening Harpal (my friend from Bombay colony) joined us and all of us (except Chandra....he had some more sight-seeing to do) went out for dinner to a Desi restaraunt blended in the American style. It was really good and it was a treat from Harpal !! Finally next day all of us decided to rest and we slept was watched TV all day long and in the evening I went to my relatives place in New Jersey. Vineet went to Pittsburgh while Saurabh to California.

In New Jersey, I had a nice time at my relatives place. I used to sleep 14 hours a day, watch TV for 5 hours and surf the net, the remaining time. I had a nice rest (required after a semester of Grad. school) with home-made food and parties before i came back to Madison for my second semester of MS.