I’ve always wanted to see the largest trees on the planet and we were so close being in California that it would be a shame not to take a look. Two days before we left California, Ashley, the dogs and I drove 4.5 hours south to Sequoia National Park. The drive was calm and not particularly scenic. We passed by the typical California small towns, farms with rolling hills and yellow grass.
Sequoia National Park is divided into two large parks, Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Park. We entered through the northern entrance and took this picture. America’s national park entrances are not auspicious and always involve this form of a wooden sign.
Our first stop was the General Grant Tree, the third largest tree in the world. “The General Grant Tree is a living memorial to the men and women of the United States who have given their lives in service to their country. It was proclaimed a National Shrine on March 29, 1956 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The official dedication was made that year on Veterans Day, November 11, by the president’s personal representative, Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz. Each year during the Christmas ceremony, park rangers place a large wreath at the base of the Grant Tree, remembering those who gave their lives. ” (from www.nps.gov) The tree is over 267 feet tall, 40 feet across its base and over 107 feet around. Estimates of its age range from 1500 to 2000 years old.
The trees were so large it was very hard to take photos that captured the size and majesty of each tree and the feeling of walking amongst giants. We took a fee photos of some giant sequoia trees which had fallen which show a better sense of their size.
Our next target was the General Sherman tree, about one hour drive south from the General Grant Tree. “The General Sherman Tree in Sequoia National Park is the largest (by volume) tree in the world. ” (from www.nps.gov) The height of this tree is 275 Feet tall. This tree is still alive and growing. It is so big that every year it produces enough wood equivalent to a regular sized tree! Seeing this humongous giant was truly awe inspiring, never in my life could I have imagined a tree of this size. To think that this tree has lived over 2000 years is truly amazing!
Woohoo.Â My huney’s birthday is today! This will be the first birthday in which I can give her one of those happy birthday to my WIFE cards!Â I won’t disclose how old she is since that may have dire consequences so I will only show some snaps from the various activities we did.Â I joking say Ashley had a man’s since our activities involved eating lots of prime rib and paintball!
The Ching’s took us out to dinner at House of Prime Rib, an awesome prime rib restaurant on Van Ness in San Francisco.Â Ashley went all out and got the King’s Cut a huge juicy slab of steak.Â Â We had a great time and Ashley chose a awesome Passion Fruit flavored cake from Citizen’s Cake.
Here’s Ashley and Eugene (my brother) standing outside the restaurant…mmmm…we’re hungry!
This is us with the Chings after a really great meal!
The cake was covered with coconut with a three layer passion fruit creme.Â It was very good!Â Meagan, our three year old niece also helped Ash blow out her candles.
The following day, we went paintballing.Â Ashley has never gone before but as you can tell she quickly turned pro. Â We all got shot up pretty good that day.Â We even have some video photage which I have to figure out how to post at some point.
Yup, that’s Ashley above.Â Not so innocent with that long barelled semi automatic paint ball rifle pointing at your head.Â Good thing I was on her team!
Times certainly does fly.Â I have so much to post and so little time this week.Â So much has happened along with the wedding preparations which I want to post about but for now Ash and I will just focus on the wedding.Â So our families are all in town, Aus and Pengs united.Â :)Â Our friends have also arrived and we’ll be going into the city tonight to have one more pre-wedding night out.Â If it hasn’t sunk into us before, it really is sinking in now.Â We’re really getting married!Â The Wedding Rehersal on the Treasure Island was almost surreal and we both can’t believe it’s happening tomorrow.
Ashley has done so much to prepare, I really have to give all the credit to her.Â I am but a helper in the master plan of Ms. Ashley Au – wedding planne, florist, wedding shopper, decorator extraordinarie.Â Â I am so lucky to have a wonderful partner in life and we are both so excited to tie the knot tomorrow. Â I promise to post more photos and add more posts into this from our trip to Atlanta to see the Lo’s before this, the photos leading up to the wedding and all that other crazy stuff.
It’s been really great to see so many good friends and family reaching out to us with well wishes.Â Thanks and we’ll see you all soon!
What a week, I got back from India and two days later Ashley and I flew out to Atlanta.Â We had to find a condo, negotiate and sign the contract in about 5-6 days.Â We’ve never been to atlanta before.Â Yes, it’s a bold move and knock on wood we made the right choice.Â The house hunting went well, our Real estate agents were wonderful and we were able to sign a contract on the place that we both really liked.Â Our new home is called the Tuscany located in Mid Town Atlanta!Â Thanks to Michael and Christie for helping us out, hosting us for theose couple of days.Â It really helps to consult with some locals.
The picture below is the view outside our condo window.
The last day finally arrived at the end of an almost 4 month stay in this amazing country. The People Portal project still continues but I must return home to get ready for the wedding, the move out to Atlanta. I am going to really miss the people on the project in Gurgoan. I wish I had a group photo of everyone but for now here’s some random pictures of the days before I left.
This is my typical ride everyday on the Riskshaw to the Sapient office. The name of this busy street is called the MG Road. Everyday there is something new to see whether it is animals to people shipping large chunks of ice. Guys on top of buses or a variety of roadkill, some including people!
This next photo is the Sterling Guest House crew sending me off. The guy in the front still remains nameless to me though I did finally learn his name the night previously during our farewell dinner but again I forgot. The guy on the far right is the infamous Lakshman. More stories about him at a later time. 🙂
Finally, this last photo is of the crowded Delhi airport. The entrance way to the ticketing booths are well gaurded by security with AK-47s. The lines can also be quite long. However or the impatient or the anxious, baggage guys will come out and for a small “fee” will help you cut the lines inside and out.