Part 1 is here
So, we left the place and as I was fiddling with the GPS I found that there is a gas station in 5.7 miles from our point. We thought it would be better to fill the fuel before taking another chance and followed the GPS route. Car headlight was the only light we could see around. M was driving with much care so that we all and our car doesn’t have to do an angapradhakshinam (rolling on the ground) on the steeper side of the road. After around 2 miles the savior we owned aka GPS instructed us to take a right turn. The right was taken but just driving 0.2 miles was enough to realize that it was an unpaved road. The car started to show its discomfort. Even the second gear didn’t help. We had to make a decision whether to proceed further to reach the nearest gas station or return back to the planned route and take the risk of running out of gas again before reaching the next gas station.
The only thought I had was what if that nearest gas station is closed? We would end up wasting the precious gas offered by the kind man. He promised us that the fuel will be sufficient to reach the gas station en route. We cannot take a wrong decision again. So decided to trust his words, take a U-turn and continue in the planned route. But, we couldn’t take a U-turn there. As I said before it was unpaved narrow road with steep on the other side. So, I got down the car and gave directions to drive in reverse gear until we reached a place where there was little chance to take a U-turn. I was literally shouting my lungs out as “turn the wheels left, no no no right, now turn right slightly, yeah yeah keep the wheels steady, slow, slow, slow down, left left” as I was walking down the road facing backwards. In between I also attended nature’s emergency call shamelessly on the road side. Now please don’t stare at me or make fun of me as the father and daughter duo did. You understand the emergency of nature’s call don’t you?.. RM – I feel R would understand me better after all her susu stories.. Then, M took the much awaited U-turn and we reached the main road from where we took the initial right. It would have definitely taken M at least 20 to 30 microscopic turns to take that U-turn. Continued our journey towards Pitts and as indicated by the kind man we hit a gas station in 20 miles with no further obstacle. I was happy to see other cars on the road. I was happy to witness another human other than the three of us. I was happy to see snacks and freshly baked goodies in the gas station store. I was happy to see the gas station open. Yes I was looking for reasons to be happy. My heart resumed back to normal beat. You know that moment when your heart feels light and the mental peace after a turmoil. I felt it. We relished the snacks and baked items and continued with the journey. Adi was a cutie pie all this time just watching and not bothering us even with one single question. I am sure she would have had a million questions in her head. After all she is a question rani no?.. Rest of the trip was all pleasant :).. Reached Pitts at around 7:45pm. Had a quick visit to Shirdi Sai baba temple near our Hotel, had a la carte dinner at Chinese restaurant and called it a day.
31st Jan – Woke up around 7am, had the complimentary breakfast offered at hotel and reached Sri Venkateswara temple at 9:15 am. It was a serene place and Perumal was happily residing at top of a mountain. Did I mention we have crossed 4 different tunnels on the way to cross 4 mountains. This is the first time I am travelling through a tunnel to cross a mountain like as if you penetrate through the mountain. Can a mountain’s base be this long? I mean we were driving through each tunnel for at least 4 or 5 minutes. Attended Satyanarayana pooja at the temple, packed the prasadams and left the premises around 11:30 am. Next, we went to Pittsburgh zoo and aquarium. We witnessed lion, lioness, tigers, giraffe, African elephant, polar bear and all those usual zoo creatures. Adi had a whale of time running around and not budging to pose for the pictures. Then, we had lunch and headed towards Carnegie science center but they were closing early on that day so skipped it for the day and drove to the next local attraction Duquesne Incline. This attraction featured an inclined cable car round trip to a mountain top. It was nice to see the aerial view of the town from mountain top. Then, we relaxed at hotel room for a while and went to Shirdi Sai baba temple around 8pm to attend new year eve bhajan. This was not a planned one. The bhajan went on till 12am. Then, then distributed sweets, cut cakes and bursted crackers. The first time in my life I am celebrating New year outside home. It was a great was the least to say. Adi loved bursting crackers 🙂 They made arrangements for kids to watch Home Alone when parents attended the bhajan’s in peace. So thoughtful of them. Then, we reached the hotel around 1:30am and hit the sack.
1st Jan – Woke up around 7am. Had breakfast at hotel and visited Sri Venkateswara temple again to attend Ganesha abhishekam followed by Swarna pushpa archana. Then, drove to Carnegie science center, spent around 3 to 4 hours there experimenting with Science and also explored the interiors of a Submarine. Adi had loads of questions as always as how this works and how that works.. Wrapped up around 5pm and headed back towards home. I drove on the way back to give a break to M. Since I am an occasional driver at US of A, M was sitting next and correcting me every other minute to stick to the lane , leave enough space between cars, apply brakes while turning et all.. He didn’t even let me switch on the audio player 😦 I had no choice but to listen to him gritting my teeth all the way 😦 We just took one fuel break in between and reached home around 11pm. Thankfully there was not much traffic on the road and Adi spent most of the return travel in Snoozeland (RM – this is the word I often read in your weekend posts :))
Leaving you all with some pictures