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The Second Engagement Party – Ain’t no party like a West Coast party cuz… (12/13/08)

Posted by neel on Dec 27, 2008 in Uncategorized

Last weekend, Sai made her 3rd trip out to the greatest state in the union – California. (check the links to the right for pics) First stop: the Getty Museum. After picking up our rented Hundai Elantra at the jewel of Southern Cali air travel, Long Beach Airport, we made our way up to the hills. Even though we were pretty tired from being up since 5:30 EST, the palacial Getty seemed like an oasis of calm. The building is pretty breathtaking, garden is beautiful, and the art was… artsy. Seeing the sunset over the Pacific for the first time in a while made me happy too. After that, we soldiered on, as Sai got a nice introduction to L.A. rush hours traffic on our way to Amish’s place. Amish was surprised when we showed up to the restaurant and all of his friends were waiting for him. A few margaritas and beers later, we were more than ready to crash.

The next day we went to Disneyland. Disneyland!!!! Sai went through most of the day looking almost lost among all the craziness. We now call it Disney-shock. I hadn’t been there since junior high and Sai had been to the monstrosity that passes for Disney charm in Florida, but had not witnessed the compact wonder that is the original theme park. First stop: Tomorrowland. We rode the old-fashioned fave, the rockets (Rockets! W00t!) and Star Tours (still no ships going to Tatooine) and the Nemo Submarine (lame, but Sai wanted to find Nemo) and I had a moment of silence for the passing of Captain EO. Also, in line for Nemo, we saw the most awesome thing in the world: the Tomorrowland Young Jedi Training Camp. Man, Sai had to hold me back from joining the ranks of the little kids who got to be trained by a certified Jedi and engage in light-saber battle with Darth Vader and two storm troopers.

Actually, it took me most of the day to realize what Sai really wanted out of the Happiest Place on Earth. I, of course, was all about the rides, from minute 1 – who goes for anything else? Answer: Sailaja Ganti. Apparently, all Sai wanted to do was go around and get her picture taken with all the Disney characters and compile their autographs in a book. The day was redeemed for her when Mickey Mouse clandestinely slipped her a kiss while I wasn’t looking. Also, she got two pins, one for her birthday, which was two days earlier, and one for her first visit to Disneyland. Once all the Disney employees were contractually obligated to wish her Happy Birthday, she was on cloud nine. Later that night, tired and full of churros and ice cream, we headed out to my grandma’s place in Laguna Hills. She was happy to meet Sai for the first time and greeted us with an awesome Maharasthran dinner.

The next day was our West Coast engagement party at my aunt and uncle’s place in Alta Loma. They really know how to do it up right for family gatherings over there, and this party certainly didn’t disappoint. There was a lot of family present – The Joshis, Nobiles, and Avadecians all had strong showings. The food was great – grilled salmon and tasty appetizers galore. And, of course, presents – fancy beer glasses, a special cupcake spatula for Sai, and a set of beautiful fused glass plates in our “signature” colors made by Tai. It was really great, and pretty much served as a West Coast Christmas for us, since we will be in MA for the holidays. More on that soon.

 
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Love Is…

Posted by sailaja on Dec 24, 2008 in Uncategorized

One of the best presents we’ve received to date has been a collection of “love is…” comic strips from Tai. I keep this little notebook of love-isms in my purse and really enjoy leafing through them.

My personal favorite is “Love is….Having Chemistry.” I couldn’t find that lovely cartoon online but here’s another great “Love is…” cartoon!

 
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Save the Dates are in the Mail!

Posted by sailaja on Dec 23, 2008 in Uncategorized

 
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Happy Holidays from Neelaja!

Posted by sailaja on Dec 23, 2008 in Uncategorized

 
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The Engagement Party – Bless-O-Rama (11/28/08)

Posted by neel on Dec 21, 2008 in Uncategorized

We had an awesome engagement party on the day after Thanksgiving. My Mom and brother flew in from California for the weekend, and we had a great veggie Thanksgiving with lasagna as the main dish. The next day, about 75 guests or so came from as far as Long Island to congratulate us and celebrate. Many of the guests were friends of the Gantis since they first arrived in Massachusetts, and said that they knew Sai before she was born! The food was amazing, as was the most important part – the cupcake tower from Sailaja’s favorite bakery – Kickass Cupcakes in Somerville. After dinner, we were cornered and an impromptu pooja was sprung upon us. The Ganti’s long time friend and guru, Shastry Uncle chanted some vedic verses of blessing, and then all the guests came by to shower us with rice (indicating prosperity) and bless us. As you can see from the pictures, we are pretty well-blessed now. Thanks to all who participated. We made out like bandits in terms of gifts, so thanks to everybody for those as well! The icing on the cake was a set of Belgian beer goblets with “Neelaja” printed on them from Sai’s Bujumama and Rekhakka.

The next day, we took the visiting Joshis to check out the site of the wedding, Mechanics Hall in Worcester, MA. The symphony hall where the wedding will take place looked just as grand as the first time we saw it. Sai’s favorite part is the plush bank of dressing rooms that the women in the wedding to get ready in. The Joshis were suitably impressed. We also met with our awesome wedding planner (www.alankardecors.com) who is full of good advice and makes sure that we get only the best treatment everywhere we go. Later in the weekend, the Mamas Ganti and Joshi conspired over the menu for the wedding as we went on some awesome food-tasting missions to local Indian restaurants. It looks like Bollywood Grill may have our vote so far.

 
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The Proposal (10/18/08)

Posted by neel on Dec 21, 2008 in Uncategorized

Early in October 2008, Neel decided that he better get down to business and marry Sailaja. So, with the help of Sai’s sister Sri, he arranged for Sai’s parents to come into Boston under the premise of having lunch with Sai’s Uncle (without Sai). When her parents showed up at the restaurant, Neel was waiting to surprise them. After much initial confusion, Neel got Sai’s parents to sit down so that he could tell them why they were there – so that he could ask for their daughter’s hand in marriage. They were, of course, ecstatic about the idea, but somewhat less excited that they had to keep it a secret for several weeks. Over the next few weeks, Neel had the opportunity to make arrangements for the Greatest Wedding Proposal of All Time.

The proposal was to take place on Saturday October 18, 2008. However, about a week before this date, Sailaja’s Spidey-sense told her that something was up, and Neel found out about her suspicions. So, knowing how much Sailaja liked surprises, he organized a little decoy dinner at a fancy restaurant in Cambridge. Neel made Sai dress up and the dinner was very romantic. Neel even went so far as to fumble in his pocket, as though he was reaching for a ring, even though he wasn’t. Later, Sai admitted to expecting a proposal that night, but she did not look disappointed at the time.

It was a brisk, clear autumn morning in Cambridge, and Neel had spread a blanket on top of falling leaves on the banks of the Charles River. Neel watched the narrow row boats go by one after another as he waited for Sailaja to arrive. He had told her that they were to have a picnic while watching one of Sailaja’s favorite Boston events, the Head of the Charles Boat Race. When Sai arrived, she was somewhat surprised to find that Neel was the only one waiting for her, since she was told there would be more people at the picnic. After sitting down and breaking open the bread and cheese lunch, Sai quickly became absorbed in watching the boat race and cheering the teams from her alma matter, Northeastern University. That’s why she didn’t when Neel took the ring he had made out of his bag. After a few deep breaths and a gulp, Neel asked Sai to marry him while romantically fumbling with the ring box. Sailaja was so caught off guard that she gasped and kept asking Neel if he was joking for what seemed to him like ten minutes. Neel, in fact, was not joking, and was glad that she finally put the ring on and said yes.

After a few excited phone calls to anxiously awaiting family members, Neel rushed Sai off to John Harvards pub, where they had their first date. There, several of Neel and Sai’s local friends were there to surprise Sailaja with a brunch celebration. After brunch, the newly engaged couple headed over to the jeweler to look at potential ring designs. The ring that was on her finger at the time was just a place-holder, and the stone was reset in the ring that they designed together, and can be seen somewhere over here.

 
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Becoming a Joshi

Posted by sailaja on Dec 21, 2008 in Uncategorized
Neelaja

If there is anything I have learned as a future Joshi it that pictures are of the utmost importance. In fact, I think if pictures are not posted within a day of their event there is a de-merit system (just kidding). With that said, click on the links to the right to view the pictures from Neelaja taking Disneyland and the West Coast Engagement Party.

-Sailaja

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Welcome to Neelaja.Com

Posted by admin on Dec 7, 2008 in Uncategorized

Welcome to Neelaja.com! Join us as we blog about our wedding plans and our lives together.

-Sailaja

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