Sunday, April 02, 2006

Lake of Ozarks - First Trip Together

It was almost ten months since we came to Rolla. The residents of Apt No. 7 had been to many places but none together. So, we decided that we would go for a trip together with just the four of us. The place was the Ozark Lake. As the name suggests there is a lake, but more importantly there is a huge shopping mall with about 150 factory outlets. Yadu had in mind to shop for about 300$, but I guess he was a touch disappointed when he came out as he fell short by two pairs of jeans. Yes, finally it was the four of us early in the morning (atleast that was what was planned originally) at 10 am on a trip to the Ozark Lake.

Yadu - The man who speaks less and blushes at what?
Rama - That's the way I am? So!!!
Venkatesh - Accent oriented shopping freak
Me (Praveen) - Idealist!!!(Hahahaha..I can write what I want right! My Blog!!)

It was not an early morning rise and it was not a surprise. Off we went, on US 63 state highway in the hired Ford Taurus.

AR Rahman engulfed the car with his music from Boys, Yuva and Kangalal Kaidhu Sei. Our first stop was near a overhanging bridge and this was a diversion from the main highway.

It was a beautiful sight, not because it was a tourist spot, but because it was away from people. It was nice to see a place which was not inhabited by the masses. It was slightly tough to find our feet on the bridge because they were like wooden planks, and the gaps on the plank made us find our feet with care. We spent a few minutes there and then we went to the Caverns. On reaching the caverns, we were told that the cavern was closed on the weekends. So, we decided to take a walk down hill at a lethargic pace. We were admiring the beauty of the place around us. Though it was just the beginning of spring, and though the trees were leafless, the sparkling sun added a charm to the place. We were talking about everything under the sun, obviously nobody was there to hear what we spoke. It was peaceful and the place was full of tranquil. I was reminded of my trips back in India. Then, we headed to the Ozark Lake. It was very picturesque and refreshing.

From there, we headed to the shopping complex. But, on the way we had to have something. We were starving. So, Pizza Hut it was for lunch. All of us devoured the large pizza, save for Venkatesh, and then headed to the factory outlets. The area is huge with all the top brands having their outlet here. It is always tough to decide what you want when you have so many choices, but thankfully, since Venkatesh was there, who is an expert in shopping, it was not a problem for the shoppers. All the outlets were explored and it was five hours of intense shopping. Luckily in the midst of shopping, I made a phone call to my college buddy and we chatted exactly for 1 hr 07 minutes (Correct me if I am wrong!!). The talk traversed all topics - about US, school, subjects, research, living style, Vedas and religion. Such is always the intensity of talk of old timers.

Finally, we decided to head back to Rolla. We thought of taking a different route and so we called up one of our friends to guide our way back. He told us to take Junction BB at a particular point. But, by sheer coincidence, there was a junction VV on the way. For a second, all of us were wondering whether it was Junction BB or junction VV. We went two miles ahead, turned back and took the Junction VV. We went on and on till we reached the dead end. It was an eerie location with darkness all around and obviously no network coverage on our mobile. We turned back and reached the main road again, decided to go further ahead. It was about three miles on the road and we caught sight of Junction BB. From there, things were fine. But, that particular spot where all of us were stranded on Junction VV will be an unforgettable time for a long time.

And, by about 11:30 all of us reached Rolla and ready to get back to sleep. Daylight saving time with one hour to lose would not in any way hamper our sleep! By the way, I forgot an important information : Rama and I secured the driving permit the day before and all through the trip, it was Rama who was travelling while yadu was relaxing for next day's expedition! I also drove for the first time in life, albeit for a short distance!

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