Weekend update - Pool day and an outing to Catawaba Science Center

Summer is a good time to write about weekend updates. There are only so many weekends before it gets all cold and dreary again. It is the time to go out and have fun. This year summer has been like the indian monsoon season. It just rains every other day. It is good in a way that the sun is not so harsh due to the clouds.

So Saturday started off lazily with an Chickfila egg and cheese sandwich and oatmeal with homemade masala chai for breakfast. I cannot start the day without good masala chai and that means I have to get into the kitchen. The husband wanted me to take a break from the kitchen and so he got the breakfast while I made the tea. After webcam time with parents in India, we were off to the pool for a couple of hours. It was a good day to be at the pool; not raining and not too cloudy. I don't like to get wet but my daughter and husband love it. So while I was relaxing in the shade on the beach chair, both of them were splashing around in the water.

We were back in time for a late lunch. We had a fridge cleaning lunch of all the leftovers : some vatana usal, some cabbage sabzi, some raita with heated up frozen rotis. After lunch, everyone except me was tired from the swimming pool activity. While they had a long afternoon nap, I was looking for ideas on how to spend a rain-prone Sunday. I found Catawaba science center about an hour away from home. It had aquarium, planetarium and other exhibits for kids. It was open only from 1 pm to 4 pm on Sunday.

We planned to leave home by 11:30 in the morning on Sunday but we were able to get out of the house only at 12:30. Not being early risers played a big part. We stopped on the way at Dunkin Donuts to grab a bite. We reached the Catawaba science center at 2:30. We just missed the sesame street planetarium show.
We first went to the aquarium part of the science center. The biggest draw there were the touch tanks. They had sting rays and small sharks in one of the tanks and conch.
Catawaba Science Center Aquarium

The shark and ray feeding talk was also quite good. There was a little play area in a corner for kids and a puppet play area. Our daughter loved it.
We had to take her away from there to see the butterflies temporary exhibit which was located in the building next door. There were lots of butterflies roaming around in a beautiful garden setting. They also sprayed nectar (sugar water) on our fingers so that the butterflies would climb on our fingers.

After that we had only half an hour left to see the rest of the science center and we missed seeing a lot of stuff. We will have to try and come here again with atleast 3 hrs to spend. The place is worth the hour long drive and is quite reasonably priced.
On our way back, we stopped at Rajbhog in North Charlotte. This place makes you feel like you are in India. The food is very spicy; the staff is trying to cope up with the queue of people and it is not the cleanliest place around. That is all part of the experience. The husband ordered dahi puri, dabeli and vada pav with chai. I got the vegetarian dinner meal and the daughter got plain dosa. The dahi puri was excellent and just like the ones in India. The dabeli itself was a little bland and felt like they sprinkled red chilli powder on top to compensate. Not worth trying. I was not a big fan of vada pav but the husband liked it. The dosa was good but not great like the ones at Woodlands. It felt like it might not have been fresh off the griddle. My dinner was worth the money. The rotis again didn't seem fresh off the griddle but they were good enough. The palak paneer and chole were tasty. We ended the meal with some gulab jamun to cool the spiciness. It was good although it was a tad dry. We felt like it needed more sugar syrup. But they are still better than gulab jamuns at most other Indian restaurants. This place definitely gets points on the value for money front and the taste isnt bad either.


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