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Santa Monica Visit in Summer 2016

Happy New Year Everyone!  Sorry that I haven’t written in quite some time.  Life has been agonizingly busy, and I say agonizingly as you wouldn’t believe what I just went through – one of the worst moves of my life.  I will leave this story for another day, but needless to say I was not happy about moving – I also had to downsize, and pay double the rent!  😦

Anyway, onto happier memories from last year….and hoping this year will be better for me and for all of you.  We visited Santa Monica last summer, and I have had so much happen that I couldn’t even post my pictures until now.  Well, it’s better to do it now than deciding to do it five years from now.

We loved Santa Monica, it’s quite close to Los Angeles, and we were just in Santa Monica for a day, but in the Los Angeles area for nearly three days.  Isn’t it amazing that I live in San Diego, but don’t get up to Los Angeles that often any more, and that I have never visited Santa Monica until last year – and I’ve been in San Diego for almost 19 years!

Well, without further ado, here are some of my pictures:

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Santa Monica Pier, CA

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Santa Monica Pier, CA

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Santa Monica Pier, CA

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Santa Monica Pier, CA

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Santa Monica Pier, CA

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Santa Monica Pier, CA

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Santa Monica Pier, CA

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Santa Monica Pier, CA

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Santa Monica Pier, CA

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Santa Monica Pier, CA

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Santa Monica Pier, CA

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Santa Monica, CA

 

This last picture is of main shopping street that is a block or two away from the beach.  I will share more of these pictures another time.  Well, that’s it for now, I hope you liked my pictures, and that you are already having an amazing year!

Happy Diwali from San Diego

We had one of our big Diwali celebrations in San Diego on October 15, 2016.  It was the Festival of Lights held at Balboa Park.  It was a fantastic event, yet again.  This year it was special, because as well as dancing, we had singing, and there was a world-class singer who entertained us, so it was truly magnificent.  His name is Aditya Rao, and apparently he has won several awards, and has appeared in several videos like the one below:

Here he is performing at Balboa Park, and he’s also seen in this video that I made

Here is a video that shows the lighting of the lamps display, and the women carrying the lamps during the lamp parade.

Here is a video showing Punjabi music and specifically, Bhangra at the Festival Of Lights….spectacular!

 

Here are more photos showing Aditya Rao, and the performances that he was part of.

 

 

Here are some other pictures taken at Festival Of Lights

These are the lamps on display.  I have never taken pictures of the lamps before as I always get a seat, and never venture towards the lamps, but this year I did, and I’m glad!

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Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park, San Diego – October 15, 2016

Here are some of the other performances

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Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park, San Diego – October 15, 2016

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Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park, San Diego – October 15, 2016

One of Aditya Rao again, with the main presenter

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Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park, San Diego – October 15, 2016

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Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park, San Diego – October 15, 2016

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Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park, San Diego – October 15, 2016

Here’s little Chandra having fun!

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Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park, San Diego – October 15, 2016

This is Aditya Rao standing with the main organizers and this is just prior to the Indian Anthem being sung

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Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park, San Diego – October 15, 2016

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Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park, San Diego – October 15, 2016

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Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park, San Diego – October 15, 2016

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Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park, San Diego – October 15, 2016

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Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park, San Diego – October 15, 2016

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Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park, San Diego – October 15, 2016

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Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park, San Diego – October 15, 2016

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Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park, San Diego – October 15, 2016

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Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park, San Diego – October 15, 2016

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Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park, San Diego – October 15, 2016

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Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park, San Diego – October 15, 2016

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Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park, San Diego – October 15, 2016

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Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park, San Diego – October 15, 2016

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Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park, San Diego – October 15, 2016

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Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park, San Diego – October 15, 2016

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Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park, San Diego – October 15, 2016

President Barack Obama graced Diwali at Balboa Park with his presence, even though it was just on screen.  He wished us a Happy Diwali!  This was ever so nice, just to see President Obama in Balboa Park!

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Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park, San Diego – October 15, 2016

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Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park, San Diego – October 15, 2016

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Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park, San Diego – October 15, 2016

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Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park, San Diego – October 15, 2016

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Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park, San Diego – October 15, 2016

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Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park, San Diego – October 15, 2016

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Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park, San Diego – October 15, 2016

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Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park, San Diego – October 15, 2016

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Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park, San Diego – October 15, 2016

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Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park, San Diego – October 15, 2016

I really love going to the Festival Of Lights, as I enjoy seeing the performances, seeing Balboa Park again, seeing the stage graced by beautiful dances in clothes that sparkle, and then of course the lights tinkle!  I also enjoy eating the Indian food that is available from many of the vendors who participate in Festival Of Lights.  This year I got samosas, chicken saag and rice, and gulab jamun – that was two trays of food for me and Chandra, which included passion fruit juice for her and a nice cup of Pumpkin Spice Chai that cost just $9.  You can’t beat that price!

I hope you enjoyed my pictures of the Festival Of Lights, and I hope you all have a truly beautiful Diwali.  May light conquer over darkness, may good prevail over evil, and may we all experience peace, joy and prosperity on Diwali, and in the year ahead.  Happy Diwali!

Christmas At The Venetian

The Venetian is my favorite resort and hotel in Las Vegas.  I absolutely love it, and have only stayed there once.  Every time I go to Vegas, I want to stay there, but sadly price wise…I have to stay away.  I wonder how packages from the UK are so affordable to other countries, including to the USA, yet we can’t seem to get any bargains like this from here?  For instance, my sister just booked a trip to the USA where she stayed 4 days in New York, and 4 days in Las Vegas (during this summer). Her hotel in New York was the Marriott Marquis right in Times Square, and her accommodation in Las Vegas was the Venetian.  Her price for the trip was £1,000 UK pounds per person (for a family of four), and this includes airfare and hotel cost.  When I flew to the UK in 2014 (in the summer) it cost me $1,500 per person (for a family of four), and this did not include the cost of hotels.  I am so jealous, ‘cos I want to stay at the Venetian for four days!  However, since it’s my sister….I’m happy she is staying at one of the best places in Las Vegas.

Last time I wrote in May about Las Vegas, I told you I would include pictures of inside the Venetian, so here we go.  Sorry, it has taken me such a long time to get around to it.  I even fit one more trip to Las Vegas since Christmas  – this summer – not the same time as my sister unfortunately, and I did not stay at the Venetian 😦 .  Here are the pictures that include Christmas inside the Venetian, and some that were taken this summer.  Oh, and the gelato – it’s absolutely delicious!  Incase you are wondering, Christmas is a great time to be in Las Vegas, and especially at the Venetian.

 

 

President Clinton In San Diego on May 21, 2016

Oh, what a fabulous day!  It’s a day I will never forget!  President Bill Clinton came to town, and why would I not go see him?  I usually don’t go to Chula Vista, which is about 40 minutes south of where I live, it’s close to the international border with Mexico.  I just never have reason to go there, but Bill Clinton is certainly a great reason to travel just 40 minutes.  That’s just 40 minutes we’re talking about to see the former President Of The USA!  Bill Clinton came to Bonita Vista High School in Chula Vista.  When he was President, the USA was doing superbly well.  The economy was great, America was great!  I believe with Hillary Clinton as the next President, with Bill by her side, we can be great again.  I have to add that I also love President Obama too, he has done some fabulous things, and does not get enough credit.  Health Care Reform is just one of the fabulous things he helped pass, even though I can’t believe Congress want to take this advancement away.  Sometimes, I wonder if Congress can ever be satisfied, they are always whining about something or other and blocking progress.  I think they are jealous that President Obama got something done.

Did you know that I have always liked Bill Clinton? When I first came to America, he was running for President, and even though I couldn’t vote for him, he had my vote 100%.  I attended the inauguration celebrations in Washington, DC, and what a fabulous time that was!  He tried to pass Health Care Reform too, and I believe he may have inspired President Obama.  Just think what Hillary can do!  She is an inspiration, she will  be the first female President of the USA, and we need that.  She’s empowering to girls and women, and I am sick of all this hate directed towards her, and the lies and innuendos.  How dare people keep going on about the emails?  I am sick of hearing about this.  Just today I ready that someone else in the Administration had sent classified emails via his private email, but he never got criticized.  There can’t be one rule for a man, and another for a woman.  I believe that’s gender discrimination!  They can’t bear the thought of a woman as President, but President she will be, mark my word!  Anyway, am I being too political?  I’m not usually like that, but I do want Hillary to win, and I do love Bill Clinton.  Here are some photos of me, Bill and Hillary when I was at the Inaugural activities in Washington, DC when Bill Clinton became President.

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Me (Davinder Kaur) with Bill and Hillary Clinton

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Davinder in Washington, DC at Bill Clinton’s Inaugural Celebration

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Washington, DC at President Clinton’s Inaugural Celebrations

 

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Washington, DC at Bill Clinton’s Inaugural Celebration

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Davinder in Washington, DC at Bill Clinton’s Inaugural Celebration

So, going back to the present, you can see I was a fan, and am still a fan!  Here are some pictures I took of President Clinton in San Diego.  By the way, did I tell you it was an incredible day?  It was, and I’m still getting over it, still beginning to touch planet earth again.  I wonder if everyone there was as much a fan as I?  There were people who were fortunate enough to get close and have selfies with him, and books signed, but I didn’t.  Keep reading below, and you’ll see what I have in ways of pictures of me an the President together.

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President Bill Clinton in San Diego on May 21, 2016

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President Bill Clinton in San Diego on May 21, 2016

This score board shows that President Clinton is/was the 42nd President, and Hillary Clinton will be the 45th.  See, I told you she is going to be the next President!

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President Bill Clinton in San Diego on May 21, 2016

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President Bill Clinton in San Diego on May 21, 2016

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President Bill Clinton in San Diego on May 21, 2016

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President Bill Clinton in San Diego on May 21, 2016

Just some of the crowd going crazy for Bill Clinton in San Diego

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President Bill Clinton in San Diego on May 21, 2016

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President Bill Clinton in San Diego on May 21, 2016

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President Bill Clinton in San Diego on May 21, 2016

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President Bill Clinton in San Diego on May 21, 2016

Guess what?  I’m not good at taking selfies anyway, but I was desperate to have a picture with Bill Clinton, but I couldn’t or wasn’t allowed to get too close!  Sad!  So, what did I do?  I tried to get a selfie with him, even though my youngest daughter defined “selfie” and said I was supposed to be next to him!  What if I couldn’t be next to him?  I aimed the camera on my phone onto me and him, and must have looked crazy while I did this, but who cares?  The President was here, and he had to be in my picture!  Can you see him below, just visible (even though it’s a bit blurry, I promise you it’s him!) above the guy in the blue cap.

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Davinder Kaur with President Bill Clinton in San Diego on May 21, 2016

Another selfie – or should I call it a failed selfie of me and the President!

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Davinder Kaur with President Bill Clinton in San Diego on May 21, 2016

Here’s a video that I made, and of course, I included my failed selfie pictures towards the end of the video.

I hope you enjoy the video, and I hope you enjoyed my post.  Even if you didn’t, guess what, I enjoyed seeing President Clinton tremendously, and I’m still not over it.  We need to vote for Hillary for President, and then the King and Queen of America will go back to their house – the White House and we will be prosperous once again.  Please join me in voting for Hillary Clinton for our next President.  Thank you.

Venetian Magic

Venetian Magic, Venetian splendor!  Oh, how I love the Venetian grandeur.  This hotel/resort in Las Vegas, Nevada, is my absolute favorite out of all of them there.  I have stayed at the Venetian many years ago, and absolutely loved it!  I wish I could always stay there when ever I visit Las Vegas.  Even when I stay elsewhere, I make it a point to go visit the Venetian.  If you can’t go to Venice, at least go to the Venetian – it’s a bit of the real thing.  Here are some pictures:

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The Venetian, Las Vegas, NV

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The Venetian, Las Vegas, NV

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The Venetian, Las Vegas, NV

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The Venetian, Las Vegas, NV

My kids outside the Venetian, last Christmas

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The Venetian, Las Vegas, NV

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The Venetian, Las Vegas, NV

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The Venetian, Las Vegas, NV

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The Venetian, Las Vegas, NV

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The Venetian, Las Vegas, NV

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The Venetian, Las Vegas, NV

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The Venetian, Las Vegas, NV

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The Venetian, Las Vegas, NV

Isn’t this place pretty?  Isn’t it magical?  Wish I could have a permanent suite there!  These were all pictures taken outside of the Venetian, next time I will show you some pictures taken inside.

 

Schools Need To Monitor Playground Activity

Well, I’ve had a very hard week.  Chandra, my youngest has been hurt 3 times!  What a week!  Please can we not have a repeat?

I mainly want to focus on Incident 2 and 3 here as they both had to do with the school playground.  However, to be fair, I have to briefly touch upon the 1st incident.   Incident 1 was to do with the TV at home nearly falling on top of her, since she had pulled out too many drawers of the chest of drawers where the TV resided on.  I heard a scream, and then she gave me the fright of my life, and hers too – when she said the TV had almost gone on her head, and it had brushed her arm.  She could have broken her arm!  This occurred last Friday.  My lesson was learned, I moved that TV away from her room – she will not have another one in there.  She never watched it anyway in there.

Then on Tuesday, she fell off the bars at her school’s playground, not the monkey bars exactly, but similar bars, called pull-up-bars, where she likes to do backward flips.  She fell on her back, and I had to leave work early.  When I got the call, I was so scared, as I didn’t know what to expect.  The school nurse said her back was stiff. Well, it turned out she was okay, and nothing was broken.

Now the 3rd incident was the most heart-wrenching and gruelling one for me, even though she did not get as dangerously hurt, she was more terrifyingly hurt.  I got a call from the school Principal while I was at work, on Thursday (just yesterday) at around 3pm.  She described the incident below, and said she wanted to bring it to my attention, and that she has addressed the situation, and that no one should be pushing someone around, and throwing them into the bushes.  She said she has dealt with it properly.  She did not tell me the names of the kids involved, and said if Chandra told me that is different.  I can understand her need to be discreet.

Below, is an account of what happened yesterday, as told by Chandra to me about two and a half hours after the Principal described it to me, I wrote it all down and then sent the email.   I have cut and pasted it from an email I sent to the teacher, and Chandra’s Principal (just slightly modified as I was really mad and seething, and didn’t care if I used quotation marks for referring to what a particular kid said before I pressed “send” on the email.    I have in this post of course, disguised all the people’s names, replacing them with Boy X or Boy Z, etc (the letter does not even represent their first or last name) and Teacher A or Teacher B (same rule applies, this does not represent the adults’ first or last name.  I will leave Chandra’s name in it as this is a real story, and real stories must be told, in the hopes that people will learn and things will change.

Hi Teacher A,
I talked to Chandra after picking her up from the ……….., and asked her about the incident that you called me about this afternoon.  She told me that she and Boy A accidentally bumped into each other, and she said sorry to him, but he didn’t say sorry back to her. She believes he thought Chandra was mad with him and that was why he ran away, so she ran after him to say sorry again, because she thought he didn’t hear her.  Meanwhile a boy named Boy B, saw she was chasing Boy A, and called out to Boy A and said, “Don’t worry, I’ll hold her down”, and then he chased Chandra.  She stopped outside her class (where she should have been safe), and as was out of breath, she sat on the bench (again………right outside her class) and Boy B came up to her and held her down on the bench.  Boy B asked  “Where is the ruby?” to Chandra, and Chandra said she doesn’t know about any ruby, and she doesn’t have one.  Another boy, Boy C, was right next to Chandra and said “You are under arrest, here’s your handcuffs”, and produced some string.  He just held it, but didn’t put it on Chandra or hold her down, but neither did he help her.  He actually thought it was time to joke at a time like this, instead of helping Chandra.  He just goes along with it as though this is a game and Chandra is playing!  How can this be?  I am shocked that he couldn’t have helped Chandra, and allowed her to get hurt this way.  Boy B then pushed Chandra to the bushes, and she straightened up, and he asked “Is the ruby in the bushes?” She said “There is no ruby and it’s not in the bushes”.     He said “thanks for your help, and now I’m going to let you go”.

Meanwhile, her friend Girl A was around this whole time, and was the only one trying to help Chandra.  She was actually screaming “Help” , “Can you guys leave her alone, she was just trying to say sorry to Boy A” and she said “help, please stop” at least 3 times, and nobody helped!  In fact, Chandra said there was a male teacher or parent volunteer close by right by the handball courts close to her class, and even though Chandra was screaming really loud as well as Girl A, this adult male did not help them.  How can you have staff members around or parent volunteers who are not doing their job and being observant, or protecting the kids as they are supposed to be?  How could this possibly happen?  Right outside her class, where she should have been safe, she was terrorized by a boy, with another boy looking on oblivious to her pain!  Kids and adults ignoring her cries, and screams for help, as well as ignoring Girl A.  I find this totally horrible, and inexcusable, and really hope that you will tell this Boy B to stay away from Chandra, and never go close to her ever again!  How dare he terrorize her this way!  Disgusting!

I know you said you handled it, but I really hope you have, and that you talk to both these boys parents, especially Boy B.  You must give an additional lecture to the kids on not staying quiet, and telling on one another – I’ve had to say this time and time again.  I don’t know what is going on with the kids at your school.  They are not very nice with helping each other when they see others being attacked or victimized.  Please do something about this.

Thank you,

Davinder

Well, I know I go on and on in emails, and sometimes in my posts, but how would you feel if this happened to your kid?  I find it very worrying.  A little 7 year old girl, is constantly picked on at this school by one kid or another.  Just to give you an example, just about two months ago she told me that the teacher had walked away, and another little girl who was sitting next to her told Chandra to get out of her square.  They have squares on the carpet in her class where they sit down.  She then continued to kick Chandra repeatedly, while other kids were watching, and not one kid stood up for Chandra and told on her!  Do you know why?  They teach kids in this country to not “tattle-tale” which I think means the equivalent of what we used to say in the UK and what I am still used to saying “telling tales on one another”, so the kids stay quiet or they get told off for “tattle-telling or whatever you call it.  Why can’t they teach them to tell on each other, and this way little kids like Chandra wouldn’t be victimized while the rest complacently watch and allow it to happen.  No wonder, they grown up, and continue that same pattern of watching and not telling.  I then have to do this extra work, and tell the teachers that this is wrong, and change your methods, tell the kids to tell.  I tell Chandra to tell on other kids all the time, if she sees something happen, and if anyone does anything to her, to not let them get away with it.  Just tell on them, and don’t be afraid.  What is this world coming to?  Also, if teachers don’t tell parents when their kids are doing bad things, how will the parents appropriately lecture their kids and teach them what is right and wrong?  Sometimes, forget the teachers telling parents, I don’t even think they tell the kids off!  Let’s also not forget the playground monitors.  What on earth are they doing?  Drinking coffee, talking to one another or going on their phones?  Aren’t they supposed to be there to monitor.  Remember, my little girl was being terrorized by another little boy, while another boy watched, and her screams and that of her friend were ignored by many kids, the playground volunteer, and God knows who else!  The saddest thing too, is it happened outside her class where she should have been safe.  Actually, come to think of it, isn’t she supposed to be safe in her school playground and school all the time, without question?

I know I write long emails, I know I write long posts, but I won’t apologize for getting worked up. I will defend her. I will defend all my kids.  They don’t call me Davinder, the defender, for no reason.

Christmas In Las Vegas

Christmas in Las Vegas was a new experience for us, and a rather nice one.  We spent Christmas, 2015 in Vegas, and thoroughly enjoyed it.  Here are some more pictures, these were nearly all taken on Christmas day, 2015.  The last one was taken on Christmas Eve at The Carnival World Buffet which we went to prior to going to Christmas Eve mass at Our Lady of Wisdom Church.

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Bellagio, Las Vegas

We didn’t stay at Bellagio though as much as I would have liked to.  Actually, if you ask me which place I would like to stay at my number one choice is Venetian, and number two is Bellagio.  We actually stayed at the Hilton Grand Vacations Club Resort of which I am a member (through my timeshare ownership).  I won’t even go into my tea-bag dilemna that I had there – can you believe they didn’t have regular black tea?  I certainly had tea withdrawal!  Enough said of that for the time being, other than to say you hotels should never just cater to coffee lovers, there’s tea lovers too!   My view wasn’t too bad though.

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View from Hilton Grand Vacations Resort, Las Vegas Blvd

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View from Hilton Grand Vacations Resort, Las Vegas Blvd

We had brunch at the Paris Hotel’s Le Village Buffet, I will show you pictures of that separately in another post. Here are pictures of the Bellagio, where we spent the majority of our Christmas day, just strolling around – what a beautiful Christmas display!

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Bellagio, Las Vegas

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Bellagio, Las Vegas

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Bellagio, Las Vegas

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Bellagio, Las Vegas

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Bellagio, Las Vegas

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Bellagio, Las Vegas

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Bellagio, Las Vegas

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Bellagio, Las Vegas

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Bellagio, Las Vegas

We had Christmas Eve lunch at The Carnival World Buffet at Rio

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Carnival World Buffet at Rio, Las Vegas

We ate a lot in Vegas.  My kids talked me into getting them the Buffet Pass which cost $55 per person for 48 hours.  So we started the pass at around 5pm on Christmas Eve and it lasted until Boxing Day at 5 pm.  Therefore, we were able to use it for meals over 3 days, but had to time the last meal on Boxing Day to be in the line for the meal before 5 pm.  If you can time it properly, it works out well.  All the meals and drinks that you want are included in this price (except alcohol of course) – but you will be sure to put on a few pounds!  I will post more pictures of Las Vegas soon.  I can’t believe it’s already April, and I’m just getting around to doing this post now.  Where does time go to?