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Turning back the clock to October 1st, earlier this year. It was the same day when I raised my arms and defied fatigue and hallucinatory feelings. My tired limbs and almost defeated spirit were buoyed by a great “Texan Skillet” and a huge mug of coffee at a Denny’s in Redmond, Washington – which was made possible by the traffic clearing up on the normally choked roads between Seattle and Redmond and allowing us to arrive 45 minutes ahead of our scheduled meetings at the offices of Microsoft.

Redmond was a small sleepy suburb of Seattle before one of their sons decided to drop out of college and start what is today the world’s largest software company. And really…Microsoft is Redmond and Redmond is Microsoft. I happen to be an admirer of that company (inspite of all the failings and criticism) and I could tick-off another one of the dreams from my bucket list. A walk down any corridor in that company is enough to give one a feeling of being in geek heaven. In many ways it is a geek heaven that has withstood the changing colors outside – and continued to dominate what we do with a computer – and how we do it. Talking about changing colors…here are few shots from the MS campus. (Hope I don’t get sued for this!)

1) It was too lovely a day to have meetings – and it is a beautiful campus. One of the guys we met had a corner office with large windows…I kept looking outside and I think he caught me doing so a couple of times! (I am sure he understood…)

 Microsoft at Redmond - Sept 30th, 2009

2) Fall in Microsoft can mean two things – The stock price has fallen – OR – the colors are changing!

Microsoft at Redmond - Sept 30th, 2009

3) With more than a 100 large buildings in Microsoft – it has become home to more than 40000 employees! (8000 of whom are desis)

Microsoft at Redmond - Sept 30th, 2009

Post the meetings and a hearty lunch at the MS canteen (outside which purportedly, Bill Gates could be seen sometimes, walking around writing code in the air…!) – we still had 4 hours before our flight back to the Bay Area – so we decided to head to the nearest water body. I mean, it would be criminal to visit Seattle and not visit one of the various marinas that it is so famous for! The closest one was the Kirkland Marina, a park-cum-moorage on Lake Washington  in the seemingly prosperous town of Kirkland. We reached there just in time for the sunset…and yes, it was beautiful. It was quiet, there was a nip in the air but not enough to justify a jacket. Children were playing by the lake with their dogs, which were chasing ducks and gulls. There were lovers basking in the gold of the sunset wondering if their lives will continue to be that beautiful. There young couples with baby strollers and old couples with walkers…it was lovely. Faithful Olympia captured the true colors of a Washington sunset. (No pun)

1) My favorite. The moment I saw the scene unfold in front of my eyes…I knew this one is going to be a cracker! Dedicate this one to Dee…

Kirkland Marina on 30th Sept 2009

2) There is something about a Sunset on water…sigh…

Kirkland Marina on 30th Sept 2009

3) Isn’t this boat lucky? Get’s to see the sunset everyday!

Kirkland Marina on Sept 30th 2009

4) Another favorite…I swear, this is exactly how it looked!

Kirkland Marina on Sept 30th 2009

5) The park at the marina…where people picnic.

Kirkland Marina on Sept 30th 2009

6) A covered area for people to hang out when it is raining. (It rains in Seattle quite often! I guess we were lucky…)

Kirkland Marina on 30th Sept 2009

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All photos can be enlarged to wallpaper size by clicking on them. All credits as usual to the Olympus E-520 and to HG for being a patient companion (and model). HG, don’t worry, your snaps are safe with me… 😉

Next up – Yosemite.

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