About me

Am a contradiction of sorts. i love going out and having a good time with friends, and i can also stay home chill out over a book or a movie..

Am very passionate about writing, so give me a topic and watch me float away into wonderland... Love reading books- sometimes i read 3books simultaneously, crazy about music- need it all around me, all the time and ofcourse, i totally am ga ga goo goo over my 7yr old naughty brat- Floppy!! errr, Prince Floppy!! :)

Friday, July 28, 2017

The horseshoe bend.. Arizona

After the jaw dropping few hours at the Grand Canyon, we were headed back and then towards the Horseshoe bend. There was another tour that had Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe bend, but since I was keen on the Grand Canyon i chose this one..  We were a handful of us in the bus and it was quite exciting... Located near the town of Page, Arizona, the horse shoe bend got its name based on the shape formation of the mountain. From up here, you can see the Colorado river flow down below, all the way down the canyon... This is a continuation of the Grand Canyon... 

I had read and seen pictures of the place, but did not know of anyone personally who had visited here. Anyways, it was all part of the travel experience right?  The van pulled into the parking lot and we were told we had an hour to get back to the van. If any of us found it difficult to hike up, we could always come sit in the van and wait for the others.

Now, even though the hike to the edge of the horse shoe bend is less than a mile, the first few yards is uphill and quite steep. Beyond that it was all sand with ups and downs.. The path is not difficult, I spotted many wearing flip flops and sandals, walking by. It took me about 15mins and as I neared the ledge, it got a bit scary. I kept thinking "please God, let me not slip and slide down the edge". There are no fences or walls, or even ropes for us to hold on to.. You go as far as you can, stand for as long as you want or sit or walk around, or jump on nearby rocks, click pictures but it is all upto you how safe you remain!! 

It was a good thing I carried my water bottle, even though it was cool and windy, I was thirsty and I hear that in summers it gets quite hot.. There are no shaded areas, so make sure to carry a cap along. met a couple who have been coming here every month on their anniversary date and all they do is drive down here with their dog, sit for a few minutes and go back.. I also spotted quite a few others with their dogs :-) 

I am not scared of heights, but I guess I was afraid of slipping and falling [esp since it has happened before to me] Hands were shaking as I was trying to click pictures and so I stepped back a bit before clicking them~ Oh well, fear conquered and I survived the trip.. Yipee...

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Solo travel.. my take!

As most people know, I love travelling on my own and it so happens that most of my travels have been solo travel. I had done an earlier post about how fun it is doing trips on your own. I do know it is not everyone’s cup of tea and that is perfectly fine! There are a few who keep talking about travelling on their own, but just don’t do it, cos they are unable to get themselves to do it. They need to accept it and let it be, instead of harping on it.

Another thing that most people assume is that just cos I travel on my own, it means I don’t have friends or am a loner. I am not, trust me! I plan these trips on my own cos I love it and I enjoy my space & freedom when I am off exploring a new town. I don’t get scared, or even if there are moments of uncertainty, I just take a moment, breath and figure out a solution. Nothing is rocket science or life threatening. If it does get to that point, am sure I will find someone to rescue me…

So, is there a flip side to travelling solo? Well, I wouldn’t exactly call it flip side, but yes there are a few sticky points in this. Actually I have so far faced only two issues.

      1. Photographs –

Well, when you are exploring a new town, you go about enjoying the scenes, sights, and devour the local treats.  There are bound to be a few landmark buildings that you click pictures of. But then when you want a picture in front of the place, it becomes a “what do I do now” kinda moment. There have been so many trips where I have not a single picture of myself at the location. But over the years, I have started asking other travellers or a local to click my picture. This time during my USA trip, I asked someone or the other at literally every spot to click a picture of mine. I did click a few selfies, but then am not comfortable with that and invariably the picture looks weird.  And then there is the whole “is anyone watching me shamelessly click a picture of myself”… lol

       2. Looking out for your things while you go do an activity –

I was in Goa, at Calangute beach and spotted a few parasailers and others on the jet skis. I so badly wanted to give both a shot but then I had my backpack with me which contained everything from cash, to room keys to my ID, cards etc. What do I do? There were no locker facilities or a safe place to put these. And so, I spent nearly an hour walking up and down the place, all the while my eyes and mind was keen on doing these activities. It did notice a family that was staying at the same place as I was, and smiled at them. In a few minutes, we were yapping away about how hot it was and so on. I don’t know if it was telepathy or the man had been watching me stare longingly at the para sailers/jet ski, but he suggested I go give them a shot. When I hesitated, he immediately said don’t worry, you can leave your bag with us. It will get wet and you wouldn’t wanna get your things wet/lost in the process. His wife chimed in and reassured me. I decided to throw caution to the wind and do just that.  Phew, it was such a relief to come back to the shore and see them holding onto my bag.. God bless them! The kids were so curious to know how the activities were and we yapped a while before going our separate ways!!  Not sure if I will trust people so willingly everywhere….

What are the other issues you have faced when travelling alone? Any scary/terrifying/awkward instances ? Do share…


Thursday, July 20, 2017

Skywatch Friday... Garden & art..

Walking along The Mall in Washington D.C, after spending about 7 hours exploring the museums and food trucks, I was ready to head back to the train station at Smithsonian. Along the way, spotted the garden alongside a vintage building and took a stroll through it... 

Here are a few pictures captured from there... 

For more beautiful skies, visit Skywatch Friday

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Skywatch Friday... Skyscrapers galore..

More from the city that I entered with quite a bit of apprehension but loved just as much as the others... Since I did not have too many days and other plans cropped up, I decided to do a hop on hop off bus tour.. Sitting atop cos I thought that would add to the experience, little did i expect it to be as windy and cold as it was... I was nearly freezing but the sights kept me glued to the seat... Here are more shots from that morning...

For more beautiful skies, visit Skywatch Friday

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Quincy Market or Faneuil Hall Market, Boston

I was in Boston just for 2 days and on the 1st day, I was up and ready along with my friend & her family by 7am. Since I had grabbed breakfast at home, I was good to go. The train journey from Acton to North station took about 45mins. The agenda for the day was Harvard, MIT, and Quincy Market/ Faneuhill Hall Market place.  By 12.30 I was on my way to the oldest market place in Boston, quite excited about all that I had heard and read. 

The atmosphere is just amazing here.. I must have easily spent about 4-5hours without seeing the same stall twice or tiring out. There are closed buildings with stalls inside them, alongside eateries and a large hall that contains multiple food outlets to choose from. And then there is this giant common dining area with tables and chairs and a beautiful ceiling. This is a building that has been restored and old boards have been hung on the wall, giving it a vintage feel. 

And if you step outside this space, you will come upon performers, more stalls selling interesting stuff-  jewellery made from flowers, wallets and knick knacks made with paper, art pieces, clothes, bags, and everything else you can dream off. 

And then on the far end there are a few buildings that contain brand stores selling products at discounted rates- Banana republic, Aldo, Old Navy, Crocs, Victoria Secret and few other brands I have only heard of. The beauty of this place is that there is something for everyone, literally~! 

I picked up a few souvenir stuff, a pair of Beatles guitar puck style earrings and a paper wallet that had BB8 print on it.Most of the products sold here were within $10 and so quite affordable. As for the food, you are spoilt for choice. The one dish that I saw many order was the Crab/clam chowder. I opted for the tortellini and it was yummilicious!! 

The most amazing thing about the place was they had a common area with games- table tennis, chess, puzzles etc and then there was a trolley of sorts with shelves lined with books and a couple of colourful chairs near it. It was the "reading room". You grab a book, sit read and replace it when done! How cool is that right?  

More stories to follow from my trip to USA..stay tuned...

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Skywatch Friday... Fire escapes of New york

While in New york, I did a brief tour via the hop on hop off buses and the views were beautiful, especially since I was sitting on the top. But then after a while, the cold winds got a bit too much and I had to rush downstairs to warm myself up... 

I loved clicking shots of the various tall buildings sprouting from the ground, almost felt like I was watching a movie or an animation being put together, where buildings just grow and go all the way to the skies. The one thing that caught my eye were the fire escape stairways in these buildings, having seen them in many a TV show or movie, it was interesting to see them in real.. Here are two shots that I love...

For more beautiful skies, visit Skywatch Friday

Monday, July 3, 2017

The Grand Canyon , USA

We were done with our 7th Std Half yearly Exams and our teacher was giving out the answer sheets and calling out our marks. It was my favorite subject- Geography! I had scored 98/100 and quite kicked about it.  Went home and showed it off to mom & dad. Now this is the part where I don’t really remember specifics. All I know is that I had received a postcard of The Grand Canyon courtesy my uncle who had recently visited the place. The next day I took the postcard to school to show it to my classmates and Geography teacher. Well, what do you know, she not only envied me for receiving one all the way from across the globe, but also gave me extra 2 marks, thereby making my total 100/100. Imagine my joy and happiness? Yep, I was over the moon.

And that is when I started dreaming of the day I would get to visit The Grand Canyon and walk around it… Little did I know it would happen a few decades later and I would be there on my own, taking it all in. J

When I began planning my USA trip, I was fighting quite a few battles in my head- where all should I visit, what all should I do, what were the places I MUST visit and what were the others that were ok to SKIP. The one place that sat right on top of the list was…. no prizes for guessing- The Grand Canyon. Everything else could wait!

From LA, I booked myself on a bus tour that would take me to Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Horseshoe bend and back to LA in 3days.  Now even though Vegas wasn’t really on my list, I decided to just go with the flow and enjoy it. The bus guide gave us two options with ref to The Grand Canyon- we could go to the South rim [Entry fee of $30- 5hours from Vegas; offered panoramic views, unending vistas and a chance to walk around as much as we wanted] or West rim [entry fee- $90, 3hours from Vegas; no cameras or phones allowed. Visitors could walk on the skywalk [those fiber glass flooring where you can see below your feet @ $25 and collect photos clicked by the staff at the spot @ $30 a piece]. I instantly picked the South rim and no regrets! Infact, nearly 90% of the bus chose the West rim and the next day when we exchanged notes, they weren’t too happy about the visit, yes the view was beautiful, and it was a fun experience, but they felt the fee was too high and it was over hyped.

On the 2nd day morning, we left around 5.30am, and most of the way I slept, except for the times when the bus stopped for breakfast run and pit stop. We were about 10 of us in the van, from various corners of the globe. There was a monk from Cambodia, a guy whose friends were sloshed and hung over in their room with this guy out alone with us [from Thailand] and then there was a team of 4 from UK & Europe. There was also a couple [slightly weird. I say weird cos the girl was unwell and slept in the first seat while the guy sat next to the driver and yapped away nonstop in Mandarin-to a point where I had to ask them to shut it]

By 11ish we had reached the parking lot of The Grand Canyon and the driver told us from here it was a short walk to the viewing spot and we could walk left & right and beyond… Told us to be careful of monkeys and squirrels that would come begging for food and slippery slopes. We got out of the bus and were slapped by cold crazy winds…Oh yes, it was cold and windy alright and most of us had on just one jacket. Who knew it was going to be this wild!

I loved the chill and the wind, but had to walk slowly as it would otherwise blow me off. Within half a km I spotted The Grand Canyon stretch in front of my eyes. That is all I remember. Few hours later I had to drag myself away from this natural beauty, back to the bus else I might get left behind.

Words fail me whenever I try to explain what the place was like or how I felt.. It was magical. Yes, I do agree it was just endless stretches of mountains with the river flowing between it, but still it was WOW. I couldn’t believe I was actually there. Here it is, The Grand Canyon in all its glory.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Fun quirky art pieces at Pier 39, San Francisco

From Fremont, I took the BART [Local train service] and got off at Powell Station. From there it was a short walk to the cable car place.. And thereon I was off to explore the city as much as possible. First on the list was Pier 39, which is renowned for its restaurants, stores, performances and of course the area filled with sea lions.

Enroute, I came upon a string of stores that had some quirky art pieces outside that were dancing in the wind.  Forget children, every adult who walked by, stopped to admire these for quite a while before moving on.  Here are a few photographs I clicked of the same.. 

Stay tuned, for next up, the fun I had at Pier 39...