Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I Love Deserts`- trip to the Grand Canyon!

This is a realization which hit upon me on my trip to Nevada and Arizona states .I have been to beaches, hill stations and places full of greenery and life. Its not that I did not like the place or the beauty of nature full of life. Snow covered mountains, lush green forests , sandy beaches, I have seen it all and loved it too. But seeing the brown hills, devoid of any life , huge rocks standing tall  , barren lands .and basically nature in its lifeless form , I realized I love it more ! It might sound like an insane thought but actually I loved the beauty of nature in this form.
Somehow seeing the land all barren and hills small and without any forest and greenery to block the way to the top.I felt a sense of control ,a power I cannot describe.
It was like I felt I have control over this aspect of nature. When I see oceans and mountains. I feel a sense of dread ,a feeling of helplessness .Its like I do not have any power there ..Its beyond human control.
Oceans where I cannot even see the end is like looking at the unknown, I do not know what is at the end .(theoretically I do know , but its a feeling )
But when I look at the barren lands I have a feel I can change it I can make it fertile I can work on it.which gives me control over there!

Whatever the reason, I have realized I love deserts more than any other nature's form!.

When I saw grand canyon , I saw the huge canyon where  earlier  Colorado river used to flow. It made me realize what might happen to earth millions of year later. Or what could become of Oceans and Mountains !It was like an insight in to the future!


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Trip to the Sin City -Vegas

This long weekend we decided to visit the ultimate Sin city Vegas (the name is actually apt for the city ,I realized after visiting it) Casino at every corner, drinks in every hand , people ogling at nude photographs ..open promotion of Sexual pleasures (for both Girls and boys)were the things you would notice as soon as you enter Vegas.
I will have to agree though its a beautiful sin city . Its like Death By Chocolate in literal terms. It might make you commit something which you would not normally do ..but in such a way as you would not realize what you are doing :)

We started our Journey to Las Vegas from Redwood City on Wednesday afternoon, it was a long 10 hours drive. due to heavy traffic  (Thanksgiving Weekend)  we reached our destination at around 1 am .Although we were dead tired and sleepy but as soon as you enter the city , all the glamor and glitter (city was literally glittering in golden lights) will make you sit up and notice. We did the same! awed and wooed  the night life of Vegas. It was like you have entered some different planet where people do not sleep at 1 am. I was enamored by the lighting they did. The way we light up house on Diwali ,make sure that each and every corner is full of light ,it was like they celebrate Diwali and on a grander scale in Vegas every night! Not a single shop or corner was devoid of strings of yellow /red and white bulbs , giving the city a look of newly wed bride decorated in gold !


We had our reservations at the Stratosphere Hotel , which has the tallest tower in the city .As it was already quite late and we were dead tired we went straight up to our beds !

This is Vegas from 107th floor of our Hotel~


 As everyone else visiting THE STRIP (most happening place in Vegas) was priority 1 on our agendas.
Many of the largest hotel, casino and resort properties in the world are located on the Las Vegas Strip. Nineteen of the world's 25 largest hotels are on the Strip.



Each hotel is designed as per theme , themes of famous places like Venice/Paris /new york  etc. We would enter one hotel and exclaim wow its so beautiful, probably its the best in Vegas .. only to be greeted by something more extraordinary.




Venetian was the hotel based on Venice (as the name probably suggests) .As soon as you enter the hotel , it was like you are in different place. There was a canal maintained and there were boats ferrying people from one side to the other, person rowing the boat was singing the traditional songs . On both sides of the canal there were restaurants and shops . It was actually like you are in Venice.



If that has not impressed you enough , you can have dinner at Eiffel tower :)


We visited the famous Bellagio Hotel and saw the famous fountain show. It was really magical . Before I saw the fountain live , I had seen it on Television and I was thinking .'Yeah fine its good!' .But when you actually see it , water dancing as per music , its mesmerizing . Its awesome!




There is glamor all around you and how can a visit to Vegas be over without seeing any shows! We were lucky to be able to see a fab free show "Sirens of TI" at the Treasure island. The show was about live pirates sea battle ! It was about how  the beautiful Sirens of TI®  lure a band of renegade pirates into their cove with powerful and captivating melodies.The clash between the mesmerizing temptresses and their rebel prey transforms this 17th century story into a 21st century revelry of song and dance, seduction and danger.

And last but not the least , I could get good Indian food there :) at a food court in Revieria . Food was awesome and it perfectly made my holiday!

And how could a trip to Vegas end without visiting the Grand Canyon! But the experience and the journey was like a revelation to me , so it deserves a post of its own!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Scotland From My Eyes -Day 3 & 4

After a comfortable night's rest ,we were up for the next day of our journey . we planned to cover the glen ord distillery on our way to Avimore. which is the only remaining single malt scotch whiskey distillery on the Black Isle.I don't drink and it was my first visit to any kind of alcohol production unit so I was looking forward to see what is the process being followed.

We saw how barrels are used for storage and how is malting done and once the spirit is formed how is it collected and all. The tour was very informative. the best part was we got to taste some of the finest whiskey  !


We started on the next leg of our journey towards Avimore,which is a town and tourist resort, situated within the Cairngorms National Park in the highlands of Scotland.  We had our night arrangements in the Avimore Bunk House. I got to sleep in the bunk bed for the first time!! Staying with students was fun. There was music and cards all over the place. People were so friendly ! We cooked our dinner in the mess . It was fun  10 people trying to cook at the same time. We were up till late in the night talking to these peoples and enjoying their adventures.





Finally we went to bed around 2 , slightly unhappy as tomorrow was the day we were to start our Journey back home :(


Morning we were up and were ready for breakfast by 8 o clock. We started on our way back. But we did  have lots of fun on the way back  in a theme park. With rides like free fall and treasure island we sure had fun!




It was one of the most fun trips I had! thanks to the lovely friends for such good time!

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Wall Decor in 5$

Anyone looking for any decor/DIY idea would have definitely hit on this blog:

http://www.younghouselove.com/photo-gallery-2/our-current-house/

I am in love with their house, and Burger and Clara add on so much charm! I just love their whole family so much fun and super talented.
So I normally read their blog daily  and normally what they do is beyond my humble capabilities.but they have a wall art in their living room which I thought I could try but definitely on a more cheaper source!

Here comes another trip to Dollar Tree! I got five frames (white) from there for 5 bucks. And I already had few handmade paper with me .
The process is pretty simple, I just attached the hand made paper to those frames like this!
and then hang them on the wall using wall safe hangings(its a rented house so cannot use nails and all)
Here is how it looks all done!


Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Scotland From My Eyes Day 2

Day 2 started quite early . We were ready full of yummy home made treats like freshly baked bread, home made jam , yummy and creamy cheese, cakes etc and were ready for an exciting day forward.



We were off to  the Kyle of Locash , which is around 74 miles from Fort William .We were looking forward to visit the famous Eilean Donan Castle . Eilean Donan (Scottish Gaelic: Eilean DonnĂ¡in) is a small island in Loch Duich in the western Highlands of Scotland. We planned to visit the castle there,As one of the most iconic images of Scotland, Eilean Donan is recognized all around the world. Situated on an island at the point where three great sea lochs meet, and surrounded by some majestic scenery, it is little wonder that the castle is now one of the most visited and important attractions in the Scottish highlands.




It was build around 13th century and has an interesting history,even if you have no interest in history, this magnificent structure is worth visiting for the breathtaking scenery of the area surrounding it. Amid hills and trees in a somewhat romantic setting, everything about the dream-like Eilean Donan Castle is bound to enchant you.
                      

When we parked at the castle and got on the bridge towards the castle, every word  I read on internet seemed to be true . Such romantic place sent me in dreamland where I was getting married in the castle.. Wow! What a gorgeous wedding it would have been.I jolted myself out of dream land back to reality . We started tour of the castle. I was really as if we saw history unfold in-front of our eyes!



We were there for around 2 hours and although we could have spent whole day there , due to time constraint we started on our way to Our next destination -Kyle of Locash . Breathtakingly beautiful is THE only word that can describe it!

     

After spending some time midst of such natural beauty , we moved on towards Rogart which is a small Village. We were to camp  out there for the night  in 1980's luxury train converted in to Hotels!
 we were actually able to experience the real life. It was all so calm and serene. When We reached it was almost evening so people were back from their farms and work and were sitting in community area. We immediately kept our luggage in the rooms and  moved out for some walk in the area. Green land and a small road I was transformed back to my childhood .After  refreshing walk we were back.Our accommodation for the nigh was in a train yes.. in a luxury train which used to run during old days and was now being used as accommodation unit. It was my first experience and I loved it. We hired one bogey , which had coaches turned in to bedrooms, kitchen ,reading/play room .


We cooked dinner .. in the train :) (noodles and bread) and then played cards till late in the night.
It was a day full of scenic beauty !

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Paint Samples Used Again!

Yes one more craft using the paint samples . But in my defence, home depot has this huge section on piant swatches that keeps calling me as soon as I enter Home Depot !

This time around I Picked the thin sample stripes which have the color name coded.
Then I set down to work. These are the few designs which I first tried :)




Once I was sure on which one to use, I just glued the paint swatches to the canvas using glue stick . And then I used mod podge(3-4 coats) to give it a finish.

Here is the end result!




Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Scotland From My Eyes -1


We were approaching the time ,scheduled for our return to India. So a decision was made to turn these numbered days in UK in to the most memorable ones. In a jiffy a plan was made to Visit Scotland.
A Car Trip for 4 days was planned We a group of 4 (Me, Nilesh , Ashish and Shuchi)were all set to hit the road in the first week of April. We carefully decided what to cover in those 4 days. Fort William , Nevis Range, Glenfinnan , Eilean Donan , the list was endless. We choose to bypass Edinburgh and Glasgow to have a chance to look at Scottish country and highlands beauty.

We started our journey at 3 in morning towards Invernesshire -Fort William, 9-10 hours and equal cups of tea later ,we actually entered heaven before dying :)( Lord knows if I will have a pass to heaven when I die ..:)).
Saying that it was breathtakingly beautiful would be an understatement. Snow covered hills glistering in the sun , the sight was enchanting. We stopped our car and stared at the scene open mouthed (I swear all four of us were silent for minutes ,each of us soaking it in !)

Pure ,white coluds trying to embrace the equally white hills alongside  a sparkling blue water lake felt like a scene from a romantic moview where two lovers are meeting after a long long separation. This felt like a place where nature gets to romance!

After a refreshing rest we carried on our journey to a beautiful Loch Leven Hotel ,North Ballachulish, Onich, Nr Fort William, Inverness-shire.

 The village of Ballachulish was very very beautiful !


The staff was were very warm and welcoming. We went to our rooms . But it felt like a waste of time to even go to the rooms for freshning up .After flat 45 minutes , we were out on the road again. First we roamed around the area nearby on foot , it was sunny but weather was cold. We walked on this beautiful bridge
 It was picturesque view from the bridge!
We decided to explore the local highlights . We went to the famous 'Harry Potter Bridge!'. Its located in the highlands in the Village of Glenfinnan.

After visiting the iconic bridge we moved to see one marvelous inventions of history,the Fortune steps ... it was amazing how they moved ships from low water level to high water level in the 17th century


.
As it was still sunny and weather was in our favor , we decided to Visit the famous Nevis Range!
 Its around 7 miles north of Fort William. We took the famous gondola ride to the Aonach Mor
(8th highest mountain in Britain). This Journey allowed breathtaking views of Scottish high lands, great glen , Ben Nevis and much more. As we went in the month of April ,Winter was receding and nature was welcoming spring. We saw a mix of green and white .Valleys and plains bountiful of lush green grass and trees  surrounded by snow covered white hills on both sides!. Made me realize Green and White is an eternal combination , always beautiful and so pure.

Aonach Mor was fully covered in snow and as soon as descended from our gondola we reached for snow ! We were kids the next moment throwing balls at each other trying to hike up the snow covered hill!It was fun. Freezing cold and a cup of extremely hot tea made the whole experience almost magical.


After refreshing our tired bodied with tea , we started our journey down towards base . It was quite late by then and when finally it was difficult to see any thing clearly due to sunset we retreated to our room for a much deserved rest ..happy and content!