Travel adventures across the World!!!

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The super fast paced city, Dublin!

Dublin seemed to be very overwhelming when I first landed and made my way around the city. My first few days were pretty rough from being sick, jet-lagged and just being all over the place. Figuring out the public transport etc was also challenging at first. Slowly as I spent more days there, I got more familiar with the nooks and crannies of the city. The crowded streets seemed overwhelming at first and slowly I started to get a hang of it. I remember being sad on my last day, seemed like I was leaving something behind and going to miss it.

I stayed in Dublin with my cousin who lived in the neighborhood just across Phoenix park. Her living room window had the view of the Wellington monument. After overcoming jetlag to some extent on my third day I finally made my way out to venture into the Phoenix park around the corner from her house.  I met some fellow travelers who were looking for the flock of deer there and together we had such a blast feeding them carrots and oranges. I ended up spending that evening with my two new friends in one of the bars close to Phoenix park. Finally it felt like I started to enjoy my trip. After all it is about the company as well in addition to the place while travelling.

 

The bars in Dublin were very lively with live music everywhere and it just lit everyone. I particularly enjoyed Brazen head, which is apparently the oldest pub in Dublin. They had some incredible musicians and singers, it was just so great to just sit back, relax and enjoy the music. Some of the specific things I enjoyed in Dublin were Butler’s Hot Choclate, Leafy river sunsets, healthy vegetarian meals and the lush green parks around the city. I did spend lots of time reading and just watching the fast paced city while sipping on green tea or fresh juices at this cafeteria called Tang which was very enjoyable. Right across from Tang was Stephen’s green park which was a beautiful park with falling leaves, huge pond and variety of birds to just watch and enjoy. At that point my slow paced travel actually seemed enjoyable.

 

Some of the other places I visited in Dublin was Dublin’s Castle, Book of Kells, Ha’penny Bridge and Christ Church Cathedral. Although it seems like a large city but all the attractions are located with in walking distance of one another and that makes it easily accessible and walk-able. I did make more friends while my visit to Dublin’s castle and ended up spending time with them exploring the church bar and the library at the Trinity college. I also spent great times with my cousin who was my local tour guide after her office hours. Temple bar area was one of the most touristy spots in the city yet enjoyable to explore. J walking was so common there and I really enjoyed crossing the streets and not following the rules.

 

Overall Dublin was kind to me and I knew I was going to miss it as soon as I step out of it. It all turned out good. All is well when it ends well. Is there travels when you had both rough and good times? I would love to read! Please share!


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My self-care routine!

I once read that setting a routine is the best thing you could do to yourself. Taking good care of myself and setting a routine has been one of my priorities for the past few years. It comprises of various things I do throughout the day for my wellbeing. Starting from deep breathing, eating well, exercising daily and practicing gratitude, I have done so much for myself in the recent past. So today I decided to share my routine life when I am not travelling and I love it.

What waking up looks like for me?

The best part about waking up in my mornings now is I don’t need an alarm. My body is trained to go to bed and wake up at certain fixed times and I wake up to the daylight shining through my bedroom window at around 7 am. The first thing I do is hydrate with arm water since my body is dehydrated from not drinking water all night. I then get ready for my brief meditation by my glass doors when it’s cold out and outside in the deck in warmer months. I spent about 15-20 minutes on my mat just breathing deeply and trying to be in the present. Thoughts come and go while I don’t try to control them. I have also started to breathe deeply on my commute to work while everyone else is staring at their phones, I try to be in the present and be alive.

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What my meals look like?

After my brief meditation, I spent about half hour aside to juice my vegetables, usually which is celery, carrots, cucumbers and lemon. Sometimes I try and mix up some beets, turmeric and ginger. Chia seeds and oatmeal soaked in almond milk topped with berries has been my breakfast for years together. I always change it up with different kinds of fruits. Packing a few things to eat throughout the day works for me as I like to eat in small portions all day. Baby carrots and grape tomatoes are my go to snack as well as a banana and apple to eat in between work. I love homemade lunches so I make sure I make my lunch either the morning of or the night before. I try to incorporate proteins with either lentils or eggs and always try to add veggies to my plate in one way or another. Lately my favorite dinner has been tomato soup with roasted vegetables, my fav being sweet potatoes. I really look forward to my dinners and could call it my best meal of the day. I also have one liter water bottles at home and work which help me keep a track of the amount of water I am drinking throughout the day which keeps me hydrated and full of energy throughout the day.

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What exercising looks like for me?

Considering myself lucky to have the best yoga studio so close to my work would be an understatement. You would chuckle but sometimes my yoga class is my motivation to go to work. I have been going there for the past 5 years now and every day I love it more. It’s hard to describe how good it feels to do that shavasana in the perfectly cozy studio after all the hard work. It helps me think past all that did not fall into place that day and just be grateful. As soon as my class gets over the next thing to look forward is my dinner and gratitude journal both of which I enjoy very much. I also have started to incorporate to -do lists into my daily life which I think is such a powerful thing to do and helps achieve goals in a timely manner.

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What my end of day holds?

Recently I have started to make my bed when I leave in the morning for work which makes my bed very loving and inviting when I go back home. Snuggling into my bed after dinner to write down three things I am grateful for in the day makes a perfect end to the day. It forces me to think about the good things that happened and fall asleep with a grateful heart. I have also started to apply fresh alovera from my indoor plant that has really helped me get rid of bumps and marks on my face. Drinking 2-3 ups of green tea through out the day is also a part of my routine now. After my nightly ritual of washing and moisturizing my face, I am ready for bed which is around 11 pm.

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My self-care routine has not just helped me love myself more but also value life much more. It has enhanced the quality of my life by leaps and bounds. Please share what you do to take care of yourself, I would love to know what I am missing!


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Family time in Catalina Island, California!

Every year my mom visits me during the beginning of summer which gives me an opportunity to travel and show her around America. I always try to pick a destination to travel and spend time with her while exploring a new place. Since my mom and aunt both love being around water and do water activities, this time I chose Catalina Island in California for our travel venture. Short yet sweet our trip turned out to be just perfect balance between touring the island and spending quality time with family.

We flew to Los Angeles, landed super late at night, got some rest and then spent our first day shopping in the Santa Monica neighborhood. It was a bright and sunny spring day with purple jacaranda’s and bright red bougenvillas blooming all over the streets. We enjoyed shopping all day and spent the day picnicking out with our delicious homemade food. The weather was perfect and it was so lovely to stroll around and explore Santa Monica with Aunt Monica. We ended our day at Venice beach where we savored our delicious dinner while watching sunset.

Next day we were all set to catch our ferry ride to Catalina Island. The ferry took us about two hours and as soon as we reached, I could spot California’s orange Garibaldi fish in the crystal clear water of the island. The palm trees all over the island looked very welcoming and we were all ready to explore it. We made our way to our resort which had an amazing garden view which had a lovely staircase to the swimming pool. After enjoying some cozy moments in the hotel relaxing and chatting which is our favorite thing to do, we made our way to explore the island. One of the enjoyable activities to do was snorkeling at the Lover’s cover which I got very excited about. We rented our snorkeling gears and headed towards the lover’s cove which is a marine life preserve area in the island. The beach was rocky and the water wavy but we still enjoyed snorkeling and looking all kinds of fishes in the Pacific ocean. We rented a buggie board and it was so fun to look through it underwater and see the colorful fishes. As it started to get darker, we made our way back to the hotel and relaxed at the Jacuzzi for a little bit since it was a pretty long day for us with all the travel and snorkeling.

It was unbelievable that our three nights were already coming to an end. Since we had such packed days, we decided to take it easy the last day and just chill by the pool and eventually checkout. We enjoyed our Mexican lunch and delicious icecreams in the island before we hoped on into the ferry back. The most amazing part about the island was it was a no car island, so the major means of transportation was by a golf cart which we managed to get into for a picture. As we headed to the airport, we were happy to have spent such great time together. Until we meet again.


Have you recently had good times with your family? If so where and when did you go. Please share , I would love to know.

 


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Touring the Wicklow Mountain National Park, Ireland!

A visit to Ireland is really incomplete without visiting the untamed countryside. Since I did not have a car as a means of transport while I was in Ireland, I decided to go on bus tour to explore the Wicklow Mountain National Park. Just a few hours drive away from Dublin, surrounded by glacial valleys, rolling hills and ancient ruins, stands the Wicklow mountains. Our tour guide from Wild Rover tour was quite entertaining. He made us laugh all throughout bus ride. He showed us the sights where various movies such as “ The Vikings” and “PS  I Love you” were shot. It indeed looked like a very romantic location and as our bus climbed up the elevation of the mountains, our ears popped with the change of pressure.

The most incredible stop that we made was the Glendalough Valley. It was originally a monastic settlement in the 6th century with ruins left behind now. The remains of the round tomb, graveyards and churches stood so beautifully even after so many years. I was lucky to have the company of my two fellow travelers when we walked to the Glendalough Lake together. The walk was beautiful along the trail towards the lake and back via a well-constructed board walk. We spotted sheep and deer while we walked back and looked through the vast stretches of green land.

The part I was most excited about in my tour was our visit to the sheep farm and interaction with our shepherd about the sheep dog demonstration. As soon as I reached there I was so happy to see the Border collie dog and the sheep up so close. All the other visitors gathered around as well and the shepherd started to tell us all about how the lamb business is so prevalent in Ireland. He showed us how the dog is trained to help the shepherd by controlling the sheep and their directions of grazing. It was amazing to see the dog follow the whistles of the shephard , run and herd the sheep. I also got a chance to get so close to the sheep and pet them. Overall my day exploring the countryside left me wonder struck that Ireland is so beautiful.

Have you recently been to any farms you have loved? Do animals give you happiness. Please share, I would love to read!


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The cultural heart of Ireland, Galway!

Venturing out of Dublin into the smaller towns of Ireland was the best decision I made while being there. Since my cousin’s home was so close to the Hueston train station, it was really convenient to hop on the train and travel to the different little cities. One of the weekends I was there, we both traveled to Galway, which is the cultural heart of Ireland. It is in slow paced cities such as Galway, you experience the real Irish culture. Bustling with tourists, Galway is a hub for great food and music.

As soon as we reached Galway which took us about three hours, I could see musicians in every corner of the cobble stone streets. Curiously walking down the streets of Latin Quarter I enjoyed watching the rainbows across the bridges of the river Corrib. The river seemed to be flowing with very strong currents and the weather felt like it was perfect just for us. There was a little farmers market we walked into which was full of artifacts, fresh fruits and flowers. Everything there reflected the small town vibe which made me feel that Galway was my kind of town. I remember enjoying conversations and laughter with my lovely cousin who made time to get out of Dublin for me.

I was so much in awe of the city as I spend more and more time there. We spend lots of time lounging by the park in the perfectly sunny weather. Another thing I loved in Galway was the food. I really relished the delicious food there and I would definitely recommend The Kitchen, Pasta Factory and Dough Pizza. The food seemed so fresh and well cooked at every restaurant we ate. We enjoyed strolling by the bay area, cathedral and river walk together. As the season was changing into autumn, the leaves were changing their beautiful colors. We stayed in Galway overnight and our bed and breakfast owner was so very generous to let us early check in and late checkout.

My memory of Galway that I vividly remember is laughing a lot and spending memorable time with my cousin. Those are the best kind of memories. Have you recently traveled to a place which has given you memorable times! Please share, I would love to read!

 


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My first solo getaway to Killarney, Ireland

My first solo travel was as ironical as it could get since I met the most people I have ever in any of my travel ventures. I took the opportunity to go visit my cousin in Dublin and tour the country on my own. My favorite place out of all parts of Ireland that I visited was Killarney, which was a three hour train ride from Dublin with a train change in Mallow. My impromptu visit to the small town of Killarney based of the recommendation of a local in Dublin turned out to be the highlight of my two week trip in Ireland.

Killarney is a small town in the south of Ireland located adjacent to the Killarney National Park where nature is at its best. The town seemed to be very compact and walk-able and my hostel was only 10 minutes from the train station. I stayed at the Black Sheep Hostel and by all means recommend staying there while travelling to Killarney. It was my first hostel experience as well and it was just so exciting that I was doing so many things for the first time in my life. Since I was a little tired from the train ride, I took some time to unwind and relax in the hostel garden. There were home grown veggies and a small chicken farm in the back of the hostel which had a little shed area to lounge. I remember wrapping a blanket around since it was a little chilly and filling out my gratitude book. It felt so relaxing to just sit down and do nothing for a bit and just be thankful.

As I was starting to make some green tea for myself in the dining area of the hostel, I met some fellow travelers. There was one who just arrived and was quite curious to explore the area. I got to know her more and we decided to go explore the Killarney National Park for the little daylight we had remaining for the day. It was at a walking distance from our hostel about five minutes away. As I stepped into the National Park, I couldn’t believe the natural beauty that encompasses Killarney. We walked along this pathway where I could hear several male deer grunting as it was the mating season. The pathways were well marked and the weather seemed perfect. The clear skies with the flock of birds flying over the group of deer seemed magical. There were not many people within our vicinity and it felt wonderful to be out there in nature all by ourselves. I remember enjoying conversations about being mindful and being in the present.

As it got darker, we made our way back to our hostel. We stopped at the grocery store to get some vegetables and cooked our dinner at the hostel that night. We also went out to the little town later at night to enjoy some Irish music while sipping on some cider. I couldnt have asked for a better first night and went back to bed so thankful to God. I was very excited for the next day and was really looking forward to exploring the Gap of Dunloe.

I was happy that the weather was sunny the morning of the tour. There was a vintage car that drove us to the Kate Kearney’s cottage which was about a twenty minute drive. There onwards I made my way into the Gap of Dunloe in a jaunting cart with the horse Lily who was mid age about 10 years old. We rode along hills and valleys of the Gap of Dunloe overlooking grazing sheep and the most stunning scenery I have ever seen in my life. It was raining, sunny, windy and chilly at the same time , our guide called it the Irish mist. The sight of the colorful sheep grazing along the valleys and chilling in random spots along the road was just so adorable. It was a sight that is going to stay in my memory forever.

The jaunting cart’s dropped at another little cafeteria by the lakes of Killarney so the onward journey was by a boat towards the Ross Castle. I remember enjoying the deep blue calming water of the lake surrounded by all kinds of rock formations. I met some more fellow travelers along the way and enjoyed conversations with them in the boat ride. As we reached the Ross Castle, the weather was perfectly sunny and the castle stood right next to the lake in a beautiful location. Soon after the tour driver dropped everyone back in the town of Killarney.

Since it was still the middle of the day around 3 pm and there were a couple of daylight hours still left, I wanted to go see the Muckross house house and Abbey since I heard so much about its history. I hopped on a taxi to go there and the driver was so helpful to show me the scenic walkway back to Killarney through the national park. The beautiful old house of Muckross stood by the Muckross lake surrounded by well marked pathways in the Killarney National Park. Out of no where there was this horse carriage ride which offered me a ride towards Killarney and it felt like I was living a fairy tale moment. After walking a couple miles I finally arrived at the hostel and decided to stay indoors and keep it low key that night.

Soon after the next day I had another tour booked with Paddywagon to see the Ring of Kerry. I am happy I did so since it was a rainy day , the bus tour was the best way to go. The bus made its way through different villages along the scenic drive. The guide showed us deers and sheeps along the way while describing how the different farm owners have colored the sheeps for recognition purpose. We made various stops along the way and my favorite was the last stop which was the Torc waterfall. The waterfall looked more dense and flowy because of the rains.

As it was getting closer to sunset, I was starting to realize that my precious trip to Killarney was coming to an end. But I was still so happy and full of memories. I turned back to take a last capture of the beautiful little town and then made my way to the train station. At the end I was so proud to have made the decision to explore Killarney by myself. Have you ever traveled on your own? What was your experience like! Please Share!


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Our memorable Oregonian adventure

The much awaited trip to Oregon with some of my fondest people went by in a blink of an eye. It has left me with cherished and fond memories that I am so happy to jot down. Our journey to Portland began on road on a weekday evening and it took us about 4 hours to reach our destination. Our airbnb was located at the outskirts of the city closer to the airport. We chit chatted our way along the road trip and reached to our airbnb in no time. I was immensely excited for the next few days that we all were going to spend together.

Our airbnb abode was as cozy and welcoming as I imagined it to be. We had a common living room area with kitchen space where we all enjoyed playing puzzles and spending time with each other. Adjacent to it was the bedrooms for some quiet time as well. Our first evening in Portland, we briefly explored the downtown Portland. We enjoyed our dinner at Deschutes Brewery as it got darker out. The cheese board was the highlight of the dinner and we had quite an adventure getting lost in the streets of Portland looking for our car which we finally were able to find. A part of me wanted to be lost there forever.

We had very exciting plans for the next day.  About 80 miles away from the city, we visited the coastal little town of Cannon Beach. Our drive overlooked beautiful scenery filled with lush greenery and rugged mountains. With as little as 1700 people residing in the charming town, there were restaurants, shops and little inns along the coast. This time we made sure we remembered where we parked and savored our lunch at Pelican Brewery.  Soon after lunch we walked to the Cannon Beach where a huge rock  known as the haystack rock overlooked the beach.

As we walked, we spotted jelly fish washing down all over the coast. I was so thrilled to see them in the ocean for the first time in my life. As we soaked in the view of the beach, the cold water of the pacific ocean made our feet feel very chilly. We found a little log right in the middle of the beach to sit down and spend some time just watching the rock and the ocean. It was a beautiful day , not so clear but yet so lovely.  I just did not want the day to end. But we did want to get to the city before it got dark so we started made our way back. We did spend some time in a skate park and exploring a little trail filled with wild blackberries.

As the days were passing by, I remember trying to be more and more in the present to enjoy every moment of the trip. The next day we explored the Saturday market at Portland and relished the yummy vodoo donuts at downtown Portland. We then drove towards Multinomah falls which was also a very scenic drive by the Columbia river gorge. It was another foggy day with low visibility yet felt amazing.

It was our last night in Portland and it is just so ironic that good time just flies by so fast. I didn’t want our trip to end is all I remember. Our constantly loud laughter in our airbnb are still alive in my heart and I couldn’t have imagined spending better time with my friends who made time for this trip. So grateful for another adventure full of fun and laughter.

Have you recently traveled somewhere with your friends? Please share! I would love to read!


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My first yoga retreat at Wellspring Farm, West Bend, WI!

It’s hard to remember for how many years now I have wanted to go for a yoga retreat. Finally the studio I have been going to practice for the past 4 years organized their first retreat this spring. I was hooked to it the very moment I heard about it and couldn’t wait to experience it. The retreat was in an organic farm called Wellsprings in West Bend, Wisconsin. My two favorite teachers at the studio organized it and the retreat was at about 2 hour drive from Chicago in the woods of Wisconsin.

I went there with my two other friends. As soon as we reached the retreat center, we could see the stream of water flowing through the forest and immediately felt closer to nature. Our host was very welcoming and greeted us with her lovely laughter. We got out of the car, stretched for a bit, unloaded our luggage into the dorm and did a quick tour of the farm. We enjoyed gazing at the chickens in the farm and strolling along the farm felt great after the long drive. Soon after we met the other yogis who joined us at the retreat. We all together, about twelve of us introduced ourselves to each other at the dining area while savoring the delicious lasagna served by our host, Mary Anne.

 

After dinner we had our first yoga class which was more restorative and relaxing in nature. The artistically built yoga barn felt like a sacred place to practice yoga. The sun was setting and it was getting dark when we practiced our restorative flow surrounded by serenity of nature in the lovely barn. It felt great to stretch after the long car ride and immediately after we started to collect woods to burn for the bonfire. As some of us tried to start the fire, others gathered wood and it felt like a great community. Conversations and s’mores were the best part around the fire. As we all bundled up around the fire to keep us warm, time just flew past and it was bed time.

 

I was super pumped for our next full day at the retreat center. We started off with a two hour energetic yoga flow followed by breakfast at the main house. While we ate oatmeal topped with pecan and maple syrup from the farm, we watched colorful birds by the large tree come visit for food. Mary Anne explained us how she feeds 87 different species of birds in her farm specific to their needs. After breakfast, we had some free time to explore the area. We used this time to explore the Kettle Moraine state park that was right around the corner. The drive to the park was really beautiful with vast stretches of rolling hills. As the weather got warmer, we enjoyed walking up and downhill of the Parnell Tower Loop Trail at the state park.

As soon as we returned, we enjoyed the fresh lunch and headed to our yoga nidra class which as guided sleeping meditation. The class felt right on time as we all craved rest after the long hike. I remember napping for an hour or so before we all got out to get our hands into the dirt and help Marry Anne with some of her garden work. We also enjoyed taking vary many yoga pose pictures at the garden area. Soon after the pictures we had our inversion workshop at the basement where we learnt about body alignment while being upside down in hand stands and head stands. The class was enjoyable and it was fun to practice and help each other to get into inversions.

 

Soon after we all were hungry again and ready for dinner. It was starting to sink in that the yoga retreat was coming to an end and I was trying to embrace every present moment while it lasted. Soon after we had our restorative yoga class while the sunset and then bonfire right after which felt much warmer than last night since it was a warm day. We then set up our tent right next to the fire and were ready to camp that night and sleep outside. I was so excited as it was my first time to experience it. I loved the sight of the stars while I was going to sleep and the sunrise woke me up early morning. The noise of the crickets frogs nearby also were very distinct. The birds started to chirp early morning too.

 

That was the last day at the retreat and I remember starting to wrap up and sit down to write my journal about how grateful I was for this experience to meet and share space with like-minded souls who practice yoga, write journals, dig gardens, eat clean and laugh their heart out. We had a brief meditation at the end which felt just right. We also had a sage ceremony to instill positive vibes with in us. As we started to wrap up and pack, I felt so nostalgic, thanked everyone around and felt a special bond with everyone whom I didn’t even know two days ago.

 

This trip has definitely hooked me to yoga retreat trips forever. It was short yet sweet getaway into the woods with my favorite activities. What are some of your favorite things to do? I would love to read. Please share!

 

 


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Trip to the scenic canyons of Arizona!

Hot and dry, yet beautiful and serene, the canyons of Arizona are definitely worth a visit. This spring season, I and my best friends planned a trip to explore the deserted lands of Arizona. We started to drive from Las Vegas and it took us about 4-5 hours to reach the city of Lake Powell. We had such a memorable time driving through the winding roads along the steep cut mountains and canyons. We started to drive around 4 pm and reached to our destination later at night. As it got darker, the roads seemed a little scary but we continued to chit chat and enjoy our drive.

After relaxing the night at our hotel, we were all ready for our day to delve into the Horse shoe bend and Antelope Canyon which were both at a close driving distance from the our hotel. As we wrapped up our breakfast at our hotel and started to head towards the Horse shoe bend, we found out that the parking services by the canyon are closed and there was a shuttle that provided transportation to and from the canyon. Vast stretches of  dry sand, red mountains and bright sunshine is all I remember while waiting for the shuttle services. As we reached to our destination, our driver informed us about the hike to and fro from the Horse Shoe bend which was about 1.3 miles. I was very excited and couldn’t wait to actually get there.

 

The hike to the bend was downhill and easy like a breeze. As we started to get down, it started to get warmer. The climate in Arizona is always a little tricky in terms of the dryness and heat. So we were all well equipped with all kinds of clothing and lots of water. The horse shoe bend was phenomenally beautiful as we got a peek at it. It was a giant horse shoe shaped structure below the ground level. The Colorado river that was flowing right into it was a lovely sight. We could spot some boats and kayaks in the river and it looked like such an adventure to experience it. It is all a part of the Glen Canyon recreation area and I was delighted to get a chance to visit it. After numerous pictures and sometime of soaking in the lovely views, we headed back uphill to our next adventure which was the Antelope Canyon.

It was unbelievable that half of the day had already gone by so quick and our reservation to see the Antelope Canyon was at 2:45pm. We quickly grabbed subway sandwiches for lunch as there are not very many options for food nearby and headed to our tours with Navajo tour company. The jeeps lined up and we were divided into numerous groups and had to stick with our guide and group throughout the tour. The people with whom we were paired with seemed really nice and their cute children kept us entertained throughout the tour. As we reached the Antelope canyon after driving through vast stretches of deserted land, I could feel the sandy breeze that didn’t seem very comfortable at first and then eventually we just got acclimated to it.

 

The canyon itself was very picturesque and walking into the narrow pathway seemed like a unique experience. Our tour guide was very interactive and made sure we took perfect pictures of the canyon. He educated us about the rock formations of various shapes. Some looked like elephants and some like King Kong. One looked like the face of Abraham Lincoln and these were all carved by nature. The most fascinating one was the shape of the heart in the middle of the canyon. He showed us how it is like when the canyon is hit by sand storms and he described the stories of flooded canyons. As we walked through the canyon, it got narrower, darker and taller. I am glad we made reservations because Antelope canyon does require mandatory tour guides and cannot be visited without one. After enjoying the scenic tour through the canyon and taking so many pictures, we made our way back to our car. We were covered with dust and sand by the time we got back and really needed showers to feel better.

We then headed back to our hotel and jumped right into the hot tub which had scenic mountains in the backdrop. We were excited to see the sunset by the overlooking mountains while soaking in the warm water. As our trip was coming to an end soon, we were all together spending some beautiful moments which are now great memories and will stay in my heart forever. I am so grateful for having given this chance to explore the nature carved Glen canyon in Arizona. I hope to see the Grand Canyon one day as well. What is your go to destination for spring this year? Please share, I would love to read.


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The sunsets and beaches of Coronado Island!

Coronado island is a small coastal town with very rich culture and history. The pristine beaches and dramatic sunsets of the island are extra ordinary and stand out in various ways. It offers a small town atmosphere with old mansion villas, boutique shops and market. In the heart of Coronado stands the historic hotel Del Coronado which is a must visit. The serene island is just 2 miles from the hustle and bustle of Downtown San Diego. The bridge that connects the two has spectacular harbor views.

The two things that I enjoyed the most in the island was the surreal sunsets and the late morning beach combing. We stayed at Loews Coronado Bay resort which was at a walking distance from Silver Strand State beach. The hotel staff was very prompt with their golfs cart transportation to the beach and offered us towels as well as beach chairs. The sunset hues were just phenomenal. We spent lot of time there just enjoying the sunset and taking photo breaks in between. The colorful rays of the sun reflected back gorgeously through the crashing waves. It was such a joyful moment and I am happy we were able to capture it.

The best part about the beach was the fact that it was little farther out from the main area of the island. The white sand was covered with different kinds of shells which made it a great spot for beach combing. My favorite pick was the sand dollars which are species of extremely flattened, burrowing sea urchins belonging to the order Clypeasteroida. It is very important to make sure that the sea urchins are not alive while we pick them. Since they already lost their purple color and tiny spines, I could confirm the ones that I picked were actually from dead sea urchins. Picking these shells was such an enjoyable experience that I went to the beach two days in a row. The key is shells can be picked only during low tides when high tides have already done their job of bringing the shells to the beach. I would recommend the best time for collecting these shells would be late morning during low tides. I personally could spend hours and hours doing this but we had such limited time. The sand dollars are so fragile and need extreme care during travel so they don’t crack.

Overall, Coronado island offered us a lovely vacation and I brought back handpicked souvenir shells which I now use for home decor. Is there an activity you particularly enjoy during your trip? Please share I will be happy to read!