Travel adventures across the World!!!

Travel Blog


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My tropical getaway to Miami and Fort Lauterdale!

I must admit that my trip to Florida during this winter was one of the best things I did to myself. The warm weather there throughout the year makes it such a go to destination. I have visited Florida in both summer and winter and I will definitely recommend winter time as it is so much more pleasant. We luckily escaped the downpour, it did not rain all 3 days we stayed there.

We arrived at Miami during evening and I was so excited to explore the Ocean Ave which is also called Miami strip right by the South Beach. Full of restaurants, bars, clubs and music, Miami offers a fabulous night life right by the beach. The holiday season being so close, everything was beautifully decorated with lights. Even the coconut tree trunks were wrapped around with glorious little light strings. After enjoying the night, early next morning, we walked along the 17th street beach walk which was right behind the hotel that we stayed. We came across a guy who was selling fresh coconut water that was the highlight of my trip, I always wanted to drink fresh coconut water in an exotic location. Warm weather, coconut water and beach felt just perfect. We also drove through the villas in Star Island and I was amazed to see private houses of people which looked like palaces. Lucky them.

We then drove to Fort Lauterdale and made our first stop at Las Olas Blvd which is the art center of the city full of art shops and restaurants. We also stopped by the Farmer’s market which to my surprise also had some Indian food stalls. We enjoyed the delicious spinach samosas and then made our way to the Fort Lauderdale beach.  The Fort Lauterdale strip by the beach was quite similar to the Miami strip but more laid back and less crowded. Out of the two, I liked the Fort Lauterdale strip better just because I loved its laid back atmosphere. We enjoyed our early dinner by the beach and watched the lovely sunset.

Overall I fell in love with both Miami and Fort Lauterdale and already missing it now that I am back in Chicago.


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Saturday Market in the City of Portland

During my short trip to Portland, I had an opportunity to explore the Saturday Market in the heart of the city. Our hotel was in the downtown of Portland and we walked to the market during morning hours to check out the local handmade shops.

I loved strolling through the cute little shops of handmade jewelry, scented candles, and soaps. The other fascinating creative items were the paintings, lamps and pottery which were carved by the locals who sold them in the market. There was a lavender shop that caught my attention and had lavender eye pillows, bath salts and almost everything there was lavender flavor. I and my aunt ended up buying the irresistible crystal candles, clay bowls and handmade artisan soaps.

After spending some time in the market, we were hungry and headed towards the food trucks in Downtown Portland. The food trucks is one of the specialties of the city of Portland and we definitely wanted to try some of them. We ended up trying Korean, Mexican and Thai food trucks and to my surprise all of them were delicious and made us so full. We then headed towards the Vodoo Donuts which is the most famous place in Downtown Portland for donuts. We waited there for about an hour in the queue to get our Donuts and it was definitely worth the wait to get those mouthwatering chocolate, raspberry creamy donuts.

My trip to Portland was very short yet sweet. I have had such great memories that I am going to cherish forever 🙂 How was your Thanksgiving week? Do share, I would love to read.


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My Thanksgiving trip to Portland, Oregon.

Thanksgiving is one of the best time of the year to travel. This year thanksgiving took me to visit my aunt and uncle in the North West Pacific of the US. We drove to Portland from Seattle over the weekend. Our drive was about three hours and we enjoyed watching the stunning snow covered peaks of Mount St.Helens and Mount Hood on our way to Portland.

As soon as we reached there, we made our way to the Columbia River Gorge scenic area which encompasses numerous waterfalls in the midst of Mount Hood forest area. We started hiking a short trail that stretched from Wahkeena falls to Multnomah Falls. Our hiking trail was along the Columbia River and overlooked the huge trees by the river. After trekking for about half a mile, we caught a site of the Multnomah Falls which is the second tallest waterfall in the US and the tallest one in the State of Oregon. To get a closer look view of the waterfall we climbed up to the bridge located halfway through the falls. I could spot some of the visitors all the way at the top of the falls.

Overall my trip to the scenic area was very refreshing, away from the city on a chilly yet sunny day. I and my family had a great time in the woods and I would recommend this visit to all the nature lovers who would like to take a short get away from their day to day city life.


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White Water Rafting in the Arkansas River!

White water river rafting is one of the most thrill water adventures one can experience in a river. Higher the rapids, more is the fun. I and couple of my friends went for white water rafting in Arkansas river earlier this year. We did the Class 3 rapids because none of us had real rafting experience and that was a good choice for beginners. We were trained to raft in coordination with each other in calm water before we hit the huge waves down the river. The waves were intimidating as they came through and we had to keep rowing strongly to get through them. We had a great time in the water and our guide was super nice to help us out every time we got stuck along the rocks in the river. We would all cheer up as a team as we passed through the rapids. We crossed about 7 rapids in all , the initial ones being class two and later ones class 3 I would definitely recommend this adventure for all the those who are fond of water sports and next time it is going to be Class 4 rapids for me 🙂


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Best 5 summer weekend getaways from Chicago!

Summer is the best time to travel and explore beautiful destinations around. This summer has been a great adventure for me so far in terms of travel and here are my recommendations for travel for all those who live in the Midwest.

Lake Geneva, Wisconsin – Lake Geneva is a go to summer destination for all travel lovers in the Midwest. The freshness of Lake Geneva comes with its colorful flowers along the pathways in downtown that stretches by the lake itself. Riviera Beach is right in the downtown by the Lake which is a great spot to relax and swim. The lake offers all kinds of water sports and is surrounded by all great restaurants that offer variety of cuisines to enjoy. My love for water and flowers has taken me there twice this summer season.

Distance: 1.5 hrs.

Activities: Speed Boat, Jet Ski, Pontoon Boats, Swimming in Beach

Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin – Enjoyable both in summer and winter, Wisconsin Dells is the perfect destination for adventure seekers. Every time I go there, there is something new and exciting to explore. The beautiful Wisconsin river showcases magnificent rock formations. Some of the most fun adventures there are the upper dells boat tour, canyon horse tours, zip lining and Jet boat tours. The most intimidating yet fun adventure was the ghost tour in the forest while its pitch dark. At night the Witches Gulch come to life and gets hold of your nerve. A haunted ship takes you into the forest and the rest will be all for you to experience if you make it back!

Distance: 3 hrs.

Activities: Boat Tours, Water Parks, Water Sports, Zip-lining, Tubing

Starved Rock State Park, Ottawa, Illinois – Living in the Midwest away from all the national parks gave us an opportunity to discover the Starved Rock State park. The state park is just 1.5 hours’ drive from the city of Chicago and beholds beautiful flora and fauna right from spring until the fall season. Hiking, camping and biking are some of the most enjoyable summer activities there. We hiked for 5 miles back and forth during our visit to the park and enjoyed the canyons, waterfall and lush forests all around. It is a definite getaway from the city life.

Distance: 1.5 hrs.
Activities: Hiking, Biking, Camping

Japanese Anderson Garden, Rockford, Illinois –This beautiful garden in the midst of bridges, waterfalls and Koi Ponds is a very refreshing getaway from Chicago. About just an hour away it is a go to spot for nature lovers. We were lucky to visit this garden during the Japanese spring festival when they had authentic dance and song performances.

Distance: 1.5 hrs.

Activities: Music, Nature

Saugatuck, Michigan – A small cute little downtown surrounded by Lake Michigan with restaurants, souvenir, art and gallery shops all around is a very pleasant outing from the city of Chicago. About 2.5 hours away from Chicago, the small vibrant city offers all kinds of boat rentals including kayaks, banana boats and duck tours. The most famous ride in the lake out there is the Chain Ferry that takes you around the lake. Also the Oval beach is very pristine and known for its sand dunes and ATV rides. Keep in mind that Michigan is one hour ahead in terms of time difference from Chicago so head out early to enjoy your day there.

Distance: 2.5 hrs.

Activities: Chain Ferry, Duck Tours, Boat tours, Swimming in Beach

The other two getaways that I am looking forward to this summer is Door County, Wisconsin and Mackinac Island, Michigan. I have heard a lot of good things about these places and I can’t wait to explore them myself. What are your summer travel destinations? I would love to hear!


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Welcome to Prague!

I will always cherish the fond memories of my days spent in the colorful and vibrant city of Prague in Czech Republic. The city has its own unique charisma and is as rich in culture and history as it is in beauty. The vivid architectural buildings, tapering streets and little bohemian handicraft shops made me want to stay there forever. The highlights of the city are the Old Town Square, Charles Bridge and the Prague Castle.

Old Town Square is the historical center of Prague and here is where we spent the best time of our trip. The church of Our Lady before tyn, Astronomical clock and the Jan Hus statue are the dominant landmarks of the Old Town Square. We enjoyed strolling through the colorful Easter art shops and galleries. We just couldn’t get enough of it so we returned to catch a last sight of the Old Town Square at night and enjoyed dinner while the hustle and bustle of the tourists had mellowed down.

Charles Bridge resides in the center of the city runs over the Vlatava River and connects the two ends of Prague. Locals believe the statues of the bridge have supernatural powers to grant a secret wish to one who touches the statue and desires for a wish. The bridge has 16 arches and is full of street artists, musicians and statues. It provides an extensive view of the city with the Prague Castle in the backdrop. Prague castle is a colossal home to the St. Vitus Cathedral, royal palaces and beautiful gardens. We visited church in the Castle during our sight seeing tour in Prague and found the mosaics in the church very captivating.

My visit to Prague was such an unforgettable adventure. I highly recommend this city to people of all ages who enjoy a lively city with rich history and scenic outlook.


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Weekend in San Diego,California!

California is undoubtedly one of my favorite states in the US because of its lovely weather and scenic outlook. Located on the pacific coast of California, San Diego is a lively city with rich architecture and lovely beaches. My trip to San Diego in the winter was very refreshing because of the beautiful weather and warm people. It was a perfect blend of both urban city and natural beauty. My weekend in San Diego was very fast pace and here are some things that I enjoyed a lot.

Bask at La Jolla Cove

La Jolla Cove is an extraordinary beach in San Diego surrounded by marine life, sand cliffs and caves. The sea lions and the wild birds bask along the shore while the visitors enjoy this remarkable sight. Kayaking along the caves and snorkeling through the clear water is an amazing experience. If you are not a water lover, instead you can step into the caves by the shore to see the tiny fishes swim by along your feet. You can relax there for hours watching the gigantic waves hit the shore.

Watch sunset at Coronado Island  

The best time to visit the Coronado island is during sunset. It is one of the best sunset views that I have ever seen in my life.Take a ferry or drive through the scenic Coronado bridge to the Coronado Island from San Diego to catch the spectacular sunset view from the shores. Walk along the famous extravagant Hotel Del Coronado across the ocean to watch the tourists enjoy the bonfire by their cottages. Go ice-skating in the arena by the hotel if you are in a mood for an adventurous evening. Wander in the streets to shop for souvenirs and grab a bite in the restaurants along the streets. Take Segway tours to explore the different parks in the island if you have the entire day.

Night Life in Gaslamp Quarter

Located in the heart of San Diego, Gaslamp Quarter is the historic downtown of San Diego. On your visit to San Diego make sure you plan to stay by the Gaslamp District to experience the rocking night life in San Diego. There are more than 50 night clubs and lounges there, few of them are roof top and offer fantastic night view of the city. Moreover all the eateries including brunch and lunch are at a walking distance and there is plenty of parking available as well.

Go Sea World 

A day is Sea World is worth spending if you haven’t been to this theme park previously.Personally I love the shows in Sea world, the killer whale show being my personal favorite. Do not forget to hop on the cable car in the sea world which runs over the San Diego bay and offers a panoramic view of the skyline and the bridge.

A few things that I missed during my visit to San Diego are Balboa park,San Diego zoo and the safari park which I will definitely plan during my next visit. I am definitely going back as it is one of my personal favorite cities in the US. What’s yours?


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The Evergreen City,Seattle!

My first city in the US as a tourist, Seattle will always remain close to my heart. Being surrounded by forest, lake, river and hills, it is a perfect destination for nature-lovers. The city just captivates you with evergreen trees, pleasant weather and clear sky(not so much).Be aware of the rain in Seattle, definitely plan your trip keeping weather constraints in mind as the evergreen trees also cause light showers every now and then. Here are some fun outdoor activities to do when you are out and about in Seattle.

Hiking Mount Rainier National Park

The drive to Mount Rainer National park through the hills and forest is very adventurous and scenic at the same time. After driving through a couple of hundred feet above the ground level, its time to hike the mountain by foot to explore the hills, valleys, waterfalls and meadows surrounding the cascade of mountains. The lovely view of the snow covered peaks of mountain makes it worth the visit.

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Trekking the Snoqualmie Falls

A few hours away from Seattle, Snoqualmie falls is a massive 268 feet waterfall on the Snoqualmie river. Trekking along the forest trail to reach the bottom to catch a sight of the colossal fall is such an enjoyable experience. The flora and fauna on the trail makes it even more delightful. Once you are all the way down at the lowest point of the fall, you can step into the rocks, woods and water to enjoy it even more closely.

Exploring the Bainbridge Island

The best way to get in the water in Seattle is to take a ferry ride across the Elliot Bay to the BainBridge Island. While you are on your way, keep your cameras ready for the perfect skyline view from the ferry. Explore the island by foot, bike or car depending on what you like. The island is huge with trails by forests and lakes so the best way to explore it in and out might be by car.

Day in Downtown

The trip to Seattle is incomplete without a day well spent exploring Downtown Seattle. Stroll by the Pike Place market and relish the fresh fruits in the farmer’s market. Hop into the Ferris wheel to get a complete view of the skyline and the city. Enjoy a rickshaw ride along the shore and wander around enjoy smoky delicious cart food in the hilly Downtown.

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Journey to Leavenworth

Few miles away from Seattle, Leavenworth is a small hilly city in in the middle of mountains. The Bavarian village there is a small shopping district with little unique boutique, art and gift shops. It is lovely place to stroll by and there are cultural dance performances by different countries in the streets. We were able to watch the England dance and music festivities where the men dressed as soldiers and women danced around them. The architecture of the buildings resemble the European design with domes and castles.  It is a lively place full of happiness and fun, definitely not worth missing if you are in Washington.

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If you happen to have a few more days in Seattle,explore the zoo,aquarium,lakes and museums in the city.There are just endless destinations for tourists to explore in the state of Washington.


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The Windy City ,Chicago!

The windy city Chicago is one of the finest metropolitan cities in the United States with a lovely architecture and design. Summer is definitely the best time to visit Chicago. I love Chicago and it has been my home away from home for the past few years. Here are the five most fun ways to discover the city in and out :


Take a Limo Ride around the city

The Limousine ride in the city takes you around the city and stops at four most prominent spots in the city. It stops by the Giant Bean in the Millennium Park, Buckingham fountain in the Grand Park, Museum campus by Lake Michigan and The Navy pier. Photograph the giant bean to capture yourself inside it. Stroll by the lively Navy Pier by the sailor boats and the cruises to get a perfect skyline view of the city.If you are lucky,you might get a sight of the summer fireworks showcased at the Navy Pier every Wednesday and Saturday.Watch the Buckingham fountain go high up in the sky and enjoy the lights and music that make the fountain even more spectacular.

Bike the trails by the Lake Michigan

Chicago city framework is pretty impressive in terms of biking trails. To explore the city even more closely, go biking by the Lake Michigan starting from the museum campus all the way to Navy pier and reach to the North Avenue Beach at the other end. Make stops in between to enjoy the view of the boats and ships by the harbor and the beaches on the way. Cheap rental Divvy bikes are available in all these spots which makes it very convenient.

View the city from the top

Chicago is just incomplete without its enormous Skyscraper which is a picturesque view especially at night. The Sears tower and the John Hancock tower are the two tall buildings which offer best views of the city from the top. The Signature Lounge at the 94th floor in the John Hancock tower is one of the very romantic restaurants in the city.

Shop Shop Shop

Downtown Chicago offers both extravagant and economical shopping choices depending on which you like to go with. The Magnificent Mile in downtown is the shopping hub and more economical than the Michigan Avenue which has flashy showrooms and more extravagant choices. The water tower place is another location to shop and is very lively to walk by and watch the busy city.

 Stroll by the River Walk

The city of Chicago has canals and river running in the heart of the city. Stroll by the river walk and take architectural boat rides to indulge into the history of Chicago. Spring season welcomes the Saint Patrick’s Day when the water in the river walk turns green to signify Irish culture. In short the diverse city Chicago has anything and everything that a tourist wishes to explore.


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Tallest Monument in the Western Hemisphere…

Honestly I did not even know that the Gateway Arch at Saint Louis,Missouri is the tallest monument in the Western Hemisphere before I decided to explore the city. Located a couple of hours away from Chicago, Saint Louis is a perfect weekend getaway destination for the Chicagoans.

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The Gateway Arch stands with pride in the middle of the city and attracts so many tourists worldwide. The underground visitor center below the Gateway Arch has free museum,expedition movies and an incredible tram that takes you up to the top of the arch.Ride the tram that takes you 630 feet high up in the sky to get a terrific view of the city. Get a bird’s eye view from the top of the arch to spot the Mississippi river, Busch Stadium and the Court House in the heart of the city.Spend your evening in the fancy restaurants and bars at the Washington street. You will absolutely love the balloon race in the forest park if you happen to travel during the fall season.There are innumerable events including parades,concerts and festivals throughout the city depending on what time of the year you decide to travel. We were lucky to catch a glimpse of the Mardi Gras St.Louis grand parade in the month of February.

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Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis is one of the famous churches in the United States.The high ceiling church with its beautiful mosaics is really worth visiting. I really enjoyed lighting the colorful candles to make a wish in the church. The botanical garden, zoo and forest park are the other attractions in Saint Louis if you have a few more days to explore.

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