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Showing posts from 2013

Zion National Park during Thanksgiving Holiday

Thanksgiving holiday is round the corner. It is always a great idea to be thankful for what we have and celebrate it with family and friends. I love the idea of having a special day dedicated for that. And that it always comes on a Thursday making it a super long weekend is a reason to love it even more.
Last Thanksgiving holiday, we were at the Zion National Park known for its incredible canyons and spectacular views. If any of you living in Phoenix haven't made plans yet for this Thanksgiving weekend, I would suggest you head there. It is a great time to visit the Park and enjoy all the hikes without having to worry about the burning sun or the melting snow. The weather is perfect, all you need is a jacket, there are less crowds and you can drive through the Park. (During the summer, you are required to take the mandatory shuttles to various stops due to the crowd. Check the nps website for more information on this.)
Close to the Southern entrance of the Park is a small town calle…

My Birthday Trip!!

I love to celebrate my birthday outdoors. Whenever possible. So, I requested my dear hubby (more like demanded) to take me on a surprise trip for my birthday every year in lieu of birthday gifts. And he did take me on surprise trips to Lake Tahoe and Monument Valley for my last 2 birthdays. Both the trips were wonderful and I had lots of fun. This time too, we went on a surprise trip, however there was a difference. It was a surprise for him too! Yes, here's what happened. Since my birthday came on an odd weekday this time, my husband decided to buy me gifts instead of taking me on a trip. I, on the other hand, refused to sit at home and called my boss the day before to inform him about the leave. My creative boss suggested that me and dear hubby stay at his friend's cabin in Greer, AZ for my birthday. I jumped on the idea, my dear hubby complied and we were on the road to Greer that same evening.
Greer is a beautiful, quiet rustic mountain valley located in the White Mountains…

BNP Paribas Open - My Very First Trip in USA!!

Landing in Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, I first set my foot in the US of A during the last week of February 2011. Driving through deserted roads, we reached our newly rented cozy luxury apartment in Chandler on a pleasant winter evening. The first week went by pretty quickly unpacking stuff and meeting people. Luckily, my husband's roommates from college (two of them) already settled down in the same suburb with their families, working for the same company. The introductions went by smoothly and I soon found myself being a part of a nice big group. A week later, we were told that a trip to Palm Springs in California was being planned to watch the Tennis tournaments and were asked if we would like to join. Sure, we said and thus happened my very first trip in USA.

We rented a family mini-van, Chrysler's Town & Country, for the trip. Though the name sounded odd to me, it was a huge and very comfortable vehicle for 6 people. And off we went to Palm Springs, CA whi…

Yellowstone National Park - Part II

 This post is the second part of our wildly successful trip to Yellowstone National Park for the July 4th weekend (Our previous July 4th weekend trip was to Rocky Mountain National Park). You can find the previous post here

After  visiting the most picturesque Lamar Valley and the most memorable Mammoth Hot Springs on Day 1 followed by several thrilling geysers and an expansive Yellowstone Lake on Day 2, there is lot more left to explore in the Yellowstone National Park.

On Day 3, we went to the Upper Falls, Lower Falls and the Grand Canyon of  Yellowstone and grand it was! The view from Artist Point, in particular, was amazing. After trying immensely to capture its grand beauty in our tiny cameras, we headed out of the park early to move to our second cabin situated on the top of a hill in Gardiner. The details about this exclusive cabin will follow shortly. Meanwhile, let me share with you another wonder that I witnessed in the Park which to me could easily top the list of t…

Amazing Alaksa - Part II

This post is the second part of our amazing trip to Alaska on the occasion of our 2nd anniversary (the first was a cruise to Bahamas). You can find the previous post on our Alaska trip here.

After completing the most adventurous and exciting activity of glacier climbing at Matanuska Glacier on Day 1, now it is time for some glacier cruise on Day 2 and trekking on Day 3.

Our day 2 activity in our travel plan would take us to the tiny town of Whittier, which is 2 hrs from Palmer and 1.5 hrs from Anchorage. Most famous glacier cruises into the Prince William Sound area start from this small town where 90% of the population lives in a single building and there is no bank or FedEx delivery. Another interesting feature is that this town is separated from the rest by a tunnel which only opens once an hour for passenger cars from one side. It opens to trains and traffic from the other side during that hour. Make note of the tunnel timings (available on the internet) and plan your tri…

A trip to Disney World in Orlando

Without saying, a trip to Orlando, also known as "The Theme Park Capital of the World," means a trip to the "Walt Disney World." But I must tell you at the outset that we did not go to Orlando to visit the Theme Park. That was not how it happened. 
We booked our 1st Anniversary cruise to Bahamas and the starting point of the cruise was Orlando. And since we did not want to miss the cruise due to flight delays etc, we decided to go a day in advance. Then my dear husband suggested that we go a couple of days in advance and visit the World Famous Disney World as well. I don't remember being so excited but it sounded like a plan. Now, you won't believe how clueless I am about all those animated characters. Out of the hundreds of characters out there, I know just 3 including Mickey Mouse that is. But I assumed that a theme park as big as Disney world would have few interesting rides, so I should do OK without introductions to any of the characters. As you will se…

Tips to Choose the Right Cruise Ship Cabin

Choice can, sometimes, be overwhelming! In a huge cruise ship with several decks (12-16) and various cabin options such as Inside, Outside, Balcony and Suites, it is not as easy to decide what could be the right cabin for you. There is a ton of information out there, but here are few simple yet critical tips I can give you from my Caribbean cruise experience.

1) If you are afraid of getting seasick and are looking for a stable cabin, look for lower deck cabins towards the center of the ship. There may be times when the waters are rough and the ship begins to rock, the best thing to do then would be to crawl into your bed and just sleep. That happened on only one night in our 4-night cruise and it was the hurricane season.
2) If you are worried about the noise (yes, the ship though huge can feel crowded), avoid the rooms below the pool deck and the ones close to atrium or disco bars. Pool deck is usually the topmost deck and for the rest of details, you would have to look at the deck pla…

One day in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

If you have only one day to spend in the capital city of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur - home to the World's Tallest Twin Buildings - what would you do? Of course, you would go to visit them. Also known as Petronas Twin Towers, named after the state-owned gas company Petronas which inhabits Tower 1, both towers stretch 1,483 ft. into the sky connected by a sky bridge halfway up the buildings. We did that and much more when we had a one-day stop-over at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) on our way to India (which by the way I thought was a cooland inexpensive way to explore a new country). Read on, to know what else you can do.
If you are from India residing in the US and have a valid H1-B visa, you can get visa on arrival at KLIA. A host of other countries such as US/UK/Canada/Australia do not even need a visa to enter Malaysia and stay for a short period while some of them do. For more details on that, click here. Once the visa issues are sorted out, we exchanged currency at the…