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Showing posts from 2014

Camping at Death Valley National Park

It was Christmas long weekend. When I told my boss that I reserved a campground at Death Valley National Park, he exclaimed (sarcastically) 'How Christmasy!'; I wasn't sure myself what to expect at Death Valley during Christmas but it is among the few National Parks we could venture to camp during winter with its campground being below sea level, or so we thought. We began our journey from Bay Area and our friends joined us from Phoenix. 
The wind was blowing hard when we reached the campground at 4 pm. Our wonderful friends had already set the tent up, so we settled in quickly. Sitting inside the tent, we could hear the strong winds as the Sun was setting in the background. The tent was shaking and we wondered if it could survive another day. We saw our neighbor's tent fall down and we sat tight. It was getting cold, so we had quick dinner around campfire and off we went to bed hoping things would be better the next day.
We got up the next morning and it looked better. …

Most romantic road trip - Road to Hāna, Maui - Part II

This post is the second part of our most romantic road trip on the Road to Hana. You can find the previous post here and my blog on our anniversary trip to Maui, Hawaii here.

You have seen blue waters, green trees and beautiful waterfalls on the Road to Hana. But there is more!

Now, let me show you the most beautiful place in the whole Maui to you. When someone refers to Maui as a paradise, this is the place that comes to my mind (most of everything else with the exception of black beach seemed like I have seen it before, beautiful nonetheless). Just a few yards past mile marker 25, you would see a steep downhill turn off for Nahiku Road. It is a road you must take. Without doubt.

I swear I could sit there all day and watch the shades of blues and greens interspersed with black rocks and not blink for a second (well, the not blinking part is not really true, but you get the point).

And what you have seen above is only one view of the place. For a 360 degree awesome view, you sho…

Most romantic road trip - Road to Hāna, Maui - Part I

A vacation to Maui is not complete without taking a day trip on the Road to Hāna, which easily ranks among the most romantic road trips in the US. The phrase "It's the journey, not the destination that matters" was perhaps never truer in the literary sense than in this case. We were in such awe of the beauty all along the road that we barely noticed when we actually passed Hāna, a small untouched town on Maui's eastern coastline.
The Hāna Highway is a 65-mile long curvy road along the mountains overlooking Maui's northeastern shore, connecting Kahului with the town of Hāna in east Maui. Yes, you would be driving the entire day surrounded by absolute greenery overlooking the beautiful seashore occasionally. And you read it right, it takes up an entire day not only because you would be stopping every few minutes and fighting the urge to stop every other minute, but also because the road is so winding that you would be driving at speeds less than 20 mph. Also, you …

Beaches in Maui, Hawaii - My recommendations

Ofcourse, you know Hawaii is famous for its beaches. And there are so many of them. Each one is special in its own way but here are my favorite beaches in Maui :)

1. Kaanapali beach

With its beautiful sands and coral reefs, we had so much fun snorkeling on the shore at this beach. Waters are relatively calm during the mornings and I would recommend trying out snorkeling here using your own equipment at your own pace. We saw beautiful and colorful marine life here that drew us to this beach more than once, making it our most visited beach in Maui. 
2. Big Beach/Makena Beach
This beach has the most beautiful close-to-turquoise waters that we have seen in Maui. And the waters were pretty rough and the waves were strong. We had a lot of fun playing and boogie boarding on the water until one of the waves twisted my knee and I had to get out. My recommendation would be to definitely go there for a picnic but be cautious with the strong waves. We were so busy playing in the water that we did not…

That's Maui for you!!

Maui has beautiful beaches, lush green vegetation and Haleakala crater, you all know that. Do you know what else it has? Have a look at these 'uniquely Maui' pics!

 And that's Maui for you!!

Our 4th anniversary trip to Maui, Hawaii

My husband and I both love traveling and we love traveling as a couple. Needless to say, our anniversary trips are usually the travel highlights of our year. Our first anniversary trip was a fantastic cruise to the Bahamas (which we enjoyed so much that we plan to go on a cruise again to mark our 10th anniversary or so!). We celebrated our second anniversary in the great land of Alaska which was so magical that it led to an everlasting love affair for me with glaciers. We did a road trip along the world famous Pacific Coastal Highway for our third anniversary which we totally loved. And for our fourth anniversary, we debated between a road trip from Glacier National Park to Banff to Jasper and back (my love for glaciers shows, right?) and tropical beach paradise i.e. Hawaii (my husband loves tropical beaches! Who doesn't, coming to think of it!!). Since we did a road trip only last year, we decided on Hawaii, hoping the glaciers won't melt so soon (Rest of the world, please co…

Welcome to Ouray - Switzerland of America

Ouray (pronounced U-Ray) is a small mountain town in Southwest Colorado that calls itself 'Switzerland of America.' Nestled in a river valley with waterfalls, surrounded by the snow-capped San Juan Mountains and famous for its natural hot springs, it is indeed a beautiful mountain town situated at 8,000 feet. We stopped here while driving along the San Juan Skyway to explore the town a bit and to have lunch. But we least bit expected what was going to happen next. Read on.

It was July 4th and we reached the place around 1:30 PM. We parked the car and started walking along what looked the Main Street of the town. We saw a huge gathering at a distance and asked a passerby as to what is happening. She told us that an annual water hose fight that happens every year on July 4th is about to begin shortly. We were curious and joined the crowd to check it out.
It began by engaging the audience with the water hose and drenching them. As water hit the crowds, they shouted with excitement…

Road trip on San Juan Skyway - Million Dollar Highway

San Juan Skyway loop is one of the most scenic highways in the United States. It covers 236 miles of terrain across southwestern Colorado  traveling through Durango, Silverton, Ouray, Telluride, Dolores and Cortez. The stretch between Silverton to Ouray, which is about 25 milles, is also called the 'Million Dollar Highway.' We spent a day driving along this loop on July 4th and what a beautiful day it was!

We were camping at Mesa Verde National Park, so we entered the San Juan Skyway at Mancos and did the loop anti-clockwise. We started in the morning, it was sunny and the stretch from Mancos to Durango was ok. I have been on scenic highways before including the famous Pacific Coast Highway (US Route 101) and I know that weather can make all the difference between a good experience and an extraordinary experience. To me, the perfect weather to enjoy all the greenery, mountains, lakes, streams and wildflowers is to have a cloud filled sky with a slight drizzle and occasional su…