The Diwali Mela took place in the Black Mountain Road area of Mira Mesa, San Diego on October 25, 2014. It was a packed-out event, and a great way to spend the evening. There were many performances to Bollywood songs, and of course at least one to Bhangra!
Here are some pictures, and at the bottom of this page, you can see some videos that I made. If there is one thing that should strike you from looking at the pictures is that Indian outfits are so colorful, as well as pretty!
Now, for a break away from the performances – just take a look at all the people, and there were more!
I tried a few different dishes including the Punjabi Karhi and Rice, one of my favorites – I should have taken a picture! I did take one of the Alloon Paratha – which were quite delicous (bread stuffed with potatoes and spices, that is cooked on a tava or griddle, and then smothered with oil or butter).
Now back to the pictures of the performers.
I hope that added some color into your day!
Here is the video showing the Punjabi dance:
Here is the video showing the Rajasthan dance:
Here is the video showing a variety of the performances, including the women’s fashion show and the men’s fashion show.
Don’t miss the performance towards the end of this last video showing a dance to Bang Bang – the Bollywood movie starring Hrithik Roshan, and watch out for the little boy in the audience who definitely has dance fever!
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 6,900 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 12 years to get that many views.
I knew December Nights at Balboa Park was going to be magical. There’s not a better way to kick-start the holidays than going to Balboa Park, and experiencing December Nights. What is/are December Nights? I wrote about it in my previous post, just click here to see More Info on December Nights (that post contains some external links with more information too).
Now that December Nights (which occurred on December 7 & 8, 2012) are over, there’s still plenty of reasons to visit the Park. The magical tree is still there, and so are the lights and the great atmosphere, and at least you won’t have the crowds to deal with. Here’s some pictures:
First the magical tree:
It gets even more magical – it opens up!
It changes color!
It changed color again!
This one is more fuzzier, because my camera’s battery died and I had to use my I-phone.
This one’s fuzzy too, but I’m including it because I want you to see the spectacle of color that was so beautiful during the December Nights concert.
Here’s the same color for background, but the tree has closed up
Now for a lighter shade of blue
And the last two of the tree at least!
Now for some pictures of the Park in the dark. Me and my family went to December Nights on both December 7 and December 8. Why miss out on the magic?
I believe this church now houses the Museum of Man
Today, I suddenly stumbled on a second picture that I took of the Church at Balboa Park, I thought I only had one like the one above.
Are you ready for more Christmas trees? Here’s another one at the Park, closer to the church shown above
Oh, my gosh! The Grinch was here, but Chandi didn’t want to have her picture taken with him, so I had to take it of someone else instead!
Even dogs like December Nights, this picture was taken with no flash, but it wasn’t very good, however, it will give you an idea of what the lights were like and how it really looked in the dark
The dog also has glasses, more clearly seen in the picture below.
It’s just so nice strolling through the Park, even in the dark!
Balboa Park was nicely lit up for the holidays
There were so many people there, you wouldn’t believe it. I think I read somewhere that there were at least 300,000 people.
Here’s the Botanical Gardens Building at night time bathed in a beautiful blue light
You can’t tell from these pictures just how many people there were in Balboa Park during these two very busy nights.
Of course, there were a lot of delicious choices for food, but I didn’t get to take too many pictures of the different vendors. Here’s one at least.
This fountain is near one of the many museums at the park, and is closest to the path to the San Diego Zoo.
The words “Happy Holidays” lit up one of the museums
Here’s a clearer picture of some people at December Nights
For some reason, I like this picture
I couldn’t stop taking pictures of Balboa Park at night, it is beautiful both at night and day
I didn’t quite get the picture above centralized, see how it looks below, still not right. It would have been perfect if I could have got both “Season’s Greetings” and the lighting on the wall on the right in just one picture balanced out better. Oh, well. I’ll have to make do with two pictures.
Now for where the reindeers are with presents laden on the sleigh
A different angle of the reindeers
Now, there’s the presents at the back (I guess on the sleigh).
Some more lights
Now, some more pictures of the amazing tree from a different angle.
And lastly, some pictures of the performers who entertained us at the site of the magical tree.
Just incase you don’t get the full flavor of what it’s like at Balboa Park during December Nights, I made this video especially for you.
I still haven’t had the chance to take more daytime pictures of Balboa Park, so in the meantime, you can look at these pictures taken by someone who linked to my post previously, so now I will link to his – so you can see his amazing pictures of Balboa Park: http://onecoolthingeveryweekend.com/2012/11/21/picture-tour-of-the-san-diego-balboa-park/
Oh, by the way, I went to the International Houses on the 8th of December and saw various cultural dances there, including Indian dances, but only managed to get a few pictures. Perhaps, I will put those in another post. Anyway, I hope you can see that Balboa Park is so magical when it’s the holidays. If you celebrate Christmas, Merry Christmas to you, and if you don’t – Happy Holidays!
I enjoy Bollywood and Bhangra music and dance. I just love Indian culture, and there’s nothing wrong with that – after all, I am Indian. I may have grown up in England, and now live in the USA, but culture is deeper than where we live, it’s the embodiment of who we are – who we interact with, and what makes us bond together, and what we enjoy. I may be Indian, but I am also British and I’m also American. I may love Bollywood, and Bhangra, but additionally….. I love pop music, soul music, reggae music and jazz, and even a bit of rap. If I didn’t love the other forms of music, I wouldn’t tape them as ardently as I do when I go on cruises, and then show the world…..I only do that – because I love to watch most forms of dance and musical entertainment, and then of course, I love to photograph and video tape it too!
When I had the chance to introduce a bit of culture on a cruise ship, I was all for it. I hired a group – UCSD Zor – one of the top Bollywood dance teams in the USA – to perform on my Bindi Cruise to Mexico on the Carnival Splendor in July, 2011. I didn’t think twice about it. It took a lot of planning, and was quite a huge undertaking for me – a fairly new travel agent at that time (I just started in this business in January 2010). Would I do something like that again? Who knows? Maybe, sometime in the future.
I love Bollywood movies, but when it really comes to Indian music – I have to admit that I love Bhangra just a bit more than I do Bollywood. That’s why I asked Zor – who are really more of a Bollywood team to do a Bhangra routine, and guess what…..they were really good at it. When you have versatility like that, you are true performers. I was really happy with the performances of Zor on the cruise. Here’s a picture of UCSD Zor below, they are fantastic at both Bollywood and Bhangra!
And here I am with UCSD Zor who are in their Bollywood outfits now, instead of Bhangra outfits (as above)
Want to know more about Bhangra? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhangra_(music)
Want to see a fabulous Bhangra dance video that I put together of UCSD Zor – one of the top Bollywood dance teams in the USA, when they were dancing to Bhangra on my Bindi Cruise to Mexico on the Carnival Splendor?
Want to see a fantastic Bollywood dance video that I put together of UCSD Zor when they performed on my Bindi Cruise to Mexico?
Thank you for reading!
I just finished uploading my video today, and hope you will like it. This video shows many areas around the Enchantment Of The Seas, and it shows the Sailing Away Party, in addition to the Farewell Party. What was interesting was that many people danced during the Sailing Away Party, when there was regular Western music, but as soon as Bhangra music was played, there was just one person dancing. I had to show this in my video – because I love Bhangra, as well as Bollywood, but I also love many types of Western music. Okay, I will admit that there weren’t as many Indian people on this cruise ship as I’ve seen on other cruise ships, but you would think that Bhangra music should have caught on by now. Bhangra music has a very catchy beat, and it’s hard to resist moving when you hear this wonderful music.
Other than the Sailing Away Party, I also showed the Captain’s Reception, some of the entertainment in the Centrum, and the common areas, including the main pool, Schooners Bar, and the Solarium.
Anyway, I hope you will watch my video, and remember……cultural enrichment can brig you joy!
Top Ten Reasons To Choose A Cruise
A cruise ship is a floating resort, with all the things a fine resort has to offer and more! As a matter of fact, cruise vacations have a higher percentage of satisfied customers than any other vacation experience. What are you waiting for? Here are the Top 10 Reasons why you should choose to cruise.
- Choose to cruise for VALUE. One price buys your cabin, entertainment, dining, and more.
- Choose to cruise for ROMANCE . Secluded beaches, en suite dining on a balcony overlooking the ocean and spa services for two are just some of the romantic pursuits available.
- Choose to cruise for CUISINE. Tantalize your taste buds with gourmet fare that showcases exotic ingredients, old standbys like pizza and ice cream or spa cuisine for a healthy alternative. Depending on your mood, dine in a traditional ballroom setting, a small bistro or a casual eatery.
- Choose to cruise for VARIETY. With over 200 distinctive ships, 3000 ports of call and an unbelievable array of places to see and things to do, there is a perfect cruise for you. For even more choice, consider a pre- or post-land tour.
- Choose to cruise for ACTIVITIES. Fill your days with sightseeing, sports activities, cultural lectures, educational tours led by naturalists and historians or simply lounge by the pool and relax. At night, enjoy dance extravaganzas, musical revues, gaming or a quiet evening gazing at the stars.
- Choose to cruise for SIMPLICITY. Don’t come back from your vacation needing a vacation. Planning a cruise is simple; Call Davinder at 858-427-4972 at Luchanik Travel & Cruises (doing business via CruiseOne) to handle all of the details or book your cruise online at www.likecruises.com Once you’re on board, nearly all expenses are pre-paid… talk about hassle-free.
- Choose to cruise for NEW HORIZONS. Fall asleep in one destination and awake to a new horizon… and you only have to pack and unpack once!
- Choose to cruise for FAMILY. Families love cruising. Children’s programs, kid-friendly menus and tours of the ship will keep your children happy, while affording you some well-deserved time alone.
- Choose to cruise for PAMPERING. Regardless of your budget, all cruise lines pamper their guests with first-class service around the clock.
- Choose to cruise for SATISFACTION . It’s a fact that cruises have a higher percentage of satisfied customers than any other vacation experience.
This information was taken from the website of Cruise Lines International Association, Inc. website at http://www.cruising.org/vacation/about-clia and modified slightly by Davinder Kaur of Luchanik Travel & Cruises.
As per their quote for the first-time cruiser, “For value, variety and satisfaction…you haven’t lived until you’ve cruised!”
PS: This is also one of the pages I had on my websites that will not be hosted as of June 30, 2012 and I have decided I will cut and paste the info from time to time, so you can read it here (as per my previous post “Why I Started A Blog In The First Place?”
The entertainment on a cruise ship just has to be experienced, and is one of the reasons that cruises have so much intrinsic value……not just for the journey, or the destination, but for the experience onboard the ship. On the Radiance Of The Seas, the entertainment was absolutely terrific. The Aurora Theatre was the venue each night of some highly entertaining acts, and in this video that I made, I tried to capture a few seconds of most acts. There is so much that I could not include as I like to keep my videos down to 10 minutes or less. I also felt it was important to show you the Cascades staff, who were also highly entertaining, as were the Cruise Director’s Staff who entertained us from the Centrum (the lobby) to the swimming pool. If you go on a cruise, you won’t be bored!
Hope you all have an even more entertaining evening with watching this video. Thanks for viewing it.
This video will show my photos and video footage of the cruise, and the port visits, including pictures of Mendenhall Glacier and Hubbard Glacier. Part 2 will have more cruise coverage.
Some people go on a cruise ship for the destination, and some go for the experience on the ship. I liked both aspects, because I just love cruises, and love traveling. My other favorite parts of the actual cruise were the entertainment (got a little bit of Bollywood), the Park Cafe food, and the Indian food in the Windjammer Cafe, where I also got Indian tea. It’s important to have some of those home comforts!
“Welcome to the first day of the most amazing cruise vacation of your life” – these words are taken from the Cruise Compass that you will find in your cabin each day, that lists all the important things to know from the safety drill, to the dining, entertainment and activities. I really enjoyed the May 11, 2012, cruise from Vancouver to Alaska. This is the perfect ship to take in the sights of Alaska as the views are magnificent and can be seen from within the ship due to the floor to ceiling windows.
Here are some more details of my May 11th, 2012 cruise, including pictures of my cabin, restaurants, swimming pool, entertainment, theatre, coffee shop, and other public areas. This is not a big ship, such as the Oasis of The Seas which can hold up to 5,200 people or so. The Radiance Of The Seas (a Royal Caribbean International cruise ship) holds about 2,200 people approximately, and is easier to get around. If you don’t want to get “lost” in a ship, then this may be the one for you, it is easy to get the feel of it, and to get your bearings compared to some of the larger ships.
As far as entertainment, what can I say? Spectacular! The entertainment was different every day, and could be viewed in the Aurora Theatre either before dinner or after dinner. Then were was also entertainment that was brought to you all around the ship, including the lobby area – named the Centrum – or to the swimming pool by DJ Terry, and the Cruise Director and his staff such as the 70’s Disco Inferno one evening in the Centrum, as well as the highly entertaining Sail Away Party at the Poolside on the first day of the cruise. There’s a movie theatre, a casino, shops, a gym, solarium, spa, kids clubs and activities.
The dining options are magnificent! I ate in the Cascades Restaurant with my CruiseOne colleagues, and we had the late dining at 8:30 pm every night. There are also a handful of specialty restaurants that are available if you wish to try something different – such as Giovanni’s Table – I tried it, and I liked it! There is also the Chef’s Table, Chops Grille, Izumi’s, Samba Grill, Rita’s Cantina and these all range in price and can go up to $30 per person, which is very reasonable. If you don’t want to spend extra money, you don’t have to….Cascade’s, and Windjammer Cafe have more than enough food for you to feast on, and the food in these two restaurants is very good quality and varies from day to day. If you are looking for specialty coffees, there’s Cafe Latte-tudes (but you will have to pay for these – they’re not included). My recommendation to you for breakfast is the Park Cafe, this place was a fantastic discovery, because first of all, I thought it was a specialty snack shop/cafe, but the food here is included in your cruise fare, and you must try it. The paninis were so delicous, I can’t even begin to describe them accurately – my favorite was the breakfast panini with eggs, cheese, spinach and salmon! It was so good, I ordered a second one! The yoghurt parfaits are tasty – there were two kinds: strawberry or mango-banana, and there were also quesadillas, as well as other types of paninis, sandwiches and fresh fruit. Close to the Park Cafe, was another counter where you could get pastries, and a coffee bar (with complimentary American coffee) and complimentary juice machine were also close by. On other cruises, I have always opted for the breakfast buffet, but this time I could not wait for my paninis at Park Cafe. Also, don’t forget to try the Boardwalk Dog House, this place serves delicious hot dogs – I tried one that was spicy turkey.
Even though the cruise was not scheduled to sail until 4:30 pm, it is important to get to the cruise terminal as early as possible. I got there at around 1:00 pm, and was actually on the ship at around 3pm (that was two hours spent in the line even though I had done my online check-in, sometimes it’s not just the cruise line, but the immigration process that could slow things down). Now for some photos that will show you around the ship, and give you some insight into my seven days of cruising enjoyment.
Firstly, we have my cabin – an Inside Cabin with no windows unfortunately, but I still loved it, it was spacious and comfortable. There was a safety video playing on the tv, and we did have our muster drill within the first few hours of getting on the ship.
The lobby of the Radiance Of The Seas is ever so spectacular, colorful, modern and one of the nicest lobbies I’ve seen on a cruise ship.
I headed to the Windjammer Cafe to take advantage of a buffet lunch that did not fail to please. What a nice welcome!
I just had to take a picture of this waiter who had some colorful drinks:
Too full now to get anything from Cafe Latte-tudes
Went to take a look around the ship, and we were still in Vancouver – not sailing yet.
The skies are still a brilliant blue, while we are in Vancouver.
Our first taste of some terrific entertainment – poolside!
And the audience joined in, every one got into vacation mode, that’s the spirit!
We were not the only ship leaving from Canada Place, so was Royal Caribbean’s Rhapsody Of The Seas
I then walked around the ship and took these pictures, some on the first day because I was so excited to see the ship, and some pictures I took on other days:
Best place to relax, and read a book, be warm and feel like you are in paradise. The birds are chirping, and you don’t need a jacket here. This is also where the Park Cafe is.
The Crown & Anchor Lounge – go here to sign up for an account so that you start getting acknowledgement each time you cruise with Royal Caribbean – you will accumulate points and/or rewards. This is not automatic membership, you have to sign up for it, so you might as well do it while you are on your cruise.
Bring your babies along, and your other kids too!
Sports time, stay fit on this ship with plenty to do!
Play mini-golf on Deck 13
You can’t go wrong with this interactive device, find out what to do, where you are, and where to go. It is truly your compass.
Read a book in the library on one of the decks, or play board games on the deck one level up
This is where spectacular entertainment was delivered every evening – The Aurora Theatre
A few pictures of the entertainment, as good as any Broadway show in the Aurora Theatre
Forgot what the dessert was called, but it was delicious!
The staff of the Cascades all get together at least two or three times, and say a few things about their team, they do a terrific job!
Dinner at Giovanni’s Table was a nice change, and for $20 – there was plenty to eat. Bring your appetite!
The most tasty and succulent chicken dish was devoured at Giovanni’s Table
The most scrumptious breakfast ever – breakfast panini – is to be had at Park Cafe in the Solarium area
I love to eat Indian food, and every day the Radiance Of The Seas had Indian items in their buffet at the Windjammer Cafe, but on this day – this Andhra Pakora Curry was undoubtedly the best!
The changing landscape – Alaska in the background
Every day there was a new towel animal design, the staff are so clever and talented
They’re hard at work in the kitchen feeding so many people; I got a look at the hard workers when I took a tour of the kitchen:
Actually, I saw long lines today (I think this picture may have been from Day 2 or 3)
As you can see, there is a lot to do and see on the Radiance Of The Seas. I have so many more pictures, and will also be including some in a video that I will produce soon. I hope you enjoyed my overviewof the cruise that I took. Actually, this could be considered a review if I give you my recommendation – and I do – I definitely recommend taking this cruise. You will love it, you won’t be bored – in fact, you’ll have way too much to do! Thank you for reading.