We had one of our big Diwali celebrations in San Diego on October 15, 2016. It was the Festival of Lights held at Balboa Park. It was a fantastic event, yet again. This year it was special, because as well as dancing, we had singing, and there was a world-class singer who entertained us, so it was truly magnificent. His name is Aditya Rao, and apparently he has won several awards, and has appeared in several videos like the one below:
Here he is performing at Balboa Park, and he’s also seen in this video that I made
Here is a video that shows the lighting of the lamps display, and the women carrying the lamps during the lamp parade.
Here is a video showing Punjabi music and specifically, Bhangra at the Festival Of Lights….spectacular!
Here are more photos showing Aditya Rao, and the performances that he was part of.
Here are some other pictures taken at Festival Of Lights
These are the lamps on display. I have never taken pictures of the lamps before as I always get a seat, and never venture towards the lamps, but this year I did, and I’m glad!
Here are some of the other performances
One of Aditya Rao again, with the main presenter
Here’s little Chandra having fun!
This is Aditya Rao standing with the main organizers and this is just prior to the Indian Anthem being sung
President Barack Obama graced Diwali at Balboa Park with his presence, even though it was just on screen. He wished us a Happy Diwali! This was ever so nice, just to see President Obama in Balboa Park!
I really love going to the Festival Of Lights, as I enjoy seeing the performances, seeing Balboa Park again, seeing the stage graced by beautiful dances in clothes that sparkle, and then of course the lights tinkle! I also enjoy eating the Indian food that is available from many of the vendors who participate in Festival Of Lights. This year I got samosas, chicken saag and rice, and gulab jamun – that was two trays of food for me and Chandra, which included passion fruit juice for her and a nice cup of Pumpkin Spice Chai that cost just $9. You can’t beat that price!
I hope you enjoyed my pictures of the Festival Of Lights, and I hope you all have a truly beautiful Diwali. May light conquer over darkness, may good prevail over evil, and may we all experience peace, joy and prosperity on Diwali, and in the year ahead. Happy Diwali!
Oh, what a fabulous day! It’s a day I will never forget! President Bill Clinton came to town, and why would I not go see him? I usually don’t go to Chula Vista, which is about 40 minutes south of where I live, it’s close to the international border with Mexico. I just never have reason to go there, but Bill Clinton is certainly a great reason to travel just 40 minutes. That’s just 40 minutes we’re talking about to see the former President Of The USA! Bill Clinton came to Bonita Vista High School in Chula Vista. When he was President, the USA was doing superbly well. The economy was great, America was great! I believe with Hillary Clinton as the next President, with Bill by her side, we can be great again. I have to add that I also love President Obama too, he has done some fabulous things, and does not get enough credit. Health Care Reform is just one of the fabulous things he helped pass, even though I can’t believe Congress want to take this advancement away. Sometimes, I wonder if Congress can ever be satisfied, they are always whining about something or other and blocking progress. I think they are jealous that President Obama got something done.
Did you know that I have always liked Bill Clinton? When I first came to America, he was running for President, and even though I couldn’t vote for him, he had my vote 100%. I attended the inauguration celebrations in Washington, DC, and what a fabulous time that was! He tried to pass Health Care Reform too, and I believe he may have inspired President Obama. Just think what Hillary can do! She is an inspiration, she will be the first female President of the USA, and we need that. She’s empowering to girls and women, and I am sick of all this hate directed towards her, and the lies and innuendos. How dare people keep going on about the emails? I am sick of hearing about this. Just today I ready that someone else in the Administration had sent classified emails via his private email, but he never got criticized. There can’t be one rule for a man, and another for a woman. I believe that’s gender discrimination! They can’t bear the thought of a woman as President, but President she will be, mark my word! Anyway, am I being too political? I’m not usually like that, but I do want Hillary to win, and I do love Bill Clinton. Here are some photos of me, Bill and Hillary when I was at the Inaugural activities in Washington, DC when Bill Clinton became President.
So, going back to the present, you can see I was a fan, and am still a fan! Here are some pictures I took of President Clinton in San Diego. By the way, did I tell you it was an incredible day? It was, and I’m still getting over it, still beginning to touch planet earth again. I wonder if everyone there was as much a fan as I? There were people who were fortunate enough to get close and have selfies with him, and books signed, but I didn’t. Keep reading below, and you’ll see what I have in ways of pictures of me an the President together.
This score board shows that President Clinton is/was the 42nd President, and Hillary Clinton will be the 45th. See, I told you she is going to be the next President!
Just some of the crowd going crazy for Bill Clinton in San Diego
Guess what? I’m not good at taking selfies anyway, but I was desperate to have a picture with Bill Clinton, but I couldn’t or wasn’t allowed to get too close! Sad! So, what did I do? I tried to get a selfie with him, even though my youngest daughter defined “selfie” and said I was supposed to be next to him! What if I couldn’t be next to him? I aimed the camera on my phone onto me and him, and must have looked crazy while I did this, but who cares? The President was here, and he had to be in my picture! Can you see him below, just visible (even though it’s a bit blurry, I promise you it’s him!) above the guy in the blue cap.
Another selfie – or should I call it a failed selfie of me and the President!
Here’s a video that I made, and of course, I included my failed selfie pictures towards the end of the video.
I hope you enjoy the video, and I hope you enjoyed my post. Even if you didn’t, guess what, I enjoyed seeing President Clinton tremendously, and I’m still not over it. We need to vote for Hillary for President, and then the King and Queen of America will go back to their house – the White House and we will be prosperous once again. Please join me in voting for Hillary Clinton for our next President. Thank you.
Oh, the hills are alive with the beauty of flowers. You know I really am singing those words in my mind to the tune of “Oh, the hills are alive with the sound of music”. I often attribute songs to occurrences, or a single word or sentence conjures up a great song from long ago, but the classic goes so well with the Flower Fields.
The Flower Fields have been open since early March of this year, but we didn’t get to visit until the end of March, but to make up for it, we got a season pass. Now, we can visit an unlimited number of times until the season is over which I think will be the beginning of May.
Me and my little girl Chandra love visiting the Flower Fields in Carlsbad, CA – only 20 minutes drive away from where we live in San Diego. Just before my oldest daughter Niki went back to college, we were shopping at the nearby Outlet Mall on Paseo Del Norte, and the Flower Fields overlooks this outdoor shopping mall. Well, Niki and my son Luca did not want to go to the Flower Fields yet again as they put it….I have taken them various times in the past, and can’t understand why they would not want to go. However, I did drag them close enough to get them into a few of the pictures, but they are not quite in the Fields themselves. You will see Chandra and me about a week later on March 27, 2016 at the Fields, and then we visited again just yesterday on April 9th.
Here are some pictures:
And yes, I got the season pass for me and Chandra. It cost me a total of $46, but I have already been there twice, and if I go at least two times more, I have more than got my money worth out of it. Besides, it’s a great place to take a walk, and get in some healthy exercise, then top it off with the delicious out of this world strawberry milkshake. Both me and Chandra got one each, and they were $5 each, but really worth it.
So get to the Flower Fields before it closes in May, and before the flowers wither away. They are too spectacular to be not seen. Remember, the hills are alive with the flowers of beauty, or did I say with the beauty of flowers?
Lovely La Jolla, what more is there to say. This place which is just a 12 minute drive for me going south, or a 20 minute drive from downtown San Diego is spectacular. The scenery is amazing, and the wildlife is abundant.
Most of the time, the seals like to laze on the beach, and don’t move much at all, but all of a sudden, a few of them got up to take a dip in the ocean!
Look at this one! Doesn’t it look like a cross between a sea lion, and a tortoise?
We walked away from the ocean onto Prospect Street, and Chandra got to play with a massive globe that was a water-fountain feature. Oh, she rolled and rolled the globe around. She was enchanted!
Afterwards, we went for a treat to the Living Room, a really wonderful coffee house, that has wonderful pastries, and sandwiches. I got Chandra two macaroons, which she devoured before I got to take photos of them, and I also did the same with my pistachio baklava. Chandra then eyed my coconut mocha, and oh my gosh, it was delicious – it was made with low fat milk, and extra hot. I left a tiny bit of it for Chandi to try, as she really should not be drinking coffee at her tender age of 7! She loved it, well….it was delicious!
Then she got some gelato from a place called Gelateria, across from the Living Room, and again, I didn’t take pictures – but this was Chandi’s treat as mine was the coconut mocha. Then, it was time for a few more pictures.
This last picture was from a previous visit to La Jolla
I hope you liked my pictures of La Jolla. It really is a nice place to visit. I really enjoy it there, and I think I would like to say it is one of my favorites in San Diego.
Time’s already flying by, and it’s February now, but I still haven’t shared December Nights, 2015 with you. Must hurry up, or it will be December again. Just my luck! I don’t want time to go that quickly. There’s no rush…..I will get too old too quickly like this – slow down time!
December Nights at Balboa Park in San Diego is always a fun event. It’s a two day extravaganza, and my family really enjoys it. This year we had to go without Niki, my oldest – since she has started college, and moved away. Still, it’s a fun event for kids of all ages, and adults alike, and I think I might love it even more than my kids do!
This year, we went early. Even though the even starts at 12 noon or so, most people don’t go until 5pm, as they like to be there in the evening when all the lights are on, as well as the Christmas tree at the Organ Pavilion. However, traffic is crazy and hectic, and so is parking. A few times now, we have parked at Petco Park, and then taken a shuttle bus from there to Balboa Park, but this time I wanted to park at the Zoo, and combine December Nights with a trip to the Zoo. So, we got to the Zoo at around 1:45 pm, and were easily able to find a parking spot. We spent about one and a half hours there.
We then took the short walk to Balboa Park – an easy 5 or 10 minute walk.
We first saw the Fountain area, close to one of the museums, and had a little snack, then walked past the Botanical Gardens area where the beautiful flowers, and Reflective Pond is; then we went to the Grinch tree, which is by the Old Globe Theatre, and actually spotted the Grinch!
We then went to see some of the performances at the Organ Pavilion, and since Chandra wanted to eat, we went towards the International Cottages area. When I heard Indian music, that beckoned me, and I was so glad I had allowed myself to be beckoned like that – because that became the highlight of my entire evening. I normally enjoy the Organ Pavilion area, and the Christmas songs so much, and enjoyed them again this year, but this time I allowed myself to actually wander away from the performances at the Organ Pavilion to experience more of what was taking place at the International Cottages area, and these are two competing performance areas – one on the big stage, and the other on a smaller stage, but equally powerful in performance. While one concentrates on performances that are mainly musical, and showcases instruments being played, and singers performing – the smaller stage at the International Cottages focuses on dance. The dance aspect is really entertaining, as you still have the music and the songs, but now have further entertainment too. I absolutely loved it, and my little Chandra got up to dance on the stage for the Grand Finale of the Indian dancing!
Here are two videos that I made – one shows the Grand Finale that Chandra was in,
and the other one shows a variety of performances, and dances that were performed. This includes the performances at the Organ Pavilion, and the Scottish Bagpipe Band, as well as the San Diego Chorus, and of course, the Indian dance performances which took place at the International Cottages.
I love December Nights, there is nothing quite like it!
I went to the San Diego Zoo in December, and saw the beautiful Museum Of Man from the Sky Ride. You may have seen some of the pictures I have posted before of this particular amazing building, but I haven’t posted pictures taken at the Zoo of it. So here you are…..
You may wonder what the Sky Ride is, it’s a wonderful lift with seats for about 4 people that will take you from one part of the Zoo to another, and you go up, up, up in the air! Best of all, it’s a free ride with you annual pass, otherwise I think you have to purchase tickets. We love the Sky Ride!
Pictures may be taken near or afar, but San Diego Zoo, and Balboa Park are two treasures that you have to see up close. Did I tell you we love the Sky Ride? Well, we also love the San Diego Zoo, and Balboa Park!
Oh, I love to feel grand and what better place to have that feeling than at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego, located in downtown San Diego, near Seaport Village. Guess where an incredible Thanksgiving took place? You might have guessed…..at this grand hotel! Yes, we had our Thanksgiving meal there in 2015. So thankful for this beautiful hotel, because not only was the food good, but the entire experience – like spending the afternoon there just lounging around in the bar area, and walking through the lobby, and generally just feeling grand! I’ve also stayed at this hotel several times, and it has beautiful views of Seaport Village and the bay. This hotel is beautiful! Here’s some pictures:
A few more pictures for you, again this is a beautiful hotel, and the artwork incredible! I could sit here for ages and stare at the paintings or stare at their decor – masterpiece!
Can’t believe it’s 2016 already! By the way, Happy New Year!
I love the zoo! How about you? This is going to be a simple and short post, but just want to say it’s one of the best places in San Diego, and makes for a great day out.
This is Chandi at the Zoo when she was about 18 months old.
This was Chandi just yesterday celebrating her 7th birthday at the Zoo. She seems less afraid of the orangutans now!
Here are some more pictures of the Zoo taken yesterday, November 21st, 2015
My favorite part of the Zoo yesterday, hard to say between the monkeys, orangutans, elephants and koalas, I loved all those best, but really enjoyed seeing the elephants.
How could I not put a picture of a cuddly koala in this post? I so much would have loved to hold it!
So glad to have an annual pass again. See you again soon, Zoo!
Did you know there’s a place with a magical bathroom? You may have to come all the way to San Diego to visit it though! Just kidding! I think there’s more of these – at least there are in Florida.
The place is called Sloan’s Luxury Ice Cream, and the ice cream is delicious! I’ve switched my tastes lately to frozen yogurt, and resist ice-cream, but who can resist the decor, it beckons you, tantalizes your every bit of sense, and plunges you into temptation – the temptation to indulge in ice-cream or fudge. Of course, there is candy, and I believe all kinds of toffee apples covered with scrumptious coatings of the most exquisite imaginings, such as white chocolate, caramel, and…..well you get it! Then there are toys that entice the kids.
But, then…….there is the magic bathroom. Just be careful that you lock the door, or else everyone will be able to see you while you are in there. See my video below. I actually made this video several months ago in August, before my oldest went off to college in September, but didn’t get to upload it until yesterday. When my kids saw there was a bathroom which was visible from a part of the store where all the stuffed animals are, they were curious because you could see into the bathroom, so off they went to explore. I could not get my son to be part of the video, but he enjoys Sloan’s just as much as all of us.
We went just again this Friday to celebrate my youngest daughter’s birthday. Did I tell you it’s a great place for a celebration?
Here’s my video
Happy Diwali! I’ve had some sad news recently, so it’s hard to get into the mood for celebrations, but celebrate we must. Most of my celebrations shown here, took place before the recent sad event, so I am just sharing with you as a way of trying to get over some of my pain. As you may know, Diwali is known as the Festival Of Lights, and it signifies good over evil, light over darkness, and knowledge over ignorance. May Diwali shine it’s light on my family, and yours. May the Goddess Lakshmi shower us with her love and blessings. If for some reason, the link does not take you to the gif image of Lakshmi, you may see it here on my Pinterest Board.
Here are some pictures I took at the Diwali Mela in San Diego on October 24, 2015:
There were ever so many people there, these two pictures will give you a glimpse at part of the crowds, both during daylight and at night – it was packed!
These girls had a very interesting costume, especially the head gear, but it certainly looked nice and colorful!
Here, they are dancing with the dandia sticks. It’s a South Indian dance I believe.
There were all kinds of dances, even hip hop!
Also, there were American girls dancing to Bollywood music. I think they did a pretty good job.
Here’s a video of their dance:
Here is a video that includes a variety of the performances.
Unfortunately, I could not include all of the performances or show the entirety of each performance. I hope you like the videos, and I hope you like the pictures.
I also hope you will candles, and illuminate your home with just candlelight later this evening. Remember, let light prevail over darkness.
Don’t forget to eat some Indian food – how could you not when it’s Diwali! I have some virtual food and drink just for you! Here’s naan bread with lentils, chicken curry, rice and raita (Indian yoghurt).
I love samosas, you can’t enjoy Diwali without samosas, or at least I think so.
You might even want to have a special dish of mine – my very favorite, and of course it’s a Punjabi dish – Makhi Di Roti (bread made from corn meal/corn flour) and Saag (spinach)! You must give this one a try!
After this, you must have sweets. You must have burfi (can’t even describe how delicious they are – Indian fudge is the closes I can get to it, and oh, how I love fudge!). Then there’s gulab jamun (syruppy goodness) and jalebi (sticky and syruppy goodness).
You might want to try kheer, which is basically a delicious rice pudding dish – it is a little less sweet than the jalebi and gulab jamun. Sorry about the quality of this picture.
Want more sweets? I knew you would!
Then, if you’re like me, you’ll have to wash the sweets down with a delicious cup of chai.
Now, hopefully that was a nice Diwali, some pictures, some entertainment, some food, some sweets and some tea!
Guess what? For the first time ever, we have been given the day off for Diwali in the USA and they didn’t even know they were giving us the day off for our special holiday! They thought they were giving us a day off for Veterans Day, well….I am very glad that we have Veterans Day! Thank you to all those who served, and made this day possible so that we could all be off together, and celebrate away from work! Please can we make Veterans Day next year be on Diwali too? Please? I don’t think it will happen again, as Diwali is on different days, sometimes in October, and sometimes in November. Still, it doesn’t hurt to ask or wish for it…….please, let it be on a holiday again, or better still – give us Diwali off (wishful thinking)!!! Anyway, must go and enjoy Diwali now. Happy Veterans Day, and Happy Diwali!