Thursday, June 23, 2011

My scrap crafted home


Since my childhood I like to turn scraps into decorative pieces. My mother whom I saw always tries to make useful things from scraps before throwing them away.  Truly speaking when I was young my father didn’t have much money to live lavishly. Might be for that reason my mother tried to use all scrap. When I was young I couldn’t use any dress for longer period of time due to my fast growth. I had many skirts which I used very little and were in very good condition. My mother made window curtains from those skirts. I still remember one of our then neighbors mocked my mother for this kind of reuse. Actually my mother is very practical and strong so nobody’s taunt made any impact on her. Another time our refrigerator door was replaced. My mother cut out some portion from the abandoned refrigerator door to make very good shelf in bathroom. I really feel very proud of my mother’s talent. I think I got this quality  from my mother. Once I made flower vase with some earthen pots which were actually used in puja. My mother always encourages me to do the same. When I was young my father was very strict. He didn’t like all these kind of activities of mine. He used to scold me all the time for spending time in crafts instead of studies. (I was not a bad student.)

The very first decorating piece I made in the USA. I used a portion of a carton to make the basket.

Empty salt container was used to make the pen holder.

Decorating my own home is one of my dreams since my childhood. My idea of decorating home is with minimum expenditure. After my marriage when I came to the USA I wanted to decorate my home. First I thought I would to do the same with fine pieces from market but I found those were out of my budget.  In a single income family I always need to be economical. Moreover I don’t know whether I’ll be able to stay in the USA permanently. If at any point of time we need to go back to my home country then I had to dispose those expensive fine articles. So I decided to decorate my home with my hand-crafted pieces.
Gift box made of Nivea Creme container
Wall decor made of unused fabrics.

As I didn’t want to spend much money, I bought only essential things like colors, brushes, decorated papers, threads, needles etc.  Also I try to buy those articles with coupons and where those are cheap. I always try to use carton boxes, old clothes, and old papers. Before throwing anything first I try to visualize something from that. If I can’t visualize something then only I throw those away. In the beginning when my husband disposed something I used to resist him. So now he asks me before throwing anything.

I used old news paper to make this art piece.
An example of crazy quilting using unused pieces of fabrics.
Same method was used to make this paper holder.

Once I decorated one milk carton and mounted in the wall to keep all plastic bags. Everybody asked me that time what the material I used to make that. To everybody’s astonishment I told the actual material I used making the item. Seeing all my scrap craft, many of my friends ask me many times to teach them. I tell them come to my house and I shall teach them. Nobody taught me to make all those things. I think for making all these things everyone needs to nurture the ideas and have the desire to make them.
Photo frames using chip boards from cartons.

My first home in the USA was in Los Angeles. I got a bowl shaped piece from the carton of first utensils which I bought there. I modified and decorated that and kept some decorated eggs on that. That was the first piece I made. Unfortunately I had to throw away that when I moved from LA. I made many wall hangings, photo frames, flowers and flower vases. Recently I’m making tables clothes, pillow covers from my used dresses. I search new craft ideas in google.com.  When I find ideas I try to modify in my own way as it is difficult for me to buy all supplies due to price. Like this way once I found the idea of crazy quilting. Actually patterned quilting is difficult as I need many supplies but crazy quilting is much easier. So I choose the idea of crazy quilting to make table clothes. Now my husband encourages me to do all these though he prefers that I should study.
Table mats using my old dresses.
Tote bag using my husband's a pair of old trousers.

Decorating home with own creation makes my home very special to me.  Ideas of decorating home not only make it different from others also it is very economical. I hope when I’ll own a house then also I can decorate that with my own creations.
The wall decor I made using ice cream sticks which I gifted to my husband on our second wedding anniversary.


Though this piece needs some repair work still I'm sharing this piece. My son never played with these dolls. I decided them to use for decorating our room. I got three square pieces of chip borads  from a carton. I gave them a shape of a small shelf and put the dolls inside it.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Grand Canyon

In the month of February 2010 we first decided to go to Yosemite, but somehow we couldn’t make it. So we changed our plan and decided to go to Grand Canyon.  In my school days I read that the Grand Canyon is the deepest canyon in the world. However according to recent studies that The Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon (or Tsangpo Canyon), along the Yarlung Tsangpo River in Tibet, China, is the deepest canyon in the world at 18,000 feet and is slightly longer than Grand Canyon making it one of the world's largest. But The Kali Gandaki Gorge in mid-west Nepal is seen by others to be the deepest canyon, with a 21,000 foot difference between the level of the river and the peaks surrounding it.

Anyway when my husband suggested visiting Grand Canyon I agreed in no time.  My childhood dream was going to be fulfilled. Actually in my childhood I loved to read all travelogues and imagine myself at all those places. This time I didn’t need to imagine but was going to find myself in that place in reality. It was winter that time and with my toddler son I was not very confident to make a successful trip. Moreover it was 500 miles drive from our home which was going to take 8 hours. My biggest problem was to make my son to sit in his car seat. 

02/13/2010

On February 13th on our journey day we woke up at 5:30 in the morning. We got ready very fast and when we started it was exact 6:22 in the clock. Since morning my little son was well behaved. He didn’t make any problem. When we started my son fell asleep so there was no problem at least in the starting. We stopped at Barstow to have our breakfast at ‘Big Boy’. The breakfast in buffet was very good. As we started our journey my son became very cranky so we had to take another break. Major part of the entire route was through desert. I couldn’t stand that barren land for long time, my heart was longing to see some greenery. Both of us were waiting eagerly to reach Williams. We were relieved a lot as we reached Williams because another 60 miles remained to reach the hotel. In the mean time we needed to take another break for my son. It was 3:30 when we reached our hotel Holiday Inn.

Snow covered Kaibab Forest on the way


We freshened up very quickly and had some food. At 4:30 in the evening, though it was quiet late we went to the canyon through the south entrance of the park. As it was winter time there was no chance to go to the North Rim. We could only go to South Rim which is usually accessible in the winter. First we went to the Visitor Center to gather some information then we drove up to Bright Angel trail head in the Historic District of Grand Canyon Village .The cold was beyond description. With heavy jackets and gloves I was feeling to have extra shield to keep me warm. The facility of taking the trails on mule was a good option. I liked that. However we didn’t try that. We reached near Grand Canyon railway tracks and the Grand Canyon Depot. We started talking about the station and the track and my husband missed the parking area.

Lookout Studio


There was no option of going backward or making a ‘U’ turn so we had to make a round to come back to the same position. We were not lucky enough to see the Engine number 18 which was built dated back to 1800s’ and currently restored. The train normally arrives at Grand Canyon around noon or so and departs for Williams again at around 4:00 PM. It operates every day during from late spring through early autumn and on weekends only during the rest of the year. I read that it is a nightmare to park car in the tourist season so it was advised to keep car in Williams and to take the up to the Canyon. Anyway from there we went towards Lookout Studio on the left. On the right there was El Tavor hotel which was built in 1905. Continuing left along the rim trail from the Bright Angel trailhead we passed the Bucky O'Neil cabin and the Lookout Studio before coming to the Kolb Studio. The Kolb studio was originally built and operated by the Kolb brothers, Emery and Ellsworth, and has a very interesting history. Emery and Ellsworth Kolb were best known for being the first men to make a motion picture record of the Colorado River throughout its entire course through the Grand Canyon. Lookout Studio was constructed by the Sante Fe Railway in 1914 and was established as a photography studio to compete with Kolb Studio. I wanted to go inside these historic buildings to take a look but our short time didn’t permit me. Also I want to get the experience of the spectacular sunset on the canyon. The changing color of the rocks of the canyon with sunset created a heavenly environment. After that I wanted go on the trail but we dropped the plan due to heavy ice and cold. Also my son wanted to go back. We started our journey back to the hotel in pitch dark. Around 7:30 in the evening we reached our hotel. Before going to the hotel we went to I-MAX Theater to enquire the timing of the Grand Canyon Movie. We decided to watch the movie next day. After dinner I read about the Grand Canyon from the leaflet which we received at the canyon entrance. From there I came to know about the rocks of Grand Canyon. The latest layer was known as Kaibab Limestone which was formed 250 million years back. And oldest layer was known as Vishnu Schist which was formed 1700 to 2000 million years back. Our next day’s plan was to go to Meteor Crater which was 175 miles from Grand Canyon.

Mystical sunset

02/14/2010

We woke up early and had a hearty breakfast in the Hotel. When went to start our journey we found that our car was covered with snow flakes!!! Then my husband switched on the heater to defrost. When we started our journey the road was totally invisible due to dense fog. I was really afraid of the then condition. With time fog started getting clear. Our plan was to come back within 11:30 in the morning. When we reached Meteor Crater, though it was sunny but it was chilling cold. My husband received a $4 discount for his membership of AAA when he bought the tickets. Before I had been watching the movie about meteor we went to see the museum there. My husband couldn’t watch the movie as our son didn’t wantus to enter the movie hall. The small movie was very informative as it told how the crater was created. According to scientific discovery, 50,000 thousand years ago, meteoric mass weighing several thousand tons hurtled through the space and impacted with the earth. The speed was approximately 26,000 miles per hour. The meteorite crossed Germany to New York within 5 minutes and within few second hit the desert of Arizona. As a result of the hit, in few seconds a crater was created measuring 700 feet deep and 4000 feet across. Due to the erosion the depth became 550 feet.

Mateor Crater


The meteorite was combination of iron and nickel. A small fragment was found 3 miles away from the crater in Diablo Canyon which was kept in the museum.  After the movie we went to see the crater with our guide John. He told us about the creation and the history of the crater. The crater museum was obtained by D. M. Barringar in 1903. It was first thought that the crater was created due to volcanic eruption. But he was the first person who told that the crater was created due to meteor impact. He thought that precious metals were deposited there. He tried to get the fortune by drilling through 26 long years. John led us through the trail halfway of the periphery of the crater. He showed us the remaining of the drilling machines. Years ago the crater was filled up with water and for pumping water pipelines were also established. The pipelines were abandoned because Coconino sandstone used to get contaminated with water, whose remains could be seen there. Also the ruins of the old visitor center could be seen there which was destroyed by wind. The crater consisted of Moencopi sandstone, Kaibab Sandstone and Coconino Sandstone. The Hopi Indians were the original habitat of the area. Another information John gave us about the San Francisco Peaks which was broken into two due to earthquake. We started from there at 12:30 pm, one hour late from our schedule. My husband drove really fast. We reached our hotel within 2 hours. After coming back to the hotel we hurriedly got ready and set out for the canyon again.

At Desert View Point


 This time we decided to go to the east side of the south rim and drove up to The Desert View. That was the best place I found in the canyon. Nature’s one of the most spectacular offerings can be seen from there. The most amazing fact is that all the layers of the rocks which were formed in different times are very much distinguishable. I was completely blown away by the amazing view of the Colorado River from the historic watch tower which was built in 1930. The Colorado River is the 4th deepest river in the world. Previous day when I had been talking to my parent’s over the phone my father became very excited to know that we were in Grand Canyon.

Colorado River from Desert View Point

Anyway my husband didn’t want to go upstairs in the watch tower as it was too high so I went alone. In the small museum in the watch tower I found the art work of the Hopi who were the original habitat of Grand Canyon. Many facts about the canyon and the Hopi could be known from the museum.  From there we started for Navajo point. Before coming to Tusayan museum and ruins we also took brief stop at Minal point. The ruins of the small Anasazi village were dated back to 1100’s.  Historians speculated that about 30 people lived there only for quarter of century. But to my great disappointment I couldn’t see anything as it was totally covered by snow. The Tusayan museum provided a glimpse in to the Pueblo Indian life. The arrowheads, pottery, jewelry, fabrics were the some of the exhibits. The five major tribes which was associated with Grand Canyon were Havasupai, Hopi, Hualapai, Navajo and Paiute. That time we were getting late so instead of getting down at Moran point we directly went to the Grand view point. There my son became too excited after seeing a dog!!!!! My husband suggested seeing the sunset from there. We waited for sometime but there was no sign of that. As we decided to watch the movie in IMAX we came back to the hotel. After coming back to I felt so tired that I asked my husband not to go out. My husband was very interested to watch the movie but after seeing my poor condition he abandoned the idea of watching the movie.

Snow covered Rim Trail Head


02/15/2010

Next day I woke up early to pack our bag. We got ready very fast and went to Yaki point at quarter past seven. When we reached there the place was totally empty. The cold was beyond my imagination. First time in my life I felt that intensity of sub-zero temperature. My fingers became numb. From there we went to the Mather point which is the South Kaibab trail head. In the gentle light of the morning the canyon was undoubtedly appealing. From the South Kaibab trail we went up to a mule stable. It was very difficult to walk in the snow covered path. Many times I slipped tough fortunately I never fell. I went further alone and saw a snow covered extremely dangerous trail downwards to the Colorado River. The trail is broad enough for a single person and moreover one wrong step could be fatal. I saw footsteps there. It was really hard to imagine how people could take that much risk of their lives. Might be those people were extremely adventurous. From there we went to the Visitor center again. From there we went to two other points whose name I didn’t know. The breathtaking view of the canyon completely captivated me. I couldn’t take a single trail in the total tour so I was dying to take one. Actually it was not possible to take any trail as we had a small baby with us. Taking him in our arm and walking on the snow covered path was impossible to us. We saw a trail and I made my husband to take that trail. After sometimes we realized that we had been walking on the Rim Trail, the largest trail in Grand Canyon. It was not possible for us to complete the hike. We came back to the hotel and got ready and we set out for home at 10:45 in the morning. First 100 miles of our journey my son sat alone in his car seat on the back of the car. It was the first time he sat alone for such a long time. We stopped at Kingman for a while. Then again we stopped at Barstow for evening snacks. Although it was tiring, the journey was smooth until we reached freeway 15. It took one and half hour due to heavy traffic. Not only our son,  we also started feeling agitated. At last we reached home at half past seven in the evening.

Hopi Art






Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Baked vegetable chops

I found a very good recipe of baked vegetable chop from one of my friend’s blog. Inspired by that one day I tried to make the same. But at the time of the preparation I couldn’t find the recipe in her blog. I couldn’t make properly and I was too disappointed with the end product. Though my husband said that the taste was good but I was not satisfied with his comment. I was pondering over what was missing in my preparation. Unable to find what was lacking in my preparation, my friend sent me her recipe on my request. Then one evening with great energy I decided to prepare baked vegetable chops. However I landed up in front of the empty refrigerator. I was so enthusiastic that time I decided to prepare in my own way based on her recipe with potatoes only. (Actually only potatoes were available in my kitchen) J  This time I was pretty satisfied after the preparation. My reward was my husband’s satisfied smile on the very first bite of the chops. I like to share my recipe with everybody.


Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

Soy granules: 2-4 tbsp. (if granules are not available, soy nuggets can be used

Medium sized potato: 2

Cumin powder: 1 tbsp. Coriander powder: 1tbsp. Garam masala: 1 tbsp. Chili Powder: ¼ tsp. (more chili powder can be used to make more hot) Chopped coriander leave: 2 tbsps. Breadcrumbs or biscuit granules (I use biscuit granules) Salt to taste Oil Yogurt: 2tbsps. Dijon Mustard sauce: 1tsp. Salt and sugar to taste

For sauce:Mayonnaise: 2tbsps.

Method:

 Boil soy granules (or nuggets) with water to make them soft. Squeeze out all the water. If soy nuggets are used, cut the nuggets into very small piece. Cut the potatoes in to halves and boil them. Peel and smash potatoes, soy granules and mix well with other ingredients except the breadcrumbs or biscuit granules. Take small amount of the mixture, first give a ball shape and the flatten it. Oil the baking tray. Coat the chops with breadcrumbs or biscuit granules and place them in the tray.

Preheat the oven at 350F. Put the tray in the oven for 15 minutes. Then flip the chops and again put in the over still golden brown. 

The Sauce: Whip all the ingredients to make the sauce.

Serve hot with the sauce.

Monday, June 13, 2011

My journey as a cook

I was the youngest in the family and my mother never let me cook. When I was in college my mother tried me to teach cooking but my father resisted me to do that. He told me not to waste my time doing other things apart from my studies. At home I had experience of cooking only couple of times. According to my father the foods were delicious. I remembered that when I cooked for the first time he became so overwhelmed that he called our relatives to tell them that for the very first time I happened to cook so well. When I was working in another city far from my hometown I used to live with my elder sister. She never allowed me to cook. She always feared that I would burn my hands. So I’ve never been an expert cook.
First attept to make biriyani

I started to cook seriously after my marriage. I came to USA just after 15 days of my marriage. I could still remember the very first day when we shifted to the apartment from the hotel my husband suggested cooking himself. I readily agreed with him as I knew he was a very good cook. I offered him to help, so he asked me to cut a potato which was the easiest thing to do. But for doing that I cut my finger. That time there was no antiseptic or cotton at home. So he put his aftershave on the wound and bound that with tissue.  That was the very first experience in kitchen after marriage.  I still remember the day was 13th December, 2007. My husband ridiculed me on that day. I didn’t tell him anything. However I knew that one day I could cook delicious dishes.  From very next day I started cooking though I couldn’t cook good dishes that time. Those days I used to cut my own hand every day while cutting vegetables. Also every day while eating I could find the flaws in my cooking.  But every day I used to try my best to improve my cooking. I used to discuss with my best friend about cooking. We used to exchange recipes. Even today I discuss about cooking with my best friend. My friend and I always share our good and bad experience about our cooking.  We used to exchange kitchen tips every day. Now I moved to another area far from the previous. Now we talk over the phone once in every week and discuss about our cooking. We used to become very excited when any of us cooked any delicious dish. By this way I learned many recipes. In early days I used to ask my mother or my mother-in-law for preparing some typical Bengali dishes. Gradually i started consulting the cooking sites in internet. By this way I learned cooking.
For party at home


Green banana Kofta

When I came to USA my husband told me that sometimes there would be a need to invite friends for parties. First time I was not at all confident to cook. That time my husband used to help me in cooking. In fact he cooked mutton. I cooked the other dishes. That was in December 2007. Though first time i faced difficulties in cooking for many people, but after that there was no looking back. I remembered once my best friend threw a party on her husband’s birthday and she cooked for 24 people. After the party my husband asked me whether I could do the same. I couldn’t answer that time because I was not confident to do that. Although that time I couldn’t answer to my husband but I made up mind to achieve that.
Samosa

Four years have passed after marriage. Now I can cook almost everything. Not only Indian Dishes but also some dishes from other countries. Now when people appreciate my cooking ability I feel very pleased. I wanted to become a good cook and I achieved that. I don’t face any problem now for cooking for many people, rather sometimes my husband asks me not to take loads. But now I don’t feel any load to cook for many people.
After my marriage I tried to cook my husband’s favorite dishes. All red meats and all spicy foods are always my husband’s favorites.  However with time I made many changes in our eating habit. Currently I rarely cook red meat. I introduced fruits and other healthy foods. I have cut down eating and dining out. Though my husband always complains for these restrictions but I know for healthy life style I need to do that. As my husband is a complete foodie sometimes I cook spicy dishes.
I love cooking and I love to experiment different dishes and I hope I will continue to do so in future.
Paatisapta(Sweet dish)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Chili Mushroom

Today morning I didn’t have much vegetable to cook. I knew in the beginning of the week that I was going to run out of vegetable in the weekend. Still I didn’t go to market last weekend to buy some vegetable for the rest of the week. Moreover I didn’t have any onion and tomato. I was scratching my head to find something to cook. I had some mushrooms in the refrigerator. But I didn’t know without onion and tomato how I could cook mushroom. Then I thought to give an opportunity to my imagination. In normal course I boiled the sliced mushroom first. Then I was thinking what could be the next step to cook. Without thinking first I fried some cubed potatoes then put some ginger-garlic paste and added the mushroom. Then I thought, “Let make it chili-mushroom.”  I found a half of a capsicum in my refrigerator.  I sliced it that and added to the curry. Then I put soy sauce it that. After the cooking was done I myself was hesitating to taste the curry. But I found the taste was good.  I became delighted and made up mind to share the recipe with my friends.
Now here is the recipe.
Ingredients:
Mushrooms:  10-12
Capsicum:  1(Medium Size)
Potato:  1 (medium size) or 2 (small size)
Ginger-Garlic Paste : 1 tbsp.
Soy sauce : 2 tbsps.
Oil:  1tbsp
Serving Size: 4
Method:
Slice the mushrooms and boil until become tender. Heat the oil in a pan. Cut the potato (es) in cube shape and fry until become slightly golden. Add ginger-garlic paste to it. Fry for 1-2 minutes. Then add the sliced capsicum and boiled mushroom slices. Fry for few more minutes. Then add soy sauce and fry again. Add 1 cup water and bring it to boil. Serve hot with roti or rice.

Friday, June 3, 2011

San Diego tour

It was the 3rd theme park I visited in the USA.

San Diego visit was a long pending tour to us. While living in Southern California we never visited San Diego. Once in November 2009 we made a plan, even my husband booked the hotel there. Unfortunately my son and I fell ill and we had to cancel the trip.  After that we never made any plan to visit there. At last in July 2010 before moving in Northern California my husband decided to go San Diego. That time also we didn’t think of going there. Rather we made a plan to go to Lake Tahoe. But my husband’s friend suggested going San Diego. The idea of visiting the place  struck in our mind once again. We understood that was the good opportunity to visit San Diego as it would be much easier to go to San Diego since that time the place was 100 miles from our then home. So within very short time we changed our plan from Lake Tahoe to San Diego. Everybody told us that it was going to be too hectic due to summer. However we knew that we could make it possible.
On Friday 2nd July we started from our home at 11 o’clock in the morning. This time we decided to travel in a very relax way. First we went to my husband’s friend’s house which he bought new. From there we started our journey to San Diego around 12:30. Our plan was to go directly to Sea World. When we reached Sea World the weather was very good. The temperature was very pleasant and moreover it was cloudy. After entering, first we decided to go to the Shamu show. We found that we didn’t have much time in our hand so we rushed to watch the Shamu show. At last I got the opportunity to see in my human eye the world famous show. It was truly amazing how those enormous killer whales were tamed who listened to their trainers’ direction.

The Shamu Show


 After that spectacular Shamu show we went to see other things before entering to the Blue Horizon show. After the show we decided to go to the Blue Horizon show. When we went there we saw a long queue for the show. It was difficult to get good position to watch the show. So we went to watch the ‘Sea Lion Live’. That was a very cute and entertaining show with sea lions. We literally ran to stand in the queue of Blue Horizon show just after ‘Sea Lion Live’ show. I was very much excited to watch the show as I already read about those shows in the internet. I couldn’t wait for  long. At that moment my son became very cranky. He didn’t want to sit at all. Actually that was his nap time. My husband took him outside. The show had already started I wished to go outside with my husband but he resisted me to do that so I sat alone there.

Blue Horizon Show


 After sometimes my husband came inside. I became speechless after seeing the skill of the performers.  I was thinking that how much practice they did to put such a show before people. The level of perfection was beyond my imagination. It was worthy to see such a show in life. When the show finished we were very tired. I asked my husband to go back to hotel. After taking rest for a while in hotel we went to Sea World again. That time all of us were very fresh. My son and I took the Elmo Ride.

The Elmo Ride


He was too small to enjoy that rather he was scared of falling down.  After the ride my husband and I planned for the next few hours.  Our plan was to see all the night shows as we were going to Coronado Island on next day evening. We had plenty of time before those shows. So we went to the Wild Arctic. Wild Arctic was a simulator ride through the Arctic set in a giant helicopter. As our son was too little we were not allowed to take the helicopter ride. So we took the tour by foot. We saw beluga whales and walrus. We thought that our son would enjoy those. But he didn’t enjoy that. Might be he was too tired to enjoy that. From there we went to the Penguin encounter. There were too many little penguins; I forgot the name of the species due to my bad memory. My son enjoyed those penguins. It was already the time of Sea Lion Tonight’s so we rushed to the stadium. It was very funny and entertaining show. I could say that it was show caricaturing the Blue horizon Show. I laughed a lot and the show really made me feel happy. After that we went to the show of Shamu Rocks. Again it was another spectacular show of those killer whales. It was really hard to imagine how those people toiled behind those killer whales to give such performance. After the spectacular fireworks at 9:30 at night we dragged ourselves to the hotel.

The next day we woke up early for our next day visit to the park. In the month of July we feared for scorching sun but to our delight the next was cloudy and little bit cold. Anyway we chalked out our plan to cover the maximum shows and exhibits.  First we went to the Forbidden Reef.  One part of the exhibit was an underground cavern with eels and the other part was a lagoon where many stingrays are swimming and are within arm’s reach length to touch them.  I went to see the eels taking my son in my arm. First I couldn’t locate the eels then I found those snakes like gray color eels in the cavern.  Suddenly I felt that my son was going to slip from my arm and I felt the chilling current on my back, though it didn’t happen at all.  I hurried back from there. My husband tried his best to convince my son to touch the rays but he didn’t want to do that.  From there we went to Rocky Point Reserve.

Dolphins at Rocky Point Reserve


When we reached there, dolphin feeding time was already over. Actually first when we went there we found a long queue for feeding dolphins. I cut down my enthusiasm by seeing other peoples’ enthusiasm to feed dolphins. Anyway with great disappointment we went to see the dolphins.  I always love those cute animals. In my childhood once I read that they are very friendly to human beings, I also read that they don’t survive long in captivity. Though I was delighted to see them but somewhere in my mind I felt little bit sad by thinking that they were in captivity.  Our next destination was World of sea Aquarium. Here my son became very excited to see many fishes. That time he was already very accustomed with fishes. I showed him many pictures of fishes before so when he saw the live fishes he started shouting in joy without knowing that everybody was laughing at him.  I saw numerous kinds of fishes but unfortunately I couldn’t remember any of the names.  From there we went to California Tide pool. Some spots along the California coast – especially Laguna Beach – are famous for their naturally-occurring tide pools. SeaWorld recreated a typical California tide pool there, and just like the real thing, the creatures like sea stars, urchins, crabs could be touched, picked and admired that dwelled within that environment teeming with life. 

California Tide Pool


 Just beside that there was the Shipwreck Rapids ride. But we couldn’t take the ride as my son was too small to take that ride.  Then we went to see the 3-D movie of Sesame St. It was already the time for Cirque de la Mer show. Cirque de la Mer took us on a journey to the island of Amphibia, where brightly colored Amphibians combine characteristics of humans and sea creatures. These whimsical creatures captivated me as they demonstrated their super-human abilities through exhilarating acrobatic feats of strength and discipline. That Amphibitheatre, a stunning bayside backdrop designed to host the outrageous antics of our characters. The show featured the highest level of talent with specialized, painstakingly honed skills.


The Amphibitheatre

The Show


Their art is blended with imaginative costumes, sophisticated production elements and an intriguing story line. The trapeze bungee, tumbling mini tramp, Chinese Poles, and a giant "Russian Swing" thrilled us. I was wishing that the show would never end.  Our last destination was the Shamu close up. It was thrilling experience to see the giant killer whales so close. That was the end of our visit in the Sea world. When we were coming out the weather started becoming sunny and hot. We were lucky as we already covered everything there in cool weather.

After coming back hotel we had our lunch we decided to go to Coronado Island in the evening.  In the evening we started for Coronado Island which is connected with the main land with Coronado Bay Bridge. The small island was one of the expensive places to live in the USA and which could be seen by the look of the Island when we entered there. Any way we directly went to the beach in front of the Hotel Del Coronado.

The Coronado Bay Bridge


Hotel Del Coronado


The hotel was so huge it looked like an island itself. My husband and I started our wild planning to stay in the hotel for seven days just to relax. My husband is an expert of making wild plans. We stayed for a while in the beach and started from there towards the scenic drive. My husband told me that the scenic drive was famous for the beauty and the through the road we could reach the last point of the USA. I didn’t know what rout he took. We reached a deserted place. That time it started becoming dark and I suggested going back.

 Next we went to the San Diego Zoo. I was very excited to see that zoo as I heard so many times from my friends about the zoo.  We encountered a flock of flamingos as soon as we entered the zoo.

Flamingos


My son became so excited after seeing those flamingos that he simply refused to go anywhere else. We had a tough time to convince him for more exciting things. 


 Then we took the monkey trail and we saw numerous birds and monkeys. The zoo was created such a way so to make it look natural. After seeing all the monkeys and birds we wanted to take the other trails but we were reaching the same spot when we were following the map. Then we decided to take the bus tour to better understand the zoo. Our tour guide showed us many thins and gave much information about the animals there. 

Indian Camel


Guanaco



Among the many animals I first ever saw was the wild boar, red river hog, guanaco, tapir, capybaras etc. we saw numerous kinds of lizards, snakes and frogs.  Long ago I read about the Komodo Dragons. I read that they were natural habitats of Komodo Island in Indonesia. I had a picture of something huge in my mind but there I saw a much smaller dragon. I didn’t know whether they were small like that or it was a smaller species. I came to know about so many animals which were already extinct. To my delight I saw okapi about which I also read in my childhood.

Okapi


 It was really a nice experience to me to see many animals about which I read in my childhood but never imagined that I could see them. Lastly we went to see the tiger. The bus tour guide warned us that getting the glimpse of tiger might not be possible as the tiger didn’t come out in the heat. But the day was cloudy and comparatively cool. Although my husband was not so inclined to take the tiger trail as it was very steep and was difficult to go with a child in arm but I was determined to go. I took my son in my arm and started walking. Our labor didn’t go in vain, we could see the tiger. Coming back from there was very difficult but there was no other option but walking. In the zoo there was an exact replica of La Brea Tar Pit.

Replica of Tar pit


Tar pit, or more accurately known as an asphalt pit, is a geological occurrence where subterranean bitumen leaks to the surface, creating a large area of natural asphalt. Animals are sometimes unable to escape from the asphalt when they fall in; making these pits excellent locations to excavate bones of prehistoric animals.

From there we hurried back to hotel to see the fireworks of 4th July. As we were told that we could see the 4th July fireworks from the hotel roof. When we went to enquire about that, to our disappointment, we were denied as we had our little son with us. We didn’t know from where to watch the fireworks. I was very much eager to watch the show as I had no experience of the fireworks.  At last the lady in the reception suggested us going to Coronado for watching the fireworks. We hurriedly got ready and rushed to Coronado Island. We decided to go Tideland parks. But when we entered the park we found that the crowd was very arrogant and they were fighting which was very scary. So we didn’t get down there.  Then we started driving inside Coronado but to our astonishment there was not a single space to park our car. I never saw such a crowd before. In the meantime my son became cranky so I wanted to go back. But my husband was determined to find a parking space. At last we parked our car and walked more than one mile to reach the beach from where we could see the fireworks.  I started feeling very cold though I was wearing jacket. I wrapped my sleeping son in a blanket. Sometimes later the fireworks started.  Our effort paid off. We watched grand fireworks. Up to that part everything was fine. We happily walked one mile to reach our car with a sleeping baby in my arm. Our all joy vanished within one moment when we saw the traffic in the road. I didn’t know when and how we would reach our hotel. Every ten minutes the cars were moving by inch. It was 8:30 at that time. I thought that before one in the morning we couldn’t reach our hotel. If he woke up that time it would be a real mess. I would face a next to impossible job to make him sit on his car seat in a stand still car. We faced real tough situation. I was praying to keep my son sleeping.  That condition continued for one and half hour. Then we got the clear road. At last we reached our hotel around 11:00 at night.

On 5th of July before starting for home we went to La jolla beach. That day was also cloudy and cold. So seating on the beach was not at all pleasant. Anyway still my son started playing with sand. In the meantime my husband put him in the cold sea water and he became very angry and refused to stay there. So we left the beach and came back to our car. After having our lunch in the car we set out for home.