USA

Hiking Big Four Ice Caves in Washington

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It is better not to venture into the caves. Don’t be coaxed or cajoled into entering the caves, even if for a bet, an adventurous picture of you inside the cave, or to impress your friends into believing how brave you are. Accidents and deaths are not unheard of.

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Spontaneously lazying at San Antonio, Texas

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stayed at El Tropicana hotel, along the Riverwalk at Lexington Avenuejust across the famous Tobin Centre for Performing Arts, by the Riverwalk. The lobby of the hotel is renovated but the rooms are quite old. The locality of our hotel was not so clamorous and the tranquil

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Dekha 1 khwab to…Seattle Tulip Festival

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We visited Tulip festival first time in April 2002, and after that it was a yearly to do event. I didn’t knew about Tulip festival till my friend Amit asked me if we are interesting to go there coming weekend. I said yes, I was having office provided rental car that time, and pretty excited for a long drive. But my friend shattred my dream saying that he will take his car as I am not not an experienced driver in United States, I argued for some time without any luck. Anyway, it was a sunny day, not very common in Seattle, we took I-5 North towards Vancouver, I-5 connects West side of Canada and Mexico, passing through Washington, Oregon and California states. We were 3 families and it took about 2 hours of drive as I-5 is crowded, seems that everybody was driving towards Tulips. We took Exit 231 for Tulips, and I think it was wrong exit or it was much closer to Tulip fields.
Prasad, one of the other friend, took the charge as guide as he was supposed to be knowledgable about different Tulip fields. There are multiple Tulip fields, and you can see different colors of Tulip flowers like red, yellow, orange, white, magenta, some mixed color Tulips. We entered the first field, and it was the WOW moment, a Kodak moment, “Dekha 1 khwab to ye silsile…” moment. As it was a sunny day, place was crowded, everybody was taking pictures, we also settled ourselv and took few pictures. I didn’t had a any camera that time, so I was completely dependent on my friends.

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Day trip to Mount St. Helens, Washington (USA)

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I’ve always had a fascination for volcanoes. The sheer power exuded by nature in it’s form kept me awed and humbled whenever I watched volcanoes erupting on TV channels. Living in Seattle provided a wonderful opportunity to explore the volcanic mountains of the Pacific North West (like Mount Rainier, Mount Baker, and Mount St. Helens). The most interesting amongst these is Mount St. Helens that last erupted in 1980 (5.1 on Richter scale), scooping off the head of the mountain in the process and making it “the deadliest and most economically destructive volcanic event in the history of the United States.”As quoted in the wikipedia, “The volcano is located in the Cascade Range and is part of the Cascade Volcanic Arc, a segment of the Pacific Ring of Fire that includes over 160 active volcanoes. This volcano is well known for its ash explosions and pyroclastic flows.”

You can visit either the north face of the Helens or the South face (you can’t do both in a day). I have been told that the north face has the best view of the crater (and is closer to Seattle as well). The southern face has interesting points like Ape Caves, but I am yet to visit it.

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Let’s go Puerto Rico- 1

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Driving in Puerto Rico is not for the faint-hearted. You get used to it of course. As I started to drive somewhat nervously, I realized that not only were the signs in Spanish, but the driving somewhat resembled the aggressive driving in India. Some of the bylanes were filled with potholes and without lane demarcations. Pedestrians just flagged you down trying to cross busy streets, something you never get used to unless you have driven in India. The roads close to the hostel were tiny compared to mainland US standards, often the car from the opposite would have to stop to let you pass, and I would have to find parallel parking on the street, something I am not very good at. When I parallel parked my car, half my car was hoisted up the pavement, just like every other car before and after mine. I said a silent prayer as I prepped myself for five days of driving around the island and parking. The next day, I was kicking ass, innocuously breaking a few driving rules, cruising through the potholes, and navigating my way with a confidence as if I have always driven here. It is amazing how fast your brain gets used to doing things. Some of the Spanish words I learned while driving were “Pare” (to stop) and “Salida” (an exit).

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Channel Islands National Park

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Channel Islands National Park (located in California, United States) is a cluster of five small islands- San Miguel, Santa Rosa, Anacapa, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz, varying in area and distance from the mainland. Although close to the shores of Southern California, they are isolated for many reasons.

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Universal Studios – Los Angles and Orlando

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The first memorable ride I remember in LA was the studio tour by bus, they take you in a multiple bogie bus for a tour, it gives you an experience of flood, train accident, Kingkong. In the middle of tour, driver and conductor starts arguing whether to cross a bridge or not which looks very fragile and can break any time. Conductor says that bridge will go down if we drive down the bus but driver wants to take a chance and he finally drove down the bus over the bridge. And, all of sudden you experience that bridge has broken, everybody starts screaming, after few minutes, bridge comes back to it’s original position and everybody start laughing. Your bus enters in to a railway station and suddenly everything started
shaking, one train tried to hit our bus, fire on the platform and then you say “Wah Kya Scene hein”. Then you pass through a Mexican city, bus suddenly stopped due to flood, it felt that we all are going to drown in the flood. I must say that this was one of the most memorable 90 minute ride I can have any time. But, this bus ride is not available in Orlando, all the above scenes has been converted in to a separate exhibit or ride. One of the exciting ride in Orlando was when they take you in the boat and sharks start following your boat and all of a sudden one of the shark appears from the water – name the movie now.

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Edmonton to Seattle USA

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Seattle has a sea shore. Cruise ships proceed from there. It has islands and ferry left every half an hour. Lots of population resides on islands.  Seattle is famous for Boeing factory. Microsoft has head office in Seattle, Bill Gate and other staffs sits there. Total population is less than seven lakh. Green lake park popular among runners, contains a 4.3km trail circling the lake. We were there. Local white people greet us with smiles and waving hands.  We also visited to Indian Restaurant, Food was so spicy, but sweet gulab jamun and kheer was there. Mexican cook was working there. Mexico is also famous for spicy food . In Canada food is normally not spicy.

Weather was windy. There was big merry go round. Some people walking there. On roads there was traffic but not much hustle and bustle. I miss my India here as lots of kids, young couple are present every tourist places there.

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