The past few months had been very exhilarating for me. Since my last post I had a chance to visit quite a few places within a short span of time. The months of April and May were travel months for Neil and I and Boy – what travelling did we do 🙂
India was such a welcome change with respect to the weather. It felt awesome shedding the winter clothes. It was time for shades, sunscreen and slurps! The theme of our travel for the rest of the two months was “SUMMER“. We did a marathon of four cities in three and a half weeks. Caught up with family and friends, visited new cities (for Neil), did the routine touristy adventures, had good food, shopped (only me) and came back with loads of pictures and memories of good time spent.
On our way back we decided to take Etihad Airways so that we could stop over by Dubai and Abu Dhabi and get a taste of Middle Eastern culture and hospitality. And that was one of the right decisions we made.
In Dubai all I wanted was a rebirth as an “Arab”. The United Arab Emirates is ruled by “Emirs” hence termed Emirates and Abu Dhabi and Dubai are one of the seven emirates. Oil industry, tourism and retail make the biggest chunk of their economy. A Dubai police car is a BMW5 series sedan! Its called the “shopping capital of the Middle East” with 70 shopping malls and the 7th largest in the world the “Dubai Mall”. I felt as if I had visited the final pilgrimage of my shopping destination 😛 Dubai is also known for its “Souk Districts” and I was like a child lost in a candy store. Dubai has a rich collection of buildings and structures of various architectural styles “Burj Al Arab” and “Burj Khalifa“ being one of them. We had fun doing the city tour and the desert safari.
We were still getting over the Middle East hangover and settling in into our sub-urban Chicago life when Neil one evening announced that he has to be in Anaheim, CA for a four-day conference. And all my mind could capture was “CALIFORNIA” . I have quite a few friends staying around the Bay Area and I was meaning to meet them since I came to United States. What better opportunity than this. I literally begged Neil to take me along with him, promising not to pester him during his “working hours”. I was elated with the idea of visiting yet another new place.
LA took my breath away with all the Hollywood stuff. The Universal City Walk, The Kodak Theater, The Hollywood Walk of Fame, The Hollywood Rock Walk, The Hollywood Homes, Rodeo Drive. I am still digesting it 🙂
We decided to drive from LA to San Francisco and enjoy the scenic sea view on our way. The drive was long but worth every cent. My want of meeting my friends which was long pending finally materialized. I had a great time meeting each of them.
SFO surprised us with its chilly summer fog and we ended up buying jackets to protect ourselves. We were thrilled to see the steep rolling hills, mix of Victorian and modern architecture, famous landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge, Cable Cars and Chinatown.
California visit is not complete without a visit to the Napa Valley. Napa Valley is considered one of the top wine regions in the United States. We did the Napa Valley Wine Train Tour to have a wholesome experience within a limited time.