Locomotoring

Seven continents, seven seas, seven billion people and seven thousand good eats …

Posts Tagged ‘Weekend getaway

Mission accomplished

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Courtyard of Mission Carmel

Courtyard of Mission Carmel

I have been meaning to do a circuit trip of missions around Bay Area. There are quite a few of these missions, so one can’t hope to cover all of them in a day. I have had eyes on a few – Carmel, Jolon and Soledad with possibility of San Miguel thrown in. Opportunity presented itself this memorial day weekend – so I packed some sandwiches, a few slices of the wonderfully moist and orange flavored cake ala Clotilde and, a thermos full of Chai. We left early on this Sunday summer morning – a perfect California day that held promises of a warm clear blue skied summer afternoon.

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36 Hours in Hong Kong

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Hong Kong at night

Hong Kong at night

Hong Kong is a perfect city for short term business trip or vacation. Its multiple neighborhoods and islands offer different culture experience – some more trendy and some more traditional. You can sample this city out in bits and parts over  multiple trips. Here is our recommendation based on our leisurely experience during a short stay in Central district.

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January 12, 2010 at 3:12 pm

Urban hike in San Francisco, from Ferry Plaza to Fort Point

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Kites at Marina Greens

Marina Greens; Click for a photos from this hike ...

Choose a day that isn’t too cold. Start the walk from  Ferry Plaza. If you start on a Saturday, you will be able to pick up your lunch from the Farmer’s market. When you are done exploring Ferry Plaza, start walking westwards and stay as close to the bay as possible. Many of these piers offer pedestrian walkways. The route is unmistakable, so there is little to no chance of getting lost. If you are planning on completing the hike, plan on walking about 10-12 miles and spending anywhere between 3-6 hours.

Here is what you will see on this hike – San Francisco skyline from several vista points, sailboats dotting the sea, yachts moored at the harbors, large container ships crossing underneath the Golden Gate bridge, kites doing acrobatic maneuvers by the marina, kids playing in big or small groups, people of all ages sunbathing or jogging, couples of all genders holding hands or kissing, buildings with military architecture – extensions of Presidio. In spring, you will see Crissy Field in a wildflower bloom.

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Walking tour of San Francisco’s Chinatown

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San Franacisco Chinatown

Click for photos of San Francisco Chinatown

At first glance, San Francisco’s Chinatown appears to be a collection of trinket shops. Only during the Chinese New Year celebration does this place truly come alive and then one has to be prepared to brave the cold winter rains which often afflicts the celebration, and huge crowds.

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India’s village tourism

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Recently New York Times published an article on village tourism in India – “Villagers in India Open Their Homes“. Author of this article stayed for three days at a small village called Samthar near Darjeeling, the tea hills of West Bengal.

This is distinct from staying a night at a village as part of an adventure trip. In this case the principal activity for guests at village homestays is observing and joining in the humdrum rhythms of village life. While a local government official was quoted saying that one has to stay for at least 3 months to enjoy and understand the villages, 3 days is a small beginning.

A small beginning to what? That is what I am pondering over.

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Written by Som

March 11, 2009 at 8:47 pm

Winter camping in a desert park

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Bow Willow Campsite at Anza-Borrego

Bow Willow Campsite at Anza-Borrego

It is raining cats and dogs today. Winters of Northern California typically bring cold rain and dark cloud covered skies. Good for water table but not good for the soul. My thoughts turn to Anza-Borrego desert state park, the largest of California’s state parks and a perfect escape from rain drenched winters. A couple of winters ago, we camped at the Bow Willow campgrounds. We are intermediate campers – we can do without the comfort of hot showers for a day or two but do need a chemical toilet. Bow Will was perfect – clear skies, not too cold, no bugs, hiking trails nearby.

I still remember that for dinner we had Trader Joe’s Lentil Rice Biryani heated on our camp stoves. Last night we had Chicken Biryani Dum Pukht style and while my Biryani is infinitely better on a culinary scale, there is something special about campside food. Is it the appetite built up from all day hiking, the fresh air enhancing the aroma of food, the effort of getting dinner ready in an unfamiliar setting, or sitting down for dinner without the TV?

Written by Som

March 3, 2009 at 8:56 pm

Vegas, gateway to getaway

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Chihuly exhibit at Bellagio

Chihuly exhibit at Bellagio

I live in San Francisco and Vegas is my favorite gateway to a getaway. I like Vegas – it is hard to not be amused by this crazy city. But what I love lies within 4-6 hours driving distance from Vegas. So … I get into Vegas, enjoy a night of neon excess and then I get out.

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