Archive | December 2012

The Big Pineapple

It’s time for you to see the Big Pineapple!

The Big Pineapple, Australia

The Big Pineapple, Australia

The Big Pineapple is a tourist attraction in The Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia, and it is quite amazing.  From what I remember, there are several gift shops there, as well as rides, and many other things to do.  I believe there are samples of fresh pineapples too – after all, who wouldn’t want pineapple to eat after seeing this?

Want a Free Calendar? It Makes For A Nice Holiday Present!

CruiseOne Calendar for 2013  from your Cruise Agent Davinder Kaur

CruiseOne Calendar for 2013 from your Cruise Agent Davinder Kaur

Davinder Kaur - San Diego Travel Agent

Davinder Kaur – San Diego Travel Agent

I have a new calendar to keep you on track in 2013.  If you are like me, you’ll want to be organized and always know what today’s date is.  You can be the owner of one of these calendar’s by doing just a few simple things.

What You Have To Do:

1) Like my page on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/luchaniktravelandcruises (if you haven’t already done so).

Why am I encouraging you to like my page?  Simple answer…..I need more likes!

2) Get another four more people to like the page too.

When there is a total of five (you and another four) – you’ve hit the jackpot!  That is the jackpot for my calendar.

3) Send me a Facebook message or an email to dkaur@cruiseone.com and let me know that you are the referrer of a total of five likes on my page, and mention who you referred, and include your address.

What I Will Do:

I will send you my calendar for 2013 (one calendar only per five likes on my page once you’ve met the criteria described under What You Have To Do).

What Can You Do With My Calendar?

1) Use it for yourself

2) Give it away as a holiday present!

What Pictures Does It Contain for Each Month?

This is the exciting part!  I can’t show you all the pictures here, but some of these places are included: Australia & New Zealand; Cozumel & Yucatan, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil; Venice, Italy; The Greek Isles; Alaska; The Hawaiian Islands; Curacao; Rhine River of Europe; Islands of French Polynesia; and Hong Kong.  Where Do You Wanna Go?

Deadline for Giveaway:

You and the four you refer must like my page (http://www.facebook.com/luchaniktravelandcruises) by December 24th, 2012, it only takes a second or so to do this.

Why Would You Not Want To Do This?

Beats me – it’s free, it won’t hurt you, and remember – no one will come knocking on your door asking you why you liked my page (at least they shouldn’t)!

So go ahead, and do it right now, don’t stress it out….press that like button, you’ve done it so many times before…..it’s easy.  A calendar might be heading your way, and then you can decide “Where Do You Wanna Go?”

I wish you Happy Holidays, and also…..an early Happy 2013!

Las Vegas Can Be Contagious

Las Vegas is a beautiful place to visit for the holidays.  The lights will dazzle you, and the city will grab you in its grasp – but you should be warned – it can be contagious.

Vegas has so much atmosphere.

The Venetian, Las Vegas

The Venetian, Las Vegas

The Venetian, Las Vegas

The Venetian, Las Vegas

Vegas can dazzle you.

Fashion Show Shopping Mall, Las Vegas

Fashion Show Shopping Mall, Las Vegas

The Venetian, Las Vegas

The Venetian, Las Vegas

The Bellagio, Las Vegas

The Bellagio, Las Vegas

Vegas can leave you amazed.

The Bellagio, Las Vegas

The Bellagio, Las Vegas

Vegas even has the Grinch!

The Bellagio, Las Vegas

The Bellagio, Las Vegas

Caesars Palace, Las Vegas

Caesars Palace, Las Vegas

Caesars Palace, Las Vegas

Caesars Palace, Las Vegas

The Forum Shops, Caesars Palace, Las Vegas

The Forum Shops, Caesars Palace, Las Vegas

You should go see H&M in Caesars Palace, it’s truly spectacular!

H&M, Caesars Palace, Las Vegas

H&M, Caesars Palace, Las Vegas

H&M, Caesars Palace, Las Vegas

H&M, Caesars Palace, Las Vegas

There were so many pictures to take outside the Venetian, this is certainly my favorite place in Vegas.   It is almost as good as going to the real Venice, but not quite.

Las Vegas Blvd - The Strip

Las Vegas Blvd – The Strip

Las Vegas Blvd - The Strip

Las Vegas Blvd – The Strip

The Venetian - Las Vegas Blvd

The Venetian – Las Vegas Blvd

Venetian, Las Vegas

Venetian, Las Vegas

The Venetian - Las Vegas Blvd

The Venetian – Las Vegas Blvd

Vegas has incredible lights!

The Venetian - Las Vegas Blvd

The Venetian – Las Vegas Blvd

The Venetian - Las Vegas Blvd

The Venetian – Las Vegas Blvd

The Venetian - Las Vegas Blvd

The Venetian – Las Vegas Blvd

Of course, the inside of the Venetian is equally as spectacular as the outside.

The Venetian - Las Vegas Blvd

The Venetian – Las Vegas Blvd

The Venetian - Las Vegas Blvd

The Venetian – Las Vegas Blvd

This place has delicious gelato – it is so good, you will definitely go back for seconds if not thirds!

Venetian, Las Vegas

Venetian, Las Vegas

Las Vegas knows how to sparkle for the holidays – and Las Vegas knows how to make you yearn to go back, even if just for the pictures.

The Magic of December Nights in San Diego

I knew December Nights at Balboa Park was going to be magical.  There’s not a better way to kick-start the holidays than going to Balboa Park, and experiencing December Nights.  What is/are December Nights?  I wrote about it in my previous post, just click here to see More Info on December Nights (that post contains some external links with more information too).

Now that December Nights (which occurred on December 7 & 8, 2012) are over, there’s still plenty of reasons to visit the Park.  The magical tree is still there, and so are the lights and the great atmosphere, and at least you won’t have the crowds to deal with.  Here’s some pictures:

First the magical tree:

December Nights, Balboa Park, San Diego

December Nights, Balboa Park, San Diego

It gets even more magical – it opens up!

December Nights, Balboa Park, San Diego

December Nights, Balboa Park, San Diego

It changes color!

December Nights, Balboa Park, San Diego

December Nights, Balboa Park, San Diego

It changed color again!

December Nights, Balboa Park, San Diego

December Nights, Balboa Park, San Diego

This one is more fuzzier, because my camera’s battery died and I had to use my I-phone.

December Nights, Balboa Park, San Diego

December Nights, Balboa Park, San Diego

This one’s fuzzy too, but I’m including it because I want you to see the spectacle of color that was so beautiful during the December Nights concert.

December Nights, Balboa Park, San Diego

December Nights, Balboa Park, San Diego

Here’s the same color for background, but the tree has closed up

December Nights, Balboa Park, San Diego

December Nights, Balboa Park, San Diego

Now for a lighter shade of blue

December Nights, Balboa Park, San Diego

December Nights, Balboa Park, San Diego

And the last two of the tree at least!

December Nights, Balboa Park, San Diego

December Nights, Balboa Park, San Diego

December Nights, Balboa Park, San Diego

December Nights, Balboa Park, San Diego

Now for some pictures of the Park in the dark.  Me and my family went to December Nights on both December 7 and December 8.  Why miss out on the magic?

I believe this church now houses the Museum of Man

St. Francis Chapel, Balboa Park, San Diego

St. Francis Chapel, Balboa Park, San Diego

Museum of Man & St. Francis Chapel, Balboa Park, San Diego

Museum of Man & St. Francis Chapel, Balboa Park, San Diego

Balboa Park, San Diego

Balboa Park, San Diego

Balboa Park, San Diego

Balboa Park, San Diego

Balboa Park, San Diego

Museum of Man & St. Francis Chapel, Balboa Park, San Diego

Today, I suddenly stumbled on a second picture that I took of the Church at Balboa Park, I thought I only had one like the one above.

The Museum of Man, December Nights, Balboa Park

The Museum of Man, December Nights, Balboa Park

Are you ready for more Christmas trees?  Here’s another one at the Park, closer to the church shown above

Christmas Tree, near Museum of Man, Balboa Park

Christmas Tree, near Museum of Man, Balboa Park

Oh, my gosh!  The Grinch was here, but Chandi didn’t want to have her picture taken with him, so I had to take it of someone else instead!

The Grinch at Balboa Park

The Grinch at Balboa Park

Even dogs like December Nights, this picture was taken with no flash, but it wasn’t very good, however, it will give you an idea of what the lights were like and how it really looked in the dark

Dog in a Car with Christmas Lights at Balboa Park

Dog in a Car with Christmas Lights at Balboa Park

Dog in a Car with Christmas Lights at Balboa Park

Dog in a Car with Christmas Lights at Balboa Park

The dog also has glasses, more clearly seen in the picture below.

Dog in a Car with Christmas Lights at Balboa Park

Dog in a Car with Christmas Lights at Balboa Park

It’s just so nice strolling through the Park, even in the dark!

Balboa Park, San Diego

Balboa Park, San Diego

Balboa Park was nicely lit up for the holidays

Balboa Park, December Nights, San Diego

Balboa Park, December Nights, San Diego

Balboa Park, December Nights, San Diego

Balboa Park, December Nights, San Diego

Balboa Park, December Nights, San Diego

Balboa Park, December Nights, San Diego

Balboa Park, December Nights, San Diego

Balboa Park, December Nights, San Diego

There were so many people there, you wouldn’t believe it.  I think I read somewhere that there were at least 300,000 people.

Balboa Park, December Nights, San Diego

Balboa Park, December Nights, San Diego

Balboa Park, December Nights, San Diego

Balboa Park, December Nights, San Diego

Balboa Park, December Nights, San Diego

Balboa Park, December Nights, San Diego

Here’s the Botanical Gardens Building at night time bathed in a beautiful blue light

Balboa Park, December Nights, San Diego

Balboa Park, December Nights, San Diego

You can’t tell from these pictures just how many people there were in Balboa Park during these two very busy nights.

Balboa Park, San Diego

Balboa Park, San Diego

Balboa Park, San Diego

Balboa Park, San Diego

Balboa Park, San Diego

Balboa Park, San Diego

Balboa Park, San Diego

Balboa Park, San Diego

Balboa Park, San Diego

Balboa Park, San Diego

Of course, there were a lot of delicious choices for food, but I didn’t get to take too many pictures of the different vendors.  Here’s one at least.

Food Options, December Nights, Balboa Park

Food Options, December Nights, Balboa Park

This fountain is near one of the many museums at the park, and is closest to the path to the San Diego Zoo.

Fountain, Balboa Park, San Diego

Fountain, Balboa Park, San Diego

The words “Happy Holidays” lit up one of the museums

Happy Holidays, Balboa Park, San Diego

Happy Holidays, Balboa Park, San Diego

Happy Holidays, Balboa Park, San Diego

Happy Holidays, Balboa Park, San Diego

The Natural History Museum, Balboa Park, San Diego

The Natural History Museum, Balboa Park, San Diego

Here’s a clearer picture of some people at December Nights

Balboa Park, San Diego

Balboa Park, San Diego

For some reason, I like this picture

Balboa Park, San Diego

Balboa Park, San Diego

I couldn’t stop taking pictures of Balboa Park at night, it is beautiful both at night and day

December Nights, Balboa Park, San Diego

December Nights, Balboa Park, San Diego

December Nights, Balboa Park, San Diego

December Nights, Balboa Park, San Diego

I didn’t quite get the picture above centralized, see how it looks below, still not right.  It would have been perfect if I could have got both “Season’s Greetings” and the lighting on the wall on the right in just one picture balanced out better.  Oh, well.  I’ll have to make do with two pictures.

December Nights, Balboa Park, San Diego

December Nights, Balboa Park, San Diego

Now for where the reindeers are with presents laden on the sleigh

December Nights, Balboa Park, San Diego

December Nights, Balboa Park, San Diego

A different angle of the reindeers

Reindeers, December Nights at Balboa Park

Reindeers, December Nights at Balboa Park

Now, there’s the presents at the back (I guess on the sleigh).

Reindeers, December Nights at Balboa Park

Reindeers, December Nights at Balboa Park

Some more lights

December Nights at Balboa Park

December Nights at Balboa Park

Now, some more pictures of the amazing tree from a different angle.

December Nights at Balboa Park

December Nights at Balboa Park

December Nights at Balboa Park

December Nights at Balboa Park

December Nights at Balboa Park

December Nights at Balboa Park

And lastly, some pictures of the performers who entertained us at the site of the magical tree.

Performers at December Nights, Balboa Park

Performers at December Nights, Balboa Park

Performers at December Nights, Balboa Park, San Diego

Performers at December Nights, Balboa Park, San Diego

Performers at December Nights, Balboa Park

Performers at December Nights, Balboa Park

Performers at December Nights, Balboa Park

Performers at December Nights, Balboa Park

Just incase you don’t get the full flavor of what it’s like at Balboa Park during December Nights, I made this video especially for you.

I still haven’t had the chance to take more daytime pictures of Balboa Park, so in the meantime, you can look at these pictures taken by someone who linked to my post previously, so now I will link to his – so you can see his amazing pictures of Balboa Park: http://onecoolthingeveryweekend.com/2012/11/21/picture-tour-of-the-san-diego-balboa-park/

Oh, by the way, I went to the International Houses on the 8th of December and saw various cultural dances there, including Indian dances, but only managed to get a few pictures.  Perhaps, I will put those in another post.  Anyway, I hope you can see that Balboa Park is so magical when it’s the holidays.  If you celebrate Christmas, Merry Christmas to you, and if you don’t – Happy Holidays!

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

Oh, how I love this time of year, the wonderful memories of Christmas that has already passed, and the exhilarating anticipation of Christmas yet to come.

Two fabulous places to experience a taste of the holidays are Balboa Park, and the adjacent San Diego Zoo.  Did you know that you can actually walk from Balboa Park to the Zoo?  It will only take about five to ten minutes to walk from one to the other.

I would like to remind you that December Nights is just around the corner – it’s actually this week on Friday and Saturday (December 7 and 8) …..two wonderful days of holiday cheer, where San Diego celebrates the holidays like no place else.

Here’s three links with more information about this wonderful event – December Nights At Balboa Park, Official Tourism Blog of San Diego and NBC 7 San Diego News.

Here’s some pictures from past December Nights, previously known as Christmas On The Prado

December Nights - Balboa Park, San Diego

December Nights – Balboa Park, San Diego

IMG_0408

December Nights – Organ Pavilion – Balboa Park

December Nights - Organ Pavilion - Balboa Park

December Nights – Organ Pavilion – Balboa Park

Cultural events and activities galore can be found at December Nights

Cultural Events - December Nights - Balboa Park

Cultural Events – December Nights – Balboa Park

Cultural Events - December Nights - Balboa Park

Cultural Events – December Nights – Balboa Park

These dances took place outside the House of Ukraine at the International Cottages in 2011.

Cultural Events - December Nights - Balboa Park

Cultural Events – December Nights – Balboa Park

I think one of the best places to visit in Balboa Park is this very area…..the International Cottages.  Here, you will see the House of Scotland, England, Germany, France, Russia, Italy, Ireland, Ukraine, and many others.  What can you expect to see or learn from these International Cottages?  You will get a big taste of what it’s like to be from that region.  You can try samples of the food from any of those respective countries, you may even be in for a treat to a dance from that region – it really is a fantastic thing to experience – you might just see Scottish, German, Russian, Indian and other dances (during December Nights, 2012, I know you can definitely see Indian dances on Saturday evening (I apologize if you read it before and it said Friday, I just got confirmation today 12/6/12 that it’s Saturday evening).  Read more about the International Cottages right here: http://www.balboapark.org/in-the-park/house-pacific-relations-international-cottages

This picture of my three kids was taken last year at San Diego Zoo.  The Zoo is beautiful at Christmas time.

IMG_4794

Merry Christmas from San Diego Zoo

Can you believe the same tree shown above behind my kids actually magically changes and becomes the tree below when it is darker

Christmas Tree at San Diego Zoo

Christmas Tree at San Diego Zoo

Jungle Bells - San Diego

Jungle Bells – San Diego Zoo

Jungle Bells and The Elves - San Diego Zoo

Jungle Bells and The Elves – San Diego Zoo

Jungle Bells and The Elves - San Diego Zoo

Jungle Bells and The Elves – San Diego Zoo

San Diego Zoo

San Diego Zoo

San Diego Zoo

San Diego Zoo

San Diego Zoo

San Diego Zoo

San Diego Zoo

San Diego Zoo

The San Diego Zoo is a favorite of my kids – especially Chandi – she absolutely loves it here.

San Diego Zoo

San Diego Zoo

I really love her expression when she saw the orangutans.

Orangutans - San Diego Zoo

Orangutans – San Diego Zoo

Now from my house to yours – I would like to spread some holiday cheer.  This is a picture of my kids from two years ago.  They wish you a Merry Christmas.

IMG_0468

Merry Christmas from San Diego

I don’t have a good picture yet of all three of my kids from this holiday season, but will certainly strive to capture one at some point or other, but I do have a picture of my little Chandi which was taken just a few days ago.

IMG_2380

The Wonder of Christmas

My daughter Niki is very creative and made these holiday cookies

Holiday Cookies

Go attend some festivities, get into the spirit, and don’t forget to enjoy some holiday cookies!

By the way……you are probably thinking that San Diego can’t look very “Christmassy”.  I hope you can see that we still celebrate this joyous season here in a big way.  It’s all about getting into the spirit, holiday decorations, festivities, etc., and any place can be seasonally festive.  This is a nice place to celebrate it, because we don’t have to deal with the snow.  I know many of you might like snow, but I grew up in England, and had more than my fair share of it.  I really enjoy looking at it from inside, and seeing the snow fall – it certainly is a beautiful sight, but I can do without trudging through it, and shoveling my car out of it.   However, my kids crave it – so what do we do here in San Diego for snow?  We go to the Zoo and visit the “Snowerator” – at least I think that’s the word for it!

"Snowing" At San Diego Zoo

“Snowing” At San Diego Zoo

We also have places like Julian (one hour away) that are fairly close by, which we can go to if we really need the real thing.

Whatever you do…..I hope you get to celebrate the holidays, and to experience some of the season’s joy.  Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays!