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Santa Monica Visit in Summer 2016

Happy New Year Everyone!  Sorry that I haven’t written in quite some time.  Life has been agonizingly busy, and I say agonizingly as you wouldn’t believe what I just went through – one of the worst moves of my life.  I will leave this story for another day, but needless to say I was not happy about moving – I also had to downsize, and pay double the rent!  😦

Anyway, onto happier memories from last year….and hoping this year will be better for me and for all of you.  We visited Santa Monica last summer, and I have had so much happen that I couldn’t even post my pictures until now.  Well, it’s better to do it now than deciding to do it five years from now.

We loved Santa Monica, it’s quite close to Los Angeles, and we were just in Santa Monica for a day, but in the Los Angeles area for nearly three days.  Isn’t it amazing that I live in San Diego, but don’t get up to Los Angeles that often any more, and that I have never visited Santa Monica until last year – and I’ve been in San Diego for almost 19 years!

Well, without further ado, here are some of my pictures:

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Santa Monica Pier, CA

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Santa Monica Pier, CA

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Santa Monica Pier, CA

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Santa Monica Pier, CA

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Santa Monica Pier, CA

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Santa Monica Pier, CA

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Santa Monica Pier, CA

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Santa Monica Pier, CA

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Santa Monica Pier, CA

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Santa Monica Pier, CA

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Santa Monica Pier, CA

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Santa Monica, CA

 

This last picture is of main shopping street that is a block or two away from the beach.  I will share more of these pictures another time.  Well, that’s it for now, I hope you liked my pictures, and that you are already having an amazing year!

Christmas In Las Vegas

Christmas in Las Vegas was a new experience for us, and a rather nice one.  We spent Christmas, 2015 in Vegas, and thoroughly enjoyed it.  Here are some more pictures, these were nearly all taken on Christmas day, 2015.  The last one was taken on Christmas Eve at The Carnival World Buffet which we went to prior to going to Christmas Eve mass at Our Lady of Wisdom Church.

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Bellagio, Las Vegas

We didn’t stay at Bellagio though as much as I would have liked to.  Actually, if you ask me which place I would like to stay at my number one choice is Venetian, and number two is Bellagio.  We actually stayed at the Hilton Grand Vacations Club Resort of which I am a member (through my timeshare ownership).  I won’t even go into my tea-bag dilemna that I had there – can you believe they didn’t have regular black tea?  I certainly had tea withdrawal!  Enough said of that for the time being, other than to say you hotels should never just cater to coffee lovers, there’s tea lovers too!   My view wasn’t too bad though.

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View from Hilton Grand Vacations Resort, Las Vegas Blvd

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View from Hilton Grand Vacations Resort, Las Vegas Blvd

We had brunch at the Paris Hotel’s Le Village Buffet, I will show you pictures of that separately in another post. Here are pictures of the Bellagio, where we spent the majority of our Christmas day, just strolling around – what a beautiful Christmas display!

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Bellagio, Las Vegas

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Bellagio, Las Vegas

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Bellagio, Las Vegas

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Bellagio, Las Vegas

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Bellagio, Las Vegas

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Bellagio, Las Vegas

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Bellagio, Las Vegas

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Bellagio, Las Vegas

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Bellagio, Las Vegas

We had Christmas Eve lunch at The Carnival World Buffet at Rio

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Carnival World Buffet at Rio, Las Vegas

We ate a lot in Vegas.  My kids talked me into getting them the Buffet Pass which cost $55 per person for 48 hours.  So we started the pass at around 5pm on Christmas Eve and it lasted until Boxing Day at 5 pm.  Therefore, we were able to use it for meals over 3 days, but had to time the last meal on Boxing Day to be in the line for the meal before 5 pm.  If you can time it properly, it works out well.  All the meals and drinks that you want are included in this price (except alcohol of course) – but you will be sure to put on a few pounds!  I will post more pictures of Las Vegas soon.  I can’t believe it’s already April, and I’m just getting around to doing this post now.  Where does time go to?

 

We Must Celebrate Indian Independence Day & We Did Celebrate!

We must celebrate Indian Independence Day, especially if we value freedom.  To be given back a country like India that is as rich in diversity, culture and heritage – what’s not to celebrate?  This year was the 69th Anniversary of Indian Independence.  It has been 69 years since the British gave back India to the Indians.  That is reason to celebrate.  So celebrate we did!  First, I took the day off from work on Friday, August 14th.  If a country won’t give us our own holiday (I guess we can’t expect it here in the USA), we must give ourselves the holiday.

So, we drove up to the Disneyland area and were supposed to go to Knotts Soak City today, but the kids said we had arrived too late as our arrival time was about 1:15 pm, and they would only have about less than five hours at the Water Park, they wanted the entire day from 10 am until 6pm, so we decided to just go to Artesia and have lunch somewhere.  We really like Ashoka The Great, and have been here before many times, so this is where we ate lunch.

Ashoka The Great Restaurant in Artesia

Ashoka The Great Restaurant in Artesia

Ashoka The Great in Artesia

Ashoka The Great in Artesia

Ashoka The Great in Artesia

Ashoka The Great in Artesia

These are my three kids enjoying the buffet at Ashoka The Great

Ashoka The Great Restaurant, Artesia

Ashoka The Great Restaurant, Artesia

This is me and my three kids

Ashoka The Great in Artesia

Ashoka The Great in Artesia

My little girl Chandi loves fruit, and Ashoka has a great selection of fruit for her right after she eats enough of the other lunch items. I love Khadi Pakora, it’s my favorite curry (the yellow one below) and I love Saag (spinach – right behind the Khadi Pakora).

Ashoka The Great Restaurant, Artesia

Ashoka The Great Restaurant, Artesia

Ashoka The Great Restaurant, Artesia

Ashoka The Great Restaurant, Artesia

Ashoka The Great Restaurant, Artesia

Ashoka The Great Restaurant, Artesia

Then we walked around a bit, and went to a few different stores.  I bought some bangles for Chandi and Niki, and decided it was time for a visit to one of my favorite Sweets & Snacks restaurants – Ambala Sweets & Snacks!  The kids had just enough space for banana milkshakes, and I had space for a cup of tea, and one of the sweets from the assortment that I bought – see the picture of sweets in the box below.  The rest of the sweets I could eat at the hotel or back in San Diego (if there was any left).

Ambala Sweets & Snacks, Artesia

Ambala Sweets & Snacks, Artesia

Ambala Sweets & Snacks, Artesia

Ambala Sweets & Snacks, Artesia

Ambala Sweets & Snacks, Artesia

Ambala Sweets & Snacks, Artesia

Ambala Sweets & Snacks, Artesia

Ambala Sweets & Snacks, Artesia

Then we headed to the car which was parked in the parking lot of Bombay Sweets & Snacks.  I had to go inside, and get another cup of tea.  I sometimes just love the atmosphere of different restaurants, and when they have TV screens that play Indian movies or music videos, I just love relaxing there with a cup of chai.  Chandi just hung out with me while my other two sat in the car, even though it was an extremely hot day – they were fed up of me and my cups of teas.  I love the food at Bombay Sweets & Snacks too, but how much can you eat after a buffet?  I sometimes stay full all day after a buffet.

Bombay Sweets & Snacks, Artesia

Bombay Sweets & Snacks, Artesia

Bombay Sweets & Snacks, Artesia

Bombay Sweets & Snacks, Artesia

Our stomachs were full, and we got to the Hilton Garden Inn in Anaheim at around 8 pm.  What a lovely hotel, and the service was very nice.

Hilton Garden Inn in Anaheim

Hilton Garden Inn in Anaheim

Next morning, I had coffee in my room, and then enjoyed another cup in the lobby, before we headed out to Knotts Soak City.

Hilton Garden Inn in Anaheim

Hilton Garden Inn in Anaheim

In my next post, I will continue writing about our celebration of the Indian Independence Day.  We started celebrating one day early, and celebrated all day Saturday, and then Sunday too!