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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?

 

Magical Bathroom at Sloan’s Ice Cream in San Diego

Did you know there’s a place with a magical bathroom?  You may have to come all the way to San Diego to visit it though!  Just kidding!  I think there’s more of these – at least there are in Florida.

The place is called Sloan’s Luxury Ice Cream, and the ice cream is delicious!  I’ve switched my tastes lately to frozen yogurt, and resist ice-cream, but who can resist the decor, it beckons you, tantalizes your every bit of sense, and plunges you into temptation – the temptation to indulge in ice-cream or fudge.  Of course, there is candy, and I believe all kinds of toffee apples covered with scrumptious coatings of the most exquisite imaginings, such as white chocolate, caramel, and…..well you get it! Then there are toys that entice the kids.

But, then…….there is the magic bathroom.  Just be careful that you lock the door, or else everyone will be able to see you while you are in there.  See my video below.  I actually made this video several months ago in August, before my oldest went off to college in September, but didn’t get to upload it until yesterday.  When my kids saw there was a bathroom which was visible from a part of the store where all the stuffed animals are, they were curious because you could see into the bathroom, so off they went to explore.  I could not get my son to be part of the video, but he enjoys Sloan’s just as much as all of us.

We went just again this Friday to celebrate my youngest daughter’s birthday.  Did I tell you it’s a great place for a celebration?

Here’s my video

Sloan’s Luxury And Magical Bathroom

 

Happy Diwali!

Diwali Mela, San Diego - 2015

Happy Diwali!  I’ve had some sad news recently, so it’s hard to get into the mood for celebrations, but celebrate we must.  Most of my celebrations shown here, took place before the recent sad event, so I am just sharing with you as a way of trying to get over some of my pain.  As you may know, Diwali is known as the Festival Of Lights, and it signifies good over evil, light over darkness, and knowledge over ignorance.  May Diwali shine it’s light on my family, and yours.  May the Goddess Lakshmi shower us with her love and blessings.  If for some reason, the link does not take you to the gif image of Lakshmi,  you may see it here on my Pinterest Board.

Here are some pictures I took at the Diwali Mela in San Diego on October 24, 2015:

Diwali Mela, San Diego - 2015

Diwali Mela, San Diego – 2015

Diwali Mela, San Diego - 2015

Diwali Mela, San Diego – 2015

Diwali Mela, San Diego - 2015

Diwali Mela, San Diego – 2015

Diwali Mela, San Diego - 2015

Diwali Mela, San Diego – 2015

There were ever so many people there, these two pictures will give you a glimpse at part of the crowds, both during daylight and at night – it was packed!

Diwali Mela, San Diego - 2015

Diwali Mela, San Diego – 2015

Diwali Mela, San Diego - 2015

Diwali Mela, San Diego – 2015

Diwali Mela, San Diego - 2015

Diwali Mela, San Diego – 2015

Diwali Mela, San Diego - 2015

Diwali Mela, San Diego – 2015

Diwali Mela, San Diego - 2015

Diwali Mela, San Diego – 2015

Diwali Mela, San Diego - 2015

Diwali Mela, San Diego – 2015

These girls had a very interesting costume, especially the head gear, but it certainly looked nice and colorful!

Diwali Mela, San Diego - 2015

Diwali Mela, San Diego – 2015

Diwali Mela, San Diego - 2015

Diwali Mela, San Diego – 2015

Diwali Mela, San Diego - 2015

Diwali Mela, San Diego – 2015

Diwali Mela, San Diego - 2015

Diwali Mela, San Diego – 2015

Diwali Mela, San Diego - 2015

Diwali Mela, San Diego – 2015

Diwali Mela, San Diego - 2015

Diwali Mela, San Diego – 2015

Diwali Mela, San Diego - 2015

Diwali Mela, San Diego – 2015

Diwali Mela, San Diego - 2015

Diwali Mela, San Diego – 2015

Diwali Mela, San Diego - 2015

Diwali Mela, San Diego – 2015

Diwali Mela, San Diego - 2015

Diwali Mela, San Diego – 2015

Diwali Mela, San Diego - 2015

Diwali Mela, San Diego – 2015

Diwali Mela, San Diego - 2015

Diwali Mela, San Diego – 2015

Diwali Mela, San Diego - 2015

Diwali Mela, San Diego – 2015

Diwali Mela, San Diego - 2015

Diwali Mela, San Diego – 2015

Here, they are dancing with the dandia sticks.  It’s a South Indian dance I believe.

Diwali Mela, San Diego - 2015

Diwali Mela, San Diego – 2015

There were all kinds of dances, even hip hop!

Diwali Mela, San Diego - 2015

Diwali Mela, San Diego – 2015

Diwali Mela, San Diego - 2015

Diwali Mela, San Diego – 2015

Also, there were American girls dancing to Bollywood music.  I think they did a pretty good job.

Diwali Mela, San Diego - 2015

Diwali Mela, San Diego – 2015

Here’s a video of their dance:

Diwali Mela, San Diego - 2015

Diwali Mela, San Diego – 2015

Diwali Mela, San Diego - 2015

Diwali Mela, San Diego – 2015

Diwali Mela, San Diego - 2015

Diwali Mela, San Diego – 2015

Diwali Mela, San Diego - 2015

Diwali Mela, San Diego – 2015

Diwali Mela, San Diego - 2015

Diwali Mela, San Diego – 2015

Here is a video that includes a variety of the performances.

Unfortunately, I could not include all of the performances or show the entirety of each performance.  I hope  you like the videos, and I hope you like the pictures.

I also hope you will candles, and illuminate your home with just candlelight later this evening.  Remember, let light prevail over darkness.

Diwali Candles

Diwali Lights

Don’t forget to eat some Indian food – how could you not when it’s Diwali!   I have some virtual food and drink just for you!  Here’s naan bread with lentils, chicken curry, rice and raita (Indian yoghurt).

Indian Food

Indian Food

I love samosas, you can’t enjoy Diwali without samosas, or at least I think so.

Samosas

You might even want to have a special dish of mine – my very favorite, and of course it’s a Punjabi dish – Makhi Di Roti (bread made from corn meal/corn flour) and Saag (spinach)!  You must give this one a try!

Makhi Di Roti and Saag

Makhi Di Roti and Saag

After this, you must have sweets.   You must have burfi (can’t even describe how delicious they are – Indian fudge is the closes I can get to it, and oh, how I love fudge!).  Then there’s gulab jamun (syruppy goodness) and jalebi (sticky and syruppy goodness).

Ambala Sweets & Snacks, Artesia

Ambala Sweets & Snacks, Artesia

Gulab Jamun

Gulab Jamun

Jalebi

Jalebi

You might want to try kheer, which is basically a delicious rice pudding dish – it is a little less sweet than the jalebi and gulab jamun. Sorry about the quality of this picture.

Kheer

Kheer

Want more sweets?  I knew you would!

Indian Sweets - Mithai

Indian Sweets – Mithai

Then, if you’re like me, you’ll have to wash the sweets down with a delicious cup of chai.

Cup of Indian Chai

Cup of Indian Chai

Now, hopefully that was a nice Diwali, some pictures, some entertainment, some food, some sweets and some tea!

Guess what? For the first time ever, we have been given the day off for Diwali in the USA and they didn’t even know they were giving us the day off for our special holiday!  They thought they were giving us a day off for Veterans Day, well….I am very glad that we have Veterans Day!  Thank you to all those who served, and made this day possible so that we could all be off together, and celebrate away from work!  Please can we make Veterans Day next year be on Diwali too?  Please?  I don’t think it will happen again, as Diwali is on different days, sometimes in October, and sometimes in November.  Still, it doesn’t hurt to ask or wish for it…….please, let it be on a holiday again, or better still – give us Diwali off (wishful thinking)!!!  Anyway, must go and enjoy Diwali now.  Happy Veterans Day, and Happy Diwali!

Turkish Delight and Turkish Spice

I never knew there were so many kinds of Turkish Delight, until my recent trip to Turkey.  When I went to Antalya, I asked what these tempting things were and were told they were Turkish Delight.

Turkish Delight, Antalya

Turkish Delight, Antalya

I had thought Turkish Delight just looked like this

Turkish Delight

Turkish Delight

Then I saw more that looked like this.  Unfortunately, I did not get to try the kind shown in the first and third picture

Turkish Delight, Antalya

Turkish Delight, Antalya

Here, there’s an assortment that looks similar to what I know Turkish Delight looks like, and did you know it also tastes as good as it looks – you might even say it’s delightful!

Turkish Delight, Antalya

Turkish Delight, Antalya

Here is a whole display case (very close by to Hadrian’s Gate) full of Turkish Delight

Turkish Delight, Antalya

Turkish Delight, Antalya

Here’s two more delightful kinds of Turkish Delights

 

Turkish Delight

Turkish Delight

Turkish Delight

Turkish Delight

Growing up in England, I used to love eating Turkish Delight covered with chocolate, and since this is not a picture that I took – I will just include the website link so that you can see it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fry’s_Turkish_Delight

I did take boxes of Turkish delight back to the USA to give out as gifts to friends

Turkish Delight

Turkish Delight

Well, if you don’t like sweets, you might like spice?  As the saying goes…..sugar and spice makes all things nice.  I certainly enjoyed seeing both (and trying both), and when it comes to sugar and spice, I can’t choose.  I like sweets, and I also like spicy dishes.

Turkish Spice, Antalya

Turkish Spice, Antalya

Turkish Spice, Antalya

Turkish Spice, Antalya

Well, I certainly like how spices are displayed in the markets and stalls in Antalya.

Turkish Spice, Antalya

Turkish Spice, Antalya

Hope you enjoy some sugar or spice every now and then.

London Is Calling

London calls, and I’d love to come running, but sadness befalls me now as I can’t obey.  Too bad.  Well, I’ll just have to write about the rest of my day – Day Two in London which was July 24, 2014 – just over a month ago – and really my first full day.  London has a power over me, I just went there, but I would like to be back there already….oh, well.  Guess I’ll just have to be content looking back at my pictures.

Here is a picture taken at Trafalgar Square close by to our hotel

Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square

This man seems to fit right in this picture, I don’t think he was the one who vandalized the phone booth with graffiti though, I hope not!

London is calling, excuse the graffiti!

London is calling, excuse the graffiti!

Just a recap, we headed for Buckingham Palace through Green Park (pictures show in my post Enchanting London) and this is before we did that

Picadilly, London

Picadilly, London

Why would I not want to see the Ritz?

The Ritz Hotel, Picadilly

The Ritz Hotel, Picadilly

That night we ate in Chinatown, which is close to Leicester Square.  Normally, I would have opted for Indian food as it is really great in England – where they are not afraid to add the spice, or for English food which is also superb, but my sister who we met up with this evening wanted to try Chinese food, and I’m so glad that we went to this restaurant – the Hong Kong Buffet – I will always remember how delicious the food was.

 

Chinatown, London

Chinatown, London

Do you know the food was extremely delicious at the Hong Kong Buffet?  It was a good price too – only £9.95 per person, compared to what I paid one of the days in a restaurant in Covent Garden.

Chinatown, London

Chinatown, London

That’s my sister going into the restaurant with Chandi – my little girl.

Chinatown, London

Chinatown, London

Sorry about the half eaten food, I forgot to take a picture of it before it got to this stage, but better to show you something rather than nothing!

Hong Kong Buffet, Chinatown, London

Hong Kong Buffet, Chinatown, London

This picture is a little blurry, but I think it shows the atmosphere of Chinatown really well.

Chinatown, London

Chinatown, London

This is where we ate on our first night in London (yesterday evening) – I did not want to eat pizza, I can get Pizza Hut in the USA, but my kids wanted it, so I had to give in.  Tonight, we walked right by it after our meal in Chinatown.

Pizza Hut, Leicester Square

Pizza Hut, Leicester Square

Right next to Pizza Hut in Leicester Square is Burger King – gladly, we did not go there on this trip, but I’m guilty of taking them there on a previous trip.

Burger King, Leicester Square

Burger King, Leicester Square

Okay, so this picture belonged higher up, but I wanted to put it next to the night-time picture of the same place – the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square.  We walked past it many times during our five days there, both morning and night.

National Gallery at Trafalgar Square

National Gallery at Trafalgar Square

National Gallery, Trafalgar Square

National Gallery, Trafalgar Square

My computer is acting really weird right now, and going ever so slow, I guess I have overworked it with all of my pictures in I-Photo and I think I’m running low on memory.  Anyway, time to go now and enjoy life here in San Diego!  Have a great weekend!

The Fab Fair, The Fab Four and A Fabulous Time at the San Diego Fair

 

I just went to the San Diego County Fair dubbed the “Fab Fair” this year, and now I really know why it’s called the Fab Fair, not just because it’s fabulous, but because it is a tribute in many ways to the “Fab Four” – the Beatles, that iconic group from Liverpool, England.

The first glaring association very artistically done was at the entrance to a hall full of Beatlemania.

The Fab Fair, Del Mar Fairgrounds, San Diego

The Fab Fair, Del Mar Fairgrounds, San Diego

Then when you entered this hall, you were met with pictures of the Beatles, facts about the Beatles, records and albums of theirs on the walls, and so much more.  It was like entering a Beatles museum!  I enjoyed the experience immensely.

The Beatles at The Fab Fair, Del Mar Fairgrounds, San Diego

The Beatles at The Fab Fair, Del Mar Fairgrounds, San Diego

The Beatles at the zebra crossing on Abbey Road, London

The Beatles at the zebra crossing on Abbey Road, London

I think I really enjoyed it because England was brought to me, and the Beatles – one of the best groups ever from the country where I was born, was being celebrated in San Diego.  This made me proud!

Anyway, more of the Fab Fair now.

We saw animals, cows, pigs, sheep and more

The Fab Fair at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in San Diego

The Fab Fair at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in San Diego

and some unusual looking hamsters

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The Fab Fair at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in San Diego

There was a turkey stampede; this year I missed the swine race, but I think I might have written about it previously or at least showed a picture or two

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Fab Fair at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in San Diego – 2014

Our mouth watered at the sight of all the food and the smells of it too

The Fab Fair at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in San Diego

The Fab Fair at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in San Diego

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The Fab Fair at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, San Diego – 2014

 

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The Fab Fair at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in San Diego

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The Fab Fair at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, San Diego – 2014

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The Fab Fair at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in San Diego – 2014

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The Fab Fair at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in San Diego – 2014

Some things I did not even want to try such as Frogs Legs!

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Then of course, it was time for the kids to have their fun and they wanted rides!

The Fab Fair at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, San Diego

The Fab Fair at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, San Diego

 

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The Fair Fair at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in San Diego – 2014

 

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The Fair Fair at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in San Diego – 2014

 

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The Fair Fair at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in San Diego – 2014

Incase you are wondering about the cost of the tickets, here is a picture that shows you the information.  Don’t forget there are certain days that you can pay $30 for a wristband and ride all day.

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The Fair Fair at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in San Diego – 2014

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The Fab Fair at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in San Diego – 2014

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The Fab Fair at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in San Diego – 2014

More Beatlemania to show you just how much it’s not just the Fab Fair, but about the Fab Four

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Fab Fair at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in San Diego – 2014

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Fab Fair at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in San Diego – 2014

Don’t forget to look at the beautiful landscaping displays, this year – there was more art tied into the theme

The Fab Fair at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in San Diego

The Fab Fair at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in San Diego

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Fab Fair at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in San Diego

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Fab Fair at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in San Diego

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Fab Fair at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in San Diego

Lastly, don’t miss out on the wonderful free entertainment (well included with your paid admission)

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Fab Fair at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in San Diego

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Fab Fair at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in San Diego

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Here’s a link to more information

Bye Fab Fair, until I see you again next year!  Don’t forget everyone, the fair is on until July 6th this year!

 

 

Craving South African or British Food in San Diego?

I miss British food.  I know many people think that British food is bland, but if you grew up with it – you wouldn’t think that. When someone told me to try a place called Capetown Pub/Restaurant on Miramar Road, and mentioned they have fish and chips and all kinds of savory pies, I was quite excited, but never did I imagine that this new discovery would be so good.

Here’s what I ordered -pie and chips!  Not just any pie, but chicken curry pie and quite delicious- I must say.

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Pie and chips from Capetown Pub, Miramar Road

The chips actually were chips – the British kind – and not just thin tasteless fries.  I was in heaven!  Additionally, there was vinegar – Heinz Malt Vinegar – to drown the chips in- but since they were so good, I didn’t drown them! 

Here’s a look at their menu

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The only problem is deciding what to get as I wanted the samoosas,  which must be like the Indian samosas, and my little girl wanted the chicken curry and rice.  I also wanted the fish and chips.  In the end, we opted to share the pie and chips.

You must be wondering what the restaurant looks like.  Here are a few pictures:

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There’s a few pictures of Nelson Mandela on the walls and the music playing reminded me of UB40 – one of my favorite groups from the UK.  There are at least seven TV screens showing sports, including cricket of course.

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Even though I was full, I could not resist dessert, especially when I found out that the one recommended had custard in it on top of a thin layer of sponge cake.  It’s called “Milktert” – basically a Milktart, but should have been called Custard Tart or something like that – it was heavenly, delicious, yummy…..I should stop there.  The other options were Brandy Tart with custard which I had wanted, and another one that was a sponge cake with coconut.  All the desserts sounded wonderful. 

Here’s the Milktert

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Milktert at Capetown Pub, Miramar Road

Oh, I forgot to mention that all that delicious cold custard had cinnamon sprinkled on it.  I was very tempted to get a cup of tea to go with my pudding, but resisted – not sure why.  Anyway, if you crave South African food or British food, perhaps even Indian food….and you enjoy a modern, even trendy setting and tasty food – then give this place a try.