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Tower Bridge – My favorite Bridge In The World!

Tower Bridge – my favorite bridge in the whole wide world!   It is also my favorite destination spot in London – the place I must go to whenever I go to London.  I don’t know what it is about this bridge, but it has won my heart over and I gladly go visit it every time I go to London.  Day Two of our July, 2014 visit had us visit the Ritz Hotel, walk through Green Park to Buckingham Palace, then walk over Westminster, and then we caught the tube to the Tower Hill Underground Station, which is where we exited to the Tower Bridge and Tower Of London area.

This is the welcoming scene.

Tower Bridge area #1

Tower Bridge area #1

Now, throughout this post, I am not going to write much at all and have labeled all my pictures in this post with numbers.  That way, when I want to put them on Pinterest, I will know which ones I have already pinned.

Tower Bridge #2

Tower Bridge #2

Tower Bridge #3

Tower Bridge #3

 

Tower Bridge #4

Tower Bridge #4

 

Tower Bridge #5

Tower Bridge #5

Tower Bridge #6

Tower Bridge #6

Tower Bridge #7

Tower Bridge #7

The Shard as seen from Tower Bridge area #8

The Shard as seen from Tower Bridge area #8

 

Tower Bridge #9

Tower Bridge #9

Tower Bridge #10

Tower Bridge #10

Tower Bridge #11

Tower Bridge #11

Tower Bridge #12

Tower Bridge #12

Tower Bridge #13

Tower Bridge #13

Tower Bridge #14

Tower Bridge #14

 

Tower Bridge #15

Tower Bridge #15

Tower Bridge #16

Tower Bridge #16

Tower Bridge #17

Tower Bridge #17

City Hall - viewed from Tower Bridge area #18

City Hall – viewed from Tower Bridge area #18

Tower Bridge #19

Tower Bridge #19

Tower Bridge #20

Tower Bridge #20

I really wanted fish & chips, but would end up waiting until I got to northern England, where I had them twice!  Oh, was I in heaven eating them!

Ted's Fish & Chips, Tower Hill, London #21

Ted’s Fish & Chips, Tower Hill, London #21

Millennium Pier, Tower Bridge #22

Millennium Pier, Tower Bridge #22

Tower Bridge #23

Tower Bridge #23

We packed in quite a lot on our second day in London, which was really our first full day, and later this same day we would end up eating out at China Town.  I will show you some more photos from China Town later on.  See you next time!

Me and My New Note 3 and Balboa Park

I have a new Note 3, and I have enjoyed getting to know it.  It was quite a transition from going from an Iphone to a non-Iphone, such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

My first major testing place of my Note 3 was at Balboa Park on October 26th, 2013.  I went here for the occasion of the Festival of Lights.  However, I will show you some pictures taken at Balboa Park using  my Note 3, and then some pictures taken with my Canon G10.

With the Samsung Galaxy Note 3:

Balboa Park

Balboa Park

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Balboa Park – San Diego

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Balboa Park – San Diego

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Balboa Park – San Diego

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Balboa Park – San Diego

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Now, here are some pictures taken with my Canon G10

Balboa Park

Balboa Park – San Diego

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Balboa Park – San Diego

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Balboa Park – San Diego

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Balboa Park – San Diego

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Balboa Park – San Diego

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Balboa Park – San Diego

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Balboa Park – San Diego

I won’t show you pictures of my Note 3, as you can see what one is like from taking a look at this link:

http://reviews.cnet.com/samsung-galaxy-note-3/

However, I think the Note 3 takes pretty decent pictures, and can perform quite well in dim lighting.  But, I would never give up my Canon G10 as I love this camera  – there’s nothing like a dedicated stand-alone camera!  I will say that I prefer the pictures taken with my Note 3 over those I used to take on the Iphone, but then my old Iphone 4’s camera had had only 5 megapixels or so, and the Note 3 has 13 megapixels, so that’s not a fair comparison.  The G10 has about 10 megapixels, but I can’t say the Note 3’s camera is better, I am not that much into camera specifications to pass that type of judgment.

Here’s a picture taken with my Note 3 of one of my favorite subjects for photo-taking – my little 4 year old daughter!

Note 3 photo of Chandi

Note 3 photo of Chandi

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Note 3 photo of Chandi

I could take photos all day long of this little Princess!

But going back to my Note 3, all I can say with confidence is that I love using this super smartphone!

Happy Diwali 2013 from Balboa Park

I could not miss going to Balboa Park after the wonderful experience last year.  I looked forward to another Diwali spectacular, and I was not disappointed.  Here’s a video that I made:

October 26th, 2013 was the date set for the Festival of Lights Celebration to take place in Balboa Park, and it started at 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm for activities leading up to the big show.  These preliminary activities included stalls from various regions of India that displayed their region in all it’s splendor, including displaying arts and crafts, and putting on some pretty amazing dances.  Then at 6pm, the “big show” was performed on the stage at the Organ Pavilion. The weather was cooperative, and unlike last year, there wasn’t any rain, and it was a beautiful San Diego day!

Here are some pictures showing you some of the preliminary activities that took place prior to the big show.

Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park

Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park

Sometimes, you will see the banners that display the region, and sorry if I don’t always show them

Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park

Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park

Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park

Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park

Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park

Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park

Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park

Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park

Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park

Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park

Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park

Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park

Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park

Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park

Here’s my little Indian Princess (she’s also seen dancing at the end of the video).

Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park

Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park

So, now I will show you some scenes from the “big show” that started at 6pm and went on until 7:45 pm or so.

First, there was the introduction, and the Mayor Elect of San Diego was present and also talked to the audience

Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park

Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park

Then the show began

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Festival Of Lights – Balboa Park

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Festival Of Lights – Balboa Park

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Festival Of Lights – Balboa Park

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Festival Of Lights – Balboa Park

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Festival Of Lights – Balboa Park

Here’s the display of lights on the stage towards the end of the show, you can’t really see it very well, but this is where many participants paraded around the stage and the surrounding area with tiny little lamps – it was truly beautiful!

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Of course, there’s nothing like a Bhangra Finale at the end of the show!  The crowd joined in and danced to Bhangra!

Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park

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In the next post, I am going to show you a few pictures of Balboa Park.  In the meantime, Happy Diwali, 2013!  I hope it will be a joyful and wonderful time for you, your family and friends.

Super Sweet Blogging Award

I have been nominated by Vijay Shah for a really sweet award – for the Super Sweet Blogging Award.  Vijay is the writer of the blog – Half-Eaten Mind, and I really appreciate his sweetness in nominating me for my first ever award.   I also  nominate him for the award too, and he is my first nominee.   Vijay, thank you so much for your nomination.
Since I have never been nominated before, I admit to copying and pasting a little here from Vijay’s blog, but I had to copy the rules.

The Rules:

  • Thank the Super Sweet Blogger that nominated you.
  • Answer five Super Sweet questions.
  • Include the Super Sweet Blogging award image in your blog post.
  • Nominate a baker’s dozen (13) other bloggers.
  • Notify your nominees on their blog.

(c) Pallak Sharma/original designer , The Be-All and End-All

Since, I am supposed to include the above image on my blog post, I want to thank Pallak Sharma for it.

According to the rules I have to answer 5 questions and here they are:

1. Cookies or Cake? 

I have a sweet tooth, and I love both cookies and cake, but if truth be told, I think I prefer cake just a little more.  I like cake with custard in it, and love Napoleon Slices – I believe we call them Vanilla Slices in England, you can see them in this picture – they are the second ones over on the right from the fruit tart in the middle at the bottom of the display, and they have a delicious fondant type icing on the top.  Yummy!  I miss some of the cookies, or biscuits as we would say in England – from the UK – especially Digestives and Hobnobs.

Tempting Treats at Champagne Bakery

Tempting Treats at Champagne Bakery

However, when my daughter makes cookies like these, I can’t resist!  My sweet tooth always gives in!

Yummy Cookies

Yummy Cookies

2. Chocolate or Vanilla? 

I love chocolate, and especially if it’s milk or white chocolate.  Cadbury’s from England is definitely one of my favorites, and I have to tell you that I miss the chocolate in England.  If you go into a store in England, you will be amazed at the selection of chocolates – from Rowntrees’ Yorkie bars to Cadbury’s bars and Galaxy’s, not to mention Aero bars, both peppermint, orange and milk chocolate – these are out of this world with airy bubbles and chocolate that melts in your mouth.  I haven’t mentioned Crunchies, oh, how I love Crunchies.  My kids also love Cadbury’s Milky Bars and Cadbury’s Buttons.   We do get some limited selection of Cadbury’s bars here in the USA, but not the Crunchies, Aero’s or Yorkies unless you go to British stores or even Indian shops, that really inflate the cost of these bars to something outrageous.  Why can’t we have chocolate like this here in the USA?  I also like Toblerone chocolate – it is so good! Ghiradelli Chocolate is quite good too (although I’m still more of a Cadbury’s fan), and they are based here in San Francisco.  I had the pleasure of visiting their chocolate factory last year, and you won’t be surprised to know that I definitely sampled their goodies.  However, when it comes to chocolate or vanilla ice-cream, then I would have to say – I would choose vanilla over chocolate as I enjoy chocolate more in chocolate bars than I do in ice-cream.  The same goes for cake, I prefer vanilla sponge cake over chocolate sponge cake, but do like chocolate gateaux.

Ghiradelli Chocolate Factory, San Francisco, CA

Ghiradelli Chocolate Factory, San Francisco, CA

3. Favorite Sweet Treat? 

I have to say chocolate and also Mithai – Indian sweets that consist of anything from Burfi to Rasmalai or Jalebis.  Burfi for example, are sweets made from condensed milk, that are rich and creamy in taste, and can include such yummy ingredients as coconut, almonds and pistachios.  I love pistachio burfi from a certain favorite sweet shop in Birmingham, England and mango burfi (second from the left on the top shelf of the picture below) from Surati Farsan Mart in Mira Mesa, San Diego.  I also love French Fancies (little cakes sold in a box) in England, as well as Mr. Kipling’s Apple Pies, Mince Pies, Jamaican Gingerbread, and Jam Tarts – I miss all those and would gladly devour them upon sight.  Oh, and I also love coconut macaroons, scones, and custard with rhubard crumble!

Burfi Display at Surati Farsan Mart in San Diego

Burfi Display at Surati Farsan Mart in San Diego

Jalebis, Surati Farsan Mart, San Diego

Jalebis, Surati Farsan Mart, San Diego

4. When do you crave sweet things the most? 

Every day, and every time I drink coffee or tea.  I do not always indulge my sweet tooth, but most nights I have to give in to having a bit of chocolate with a cup of tea.  I think  tea tastes better if it’s preceeded with sweets.

5. Sweet Nick Name?

My sweet nickname for my little Chandi who is 4 years old, is that she is a piece of mithai – and though I speak to her in English only, with just a few words of Punjabi thrown in from time to time, and endearing words such as “mithai, laddoo, jalebi, rasmalai, or burfi” – I tell her that she’s one of those –  she now knows what these words mean.  Guess what?   She inherited my sweet tooth unfortunately (or it might not be that unforunate, as who says having a sweet tooth is bad unless it is taken to the extreme and I like to think that having a sweet tooth makes the person sweeter) – she loves burfi and chocolate, but she also loves all kinds of fruit.

I nominate the following for the Super Sweet Blogging Award:

1) http://halfeatenmind.wordpress.com

2) http://sartenada.wordpress.com

3) http://retireediary.wordpress.com

4) http://lesleycarter.wordpress.com

5) http://dilipnaidu.wordpress.com

6) http://stanfordsa.wordpress.com

7) http://remediesforhealth.wordpress.com

8) http://getsetandgo.wordpress.com

9) http://prideinphotos.com

10) http://greenhornphotos.com

11) http://seamlessstyle.wordpress.com/

12) http://arjungabriel.wordpress.com

13) http://rarasaur.wordpress.com/

After this article is published today, I will be messaging all the above nominees on their ‘About’ or home pages.    Have a very sweet day, and a sweet May!

https://luchanik.wordpress.com/2013/05/05/super-sweet-blogging-award/

It’s CLIA’s National Cruise Vacation Week!

For all of you who like good deals, whether it’s reduced deposits, onboard credits, reduced fares, cash back, upgrades, or onboard savings booklets…..an event is coming up that you really ought to know about!  This is an incredible week for booking the best cruise vacation deals ever!  When?  October 21 – October 27, 2012.  Why?  It’s CLIA’s National Cruise Vacation Week.  CLIA is Cruise Lines International Association, and it is the world’s largest cruise association (of which I am a member).

How about signing up for my free weekly newsletter which is an eSaver, and then you’ll be one step ahead of being apprised of all the latest deals.  To sign up simply send me an email to dkaur@cruiseone.com , and write Subscribe in the subject line.  I’ll be happy to sign you up, or you can sign up at my website at http://www.likecruises.com by inputting your email and zipcode in the green box on the right hand side that is titled “Sign Up for Exclusive Offers and Discounts”, then don’t forget to press Join.

First to clarify what some of the terms above are in plain English:

Reduced deposits – who wants to pay the full deposit, when you could pay half only?  You may only have to pay $100 or $200 per cabin.  Remember, the ability to pay a deposit instead of paying in full can only occur if you book way before your cruise – at least 60 days before or more.  If you book within 60 days of the cruise, you will have to make full payment.  It’s better to book early, and to have reserved your cabin with a deposit than it is to book too close to the cruise date (your desired cabin may not be available).   Paying reduced deposits is a DEAL!

Onboard credits (OBC)  – this is free spending money that you can use to pay for your mandatory gratuities, telephone calls, internet charges, specialty restaurant charges, alcohol and/or other bar purchases, etc.  These onboard credits will vary depending on what type of cabin you book.  You will get more of a higher OBC for booking a balcony cabin or a suite than you will for booking an interior cabin.  You could get an OBC from $50 to $300 per cabin (perhaps less or maybe even more) – this is a DEAL!

Reduced fares – this is your week to get special savings, as fares could be significantly discounted – this is a DEAL!

Cash back – this could be in the form of an OBC or cash back to your credit card, not sure on this, but if you call me – I will find out for you – this is a DEAL!

Upgrades – normally, you only get upgraded within the type of cabin type you book.  So booking an interior does not give you an upgrade to an ocean view, but to a better category interior.  However, this week is your lucky week where you can get upgraded from interior to ocean view or ocean view to balcony (based upon cruise line availability and cruise line specific offering of this promotion) – this is a DEAL!

Onboard saving booklets – these will come in handy when you wish to save on internet fees, or get a discount in the gift shop (you just might find a coupon in the booklet) or if you are interested in purchasing one of the professional pictures taken by the cruise line photographers – this is a DEAL!

Sorry for using the word “deal” so much, but it really is a great DEAL!  So, please visit my website now at http://www.likecruises.com or contact me at dkaur@cruiseone.com and let me know where you want to go to, how many people per cabin, what type of cabin (interior, ocean view or balcony), and it would be helpful if you could let me know if you have ever cruised before.  Please also tell me if you have a preference for a particular cruise line.  I am registered with all the cruise lines, and can book you on any cruise line that you choose.

Which cruise line you choose, and which particular ship within that cruise line’s offerings, will depend on which itinerary appeals to you, and whether you have a particular affinity to one cruise line over another.  These are just some of the ones you can choose from (I have personally been on all these ships):

Carnival Cruise Lines

Carnival Splendor

Carnival Spirit in San Diego

Oceania Cruise Lines

Oceania Marina

MSC Cruise Lines

MSC Musica

Princess Cruise Lines

Golden Princess Cabin

Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines

Royal Caribbean’s Oasis Of The Seas

Royal Caribbean’s Radiance Of The Seas

Royal Caribbean’s Enchantment Of The Seas

Cunard Cruise Lines

Cunard’s Queen Victoria

These are some of my ship inspection videos or a video that I made to help you see what it’s like on a cruise ship, this may help you decide which cruise line you wish to pick:

My ship inspection of the Carnival Splendor: 

My ship inspection of the Oceania Marina: 

My ship inspection of the Golden Princess: 

My ship inspection of the Oasis Of The Seas: 

My ship inspection of the Carnival Spirit: 

My ship inspection of the Queen Victoria: 

My cruise video of the Radiance Of The Seas: 

My cruise video of the Enchantment Of The Seas: 

Unfortunately, I did not make a video of the MSC Musica, I took that cruise way before I became a travel agent in late 2010, early 2011, and really got into video taping my holidays.  I’ve always enjoyed photography, but videography is something I really just got into in the last few years.

These links might also help you to make an informed choice on cruising, as this is definitely one of the best ways to travel:

Top 10 Reasons To Cruise and Frequently Asked Questions About Cruising

If you have any other questions…….please don’t hesitate to call me.  I’d be happy to hear from you!

Don’t forget, it’s better for you to book with a travel agent, because you know who to go back to each time you have questions, and you won’t get a different person answering the phone each time you call.  There are various other reasons as to why you should book with a travel agent.  So, please pick up the phone and call 858-427-4972 now……..I really want to hear my phone ringing off the hook during the National Cruise Vacation Week, and even before then.  Thank you, and I look forward to booking you on your best vacation ever!

India’s version of Dora the Explorer combats early marriage

Global Justice Initiative

Meet Meena, the star of India’s popular animated series.  Meena is helping UNICEF promote children’s rights by educating kids about harmful practices such as early marriage.  Check out this episode of the cartoon, titled “Say no to dowry”:

READ MORE: Video: Meena, India’s Dora the Explorer, Helps UNICEF Promote ‘Child Rights’, Asia Society (October 5, 2012).

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Every Three Seconds

Gabriel Constans

Dear Gabriel,

Child marriage puts the life of a girl at risk every three seconds, while diminishing her chances at education, endangering her health, cutting short her personal growth and development – and increasing the likelihood that she’ll remain poor for life.

With the first-ever International Day of the Girl less than a week from today, the time to act on this harmful issue is now!

Do you remember how close Congress came in 2010 to passing the International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Act? We do – this vital legislation went so far because of the dedication, commitment and support of people like you.

During the past few years, tens of thousands of CARE supporters have contacted their elected officials, advocating on behalf of young girls to put an end to this gross human rights violation. As a result of your efforts, more elected officials than ever are…

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