Category Archives: Off the Beaten Path

Three Days with Aunty Shashi + Two Recipes

Happy Tuesday!
I hope you had a great weekend!

After a busy last week we had a lovely relaxing weekend this past Saturday and Sunday.  I spent most of my time planting up spring bulbs and I also worked on dividing a few of my daylillies and bearded iris in the garden. Speaking of gardening, my Aunty Shashi visited me from South Carolina last week and spent three wonderful days with my family (she is an avid gardener).  The last time I saw her it was under sad circumstances last fall as her young daughter Tara had passed away unexpectedly, but this year her visit is a more upbeat one as she came to celebrate her granddaughter’s 8th birthday down in Southern California; and then made her way up north to the Bay Area to visit with me and my two cousins. It was a lovely time spent with Aunty Shashi whom I affectionately call Shashi because even though she is my Aunty (My Mom’s younger sister) Shashi is only 14 years older than me 😉😀.
Continue reading Three Days with Aunty Shashi + Two Recipes

Walk on the Beach at Pajaro Dunes in Watsonville, California

Watsonville, California is often associated with lush farmlands off Hwy 1 on the Pacific Coast. Here one can see miles and miles of farms growing fruits and veggies off all sorts. Strawberries, raspberries, apples, lettuce, kale, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, artichokes, tomatoes, and much more.  At its core Watsonville is an agricultural community.  But what is often overlooked is that being so close to the ocean, Watsonville also has miles of beautiful beaches. One of these beaches was our destination on a gorgeous fall October morning when my friends Padmini, Rose and I went on a road trip to Pajaro Dunes in Watsonville. Continue reading Walk on the Beach at Pajaro Dunes in Watsonville, California

Friday Foothills. Hiking the South Bay Trails Spring, Summer and Fall

Happy Friday!

I hope you are enjoying autumn with its changing weather and falling leaves. Here in the Bay Area we have had a roller coaster of fall weather lately, heat waves with temps in the 90s, then a cooling down to the low 50s and 40s, then back up to pleasant 70s and 80s.  The weather has been unpredictable to say the least.  Most mornings however our temperatures are always in the cool and pleasant 50s, perfect time to get out in nature and go on a hike, a walk or a jog.  Today I would like to share some of the photos I took on a few hikes I’ve been on the last few months. Friday Foothills is what I call this series of pics.  I hope you like them. Continue reading Friday Foothills. Hiking the South Bay Trails Spring, Summer and Fall

Friday Flowers

Happy Friday!

My twins started school this week, which means my schedule has freed up and is more predictable now.  The twins are seniors this year, I can’t believe it! One more year and then they are off to college.  But I’m not going to delve on that right now as it does make me a little sad, but rather I’d like to share with you some happy pictures of a recent nursery trip I made to my favorite nursery Half Moon Bay Nursery in Half Moon Bay, California. Continue reading Friday Flowers

Rowing at Lexington Reservoir with the Los Gatos Rowing Club in the Santa Cruz Mountains

I love driving to any destination that takes me towards Lexington Reservoir on Hwy 17 and the Santa Cruz Mountains.  Even after all these years of driving this road, the scenery here never seizes to amaze me. On any given day the mountains are gorgeous with clear blue skies or with the gentle mist of the Pacific Ocean Fog, the scenery is always awe-inspiring.  So you can imagine what a smile I must have had every morning at 8am when I had to take my daughter Rani to a rowing class right off Hwy 17  😊. Continue reading Rowing at Lexington Reservoir with the Los Gatos Rowing Club in the Santa Cruz Mountains

Palau de la Música Catalana. Barcelona, Spain

If you like architecture and are a classical music lover, then this concert hall in the heart of Barcelona is a must see.  While the rest of us were focused on the famed Gaudi sites, the popular Gothic Quarter, Picasso Museum and Buqueria Market, our daughter Rani who plays the cello was most excited about seeing the Palau de Musica Catalana.  What an unexpected treat this concert hall turned out to be! The Pulau de Musica Catalana may not be Gaudi or Picasso but is a worthwhile “off the beaten path” visit in the heart of Barcelona. Continue reading Palau de la Música Catalana. Barcelona, Spain

Triana Square & Ceramics in Sevilla, Spain

Across the bridge from the main city of Seville on the west bank of the Guadalquivir River sits the charming neighborhood of Triana.  This off the beaten path area is a discovery of our daughter Rani while she was researching places to see in Sevilla. What a cool find Triana turned out to be, as Triana is the most picturesque neighborhood in Sevilla.   Continue reading Triana Square & Ceramics in Sevilla, Spain

Bull Fighting Arena. Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza in Seville, Spain

A bullring with over 240 years of history, built in 1761, Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza in Seville, Spain is today a landmark in Spanish bullfighting.  With all the controversy surrounding bullfighting, my kids weren’t keen on seeing this museum in Seville, but I on the other hand was excited to tour this historic arena, Why? Because this is such an integral part of Spain’s culture that it’s hard not to separate bullfighting from the fabric of Spain. And as with any cultural tradition this too is steeped in history and a story of how this sport came about in the first place is what can be understood at this historic museum and still working arena. Continue reading Bull Fighting Arena. Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza in Seville, Spain

Exploring Seville, Spain. Off the Beaten Path

Seville, Spain, the largest city in Southern Spain is a cultural goldmine. Flamenco, bull fighting, cathedrals, palaces, all come together in this beautiful city.  Must see sites include the Real Alcazar Palace, Cathedral Seville, Bull Fighting Arena, old town, and Maria Luisa Park.  In this post however I would like to share with you the sites and sounds that are not on the “must see tourist list.” Continue reading Exploring Seville, Spain. Off the Beaten Path

The Mysterious Cookies We Traveled to Spain For. Monasterio Del Corpus Christi in Madrid, Spain

Aah, kids and vacations. They have their own agenda on what to expect from a vacation.  While we tend to have a check list of “the must see” tourist sites in the cities we visit, the kids list always surprises me.  Perfect example is our recent trip to Spain for our 2019 summer vacation. We had all done our research on the places to visit and sites to see and as expected the adults had their list of castles and cathedrals and must see tourists spots while my kids had a totally different list of things to do. Sri my eldest was more interested in going anywhere where she could stroll the local neighborhoods and where they had street artists, Anjali was keen on visiting the literary district in Madrid, while Rani was the most excited about buying cookies from nuns at a monastery in Spain. This was her number one request from our trip – that she be able to buy cookies from nuns. Continue reading The Mysterious Cookies We Traveled to Spain For. Monasterio Del Corpus Christi in Madrid, Spain