Sunday, May 30, 2010

Santa Fe

After Monument Valley we headed over to Santa Fe. I had first heard great reviews about Santa Fe from some friends who took a road trip across US before leaving the country to return to their home country. I had also seen the pictures and it had definitely piqued my interest.

The whole city (old Santa Fe) has this Adobe architecture which are mud-caked walls as you would probably see in really remote indian villages. Everything from the restaurants to malls to barber shops to the bank had this kind of a look.

The Plaza in old part of the city was where we spent most of our time during our stay in Santa Fe. Here are some examples of Adobe architecture from the Plaza.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Desert blooms

Monument Valley, as is evident from the previous pictures, is basically a desert area. The temperatures were high too (ok, not so high as they typically are). But the valley floor at a lot of places had these beautiful white flowers growing.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Drive into Monument Valley

After refreshing ourselves from the long drive, we were ready for the drive into the valley. A dirt road took us into the valley. We did not have a jeep/SUV or a four wheel drive, so the first few switchbacks, which were bumpy to say the least, had us crossing our fingers. But thereafter it was a fairly ok dirt road.

It was a 17 mile loop but it took us more than 3 hours to do the whole thing because we wanted to stop at each and every corner. In addition to the mittens, we saw more weirdly shaped buttes. There was the Raingod Mesa, the Thunderbird Mesa, the Totem Poles, the Three Sisters etc. But the ones I liked the best were the Elephant butte and the Camel butte.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Nature has symmetry

We are back - from a short but nice, relaxing vacation to one of the places that has been on my list of "places to visit before I die" for a long time now. We flew into Alburqurque, NM and then after a midway stop in Farmington, we reached the Monument Valley. Erosion over decades has resulted in these huge buttes that stand desolate in a valley and make for some of the most frequently photographed places in US. It is an Indian reservation area (Navajo Tribal Park to be precise) and so does not fall under the US National Park System.

While we first saw the huge buttes from the parking lot, when we checked into our room, the balcony afforded one of the best views into the valley.

View from our balcony (midday)

These particular formations are called the west and east mitten (for obvious reasons) and the Merrick butte (for no apparent reason). We ended up going click-click with our camera at these for a large part of our trip. I was particularly intrigued by the symmetry of the west and east mittens - how come natural erosion could have carved out such symmetrical structures right next to each other. But I guess thats nature for you - always intriguing.



Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A sunny day at Crissy Field

Winter this time has been uncommonly long, its still raining atleast once a week even now. A couple of weeks back though (seems like ages ago now), it was an exceptionally pleasant day. We decided to go to Crissy Field near Golden Gate bridge for a picnic with some friends. The beach and park area is right next to the bay and there are wonderful views of the bridge on a clear day.
And since it was a warm balmy day, people were out and about - they were flying kites, sun-bathing, jogging, biking and just lazing about. Good fun - sun, nice views and company of friends - what more can one ask for!

P.S. This is post no. 100. Almost 6 years, some on and off time on the blog but still counting... or should i say blogging. Not bad!

Monday, May 17, 2010

More blooms

As promised in the last post, here is a glimpse into one corner of our garden. Its looking beautiful with all these small little flowers cropping us in abundant profusion.
The surprising thing is that at the onset of winter, our gardener insisted that we need to cut down everything to the ground for it to regrow in spring. I will admit I was a nervous believer then. But this whole area was subsequently cut down, and it sprang back up over the last couple of months with tiny-tiny flowers and this tall shrub.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A trip is in the works

Yes, looks like we will have a small mini-vacation later next week. Travelling with Master S in tow has definitely been a learning in its own right, but summer is here and we are hoping that we can get back into the travel spirit. Lot more planning and preparation goes into a trip now and so trips are fewer and farer in between. But for now, I am happy and looking forward to next week.

Some more flowers from the hill behind the house:

P.S. Oh and some lovely flowers have sprung up in the garden in our backyard - it looks like a small English garden now :) But thats for the next post.