Birthday Hike

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Leave it to my dad to want to celebrate his birthday at the Stanford Dish! Happy (belated) Birthday daddy, may we continue to climb higher peaks!!!!❤

P.S. For anyone who hasn’t looked into Charity Miles, it definitely beats Pokemon Go at providing an impetus to go out there and break a sweat!!! Although, my sister did catch 2 Pikachus and overtake a Pokemon gym at the Dish!! ;P

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Level 20??! @_@

 

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Along the Pacific Coast Highway in Three Days (Mostly In Pictures, Coz Who Needs Words?) 1/3

 

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First of all, I would like to thank Josh, the creator of California Through my Lens. His Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) Road Trip Day Guide made it super easy for my friends and I to enjoy the actual exploration rather than fretting about all the details of the journey. So thanks! Secondly, my friends are camera shy, so you will be seeing mostly me (and maybe a limb or two) in the pictures. Lastly, I had to break this down into days because its way too much content! ;P

Our road trip started from Dana Point and went all the way to San Francisco in three days. For those who are into budget trips, this is legit because it cost less than $1000 a person (mostly on hotels-the amount halves itself every time you share a room). I used my birthday funds for it and it was worth every penny!

From Dana Point to Ventura: Pete’s Breakfast House: For a ridiculously good tex-med style breakfast.

Ventura to Serra Cross: These were some of the quietest moment on the trip! A couple of moments of serenity and reflection to start the trip right!🙂

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A gorgeous lavender bush (you needed to see this)

Serra Cross to Lompoc: Amongst beautiful murals, I found one of my favorite cafes called Southside Coffee & Co.! And you know that I am seriously into cafe culture….! I must say though, if you go on a weekday like I did, beware of the eeriness of this town. Maybe it was just us, but there was a strange “The Shining” quality to this place. #enjoyatyourownrisk 

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There was the photographic Bubblegum Wall at San Luis Obispo!

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Lompoc to Hotel Carlton: We stopped at Hotel Carlton for the night. For the price, it was a downer.😦 Too expensive for the quality for a single recipient for sure! However, I had one of the best veggie burgers at Sylvester’s Burger. If you are in the Atascadero area, don’t miss this! (Sorry no pics😦 There is a point when you really must enjoy something and forget about clicking pictures!)

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Along the Pacific Coast Highway in Three Days (Mostly In Pictures, Coz Who Needs Words?) 2/3

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Our last stop on day one was Carlton Hotel (you can see the first post in the series here), where, in the morning, we found a delicious breakfast at Black Porch Bakery. Again, (surprise!) a cafe! If I lived there, this cafe would definitely be a haunt!🙂

After checking out, we backtracked  to see the spectacular Morro Rock. Trust me, the pictures don’t do the area justice. I could have spent the entire day there! It was beautiful.

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Pacific Coast Roadtrip: Day 2 Morro Rock

Then, there was the Brown Butter Cookie Company. Expensive, local, buttery goodness!

The sweet treat readied us for the gorgeous eye candy that would follow. We were absolutely blown away by the magnificence and beauty of Hearst Castle. The man and his wife created not only an empire, but a brilliant legacy. I secretly made a wish that I would be inspired by the muse that inspired him!❤ #mindblown

On the way to Monterey, we spotted the stunning McWay Falls.

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The drive to Monterey was gorgeous but my GoPro let me down and captured mostly the dashboard of our car! Then, we checked into one of my favorite hotels-ever! The Spin Drift Inn located beachfront on Cannery Row in Monterey. We were greeting with ‘happy hour’ at the lobby! 

For dinner, I really wanted Mexican Food. We found La Bahia and their delicious Enchiladas! Yummy! Did I mention there was a brownie sundae from Ghirardelli that followed? Yep!

Thanks for reading!!! Hope you’re planning the coastal trip for yourself! (You can read the first post in the series here)

Again, I would like to thank California Through my Lens and Josh’s blogs on Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) Road Trip Day Guide. #checkitout

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Along the Pacific Coast Highway in Three Days (Mostly In Pictures, Coz Who Needs Words?) 3/3

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Hello and welcome to day three of the road trip! (You can read the first post in the series here and the second post here) I left you off with some brownie sundae on Cannery Row! On day three, we took the opportunity to explore the almost ‘private beach’ behind Spin Drift Inn.

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Pacific Highway Road Trip: Day 3 Monterey Bay

Leaving Monterey was tough but I was excited about Santa Cruz! By the time we reached Santa Cruz, we were ready for lunch at Burgr & dessert at Donnelly Chocolates. Their chocolates are famous all over US (and the world, claimed by the company ;P) so if you drop by, it might be worth a try if you have a sweet tooth. It wasn’t per my palette but my sister and friends loved them!

Santa Cruz is one of the most stunning beaches in California!❤

After Santa Cruz was a quick drive through Mavericks (Because who isn’t a fan of Chasing Mavericks!) Photographed here is the Pillar Point Air Force Station that overlooks Half Moon Bay.

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It was a mid-day energy slump so we found this tiny little cafe along the coast called Here Comes The Sun. They were closing so the coffee was whatever but I thought the interiors were adorable!

We finally reached San Francisco and the final hotel stop was the Mark Hopkins Intercontinental. It was a gorgeous view and was worth the splurge.

Z&Y are one of my favorite Chinese restaurant ever so there was no way we wouldn’t do dinner there! They actually have decent vegetarian options. After Obama stopped by the restaurant has gotten very mainstream but the food is still great! This was followed by the Pagan Idol on Bush St. to cap the night! Bet you thought you would see Bush and Obama in the same paragraph on this blog huh? Well… Just keeping you on your toes!

Before heading back to square one, we had some delicious breakfast followed by a tour of Grace Cathedral, kind of coming full circle! 

Thanks for joining us on our road trip!!! What did you think? Which places would you include along the coast? (You can read the first post in the series here and the second post here)

Again, I would like to thank California Through my Lens and Josh’s blogs on Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) Road Trip Day Guide. #checkitout

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Made In India

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Happy Indian Independence Day Jai Hind!

The more I live away from India, the more I value the inherent kindness amongst my people. Although India is struggling to bridge many gaps in the modern world, it has never and (here’s praying) will never struggle to be a country of appreciation, generosity, celebration, family and tradition. I love you India and I am more proud than ever to be rooted in your land! Happy Independence Day!❤ Shilpa

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The Other Black Hole

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Comparison imprisons the brilliance of countless individuals around the world like a black hole.

Imagine the light caught by this black hole.

Now imagine how the world would be if it’s gravity was released.❤ Shilpa

I’ve seen some brilliant people sink to terrible depths because of bearing the heavy burden of self-comparison. I don’t subscribe to the ‘gold star’ attitude where people applaud themselves for waking up in the morning but I definitely think that it’s better than slowly witnessing our hopes and dreams diminish due to countless hours spent looking around and trying to one-up everyone in sight. It sounds trite but it’s true-we are unique to the world, no matter how slight. If we can remind ourselves to shine a little brighter and wear our skins a little better everyday, nothing can stop us from escaping the terrible void of comparison and shining like the stars which light up the world!❤ Shilpa

P.S. Happy weekend!!! XX

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 I have learned something tremendous from some very special dogs that have jumped and kissed their way into my life and heart, which I had to share with you: even when someone walks through that door ten times a day, you should go crazy with joy and show them your unconditional love.❤ Shilpa

 

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Of Loosing Our Inner Narratives

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Anytime you say, “of course it turned out like this, it always does!” Pause and recognize your narrative. Just like in an editing room, a footage is useless unless placed in a specific order under a cohesive narrative. If we think about our lives and our experiences, the painful truth hits us in the face-our life is a random order of events under our vigilantly crafted narratives. Depending on our tendencies, our narrative can bring us closer to bliss or towards self-destruction. It is truly our choice. The closer we hold our narratives and the more emotion we feed them, the deeper our pain. Perhaps that is why some of the most depressed people I meet have a very precise record of events in their lives and reflect constantly on how each event changed them, what it ‘taught’ them and how they choose to ‘avoid’ or ‘tackle’ these situations in the future.

If we take charge of our narratives, we realize that we are the people responsible for bringing cohesion, duplication and replication into our life. No one else.

Can you imagine the day we relinquish our narratives and stop worrying about connecting the dots? For a civilization that sustains itself on stories, it almost seems like an impossible task, right? I optimistically reckon that foregoing our internal narrative could possibly allow the events in our lives to scatter past easy connectivity-out of comfort zones and patterns of fear. On the flip-side, it may leave us without motivation because there is a danger of negating the meaning we have projected onto our existence.

Shouldn’t loosing the narrative be our goal rather than to have our lives be a series of almost-identical events choreographed by comfort and fear? Must we aim for the familiar montage of our lives to feel like they matter? Do we really need to follow the standard trajectory, hoping to be toasted as someone who was x,y or z at our funerals?

If we were to embark upon loosing our narratives, how would we even begin?❤ Shilpa

 

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Those Who Do

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Remember the saying, “those who can’t do, teach”? Boy has that changed. Today, doers write, express and connect, leaving a beautiful web of education for those who wish to benefit from their expertise. It is amazing to watch education being symbiotically reformed through platforms that echo experiential information through the digital world in real time. There is no reason for anyone not to partake in it, after all, it only solidifies your position as an expert in that field! If you know how to do something well, share it, even if it is the ability to thread a needle faster than anyone you know-You never know who may benefit from it! Because only those who do, should teach!❤ Shilpa

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