Tag Archives: travel

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 


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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Fernweh (n.) an ache for distant places; the crave for travel

So it’s a condition then…explains a lot… 😉

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Hello Goodbye!


Bidding adieu is perhaps one of the most consistent occurrences in my life. So at this point, making a fuss about the travel seems weird to me. Imagine having tearful farewells every time you go down the street. Yes, I travel that often. Okay, maybe a slight bit less.

Every time I come to India, however, I feel like I’m missing some sort of formalities. Like I should be making some grand gestures to indicate my entry and departure. The society here is so tight-knit with such pressure to inform and indicate that if one person is out of the loop, they take it in unintended ways. Fact is, relationship is measured in emotions and intent, not on frequency of communication. That’s a lesson you only learn when your passport is printed with stamps, your iphone is stacked with hundreds of phone numbers and your day filled with stories uncounted (or if you read enough to have mentally done these things).

So, wonderful folks (related and unrelated), just remember that a bye is not even as close to important as a hello that follows. Personally, if it were up to me, I’d never do the ‘bye’s’, only the ‘hellos’. It’s so much more wonderful to smile than to cry. It’s so much more beautiful to start a journey than to end it.

So, hello adventures, new and old. Hello! Hello! Hello!

P.S. To all of my loved ones in India, I can’t wait to see you again! My love is constant even if my presence is variable!

P.P.S. To my lovely readers, I’ll blog the minute I take a breather!

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Of Buffing Nails and Chipped Manicures…

Top Coat.

True to the female species, I love salon day. With admirable ardor, I reach half an hour early for my twelve o’clock appointment. 

‘You’re early!’ the receptionist exclaims. 
‘Yep. I’ll wait.’ I say. 
After a cup of coffee and five semi-lame articles in Vogue, I am being led to a leather chair that has an unbelievable ‘neck and shoulder massage’ setting. Brilliant!
As my digits are being buffed and polished, I strike up a conversation with the manicurist Alan (pseudo-name of course). He starts telling me about the wonders of reflexology and even gives me awesome hints about how to treat my sluggish thyroid with pressure points. 
Amazed, I ask about his other areas of knowledge. He knows about Siddha Yoga, Reiki, and many other wonderful and undervalued forms of healing (thankfully being rediscovered by a growing range of insatiated people seeking higher levels of physical and spiritual understanding). He explains how he can send energy to the head chakra and heal headaches. In his experience, the key to our entire earthly experience can be controlled by chakras and energy. 

Blurry vision. Blackout.

The foot reflexology does it’s trick. I wake up to glittering nails and incredibly watery eyes. I believe have just experienced what they call ‘spa nirvana’. 
We continue our conversation and I soon discover that we hold similar beliefs about the universe. 
‘It’s true,’ he enthuses. ‘What we wish for, with our entire being, comes to pass!’  
I nod my head and clutch my fists in delight, feeling inspired. His positivity is that strong. His belief is that powerful. 
I smudge my nails for the second time. He shakes his head, laughs and repaints them. 
‘It happens all the time. Let it dry for five minutes.’ he urges. 
OK. I’ll make myself a statue of sorts.  
Ten minutes and a minor cramp later, I get up. My nail polish can’t possibly smudge now, I convince myself. Finally! Perfect nails fit for a lady. Bellissimo!
I pay my dues and tips, write a positive feedback, and leave with a huge grin. Money well spent.
I reach home and flash my shiny nails to my grandma. To my horror, my pinky’s nail paint has a chip that looks like the boot of Italy. No!
‘What a surprise,’ I say to myself, rolling my eyes. Ever the klutz, Shilpa. Ever the ape. 
I Sigh. 
I guess I’ll never be the girl with the perfect nails. 
I don’t mind, I guess.
If I can just be the girl with the magical fingers. 

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