Travel Realizations

Celebrating Experiences

Category: United States Page 1 of 6

Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens – A Photo Essay!

A beautiful public garden with numerous meandering paths by the Pacific Ocean, the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens presents the visitor with blooming flowers and sumptuous ocean views. A must visit place in any trip to Mendocino in northern California, especially in the summer. I visited the gardens during one such memorable trip and here I am writing down a memoir complemented by a photo essay. Allow me to fill your screen with flowers – the living poems!

The Memory of Flowers!

When our vision meets a flower, magic ensues. The color of the flower or the fragrance can transport us to so many worlds. Our mind can quickly take a leap to many years back and we could sit beside the favorite flower pot in our childhood home. The smell of the rose can make our love-smitten moments alive that were lived decades ago. Perhaps we can conjure a future moment laden with beauty and poetry just like the flowers. A scope of infinite possibility to dwell in beauty spontaneously. A dynamic event, hard to reproduce or predict. Today, while walking down a known and habitual lane for my morning walk, I saw spring unfurled in almost every corner, and to my surprise, a completely unpredicted event happened. A few blooming flowers whisked my mind away to the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens in Fort Bragg.

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A musical evening with San Francisco Symphony!

In today’s era when technology refutes geographical distance, music helps me to cross the distance within. Music connects me to my inner self. I love spending my evenings sometimes filled with music; only music. It is to me is a tremendous mysterious element, a force of nature that I have to bow before. Recently, I got an opportunity to spend a musical evening with the San Francisco Symphony. I listened to Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto and Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique at the Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco and went through layers of emotions within. Remembering a beautiful quote by Charles Darwin,

If I had my life to live over again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once a week; for perhaps the parts of my brain now atrophied would have thus been kept active through use. The loss of these tastes is a loss of happiness, and may possibly be injurious to the intellect, and more probably to the moral character, by enfeebling the emotional part of our nature.

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Pop Art of Andy Warhol at SFMOMA

In this social media and digital era, our minds are increasingly getting saturated with images and videos in different forms. Manipulation, reproduction, and distribution of images and videos can be done within seconds using powerful software that is accessible to all. From my understanding, these have manyfold results. People have the power to express and distribute their work like never before. But, the lack of uniqueness and originality leads to relentless production in order to remain in the top of people’s minds. This overproduction leads to saturation and nothing really registers in the mind of the viewers, good or bad. In other words, the shelf life of such images or artworks has decreased significantly. I being a blogger, who extensively uses various mediums to tell a story, always try to find the subtle balance between art and its commercial and mass appeal, a difficult task in this world of excess. When I heard about the exhibition on the effervescent pop art of Andy Warhol at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art or SFMOMA, I turned to the pop art maestro for inspiration and motivation to keep on creating.

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Postcards from Pinnacles National Park!

Pinnacles National Park is just two hours drive from San Jose, the home of Silicon Valley, and the city which I call home for the last few years. One spring Sunday morning, when I woke up by the beam of morning light on my eyes, something in me wanted to follow that light. I went out and saw a beautiful morning awaiting with its wide open arms. I wanted to taste that morning glory slowly like one drinks a glass of wine. So, away from the hustle and bustle and ever busyness of city life, wilderness beckoned and off I went without any plans and expectations. Here I present a photo essay, or perhaps more appropriately, postcards from Pinnacles National Park.

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Rendezvous with Redwood trees in the Redwood National Park, California – The tallest trees on earth!

After the rendezvous with Redwood trees in the Redwood National Park, California – the tallest trees on the earth, I feel I am still in a trance and am finding it difficult to return to my daily routine and digital devices. The solemn scene of majestic redwood trees and the pale sunbeams dulled by the fog is so pristine that rampant stimulations of materialistic modern life feel obnoxious.

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Las Vegas to Grand Canyon – Journal of a journey!

It is hard to wrap my journey from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon in just one sentence. My first visit from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon West was a few years back on a tour bus. My second trip which I took recently from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon South Rim was by car. Two different journeys and different experiences. Today I will reflect on my recent journey during which I stopped at several points along the way, some known and some unknown and in turn experienced this trip uniquely.

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Welcoming spring with California wildflowers!

The zeitgeist of modern life gives us a quick fix to all our problems in three steps. 1. Set goals. 2. Tie that goal with a number. 3. Strive to reach that number. Think about your health (calories, blood sugar level, IQ..to name a few), financial and social worth, screen time per day, quality hours with family, steps taken per day…just name it! Such a fix can produce feelings of apathy and powerlessness for sure. I am also not immune to this system. But I found an escape from this tiring number game. I escape to nature. I escape to mountains, oceans, forests, gardens, deserts, and sometimes to the middle of nowhere, far away from cities. And if it is springtime then refreshing green leaves and wildflowers everywhere beckon not just me but my pen and my diary. This year I am welcoming spring, with California wildflowers blooming in every corner.

To muse, to creep, to halt at will, to gaze

~ William Wordsworth

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Beautiful steam train rides near San Francisco!

“Train” – is a magic word for me. On innumerable occasions, it has covered distances between me and my dreams. It has taken me to the nearest locations to see the magnanimous Himalayas, the Thar desert, surrounded by sand, space and silence, the waves in the oceans, many countries in Europe and recently the wilderness in the USA. Beautiful steam train rides near San Francisco gifted me exhilarating delights when I saw the curls of silent white steam winding its way through the leaves of the redwood trees.

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