Thursday, July 28, 2011

Beautiful, Gorgeous, 17 Mile Scenic Drive.....

The 17 mile scenic drive was the most fabulous, amazingly beautiful drive, with the weather being perfect,  it was indeed, "The  greatest meeting of land and sea in the world"

A winding road that leads through an exclusive neighborhood and past scenic coastal views to the famed Pebble Beach, the 17 Mile Drive forms our favorite memories.

                                       Many locations along the Drive have starred in motion pictures including National Velvet with Elizabeth Taylor, The Caddie with Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, One Eyed Jack with Karl Malden and Marlon Brando; and Escape from Witch Mountain (Disney).
Various artists over the years have found inspiration for their painting of flora and fauna along the famous coastal landmark
                                       The closest thing you could compare this to is a lovely isle on the Irish coast.
Rocky cliffs, large boulders protruding out of the water, and the most inspiring pristine beaches...

This is one of the most famous Arch Bridge that is well built on a concrete re-enforcement in 1932.      

The 17 Mile is a toll road, the per car fee gets you in and you will get a driving guide to take along with you. It would take one about two hours,  or more if you stop to eat.
For the best chance of clear views, one must go from mid to late afternoon like us.

 The lovely pacific blue: simply gorgeous!
                              You'll want to stop and snap a shot at every turn along this historic two-lane road that hugs the coast of California. It isn't a road to speed along, and southbound is the better direction to travel as it puts the scenic overlooks and parking areas on your right--much easier for quick stops.
It was so much fun, I didn't feel like leaving this beautiful place
The road winds through forest area, and along the ocean front, passing 3 golf courses, 2 luxury hotels and the famed lone cypress tree. The guide map would give a brief description of each point of interest. 17 miles of sea and sky, immaculate golf courses, and dream homes set graciously behind elegant gates... this is the essence of Pebble Beach's 17 Mile Drive.

One can travel as long as one likes, there are numerous turn outs, along the road to stop, take pictures,
stroll along the ocean, or among the trees, just soak, soak and soak, in the atmosphere.
Instead of paying for airfares and good dollars for guided tours, touring California at your own pace in a rental car is a very attractive proposition indeed

                                             Look at this picture: it is pure heaven

 Our son couldn't resist taking the picture of this awesome looking Mustang (right behind us).

Well, I trust you all enjoyed this picturesque journey with us. See you next  with another travelogue where we travel through Santa Barbara, where the rich and famous live in beautiful mansions.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

My Award "sunshine award"

Emmy, was kind enough to pass on this award to me. Thank you Emmy.
However, through this blog, I would like to convey to everybody, without any offense, that this is the last award, that I would be accepting. Somehow, I have realised it doesn't make sense to keep passing on awards to people, and also requesting them to pass it on to others. It has become like a chain which keeps going on and on and many times the award comes back to you again and again.
I am sorry it is not my intention to offend anybody.

Emmy's blog 

- Diary of a lost Soul.

Please feel free to visit her blog.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Scenic Monterey : Fisherman's wharf

Fisherman's Wharf is a historic wharf in Monterey, California, United States. Used as an active wholesale fish market into the 1960s, the wharf eventually became a tourist attraction as commercial fishing tapered off in the area. It has seen bales of Chinese silks and barrels of Spanish wine,
whaling ships, Navy cutters, and fishing boats by the score;
Fisherman's Wharf, in its various incarnations,
has been the focus of Monterey's economic life for centuries.

                                          The color blue all around.


Foggy and chilly Monterey.
Statue of a fisherman.

 Monterey County is a county located on the Pacific coast of the U.S. state of California. The coastline, including Big Sur, State Route 1, and the 17 Mile Drive on the Monterey Peninsula has made the county world famous. The city of Monterey was the capital of California under Spanish and Mexican rule. The economy is primarily based upon tourism in the coastal regions, and agriculture in the Salinas River valley.

Fisherman's Wharf is lined with seafood restaurants ranging from casual, open-air clam bars, to formal indoor dining with views of the bay. Along with Cannery Row, Fisherman's Wharf is one of the few areas in Monterey that sells souvenirs, so the restaurants are interspersed with gift shops, jewelry stores, art galleries, and candy shops. Whale watching tours and fishing trips leave from the wharf, and sea lions often sleep on the pilings, buoys, and moored boats in the bay. 

The cast iron Rooster Bell was picked up here for 5 dollars
                                          Off we go to see the famous Kelps , and the view is simply gorgeously blue everywhere......    and view, 
                                          the Seals and birds resting without bothering each other

Giant Kelps

Kelps :
Kelp is a rich source of iodine, calcium, and sulfur, and a good source of iron, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, magnesium, and the vitamins A, D, E, K, and B complex. Kelp has been eaten for its nutritional value or for medicine for thousands of years, with the Chinese using it as far back as 3,000 B.C.E. and the Japanese including it in their diets for 1,500 years. It has been a staple food in Iceland for centuries..
Kelp is an important part of the present day Japanese diet, being used in salads, as a garnish, and in soups, sauces, and cakes, as well as to make noodles.
It is considered to be beneficial to the functioning of the nervous and endocrine systems, and enhance the function of the thyroid, adrenal, and pituitary glands. In particular, it is recommended for thyroid conditions, such as hypothyroidism and goiter.

A lone Sail boat
                                             Sailboats on the Bay.
I love watching sailboats under the foggy blue sky,
and watch the bird, as it soars and flies....

 And so many lovely, and yummy looking Candies....

The weather was biting cold, even with the sun shining brightly, it was very very cold. It was in month of August 2010.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium runs a "Seafood Watch" program, and keeps a list of which sea life is overfished and which are safe, and environmentally friendly, to eat. Pick a copy of the list up at the Aquarium. 
The local specialties are artichokes and sanddabs. Artichokes can be found at nearly every restaurant - fried, grilled, broiled, boiled, in soup, on pizza and almost any other way you can imagine.
One can even get free samples to taste like Clam Chowders etc., at the various restaurants.

Well it is time to get out of this town, for the world-famous 17-Mile-Drive begins just a short distance away. The road winds through miles of breathtaking coastal views, with turnouts along the way at the most historical and picturesque sites.  

The trip to Monterey was short but interesting, did you enjoy the journey with me?

Friday, July 15, 2011

From cake to fudge.

Having an oven has been one of my great desires. Whenever I saw those lovely cake books promising excellent results with colour pictures, I felt that nothing could go wrong.
 I imagined creating delicious black - forest, butterfly cup and marble cakes with beautiful iceing and a Christmas  cake  with its distinctive rummy flavour.
  Finally we bought the oven. The minute it entered my kitchen, I was itching to turn all my imagination into reality. The inaugural honours went to a batch of chocolate brownies which came out perfect.
 From that time, there was no stopping me. I tried the Chrismas cake  and it turned out just  the way it should. But soon I found that some of my cakes were not really coming out so well despite my strict adherence to the recipes.
   My family were quite 'fed' up of my cakes and started politely advising me to accept defeat. It did not work. They tried enlightening me about the cost and energy spent in baking at home, they felt it was time I realised that it was not worth the initial trouble and later disappointment. This too had no effect upon me. Soon they made faces and began to find excuses for not wanting to taste my cakes.
This is a no bake cheese cake( now a days I am not so bad in baking cakes)
It really hurt and I felt there was a bias just because my cakes were homemade and unprofessional. I stopped requesting them to try the cakes. Instead I ate whatever I baked. I put on a lot of weight, but I also put on a brave front, although I was terribly frustrated (on  both ways of course). Then, one day, I decided to try my hand at baking for just one last time. If it failed I would never try again.
    I could not take my eyes off the picture of a cake called "quick- mix chocolate and walnut cake".  It was a simple recipe and I found my hopes soaring high as usual. 
  I didn't have some of the ingredients mentioned but I was determined and walked to the neighbourhood shop. The shelled walnuts were not available so I bought  un-shelled  walnuts. It took me almost an hour to shell them and chop them into fine pieces.
  I cursed myself for my obstinate nature, not realizing how non- productive  this whole exercise  might turn out to be. The picture of my husband  and children sent shivers down my spine. I pushed all these negative thoughts aside and super imposed rosy pictures of my beautifully turned - out- cake.
  Luckily my husband was late for lunch. I thanked God for small mercies and pushed the cake mixture into the oven. I waited with bated breath and prayed to all the known and unknown gods .
   When I took the cake out I was shocked to see it resemble a quick - mix - leather cake rather than quick -mix - chocolate walnut cake. With no clear plan in my mind, I embarked on my "operation camouflage".
    I fed the leathery cake into my mixer to get a powdery mass. I then made some sugar syrup and mixed the powder into it and kept stirring till it left the sides of the pan. All the while I was trying desperately to control my tears. I poured the mixture into a greased flat tin and cut it into pieces after it had cooled.
  The children returned from school sniffing gingerly the aroma of chocolate still hanging in the air. They assumed the 'usual', but when I showed them the walnut fudge, it disappeared in no time.
   They said that if I sent the recipe to a magazine, I would surely win the first prize. They advised me to give up my obsession for baking cakes and 'stick' to making fudges.
    Should I mention in my recipe for chocolate fudge with walnuts that one must first fail to make it as a cake for the best results ?

(One of my Middles written and published years ago).

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Enchanting Entrances

Glimpses Of Our House In Bangalore India.

These tiles were hand painted  by our daughter Mathanki

I bought this cast iron rooster bell for just 5 dollars  in an antique shop in the US
You have to pass our dog before you enter our house, but not to worry, she is very friendly and welcoming
Entrance to my husband's office and my Aerobics hall
This our kitchen window, from here I can see the main gate.

As soon as you enter our house you are greeted by these lovely flowers from our garden

The stairway leading to the rooms upstairs

This orange wall is visible as soon as you enter our house
We have an open dining, kitchen and living room, so all these areas are visible as soon as you enter, and you know what that means : I have to keep everything neat!
Did you like it?
This was the topic given by my friend Patrica of Colours Dekor, and I am linking this post to her "Enchanting Entrances":