Land of Flowers

My MOM’s Garden


MY MOM – She has been my teacher, counselor, a philosopher, and a friend for my entire life. Every morning she wakes up with a positive attitude, and a smile on her face. She is so special, a wonderful human being, superwoman. She is a role model to me. LOVE YOU MOM!!!

Her garden is as beautiful as her. Lovely …..!!!

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National Parks

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona


Grand Canyon National Park is in Arizona and is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the world. The most spectacular gorge, the Grand Canyon, is nearly a mile deep and carved out by the Colorado River. The Grand Canyon can be experienced from all four destinations – the North Rim, the South Rim, Grand Canyon West, and Grand Canyon East. The South Rim and the Desert View scenic drives are open all year but the North Rim will be closed during winter. Grand Canyon West has the famous attraction, the Grand Canyon Skywalk, and is open year around.

These photos are from our visit to Grand Canyon National Park during the last week of September 2014.

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Quick Facts and Tips

  • Best time to visit: March to November
    • Cool weather and less crowd: March to May and September to November
    • Peak Season: June to August
  • Fly into
    • Phoenix or Las Vegas: Good deals and major international airports
      • Grand Canyon South Rim is just over a 3.5 mile drive from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport
      • Grand Canyon West Rim is a 2 hour drive from Las Vegas McCarran International Airport
      • Grand Canyon North Rim is a 4 and 1/2 hour drive from Las Vegas McCarran International Airport and you can plan to visit Zion, Bryce Canyon, Antelope Canyon, and Glen Canyon National Recreation area since these attractions are close by
    • Flagstaff Airport: Closest, but small commercial airport and limited flights, just a 92-minute scenic drive via three distinct routes to Grand Canyon National Park South Rim
  • Clothing
    • Comfortable pants, hiking shorts, t-shirts, tank tops, capri, sweatshirts, hats, sunglasses, sunscreens, comfortable walking/hiking shoes, and rain gears. It will be cooler in Spring and Fall, so dress in layers
  • How many days: At least two full days
  • For the current trail conditions and road closures, check the Park Website
  • Avoid and do not go close to the canyon edges
  • The summer thunderstorms can be dangerous. Avoid tall/lone trees and poles, rocky outcrops, canyon edges, railings, and bodies of water. Also, leave open areas as early as you could when you hear thunder and see lightning
  • Try to be there early in the morning for best lighting, more elbow room, and to cover more attractions of the park
  • Parking is limited during the summer months
  • Take food and water so you can spend the day touring
  • Weak/no cell phone signals in some areas of the park, highly recommend to have maps downloaded or printed
  • There is a lot to capture, so keep your camera ready. Make sure that camera is fully charged and also keep backup battery and memory cards
  • Entrance Fee: $35 per vehicle or from $20 to $30 per person/motorcycle, good for seven days
  • What to expect
    • Immense canyons, layered bands of red and black rocks, Colorado River
  • Places to Go
    • South Rim, North Rim, West Rim and East Rim
  • Nearby Attractions

South Rim: South Rim is open year around. The Park offers free shuttle services to Hermit Road from March to November as no private vehicles are allowed on Hermit’s Road. Shuttle bus services will be suspended on Hermit Road during summer thunderstorms or any other inclement weather. The South Rim is the best choice for first time visitors not just because it offers a number of beautiful viewpoints, but also offers great visitor services, a wide variety of accommodations, and food. On the other hand, there is always a crowd

Best things to do at South Rim

  • Grand Canyon Village: Visit Grand Canyon Village which features sweeping views to the east and west Canyons. Also spend some time at the Yavapai Geology Museum
  • Hermit Road: Enjoy the park free shuttle ride to Hermit Road. The Hermit Road is a very scenic road with 9 amazing viewpoints. Hermit Road is closed to private vehicles from March to November. You can drive to Hermit Road only during the winter months of December, January, and February
  • Desert View Drive: Drive the park’s scenic Desert View Drive and enjoy the stunning wide views of the canyon and Colorado River at every lookouts

North Rim: North Rim is open from mid May to mid October and is closed for the winter (early Nov to Mid May). The park’s north entrance is located 30 miles south of Jacob Lake, AZ on Highway 67 and the North Rim of the park starts here. North Rim is less crowded, but has a limited variety of food choices and accommodations when compared to South Rim. There are several buses, helicopters, and guided tours from Las Vegas to North Rim run by private companies

Best things to do at North Rim

  • Bright Angel Point Trail: Drive to North Rim Visitor Center and start the Bright Angel Point Trail hike for the classic and most popular viewpoint of the North Rim. This paved short and steep 0.9 mile round-trip hike provides dramatic views of Roaring Springs and Bright Angel Canyons
  • Point Imperial: Drive to Point Imperial lookout and embrace the beauty of the painted Desert and the eastern end of the Grand Canyon. This attraction is almost a 20 minute drive (11 miles) from North Rim Visitor center. Point Imperial is the highest point in the North Rim. A very short stroll from the parking lot leads to magnificent views of the narrow canyon walls of layered red and black rocks
  • Cape Royal: Drive the winding scenic drive to the southernmost viewpoint on the North Rim, the Cape Royal. Cape Royal provides the widest panorama across the canyon. There are several lookouts and hikes along the drive. Stop at the Roosevelt Point lookout where the highway makes a big 180° bend (half way between Bright Angel Point and Cape Royal) while going to Cape Royal

West Rim: West Rim is open year around. No private vehicles are permitted past the Grand Canyon West Entrance. You can park your vehicle at the Grand Canyon West Welcome Center (parking is free). Note that Grand Canyon West is not part of the Grand Canyon National Park. Grand Canyon West is owned and operated by the Hualapai Tribe on the Hualapai Native American Reservation. Every visitor to Grand Canyon West is required to purchase a General Admission ticket. You can purchase admission tickets at Grand Canyon West and the Skywalk. The general admission ticket is valid to access the viewpoints and transportation on hop-on/hop-off shuttles, excluding the admission to Skywalk. There are several buses/helicopters/guided tours from Las Vegas to West Rim run by private companies

Best things to do at West Rim

  • Skywalk: Have a thrilling experience at the Skywalk, a showpiece of the West Rim. This suspended transparent glass bridge takes you to an open space 4000 feet above the West Rim. Looking down as you walk on the glass bridge makes you feel exhilarated
  • Eagle Point: Hop on the free shuttle and hop off at Eagle Point. Visit and enjoy the authentic Native American village, handmade Native American crafts, and jewelries. Relish and appreciate the live performance at the Amphitheater. At the Eagle Point, the natural rock formations across the canyon looks like an eagle with its wings spread wide. This is best for photo op
  • Guano Point: Stop at Guano Point for one of the most dramatic viewpoints of the Grand Canyon. Take a short 10 minute walk on the Highpoint Hike that offers a stunning 360-degree view of the Canyon and the Colorado River. Make sure you wear good shoes as the hike is slightly rough and also take caution while walking on the trail as there are no railings. Carry enough water

East Rim: Grand Canyon East Rim is located to the east of the South Rim along the Colorado River to the north. Most parts of the East Rim are also known as the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. The term East Rim is not used by the National Park service, rather used by locals to mark the popular sites. Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyons, part of Lake Powell, the Colorado River from Glen Canyon Dam to Lee’s Ferry, Rainbow Bridge, Tower Butte, Marble Canyon, and Navajo Bridge are all located within the East Rim  


Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, Utah


Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park is located between Mount Carmel Junction and Kanab which is south and west of the U.S. Highway 89 in southwestern Utah. The park is scenic with warm pink sand dunes and it is about a 30 mile drive from Zion National Park.

During the last week of September 2014, on our way back from Zion National Park we stopped for a couple of hours at the Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park

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Quick Facts and Tips

National Parks

Yosemite National Park, California


Yosemite National Park in California is popular for its beautiful landscapes. The park is renowned for its hanging deep valleys, raging rivers and waterfalls, ancient giant sequoias, cirque lakes, towering granite domes, and moraines. The park is best for all sorts of activities like driving along the scenic Tioga Road, backpacking, camping, biking, hiking, rock climbing, fishing, bird watching, horseback riding, etc.

These decade old photos are from our visit to Yosemite National Park during the first week of April, 2010. It was snowing and many trails and roads were closed. This was our first ever visit to any national park. We did not plan well, so we did not explore the park thoroughly. Time to revisit!

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Quick Facts and Tips

  • Best time to Visit: May to September
    • Summer: Crowded
    • May and September: Less crowded, but some roads and trails may still be closed
  • Airports
    • Closest: Yosemite International Airport – about a 1½-hour drive to South Entrance of the park
    • Good Deals: San Francisco International Airport, Oakland International Airport, San Jose International Airport – almost 4 hours drive to Arch Rock Entrance or Big Oak Flat Entrance of the park
  • Clothing
    • Summer is warm, so pack lightweight casual short-sleeved t-shirts/tank tops, comfortable pants/shorts/capri, hats, sunscreen, and comfortable walking shoes. Bring a waterproof lightweight jacket for afternoon summer thunderstorms and a long sleeve shirt/sweat shirt for warmth in high elevation
    • Spring and fall are cooler, so pack long sleeved t-shirts, comfortable pants, fleece jacket, warm jacket, gloves, rain gears and comfortable walking shoes
  • How many days: At least two days
  • What to Expect
    • Glacier-carved valley, High mountain meadows, Lakes, Raging Rivers, Waterfalls, Soaring granite monoliths, Panoramic views of the mountains and valleys, Cliffs, Giant sequoia trees, Wildflowers
  • Make sure to check the Park Website for alerts on road closures and trail/hike conditions before you heading out
  • The summer thunderstorms can be dangerous. Check the weather forecast for thunderstorms before you go. Best way to stay safe is avoiding a thunderstorm before it arrives
  • Entrance Fee: $35 per vehicle or from $20 to $30 per person/ motorcycle, good for seven days
  • Starting early is the best way not only to beat the traffic, but also for the best lighting, more elbow room, and an increased chance of seeing wildlife
  • It is hard to find parking space during the busiest months. Expect road delays and difficulty in finding parking. Use the park free shuttle service instead
  • There are plenty of pull-outs or overlooks along Yosemite Valley Loop road (Southside Drive and Northside Drive roads). Keep some extra time for stopping for photos, wildlife, sights, and for unplanned delays
  • Take caution and follow the posted signs while driving through the park while stopping for pullovers to take photos or to view wildlife
  • Be aware of wildlife on the road or near the road. Viewing wildlife from inside the car is the the best and safest way
  • Be prepared for afternoon thunderstorms in the summer. Carry rain gear and extra clothing
  • Take food and water so you can spend the day touring by covering as many park attractions
  • Weak/no cell phone signals, highly recommend to have maps downloaded or printed
  • There is a lot to capture, so keep your camera ready. Make sure that camera is fully charged and also keep backup battery and memory cards
  • Places to Go
    • Waterfalls: Bridalveil Fall, Yosemite Falls, Ribbon Fall, Horsetail Fall, Nevada Fall, Vernal Fall,
    • Rock Formations: Half Dome, El Capitan, Cathedral Rocks, Glacier Point
    • Giant Sequoias: Mariposa Grove, Tuolumne Grove, Merced Grove
    • Vista Points on Drive: Glacier Point, Tunnel View, Olmsted Point, El Capitan Meadow
  • Best things to do
    • Drive through Yosemite Valley: One can truly experience the magnificent Yosemite valley by driving along the El Portal Road and one way Yosemite Valley Loop road (Southside Drive and Northside Drive). Some popular and picture perfect attractions are the Merced River Gorge, spectacular Bridalveil waterfalls, the granite monolith El Capitan in El Capitan Meadows, the Cathedral Beach, Swinging Bridge, Yosemite’s signature rock formation Half Dome, the oldest structure in the park Yosemite Chapel, Yosemite Falls, Yosemite Valley View, and the list goes on. Other than these vista points Yosemite Valley Loop road has many stops for popular hikes. You can take easy and popular trails like Bridalveil Falls Trail, Cook’s Meadow Loop Trail, Mirror Lake Loop Trail and Lower Yosemite Fall Trail
    • Drive Glacier Point Road: The drive is about 35 miles from the Yosemite valley to Glacier Point. The Glacier Point offers the panoramic unforgettable vistas of Yosemite Valley, stunning Half Dome, High Sierra crest, and three waterfalls. Check the Park Website for alerts on road closure before you go
    • Drive scenic Tioga Road: It takes almost 2 hours drive (75 miles) from Yosemite Valley to Tioga Pass. There are many gorgeous vista points along the drive. Best scenic spots are Olmsted Point, Tenaya Lake, Tuolumne Meadows, Tioga Lake, Ellery Lake. Check the Park Website for alerts on road closure
  • Popular easy hikes
    • Bridalveil Fall Trail: This is an easy 0.5 mile round trip trail from Bridalveil parking lot and features the beautiful plunging 620 feet high waterfall often referred as the first waterfall in the Yosemite Valley
    • Lower Yosemite Fall Loop Trail: 1 mile loop trail that offers a lake and the tallest waterfall in Northern America
    • Cook’s Meadow Loop Trail: An easy 2 mile loop flat trail, that features beautiful wild flowers views of the Yosemite Valley
    • Mirror Lake: An easy 2 miles round trip. This trail is a seasonal trail and the pathway around the Mirror Lake offers beautiful reflections of the Half Dome and abundance of wildflowers
    • Big Trees Loop Trail: An easy 0.3 mile to see the Giant Sequoia forest
    • Vernal Fall Footbridge via Mist and John Muir Trail: 2.3 mile steep, paved and rated as moderate trail, offers beautiful views of surrounding peaks and falls
Land of Flowers

Lavender Farm


Carousel Farm Lavender in Doylestown, Pennsylvania has a lovely landscape with large lavender fields. The color is so vibrant and lavender smells amazing. Walking through these gorgeous lavender fields is beautiful and relaxing. The butterfly and honey bees are all around. This beautifully maintained farm also has an attractive gazebo, a gift shop, a  barn, carriage house, and spring house.

These photos are from our visit to Carousel Farm Lavender in the 2nd week of June, 2011.

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Quick Facts and Tips

  • Best time to visit : Late Spring to early Summer.
  • Bloom highly depends on mother nature, be sure to check the current status.
  • Next door getaway for tri-state residents.
Land of Flowers

Daffodil Field


Hubbard Park in Hanging Hills of Connecticut, is a wooded, mountainous park with over 600,000 bright daffodils colored the entire park with scattered yellow patches including woods. The park is located just outside the city center of Meriden, Connecticut.

Quick Facts and Tips

  • Best time to visit : Early April to mid-May.
  • Bloom highly depends on mother nature, be sure to check the current status.
  • Next door getaway for tri-state residents
  • Address of the park is 999 W Main St, Meriden, Connecticut, USA.

Travel during/post Corona


Planning to travel this summer? Travelling will be a totally different experience now, unlike before this crisis. But by considering the scenario below, you can plan a safe and better vacation. Here are some quick tips and facts

  • Travel only if it is necessary
  • If you are already planning to go on a trip, get thorough information about the place and follow the policies and guidelines issued by the state and local government in the place where you are planning to go/stay
  • Pack enough masks, sanitizers, gloves, wipes
  • Make sure to have your physician, health insurance, and emergency contact numbers handy
  • Make sure to always keep social distancing
  • Be prepared to stay longer than planned at your destination just in case stay at home orders are issued
  • If you are planning to drive, pack as much food, drink and other necessary items in order to limit store visits. Be aware that not all the stores are open. Also consider extra time needed to enter the store
  • On the road, sanitize hands and wipe the car door after using gas stations, rest room, etc
  • If you are staying in a hotel, follow the guidelines there as well. Call and check their policies and guidelines.
  • Wearing a mask and keeping social distancing in elevators and lobbies will definitely reduce the risk as well as wiping down doorknobs, faucets, tables, TV remotes, and switches etc.
  • If you are travelling internationally, check the countries’ quarantine guidelines
  • If you are flying, check airport/airline for the approximate check-in/ wait time and add some buffer time
  • Whenever possible, drive yourself to the airport or find someone from your family to drop you. Make sure that you know the current procedures and policies of drop off and pick up at the airports
  • Before you go to the airport, check the opening hours for long term and short term parking
  • If you have to take a Taxi/Uber/Lyft, wipe the door handle, car seats, and also do the same before exiting the car. They expect passengers to wear masks
  • Do not forget to check the rental car policies and guidelines
  • It is recommended to download the airline apps for no contact boarding. Print a bag tag in case you are checking a bag
  • Bring your own food as many shops at airports may be closed and airlines are not offering food service. Most shops prefer no cash, tap-to-pay card, or no contact payments like Apple/Google/Samsung pay
  • Pay attention to floor marks for social distancing during check in and security check. Wear mask and use hand sanitizer in case you need to hand over the documents
  • While security checking, it is advised to keep your food in a clear plastic bag and keep that in a separate bin. Keep belts, phones, keys, wallets, watches, and other stuff in to your carry on bags rather than bins
  • Check with your airlines for their current procedure for boarding. Some airlines will allow only 10 passenger to board at a time, other will follow row by row
  • Wear a mask as most airlines are asking passengers to wear masks
  • Airlines are doing deep cleaning, but it does not hurt to wipe your seats and front resting desk
  • If you are a person not getting up during your flight, choose the window seat as it has less contact