Category Archives: USA

Travels in the USA

Weekly Photo Challenge: Dreamy

Two different kinds of dreamy…

Ghirardelli Chocolate, 5LB of it - dreamy!
Ghirardelli Chocolate, 5LB of it – dreamy!
Dreamy scape in India
Dreamy scape in India
WordPress's photo challenge this week: A misty morning, your handsome spouse, your grandmother’s house that’s also your elementary school and the Eiffel Tower — this week, show us something dreamy.

Click here for more kinds of dreamy.

A tale of two cities

If I had to split my time between 2 places only, I would choose San Francisco and Johannesburg.

One city I know well, the other one I want to get to know well.

Johannesburg is where I live, I know these streets, the people, some of its secrets and many of its treasures. It’s the biggest man-made forest in the world and no vista is more spectacular to see a huge part of this forest than from the top of Munroe Drive in Houghton.

In spring the purple jacarandas line the streets like a purple canopy. In winter the sunsets are like a fire in the west, fleetingly showing off all the colours of the red, orange and yellow palette.

There’s a frenetic energy befitting the economic hub of the country.  People speak fast, walk fast and drive even faster. It’s not a place for sissies.

Johannesburg began as a mining town established when gold was discovered on the Witwatersrand. Many buildings still go back to that period, and the city is laid out in a grid pattern. It’s easy to imagine dirt roads, horses and saloons on every corner.

It’s known as the city of gold, or Egoli (Place of Gold), Jozi, Joeys or Joburg – to those of us who live here.

San Francisco I experienced fleetingly, as a tourist. I experienced a similar energy, even more sleeplessness, more of a 24-hour place than Johannesburg.

I crossed the Golden Gate bridge and looked across at Alcatraz and thought – “I can swim that…!” (Yeah, right!).

I rode down Lombard Street in a mini van with 6 of us yelling, screaming, laughing nervously and commenting about what South African taxi drivers would do in their tin cans without any brakes – it was memorable!

I experienced Fisherman’s Wharf, and loved it. The vibe and energy. Each corner turned was a new discovery. The novelty shops. Entertainment arcades. Seafood restaurants. And a subtle setting of the sun over the marina.

Silver painted buskers stood statue-like waiting for kids to go up to them and tentatively touch their glistening skin before making a sudden move, much to the surprise and eventual delight of the kids.

In the evening we drove to the Coit Tower and wondered the gardens looking at the lights framing the skyscrapers.

In the chilly wind I made a promise – that I would be back, for a longer time, to experience the city in its entirety.

Yes indeed…if I had to split my time between 2 cities, Johannesburg and San Francisco are definitely my choices.

In the summertime for both.

 

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Weekly photo challenge: Letters

Barely a couple of hours after landing in San Francisco I found myself walking through Union Square to the iStore.

Imbibing the night life, the energetic atmosphere of this wonderful city, I couldn’t resist taking this photo. I would so dearly have loved to go in, have a drink and some pasta, whilst listening to thrummy jazz.

Isn’t music such a universal language?

Uniting.

Euphoric.

Subjectively lifting the spirits.

No translation needed! Don’t you think?
San Francisco Union Square - Music, the universal language
San Francisco Union Square – Music, the universal language

 

Family Activities in Las Vegas

I’m very excited to bring you this guest post by travel expert Kendra Thornton. She’s also a TV spokesperson, PR businesswoman, proud  wife and Mom of 3. Follow Kendra on Twitter @KendraThornton.

Family Activities in Las Vegas

It can be hard for me to put into words how much I enjoy visiting Las Vegas with my husband and children. We have been visiting this tremendous city for more than 10 years, and we love it.

Tiger Golf

Every Saturday morning, my husband loves to golf with his buddies. Therefore, we decided to head over to the Butch Harmon School of Golf. The former swing trainer of Tiger Woods runs this facility. Staff, which includes Butch Harmon, provides practical tips in how to improve at the game. One time, we decided to stay at Caesars Palace. It was so nice, since we had transportation to and from the facility.

Muse at Museums

Museums have always intrigued our family. We have always made it a point to visit museums of the community. Our children have always liked attending the Discovery Children’s Museum. My husband’s favorite is the National Atomic Testing Museum, which is located about an hour outside of town. My favorite museum to visit is the Neon Museum.

Tours in Pink

Part of the thrill of going to Las Vegas is taking a tour of the town. I recently heard about tours that are given in a pink Jeep. It was fun to see Las Vegas and the surrounding area. Our tour began with a pink Jeep picking up our family at the hotel lobby. Our tour guide was fun and quite informative. The tour ended way too soon, and we decided to go on another pink tour in order to learn more about the surroundings.

Dolphin Adventure

At one point in my life, I seriously considered becoming a marine biologist. Although it never happened, I got the chance to experience some similar work with training dolphins at the Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Habitat. I got some excellent training tips and instruction from animal experts. It was an honor to see these magnificent creatures in a natural environment, even though the facility itself is miles away from an ocean. When the class ended, I felt like I was a marine biologist.

Las Vegas always has new things for families and couples too. With so many things to do and hotels on the Vegas strip, each experience can be different than the last. Sites like Gogobot really help in planning your trip as you can read user reviews so you can feel more comfortable with what you will be getting into. Visiting this town does not get old for us. It is an annual family trip that we like each year.