Monday, July 30, 2012

See it to believe it - The Alternative India

Thanks to effortless surfing on TV, made me to discover Paul Merton's episodes on India on AXS Channel.

According to BBC channel:

Don’t miss a moment of Paul’s Indian adventure – a series which sees him hang out with a gang of eunuchs; dine with convicted criminals in a high security prison; learn to ‘rock’ on stage Indian style, meet India’s numerous world record holders (including the man who had 18 concrete blocks smashed on his groin with a sledgehammer) and get swamped by thousands of naked holy men at a remote hilltop festival.
Facing angry elephants, delinquent monkeys, spitting cobras and holy rats along the way, Paul finds the ‘alternative’ India. Journeying right into the heart of a country where anything can happen and usually does, Britain’s most unlikely explorer reveals what makes this emerging superpower so unique.

Astonishing and weird things happens in India:

Paul Merton travels to Gujarat, where an auspicious festival is about to begin, attends the Shivratri Festival where he is surrounded by nearly a million worshipers (many of them naked), all celebrating Lord Shiva, becomes the follower of a naked guru, gets stoned and watches disciples perform astonishing tricks with their penises. - I couldn't believe and still can't believe.


He also gets plunged into the crazy world of a eunuch gang in Jaipur – a world where a group of eunuchs regularly lay siege to local shops and businesses, threatening to strip off their saris unless they get paid…Experienced this when I was a child while traveling on trains 

He meets Raj, a snake rescuer in Hyderabad who has devoted his life to protecting his beloved snakes and Paul is swept along on a hair-raising rescue, then meets the unnerving residents of Raj’s home farm. In his farm, he keeps Cobra for few weeks to study their behavioral pattern. He already lost few fingers on his hands and still does rescue operations without a protective glove or knee heel boots. 


He visits local Hare Krishna kitchens in Bangalore, where 10,000 takeaway meals are prepared daily, Paul enters the central prison where the food is so good, the convicts don’t want to be released... meets the well-fed inmates, stumbling on a rehabilitation salsa class(Pelvic moves) along the way!

In Bangalore, he meets an intelligent doctor who is so crazy for getting into Limca Book of Records(record book of Indian origin). And why he is into it is to make Indians aware that they are nothing less to their American peers. What kind of records he is breaking? Well, fastest skipping record in a minute, 43 frisbee exchanges in a minute.....and in between the records, he goes into trance to retrieve his energy. Appreciate his sincerity and focus, but when few humans are involved in doing dare devil activities and in Xtreme sports and making unbeatable records, he with risk-less activities sounds crazy. 


Paul heads to Chennai beaches, only to discover a group on the sand who meet daily to practice the art of laughter yoga. This is an exercise involving laughing at nothing and the guy discussed with Paul of this laughter exercise has restored his hair but when Paul pointed the bald guy, the answer was whatever hair is on his head is due to this exercise. - My Father in law himself does this even when he is in US, so I'm aware of it!


Paul meets BB Nayak in Mumbai who holds the record for having been kicked in the testicles the most times in one minute! The worst thing is this guy allows his kid to hit him over there and then requests Paul to do the same. With lot of hesitation Paul agrees to it. I questioned myself - really, is this happening in India?



See it to believe it!! 


Not only alternative India but he shows the dark side of India too by going to Red Light Districts in Calcutta where promiscuous actions happens right in front of kids as their mothers are prostitutes and where minor girls are always in danger of rape  And he even showed how kids who runaway from awful circumstances of their home, survive by relying on the trash and leftover foods at Mumbai's famous railway station.

Back in the Air - Continued( New York City)

This is what you see in NY - well dressed, busy, tired looking office goers crossing the streets. Taxis, cars, people everywhere...busy busy walking
We got a view of covered Space Shuttle Enterprise
from the road
On our casual drive to NYC, we were surprised to see people participating in Group Yoga classes, right in the  middle of tall buildings, office goers and  traffic stricken roads.

Next day, we woke up and headed to Ellis Island from New Jersey side.
1903 Alien Arrival List to USA 
Ellis Island
America was once was used by Britishers to keep criminals, just like the way Australia was....something which I did not know. How did Canada escape British regime....Yes, of course, due to France...no wonder "French" and "English" are official languages of Canada.
The place makes you wonder, irrespective of race or color, people kept themselves busy treating fellow human beings worst. Whoever ran and came to new land started occupying lands and formed groups based on their country and culture. Later on, hated Asian immigrants based on their skin color and culture. And even this new found land curtailed the Asian growth by passing laws. According to the articles, Germans descents occupied Minnesota, Italians occupied NY, Polish occupied Illinois.
Few cool Americans whose ancestors came to America via Ellis Island can even check their records. Scores of letters about praising this new found land written to family members is displayed all over the building.



Manhattan View from Statue of Liberty park

The Famous Registry room @Ellis Island

View from Statue of Liberty park

New towers in place of World trade center buildings

Cruises to Ellis Island and Statue of Liberty park
Don't ask me - why I took so many pictures of Statue of Liberty?
Liberty State Park is located on the shores of the Hudson River.
The statue was created by Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi and was a gift from France to the US to represent friendship. 
Well, according to Gettysburg Guide, with out France help USA would have not gotten
 independence from British.
The statue was made of copper but due to oxidation, turned pretty green.
The spikes on the statue represent seven continents.



Beautiful place to relax, enjoy the view and eat healthy food which is served at  Statue of  Liberty cafe. No Fried  food and only organic. I guess thanks to Bloomberg!
Three days stay at Staybridge which is on 40th street...walking distance to Times Square.  Free snacks and drinks on weekdays which we missed as reached hotel at around 7:00 P.M.  Relaxed for a while...
and then planned to hit NYC's No. 1 Pizza place in Brooklyn by taking the NYC's famous subway.
Unbelievable but true,  my whole family struggled to swipe the ticket to get in, luckily a woman helped us.....couldn't figure out until the last day while onward journey to Reagan Airport. Lesson learned - straight swiping with steady hand!

What I observed while traveling on New York subway is no one dares to make an eye contact or a genuine smile in fear of small talk, so they keep themselves busy by reading or hearing music. As I was a newbie, I looked around, saw lot of book advertisements and made few eye contacts. And yes, I felt awkward for not keeping myself busy by reading  a book or act like busy on the phone. It is actually scary to ride on nights, almost weird feeling of someone chasing you creeps in your mind.

Brooklyn Bridge 
Without knowing the way, walked other side of the bridge...
only to realize on the phone GPS, indicating us to turn back and redo the walking
Read my experience at the famous pizza place at Brooklyn - Grimaldi's Pizzeria

Lovely place to walk in the night. They have a special path for cyclists, right next to pedestrians and away from car traffic. And no truck traffic allowed on the bridge.
.....to be Continued

Friday, July 20, 2012

Logan Thibault popped out of Nicholas Sparks "The Lucky One" novel



On July 5th, when we got on the metro train to travel to Reagan National Airport, I met a U.S. Army Captain. This is the first time, for me to encounter any kind of military person. All I had was knowledge of a character in Nicholas Sparks "The Lucky One" novel and prior to that, I read a book "SEAL Team Six" by Howard E.Wasdin.


He kinda looks like Chris Martin with slightly few more pounds. I was so mesmerized by his mannerisms. He looked genuine, kind, honest, well-mannered, respectful and someone with high moral values. My daughter was carrying and waving the American Flag which she received from Uncle Sam on Washington DC Independence Day Parade. Definitely, I guess the flag might have made him to notice us.

Once we entered the train, we passed him and had a  discussion of who should sit in the two empty seats which were across each other. Me and my son sat as my daughter wanted to enjoy the train ride by standing. The Army Captain, my husband and my daughter were standing next to each other.While looking at the flag, he asked whether we were heading to Virginia for parade. My husband said, "No, we are on our way to Reagan National Airport". He asked my son, "Hey, where is your flag?" For that my husband replied by saying, how my daughter got the flag at the parade.

U.S. Army Captain's Personal Flag
For sometime, he looked like he was busy with his phone but suddenly, he bent down and removed a small flag from his shoulder bag and gave it to my son and said, "will you keep this safe with you? This flag has traveled to many places." We were like "wow!" The whole time, in between many times, he looked at me while conversing with others. I said, "Thank you for sharing." He said, "you're welcome!" While I was trying to ask, whether he is from Army, my husband asked whether he is from Navy. He proudly said, "U.S.Army".




I really felt good about meeting a military guy as only a week ago, I read Nicholas Sparks novel "The Lucky One" and was captured by the story (How he searches for his lucky charm, finds her and how in a decent, honest way captures her heart, not only with his charm but with built in good values, respect for others, trust, connecting easily with kids, creating bond, gentle way of speaking with a kid and understanding his emotions). I liked the novel's main character "Logan Thibault" Then my husband started conversing with him, asking him about whether he fought war from front line in Afghanistan? He said, "not from front line, but he was right in the middle of ......." Then my husband asked, "whether he need to get back". He said, "Not now, I am on a break."




Usually people ignore me or just converse with my husband
but the whole time, in between, he made sure to look at me, made me to get involved in the conversation. Even though he was on his phone, when my daughter said "Hey mommy, you should not complain about not traveling by cab as even by traveling on train, we can see outside world unlike New York Subways which basically run undergrounds", he smiled at her comment.  And then when I started recording on the camcorder and making kids to say "bye" to DC, I noticed him watching us. When the passenger who sat next to me got down, I sat across, next to my son. He changed his body position to be right opposite to me which reminded me, one of Fox's "New Girl" episode which emphasizes on when a guy is conversing with you and when his feet point towards you, it shows that he is totally into you.

He offered my daughter to sit in the open seat. My husband responded by saying, "Oh, she doesn't want to sit as it is very rare for us to experience - the whole process of traveling by metro." He asked us where are we heading while looking at me. The beauty about him was whenever he looked at me, it did not look cheap but more like respecting and acknowledging my existence. My husband said, "To Dallas". He said, "I'm from Austin and yes, of course, you don't find metros over there." Right when Reagan National Airport stop was about  to come, my husband asked for his email id by saying to him that my son will send a thank you note to you for sharing a flag. While my husband was taking note of his email id, I saw a kind of glowing smile on his face - like he was so astonished for someone to ask his contact information. He said. "Wish I could have given my card, but sorry, I don't have it right now with me." I literally saw happy look on his face in sharing his id.

Before getting down, everybody said "bye" to him. I said, "Best of luck".

When I was on the AA flight, on my way back to Dallas, I turned towards the window and cried nonstop....tears rolled from my cheeks as I couldn't stop thinking about how easily my husband was able to get contact information from the Captain but me even though I felt instinct sense-of-belonging, familiarity towards Steward, couldn't do a damn thing even though Steward suggested to come and talk to him in the galley. Sitting on the plane,  seeing the cabin, watching flight attendants, thinking about steward's face, the moments we had on Lufthansa flight, visualized walking him up and down the aisle and  thinking about this failed vacation trip - being outside of Dallas, in a famous place like NYC hasn't opened or given a chance to meet him one more time,  made me emotional and made me question myself of why I did not allow myself to have a casual talk. So many months of hope, waiting time, the regret of declining his call, different trials to get in touch with him, visions of him, the whole waiting time was overwhelming. I better read "The Power Of Now" again.

After few days, we asked our son to send an email to the Captain to thank him.

*********************************************************************************

Hello Captain,

I hope you're doing great and enjoying your break from the service to the country. We met on the Metro train on July 5th. Thank you for sharing your flag with me. I'll keep it safe with me.

I have few questions for you. I hope you'll find time to answer them.


  • Why is the flag B/W? 
  • Why are the stars in the right side of the flag? But it looks right if you see the reflection of the flag in the mirror. 
  • When do you have to head back to Afghanistan?  
  • Mr. Obama is calling back the troops, so why do you have to go back?  
  • Will you ever become an ordinary civilian or always be in the service for the country? 


Thank you for keeping us safe.  It was wonderful to be in Washington DC on Independence day - surrounded by countless flags, cheering crowd, marching soldiers and the HEAT - an unique experience. Be safe!

 Thanks!!

*********************************************************************************


 I waited for more than a week for his reply but when I did not get, I started doubting about my beliefs, my understanding of people who I come across. I really thought he was someone who can be trusted. Then I googled him to know more about him. I saw his name popping up in different sections of search but definitely related to military. And then I saw his marriage video on YouTube. He got married in his military uniform to a very famous dancer. He looked nervous, shy and in between jovial but seriously followed the rituals but she was totally loose, almost giggling for the whole time like a drunken person. I even came to know his and her age and in which city they live. He is younger to her by seven years. In one of the website, after three months of marriage in Aug/sept '11, she gave an interview declaring about her being single and talked about her past three year relationship with someone who couldn't deal with her business success, so this time she wanted someone special who can deal with her success with a right attitude. Who knows, maybe google led me to somebody else with the same name.  So not sure.

 I thought, it is better if I just don't care about the whole thing. In between, back of my mind, I thought to myself that I should not believe in what I see and not fall for people's extra special behavior.

Few seconds prior to seeing his email, I asked myself - how did I go wrong about him when he looked so genuine?

After reading his email, I felt so happy about myself - that I really have the ability to spot people with great character and thanked him by saying within myself - thank you, thank you, thank you for coming across, rising up exactly like the way I expected about him. He not only proved good about himself but my belief on trusting a few in the world, my belief on what I saw in Steward.... Don't know how Steward would have been with me, had he known my marital status...but I really want someone to be in my life who really like me, gives importance to me, who cares genuinely for me, regardless of my marital status or having kids or what ever.

*********************************************************************************

[Insert my son's name],

 First, let me apologize for the delay in returning your email, I've been quite swamped this last week organizing a group of hurt Soldiers to meet up in [Insert his city]. That being said; Thank you for your email! It is good to hear from such a well spoken young man. Now, let me answer your questions.

The flag is black and white, which we call "subdued" because it blends in better with our camouflage. I love the red white and blue, but it does make it hard to sneak through the trees! It is also what we call an "IR" meaning it looks normal to you and me, but when you see it in night vision goggles, like you see in the movies, it glows bright white like a light. This is done by reflecting the infrared light, or IR light. This helps keep us safe when we are outside with other Soldiers, because the glowing flag means "don't shoot me, I'm a good guy!"

As to why the stars are on the right side of the flag, have you thought about which way the wind is blowing? We wear the flag on our right shoulder, so if you hold the flag on your right shoulder, the stars should be towards the front of you. If you can imagine a tiny flagpole on you arm, which way would the flag be if you were running? That is why the flag is like that, because the United States Army is always moving forward, into battle, so the flag streams out behind us.

As to me personally, I have completed my Afghanistan tour and will not be headed back for at least a year, but I will if I need to. Not everyone is cut out for the job we do, and I'm pretty good at it, so I will do whatever I can to keep as many people safe as possible.

And as to being an ordinary civilian, I am looking forward to the day, hopefully soon, when I can transition into a civilian job here at home and spend time with my wife, maybe even have some children of my own.

I am glad that you enjoyed your time at our nations capital, and I bet the parade was amazing. I enjoy going there, the monuments are humbling every time. I was even promoted to captain in front of the statue of Abraham Lincoln.

I hope this email finds you and your family well, and if you have any more questions or are ever in the [Insert his city]  area, please feel free to email me again.

Captain

*********************************************************************************


I was blown away with his response, with the way he apologized for not replying sooner, with the way he took time to answer every question, with the way he encouraged my son to ask questions if any in future.  I wanted to send email thanking him for being nice and wanted to tell him of how he reminds me of the novel character but then....I don't want to...I only want to speak with Steward. If anybody special, I want to have in my life, I want it to be Steward. Wish Steward still thinks about me. Wish Steward still thinks I'm special. Wish Steward still thinks the sense-of-belonging, the quick rapport, the familiarity- we felt for each other, cannot be felt with everybody or anybody but only with someone special, something rarely happens. Because that's how I felt. I saw so many guys in New York City and so many noticed me, but nothing comes closer to what I have experienced with Steward. He was special and he will remain special.

Meanwhile, thank you Captain!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Back in the Air - Continued(Newark)

After more than four hours of drive, we reached New Jersey. We did not book any hotel for night as we were not sure of where we will be. We called almost every hotel closer to Manhattan but couldn't find any hotel with decent price. The reason behind expensive hotel rooms was due to NBA draft or some sort of major event during that weekend.

So I suggested of trying Priceline. My husband said that's a very good idea as in Priceline, you can mentions the hotel star rating along with the price range. And in that way, we got a very good hotel - Wyndham Gardens near NEWARK Airport.

Wyndham Gardens Lobby, Newark, NJ
Hellooooooo....near INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT. Any chance of an encounter with Steward? Is it possible? My heart started beating fast, emotions were up in the air....I was on the verge of crying....anxiousness was building up....will I finally see him? How will he react after seeing me? Will he recognize me? Once we got down at the hotel, I already started noticing few Flight Attendants, pilot's getting down from Airport bus. I was like...finally destiny...First, Washington Flyer having an article on Frankfurt and now, me staying near International Airport where chances of Flight Attendants staying is 100%. I quickly checked time and it was 8:00 P.M., thought if he is here, he might be sleeping in his room or maybe getting ready for a quick dinner near hotel or in hotel restaurant.

When I was in the lobby, I started looking all around....checked on the nearby screen showing flight departures and arrivals. I was not sure about Lufthansa flying from Newark, even though it is an International  airport. And when finally, we got the key to the room on the second floor, once we were out of the elevator, I saw Crew Lounge and even noticed some Asian crew using gym. CREW LOUNGE on the same floor. God, are you really going to make me meet him? Really, is it going to happen? One side, I was happy and the other side, I was so tensed, scared about the outcome, the reaction...

Once we were inside the room, I quickly checked on my husband's phone about Lufthansa's arrival time in Newark. Lufthansa App showed flight from Boston. I did not get much information from Google. I started relaxing....maybe nothing will happen.

Gilchrist & Soames Shampoo & Conditioner
Best thing about this hotel is the shampoo and Conditioner: I have never ever felt hair being lighter, cleaner, softer and silkier. Blown away by the product.


Our Verde Hair Purifier is a gentle shampoo perfect for all hair types. Using natural cleansers derived from coconut oil, balanced with extracts of Olive Leaf, Verde shampoo will help promote a healthy shine and soft, radiant locks. The companion Hair Protector is the ideal cream conditioner. Infused with Glycerin, Vitamin B5 and Basil Extracts it is sure to moisturize, nourish and tame even the most challenged strands.
  • 6.4oz Shampoo
  • 6.4oz Conditioner
Price $20.00
Oooh..that's expensive. Wish someone from London could give me for less.

Worst thing about the hotel is the internet - terribly slow.

Based on recommendation from concierge, we chose a Chinese restaurant for dinner. Driving in New Jersey, gives headache. The moment, the exit sign shows up, right then and there the exit will be there, that too 360 deg turns. Even with GPS, you still can get lost. Even though four mile to Chinese restaurant, took us more than thirty minutes to reach. I don't even remember the name of the restaurant but food was really good. But what I noticed is how they expect customers to pick food and go...rather than have dinner at the restaurant itself. That's when I remembered Seinfeld Tv series. In one of the episodes, Eliane, that's how orders Chinese food and picks up to eat in Janitor area as the restaurant doesn't deliver the food outside their area but she likes their food and was even ready to eat in the Apartment Janitor room.
-----Continued

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Back in the Air - Continued(Corning, the Crystal City)


It is time to drive to NYC but we thought to go via Corning and show the kids - the marvels of Corning - a world leader in specialty glass and ceramics.

Astonished by the way, the company progressed with remarkable inventions, proving to the world of "What a glass can do?".



Make your own glass @Corning Museum
The museum was well organized with exhibits, make-your-own-glass classes, galleries, live demos and shopping. The only thing, I was disappointed was about pricing for classes. My kid joined in a class of blowing up a glass to  make her own sculpture, but to our surprise, when we went for the class - all she did was to pick colors and apply alcohol to the end of the rod and at the end blows air to expand the glass(superficial). And the rest is taken care by the demonstrator - like mixing colors, heating the glass at the right temperature, blowing up to get the shape...totally everything. But when we attended the live demo of how you blow up and make shapes....that's when I understood is blowing up glass to get the shape, you desire is an art and it comes by years and years of experience. I guess Corning charged $27.00 + $28 shipping is for the final product. I still feel that it is expensive and in the end - you can't even say I made that sculpture.

I recommend the museum. It is a must see place, knowledge and art wise, you'll be amazed with what all we can do with glass - All you need is vision, creativity. Been to the museum made us to appreciate the price of the final products and now, we understand, how difficult it is make a vase - how much time and efficiency needed. Now, we know why the delicate drinking glasses are expensive.


Why Steve Jobs used Corning for iPhone, entering the museum by itself, explains. The way everything was presented, the ambiance resembles Steve Jobs perfectionism. Even the museum cafeteria serves in eye pleasing, modern ceramic WHITE plates. The way, the glass demands the artist to show perfectionism, patience and preciseness to get the final intended product has in turn, made the museum architects/organizers to be perfectionists or maybe vise verse. But once you visit the galleries, you will really appreciate the designers, intellectual thinkers, perfectionists which comes from being patient and calmness within themselves to create magnificent pieces and representing themselves that they are many steps away from norms.

And one more surprising thing was finding Indian oriented menu items in the Cafeteria. What that proved is that lot of Indians work at Corning research department and thereby influencing the museum and tourism.





I enjoyed shopping....no, not for decorating the house but decorating myself. I mean to say "JEWELRY". I was totally surprised by the collection, the colors and even the price. You can go crazy if you want to decorate your home as so many eye catching vases, bowls, flowers, sculptures.... but the problem is they are easily breakable and that is one of the reasons - the market for glass products is going down.










.....Continued

Monday, July 16, 2012

Back in the Air - Continued (The Beauty of Niagara)

During our drive to Niagara Falls, I missed me being a map reader. Now, my job has been taken over by GPS. One more hint of how of technology makes us dumb and lazy. I used to have such a good time of driving to new places - gaining knowledge of roads....used to have some kind of mystery of what we may encounter but now, all I have to do is not even bother where we are or on which highway or the shortest route...nothing.

But we had lot of discussions about different topics like how warm and humid oriented countries prefer to consume warm/hot drinks where as cold ones prefer ice cold drinks from ice teas to frozen beers. One more hot topic was about how Caucasians braveness led them to explore every part of the world which allowed them to spread their wings and stamp their genes. But then we discussed, its not only braveness, but the need for something - the craving for things which they don't have in their country or origin - pushed them to explore like tea or spices from India. And then of course, they had the means to acquire what they desired.

Canadian Speed Limit Sign in KM
That proves that Craving is good for humans. If no desires then you don't work hard, you don't explore, no inventions....no success....just contempt with life that means no progress.

We had a discussion about how all daredevil extreme sports are done by Caucasians - what is that puts them to take risks, push boundaries. I guess it might be the way they are brought up - not overly protective parents and the freedom to choose whatever your heart desires to.

We even discussed about how forefathers of Americans hated British that everything from roads to electric switches to spelling words are just opposite to British. But then my husband said, luckily Canada even though follows kilometers in specifying the speed limit , uses the same left side steering and follows the same road patterns as USA.

Full view of Niagara Falls
American Falls + Horseshoe Falls = Niagara Falls
View from USA
I was always scared to go to Niagara Falls. Seeing directly is not as scary as seeing it on TV...but couldn't switch off camera.....tempting to capture the beauty...taking ever shot from every angle with different light settings.

Canada's Longest Running Fireworks series continues
 Every Friday, Sunday & Holiday



The day we went, we had an opportunity to see Canadian Fireworks over colorful lights displaying over falls.... just magnificent, breathtaking....photographer's dream event.

Goat Island, Niagara Falls, NY
The next day, we got ready to explore the falls from up close....that means butterflies in stomach...fear of getting close to thundering falls.

The closer and closer you go, even though you may not be seeing the falls but you will be gently sprayed by water like as if it is raining around that area. 

The Famous - CAVE OF THE WINDS

Must for all if you want to experience hurricane...the winds, the force of the thundering water

I enjoyed like a young girl...totally happy and carefree...
thanks to the weather...no need to worry about shivering...
even though, I was totally wet.
BTW, from sandals to ponchos - taken care by your ticket.
Yes, even for kids!

Niagara is famous for rainbows. You can see two or three, right in
front of your eyes...just  amazing to be so close to beauty;
Tested Canon's ability as much as I could...
protecting the lens from water was quite a challenge.

MAID OF THE MIST
Time to enter inside the mouth....to the real adventure...time to get scared!!
rainbows at Niagara falls
Maid of the Mist: the boat ride that gives 
you a close-up experience of Niagara Falls.




Actually, it was not at all scary. The boat doesn't even go closer to the falls. They may give a feeling of going, but suddenly it takes a sharp turn not even wide which may take us closer to the falls, but they won't....yes, understandable. The force of the water and the drop is just too dangerous to put anybody under risk as no one wears life jackets, not even kids.









 Sitting commandingly at the top end 
of Lake Erie in upstate New York (NY),
 the city of Buffalo is separated 
from Canada by the Niagara River.
 Buffalo is the second-largest 
city in New York state








Nearby market place had the best southwest buffalo chicken wrap, I ever tasted. Even though we wanted to eat warm food and to our surprise, there was no other option than cold sandwich....
but once I took the bite....no more complaints...
.just loved it. Surprisingly spicy too!



After reading this in one of the magazines -
Buffalo is known for being the home of the spicy chicken wing

I craved to taste one more time and thought to make it possible after seeing Canadian side falls but little disappointed
that my wish did not get fulfilled as that was not my husband's priority.

I even felt bad when my touring date did not coincide with one of the largest crowd gathering festival called "Taste of Buffalo".

That night, we crossed the rainbow bridge, entered CANADA. Woohoo!

I just challenged my kids of who will be the first to step on Canadian soil. At the check point, I opened the door slightly
and kept my right foot out and declared - I'm the first. And then my kids tried to do the same but we stopped them
as now, it is time to be serious while Canadian officers trying to check passports. 



Skylon tower, Canada


We had dinner at  the world-famous Skylon Tower Niagara Falls. 
Located in the heart of the Niagara Falls, Canada.

Glided smoothly to the top aboard using exterior glass-enclosed

"Yellow Bug Elevators"  which takes just 52 seconds to reach the
observatory deck for us to enjoy spectacular views of Niagara Falls, 
 the Great Gorge and the city skylines of Buffalo, New York
 and Toronto. 



View from Skylon tower
I noticed a guy at the restaurant taking picture with his girlfriend by meticulously setting up the tripod and angling the camera facing downwards
to get the view of the falls along with them having fine dining experience.


That's the thing, when you go to such places, you need to value the people you are surrounded with, the location and 
in return make it memorable by taking a beautiful snapshot of it. Guys showing so much interest on that moment is worth the mention and
shows the importance of the relationship.


And the other thing I realized is, its not enough if you learn how to dress fashionably when your partner won't match you with his/her 
way of dressing. That day for dinner on Skylon tower, I wore a very sexy dress with a noodle strap on one side and on 
other side with loosely ruffled, knee length dress on high heels. And even dressed my kids accordingly but my husband was
with worn jeans and some stripped shirt with sports shoe. I felt overly dressed for the occasion without a matching partner. And more embarrassing thing was even the dinner crowd did not dress up for the evening.


Well, I thought what can be more romantic than dressing up beautifully for evening dinner with an overlook of beautiful gorge - once in
a lifetime thing. Totally, disappointed that I did not read or check on the internet before dressing up for the tower. I got lot of looks that
night but did not bother to analyze - good or bad.


Few of the facts, I gathered from Skylon Tower Observatory Deck:


American Falls Statistics, Maid of the Mist, Depth Of Niagara Falls
and Cave of the Winds details

Goat Island, Falls Lights, Daredevils, Lake Erie and Buffalo details


Skylon Tower Facts, Great lakes, City of Niagara Falls and ICE BRIDGE

Niagara on the Lake, Rainbow Bridge and Great Lakes




 We tried to book a room in Marriott to get a great view of falls from our hotel room like this one:




 but this is what they had when we tried to book:




That means no view of the gorge, so why to spend $250 and that too just to sleep and hit the road next day.


Early in the morning, we headed to Sir Adam Beck Generating Station in Ontario, Canada.


According to the Guide, you can see rocks beneath the water falls as the flow of water is directed to reservoirs during 12 A.M. to 8 A. M. That proves that what we see in the daytime is controlled and enhanced by humans. "At night, when Hydro Control Dam gates are lifted for diversion of Niagara River water into the hydro tunnels, the flow over the Horseshoe Falls drops to a minimum 15,240 cubic metres of water per second." - NiagaraFallaInfo.com "The amount of water being siphoned away depends on  two variables. The time of year, and the time of the day.  Flow is greatest in the daytime during peak tourist season (June, July, and August). In the event of an emergency  the flow can be somewhat reduced  by the hydroelectric companies increasing their intake." - NiagaraFallsLive.com

I wanted to wake up early and see this phenomenon but as usual that was not my husband's priority.
But we heard about how filling the reservoir behind Three gorges dam in China in 2008, changed the rotation of the Earth.

Niagara Falls Views from Canada: 



Niagara falls view from Canada

Niagara falls view from Canada
love rainbows...wish I took more than one at at time..Yes, it is possible in Niagara Falls

Niagara falls view from Canada

Niagara falls view from Canada

Niagara falls view from Canada

Niagara falls view from Canada

Niagara falls view from Canada

Niagara falls view from Canada

Niagara falls view from Canada

Niagara falls view from Canada

Niagara falls view from Canada

I just couldn't stop taking pictures. Took it as long as the battery co-operated.
I think, I can never justify such beautiful place by just sitting peacefully or relaxing
by sipping some wine.

But lucky me, battery got over in Canon EOS Digital Rebel. We relaxed for a while at Edgewaters restaurant - enjoying the panoramic view of American and Horseshoe falls and sipping away
Canadian red wine.



Niagara falls view from Canada
Horseshoe Falls @Edgewaters restaurant, Ontario, Canada

Niagara falls view from Canada
American Falls @Edgewaters restaurant, Ontario, Canada
Niagara falls view from Canada
Skylon tower, Ontario, Canada

Niagara falls view from Canada

Niagara falls view from Canada

Niagara falls view from Canada
Cave of the Winds

Niagara falls view from Canada
Observatory Deck from Maid of the Mist

Niagara falls view from Canada

Horseshoe Falls in the night
Horseshoe Falls in the night

American Falls in the night
American Falls in the night
Before we tried to cross back to USA, we checked out Duty free shop. Amazed to notice that the souvenir cups are much cheaper than anywhere else. 

While crossing the borders, one thing I noticed is how the officers try to intimidate you by asking questions with much deeper voice and a serious look - Are you getting anything from Canada? No, just a bag. I'm asking you what are you getting from Canada and you say "a bag"? Oh, that is just a souvenir bag. What was the purpose of your visit? How long you were there in Canada? Is these your family? Where are you heading to?

I'm surprised that they don't stamp in-out traveling to Canada in passports. It doesn't matter, you've a good/bad record but the way they question....Oooh, scary! But on our way to Canada, the Canadian officer in a friendly, smiley way welcomed us to Canada.  No suspicious look of any sort.

-----Continued