Monday, September 24, 2012

Eat Real Festival Year 4

Eat Real Festival Year 2

Eat Real Festival Year 3

The time for food truck festival is here again. Well, last weekend really. I wasn't as enthusiastic this year, but my husband was excited enough for the both of us, and so we managed to squeeze in a visit to the festival in between activities this weekend.

Since I have covered the mission of the festival in two previous posts, see links above, I'd have to make this more of a pictorial post.

Pretty clever eh?


Mouth-watering pork belly sliders from Rice, Paper, Scissors.

She was selling them including the one below.

This one's called pho roll. It comes in pork and beef variety, your choice.

The garlic gouda mac and cheese was pretty awesome - targeting the adult palate.

A whole leg of I don't know what kind of meat.

Some Korean rice plate from Seoul on Wheels.

Prepping the Acme Bread grilled cheese. Very good.

You can never go wrong with Acme Bread.

Pizza? Some sort of a bread with topping. Was too full to get this, so I just took a picture of it.

I have coveted the Argentinian empanada last year so I made sure I tasted them this year. Yummy.


Just a few of the food trucks present:




Another veteran.


A most unusual fusion, doncha think?






What a brave little doggie, very inspirational.

See you next year, same time same place.


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Capitola on Labor Day

"Let's go to Capitola and take pictures." That was the constant refrain I heard from the husband since the beginning of spring. We never got around to going especially since we were planning on going away for the summer. Upon our return from Asia, he brought up the topic again. Honestly, I thought he'd forgotten about it, but I don't mind going to Capitola for a day trip. It is after all only a 2-hour drive from where we live. The Labor Day weekend was the perfect time for that day trip.


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When we got there, the town was celebrating a Begonia Festival.

The beach, the pier and the cliffs.

There were a lot of birds. Feeding time perhaps?

Colorful condos by the beach. They're rentals.

Beach shots:





Under the pier

On the pier we watched people feed the pelican who is a diva.

Diva I tell you. Wouldn't budge even if you take photos with her. I think it's a she. At least she should be.

As we walked back to the car, we saw how crowded the beach had gotten.


We also found begonias made into boats in the river under the trestle.



Close up of wilted begonias.

Here we were daytrippers.

This is my entry for this week's SKYWATCH.

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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sikandra - Never Heard Before, Will Not Forget After

I haphazardly read our itinerary and knew we had a stop before our destination for the day. In our itinerary, it stated that our stop was Sikandra to see the tomb of the Mughal Emperor Akbar. I was completely ignorant of Indian history and I cannot remember seeing any other blogger who had gone there before or at least featured it in their blogs.

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So when we arrived in Sikandra which is about 8 km from Agra, the rain had let up a bit. As we drove up to the Tomb of Emperor Akbar, the gate was flooded. To be honest, right there and then I wanted to tell Ashok to turn around and take us to the hotel and we'll skip this. But I'm glad I didn't listen to the small voice inside of me who hated the discomfort of a little rain and flooding.

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Because this is what greeted us. This is the gate, known as the South gate, where visitors normally enter the complex. It's very ornate. Gorgeous. Incredibly detailed. High on wow factor. It was built to imitate Buland Darwaza, the mosque at Fatehpur Sikri (post coming soon), the town that Akbar founded.

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Copy of sikandraed

Emperor Akbar (1555-1605) planned his own tomb, selected the site and started the construction. After his death, his son Jahangir (father of Shah Jahan who built Taj Mahal) completed the project in 1605-1613.

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This is the backside of photo 2. This is the view from the interior of the complex.

The south gate is four white marble chhatri-topped minarets, similar to and predates that of Taj Mahal. Chhatri is an elevated dome-shaped pavilion used as design elements in Indian architecture. We saw a lot of it on this trip, which means you'll see a lot of it in coming posts, hehehe.

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Panels of inlaid designs in geometric, floral, calligrafic patterns. Our tour guide who happened to be my favorite among the 3 we had told us that these designs you see (in the collage above) are the traditional Mughal carpet designs.

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The tomb and other buildings are built using red sandstone with features of white marble, which is plentiful in nearby Agra. Again panels of inlaid designs adorn the entry to the tomb.

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Inside, looking out.

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Ornately decorated area just as we entered the tomb.

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From that very ornate room we entered the door and found a narrow eerie hallway leading to the tomb, can you see it?

Inside the room that held Akbar, there was a stark contrast to the magnificence of the gates and the facade of the tomb. We were told that he specifically requested/planned to "rest" in peace and quiet. That is why he planned to have this room bare.

After visiting the tomb, we set out to explore the complex, or as much as we could without getting too soaked; the rain has not stopped drizzling the entire visit. There was lots to see and explore, the compound is 119 acres. We didn't go far, I think most of the acreage is off limits anyway.

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Inside is where the tomb lies. See the wet floor?

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Side view.

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I was foolish not to have head cover. This is the side of the tomb, from here you can easily see the minarets of the south gate.

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I have developed a fascination for the Mughal architecture.

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In one of the rooms we found two tombs. We were told it belonged to the wife and the concubine. Man, the wife can't get a break. Even in "eternity" must she spend it with the concubine?

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Must be one of the gates, I'm not sure.

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Another structure I spotted and photographed. With the help of internet I found that this is actually Kanch Mahal, built by Jehangir, as a harem quarter later used as a hunting lodge.

India and Bangladesh are similar in this fashion, teens find these historical monument sites as great "dating" places.
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They raise this deer breed inside the complex. I forgot what kind of breed it is, maybe one of you know.

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And these birds are feeding freely inside the compound.

This stop was very enjoyable for me, despite the rain. The architecture was simply incredible. I've never seen anything like it before. One very memorable experience.