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.

IMGP8764
Pretty clever eh?

THE FOOD

IMGP8751
Mouth-watering pork belly sliders from Rice, Paper, Scissors.

IMGP8749
She was selling them including the one below.

IMGP8755
This one's called pho roll. It comes in pork and beef variety, your choice.

IMGP8757
The garlic gouda mac and cheese was pretty awesome - targeting the adult palate.

IMGP8760
A whole leg of I don't know what kind of meat.

IMGP8789
Some Korean rice plate from Seoul on Wheels.

IMGP8795
Prepping the Acme Bread grilled cheese. Very good.

IMGP8806
You can never go wrong with Acme Bread.

IMGP8818
Pizza? Some sort of a bread with topping. Was too full to get this, so I just took a picture of it.

IMGP8822
I have coveted the Argentinian empanada last year so I made sure I tasted them this year. Yummy.

THE TRUCKS

Just a few of the food trucks present:
IMGP8766
Newcomer.

IMGP8812

IMGP8813
Veteran

IMGP8814

IMGP8819
Another veteran.

IMGP8777

IMGP8787
A most unusual fusion, doncha think?

THE PEOPLE

IMGP8800

IMGP8802

IMGP8799

IMGP8824

IMGP8805
What a brave little doggie, very inspirational.

IMGP8807
See you next year, same time same place.


SIGNS




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.

IMGP8410

2012_09_03 capitola 067
When we got there, the town was celebrating a Begonia Festival.

IMGP8443
The beach, the pier and the cliffs.

IMGP8416
There were a lot of birds. Feeding time perhaps?

IMGP8471
Colorful condos by the beach. They're rentals.

Beach shots:

IMGP8460


IMGP8536

IMGP8629

IMGP8530

IMGP8497
Under the pier

IMGP8568
On the pier we watched people feed the pelican who is a diva.

IMGP8562
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.

IMGP8664

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

IMGP8645

IMGP8646

IMGP8653
Close up of wilted begonias.

IMGP8584
Here we were daytrippers.

This is my entry for this week's SKYWATCH.

SKYWATCH is a weekly gathering of sky watchers and sky lovers. Join us.

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.

finepix-India 028
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.

lumix memory card 1 india 122
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.

finepix-India 068

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.

taj mahal 747
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.

taj mahal 773
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.

taj mahal 738
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.

taj mahal 757
Inside, looking out.

taj mahal 751

taj mahal 754

taj mahal 752

finepix-India 086

finepix-India 084
Ornately decorated area just as we entered the tomb.

taj mahal 758
From that very ornate room we entered the door and found a narrow eerie hallway leading to the tomb, can you see it?

562939_517404634941826_1488008084_n
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.

lumix memory card 1 india 145
Inside is where the tomb lies. See the wet floor?

lumix memory card 1 india 143
Side view.

lumix memory card 1 india 144

finepix-India 102
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.

lumix memory card 1 india 146
I have developed a fascination for the Mughal architecture.

finepix-India 094
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?

taj mahal 785
Must be one of the gates, I'm not sure.

taj mahal 724
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.
taj mahal 777

taj mahal 731

taj mahal 741
They raise this deer breed inside the complex. I forgot what kind of breed it is, maybe one of you know.

taj mahal 748
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.