Offbeat San Diego !!

Indian Bloggers

The famous city of California, San Diego has picturesque landscape, vast coast line, water sports and marine life. San Diego’s Zoo, Sea world and Downtown are major destinations attracting tourists throughout the year. But as we always look for less crowded and not so popular tourist spots, so we tried to explore some offbeat features this city has to offer on our two day trip.

San Diego Skyline view from Centennial parkIMG_3919

A perfect place to get the best view of San Diego downtown. Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city and spend few hours of calmness in Centennial park overlooking San Diego skyline.

Drive on San Diego-Coronado BridgeIMG_3934

Don’t miss the chance to drive on San Diego- Coronado bridge, a 2.1 miles long 5 lane bridge is part of State route 75. As Coronado Island is a Naval base, it took a while to join Coronado to mainland via bridge. Finally in 1969, this bridge was opened for  public,being 200 feet tall it allows naval base ships to pass underneath with no hassle.

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Coronado Beach, most beautiful white sand beach is mainly known for surfing. Driving down the San Diego-Coronado bridgea few blocks to the left, we got the view of radiant beach. This beach is along the Ocean Boulevard with free parking on road, restrooms and shower facilities on beach. Best time to visit the Coronado beach is early morning.

Have a look at the majestic bungalows in CoronadoIMG_3901

On one side of Ocean blvd is spectacular white sand beach and on other is a fine range of mansions and bungalows. Some of them are incredible piece of artwork while some depicts the lavish lifestyles, a few of these are also haunted.

Hiking at Torrey PinesIMG_3663

Located 15 miles away from downtown San Diego, Torrey Pines State Reserve is famous trekking and hiking destination offering various trails in this state reserve with a wide geographical range.

Stop and watch the Majestic SunsetIMG_3834

San Diego offers many places to experience breathtaking sunset. Wide coastline and cliffs of San Diego makes it a photographer’s paradise for capturing stunning sunset. La Jolla Cove and Torrey Pines State Reserve are the best places to experience sunset across the ocean shore.

Sea Lions at La jolla CoveIMG_3679

Sea lions can be spotted in abundance around La Jolla Cove, either on the beach or rocks. These adorable creatures are pretty harmless and ready to pose while soaking in sun. Read it here 

Not to miss “Fish Tacos”IMG_8404

As a coastline area San Diego’s restaurants offers profusion of sea food. If you are foodie like us, must try the specialty of San Diego…Fish Tacos, a deep fried white fish on tortilla with some fresh lettuce, salsa and avocado along with slice of lime. Not to mention, San Diego has the best Mexican restaurants mainly in Old Town.

What’s on your list, if you visit San Diego?

La Jolla Cove- Tranquilizing Blue Water and Adorable Sea Lions

La Jolla Cove is the most picturesque place we have ever visited. As a cove this is a small circular bay, providing protected area to colourful marine life. Beautifully surrounded by the cliffs, it’s widely famous for snorkeling, scuba diving, surfing and many more activities. But this cove is much more besides these, here are some free things to do in La Jolla Cove:

Spend the day looking at spectacular blue water and waves – We enjoyed our whole day watching ocean tides on rocks and cliffs of the cove. Daytime can be enjoyed next to ocean water, but as the day progresses tides rise to upper rocks and gushing water push you back to the higher grounds.

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Spot coastal birds in abundance : La Jolla Cove is home for many birds like Brown Pelicans, Heermann’s Gulls & most commonly spotted ones are Western Gulls. Western Gulls are the big size white gulls from West Coast with yellow foot and can be seen in bunches hovering all around the cove.

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Looking Sea Lions laying on the rocks: Of all the beautiful landscapes and sights around La Jolla Cove, the one which we loved the most was spotting poser Sea Lions. They are very commonly sighted around cove relaxing in sun. Usually they are lazy, harmless and habitual of people wandering around, so one can get really close which most of the public actually does. It’s quite disheartening that instead of leaving them alone people continuously disturb them & choose to take selfies.IMG_3802IMG_3681

Windup your day relishing the vivid sunset- The day came to end with witnessing the most amazing sunset. We spend a good amount of time admiring the sun getting down across the ocean end with vibrant shades all across the sky.

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Travel Tips

  1. Park your car on Coast Blvd or in Ace Parking(public parking) at Prospect Street.
  2. The place smells a lot but you don’t feel it much after a while.
  3. There are also other activities like Snorkeling, Biking & Kayaking.
  4. Must visit Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution, a 10 min drive from the Cove.

Torrey Pines State Reserve: Diverse Trails & Panoramic View

While visiting San Diego we came across Torrey Pines State Reserve, a 15 miles drive from the city, it’s a 2000 acres state park running across the coast.

Offering spectacular beach, cliffs, flora & fauna, trails in abundance & rare torrey pines, this place is a bliss for nature lovers. It has been listed under National Natural Landmark and California State Parks for preserving “Torrey Pines” an endangered species of pines.

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Why to visit Torrey Pines State Reserve:

Hiking Trails :  Having 8 trails including Broken Hill Trail, Beach Trail, High Point Trail & many more this reserve attracts hikers throughout the year. Beach Trail, Guy Fleming & Razor Point Trail are considered as most famous among visitors. The Beach Trail, 3/4 miles stepped stretch takes you to the Torrey Pine State Beach.

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Beach Trail

Glider Port: Apart from hiking, this place also welcomes gliding enthusiasts for paragliding, tandem gliding and hang gliding. Perfectly positioned on the cliff above Black Beach, it’s an ideal way to get stunning view of the ocean, state reserve and La Jolla.

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Captivating Rock Formation: The most striking feature at reserve are the rock formations. This natural habitat is mostly rocky and has sedimentary rocks all over, mainly prone to erosion. That’s why fascinating formations have build along the trails over the vast expanse of time.

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Photographer’s Paradise: Even without an adventurous spirit, still you can enjoy the picturesque landscape or stroll around the park. One can spent a whole day either on the beach or sitting on the cliffs overlooking ocean.

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Travel Tips:

  1. Easiest way to reach Torrey Pine is by car.
  2. Being a natural reserve, food and drinks are not allowed except on the beach.
  3. Wear comfortable shoes for trekking, as trails are steep at points.
  4. Reserve remains open from 7:15 AM to sunset, all around the year.

A Mexican Affair In San Diego

Indian Bloggers
If you follow us on InstagramFacebook, you must be aware of our trip to San Diego, CA couple of weeks back. From Mexico border to Downtown and bay to beach, San Diego will thrill you in every aspect. We will cover the others later on, this one is all about our affair with San Diego’s food. Yes, after enjoying St Louis and Chicago‘s, food delicacies we added San Diego in our list.

You can see the influence of Mexico in food, culture & language of San Diego. While Mexico in proximity brings in the flavors of Mexican cuisine, easy access to ocean adds prominence of seafood in the city. On our short span we had some amazing Authentic Mexican food and not to mention the very famous Fish Tacos.

San Diego’s Fish Tacos : Thanks to Ralph Rubios who introduced this delightful dish to Americans. He got inspired by Fish tacos on his visit to San Felipe, Baja California(Mexico ) & after that opened a restaurant in San Diego, CA.

We tried our hands on San Diego’s specialty Fish Tacos/Tacos de pescado: Made out of deep fried battered white fish, served with with lettuce or cabbage, pica de gallo(salsa) and avocado, on a corn tortilla with lime on the side.

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Fish Taco at Los Dos Pedros

We tried fish tacos at Los Dos Pedros near La Jolla Blvd & Fish Mart, San Ysidro & fell in love with one served in Los Dos Pedros, highly recommended for it’s crispy fish. You can’t stop just at one, it’s that delicious.

What Else We Had:

At Taco El Guero-  Located at Dairy Mart Rd, San Ysidro, this restaurant is quite popular among the locals for their tacos and Carne Asada Fries. We had Tacos El Vapor, steamed corned tortilla filled with any type of meat. Bean Tostada with Cheese Enchiladas, a combination of Tortilla with beans and enchiladas served with rice. IMG_8203

At Fish Mart- A convenient place to enjoy Margaritas with complimentary fish soup and tortillas. Next to Taco El Guero (doesn’t have fish tacos in menu), this restaurant serves fresh seafood and fish tacos. We ordered Mango Margarita,combination of mango slush, alcohol and spices on the rim which was totally palatable. Fish Soup came up surprisingly really well. IMG_8208

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At Los Dos Pedros: Near La Jolla Blvd, we had a really appetizing lunch here. There is limited seating space as it’s mainly a takeout joint. Tacos to combos, everything on the menu is cheap and portions are good. We had Chicken Taco combo and Fish Taco Combo, served with beans and rice. As mentioned earlier, their Fish Tacos are too good & worth dying for !!

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Fish Taco Combination
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Chicken Taco Combination

Food Tips:

  1. Try out local food joints, they are affordable and authentic.
  2. Most local joints don’t accept cards, so keep cash handy.
  3. For best Mexican must visit Old Town, San Diego.
  4. The language can be a barrier while going through the menu at some restaurants(especially near the border).

So, what’s in your food list for San Diego?

Wollersheim Winery: Legacy of Prairie Du Sac

It’s almost an year since we landed in USA and tried to savor the best of every city we visited. On our trip to Madison, the capital of Wisconsin we planned our visit to Wollersheim Winery beautifully located across the Wisconsin River.

A 30 miles drive from Wisconsin State Capitol to Prairie Du Sac, then a steep walk uphill and you will be standing on the grounds of historic Wollersheim Winery.

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History of Wollersheim Winery: This journey started way back in 1840’s with Hungarian Agoston Haraszthy planting vines in slopes of the region. Unfortunately the European vines couldn’t survive the harsh winters of Wisconsin, so he left for California and later on became the founder of Wine industry.

Afterwards Peter Kehl took over the place and converted it into an American vineyard. But it was not before 1972 , when Robert and Joann Wollersheim took over the property and Wollersheim Winery came into existence. From there on there have been many additions and changes. Now this legacy is in hands of Philippe Coquard & Julie, daughter of Wollersheim’s, spread across 27 acres vineyards of French-American Hybrid grapes.

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Winery Tour: We took the winery tour which includes a short movie clip about winery’s history, walk around the building & a glance into fermentation room through window, followed by visit to cellars aging in basement which were the highlight of the tour. This guided tour ended in tasting room.

Wine Tour Cost -5 $ each person

After the winery tour do checkout the Historic Wine Cave, originally created by Agoston Haraszthy for wine cellars, which has been restored in 2013. Now it’s a museum showcasing history and artifacts of winery.

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Wine Tasting: While Featured wines are complimentary (included in the tour price), additional wines sampler are available for minimum charges. After a few sampler of the their signature wines Domaine du Sac & Port Wine, followed by  Pinot Noir & White Riesling , we took a bottle of Prairie Sunburst Red to have a sip outside in sun on a cold windy day.

Domaine Du Sac, a dry red one aged in French & American oak barrel is an estate grown wine along with Port Wine which on contrary is mild one with sweetness.

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With an amendment in state law in 2009, Wollersheim Winery bloomed by restarting its distillery in 2015 featuring Gin and Brandy.

Best time to visit: Wollersheim Winery remains open throughout the year, but summers are perfect to appreciate the vineyards with glass of wine and famous Wisconsin cheese.

Timings: Daily 10am to 5pm year around.

On your next visit to Madison, take a drive to this National Historic Site, also accessible from Milwaukee which is located 100 miles away.

Who doesn’t love Harley Davidson!!


Indian Bloggers

After taking an enjoyable ride with Untapped tour we headed for Harley Davidson Museum, a 130,000 sq ft building complex  on the banks of Menomonee river.

Known for its power-packed engines and booming sound, Harley Davidson started as a journey of 4 like minded people (William S. Harley and Arthur, Walter, William A. Davidson) back in 1903.hd-museum-front

Tickets : We bought the tickets along with Untapped tour and got it for 12$ each (saved 8$), you can buy it from museum also.

The museum got opened for public in year 2008, having 450 motorcycles and Harley Davidson Motor Company’s 110 year history artifacts. The museum has two floors, each displaying the history and archives from Harley Davidson Motorcycles. The museum comprises of The Engine Room,The Clubs and Competition gallery, The Motorcycle Gallery , Tank Wall, The Custom Culture gallery & The Experience Gallery. 

Engine Room: After entering the gallery experience the 1940’s Knucklehead Engine dismantled into multiple parts in the Engine Room. This is an exquisite experience for die   hard Harley fans, interacting with motor and sounds of engine. Do not miss the orange wall displaying the evolvement of Harley Davidson’s engines from the very first to the latest.

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The Motorcycle Gallery- Moving through the gallery on upper floor there is a chain of motorcycles depicting the glorious first 50 years. Each of this model is an important segment of the history, serving with postal department and US military, Harley has emerged out as top class motorcycle.IMG_3323IMG_3314

Tank Wall- Be ready to get amazed with 100 designs of Harley Davidson tanks custom-made since 1903 on a single wall. IMG_3337

The Custom Culture Gallery:  This section is dedicated to customized bikes featuring impact of Harley Davidson worldwide, like 13 foot long engine of ‘King Kong’, replica of Captain America and Easy rider bike and many more.

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“King Kong” Bike

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The Clubs and Competition gallery: Since its launch Harley Davidson has been part of many events and tournaments. This section is devoted to those golden moments and the recognition’s of vintage bikes with replica of racing tracks along with photographs and copy of articles to portray the glorious past.IMG_3327

The Experience Gallery: At last before you leave, experience the ride on Harley Davidson and get clicked. The gallery has a wide variety of bikes from the classic ones to the new.IMG_3367

Apart from the museum the premises also have” The shop” (featuring souvenirs, clothing, accessories and collectibles) and a restaurant.

Planning a visit Milwaukee? Make a stop here, you definitely don’t wanna miss this.

Photo: Sea Lion Of La Jolla Cove

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Located on Coast Blvd, La Jolla Cove, CA is a popular attraction offering some breathtaking views, activities and getting personal with sea lions relaxing on the rocks.

Photo: Mughal Garden & Sheesh Mahal, Amer Fort

 

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Untapped Tours: Get Acquainted With Milwaukee

Home to world famous breweries, Milwaukee is nearly 100 miles from Chicago. To get acquainted with this city brought us to Untapped Tours. We heard about this city tour from TripAdvisor and booked without giving it a second thought.

Why Untapped Tours? 

  • A 3 hours tour is the perfect way to explore Milwaukee with very well informed and engaging tour guide Mike.
  • The tour includes the bus ride through the famous streets, mansions and other landmarks of the city.
  • Except this Cheese tasting and Brewery visit are the highlights of the tour.
  • Take home the Souvenir Pint Glass.

Tickets: City Tour$38 p.p , Ticket Packages-$5o p.p. The Package includes City Tour with the tickets for Harley Davidson Museum(general admission only) by saving $8.

Book it here– Untapped Tours of Milwaukee

Tour Itinerary: 

City Hall- Pabst theater- Bronze Fonz- Wisconsin Gas Light Building-Milwaukee art museum- Mansions along Lake Michigan- North Point Lighthouse- Henry W. Maier Festival Park- Historic Third Ward- Clock Shadow Creamery- Miller Park- Miller Brewery- Tripoli Shrine Centre- Pabst Mansion- Lakefront Brewery.

Facts we came across through this trip:

  1. Milwaukee is home to 4 major breweries, Pabst, Miller, Schlitz &Blatz.
  2. Tripoli Shrine Centre is replica of renowned Taj Mahal.
  3. This city is also home to Harley Davidson.
  4. Summerfest , World’s Largest Music Festival is held every year in Milwaukee.
  5. The Wisconsin Gas Building’s flame is an exceptional way to forecast weather.

Travel Tips:

  • Go for Untapped tour if you want to see the best what Milwaukee has to offer.
  • Or you do not have any idea about Milwaukee and its history.
  • This tour starts from City Hall and one has to reach at least 15 minutes earlier.
  • If you are visiting Milwaukee by car then you can park near City Hall.
  • As this is a 3 hr Bus Tour, so plan accordingly.

Do check out Milwaukee In A Day ! for more information.

Untapped tour turned out as an incredible journey through the iconic landmarks of the city. Have you ever came across such a tour?

 

My First Zomato Meet At The Parthenon,Chicago


Indian Bloggers

I was writing reviews on Zomato for more than two years in Delhi/NCR and then I continued my foodie journey in Chicago suburbs too.

Last year in October, unexpectedly I got a invite from Zomato for meetup as I was topping the charts on Chicago’s foodie leader-board. At first I was astonished as attending Zomato meet in Chicago was beyond my imagination.

As I reached the event at The Parthenon, both my excitement and nervousness were at the top, but within couple of minutes it was just we foodies and bloggers sharing our thoughts and experiences. I was filled with wonder that most of them were Indian food admirer.

Why The Parthenon?

Located on S Halsted St,Chicago this place is highly acclaimed for authentic Greek food. In 1968 Parthenon introduced the exclusive dish Saganaki, a flaming cheese appetizer served on a small frying pan. Apart from this, Parthenon made Gyros popular among Chicagoans.

 

Let’s talk food:  As they say, In Parthenon you Dine Like Gods and yes we did, a five course meal !

Appetizers

We got Spanakopitas(mini spinach and feta cheese pies), Broiled Octopus, Skordalia(thick puree of potatoes with garlic) and my favorite Saganaki(flaming cheese) in appetizers. Spanakopitas were very rich & tasteful, broiled octopus was fully flavoured with herbs and lemon, on the other hand Skordalia had the strong flavour of garlic but the star of the night was Saganaki with the shout of “Opa”Check out the video here.o (5)o (6)o (4)o (7)

Soup

For soup I chose Egg and Lemon soup, as it didn’t sounded familiar among those which I have tasted. It was a classic treat, with rice and lemon essence. I am not at all a soup lover but I can go for it again. o (8)

Salad

After the heavenly appetizers and soup I was almost full and there were three course still waiting for me. The salad I opted for was Greek, full of freshness & seasonings topped with olives & feta cheese, it was sure a hit.o (9)

Main Course

From the day I attended this meet, I am a Gyro lover. Gyro is made of lamb or beef on vertical rotisserie, served as shaved meat on pita bread with Tzatziki sauce, a Greek dip made of thick or strained yogurt, cucumber, garlic, salt & olive oil. It was my very first experience with Gyro and indeed it was appetizing. o (11)

Dessert

No meal is complete without a dessert and we wrapped up the meet with Baklava, a layered filo pastry filled with nuts and held together with honey. The Baklava was outstanding, aromatic & fully flavored. It tasted equally well as it looks.o (12)

Overall, my first Zomato meet was overwhelming, more than what I expected out of it. Thanks to all fellow foodies and The Parthenon who made this event unforgettable.