Monday, April 30, 2012

Ruby Tuesday 2 - Indian Children in Jaipur - May 1, 2012

I still have so many wonderful pictures of India to post.  Hopefully,
going through them all will help keep me from missing "the country of
my heart" so much until I can return.  I am just hoping that it will be
possible for me to go back.  Having just spent three days in the hospital
( and still on ten days of antibiotics for cellulitis of my left ankle - not
related to my four months in India ), I am increasingly made aware
that, at 67, horror of horrors, my traveling days may be numbered.

I spotted these two little girls enjoying the sun on the promenade near the
beautiful Jai Mahal, the palace which stands in Man Sagar Lake.  It is an
area protected from traffic and, especially on weekends, people are out,
buying drinks and tidbits from the vendors and there are crafts and wares
being sold ( as evidenced by the array of bangles spread out in the distance ).

 I am participating in Ruby Tuesday 2
Check out the site and add your bit of red photography to
join in the fun!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Mellow Yellow Monday #171 - Bangalore House - April 30, 2012

Across the street from the lovely home in Bangalore ( Bengaluru );
Karnataka, India, where I spent six days, I could see a beautiful
sunrise every morning ( if I opened my eyes that early ), a vacant
lot of castor trees, and this yellow house, among other things.

I am participating in Mellow Yellow Monday #171
Add your touch of yellow to join in the fun!

Scenic Sunday - Sunset in New Delhi, India - April 29, 2012

Our day in New Delhi ended with a auto rickshaw ride around the government
buildings as the sun was setting.  It was lovely as it was Sunday and there was
minimal traffic and we had enjoyed a wonderful brunch at the Imperial Hotel.

I am participating in Scenic Sunday - check out the site
to see other lovely photographs from around the world.

What Might Have Been - April 29, 2012

This is dedicated to all the wonderful men who have
been part of my life!  I have been fortunate
that many have remained friends to this day.

What Might Have Been

Letting go is always hard,
Especially for me,
When I find someone special,
I want them to always be.

Perhaps, it was intense too fast,
Too sizzling, too much heat,
But even with the temperature,
It  was tender and so sweet.

I'll cherish you forever,
The deep pools of your eyes,
I could languish there eternally,
Where your spirit lies.

Thoughts will come unbidden,
When I am far away,
I'll remember little things,
As I go about my day.

No dwelling on what might have been,
On imaginary bliss,
As I send to you, on angel's wings,
A tearful farewell kiss.

Carmen Henesy

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Camera Critters #212 - Little Boy Solorzano - April 28, 2012

It isn't that I don't like cats.  I am quite allergic to them.  My already existent
sneezes and sniffles, runny nose and eyes become even more so, even around
cute, cuddly kittens.  Cats really seem to have this thing for me and, in my
presence, they make a bee line for my presence with an uncanny radar.

Once a week, my landlady ( really, my dear friend, Silvia ) has a visit from
her daughter and "grandcat," Little Boy Solorzano for a couple of days.  This
is quite an elite and elegant feline - a sleek gray beauty, who has an occasional
bath in baby shampoo and then gets a treatment to keep his coat so nice.

Yesterday, he posed for a photo session with some disdain since I won't
let him into my room.  I did praise him profusely, pet him, then ran and
washed my hands copiously.

I am participating in Camera Critters #212 -
add your critter photo to join in the fun.


Friday, April 27, 2012

The Beauty of Being Home - April 27, 2012

Of course, everyone knows how much I love India, the country of my
heart....however, it is nice to be home in the USA for awhile, especially
in my part of it, the northern California coast, near San Francisco.  I was
just released from my three day hospital stint yesterday and I'm back
at the home of my dear friend, Silvia, where I'm renting a room until I
decide what to do ( probably, I'll head back to India after visiting family
and friends in the South ).

This morning, I had my coffee on the living room couch, looking out
Silvia's window which, of course, reminded me why I love this area so
much.  In spite of a few man made obstacles, it is still beautiful.

Electrical lines cannot obscure the beauty of Ocean Beach in the distance, just a
few miles away.  On some days, you cannot even see beyond the plate glass 
window because of the fog but today was exceptional and gave me much joy.

Over the rooftops, the Pacific gleams blue in the sunlight.  It is usually a very 
cold 55 degrees so people, brave enough to swim ( most beaches have 
warning signs about dangerous undertows ) or surf, usually wear wet suits.
Ships, seen from here, have already sailed under the Golden Gate, out of San
Francisco Bay and are in the open ocean.

If you look off in the distance, you can see the spires of our beautiful Golden
Gate Bridge which celebrates its 75th anniversary in May.  Seeing it always 
feels me with such a sense of delight and awe.  I've felt the same every time I've
seen it for the past 49 years since my first time at the age of 18.

Just looking down, I see part of Silvia's pretty back yard.  She spends a good deal
of time there, painting, planting, pruning with wonderful results.  Being here with 
her is so therapeutic for me! Years ago, we worked together ( she was a therapist &
social worker ) when I was a nurse at the San Francisco Rape Treatment Center )
and it is wonderful for us to have this time together in retirement.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Ruby Tuesday 2 - Red and Yellow Bridge Rails Leading to Hong Kong - April 24, 2012

After my four month stay in India, Hong Kong seemed most modern and quite different.
The bridges everywhere were architectural delights.  I liked this one with its red and
yellow railings.  Each country has much to offer the visitor.

I am participating in Ruby Tuesday 2 -

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Camera Critters #211 - Cat On a Hot Tin Roof - April 21, 2012

During my recent visit to Patiala, Punjab, India, I looked out the front window
where I was staying and saw a neighbor's cat, enjoying the warm sun on the
roof of the family vehicle.  He didn't seem to enjoy my intrusion.

I am participating in Camera Critters -
add your photo and join in the fun!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

A Splurge in Hong Kong - Dinner at the T'Ang Court, Langham Hotel - April 14, 2012

Since I flew Cathay Pacific, one of the world's finest airlines ( in my opinion ),
for my trip to India, I was allowed a stopover in Hong Kong on my return.  I
spent five days there, enjoying all the sights and sounds.  I hadn't been in 4 
years and, while it certainly would have been more fun if I had been with friends,
I managed to enjoy myself alone.  For the most part, I ate at the little small 
places in the Tsim Shat Sui area of Kowloon where I was staying.  One night,
however, I decided to indulge myself and went to my favorite online review
site, TripAdvisor, to look at their recommendations for dinner.  I chose to 
dine at T'ang Court at the Langham Hotel, a Cantonese restaurant, rated #8 out
of 3,332 restaurants in Hong Kong by TripAdvisor.  It was superb.

I was most impressed with the Langham Hotel, itself.  In my past life as a 
working RN, it's the kind of place my friends and I might have chosen on one
of our "queen" journeys.  It was most elegant and lovely and the T'ang Court
was equally so.  I was greeted by name by several of the staff and shown 
to a table in the beautiful dining room.  Soft strains of taped ehru music,
the two stringed Chinese musical instrument I have always enjoyed, played
softly in the background.  Since it was Easter night, there were only a few
tables occupied but the diners seemed most engrossed in their meals.  

Lobby, Langham Hotel, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China

Lobby flowers, close up

Main dining room, T'ang Court

Dining room flowers

The menu was incredible, filled with all sorts of chef's special recommendations 
and set menus.  Having lived in the San Francisco area for over thirty-five 
years, which houses one of the world's largest Chinese populations, good 
Chinese food, especially Cantonese, is not foreign to me.  Instead of choosing
a meal, I picked multiple items from the menu - appetizers, soup, some of the
chef's recommendations, all of which were outstanding.  I know I went over-
board with my selections and, as the staff's eyes grew wider and wider, I 
asked them to advise me.  I ended up with three fewer items which was a
good thing.  By the time I was ready to leave, I could barely walk!!!

The table was very simply and elegantly set with a single green orchid in a glass.
Everything, throughout the meal, was accompanied by sauces.  My pitcher of
jasmine tea was most elegant.  Each item of food was savored and enjoyed to the
fullest.  I spent about two hours dining, listening to the lovely music and enjoying
the ambiance.  It was nice to be away from the clatter and noise of the Nathan Road
dining spots.

Lovely pink shadow from my cocktail

Many paged menu

Jasmine tea

T'ang Court Appetizer plate - fried eel, octopus sashimi, jellyfish,
roast duck, roast pork

Kimchi appetizer

Braised noodles with whole small abalone

Braised seafood and beancurd soup

Crisp tofu skin appetizer ( this was fabulous )

Roast suckling pig...the skin was exquisite

View of the table with some of the dishes

Roast pigeon ( its head came on a different plate )

Jelly fish and pork

A trio of desserts

This was a wonderful feast - if only I could have shared it with someone special,
it would have been absolutely perfect.  Every morsel was an exquisite taste and, 
as you can see, there was certainly enough for two - or, even, three people.  This
was my third trip to Hong Kong - and, sadly, since I'm 67, probably my last.  I 
will never forget dinner at the T'ang Court at the Langham Hotel, one of the 
great meals of my life.  I returned from India and had a visit with my primary
care physician.  It seems I lost 25 pounds during my four month sojourn in 
India....possibly, I lost 30 pounds but my Chinese feast probably restored 5
pounds!!  The price of this meal, before the gratuity - $125 US dollars!!

Monday, April 09, 2012

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Hong Kong - Victoria Harbor, Symphony of Lights, April 8, 2012

I spent twelve hours yesterday, out and about, walking the streets of Kowloon, then
heading toward Victoria Harbor.  I booked a night "Symphony of Lights" cruise to
see the spectacular light show, then wandered around a bit more, taking in the sights,
sounds, smells and energy that is Hong Kong.  It was amazing to me not to see one
person in a colorful sari.  India is not that far away.  Mostly, I encountered the younger
generation, perched on precarious shoes, dressed in mini everything, giggling, holding
hands, or visiting tourists such as me, some with money being spent in the many
exclusive shops everywhere or others bargaining in little stores.

The light show, of course, was spectacular.  The overcast cleared up to give us an
incredible viewing.  No one puts on an extravaganza like Hong Kong.

Victoria Harbor, before sunset

One of several harbor tour boats

Hong Kong is one of the world's most popular cruise ports

Lights begin coming on about sunset

The show, sponsored by the Hong Kong Tourism Board, takes place every
night at 8PM, when the weather is good.  44 buildings, on both sides of 
Victoria Harbor, participate in the display.  It is the largest permanent sound
and light show in the world.  For more detailed information on the Symphony