Being surrounded by something BLUE

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Now that it is cold outside (and snowing!), I sit on my couch everyday and reminisce about the vacations that I took in warm places. This one is all about Cancun, Mexico! We flew from Buffalo to Atlanta, changed flights to Mexico city and then flew to Cancun – a really long distance to travel. On the way to Cancun I read a couple of books and watched some movies, but on the way back I was so tired that all I did was sleep (somebody had to wake me up at the buffalo airport!).


I like to shop and dine in the local currency, so the first thing I did after landing at Mexico city was to exchange the currency. If I end up not spending all of it, I get to keep it as a souvenir!

 10 reasons you should visit Cancun.

1. It’s sunny and warm!

This alone should be a reason enough to love any place. For somebody who had been shivering in the buffalo winter for 5 months, this warm place was a paradise. For once I could head out in the open without my heavy jacket, and all those heavy winter accessories and not freezing to death! The sheer ability to walk out in the streets in your sandals (and no thick socks!) and feel the warmth of the sun against your skin felt extremely great.

sunny 2


2. The ocean.

Who doesn’t love water and beautiful beaches! The Caribbean coast is as beautiful as it is in the pictures. With clear light blue water and white sand, it’s really hard to click a bad picture.


My first day in Cancun, rushed to the beach as soon as we checked in!


This is how beautiful it really was.

3. It’s ‘THE’ place to be during spring break.

Cancun is a famous spring break destination, has a decent party scene and places like CoCo Bongo and Mandala are jam packed (and have pretty high entry fees too).


4. Awesome food.

Where else can you find the most delicious and authentic Mexican food other than in Mexico?! I’m a Mexican food lover and try to eat as much as I can when I travel to the southwest (you don’t get such great Mexican/Tex-Mex food in the north). Be it salsa and chips or the plain tacos, there were the best I have ever had.


This is just a tiny part of what we actually ate!

5. You can forget partying and become a tourist for the day.

We partied in the night and visited places during the day with just 4 hrs of sleep every night. If you like to do some touristy things there is Chichen Itza – one of the wonders of the world few hours away by bus (you can book a tour bus). Another reason to visit this place – you get to eat more awesome food in that area! And if you are in that area don’t miss out on this mesmerizing cave (Yes, they allow you to swim in there!)


Chichen Itza


This water is supposed to make you younger!

6. You can actually see sting rays in their natural habitat!

Yes, I did! I almost touched it, glad I didn’t! :) I can’t swim and that didn’t stop me from snorkeling, thanks to my friends! We went to a place called Xel-ha where I saw amazing corals, beautiful fishes too. My most memorable thing was snorkeling under a boat and when  suddenly hundreds of fishes came out of their hiding and swam past me.




7. You get to see creatures which you have only seen in books and on TV.

This guy was chilling around the bus stop while we screamed in fear! He/she was seen everywhere, even near the Chichen itza area.


8. You get to stay in a hotel right next to a beach and it doesn’t make a hole in your pocket!

Hotels are pretty cheap when booked quite early. We got a place which had a nice view of the ocean and was well within our budget (read a student’s budget).


Our hotel



The beach in our hotel’s backyard!


9. There is just so much to see!


Sunny streets                                                        Pretty little shops


A wall art                                               A church on our way back from Chichen Itza


Mayan art

Oh wait, where’s No. 10 you ask?

That’s for you to figure out on your visit to Cancun  :)

Fall Colors


Best part of living in a place which has 4 distinct seasons is the fall. It’s like a bright warning saying that colorless winter is right around the corner. Where do Buffalonians (That’s what people who live in Buffalo are called apparently) go to view the fall colors? You can obviously view some beautifully painted trees right outside your window, but seeing the whole landscape painted in bright red, orange, yellow and green is something else. We go to Letchworth State Park for that.


Different shades of the park.

Letchworth is about 1hr 30 mins drive from Buffalo.


The Upper waterfall. That’s a railway track on the bridge.


Under the bridge.



Drops of colorful paint everywhere!

What’s your favorite place to see the fall foliage?

Cruising through the Desert

I visited Sequoia National Park during mid August, flew to phoenix and drove all the way to the SNP (Mr Husband was visiting from Austria and wanted to drive in the US, and since I love to drive, I didn’t complain).


The Giant Sequoia against a car


Met the largest tree on earth General Sherman.


Instead of taking the faster freeway, decided to take the historic Route 66 while driving back from Sequoia to Phoenix. Best decision ever!


The road was deserted, stopped at random places and clicked pictures like crazy. After a while noticed a lot of black rocks on the side of the road. According to Google, it was lava which spewed out of an ancient (now extinct) volcano. Since I love volcanoes, decided to make a detour and visit the Amboy Crater. I really wanted to go all the way up to the crater, but it was quite a walk and it was extremely hot outside (read 116F).


A rock with the extinct volcano in the background

Stopped at the historic route 66 road sign and clicked some pictures. The landscape was amazing. Never expected desert to look so beautiful.


With beautiful sunsets..


Ever since I landed in Phoenix, I had been looking for Saguaro (the huge cactus species that shows up when you google Arizona). To my utter disappointment, I couldn’t find a single one, in-spite of searching for 4 days (no, I don’t have vision issues). Finally, it was time to check out of the hotel and catch the flight back to buffalo (I’m extremely sad at this point and my husband is trying to comfort me by telling that we would come back to Arizona, just to view the cacti (yeah, I can be extremely childish sometimes)). And all of a sudden, like magic, there was a huge cactus right in front of me! Since we had checked into the hotel in the middle of the night we hadn’t noticed it.

You can see how happy I am in this photograph taken with the cactus. :D

On second thoughts I decided not to put up the picture of me ridiculously grinning over a cactus. Instead, here is a cat :


I got this cute little cactus from Phoenix (the green creepy lizard-sort-of-a-thing is not real though).


While I was typing this, Mr Bear got interested in Asimov. I had to literally snatch the book from him… Literate bears are a nightmare! :) Btw, I found him in Sequoia National Park.

P.S. he is not real! :)

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Testing manga skills on iDraw

Ever since Adobe illustrator became too expensive for me, there has been a void in my life. (Had to use the big words – void and life.)

iDraw has an interface a lot more like illustrator, making it easier to adapt. So I tried drawing manga characters using iDraw (as you can see, I’m terrible at drawing).


I learnt how to draw this from this

iDraw definitely lacks a lot when compared to illustrator.

I miss you Illustrator. I think I’ll have to come up with a plan to convince my husband into buying me an Adobe subscription. Trust me, it won’t be that easy :/

Meanwhile, I’ve been trying out Inkscape. It’s an open source software (meaning it’s free), and is meant to be an alternative to illustrator. If anybody is interested in Inkscape, you can find it here. If you are installing it on Mac, make sure you install XQuartz first (the link has the details). Inkscape is pretty well known, you can find plenty of video tutorials on Youtube.

I guess my next post will be about Inkscape and more terrible sketches to sore your eyes out :)


Winter is just around the corner! I miss the sun already :(

It’s been cloudy and dark for a few days now.. Last year, just before the sun decided to go on a vacation, we had visited Portland over a weekend… I found these pictures while I was checking my old external drive..The Saturday market, the Powell’s, Dante’s, the food trucks, the Voodoo donut shop were all covered and conquered :). I feel like going on a vacation right now, to someplace where the sun still shines bright and nice, and it still feels like summer. I guess I’m still not ready for the winter Buffalo winter :(


This place had awesome coffee





Sometimes it’s good to have only a few options.

I just got back from grocery shopping, and thats what I feel right now.

Choices, when offered, tends to make a person like me pretty confused. Even after I choose something, there is always the feeling of ” maybe the other choice was better”. And thus the confusion continues.

I had this revelation while hunting for a box of band-aids! After surviving N number of choices, making decisions in the dairy aisle, cereal aisle, fresh fruits aisle and many more, I finally reached the first-aid aisle. I thought it would be easy, after all how many options can you have in a band-aid. But boy, was I wrong! The whole aisle was filled with around 70 different types of band-aids! And each one was different from the other by a minute detail ! And top of that there were so many brands, same features with price difference.

Well, I spent 20 minutes in front of that aisle before deciding what to buy. And I hope I got the right one!

Have you ever felt that you have too many options around you?

I wish…

I wish I could go out for a drive right now. Have coffee in a small coffee shop, somewhere far away. Find a lake, sit on a bench and stare at the ripples in the water.

Hmmmm…. Wishes……

I cast on my waiting for spring sweater today. Since I just finished a sweater with Wool-ease, I decided to use Lion brand Heartland instead. Joann had a sale on Heartland yarn and I thought it would be a perfect time to cast on!

I have been working on yarns from Joann and Michaels and have been looking for a change. I even tried visiting the local yarn shops, but they were pretty expensive. Recently I found out that I could order DROPS from a store in CA called Nordic Mart. I ordered few skeins of Drops loves you 4 in bright orange! I plan to make a Lempster after I finish the sweater that I just started.

Meanwhile, I finished and washed my GAP-tastic cowl.




No, I don’t have a cat, and its not called Molly ( though I would love to someday).

I wasn’t a cat lover. I found the young ones cute, but thats it. That is, until I met my husband. He loves cats, not just because they are cute, but because they are SMART ! He made me change the way I look at cats :) And now, I like cats. :)

I have no idea why I’m talking about cats as this post has nothing to do with them!

My Molly is a beanie ! Yep, the one you wear on your head !


I used Bernat Satin Ombres in Plum Mist Heather . I love the color. Its a bit darker than the picture, Seattle was exceptionally sunny that day!