9.2.16

An Unexpectedly Fun US Trip !

A Crafter's Paradise!
          Dear friends in the 2nd half of January we went on a whirlwind style trip to the US..covering San Francisco, Las Vegas and Los Angeles in a span of 6 days!! And yeah that is why I had been missing from blogland!
         I am a nature lover and in my dictionary my ideal vacation is either to my hometown Kerala or to the jungle [ In recent years most of our holidays have been to escape from the hectic city life and we prefer jungle resorts to posh 5 star hotels!]So I didnt have much enthusiasm for the US trip only expressing one wish to my husband...that I wanted to visit Michaels!!
My Crafty Haul from Michaels' , Dollar tree and Walmart!
           My hubby took me to Michaels the very day we landed in the US and Yes Michaels was indeed a crafter's paradise...it was amazing to see the huge variety of crafty goodies but I must give a pat on my back that I didnt go berserk craft shopping and actually spent just 30 dollars at Michaels....hehe I guess I can attribute that to the fact that Michaels doesnt stock a huge range of dies !
Fun with dandelions
           Yes as expected there were posh cars and clean roads but we were pleasantly surprised that we actually got a chance to enjoy nature too!
Grins and Giggles
          Hehe that is me giggling like a little girl and being quite naughty blowing dandelion fluff onto my kiddo!
Hehehe!!
            My  hubby had visited Las Vegas on his own earlier and had narrated some pretty weird stories but visiting Vegas as a family was an entirely different and fun experience altogether !!
Our Hotel Bellagio!
       We stayed at the glamorous Bellagio and the crafter in me couldn't help but be impressed by the grandiosity of the place and the magnificent decor!
Stunning Abstract Flowers on the roof at Bellagio
        The Bellagio was decorated in the Chinese New Year theme and if you are a lover of all things oriental you would be transported into a magical land!
Chinese New Year Decor at the Bellagio
        The beautiful Chinese lanterns hanging from the roofs would take your breath away!
Chinese Lanterns
         Vegas was not at all what I had expected.....oh yes there were the smoke filled crowded casinos and other "attractions" but there was so much more beauty too!!
Reaching for the stars...ahem the peaches!
         It was the Year of the Monkey in the Chinese Calendar and  gardens and fruit trees featured prominently in the decor!
Chinese Temples
         There were fountains ,cute waterfalls and exotic real flowers and beautiful quaint little chinese temples and even real koi fish in little ponds all within our hotel!
M and Ms...mmmm yummy!
      The best part of Vegas was exploring the various themed hotels and stores...my lil one went "ooooh" at the huge M and M store!
At the Coca Cola House ! 
 And hubby and I had a lil polar bear hug at Coca Cola House!
Illuminated Castle
      The impression I had about Vegas from the movies was that it was for gambling and g......ls. Well if you go as a family you can find the most fun things too like the huge beautiful magically lighted castle above!!
At the Rainforest themed Cafe
And hug huge frogs at The Rainforest!
At the Pyramid
     If like me you are are fascinated by Egypt....there is a huge Egyptian themed Pyramid hotel with the Sphinx, Anubis, Tutankhamen and more!!
Flamingos!
          And yes those are real flamingos....could you believe they live happily in a huge garden of their own in the Flamingo hotel and casino !!
           I took the picture below just to share with my crafty friends......
What a dress!
In close up.....yes made up of buttons galore!!
Buttons Galore!
           We explored the city mostly on foot and just for the fun of it hopped hotels in the free tram service!!
Stunning Roof!
          Buildings don't usually impress me but I find mythology fascinating so it was thrilling  to watch the "Fall of Atlantis " at Caesar's palace!
Caesar's Palace
           They had huge  ray fish at the "ruins of Atlantis" and one could just reach out as they glided across your head!
Catching Ray Fish!

Golden Dragon!
 My photo doesnt quite capture the sheer magnificence of the Ruby and Gold Sparkling Dragon!
The Year of the Monkey!
Ah yes being the Year of the Monkey  there was a huge Monkey king all decked up in jewels and he impressed the heck out of us!!
Chinese Lanterns
 There were so many beautiful  huge lanterns one would think one was in the orient!!
Tropical Paradise in Vegas!
       I had not expected to like Las Vegas at all but ooh the city sure left a magical impression on us!
Vegas- A Magical Land!!
        At Hollywood, LA I finally got to meet my hero....The Terminator...hehe yes I unashamedly admit I am a huge Terminator and Arnold Schwarzenegger fan !!
Terminator!!!
             And as the finale to our trip we spent a day at the Universal Studios!
Jaws...A trip down Memory lane!
          When I was around 7 or 8yrs my parents had taken me to the Universal Studios and the big Jaws Shark,[ one of the stars of the Universal Studios Tour during the 80s ] had scared the wits out of me!! It was great to meet him and say Hi after all these years!!
My little Minion!
            Minions were all over Universal Studios and managed to impress my lil girl so much she has decided she is going to have a Minion theme birthday party this year[ I better start collecting yellow and blue paper by the ton !!]
Can you guess what Count Dracula whispered to me!!
         And finally leaving you with a picture of  me flirting with another secret crush of mine....... Count Dracula!

          This is the first time I am sharing holiday pictures on my blog but so many of my blogger friends are from the US and I felt I just had to share !!

66 comments:

  1. Looks like you had a wonderful US trip experiencing a lot of fun things. I also bought some of the Dollar Tree heart gems. Michaels has dwindled down their dies & such and have increased their jewelry and gift bag/box/party sections much to my disappointment. When I want dies I order them online mostly now. Have a BEE-utiful day!
    Melissa
    "Sunshine HoneyBee"

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    1. Oh Yes Melissa they had just a few Sizzix dies and hugely overpriced. The stamp collection was decent ! The best part was seeing the huge size of the store and walking down the aisles seeing the huge variety of crafts!!

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  2. TFS your beautiful photos. It looked like a fabulous trip! I live on the east coast of the US, but have been to the west coast once in my lifetime. It was 37 years ago, so much has changed. Really cool stuff!

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    1. Hehe Pat each of us manage to see only so much of our own countries!! There is so much left of my own beautiful country India that I have to cover !!

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  3. Awesome pictures Sonia, you know what, I'm also traveling to the US next week, and will be visiting the exact same places! I'll ping you separately to get some tips about what to do and see, esp things to do in Vegas with a child. You spent only $30 at Micheals!!! wow!! You've got a lot of self conrol! But you got a lot of stuff for that much! Visiting Micheals and Joan will be a dream come true for me! I am so looking forward to it!!

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    1. Juhi if you chose and plan wisely your daughter will not get stressed but have a gala time.Ours was such a whirl wind trip I had to make decisions to decrease the stress...I cancelled a whole day at the Grand Canyon even though we had our tickets all booked as it involved a tedious bus journey....I am glad I did it since it left my daughter fresh and full of energy to really see and enjoy Vegas! I went to Michaels armed with 40 % off coupons and billed in 3 goes giving coupons to my daughter and hubby too and frankly speaking dollar tree is the place where I lost self control and there I didnt have to convert dollars to rupees and there is such a lot of crafty stuff to buy there too!! If you are short on time skip Joans as its more of fabric and less papercrafting goodies!

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    2. Coupons are the key to a good shopping trip in Michaels and Joann...

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    3. Oh Yes Purvi since I had known about coupons I got more value for money spent!

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  4. very interesting trip post by u dear. could feel the happiness in all you three. Hugs to prisha mollu

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    1. Oh Yes Shylaa but being the patriot that I am I couldnt help but quip that our own Wanderla has more rides than Universal Studios...we dont market it as well!!

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  5. wow Sonia, great to see all this through your eyes !!

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    1. Hehe Suman I hadnt expected to have half the fun we had so it was an amazing experience!!

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  6. There is so much more to Vegas than gambling and drinks and all...There is so much beauty in terms of architecture to explore in Vegas...and there are some seriously cool rides in Stratosphere...
    My hubby and I had gone to Vegas around the same time 2 years back...we too got to see the Chinese New Year decorations...

    I MISS MICHAELS AND JOANN sooooooooooooo much!!!!

    Glad you had a great holiday...LV, LA and SFO...that must have an awesome trip...

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    1. Purvi I go dizzy even on a local merry go round so we were not tempted to go anywhere near the Stratosphere! My hubby had visited 2 yrs back so I guess you were there at the same time!!

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  7. WOW!! Sonia, those pictures were amazing and thank you so much for sharing..what a lovely family you are and what a wonderful experience..

    Luv CHRISSYxx

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    1. Yes Chrissy we had some fun times and I am glad we could create some fabulous memories for my daughter to treasure for life!!

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  8. Looks like you had a lot of fun!
    I´ve been a bit disappointed from Michael´s in Ohio, BUT I loved Hobby Lobby <3

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    1. The Michales I visited was in Union city...it was huge....almost like a big school and the staff were fantastic!!

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  9. Looks like a visit in a part of 1001 nights-fairytale!
    Nancy

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    1. Hehe Yes Nancy Vegas was indeed like fairyland we could take a tram from china and land in Egypt and another one to go to Venice!!

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  10. Oh! That's why we were missing you here on our blog land! Lovely pics...glad to see that you had time with the nature too! :)
    Suchi xx

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    1. Oh Yes Suchi even in the glitz and glamour we cherished the time we could spend gazing at the ray fish in the huge aquarium and I am so glad my husband patiently gave me and kiddo that extra time to wind down and connect with nature!!

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  11. I did wonder where you had been Sonia, now the pictures tell the whole story and what a fab collection they are highlighting all the glitz and glamour. I've never been to Vagas as like you we tend to favour more rural locations (and yes Egypt is one you should do) but I have a real inkling now to see the bright lights.

    Thank yo for sharing your wonderful trip.

    B x

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    1. Brenda I have been fascinated by Egypt since my school days and at one point of time I even wanted to become an archaeologist!! But I am not sure if Egypt as a holiday would be a good holiday destination for my family as no one else has quite the passion for Egypt! The USA left a great impression on my daughter however!!

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  12. Looks like you had a wonderful holiday.

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    1. Oh yes I hadnt expected to enjoy myself but it was fun!

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  13. Wow, you have had an amazing time on youre trim, beautifull pictures indeed, This is for me an wil bi only a dreem but realy thank you for sharing, I have realy enjoy them!!
    ♥Hugs Valentina♥

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    1. Thank you so much Valentina

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  14. Wow!! Lovely post & fabulous pics! Thanks for sharing these wonderful moments with us.

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    1. Thank you for dropping in Priyanka

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  15. Loved seeing your pictures. Looks like you had a wonderful time.

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    1. Thank you so much for dropping in Stephanie

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  16. So glad you had fun!!!! We always love Las Vegas as a family ... can always find something to do together there!! And so happy you got to see the Bellagio gardens!! They are my FAVE!!!!! The designs in the garden are gorgeous!! And we love Universal Studios too ... soooooooo fun!!!!!!!!!!!!! Loving all the photos!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    1. Julie since we stayed at the Bellagio we could thoroughly explore it to our heart's content!!

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  17. Thank you for this wonderful virtual tour Sonia, US is on my bucket list too and Las vegas features prominently in it. I hope I get to go there soon

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    1. Hehe Divya may your wish come true...The only country on my bucket list is Singapore!!

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  18. look like you and your family had a blast. so nice that your husband took you to Michaels. Next trip to the US try AC Moore, the price is cheaper than Michaels.

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    1. Thank you for the suggestion Helen. We had such a tight schedule squeezing in time to visit Michael's was itself a big deal!!

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  19. Looks like you had an amazing holiday..Lovely post Dr Sonia.. enjoyed reading it and lovely pics.. my fav are Prisha with minion and prisha and yours dandelion pic :)

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    1. Hehe Radhika...the dandelion episode is etched firmly in my mind and I am hoping my daughter will remember it too!!

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  20. What beautiful photos you have shared with us! I am so happy you had such a wonderful trip! I enjoyed seeing the goodies you purchased at Michaels. I went to a Michaels not far from us that was moving and all of the items that were on clearance were an additional 50% off. I purchased $109.00 worth of supplies for $22.00 that included Martha Stewart Punch sets and some awesome stamps and stamp sets. I purchase most of my dies on-line because that is the only way to find a huge selection. Looks like you had fun at Universal. I have been to the one in Orlando Florida. I actually worked at Disney World in Orlando when I was in High School. Looking forward to seeing your Minion birthday creations!
    Pam
    scrap-n-sewgranny.blogspot.com

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  21. What a lovely post, Sonia! Your pictures are beautiful and I'm so happy you bought some fun new crafty supplies! Thank you for sharing your sweet memories with us. :o) Have a beautiful day!

    Hugs and blessings,
    Karen

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  22. Wow! Congrats on your awesome trip! I have not been able to travel much, so a trip like this would be a dream! Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos!

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  23. Glad you had so much fun!! Micheals is definitely the crafter's paradise. And glad you shopped at Dollar Tree too. It's one of my favorite places to shop for craft supplies. Thanks for sharing all the beautiful pictures!! Your daughter seems to have enjoyed it!! It's a nice age to enjoy places :)
    -Berina
    Moxie Craftie

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  24. Oh, it looks like such an amazing trip, Sonia!! Wow!! The pictures are stunning!! It was like being transported to Vegas with you!! I love all of the sweet shots of you and your family!! Vegas is amazing, especially when it's all lit up at night!! You packed in so much in such a short time!! I'm impressed at your spending control at Michaels!! It's disappointing that they don't carry dies anymore. I mostly shop at Hobby Lobby...they don't have a huge selection of dies but they do have some. Thank you so much for sharing your trip with us!! I'm going to scroll back up and look at the beautiful pictures again!! Have a great day!! Big hugs :)

    Lisa
    A Mermaid's Crafts

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  25. Amazing photos-you're trip sounds like a success.

    Each visit to the USA(to see family-we live in the UK) leaves me disappointed in the craft shops as they don't stock many , if any dies. I do love the dollar stores though.

    Michele

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  26. You had an amazing US trip with a lot of beautiful things! Your photos are so nice! Thank you for sharing us.

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  27. ....I'm speechless.....!!!!!! Stunning photos and trip, my eyes are full of colours and of amazing things!!! Thanks very much for sharing all these beauty with us!!! You have had a fabulous vacation!!!

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    1. So sweet of you to travel with me via my photos!!

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  28. Thanks for sharing your photos and your adventures. I'm sorry to hear you were disappointed with Joann's crafting department. I do NOT think all stores stock the same merchandise. I live in Dallas, TX, and Joann's here, carries lots of Sizzix & Spellbinder's dies. The Michael's near my house, no longer carries any dies. But there is also Hobby Lobby, that carries a lot of dies, and a huge aisle of rubber stamps.

    There is a GREAT Rubber Stamp store in Las Vegas called Viva Las Vegas! They carry an enormous amount of stamps and supplies! The store is so crowded with merchandise; I had a hard time focusing! Their online store does not do them justice! I visited it last June and was and purchased a lot of stuff!

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    1. Hehe you have made me add Hobbylobby to my to go to wish list now. I had known about the Viva Las Vegas shop but since I dont do an awful lot of stamping thought I would give it a miss!

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  29. It looks like you had a wonderful time. I always enjoy shopping at Michaels and you did good only spending 30 dollars.

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    1. Hehe Ann...I had mentally prepared myself to be dazzled and given myself a 100 dollar budget but I had just one hour at Michaels and rather than shop I wanted to see every inch of the shop!!

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  30. What a great time you enjoyed! Even though my uncle lives in Vegas I have not been back since 1965! Thanks for the photos and your thoughts! VERY happy such a great time was enjoyed by your family, and I hope everyone you encountered was nice! Your family looks friendly and outgoing. Isn't it funny sometimes how we can wish to avoid a person, place or thing, only to discover how incredible it/they can be? Glad you're home safe and sound. Hugs, de

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    1. Hehe Donna as a family we try our best to enjoy our holidays together and yes it is so good to be pleasantly surprised!! And yes this trip we didnt meet a single rude soul ...even the cashier at Michaels was a sweetheart!!

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  31. Sonia looks like your trip was a fun one! You have a beautiful family:) Boy I only live 95 mile from Las Vegas, you were so close! Glad you got to visit Michaels.

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    1. Oh Davi....I had actually debated whether I should write a blog post before my departure about my US trip and connecting with blogger friends but time was so short !

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  32. Looks like a wonderful trip! Come to St. Louis next time! Hugs...

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  33. Wow! What fun you had. It was nice to see all three of you having such a great time. It was also nice to see the magical side of Las Vegas. Like you, I did not have a good impression of it, though I have never been there.
    Hugs,
    Teresa

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  34. Oho! that was the reason I was missing your posts. Wonderful trip looks like. And the craft stuff - very beautiful! I wonder how could you control yourself to buy only for $30...hahaha

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  35. Wow..what a wonderful time you had dwar..dure looks fun! I have been to Michaels ones when I just started crafting some 10 years ago! If sure felt like paradise! ! Lovely pics of vegas architecture and treasured moments with family!

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  36. Fantastic photos Sonia. Looks like you had a fabulous Holiday..Loz

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  37. Great to see you happy and enjoying the trip .Awesome pics thanks for sharing

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  38. Lovely pictures looks like you guys had an awesome time !!

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  39. What fun to have been there for Chinese New Years. The Oriental lanterns and decorations look gorgeous.
    Sounds like a fun trip for all and glad you got to shop at Michaels!

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  40. Thank you so very much sharing those beautiful photos and enabling those of us who will probably never visit, a chance to see the wonders and beauty of your visit.

    I must admire your dollar spend, very restrained of you LOL.

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