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... and some other Travel Bloggers

It's been a while since we talked awards here on Tipsy from the TRIP. A few weeks back, Vijay Sharma of Photo Journey introduced Tipsy from the Trip to the readers of Photo Journey by nominating this blog for a Liebster. And earlier this year Shweta of Sunshine and Zephyr was kind enough to take us to 'her' public. 
Now is the time for a big Thank you to these two bloggers. I know it's been a while... But because it is 'Better late than never,' here's the post that addresses these blog awards. 
Thank you VJ for including Tipsy from the TRIP in your list of Liebster blogs. I gladly accept this 'dear blog award' by answering the questions you posed. 

1.)Why do you travel?

...because I love seeing places,because I need to break away from my day-to-day routine every now and then, because I'm curious about places, because I have travel cravings; sometimes I feel like going up to the mountains, sometimes into the redwoods, sometimes to the seaside, sometimes I just want to go check out a city (I find beauty in cities too). Some months back I had this craving for carvings (that was a new one). And I always crave long drives (that one's like an insatiable craving), because I get a high from tripping (and it could be trip to a far away place it could just be in my backyard -- well -- sort of ;) Now you know why this blog is called Tipsy from the TRIP).

2) What is your most beautiful memory from your past travels?

It wouldn't be fair to pick just one but if I absolutely must, I should say the 'energy' of Hawaii did get to me when I set foot in Oahu and then went on to Big Island. I've said this before -- it felt like everybody was in holiday mode, even the people who 'worked there.' That place seems to have an upbeat air around it, I swear.

3) What are the things you keep in mind when you plan your travels?

These days there are kids involved in the trips I go on. So safety is important. We try to make it a priority, although sometimes we do run into not -so - safe environments or incidents and then all we can do is just take in our stride.

4) Do you recommend that people travel? Why?

 Oh yes! It’s very very enriching. Travelling is 'learning the fun way!!'

5) How do you manage your jobs, family lives? Especially if you travel often.

 I'm playing stay-at-home-mom at the moment. And that means I need lot of breaks from home. :) I have two little ones beneath my wings (one’s 6, the other’s 1) and I cannot get myself to enjoy places without them so we travel as a family. Now that my older one has started elementary school, trips are squeezed into the gaps between school weeks and of course -- holidays. Thankfully there’s a lot to do in the figurative backyard. :)

6) What is your most favourite destination so far?

Can I cheat here and put in a long list? No? (ok people -- my favourite places are scattered all over this blog and I have some more names in the drafts; they'll be published sooner or later).

7) What is that one place you want to visit, that you haven't visited already? Why do you want to visit this place?

Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Crater Lake and Painted Hills in OR, any place that will show me Aurora Borealis ... I also seem to have an affinity for natural phenomenons and geo-destinations. I love mountains and rock formations and places with volcanic history. My fascination for them is endless. So I do have a pretty long list here, too.

8) What is your favorite travel song?

If you mean a song that fits my idea of  travel, I’m not sure I have one yet.
But music on the road is a must. And I find myself listening to this collection, a lot and I absolutely love 150 Fun Songs for Kids (and recommend it to mommies and daddies travelling with little ones). We don’t go anywhere without these 3-discs.
But that is not the only thing we listen to. Sometimes we coax our little back-seat trippers and listen to something that will keep us alert for the road. 

9) What is your favorite mode of transportation and why?

A four-wheeler, hands down. (I could get used to RV travel, tho’ :D)
But yeah -- The road is my tipple. I can’t get enough of it.

10) Where are you headed to next?

Hopefully to the Western slopes of the Sierras, to catch some fall colours.

Here are some blogs I discovered in the recent past

Amiya's "A year full of Sundays"
Arun prasadh's "Our Travel Tales"
Svetlana's "Maverick Bird"
Jatin Adlakha's "A traveller's Odesseys "
Krithiga and Sriram's "SriKri"

And then, there are these blogs that 'also' feature travel stories:

Somali' Chakrabarti's "Scribble and Scrawl"
Alok Singhal's "The Learning Curve"
Ilakshi's "Its just me"
Subhadeep Mukerjee's "Something About Nothing"

[That's all for now. I haven't been doing a whole lot of reading these days. My excuse -- the boatload homework that my older one brings home. My job is to sit with him, guide him and make sure he finishes ALL of it.]

If you guys in the list above would like to put this up on your blog, here are the questions for you (I won't be offended if you don't do a post. Honest.):

1. How did you begin blogging?
2. What keeps you going as far as (travel) blogging is concerned?
3. Do you do homework before a trip? Why or why not?
4. What place is right on top of your travel wishlist?
5.What is that one place you could visit over and over again and never get tired of?
6. What kind of place do you find yourself staying away from.
7. If travelling wasn't your thing, what would you be 'making time' for?
8. What's your kind of travel-company?
9. What trip are you in the process of planning?
10. What are your all-time favourite travel blogs?


The Versatile Blogger Award 

Earlier this year Shweta Dave of Sunshine and Zephyr was kind enough to think of me when we she gave away The Versatile Blogger award and the Dragon Loyalty Award coupled with the Premios Dardos Awards.

Thank you so much, Shweta for the appreciation, for the love, for the visits and comments and all of that. For a few months now, I’ve been reminding myself every now then, that I haven’t put down what you asked me to. Time to put that guilt away. So here we go:

First with the 7-things-about this blogger

(Considering this is a travel blog, I’ll try to stick to the niche, ok. Call me lazy or smart -- these 7-things are for both the Versatile award and the Dragon’s Loyalty Award. :)

1. I love road trips. And I am a sucker for thro-the-windshield-photographs.  You can view some of my road pics HERE;)
2.  I trip more than I write and that actually means I feel like a hoarder of half-baked drafts and bits and pieces of notes to be added into my trip accounts. 
3. I prefer doing some homework before my trips. I find that knowing a little something about my destination makes me appreciate it more. 
4. Every once in a while I like doing no homework and just surprising myself. But that is almost always a place for a quiet, laid-back holiday.
5. I like my trips packed. If I am going some-place I'd like to see as much as possible while I am there. 
6. I think it is a shame to go somewhere and return without seeing one of its must-sees only because it seemed like the rest of the world was swarming it. 
7. If I end up going somewhere without my family, I feel bad for enjoying it alone. And then, if I can help it, I go there again, this time WITH them. :D
(Borrowing a few lines from Shweta: The Premio Dardos Award means Prize Darts in Spanish -- in recognition of cultural, ethical, literary and personal values that are transmitted in the form of creative and original writing. 

This one is for all people who've been supporting this blog with their visits and comments.
Now is the time I tell you about the travel blogs I've been reading for a few years now. And I am going to do that by passing The Versatile Blogger Award and the Dragon's Loyalty Award to the blogs n' bloggers on my TravelBlogroll.

And if you guys would like to put this up on your blogs, I'm copy-pasting the same set of questions:

1. How did you begin blogging?
2. What keeps you going as far as (travel) blogging is concerned?
3. Do you do homework before a trip? Why or why not?
4. What place is right on top of your travel wishlist?
5.What is that one place you could visit over and over again and never get tired of?
6. What kind of place do you find yourself staying away from.
7. If travelling wasn't your thing, what would you be 'making time' for?
8. What's your kind of travel-company?
9. What trip are you in the process of planning?
10. What are your all-time favourite travel blogs?

You all know the drill:
Download the award picture, answer the questions, pass on the awards to other bloggers. (Only if you want to. No pressure. :) )

 Come, Trip with us. ;)  
Bridal Veil Falls, Yosemite

Over the weekend, we visited Yosemite National Park in California. While we were there, we walked up the 0.5 mile trail to see the Bridal Veil Falls, one of the POIs of this National Park.

At this time of the year, the falls in Yosemite are not known to be at their best. Yet, I believe were were lucky enough to see some water at the Bridal Veil Falls, considering the severe drought that CA is facing.

Bridal Veil Falls falls from a tall granite face, down towards Yosemite Valley. Every time a gust of wind blew that way the water sprayed down creating quite a sight at the top of the falls. During one of those gusty incidents, the light from the sun seems to have split into the famous 7 colours, thanks to the air that was heavy with moisture from the Bridal Veil Falls.

Bridal Veil Falls, Yosemite

Linking to the NF meme--

Fall - 2015

Fall - 2015

Linking to the NF meme
(the place to link your light-photos)


See more Fall posts HERE
And more of TipsyFromTheTrips's light photos HERE

Caught: A sunrise in Chicago, IL in late May this year. The clouds in the horizon and some smoke coming out of a building added drama to the scene. Here are a few more pictures from the travel album:

Linking to Catching Light 

(If you like playing with light, or have images of light to put up on you blog, this is the place to link it -- Catching Light)

Bhadra Dam, Chikkamagalur
Caught: Bhadra Dam's light, and reflections in the reservoir.
(The picture is from River Tern Lodge's bridge across the reservoir)

Linking to the meme --
Gomateshwara, Shravanabelagola

Just as summer temperatures were beginning to take over the really-short spring season that the Indian subcontinent gets, we decided to hit what I'd like to call 'Karnataka's Sculptural Triangle just a stone's throw from Bengaluru. Ok, that might seem like a little bit of an exaggeration but Shravanabelagola, Belur and Halebeedu are places that are not very far from the Capital City.

Although we could have done it all in a day, our Shravanabelagola-Belur-Halebeedu plan was stretched into a weekend trip so there would be ample time to appreciate the art and architectural spread we were going to treat ourselves to.

I wanted to get to Shravanabelagola as early as possible so as to start the climb up 'the hill' before the sun was really upon us. By the time we got there (after a couple of breaks on the way; we travel with 2 kids under the age of 10) it was past 10 in the morning. It was not as early as I would have liked it to be but then if not then, the temperatures would have only risen. Deciding to make the most of the day, my five year old and I decided to take off, leaving daddy and the littlest one to take it easy in some conditioned air.

We dropped off our footwear for some safekeeping and began the ascent up Vindhyagiri Hill. Atop Vindhyagiri Hill is an age-old Jain temple and in it, is a 57-foot colossus of Bahubali, popularly known as Gomateshvara. A walk up the 600-odd steps of the hill is the way to see all of  this monolithic statue that is said to be one of the biggest ones ever. (Now if you cannot do the climb, you can be carried up the hill on a cane chair; palanquin fashion or will have make do with seeing the head and shoulder of the figure from afar.)

Gomateshwara, Shravanabelagola

As we started up Vindhyagiri, we were welcomed by 'easy riser' steps and in my mind I was saying, 'this looks easy-peasy lemon squeazy.' I didn't say it aloud not wanting to give false hopes to the little boy who was eager to see a gigantic statue and who was insistent on accompanying me up that hill. (When I asked him if he was sure he could walk up 600 hundred steps he went into pleading mode and kept telling me, I'm brave; I can go all the way up).  I knew the climb would get tougher. The easy risers soon gave way to higher steps and my legs were beginning to feel the strain. A few rest-cum-photo breaks later were up there, albeit a bit exhausted.

I was surprised by the fact that the ascent was not as bad as I thought it would be, and my sonny boy got up there with absolutely no fuss and no drama.

It took us around half an hour to get to the top of Vindhagiri Hill and it was totally worth it, for we got to to see the nearly 60-foot monolith we had come to see and we were rewarded with scenic views too, which was like a bonus.

Vindhyagiri Hill, Shravanabelagola

Shravanabelagola, Hassan

Gomateshwara, Shravanabelagola

(Who was Gomateshwara and why he is naked (here

Gomateshwara was one of the sons of the first Thirthankara (a spiritual teacher of the Jains), who used to be a prosperous ruler called Vrishabhadeva. Sometime after the king had given up his  throne, the kingdom went through a troubled period, which saw siblings fight for their royal ambitions. Bahubali is said to have won the power struggle only to find that material wealth and power did not seem right for him. As such, he is said to have renounced all his worldly possesions and taken to  meditation in order to seek that enlightened state

The statue

The nakedness is a sign of owning nothing. The creepers on Gomateshwara's limbs symbolise the long period he spent meditating; so do the anthills and the snakes by his feet

Gomateshwara, Shravanabelagola

Gomateshwara, Shravanabelagola

Gomateshwara, Shravanabelagola

After having seen the gargantuan monolith, we walked around taking in the scenes from the hilltop and then went on to rest our feet for a few minutes. A little rest and a sip of water later, we began that downhill walk and wasn't it 'easy peasy lemon squeasy!' The kindergartener sure seemed to agree. By the time we got to the bottom, he was hungry and my legs were feeling a bit wobbly from the exertion because I hadn't exactly been physically active for some time leading up to that walk up Vindhagiri.

Gomateshwara, Shravanabelagola


  • The summer might NOT be a good time to walk up to the Gomateshwara on Vindhyagiri. 
  • You might want to carry some water if you are not comfortable drinking the portable water in the temple premises. 
  • If you think you will find yourself walking up or down that hill around midday, you might want to consider carrying some socks to be a little kinder to those soles, which are to be exposed to burning-hot hillside steps. 
  • This is also a place of pilgrimage so keeping your volume down and respecting the spiritual air would be a really considerate thing to do on this trip.  

If you liked this post, you might also like --
(Lepakshi is also an easy drive from Bengaluru.)

Sunset I-580, CA

Who drives eastward when there's the setting sun in the west! 
It is not something we like to do but sometimes we just have to. One day as we driving away from the sunset ( I know...), I caught these pretty skies along I-580 near Fremont and Livermore, CA. The light in the evening sky and the coloured, striped clouds did offer some consolation for missing that ritual of the sun diving into the Pacific Ocean. 

Sunset I-580, CA
It was the delicate stripes that I noticed first. 

Sunset I-580, CA
As we drove eastward, the strips turned into golden ones,

Sunset I-580, CA
As night drew closer and we drove further away from the direction of the sunset, the striped clouds were a mix of several pretty colours. What a way to end the day!

See a striped road HERE (an older entry for Catching Light)
Linking to -- 
Catching light

A model of the baby loaf bus at Tillamook Cheese Factory

I had seen all those Tillamook Cheese ads. I had even picked up some of that cheese from the supermarket, a few times. So, when I got to know that Tillamook Cheese Factory in Oregon was open to the public and that it was a good place to take kids to, I jumped at the idea.

Tillamook Cheese Factory
I thought my little boy could pick up a few lessons and I didn't mind some cheese-making knowledge, myself.  So, on one of those rainy days that the Pacific Northwest is famous for, off we went to the Cheese Factory that lets us see its day-to-day activities.

Note: Here is something to do if you find yourself in the Portland -Vancouver Metropolitan Area during it's really-long rainy season.

The hour-long drive from Portland took us through Tillamook State Forest and into the small town of Tillamook. The rain was incessant so when we got to Tillamook Cheese Factory, we covered our heads and the stroller with our littlest one in it, and made a dash across the parking lot and into the shelter of the factory’s roofs.

Once we were in there, we saw that there were a whole lot of information boards with notes on cows and milk and cheese. Even some Tillamook County history. After reading through some of those boards and making the boys pose by the cut-outs of a milkman and a cow at the entrance, we went straight to the cheese.

This was the yummiest part of the tour -- a cheese-tasting session. There, laid before us were plates with cubes of Tillamook's own cheeses: Cheddar, Sharp Cheddar, Pepper Jack, Garlic Cheese, White Cheddar and some Cheese curds.

Tillamook Cheese Factory
The cheese-tasting.

Plates of deliciousness -- some samples of Tillamook's cheeses. 

After sampling Tillamook's cheeses, we moved further into the factory to see what we were there to see -- the process of cheese-making. From second-floor viewing corridors we were allowed look down into the processing areas. This was where the milk went into large cylinders to be turned into curds-and-whey first, and then into cheese. Unfortunately we couldn't see the milk separate into curds and whey. But we did see chunks of 40-pound salted cheese fall out of presses and into large plastic bags and get sealed.

On the other side of the walkway we saw the sealed cheese being transported to the ageing room in paper boxes.  And on the other end of the room there were the blocks of aged cheese making their way to the cutting, sorting and inspection area. From there, they apparently got packed in Tillamook packaging and got all-set for the supermarkets and the aisles of Tillamook Cheese Factory's on-site store.

Tillamook Cheese Factory
The viewing area

Tillamook Cheese Factory
The processing area.

Tillamook Cheese Trivia, Tillamook Cheese Factory
Some information for the self -guided tour of the factory. The viewing area had several boards like these.

Tillamook Cheese Factory
The pressed cheese getting sealed and moved towards the ageing chamber.

Tillamook Cheese Factory
I believe these are the 40-pound loaves.

Tillamook Cheese Factory
Cheese on the way to the ageing chambers.

Tillamook Cheese Factory
These must be Tillamook's 'Baby loaves.'

Tillamook Cheese Factory
Inspection area, I believe.

Tillamook Cheese Factory
Look at all that cheese. This definitely is the cheesiest place I've been to. :D

I had gone in hoping to see the initial part of the cheese making: that of the milk being turned into cheese just as I had seen in the video on the cheese factory’s site. Not being able to see that was a bit disappointing. I also wish we could have gotten a glimpse of the ageing room. Even pictures of the room should have been enough. Anyway, I returned happy that I got to learn of the steps of the cheese-making process and also all about that cheese company called Tillamook.
Did you know that Tillamook Cheese Factory is a co-operative?
Tillamook Chese factory is owned and run by the people who own the farms in the area, and rear the cows that call Tillamook county home.

Tillamook Cheese Factory's store

If you'd like to visit Tillamook Cheese Factory:

  • You might want to save this plan for those rainy days. Since the cheese factory tour happens indoors, the rains of the Pacific Northwest will not play spoilsport. 
  • The Cheese Factory has a store attached to it so if you like any of the cheeses you tasted, you know where to pick it up before you leave Tillamook. 
  • You can find food here. There is a cafe at the Cheese Factory -- the Creamery Cafe. 
  • You can even taste some Tillamook ice cream here. It is not part of the factory tour, so you will have to buy it separately. 
[The video of the cheesemaking process here]


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