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D-Mad Travel Adventures!

The world through our lens and our fun(ny) experience!

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Adventure of the week

A Weekend in Big Easy New Orleans!

We made a road trip from Minneapolis to New Orleans, stopping at all the tiny towns and party towns along the way. We were in NOLA during new years and it was crazy but crazy fun as well!

Things to do:

  1. Exploring the city: Just walk around every nook and cranny of the French Quarter with colorful houses and beautiful french architecture.
  2. Whether you party or not, walk the crazy Bourbon street!
  3. Hit the jazz bars on Frenchmen street. Spotted cat was cute, cosy and one of our favorites.
  4. Activity: Go kayaking in the bayous and spot some gators. It is pretty cool!
  5. Cemetery tour is one of the highlights, the architecture, history and stories are well worth the time!

Things to eat:

  1. Early breakfast: Cafe Au Lait and Beignets at Cafe Du Monde!!! Go get them on your early morning walk. It is worth the hype but not worth the time in line, so strategize.
  2. Lunch: The Green Goddess is a great place in a romantic alleyway in the french quarters serving lots of vegetarian friendly foods.
  3. Snacking: You have got eat Po Boys when in nawlins! We found this place tucked inside Erin Rose pub called Killer Poboys and they do have the killer veggie Po Boys! Also trey Frozen Irish coffee there (Non Alcoholic) SO YUMMMM
  4. Dinner: If you are looking for some Vietnamese fix, try Lily’s Cafe in garden district for they serve the best spicy Tofu!
  5. Dessert: For dessert hit up Salon at Sucre for the chocolate overload you need!

The Voodoo experience: Voodoo came to New Orleans in 18th century through slaves brought from African countries. It is fascinating to walk into vodoo stores and learn about the history, origin and its current practice!

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Chasing Aurora Borealis – A night of Dancing lights and colorful skies!

We heard about the solar flares which would result in Aurora Borealis in the sky close to where we currently live. We were very interested to watch this phenomenon but had no idea what to expect and was in store for us.

Along with a bunch of friends, we set off on a wild goose chase determined to see the northern lights at the same time keeping our hopes as low as possible. We left Minneapolis, Minnesota at 6 pm and started driving up north. The probability of viewing the aurora was higher the more north we went. We stopped for a quick dinner break after 3 hours at Duluth for some delicious Sushi at Hanabi restaurant which definitely requires a mention as it raised our spirits high.

We were 5 of us and we had our roles well defined – Driver, Informer, Facilitator, Story teller, Photographer.

The Informer was an avid follower of astronomical wonders and he was constantly checking for tweets about the Aurora and read blogs from people from the area to make sure we were heading the right way. The facilitator made sure the driver did not fall asleep and constantly checked on the informer if we were heading the right way. The story teller made sure that the entertainment factor was prevalent and the long drive was enjoyable. The photographer’s and driver’s role is pretty obvious: P

It was a windy night and the cold was harsh. The temperature dipped to -15 degrees C; the feels like temperature was around -20 degrees C and the winds made it worse! It was 2 days after the full moon day and the sky was bright making the chances of viewing it clearly bleak.

Against all these odds we still drove ahead since we were already there. After a couple of hours we stopped and observed to see if our eyes could actually see it. And it could not.

At 12 am we decided to just capture a long exposure shot and check for a green sky because as optimists we just kept thinking the sky looked slightly green than usual. And to our surprise the photograph did show greenish tinges at the horizon. We drove a little ahead where there was a clearing and hopped out of the cars and waited. After a few minutes the show began!

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Glacier National Park!

My colleague today told me, “I have decided that I will travel the world vicariously with you from now on. So, what’s your new adventure?”. Now I have an obligation to write about my recent trip.

We just returned from a hiking trip to Glacier National Park, Montana. This I would say gives a very close competition to Yellowstone National Park in the category of  “Our most favorite National Park in Mainland USA”. If you Photoshop the mountains of Colorado with a few hundreds of lakes from Minnesota, change the color of lakes to Turquoise and add some saturation, you get GNP! Oh, also add all the wildlife from Yellowstone and more!!

We flew in to Billings airport and drove 6.5 hours to reach St.Mary side of GNP because it was cheaper that way. The closest economic airport on the east side is Great Falls,MT which is again a 2 hour drive to GNP. Our campsite for Day 1 was at McDonald lake which is on the west side of GNP. A very clear and peaceful lake with beautiful views. We had to drive from St. Mary to Apgar to reach Mc Donald Lake through the famous Going-to-the-Sun (GTTS) road. It was a beautiful drive on a small winding road with huge mountains everywhere and deep valleys.

The next day we took a ranger led hike to Grinnel Glacier. This hike had everything from waterfalls and wildlife to miles and miles of views! You are, for most part, walking on the edge of the cliff which overlooks Grinnel lake – the most turquoise lake I have ever seen. And after a strenuous hike the destination was breathtaking – the glacier, the floating ice bergs, the mountains around and a small waterfall. It was totally worth the 11 miles we walked for it.

After the long hike, we stopped at St. Mary for a nice late lunch at Park Cafe. They have the most amazing homemade pies ever! I tried Huckleberry, Peach & Strawberry, Strawberry & Rhubarb and the Razzleberry Pie. Razzleberry being our favorite, we kept going back for more yummy strength for our next hike.

Continue reading “Glacier National Park!”

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