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Home Interior design and reno

It took quite a while and a lot of debate finalising the layout and design. Finally we selected material, colours, checked out my engineering for safety and structural soundness before engaging couple of specialist contracts to renovate our kitchen. We researched a lot about the type of surface we wanted. Quartz was the first choice, but the artist in me could not find the movement and flow in them.
The Kitchen Renovation
webIMG_6601So picked a big movement Granite from Brazil – the Typhoon Bordeaux with its artistic veins and shades of red wine.
webIMG_6598Not enough space for an island – so did a peninsula 44″ x 52″ and got a wall cabinet above. The size was large enough to create an artistic canvas for the granite slab with an overhang of 14″ for breakfast counter and seating. The difficulty was structural support for the cantilever, which was achieved using 1/2″ plates and 3/4″ plywood substrate.
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The counter stool selected is Skagnen (Scandinavian). Also managed to build a pantry and switch the corner cabinet to a lazy susan system to increase access and storage. Set up a system of under-counter lighting and dimmers all around for warmth all achieved with LEDs. As the kitchen connects to the family room on one side and the dining room on the other, it now becomes the focus for guests and entertainment. The main floor is tied together with the polished Oak hardwood pklank floors running right through
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The rest of the main floor
We had our dinner club over for a formal meal on completion of the kitchen. Seems it was the right time to click pictures of all them main floor rooms. The dining room in similar colour scheme with rosewood table and chairs.
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The drawing room too has similar palette with earthy siennas and maroons
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And finally the family room, with its inviting wood burning fireplace and displays
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The media room
And my favourite escape,  the home theatre on the lower floor, which is also the man cave, with select technology for audio/videophiles. The new 4k, 65″ LED tv and infinity sound.
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The Grand Canyon National Park, AZ

It was a long drive from Vegas to the GCNP (the South Rim), but worth every minute of the journey. We did hit a thunderstorm as we got to William, which stayed with us right into the park. We stopped in Williams from where they run a train in to the Park, pulled by a steam engine. Surprised how far down south the colours of Fall are.

img_3101The clouds, the sky and the winding road through the desert scenery is always fascinating splattered with a few tiny towns. General stores selling everything under the sun. web2img_3507Then as we parked and walked to the rim of the Canyon, the thunderstorm suddenly cleared and behold the valley was bathed in the golden rays of the setting sun. Clouds lit up in so many colours

sunset1webimg_3215-1webimg_3268webimg_3237-1There are several lodges inside the park – we chose the Maswick lodge, but did the rounds of other lodges run by the park system – Couple of them are right at the rim edge. Lost of stuff to do in the park. They run a series of buses, that you can hop-on and off an all key observation points. After dinner, decided to shoot the stars once it got quite dark. Surprisingly there were so many folks hiking down the valley in the moonlight carrying torches and their phones as flash lights.

webimg_3274Of course as a photographer, I always wake up a couple of hours before dawn to catch the sunrise and the morning light. And this would be no exception, except that my wife, who likes to stay in bed till the sun is well up, wanted to come. Natural once the Canyon bug hits you. In the dark of course we felt our way to the rim and as the sky began to glow pink, found that there were thousands of others with the same idea. Wonderful how the morning light picks up peaks in the Canyon one after the other.

ebwwebimg_3376webimg_3351wbimg_3336 Its incredible that the Canyon and skies change every hour depending on the weather and position of the sun. One day I will get through the 1000’s of photographs that I have taken

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The wildlife in the park looks so tame. They walk along the same trails as the visitors. The elk and deer are so tame and is not bothered by people or vehicles

Driving along the park, stopping to shoot pictures and talk to people took up most of the moring

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Chicago, an architect’s dream

I have stopped in Chicago several times, but this is the first time that the family tagged along. We of course called on some old friends as we droved down from Toronto. There is no better way to photograph some of the architecture than to get on the double decker site seeing bus and sit at a vantage point.

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Travel through Asia & ME, 2016

Abu Dhabi: Stopped in the Arab Emirates to go through Dubai and Abu Dhabi for a few days. Both cities have grown since I was last there about 13 years ago. In the process they have lost their uniqueness and look like any other manufactured city. The malls, the brands, the designs are all very similar to most towns around the world which have no history.

The Abu Dhabi mosque had its beauty.

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The City itself has been beautified around the Corniche area
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Dubai: Dubai has changed too over the years. Certainly the architecture is inspiring, but it has got crowded and in many ways begins to look like another modern city without much character.

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Dubai Miracle Garden was a riot of colours. Very well maintained for a desert climate
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Goa and Konkan Coast: Holidayed in the beach haven of Goa on the West Coast of India. This is truly a holiday town, with some very fine resorts, hotels and restaurants. We stayed at the Grand Hyatt in North Goa, but hung around and ate in several food shacks which are built right on the beach.

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Old Goa has many historical spots. Here at the St Francis of Assissi Church and Basilica of Bom Jesus which preserves the body of St Francis Xavier

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Colourful Local markets and streetswebIMG_1097webIMG_1090webIMG_1085webIMG_1081webIMG_1073webIMG_1009webIMG_1343webIMG_1094webIMG_1089webIMG_1080webIMG_1078webIMG_1076webIMG_1163webIMG_1200webIMG_1586webIMG_1532webIMG_1040webgoa14goaIMG_1498webIMG_1388webgoa7webdeepasmlrWEBIMG_1672webIMG_0897webgoa9webIMG_1620webIMG_1619webIMG_0906webbIMG_0903

Fisher-folk on the Konkan Coast

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Mountain Biking in Whistler BC

webIMG_5119Whistler is certainly the ski capital of the world. Ever wondered what a ski resort does in summer? The ski trails become Mountain Bike trails and the ski lifts become bike lifts.  You may associate mountain biking with trails and and cross country, but in Whistler the true mountain culture takes over biking too. The thrill of hurtling down the slopes and steep mountain sides, after riding up the lifts and gondolas.

webIMG_5115At the first station up the Whistler mountain. The ski lifts will take you up here

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WEBIMG_5044At the top of the ski run

webIMG_5177Past the obstacles, down the rock face

webIMG_5235Up in the air

WEIMG_5010On the way up, waiting for the gondola to take you up the mountain

webIMG_5195Age or gender is no bar to this sport. There were many boomers up there negotiating the mountain.

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webIMG_5037These hills belong to the bike

WEBIMG_5000 At the base in the bike park

WEBIMG_5014It is pretty up there, though at the speeds one rushes down the mountain, I am not sure you get much time to take in the view

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WEBIMG_4997A quick break to catch up with the messages and post a few on face book

WEBIMG_5023Friends gather at the whistler peak before heading down

WEBIMG_5012All dressed up and waiting the Gondola. The bikers on the moutain have their own culture. from apparel to gear, it speaks volumes

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WEBIMG_4998It pays to start young….

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WEBIMG_3018Posing for the camera.

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Finger Lakes Tour

The quaint little towns of the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York, never ceases to amaze me. The number of vineyards on the lake shores around Seneca and Kueka continues to grow. This time around we did a wine trail tour on the West side of Lake Seneca, along together with some friends

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webtastingThe fine art of swirling the wine to release the bouquet.

webstillWhen you require something stronger. A genuine distillation system from the old days. That took us to sampling a range of spirits from Whiskey to Grappawebspirit-tastimng

webTom2Every drink comes with a ritual of how it needs to be handled and consumedwebbottles

I guess we did not leave much for the next group. A study of empty bottles

webpen1_2_3_tonemappedThe Penn Yann harbour front park

webIMG_3567Stickers holding up a car. I guess that is cheaper than a fresh paint job

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webtown1Picking up garden secrets

webandreaWhat a view!

webkeukaThe south end of the Lake

webhouse1_2_fusedThe estate home right in the middle of the vineyard

webartworkTaking some art in. Ended up buying a whole lot for our walls.

 

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WEBdeepa8Watkins Glen at the south end of Lake Seneca

Memories of Vegas

Vegas has something for everyone. Gambling is not my thing, so for my weekend stopover I needed to find other exciting things. For a photographer, there is so much happening and a lot to capture. People in all hues and shades.

Larger than life malls have their own theme

Larger than life malls have their own theme

The recreation of Venice was a treat to capture. The halls rang out from the baritone voice of this Gondolier, echoing the classic rendering from the walls

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The singing Gondoliers on the Canal The singing Gondoliers on the Canal

Vegas reminds me of Dubai where everything is created to be  larger than the original. Here is the Paris section of the strip. Got the pictures of the tower that I missed in Paris. The Beligia fountains were recently voted as the number 1 attraction in the US

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Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower

People watching is quite a past time as walk the Strip. A bunch of Gondoliers taking a break from all their singing and rowing

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Music everywhere – from the wandering musicians to those performing on the road side to malls and lobby’s and the big shows all over

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Vegas entertainment is mostly out of Canada – two of the biggest shows are by Canadian stars –  Celine Dion and Shanaia Twain. Rest of the big shows are all from Cirqu-de-sole from Montreal

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Cruising the Caribbean

The start of our cruise itself was quite an adventure. The tropical storm Issac was out in the area, South of Miami and the cruise ships could not come in as the ports in Florida were closed. So we were holed up in a hotel trying to ride out the storm. Finally with much anticipation we boarded one of the best in the Carnival fleet. Having booked our rooms nearly a year in advance after considerable research, we probably got the best of the rooms and a good deal.

Miami at dawn – pulling off from the port

Once out in the high seas, it was smooth sailing. So much to discover on board with so many levels and so many passengers. So much of food too. Must have gained over 10#

Docked in Roatan Island with some wonderful beaches

Warm waters of Honduras

The hostess at the beach bar

At the beach bar

The flying diver

Back on board, enjoying the pool deck

Heading for land at the crack of dawn

The girls at the Tequila factory

last of the stops before heading back to home port

catching some Caribbean sun

Getting back from some snorkeling

Tow of the Carnival ships docked at the Roatan island

Colorful portside tourist trap

A shipwreck off the coast of Honduras

Exploring an old Tequilla factory and some tasting

The souvenir shop – engaged in their own game

In the wake of the ship – goodbye to the blue waters of the Caribbean

3 views from the balcony of our room as we watch the blue waters, a dawn breaking over the ocean and docked beside another ship

Back to Miami – sailing into the port

 

Guns ‘N Roses

The amount of details on most guns are amazing. Had a look at some of my collection and those of my Brother-in-law.

The Gun Dog

Traveling around from Delhi – India

We left Delhi at the crack of dawn driving down to Agra in the neighboring state of Utter Pradesh.

A the Sikandra in Agra

At our car all ready for take off

The first glimpse of Taj as you walk in through one of the gates. Being an octagonal architecture you have similar views from all gates

One of the many views of the Taj

From across the river

At the Wyndham Hotel Agra

A spice market

The Jal Mahal. The palace built for duck hunting in the middle of the lake, now sinking

The amber fort

The butterfly caught on the grill of our car