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Old 21st August 2010, 02:07   #1
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Default A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA

Disclaimer: This travelogue is not an all encompassing trip of the United States. I had visited certain places before and wanted to cover some of those that I had not seen.

Apologies for not posting this earlier. Its almost a year since I did this, but have been putting it off till now.

Had been to a conference in Las Vegas. So took the opportunity to take a week off and go around the US.

Route and places covered: Bangalore - Los Angeles - Las Vegas - Portland - Los Angeles - San Diego - Los Angeles - Portland - Chicago - St. Louis - Chicago - Niagara Falls - Washington DC - New York - Chicago - Bangalore.

Without much ado, I'll let the pics do the talking.


Transportation - Boeing 747 - Flight out of Heathrow to LA
A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA-p1020691.jpg


Las Vegas - Accomodation - Suite @ the Venetian and Palazzo. All 720 sqft of it
!! Yes!! This is the small room that they have.
A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA-room.jpg


Suite had 2 Queen size beds and 3 LCDs. One in the Bedroom, One in the sunken hall...

A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA-room2.jpg


And the 3rd one in the bathroom
.. It had 3 wash basins!!!
A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA-bathp1020699.jpg


Venetian and Palazzo is the largest hotel in the world with 7000+ rooms

A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA-venetp1020700.jpg


The Palazzo is the largest building structure in the US, beating the Pentagon!!
A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA-palaz1020727.jpg



Inside the Venetian Hotel - A canal, a gondola and a gondolier - singing Italian love songs
A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA-venetian.jpg


The Plaza inside the Venetian - That's not the sky, just the roofing!!!
A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA-p1020710.jpg

A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA-p1020711.jpg


That's a real guy, not a statue - Look at the tips he's got!!
A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA-p1020722.jpg


The Bellagio - Reminded me of Ocean's Eleven
A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA-bellagio.jpg


That's the only decent picture I could post here! You can stand with your arms around the.. ahem!! - and take a pic as well! Can't post it here!!
A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA-girls-cars.jpg


On my way to the Grand Canyon - Took a bus tour for the day
A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA-bus.jpg


The Sky Walk - Unfortunately they don't allow cameras now. Read and see about it here Grand Canyon Skywalk - Walk The Sky - Home

A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA-skywalk-1.jpg


A closer view. No shoes allowed. Some people crawl on it!
A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA-closer.jpg

The view from Eagle Point - Had lunch sitting on a table right next to the edge of the canyon!!! Will probably be the most memorable lunch I've had!!
A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA-lunch-view.jpg


Its hard to make out the depth and size of the canyon from these fotos. This was taken right next to the Skywalk. One step and down you go!

A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA-gc-1.jpg


The taller of the canyon wall in the background is the Northern Rim. Its taller than the Southern Rim by a long shot.
A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA-north-ands-south-rims.jpg


Every photo gives out a different colour of the canyon walls. Sunrise and sunset can give spectacular views it seems.
A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA-river.jpg


A view of the Eagle Point cafe. That's the very edge where I had my lunch.
A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA-eagle-pt.jpg


This photo is taken from Guano Point. You can see the winch tower which used to carry Guano (Bat Poo) from the caves in the Canyon floor. You can also see some debris when a low flying helicopter cut out the winch wires. (That's the local legend atleast!!)
A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA-beautyp1020803.jpg


You can see some of the caves. Max zoom I could do...

A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA-p1020817.jpg


The Hoover Dam on the way back.

A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA-hoober.jpg


The Bus just stopped there for a few moments. Couldn't take more fotos

A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA-hoover-dam.jpg


The new bridge that is being built to bypass the Hoover Dam area. It is almost complete now and will be another architectural marvel in that area!
A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA-bridge.jpg

Last edited by csentil : 21st August 2010 at 02:25.
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Old 21st August 2010, 02:32   #2
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Hi Csentil,

Just saw the photots of the GC and the Hoover dam, could not see any photos of the 747, Las Vegas etc only the attachment links appear. I think you may have to repost, you may also want to watermark your snaps or may request mods to do that for you.

I will be on the look out for more photos being posted.
Ciao
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Old 21st August 2010, 02:40   #3
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Yeah, I know.. they disappeared. I edited and reattached them! I think if a post is in preview for too long, some of the attachments disappear?!? Not sure. Maybe I closed the Manage attachments window by mistake!
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Old 21st August 2010, 02:56   #4
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Excellent pictures csentil, I am hooked. So you visited all these in just 1 week! How would you rate the Grand Canyon bus tour?
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Old 21st August 2010, 03:20   #5
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the new bridge is nearly complete, if you dont mind putting in 3 pics of the bridge i took last week

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Old 21st August 2010, 06:20   #6
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Nice one Senthil. Would have loved to see the other side of Hoover as well. I guess would not have been allowed. Nonetheless great snaps.
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Old 21st August 2010, 16:27   #7
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Since the conference was in Vegas, I did the Grand Canyon before the conference started. I booked through the Grand Canyon Tours with the Grand Canyon Tour Company of Las Vegas - Grand Canyon Tours, Hoover Dam Tours, Las Vegas Tours, Bus tours, Grand Canyon Airplane tours, Hoover Dam Helicopter tours, Rafting tours. site. Unfortunately my flight reached late and I missed the tour. However I was able to reschedule it for the next day without any additional charges.

One Embarrasing episode that happened at the Canyon. Read along...

The embarrassing episode happened in the bus trip to Grand Canyon. The bus stopped for 10 minutes close to the Hoover dam. The bus driver who also doubles up as the guide asked us to be back in the bus by 8.15. All of us were back, except one guy. The whole bus waited for him and he was 5 minutes late. Unfortunately he was the only other Indian in the bus.

We moved on to the Grand Canyon. The bus was parked at the Hualapei Reserve and we were asked to be back by 2.45 (or as the bus driver put it a quarter to 3). Everyone was back in the bus by 2.50 except for one person. The bus driver took a headcount and then we realized that it was the same guy who had been late in the morning as well!!

The Bus tour company had a policy of not leaving behind any passengers. So we waited, and waited.. and waited. Can anyone guess what time our Indian friend got back!!! Not 3, not 3.30.. not even 3.45.. he got back at 4.10 PM!!!! He was royally booed. Thankfully there was not a single racist or stereotypical comment made by anyone. It was quite obvious that we were the only two Indians in the whole bus and everyone knew that I was one of the first to be back as I sat in the front of the bus, right next to the door.

Seems he had mistaken the quarter to 3 announcement as quarter to 4!! However that still doesn't explain him coming at 4.10 PM.

I've always tried my best when I travel abroad to make sure that I stand in line, say Thanks, hold the door, be on time etc. Believe me its very tough to do. Most of us are not used to it and to go and live in a society where these things are normal and expected its quite demanding atleast initially. I believe that when we travel one should act as a brand ambassador for their country and not reinforce some stereotypes.

Anyways. I was a little ashamed because it happened from the only other fellow Indian in the bus and he didn't even apologize.
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Old 21st August 2010, 16:54   #8
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Hi csentil,

So the snaps came back & interesting ones too!

The behaviour of the other South Asian person in the bus is boorish but please do not carry the other guy's load. I know it can get embarrassing when you sort of stand out in a crowd but then the great thing about the US is that every person is individually accountable for their actions.

Trust more snaps are coming up soon.
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Old 21st August 2010, 18:54   #9
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After Vegas I had to dash down to Portland, Oregon for some more official work. I had a friend in LA who declined to sponsor my trip to LA. :0) I however still made it there on my own steam.

As I had already been to Disney, Universal in LA I decided to go someplace else.

So we drove down Beverly Hills and went upto this spot from where the Hollywood symbol is pretty close. There's a nice park there and the view of Beverly Hills and LA was awesome.

Hollywood Sign - Did you'll know that it actually read Hollywoodland and it was for an advertisement for a housing development project. A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA-hollywood-symbol.jpg

A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA-holly-2.jpg

There's a small water reservoir close to it and a lot of beautiful houses in that area.
A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA-beautiful-scenic-site-la.jpg

From there with the help of GPS we found some shortcut to get to Hollywood Boulevard

The Hollywood Walk of fame - Has more than 2500 stars honouring the many Hollywood artists. People still leave bouquets for MJ
A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA-mj-star-walk.jpg


Grauman's Chinese Theatre - Most Hollywood premiere's happen here.
A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA-chinese-theatre.jpg

The concrete blocks set in front of the Chinese theatre has handprints, footprints of many Hollywood legends! This one is of the Star Trek crew. Notice Spock's(Leonard Nemoy) handprint. Its the Vulcan sign of peace. Check next foto as well!!
A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA-star-trek.jpg



This is the one for Donald Duck. You can see Spock's Vulcan handprint on the top left
A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA-donald-duck.jpg

Kodak Theatre - This is where the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences Awards are held. The Oscars!!!
A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA-kodak-theatre.jpg

The next day we decided to go to San Diego's Sea World. I badly wanted to see the San Diego zoo as well but there were some issues which prevented us from leaving early.

The highlight of Sea World is the Killer Whale show and its star Shamu.
A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA-shamu.jpg

A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA-shamu2.jpg

A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA-breaching.jpg

A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA-duet.jpg

A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA-killer-whales-seaworld.jpg


Polar Bear - Its absolutely huge. It looked bored however. Poor thing
A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA-polar-bear.jpg


The Penguin enclosure was absolutely great. The Emperor Penguins look like small children. They are more than 3 feet tall. And it was freezing!!!
A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA-penguins.jpg

Flamingoes - I've never seen captive Flamingoes get such a nice colour. Must be well fed
A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA-flamingoes.jpg


Sea Lions - You can feed these beggars. They have sort of mastered the art of looking so cute and innocent.
A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA-begging.jpg
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A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA-killer-whale-back-flip.jpg  


Last edited by csentil : 21st August 2010 at 18:58.
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Old 21st August 2010, 19:31   #10
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Thanks csentil for the tour. Is that your kid. Hope more photos are coming.
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Old 22nd August 2010, 00:40   #11
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After the quick trip to LA, I headed back to Portland and completed my work and left the same week to Chicago where my SIL works.

Since it was October, Chicago was chilly and windy to say the least. Fall had just set in and the leaf colours were changing.


Chicago suburb where my SIL stays. Some of the trees had already changed colour while others had started shedding their leaves

A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA-1-fall-setting-.jpg


The Chicago Skyline as we drove towards Willis Tower.

A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA-2-chicago-skyline.jpg


I had always wanted to see the Sears Tower now known as the Willis Tower for a long time. It had been the world's tallest building for a long time till the Petronas took over.
A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA-3-willis-tower.jpg

A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA-4-willis-2.jpg


There's a kind of glass enclosure on the viewing deck of the building which projects into open space, Like a mini SkyWalk. You can spot parked cars way, way down!
A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA-5-skywalk.jpg

A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA-6-skywalk-2.jpg


The Chicago skyline. A view from the top.

A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA-7-skyline-2.jpg


Lake Michigan

A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA-8-lake-michigan.jpg


The view was fantastic. It was however a sort of damp, muggy day.

A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA-9-view-sears-tower.jpg


Next we went to the Navy Pier. It was frighteningly cold especially with the wind chill. The wind blowing across the lake made it really tough to even stand there!
A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA-10-navy-pier.jpg


There was this beautiful Sail Yacht coming down the lake. I couldn't even hold the camera properly. Had no gloves and my hands were frozen!
A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA-11-sailing-yacht.jpg


Chicago skyline at dusk. It was way too cold for me to stay after that!!

A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA-12-night-shot.jpg


Next day we packed up and left for St. Louis, Missouri. Its a 4 hour drive from Chicago. The Gateway Arch or the Gateway to the West is its biggest attraction.

A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA-13-gateway-arch.jpg]

A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA-14-gateway-arch.jpg


The Arch has a fantastic elevator cum tram facility which takes you to the top of the Arch. The Arch is hollow and there's a viewing deck at the top of the Arch.
A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA-15-inside.jpg


The Arch literally sways under heavy wind. The Arch was built to commemorate the westward expansion of the United States. Was constructed in just under 3 years!!
A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA-16-shadow.jpg


Found the shadows fascinating. Took the snap from the windows at the top of the Arch.
A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA-17-p1030099.jpg


This is the tram elevator compartment. Tight squeeze for 5 passengers. Goes up side ways, then straight and then sideways in the other direction. There are two trams on either side of the arch.
A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA-18-coach.jpg


The Arch from the outside. Notice the viewing windows on the top.
A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA-21-arch-view.jpg

A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA-19-arch.jpg

A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA-20-windows.jpg


There is a museum below the Arch dedicated to the westward movement and of the sufferings of the early explorers and the Red Indians. The park outside is beautifully maintained. Fall colours made the park even more beautiful.
A Whirlwind tour of some parts of the USA-st.-louis-park.jpg

Still pending, my trip to Niagara and Washington DC.
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Old 22nd August 2010, 09:35   #12
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Wow,

The pics were awesome Sentil, especially the Grand Canyon and the last one of the park is really good, amazing colors. Thanks for sharing, waiting for more.
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Old 22nd August 2010, 09:47   #13
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Terrific snaps there Senthil. The arch in that angle almost looks like a tall sky scraper building!
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Old 22nd August 2010, 13:45   #14
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The St. Louis park photo is fabulous. Perfect Fall snap.
Shamu's photos reminded me of my Orlando times.
Thanks for the snaps csentil.
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Old 22nd August 2010, 20:26   #15
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Thanks Senthil for sharing your US travelogue; I'll keep watching for more pics; I'm very very ashamed of hearing that fellow Indian's attitude of being late & the moron didn't even apologize!!! Trust me, he would be narrating this incidents somewhere as...

"You know, Americans are very nice people, once they asked us to be in the bus by 3:45 & I was there by 4:10; but still no one complained. If it were India..."
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