Nepal: Part One

Nepal - Photo by Alyson Goodman

Rooftops in Kathmandu, Nepal

I returned from my trip to Nepal one week ago and it was definitely an adventure of a lifetime. From my friend’s wedding to the sights we saw, to riding through the crazy streets and the views from the mountain, I couldn’t ask for better memories from the trip.

Prior to my friend planning her wedding in Nepal, the country was never on my radar to visit. If I had the money and enough time off of work I would love to travel all over the world because my dream is to have a passport where every pages is filled with stamps. Since I never thought I would be traveling to Nepal, I really went into the country not knowing anything aside from Mount Everest is there and thanks to Instagram some places in Kathmandu that I wanted to check out. After spending a week in the country, I wish it was on my radar beforehand because I honestly cannot wait to go back! There is still so much to see that we didn’t have time to see both in Kathmandu and in Ithari, another city we were in.

Nepal - Photo by Alyson Goodman

The view of Mount Everest from the airplane.

From Kathmandu we took a domestic flight to the first city we stayed in Biratnagar and thanks to two flights back and forth and our flight into and out of Kathmandu, I was able to see Mount Everest from the plane four times. You may think a mountain may not stun you from a plane but I was in awe seeing it up as close as I would ever get to it. Staring at it doesn’t get old especially when you realize so many people will never have the opportunity to see it.

There is so much to see in Kathmandu, we unfortunately only had a day so we went to Swayambhunath and shopped along the streets in Thamel. We never got to Durbar Square, a place I wanted to visit, so a return trip is just going to have to happen.

Nepal - Photo by Alyson Goodman

The foggy view from the mountains in Dharan.

The mountain views are incredible! The only problem we encountered was that it was incredibly foggy on our trip so the fog hindered the views a little. Even with the fog, the view could not be beat. We got to the mountain range later in the day than we anticipated thanks to traffic, so we didn’t get to hike down to the waterfall unfortunately. As a New Yorker, someone who deals with traffic on an every day basis, traffic in Nepal makes New York look like nothing. There are no traffic lights, so that took a lot of getting used to and people drive on both sides of the streets to get around each other.  At one point I was convinced we actually drove down a sidewalk to get around other cars. The drive up the mountain is not for the faint of heart with all the curves and not being able to tell if a car is coming in the opposite direction.

Nepal - Photo by Alyson Goodman

More mountain views in Dharan.

When I came home, as nice as it was to sleep in my own bed, I already missed Nepal. We spent so much time traveling to get there, 15 hours first to China and then another 4 hours to Nepal from there, but I would do it all again. The wedding was amazing, I’m sad my henna from the pre-wedding festivities is quickly fading away. I’ll share photos from Swayambhunath in an upcoming post.

January Recent Reads

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My Kindle is filled up with books for my trip to Nepal in a few hours. Since my packing is done I figured I would share my thoughts on the books I read in January.

The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan
I loved, loved, loved this book! It was one of those books that as soon as I finished it I wished it just kept going on. The story is basically a twist on Kate Middleton and Prince William’s relationship, which I’ve never really followed much of, but that didn’t stop me from not putting the book down. Rebecca, an American studies abroad in Oxford and doesn’t realize that the guy helping her up to her room is Nicholas, the future King of England. The book gives you an inside look into what most likely William, Kate and Prince Harry go through on an every day basis but the story is also an honest look at two people in a relationship.

Number 9 by Colleen Hoover
I picked this book knowing nothing about the author, but it sounded interesting from the description. And it was interesting and the twist about three-quarters in I was not really expecting. Fallon meets Ben at a restaurant in California, the day before she is due to move to New York. Having a connection right from the start they agree to meet every day on November 9 for the next few years. This book is good for a quick, non-thinking read. There were some parts that really made me roll my eyes and I understand that the twist was need for both characters development, but it also could have been done without.

The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living by Louise Miller
Another book I just randomly picked up and it was a cute, quick read. Livvy, a Boston baker moves to Vermont after accidentally setting fire during a dinner at Boston club. Once in Guthrie, Vermont she takes a job as a baker at the Sugar Maple Inn and becomes a part of the small Guthrie community. Livvy, who has never stayed in one place for too long, finds the home and surrogate family she has always longed for.

Leave Me by Gayle Forman
Having read If I Stay and Where She Went by Forman, I was curious about her debut adult book and it was kind of a disappointment. I guess she wants you to sympathize with the main character Maribeth, but I hated her.

The Singles Game by Lauren Weisberger
I loved The Devil Wears Prada by Weisberger but for some reason I haven’t read any of her follow up books until now. Charlotte “Charlie” Silver is a tennis pro waiting to win her first major title and then she gets injured at Wimbeldon. While rehabbing she fires her long time coach and hires a controversial coach who reinvents her whole image to try and make her into a champion. It is a predictable book, you have an idea of how it is going to end as soon as one character is introduced, but it was a cute read.

Web Finds: All About Travel

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Photo courtesy instagram.com/paperboyo

I wanted to share some of my favorite travel-related finds from around the web since I’m almost off to Nepal for my friend’s wedding.

@paperboyo on Instagram Photographer Rich McCor has a unique take on travel photos, he transforms landmarks, building and beaches and more with paper cutouts.

Bangkok’s unicorn-themed cafe I know they are not real, but I love unicorns and the unicorn-themed cafe in Bangkok looks to me like a place I would never want to leave. From the decor to the food everything looks magical and colorful!

Airbnb and Pantone’s London Rental Airbnb teamed up with Pantone to create a rental apartment inspired by Pantone’s 2017 color of the year Greenery. With grass for carpet and plants all around the apartment, I think this will be one very popular rental.

Beating the winter blues

Since I’ve been in full-on packing mode for my trip to Nepal this week and needed something to beat the winter blues, I figured I would share some flower photos from this past summer that I never shared on here. Clark Botanic Gardens always has a beautiful assortment of zinnias blooming towards the end of summer and I can’t help but too many pictures of them. When the weather is cold outside and snow is predicted for tomorrow, I’d much rather look at photos of flowers and know that spring is only 49 days away!

Clark Botanic Garden in Albertson, NY. Photo by Alyson Goodman.

Clark Botanic Garden in Albertson, NY. Photo by Alyson Goodman.

Clark Botanic Garden in Albertson, NY. Photo by Alyson Goodman.

Clark Botanic Garden in Albertson, NY. Photo by Alyson Goodman.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Graceful

Clark Botanic Garden, Albertson, NY, photo by Alyson Goodman

I always think it is serendipity when I can capture a butterfly on a flower at one of my many flower garden trips. Sometimes they move so quickly that as you are setting the shot up they have already moved onto to the next flower. Watching them move so gracefully over the flowers is a sight to see in itself. With the theme for the weekly photo challenge being graceful, I thought this was a fitting photo to share.