Laurel Falls Trailhead

   The Laurel Falls Trail is an American hiking trail, in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park of Tennessee. We went to this falls mid-afternoon on August 23rd weekend.  The drive into Smoky National Park was very scenic and peaceful. We stopped at Gatlinburg Visitor's Center on the way in to pick up a couple maps. It was a wonderful walk up to the falls, I loved that the trail was paved. There are a few places to go down off the beaten path and explore. It was nice to get outdoors and get some exercise. The falls is beautiful but its a little crowded, but worth it.  Had to wait for other visitors to move to get my pics. But overall loved this natural wonder. Definitely recommend Laurel falls for the nature lover.

Address:
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Little River Rd
Gatlinburg, TN 37738

Short hike that ends in beautiful reward


Garden of the Gods

   Talk about free fun and a beautiful afternoon with Mother Nature. This is a must-visit spot while in Colorado Springs. The Garden of the Gods is an incredible wonder that is one of Colorado's finest jewels. I have seen plenty of red rocks before. But I couldn't have been more wrong, this place is amazing! The stunning red rocks that just up toward the sky never fails to leave me in awe. There are so many cool things about this park. A sight I'll never forget. Thank you to my hardworking husband for bringing me along to this unforgettable trip!

   If visiting Colorado Springs for the first time, I highly recommend putting Garden of the Gods on your must-see list. The area is quite breathtaking both literally and figuratively, and you will certainly get very good pictures in seeing some of the very best of what nature has to offer.

Ranked #1 of 175 attractions in Colorado Springs
1805 N 30th St Colorado Springs, CO 80904
        Phone number (719) 634-6666

Free Admission
    Business website www.gardenofgods.com

View from the visitor center


Hiking Trails


The amazing Balanced Rock

We drove to Colorado Springs from New Mexico using our Jeep. It was a fun drive so much to see.

Day trip to Tombstone Arizona

  Tombstone is a tourist city but it was more enjoyable than I thought it would be. I could have easily spent an entire day here leisurely learning about the history of the town, the mining, and it's people. Tombstone is perhaps the most famous Western town due to the people who lived there, came there to make their fortune, or to take that fortune from them. Like so many other places in the Old West with violent histories, Tombstone is said to be one of the most haunted in Arizona. 

  We stopped  to Tombstone to check out some stores. We got a shirt made by red dirt shirt and  a little potted cactus.  Both fun souvenirs to bring home.  It was cool walking along the boardwalk, looking around in the stores, and seeing the cowboy people have their gunfight and driving around with their horse and buggies. We wish we could have stayed longer when we visited. The entire town silently screams of haunted Old West ghosts & spirits. You can practically feel the living essence of history and energy around every turn.

 Tombstone is in southeastern Arizona about 65 miles southeast of Tucson. It is 23 miles south of I-10.
Address:
605 E Fremont St
    Tombstone, AZ 85638

The town of Tombstone. Apparently the whole downtown is haunted by screams, cries, etc. Possibly a town with more than its share of domestic disturbances but ghosts?

The "town too tough to die" is filled with history even in its dust.
Authentic 1800 stagecoach tour
History preserved by dedicated residents

There are yet more haunting in Tombstone, such as a ghost who allegedly haunts Room 119 at this old Tombstone Hotel. Sometime in the past, a man evidently hanged himself in the room, and now, guests report hearing voices and witnesses objects moving in the room.

Well made 100% pre-washed cotton shirts with memorable artwork from Tombstone Arizona. The Red Dirt dye will fade. So, be sure to wash it in cold water several times before washing with like colors.
The dirt is a volcanic by product found all over the Hawaii islands and Southwest United States.

Blue Mesa Road Vista

   Let your jaw drop at the Petrified Forest National Park.  Adjacent to the Painted Desert - this is Arizona scenery at its finest. In my opinion, it is breath-taking as the Grand Canyon, and a little less crowded. There are a lot of different stations, but there are three that are especially awesome: (1) Blue Mesa Trail, (2) Newspaper Rock and (3) Crystal Forest.

   On this post I will share my photos from Blue Mesa Road. It is a 15 minute loop road with multiple stopping points for a scenic view. The Blue Mesa Road, which you'll just drive by as you pass through the park, you can pull off to look at them more if you want.  They are mounds of beautifully layered colored rock. We loved this adventure! Driving through the park was quite convenient and everything was so beautiful!

The Tepees : Commonly seen rock formations alongside the main road.





Spending Ramadan in India

Many non-Muslim travelers feel concerned about venturing out of their home country to spend time in Muslim areas during Ramadan. Will the shops be open? Will my presence make others feel uncomfortable? Will I have to starve myself all day? These are just some of the questions that people find themselves asking.
 
However, although Ramadan does mean significant changes in the regular routines of devout Muslims, it doesn't mean that entire nations go into shutdown. This is especially true of multi-faith places like India. As long as you're sensitive to local customs, you can still have an incredibly interesting journey. What's more, traveling during Ramadan can mean gaining access to some rather fascinating cultural events that you wouldn't normally be able to experience.


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Why is Ramadan observed?

Ramadan occurs during the ninth month of the Islamic year. It presents the chance for Muslims to focus on their spiritual development and on expressing their gratitude to Allah through abstaining from usual earthly activities, including drinking, eating, having sex and smoking, between sunrise and sunset. Many people take time off work and some travel to spend time with their family and friends. Once the sun has gone down, they gather together to enjoy their first meal of the day, which is known as 'iftar'. The feasting and cultural celebrations then continue for hours. At the end of Ramadan, a three-day holiday called 'The Feast of the Breaking of the Fast' or Eid al-Fitr, takes place.


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Travelling in Muslim areas in India
   
Islam is the second largest religion in India. However, only about 13% of the population practice it, while 80% identify themselves as Hindu. The areas with the highest concentration of Muslims are Jammu and Kashmir and Lakshadweep and there are another 110 districts where about 20% of the population is Islamic. So, if you decide to travel to these regions, then you'll need to be more aware of the implications of Ramadan.

You should be careful to observe local etiquette, such as wearing appropriate clothing (i.e. keep your flesh as covered as possible, especially if you're female) and avoiding displays of physical affection in public. You don't have to refrain from eating during the day, but it's definitely a good idea to eat in private. That way, you'll avoid offending any particularly devout onlookers and, at the same time, not make the deprivation process more difficult for anyone who might be struggling. You'll also need to keep in mind that, in some areas, most shops will be closed during the day, so you should either stock up at night or carry supplies with you.


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Travelling in non-Muslim areas
If, on the other hand, you decide to avoid non-Muslim areas, you won't have to think about Ramadan so much. If you're still working on your itinerary and feeling overwhelmed by the sheer choice offered by India, here's a tip: consider heading to Chennai. It's a colourful, bustling city that's becoming more popular with Western travelers with every passing year. There are loads of things to do, from checking out some truly amazing chai houses to chilling out on the breathtaking beaches of the Coromandel Coast. Plus there are some great Chennai hotels.


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When things go wrong 

Even though you can take every precaution to avoid upsetting other people, there's still a chance that miscommunication can happen. If someone expresses anger or scorn at your behavior or appearance during Ramadan in India, remain calm and apologetic and walk away. Be sure to keep your physical distance from anyone who invades your personal space. It's highly likely that your trip will prove to be exciting and interesting rather than dangerous, but it's still a good idea to keep your wits about you.
 

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