Tay Explores

Shalimar Gardens – Lahore, Pakistan

One of my favorite historic spots in Lahore is the Shalimar Baagh (garden).  The construction of this mughal garden began in 1637 C.E. and completed in 1641. It was designed in the lifetime of Shah Jehan and it mimiced the one built in Kashmir by his father, Jahangir. These gardens were laid out as a ‘charbagh’ meaning quadrilateral garden based on the four gardens of Paradise mentioned in the Quran. More on its History: http://www.orientalarchitecture.com/sid/572/pakistan/lahore/shalamar-gardens Location: Lahore, Pakistan Architecture: Mughal Era

24 Hours in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

Okay, so I decided to take a break from my Pakistan posts and share with you what I’ve been up to this summer so far. For me, summer started after the month of fasting ended! As soon as it did, I wasted no time in planning a short trip out of Chicago to a place I had been researching about ever since I moved here, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. My nieces were visiting also so it ended up being the perfect little 24 hour family vacation! Strawberry Picking at Apple Barn Orchard & Winery I have also been wanting to go fruit picking for ages and when I looked up things to do near Lake Geneva, this barn kept coming up for apple and strawberry picking. Since we were just in time for the strawberry season, that is what I planned to do first. My nieces love, LOVE strawberries so it…

Lahore Fort (Shahi Qila) – Lahore, Pakistan

The next stop on my historic architectural tour in Pakistan was Lahore Fort (also known as Shahi Qila) which is situated right across Badshahi Mosque.  This fort has been inhabited from a thousand years and was reconstructed many times over the years by various empires and rulers. What we see today is the design that was built during Emperor Akbar’s time in 1575. It was built to guard the northwest frontier of the empire. Overtime, however, with different reigns came different additions and modifications to the palaces, lush gardens, meeting places etc. The fort is a mix of different styles that each emperor of the time preferred. There are European, Hindu and Persian influences throughout the designs. One famous structure, Sheesh Mahal was Emperor Shah Jehan’s contribution. This along with the Diwan-e-Khas are my favorite pieces here.  The Diwan-e-Khas (Hall of Private Audience) is a marble pavilion. Basically, this place…

Badshahi Mosque – Lahore, Pakistan

The next stop on our historic sightseeing in Lahore was Badshahi Mosque. This was my second time visiting the mosque and I was as mesmerized by it this time around as I was the first time I saw it. It’s located near Lahore Fort and is probably one of Lahore’s most iconic landmarks.The mosque is a Mughal-era architecture which was commissioned by Emperor Aurengzeb in 1671 and was completed within two years. Its exterior is made of carved red sandstone with marble inlay. The interior also has carved marble and elaborate plasterwork. At the time of completion, it was the largest mosque in the world and now is the second largest mosque in Pakistan itself. You have to climb about 20 or so steps to get to the entrance. From the entrance you have a view of the gate of Lahore Fort (my next stop).After taking in the view of the massive gate,…

Tomb of Jahangir – Lahore, Pakistan

So basically, my trips to Pakistan consist of spending time with my family and eating amazing food. Since we go after many years and for short periods of time it’s hard to do too much sightseeing. However, we did manage to squeeze one day for it, in the city of Lahore. When our driver picked us up, he assumed we wanted to go to all the biggest shopping centers in the city. When we told him we weren’t interested in shopping and instead wanted to see some historic sites, he was shocked. I think mainly because that is what a lot of people like to do when they go to Pakistan, things are a bit cheaper. We saw four sites in one day (with 2 kids under the age of 4)! My family and I have a knack of squeezing too many things in one day! lol Our first stop…

The Streets of Pakistan

As you can tell by the title of this post, I have finally started sorting through photos of my recent trip to Pakistan and I am so excited to share it all with you! This country, which my parents are from is one that is full of diverse cultures, a rich history and delicious food. Although I wasn’t born in Pakistan, I did move here when I was only 6 months old. I lived there for about 6 years in a town called Rabwah (now known as Chenab Nagar) which is located next to the River Chenab in the province of Punjab. The country itself is located in South Asia and is the 6th most populous in the world with over 197 million people! Getting to Chenab Nagar from the airport in Lahore is an experience in itself. Most of the highway is nicely paved, however as soon as you get…

National Cherry Blossom Festival – Washington D.C.

Hello all, I hope your March was spectacular, mine sure was! As you probably know I was off exploring and visiting family in Pakistan. It was a wonderful trip but now I am back and ready to go back to our regularly scheduled program. 😉 I know that it probably would have made sense to come back and post about Pakistan; however, I am in the middle of organizing all the photos so you will have to wait a little while longer. When I got back on Sunday morning, I was struggling with major jet lag. And the best way I knew how to tackle it was to avoid sleeping at 3 pm and go out to explore and stay awake! So the following day, I went to check out the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington D.C. with my friend, A. Lucky for me the blossoms had reached their peak…

Pennsylvania Farm Show 2017 – The Photo Version

A month ago, I shared my Pennsylvania Farm Show Snapchat story with you. And today I would like to share my photos from that day so you can see how incredible it really is. There is lots to see and do…and eat!  It’s the largest indoor agriculture exposition in the ocuntry which features over 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive exhibits and 300 commercial exhibits. It usually happens in January, for two weeks.  I went with a couple of friends around 7.30 PM which apparently was the perfect time to go because it wasn’t too crowded at the time (it closes at 9). Since I had seen it before, I mainly went for two things, milkshakes and fried cheese! But in order to work up an appetite, we walked through all the animals first…and the free food samples section. lol… A tip: you want to make sure you watch where you are…

Angel’s Gate Park – San Pedro, California

I was going through my old photos and making room for new ones when I came across some that I took of Angel’s Gate Park. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t shared these with you earlier because I went here on the same day as Sunken City, a year ago. And just like Sunken City, this park overlooks the Pacific Ocean, giving us the most incredible views ever. Besides appreciating the perfect ocean views, there’s a few other things you can do here, like fly a kite, have a picnic on the grass, or admire the Korean Friendship Bell (which I most definitely did). This bell was given to the United States in 1976 by the Republic of Korea to celebrate the bicentennial of the US and as a symbol of friendship between the two nations. The bell itself weighs 17 tons and was cast in Korea. It’s housed in a pavilion which was…

A Majestic Sunset on the Susquehanna

For this post, I really don’t want to say much except that I planned an evening out with my friend, T and we unexpectedly got to experience one of the most magical sunsets ever! (I have decided that I’m going to start using initials in my posts from now on instead of saying “my friend” all the time.) Originally, we had decided to meet up at Home 231 (a restaurant) after she got off work. But as I was driving on Front St. to get to the restaurant, I noticed the river was foggy and continuously changing. I thought to myself there is no way I’m not stopping here for a bit. So I called up T and told her to meet me at the river first. She was so glad that I did because just look at these photos!   Shout out to T for being a natural model! Is there a…

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