Western Wonders

Sushila Bokadia and her family took a trip to the Western Hemisphere, starting with Boston, Massachusetts in the US. The long flight from Hyderabad took them to the thriving city known for its colonial past, rich culture and quality educational institutions. Before exploring the nightlife in Boston, a visit to Harvard University in Cambridge was on the itinerary. “At one of the oldest universities of the world, the campus was huge. The students explained to us about their lives at the university, and also gave us insight into its history,” says Sushila.
Later that day, a yacht took the family out onto the Atlantic Ocean to spot adult whales and their calves. During a city tour, they also visited the location of the infamous Boston Tea Party, before departing for New York by road.
“It was late in the evening when we reached ‘the city that never sleeps.’ The best place to be at night is Times Square. The lights, the crowd and the locals moving about – some in superhero costumes and others showcasing their talents on one of the busiest streets in the world – was mesmerising. Of the many theatre performances on offer, we attended ‘Aladdin’, which was magical (so to speak!). Later we went to Madame Tussauds, the famous wax museum. Fifth Avenue was the best shopping area I’ve ever visited ever,” she adds.
Niagara Falls 
They paid a visit to the Statue of Liberty the next day, and visited the downtown memorial that honours the victims of the September 11 terrorist attack on the Twin Towers. “America has created a reflecting pool and monument with the names of all the victims on the wall. At the nearby Top of the Rock observation deck in midtown, we enjoyed a beautiful view of the entire city from the 67th floor, which shined and sparkled like a diamond at night,” she says.
A few hours from New York City by road is America’s capital city, Washington, DC. After seeing the White House, the Capitol building, the Pentagon and the Lincoln Memorial, the family took a night off. The next day, they planned to visit Niagara Falls near Buffalo in upstate New York. “Before heading to the falls, we went to the famous Hershey chocolate factory in Pennsylvania. We bought some freshly made and delicious chocolates. But Niagara Falls was an amazing experience. To get a closer look, we walked down the falls to the cave and took the Maid of the Mist tour, one of the most beautiful experiences of our lives.”
Sushila Bokadia and her family 
Later, the family visited Orlando, Florida, the land of theme parks. “As soon as we got there, we left for Disney World’s Epcot Center. This futuristic theme park had some crazy rides. It was a good outing with family and friends. The next day we went to Sea World, known for its different species of marine life, and featuring an interactive exhibit with penguins. Many stunt shows are performed by whales, dolphins and other marine animals.”
Sushila Bokadia and her family 
From Orlando, they took a cruise to the Bahamas. “It was a cruise for all ages. Be it rock-climbing, nightclubs for partygoers or open-deck theatre, the cruise had 24-hour entertainment that included a big casino for people who wanted to try their luck.” In the Bahamas, the family stayed at the Atlantis Grand and enjoyed the beach. It was a good break from tiresome travelling before a cruise to the private Coco Cay islands. “It was only for cruise members. The beaches were beautiful, and the evening featured a barbecue and good music!”
Las Vegas was their next stop. They stayed at The Venetian, a city within the city. “It had everything: lounges, pubs and shopping centres. But we headed out during the bright and sunny day to see the world’s best hotels – the MGM, the Golden Nugget, and above all the famous Caesar’s Palace. We partied day and night, and visited every hotel and pub we could! We attended a rock concert at the Stratosphere, where you can undertake an adventurous sky jump. The next day, we took a helicopter ride to the Grand Canyon for a beautiful view from the top.”
After a scenic morning, the family found themselves on Santa Monica Beach in Los Angeles, California, ready for a relaxing evening. The following day, they headed to Universal Studios, caught a glimpse of the famous Hollywood sign, toured Beverly Hills and visited the venue where the Oscars are held. They popped in at San Francisco before flying back to Hyderabad. “In San Francisco, we visited the Golden Gate Bridge and took a bay cruise, before leaving.”