nepal Posts

Wanderlust: Nepal

By: Stephanie Andrews

A few weeks ago I revisited one of my favorite places on Earth: Nepal (home of Mt. Everest, Hindu temples, Buddhist stupas, and quite frankly the most beautiful people I’ve ever met). My brother-in-law, Bhupesh, is a Nepal native and owns Nepal Travels there, so my family got the inside scoop of a lifetime when we went!

Photo courtesy of Edward Andrews.

After a grand total of 30 hours on two different planes, we arrived at Bhupesh’s family home in Kathmandu. From there we trekked The Golden Triangle to Pokhara and then to Chitwan National Park. I say “trekked” because although we had an expert driver, the roads were long, bumpy, full of potholes, and often closed altogether. But the journey is part of the experience, and we were able to enjoy the true flavor of local villages along the way! We also went white water rafting with a local guide, his wife, and his kids. Summertime in Nepal is hot, and we were all looking forward to taking a dip, especially with possibly the most beautiful view ever.

Photo courtesy of Edward Andrews.

Quite an adventure awaited us in Pokhara, which is a charming little lake town with lots of shops and beautiful inns like the one we stayed in. We experienced paragliding like never before! A quick drive brought us to the top of a giant hill (here in Georgia we would definitely call this a mountain), got a running start, and leapt off the edge for a 20 minute ride of a lifetime to the lake below. I once again had to place ultimate trust in a complete stranger. Incredible experience!

Photo courtesy of Travel Tipsor.

Then there came Chitwan National Park, where we rode elephants and bathed them in the river. These incredible creatures got us up close and personal with deer, rhinos, and crocodiles. But it was bathing in the river and massaging them with smooth rocks that really fostered my love for these gentle giants.

Photo courtesy of Stephanie Andrews.

After this journey we returned to Kathmandu to visit a dear family friend Bina Basnet. She is the founder of Orchid Garden, a school/daycare for kids who have little besides their big hearts, joyful laughter, and ability to welcome us as their new best friends. They were so loving and welcoming that my daughter Allie asked to spend the rest of her summer break there volunteering. Of course I said yes! Just look at these amazing children.

Photo courtesy of Edward Andrews.

Photo courtesy of Edward Andrews.

In conclusion, Nepal is one of my favorite places on Earth. If you get the opportunity to go, please don’t hesitate to contact me for information and tips. I would love to share what I know and relive the adventure!

Tihar: Nepal’s Festival of Lights

By: Stephanie Andrews

The end of October marks an incredible festival in Nepal called Tihar. Five years ago I got to witness this beautiful celebration in person in Katmandu, and it was truly an amazing experience. Dogs, cows, and homes were adorned with marigold garlands and lit up at night with candles, creating a breathtaking atmosphere.

One day of the festival is dedicated to cows, who are venerated with garlands and the best grasses because they signify wealth and prosperity.

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Photo courtesy of Mashable.

Colorful earthen lamps are used to decorate the home during this festival of lights.

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Photo courtesy of Avax News.

Cows aren’t the only animals celebrating Tihar. Dogs are also honored during the festival with flower garlands and vermillion (and food!).

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Photo courtesy of Life With Dogs.

The festivities during Tihar are truly a one of a kind sight. Just another reason visiting Nepal should be on your bucket list!

Balance Design Grand Opening!

By: Stephanie Andrews

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It’s finally happening. We are pleased to officially announce the grand opening of the Balance Design Interior Design Studio and Gallery. After many long months of plans, renovations, and designs, we’re ready to reveal our brick and mortar studio to the world. 

Get to know our featured artists Ahsley Hizer, Michael Bryant, and Chelsea Goff. With modern abstract paintings, gold leaf photography, and refined ceramics (all made here in Atlanta), there’s something for everyone. We will also reveal our custom line of pillows and scented candles, our favorite design books and magazines, and some very special pieces to support our friends in Nepal.

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We welcome all clients, friends, and neighbors to come celebrate with us. You are the ones who have made this possible with all your support over the past 12 years! Come by, have some hors d’oevres and wine, and see what we’ve been working on.