Saturday, September 26, 2009

Santa Monica Dreaming

When you think of Los Angeles, what picture do you have in mind? Is it like this?

California Dreaming

Or this?
Los Angeles Skyline
Or is it something that says "Hollywood"?
I hope you can see the Hollywood sign on that mountain slope :)
Probably some info not so known to most is that, Metropolitan Los Angeles, just like California , has remarkable geographical diversity. I must admit when I was still back in the Philippines, when I think of California, I think of tall buildings and overcrowded metropolis, I think of women in skimpy wears lying on the sand sunbathing, I think of "Hollywood", I think of "Disneyland", I think of "Sea World", but I never thought about this.

North Lake, Bishop, Eastern Sierra, California
Los Angeles, being sandwiched by the ocean and the mountains, offers diverse outdoor activities aside from going to Disneyland or marching in the streets of Hollywood. What is unique to most of California is that one can go surfing,
and skiing or sledding in one day.
And what is my favorite destination whenever I am in Metropolitan Los Angeles? Or when I am touring some visiting friends? I must say it is Santa Monica.
Santa Monica Pier
Living in San Diego, I a lot of times would prefer to go hiking first and them jump into the ocean to cool off. Hiking and the ocean goes together for me, and staying in Santa Monica Beach Hotel allows me to pursue the same activities I do in San Diego when I am touring some visiting friends ( one thing that is part of living in California is entertaining friends and family during summer who spends time for vacation).  If visiting and touring some friends to metropolitan L.A., we usually pick Santa Monica Beach Accommodations . It feels great to be waking up seeing the sunrise and ending the day at sunset at Santa Monica.
Santa Monica Dreaming
At Santa Monica, beach fun continues even after sunset. Visiting L.A? There are so many things to do and see in Los Angeles other than Hollywood, Universal Studios and Disneyland. You can add surfing, hiking, skiing, aside from the other activities L.A is more known for, FUN.

 @ Santa Monica, Pier

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Fun Friday: Me from A to Z

Having Fun @ Alabama Hills, Lone Pine, CA
This is supposed to be yesterday's post for our Blogging For Fun Friday. However, quite obviously, I am late. Our theme yesterday was the A to Z quiz, and here goes mine.

A - Available - Married and make ourselves available for simple joys in life.
Partners in Enjoying The Great Outdoors
Partners in Outdoor Photography
B - Best Friend - my hubby

C - Crush - Indiana Jones ( Harrison Ford ), and my husband goes with me to watch his every movie :)

D - Dad’s Name - Marcelino

E - Easiest Person To Talk To - my late mother, there was no one like her.

F - Favorite Band - U2 ( The Joshua Tree)
The Joshua Tree

G - Gummy Bears Or Worms - Neither! I can have them, but I don't necessarily enjoy them.

H - Hometown - Bacolod City, Philippines

I - Instrument - Graphing Calculator, :)

J - Job - previously, a College Chemistry Instructor; now, striving to become a High School Math teacher :) . The reason I hardly can blog here these days since I have to balance my full time job and my studies as a Single Subject Math teacher intern.

K - Kids - my students.

L - Longest Car Ride - from Chicago to Los Angeles, but with stops at Nebraska, Colorado, Utah and Las Vegas.

M - Milk Flavor - Soy Milk?

N - Number Of Siblings - Four.

O - One Wish - I have many wishes, mostly not for myself, for myself, I guess to stay healthy to enjoy the simple things in life such as TEACHING, BOOGIE BOARDING, TAKING PICTURES AND HIKING!

P - Phobias - speeding cars.

Q - Favorite Quote - "Everything works for the good for those who love God."

R - Reason To Smile - Everything.

S - Song You Last Heard - Who Are You?

T - Time You Woke Up - 5:55 am on weekdays, 7:00 am on weekends

U - Unknown Fact About Me - I smile and laugh alone when I reminisce happy moments

V - Vegetable - Kangkong ( or ong choy ), Bamboo Shoots cooked in coconut milk with "saluyot" , Taro ( la-ing ) , malunggay, ampalaya ( bittermelon) , eggplant, actually, I eat almost all kinds of vegetables, but my favorite vegetables have to be Filipino and Asian vegetables.

W - Worst Habits - Procrastination

X - X-Rays You’ve Had - Chest, head, sinus, abdomen, actually, lots, maybe only my hands and feet have not been X-rayed.

Y - Your Favorite Food - Many, such as "ukoy", "palabok", "arroz valenciana", okay, I am more into Filipino foods and Asian foods.

Z - Zodiac Sign - Capricorn

Friday, September 11, 2009

Fun Friday: Birthday Flower

Yey :) I am here again, in the blogosphere :) It is a Friday that is why! :) And my Blogging For Fun group, headed by Melissa, revived our Fun Friday. This Friday, our Fun Friday topic is about birth flower. My birth flower is carnation, which symbolizes love, fascination and distinction. 
I would want to post here some carnation flowers, however, I do not know where are my carnation flowers in my archive of pictures :( So, I am posting here buttercup flowers instead, which somehow look like carnation as well :) 
The color red carnation means "my heart aches for you". 
"Pink" carnations means I'll never forget you. A striped carnation means "I wish I could be with you." And yellow carnation means " you have disappointed me". 
Anyway, all pictures above are not carnation but the closest to carnation I can easily find in my photo files. The flowers above belong to the family of ranunculus (buttercups ). Every spring, March- May, this coastal hillside in Carlsbad, San Diego County explodes with colors. 

Saturday, September 05, 2009

I am Still Here

Since my summer break ended last August 10, my posting here had slowed down terribly. But I am happy that at least I can still manage to write something after a very tired brain :) Despite my busy schedule, life continues to be great, thinking positively.
Watch Out Fish, Egret is Here
I am still here, I still have time to walk to the beach after a long day before the day ends or at the weekend. I still have time to search for birds around while I pass the lagoon on my way to the beach.
Egret, Looking Out for Something to Feed?
Diverse Bird Species @ The Lagoon
( heron, flying pelican, grebes)
I still have some time to wait for the fish giving me a surprise mighty jump!
Jumping Fish @ Lagoon
Though vacation has long been over, but I still can manage to release the day's stresses and join the birds in their party.
Partying Birds
And as I get closer to the beach, I feel like the birds in the lagoon are inviting me to join them, but sadly, there area is restricted, where not anyone can trespass. The lagoon is for them only, and for other wildlife!
Resting Gulls
But then, some of them are too social, they also want to join us at the beach :)
Egret Trying to Find Fish :)
I still take some time to swim and help the birds look for fish :) . Yesterday was a great one, saw a lot of fishes. I still have the time to happily take my board, and go out to enjoy some rides. 
Surfer Riding The Wave
( I don't surf, I boogie ride or body surf )
Flock of Pelicans Approaching
Despite my busy schedule, despite having too little time to make my presence at The Joys of Simple Life, I am still here, finding the time to enjoy the sea, the sand,
Sandy Squirrel :)
and the sun!

Riding more waves before we finally say goodbye to summer.
Happy Labor Day Weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Is It the Lion Inside the Cage or the Man?

In my last post, fellow blogger Vanilla Seven had this question: Is it the lion inside the Cage or the Man?
Izu @ Lion Camp, San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park
And Mei had this to ask: That lion in the first photo is placed in a glass enclosure? 
Let me answer these questions first with pictures,
Lion Camp
In the picture above of Lion's Camp, we can see the open space that the lion can roam around, and play around. Men are not contained in a closed space either, both man and lion are in their own safe open spaces.
Izu and his yard
Mina or Oshana on top of a truck 
Resting Lions on top of Truck
Oshana and Her Little Lion
The lions are in an open space exhibit, and they do take advantage of their roomy camp exhibit by running around and playing.
Lion Camp Field
Izu Moving Around
Baby and Mom Play
How about the man? Is he inside the cage?
Lion  Camp Viewing Area
The structure you see has thick glass panels that separates the lions and men, to keep them all safe. They all are outside. 
Man and Lion
Rochelle further asked, if the glass walls are strong enough, yes, they are! Kids, among many others love to get closer to the glass so they get a chance to see the lions up close, since it is through the glass walls where viewing is as close as it can be. However, not all the time the lions are near the glass, they usually go there when a trainor is there to give us a talk, and calls them. Otherwise, I believe their favorite place is at the top of the truck, or simply lazying on grass somewhere.
Mom and 2 babies
This picture was not shot through the glass, but in other viewing points where there is no glass that separates men and lion, but then, the lion can not cross towards men because of the design of the exhibit, the lions are smart, they do not want to jump on a man-made cliff that separates them from the men. 
Dad, Mom and Baby
There are a lot more exhibits at Wild Animal Park, but you can probably only really get close to them by joining a caravan or other activities in the park.
Photo Caravan Safari
As for me, I am content enough with the "Journey into Africa" tram ride, since it comes with my membership fee,
Journey Into Africa Cart
this is the only tour I do since I do not have to pay extra :) 
the rest, I have to pay extra, and since I live in San Diego, I always tell myself, "next time, there will be many more tomorrows to do it". But there is one thing for sure, despite the many safari tours at Wild Animal Park, no one can get really up close with a lion, without a glass wall.
In my next posts, I will share the other exhibits I have photographed at Wild Animal Park.