Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Re-discovering Los Angeles and Around - part 1

LA Skyline and Fountain
Last Thursday, I went to LA to wander and explore in this vibrant city with my friend most of the time and my cousin joined us Saturday. I had a wonderful 4 day Los Angeles vacation, thanks to Malu for showing me around the beautiful spots in her adopted city.
Light poles @ Los Angeles County Museum of Art

The Right Tactical Gears

To say that we live in a dangerous world is an understatement. “It’s a jungle out there” is probably more like it. We are in a time where we just can’t predict what might happen. This is very true especially to those who are employed in perilous occupations like the law enforcement, military, security personnel, park rangers and the likes. We can never be too sure of ourselves in this line of work. Utmost safety and precaution must be taken.

Monday, August 27, 2012

K Ka-Boom at Kelso Sand Dunes

Nature has its special way of always bringing out the child in us. There is just so much to experience in our natural world. On our way home from Utah during our last thanksgiving trip, my husband asked if there is another sand dune we will pass along the way that we have not seen yet. Hmmm, sand dunes again? There is just something with the sand that draws us into it, it may be the inspiring artistical ripples wonderfully carved by the wind, or it may be the complexity of how it was formed, or it may just simply be enjoying the different gifts and the many faces of our wonderful world.
Me @ Kelso Dunes, Mojave National Preserve, California

A Well Kept Secret in the Dominican Republic

Some people prefer swimming at the beach instead of the pool. It may be the preference of the feel of nature, as opposed to being soaked in chloride. With me, it’s the fact that the beach or the ocean is so much more tempting than a manmade structure filled with water.
The location of the beach is another preference for many who vacation in the Caribbean. Caribbean's beaches are remarkable. The dazzling, white, hot sands of the Dominican Republic are exquisite and once you’ve visited them you’ll always want to return.  One little known sight that I had the pleasure of visiting is Boca Chica. Not many people are aware of the location because unlike the Punta Canta, it isn't always advertised.

Many visitors prefer vacationing in areas which are less touristy, where the inhabitants are more like themselves and the beaches are less trafficked.  

Lower Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park

From the Geyser Hill, to the other parts of Upper Geyser Basin, to Midway Geyser Basin, we continue moving North from the Old Faithful Lodge to Lower Geyser Basin in the Fountain Paint Pot area.
Bacterial Mat, Lower Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park
Silex Spring, Yellowstone National Park

The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge

My first challenging assignment as a military journalist was to write about the Verrazano Narrows Bridge.  Prior to that my day consisted of scanning several newspapers daily and highlighting any articles I came across which mentioned the army. This was tedious and boring, but the general wanted it done. I could not complain as I was one of the lucky women in the army. My recruiter had actually signed my card. Recruiters were famous for promising things which never got delivered, but my card was signed so I got my chosen career which was photo journalism. I cannot tell you how many girls found out on the day they graduated from basic training that they were assigned to permanent kitchen duty. 

I loved that bridge. It is so majestic. I was stationed in Fort Hamilton, Brooklyn, NY and could see it from the fort.  The general was presenting a talk about the bridge, and my drawing and article were used. My article actually landed in the NY Post and I cut it out and sent it home to my mother. I will always fondly remember the Verrazano Narrows Bridge to this day.
The bridge has many features which are worth remembering:

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Capture the Colours That Add Joy To Our Lives

Colors....do we all see it the same way, or do we have different perceptions of what color is, of what it means to us, and of the beauty it brings? Most of us have a fondness for certain colors, maybe influenced by our experiences. When I was younger, I would wear everything yellow during exams, because yellow was my lucky color and confidence booster! However, it changed when I started working, when all of a sudden, I noticed that pink always bring me very productive results. Whenever I felt sad, I would go out to fill my eyes with green, because it gave me a sense of peacefulness and calmness. When I felt like celebrating with happiness overflowing, I would go to the ocean, to happily dance with the blue, my color of happiness despite blue is more famous for sadness. I believe why I see blue as a happy color because when I was a kid, I was crazy about the ocean. I loved to look at the endless horizon in front of me and to feel the magic of the waves, that even when I was sleeping, I still would dream of being rocked by the waves in the sea.

When Arti of My Yatra Diary passed to me the fun or challenge of joining Capture The Colour sponsored by Travel Supermarket, I had been meaning to make a post about colours as soon as I could, but choosing only one picture for each color was very difficult, plus I had been enjoying the color blue in the ocean terribly. :)

Anyway, here are my chosen pictures:

1. BLUE ( you can click the picture to enlarge )
Dawn @ Mono Lake South Tufa State Reserve, Lee Vining, CA

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Weather You Must Know

We are now in a time where our climate conditions tend to be changing abruptly and have become very unpredictable. All over the world, changes in the normal weather cycle have been experienced and its effects have been dreadful. Experts say that this is the result of climate change. This affects not only the weather, but the seasons as well. This is very important since our different societies, and ultimately our global community, is somewhat dependent on these climate patterns when it comes to their business decisions. Once we lose the ability to accurately predict and track these weather patterns, it will be very difficult for us to plan and project future actions and goals.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Midway Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park

Images from Midway Geyser Basin, Excelsior Group, Yellowstone National Park
The Excelsior Group in Midway Geyser Basin is no doubt my most favorite feature in Yellowstone National Park. Maybe, Midway Geyser Basin awed us beyond compare because we already had seen so much beautiful scenery and amazing features in Yellowstone that we thought with all the beauty we had seen, what else was there? Midway Geyser Basin answered us: "there are more!"

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Fond Memories of New York

New York City from Empire State Building
What are some of your fond memories of New York? Or if you haven't visited this vibrant city yet, what makes you want to travel to New York?

Is it the food? After all, NYC is  one of the best places to eat in the world.

Is it the romance, nightlife and entertainment?
How many times "When Harry Met Sally" and "Serendipity" made us fall in love with love again, and brought us to reminisce of how sweet love is at Central Park?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Snorkeling With The Sharks, the Leopard Sharks :)

Leopard Sharks and Paddle Boarders, La Jolla Shores Beach
I have been having a time of my life lately snorkeling with the sharks! Yes, you read it right, sharks! But before you get scared, let me clarify these are the leopard sharks, not the white sharks! We were snorkeling not only with a few leopard sharks, but surrounded by hundreds of them! Would you want to swim with the sharks too? That is, the friendly, harmless to humans leopard sharks?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wind Surfing and Kite Boarding at Columbia River Gorge

Mt. Hood from Hood River, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area
The Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area encompasses the entire length of the Columbia River Gorge, spanning two states, Washington and Oregon. The place is most popular for wind and water recreation, but of course, with its surrounding mountains, this place is also popular for outdoor photographers, mountain bikers and hikers. There is actually an activity for almost everyone.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


When we went to Alaska last year, one of our wishes was to see puffins in the wild. Indeed we saw some during our Kenai Fjords National Park Glacier and wildlife cruise. However, they were so far afar from our boat that we were not able to really get an up close picture of puffin.

Plan B’s During Travels

Every time one plans to travel somewhere, there are inevitable circumstances wherein you really need to gear out of what has been planned just to make things work. That’s why; “plan B’s” are very important. They are not always less quality options but might as well be considered as contingency plans just in case things will not work accordingly.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Joys of Simple Life at Happy Steps Travel Blog

Screen Shot of My Seward Photo Album in Facebook (hike) - notice we all went flying above Exit Glacier :) it was sure fun!! one jumped with a backpack, i jumped with a camera dangling on my neck, one jumped with backpack and trekking poles, and two, jumped facing the cliff! we did not bother how far we still had to hike up, for we were celebrating each moment. :)

The Need To Hire A Translation Agency

Different countries have different languages. Every language also has its many dialects. The need to express and understand a thought in a universal theme is important in many aspects of this fast changing world.

These translation agencies get the best translators to manage projects with the need of precise conversion of thoughts in another language. Translations can be either written or oral in form, depending on clients' need.

Companies hire these agencies to translate their product's instructions of use, content or materials used. Others hire court interpreters that are equally important during legal proceedings. Some hire interpreters to convert sign language into words. And now, the type of translating service that is becoming popular are interpreters hired during business conferences, seminars and the like where the translator stands beside the speaker and delivers what the speaker has said.

Indeed, translation agencies can accommodate multi-sectoral language services ranging from legal, financial, technical or medical translation. Just be sure that the translation agency that you are hiring is consisting of dependable professionals and masters of their mother tongue. While there are numerous translation agencies in the market today, be reminded of choosing that of which are accredited, certified and legalized.
~guest post by Nice~

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Part 2 of Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park

saw mill geyser
Sawmill Geyser, Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park
In my previous post  Upper Geyser Basin (part 1), after watching Old Faithful geyser erupt, we followed the paved trail and some elevated board walks to Geyser Hill. After Geyser Hill, we continued walking North. The first erupting geyser we saw after Geyser Hill was Sawmill Geyser. If you look at the picture above, Sawmill is a fountain type geyser. The bursting water stream comes through a pool of water. Sawmill's eruption can exceed 35 feet. Eruptions commonly last 30 to 50 minutes but can last from as little as 9 minutes to over 4 hours. At the time we were there, it definitely lasted more than 30 minutes. 

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

The Place To Be In Orlando

Looking for a great destination for your family can be very challenging and time-consuming especially when you are considering a lot of aspects to make the trip more fun and exciting. The safety, facilities, services, local attractions and the overall package of the place must be given prior consideration to make the stay more meaningful. If you are planning to travel with your kids, you might want to consider checking out the attractions in Orlando. Getting the information you need to make the trip worthwhile can be easily found at Orlandoescape.com.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park (Part 1)

old faithful
Old Faithful Geyser, Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park
There is more to Old Faithful area than Old Faithful Geyser. However, coming to Old Faithful with limited idea what was around, except Old Faithful, we started by following 95+% of the tourists. We crowded near the Old Faithful area waiting for Old Faithful to erupt. Though I was quiet at all times during the wait, but deep inside me, I was like the whining kids, crying to their mom, "MOM, I am bored! Can we do something else?" And mom had to explain, "shhhh, let us wait a little bit, for in just a short while, Old Faithful will erupt!"
chipmunk (?) entertaining us while waiting for Old Faithful to erupt

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Famous Footwear, Sunsets and Back to School Promos

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Famous Footwear for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
 ~by Zen a.k.a kulasa~

     "Photo-walking," has been my stress buster in the past two years. I have learned that the pleasure of taking shots and losing extra pounds through these treks is best achieved with a good pair of shoes. On the left is a photo of my right foot while viewing a fluvial parade.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

String Lake Trailhead to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point, Grand Teton

Hidden Falls, Grand Teton National Park, WY
Hidden Falls is a 200 ft cascade found at the Cascade Canyon of Grand Teton National Park. There are three options that I know of to reach Hidden Falls and the Cascade Canyon Trail, which is probably the most popular trail system in the park, therefore, expect company in your hike. 

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Links and Changes

hiking grand canyon
Hiker @ South Kaibab Trail, Early Morning

Life is a continuous process of learning, and so is keeping a site. From a simple blogging format when I started this blog last April 2009, I am slowly making changes and applying what I am learning in the process. Some of them, painful ( well, in my blogger's view, haha!), and most of them, JOYFUL!

JOYFUL because I have met several blogging friends really worth keeping because I felt a connection to them after years of reading each others thoughts. Blogging is such a powerful vehicle of connecting with those who share your passion, in my case, my passion of exploring the wonders and healing gifts of nature. I could feel the strong sense of CARE for some. When something is wrong with blogger sometimes, I get email from some friends about what needs to be done. When I neglect this blog sometimes, I get thoughtful messages of being missed, and a concern that hope all is okay. JOYFUL because finding others are using your site for information on their travel planning brings a certain joy that is just hard to explain. Whenever I get email through my contact form thanking me about how the details in my post has helped them a lot in planning for their trip, I feel thankful and joyful because it was for that reason that I took time in sharing them because I love to bring more people in finding the healing treasures in our natural world.