Friday, March 29, 2013

My Top Ten San Diego Hikes: #6, El Capitan Open Space Reserve

First, let me start the post with a review of My Top Ten San Diego Hikes:
#7 - Anza Borrego Desert State Park
Now, moving on to the number 6 in my list, which is El Capitan Open Space Reserve
@ El Cajon Summit, El Capitan Open Space Reserve

San Diego Defense Attorney

Downtown San Diego Skyline from Coronado's Ferry Landing
           One of the lessons my mom would tell me and my brother even as young kids was to stay away from trouble. She would emphasize our need to be always vigilant and never to fully trust strangers. "The world is a jungle and I will not always be there to protect you,"she would tell us, eyes wide open with her authoritative yet soothing voice. From her I learned to be self sufficient at the same time responsible for my actions as a person. In life though, I have come to realize by experience that there will always be a time when we will need someone to protect us, a trial attorney who will stand for us in court should the need arise for us to defend ourselves. At such a moment when being locked up in jail could be a consequence of a wrong decision, we would want for ourselves only the best criminal defense lawyers in San Diego CA, someone who has dedicated his life in defending the accused like Mr. Allen R. Bloom whose firm specializes in assisting one in cases of major felonies for both adults and juvenile; appeals and post conviction; administrative and licensing issues related to criminal charges. The firm could easily be contacted for any urgent inquiries which will be personally entertained by Mr. Bloom. There is nothing like being assured that an attorney of the year with director's award for excellence handles one's criminal case, practically one's life in his hands to be able to enjoy San Diego's mesmerizing skyline day and night.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Where The San Diego Spring Wildflowers Are: 2013

 Wildflowers - growing in the wild without anyone planting or seeding them, without anyone nourishing them but nature. Their blossoms are sending a beautiful message, "we all are in very good hands, taken care of lovingly by our Maker".

The four pictures below are some of my favorite spring wildflower shots around San Diego since 2008.  Spring wildflower blooms are very much dependent on precipitation and weather timing. 
2008 Spring Wildflowers, Tooth Rock Mountain Trail

To Jordan and Beyond

     Being a Christian by faith, one of the stories that has always amazed me as a child up to the present is the crossing of the Red Sea by the Israelites led by Moses as narrated in the Holy Bible, Exodus 13:17 to 14:29.

     I can still feel my heart quiver watching the scene in a movie where slave Israelites escaped the Egyptians led by Moses who as inspired by God drew out his staff which separated the Red Sea into two halves allowing them to walk on dry ground being chased by furious Egyptians on horse carriages. The innocent faces of the young ones being carried by their parents, their livestock and the frail women walking in faith hand in hand is a sight to behold between the walls of water amazingly held up apparently by wind and divine force. The stubborn Egyptian army running after the people of God drowning in the water as Moses moved his staff image makes my chest drum with fear at going against the will of God to this day. I would love to explore Jordan and beyond to strengthen my faith in the Almighty and to somehow feel a connection with the origin of Christianity through  JD Tours  which allow one to totally relax and marvel at the beauty of Jordan from its historic landmarks to the coral reef and wildlife of the Red Sea. Lake Tiberius (The Sea of Galilee) is one body of water I would love my hands and feet and soul to touch too. The Christian town of Madaba the "City of Mosaics" I learned is a must see. Watching the sunset and reflecting on life and goodness and everything else that makes this soul feel serene in the desert I am most certain would quench my thirst for a time of prayer. A cup of tea won't hurt I suppose as I'll perceive the sky turning yellowish to orange into dark shades of grey.

a photo of sunset in my world now, wishing I could take a sunset photo in Jordan one day....

     For those like me yearning to find that one unforgettable Jordan experience is of great help. Tailor made tours as well as self designed journey which I would love to plan for my spiritual quest are offered. To Jordan and Beyond is a spiritual dream for me. I pray one day I will be there and have all the time in the world to make my heart sing with reverence for the Almighty. I pray too that each and everyone of us of whatever religion or faith find peace in our hearts.

~ this is a sponsored post written by me for Jordan Tours. All opinions are 100% mine. ~ 

Each Day is Different

The pictures below were old pictures taken by my old camera and old inexpensive lens. Through the years, as my need for photographing evolves, I had upgraded my camera to a better model and my lens to better one. However, there are just some situations that not even a gadget can equal some of our previous experiences. The two pictures below are examples of those. I had been back several times to these places to take picture at about the same time, but never had I taken another one that would replace my "favorite picture taken" of these places.
 Sunset, Cabrillo National Monument

Monday, March 25, 2013

Going the Distance

image taken from

     Monterey Blue, new Nissan/2012-Nissan-370Z-houston, automatic transmission, premium unleaded fuel type with coupe body style- A friend of mine is  wishing for one like it although a Pre Owned Nissan Houston she says would also fill her need for a vehicle. I am partial to the color blue and browsing through  listings of pre owned Nissan vehicles I think this one would be great for her family who loves road trips with the kids and even their pets.

Sea Otters

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Getting Ready for Life's Twists and Turns in San Diego

     I have one great San Diego Dream! To walk along its shores and watch wildlife after wildlife having fun before my very eyes with no less than the sweet friends who got me hooked to the joys of simple life. Above is a photo of three of my long time online buddies two of whom I have already met in person walking towards the deep blue ocean in San Diego. Oftentimes we'd talk about life in general, how time flies and how we all love making memories lasts through photos and how we'd love to keep doing just that until we grow old, with canes and hopefully minus the body aches and sore muscles and joints. We all are looking forward to spending retirement just nature viewing and documenting each sunrise to sunset of everyday henceforth. Life is never certain to unfold each morning though and we embrace the fact that everything could end any minute, any hour thus the need for Attorneys in San Diego CA who will be there to assist one in managing assets and making sure that one's estate is distributed to the ones one cares for and trusts as well as plan for healthcare wishes in case of incapacity. Albence and Associates, a professional corporation experienced in Trusts Lawyer, San Diego CA  have offices easily accessible in Chula Vista, Vista, La Mesa and La Jolla California. The offices have ample parking and conveniently accessible for the handi-capped and offers cost effective price for worthwhile legal services. Their expertise on Elder Law, planning for long-term nursing care and the like interests me most. We will all go old one day soon and it pays to plan ahead for life's unexpected twists and turns. For now I derive happiness from traveling through photos of my friend of dear beautiful San Diego where one sweet day I will be exploring with them and on top of my lists of places to visit are the following!

Friday, March 22, 2013

My Top Ten San Diego Hikes, #7 - Anza Borrego Desert State Park

" The first time I knew you 
Tears ran down my face 
you taught me how to look at Earth's geologic past 
that will prepare us for what is to come....."  
Those were the words that spoke to me the first time I saw Borrego badlands, remnants of what was once underneath the sea. If this desert state park were any closer to San Diego proper, this place would move up in the list of My Top Ten San Diego hikes. Sadly however, this desert State Park is the farthest among the places in My Top Ten list, being in the northeasternmost of San Diego County.
Me on the Snowy Slopes of Cuyamaca that Borders The Dry Anza Borrego Desert

Thursday, March 21, 2013

To The Sea, to the sea - Song of a Hopeful Immigrant

"When anxious, uneasy and bad thoughts come, I go to the sea, and the sea drowns them out with its great wide sounds, cleanses me with its noise, and imposes a rhythm upon everything in me that is bewildered and confused."- Rainer Maria Rilke

Eleven years ago, during my second day visiting the US West Coast, while sitting on top of the cliff and watching the crashing waves pound the shore, I thought to myself: "I wish I can live here. Here where I do not have to take a vacation to experience the ocean. Here where I do not have to travel far to enjoy the washing of the waves after a day's work. For work and the ocean are intertwined."

Though I came from a country of many beautiful islands, and many beautiful beaches, but somehow.... work and the ocean were not that close to each other. Work was always in the city. To experience pristine beaches, I had to be away from the city. I had to take a few days vacation to be enjoying the sea. Enjoying pristine and quiet beaches was luxury. I had to spend both money and time to be enjoying the sea fully.
During my first meeting with the rugged West Coast, as I continued to hear the waves pounding, the longing to be with the sea everyday was also heavily pounding my heart. Silently, I prayed.....
"God, would it be selfish of me to ask you to help me explore life here? I love much. But, I do not know whether it is wrong for me to desire to live here.  Please know, I will accept whatever path you will make for me....please grant me courage and strength to explore life here...."

I will stop there, for that was a very long conversation with God. Probably, very few Filipino tourists in America would spend their time all day at the beach alone because we take pride in our country having some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. However, I did on that day. I had a full day of quietly reflecting by the ocean, talking my heart out to our Lord. A few days after that, I met an "outdoorsy California guy" who later in my life added fuel to my "California Dreaming". I did not know then if I should take it as a sign of "prayers being slowly worked on".
My first visit was short as I only was an accidental tourist that time, no plans of exploring a life in America. However, eight months after my first meeting of the rugged Pacific ocean in the US West Coast, I submitted a letter of application for 6 months leave of absence to the Vice President of the University I worked for. Asked why, my simple response: " I want to give it a try to find a job in America." 

Almost a year later since that day I asked God to give me the courage and strength to explore a life in America, I went back with some strong hopes of finding a job. One of my former students advised me to talk to an immigration lawyer. He told me that if I wanted to work in America for good and legally, I should probably stick with my profession. He said that immigration law would prohibit me from getting work visa or green card by employment if I seek unprofessional jobs, or some other "easy to get under the table" jobs because they are hard to justify as a "need". Heeding the advise of my student, I went to see the immigration law firm he referred. He said that they were  the same immigration law firm that processed his H1B or work visa and then his green card successfully.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Why Recycle Toner Cartridges?

Printers are now a common fixture in homes and offices where computers are being used on a regular basis. They are sold in most electronic retail shops and some are even bundled with computer packages that are being sold along with the computer unit, mouse, monitor and keyboard.

There are many advantages to having your own printer. One of them is the convenience of printing your own documents instantly instead of having to go to a commercial printing shop. This is ideal when you have to print sensitive and personal documents that you don’t want other people to see. Whenever you want to make hard copies of files or data that you have on your computer, you can easily print them on your own printer.

Cactus Dish Garden

My Cactus Dish Garden
I accidentally tipped a serving dish that it got broken on the side. Instead of throwing it away, I decided to make a dish garden. I love the results. 

My Everyday Road Trip

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Cooper Tire for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Waking up each morning is no easy task, perhaps it is the hardest task for me. Struggling to get out of bed, I sometimes wished I was rich I did not have to go to work! No time pressure, no rush. But then, as soon as I got out of bed, drag my heavy feet to the bathroom to wash up, I felt thankful, very thankful. Ironic it may sound, but I am very thankful for all the challenges in my life. I feel so blessed to be perfectly surviving and enjoying the ups and downs of "My Everyday Road Trip."
On the road to work before sunrise, I am able to see God's promise of beautiful day awaiting everyone.  Sometimes, the day morning is too foggy there is hardly anything to see. Sometimes, the fog and the sun would mix in such beautiful interplay. Sometimes, the sky is so cloudless the sun would rise so brightly. Every morning is a different day. Every sunrise is a unique gift I feel so blessed to be witnessing it while on the road to work.
AS the sun starts to slowly shimmer, classroom thoughts start to pour in. Images of yesterday's class activities start to flash back inspiring me to make today better. I start getting excited how to teach Student A, how to teach student B, how to make student A and student B work perfectly together, etc.....As soon as I stepped in my classroom, the sleepiness gone, enthusiasm sets in, I am so ready to roll the day.

Do you have a favorite story to share of your "everyday's road trip?" If so, you may want to check out Cooper Tire's My Every Day Road Trip Contest contest. Running March 1 through March 29, fans of Cooper Tire’s Facebook page can share their not-so- everyday road trip stories by submitting video, written stories or photos. If you are lost what story to submit, you can view one of the two featured videos that detail the extraordinary daily drives of two unique Cooper Tire owners, and the role Cooper tires play in their every day road trips.

If you want to see more videos and also submit your own entry, you can like the Cooper Tire Facebook Fan page. Again, entry can be in the form of video, written stories or photos. Winners will be selected based on criteria such as originality, creativity, and their passion for Cooper tires and compelling content. The top written story will win a $100 gift card to use toward gas for one week while the highest rated photo entry will receive a $500 gift card to use toward gas for one month. The top five video finalists will each win a new set of four Cooper tires and advance to the final phase of the competition. In the final phase, Cooper Tire Facebook fans will be encouraged to vote for their favorite Every Day Road Trip video, to help determine the final winner. The video with the combined highest score and most votes will be awarded a gift card for $5,000 toward gas for one year to fuel their daily drive.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

San Diego Welcoming Spring Weekend 2013

Me On Top Torrey Pine Cliffs ( in my favorite "talikod-genic" pose )

I am taking a break from "My Top Ten San Diego Hikes" series of posts to share some San Diego spring updates. Well, it's not officially spring yet, the first day of spring is still this coming Wednesday, March 20th. However, the wildflowers along the coast start to impress despite having very little rain this winter season because of the morning fogs. Sharing with you some pictures from this weekend's wandering. 
 Sea Dahlias, Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

Friday, March 15, 2013

Traveling Safely with "Barky"...

Meet another one of our family dogs "Barky" on one of our walks by the beach 
"If there are no dogs in heaven, when I die I want to go where they went."
-Will Rogers

     I certainly would want to follow a dog's path! Why not? They seem to know how it really is to have fun! While many of us worry about getting cheap auto insurance they spend time just rolling over sand, scratching with their paws and smelling the breeze! Look at Barky here having all the time in the world to marvel at God's creation.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

My Top Ten San Diego Hikes, #8- Cuyamaca Rancho State Park

First, a little bit review of the list in My Top Ten San Diego Hikes. I started the list of My Top Ten San Diego Hikes from:
#10- Lake Hodges, followed by 
Now, moving on to #8:

 Cuyamaca Rancho State Park - "Nature Heals....Nature Spares..."
Mix of Burnt Forest and Surviving Vegetation @ Cuayamaca Rancho State Park (with Stonewall Peak )

Random Nature's Arrangement

Rent Apartment in Kharkov

picture of Kharkov Railway Station courtesy of Apartment Rentals Kharkov
Kharkov is Ukraine’s second-largest city. The city is one of the most important cultural and educational centers of Ukraine. Kharkov’s top attractions include its zoo, its history museum, Freedom (Svoboda) Square and the Holy Shroud Cathedral. The city also has philharmonic hall, several theaters (the oldest of which dates from 1780), planetarium, and several museums.
If visiting the beautiful city of Kharkov, tourists would want to be at the central location which is walking distance to the opera house, philharmonic, and Shevchenko park to name a few. Hotels however at central Kharkov could be very expensive. If you are traveling with family, the additional cost per person could add more strain to the pocket.
One better alternative to expensive hotel rooms is apartment rental. The price range of apartment in Kharkov range from 25-100 Euros per night. This price is not per person but per apartment, thus, this really means a great deal of savings if travelers are a big family. Most of the apartment rentals are located in good and safe areas of the city, very near the Metro Subway and most of the cities top attractions. The Kharkov for rent company is not a rental agency but is the owner of various apartment rentals in Kharkov. Since booking is direct to the owner, there are no added cost and clients could expect the best possible customer service. The apartments are fully equipped with appliances, cable, wireless internet and everything one needs to have the most pleasant stay in Kharkov. If you are planning to visit Ukraine, do check out the site and find what previous clients have to say in the testimonies section.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

My Top Ten San Diego Hikes: (9)- Palomar Mountain State Park

Palomar Mountain from Boucher Hill Trail
In my previous post, I started My Top Ten San Diego Hikes with Lake Hodges, at #10. In this post, I will share the 9th in my list, which is Palomar Mountain State Park- best San Diego Mountain hike.

Friday, March 08, 2013

Wildflower Hunt @ Blue Sky Ecological Reserve to Mt Woodson

Matilija Poppy, Blue Sky Ecological Reserve
As the carpet of wildflowers disappear on the hills by this time of the year, it is time now to simply hunt for wildflowers and enjoy them individually. It is actually as fun as seeing the carpet of wildflowers last March. The lack of wildflowers on the hills and valleys is exchanged now by the variety of flowers sharing the glory in the trail. Yesterday, we took the trail from Blue Sky Ecological Reserve to Mt Woodson ( please click here to learn about the mileage, elevation gain and direction ).
Matilija Poppy

Matthew's Great

Thanks for the guest post by Jo Levy

Matthew, my fiancĂ©, and I have been looking for a house. It’s really overwhelming to both of us because neither of us has bought a home before and we’re moving in together for the first time, too, which is bound to bring issues. I think it’s great he’s got such a steady job and is such a planner – I would never think to look at sites like or talk to several Realtors before picking one but I guess that’s why I’m marrying him! He’s really great in that he’s saved up money for a long time so we can buy a house. He doesn’t have any debt or student loans or anything and I just know he’s one day going to be a great dad. I think my biggest concern is that when we move in together we’re going to have a bit of a hard time living with one another – that is going to take some getting used to! For example, I’m really a morning bird – I like to get up early and get the day started and he’s exactly the opposite. It’s not unusual for Matt to stay up until 2:00 am just hanging out and sleep in until noon. But I guess he gets up and works really hard during the week so I don’t mind if on the weekends he takes it easy. I also worry that he doesn’t realize how much I REALLY don’t cook. I think we joke about it now because he doesn’t see that I literally eat frozen dinners just about every night when I live by myself. I’m concerned he’ll want me to make him something and I just won’t have the know how! I guess those are the kinds of things you can learn after you get married, though. I love Matthew to death and I think he’s going to be really, really great as a husband. I just can’t wait for our wedding to get here and for our new house to become a home!

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

My Top Ten San Diego Hikes: (10)- Lake Hodges

Lake Hodges looking East

It is hard not to get outside in San Diego. The weather is beautiful year round. It is so scenically diverse. There are rugged ocean cliffs, mesas and canyons, mountains and valleys, and mind blowing desert geology. When I was still new to the area, one of my students told me that I should have no problem finding a place to hike because in San Diego, "if there is a hill, there is a trail!" True enough, I found that trails are almost everywhere. Escaping civilization became just a matter of minutes. Blame it on San Diego weather and outdoors, since I moved to this place, I lost the title I held for decades, as "paperback and movie critic" awarded to me by my friends being their movie and novel consultant. San Diego turned me into a "hiking rat"! 
Sunset @ Lake Hodges, Looking West
Because of the numerous trails and places to explore in San Diego, I can not claim that I am an expert of the place, and have explored all nooks and crannies of San Diego County. I know there are still many places in San Diego that awaits for our eyes to feast, for our minds to rest and for our hearts to take inspiration. After having been here in San Diego for almost nine years now, I can finally identify my top ten favorite San Diego Hikes, those places we so frequent. Perhaps these top 10 San Diego hikes closer to my heart are the very reasons why some other places in San Diego are still waiting for us to explore. I will start sharing my top ten San Diego Hikes from my number 10, and will end it with my most favorite at number 1. Probably, those who have shared my joys in this blog for quite some time now can easily guess which place would be in my number 1.
Let me introduce to you the number 10 in my list, 
LAKE HODGES- Best Trail For Birding

Saturday, March 02, 2013

High Peaks Loop, Pinnacles National Park, CA

 Me Amongst Rock Spires @ Pinnacles National Park
Mileage: 9 miles, plus or minus.
Elevation Gain/Loss: 1465 ft.
Trail Condition: Very Well Maintained, some section going to the High Peaks are on footsteps carved on rocks.
An Almost Vertical Ascent, Thanks to the Small Footholds Carved on Rock and the Pipe for handrails to allow non-technical rock climbers to continue hiking