Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Catching Up With Some Photo Apps Happiness

Hmmmm, I may really be behind when it comes to using mobile apps technology. I just installed the FREE Instaframe apps in my iPad and so far, I only had practiced with two pictures which I took recently using Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS 25, which is a point and shoot underwater camera. Here are some results of using Instaframe, which maybe a lot of you already know about. Haha, we'll, I just mentioned I am behind in using technology, didn't I?
Underwater sea plants, Without instaframe
With Instaframe

Reasons to Move to Daytona For Good

When people speak of Daytona, one thing immediately comes to mind—racing. Daytona is host to America’s number one racing circuit—the Daytona 500. People from all over America, and the world, come to Daytona to watch race cars leave marks on the asphalt and hear the sound of cars swooshing by the track. Not only that, the whole event is packed with other activities that make the visit even more exciting. Moreover, outside the speedway, the city is rich with history, culture, and natural wonders. It has also been getting much attention in golf in the recent months.
Many decide to move in for good after having visited the city. Plus, this isn’t much of a hassle because there are numerous apartments all throughout Daytona to choose from. Still doubtful?

Read on and you will certainly be convinced:

History
To top things off, a little history of Daytona. The land was first discovered by a world-renowned explorer by the name of Ponce de Leon. He landed on the naturally rich Deleon Springs. The next person to make a mark in the city was Matthias Day. As the founder of Daytona Beach, he was so moved of the beauty of the shore and the natural splendor of the sand and nature that he went on to make the beach’s first hotel. Racing itself was not invented in Daytona, but around 1900's the sport’s popularity burgeoned and from them on, it became home to numerous land speed records. Around the 1950s, the Daytona International Speedway opened its gates to the public; back then the speedway hosted an average of one hundred thousand visitors per year; which was at the time, considered a large crowd. That average has multiplied exponentially in the succeeding years until present. Visitors of the event now amount to 8 million per year.

Culture and arts
If its rich history does not interest you, then maybe the city’s 24-hour energy will. All around the city are diverse names of party locations. From clubs to comedy bars; you’ll know that you’ll never have a boring night ever again. For those who enjoy clubs along the beach, numerous beach clubs are open all night long such as the Mai Tai Bar. Owing to the city’s affinity to blues musical genre, music lovers have quite a number of places to visit as well. One of these clubs is the Bank and Blues club. If you're with family and you're all looking forward to a night full of laughs and tears, head on to one of the city’s comedy bars like the Bonkerz Comedy Club. Meanwhile, those who need to shake their tail-feathers will dig dance clubs like the Aqua Lounge and many others.
Daytona also has something to offer the non party-goers too. The city has plenty of natural reserves, artistic sites, and live events to visit. One of the two main historical attractions in Daytona is the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse; the second being the McLeod Bethune Foundation. There are also a lot of Museums in and around the city. The live performances are conducted year round.

Sea Turtle season
A great time of the year you must not miss is the Sea Turtle Season. During the months of May and October, hundreds of huge sea turtles will surface to lay their eggs on the shore. 60 days afterwards, the beaches of Daytona will be swarming with hatchlings crawling to the water. Take note that this phenomenon has been going for hundreds and hundreds of years. So, if you take part in it, you will have taken part in a natural ritual that has been going on since history can remember.

Apartments in Daytona
Now, if you have already decided to move to Daytona, it's best that you check out the countless apartments in Daytona beach. These are just some of the prime areas in the city where your days will be met by the lovely sea breeze, the soothing cackle of the waves, and punctuated by a no-less-than gorgeous sunset. Sounds like a move to paradise, doesn't it?

About the Author
Cedric Loiselle is a talented and passionate writer who enjoys providing useful information for the real estate niche.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A Mom's Love

Wonder what she might be thinking?
Was she listening to the chirping of the birds nearby?
 Or was she in deep contemplation as she watched this flower sway in the breeze?
Or was she watching someone very special to her heart?
Ahhh, there he is! The apple of her eyes! She was happy enough watching her baby play and learn more about life from a distance.
Mom....she cares enough but not too much so her baby learns life's survival skills. She painfully watches her child make mistakes yet she patiently and lovingly teach them strength and courage to recover from life's mistakes. At anytime, she is there to lend a hand.......
Moms, you are and will always be special.

I love you mom, though you may no longer be around, but your thoughts and your teachings will live in my heart, forever!

The unconditional love of a mom to her child lasts forever, a priceless gift we all were blessed enough to receive! 


* all pictures were taken from the Gorilla Exhibit in San Diego Zoo Safari Park.* 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Live Sounds

I saw you two coming together,
Lion Camp, San Diego Safari Park
excited of what to come next, I stayed. For a while, I thought your eyes were speaking strongly of affection. Was I dreaming? Then, I heard you two exchanging loud noises into the air. Were you both speaking loudly of your mutual admiration? Or were you exchanging brawls?
Your live sound surely attracted so many people. Others came in running, to check what is going on. It was sure like watching a live concert. The growls were like amplified in qsc live sound, powerful, penetrating into our hearts, into our minds, but never blowing on us, never a pain to the ears! Ah, I could hear the drums rolling, guitars playing, as layers of vocal harmonies were sent into the air. Oh, how happy that was, seeing kids around asking so many questions as they too join in harmony of playing unbelievably growling but yet so soothing music, THE PET SOUNDS, live sounds!
the King
But then, after that excitement, you two separated. The king seemed to be rejected by the queen in their playful brawl. Releasing frustration, the king belt out a very powerful sound. Ahhhh, the live sounds of breathing in....breathing out! Poor King! Whereas the queen, at the other side, was like making a statement!
The Queen
Oh, the queen's music, was so soft, it was like calling out to the hearts of everyone in the audience. Soft, but perhaps more powerful than the king. Telling the King,
"you may be the king Izu of the jungle, but I am the QUEEN! The King in your heart!" And perhaps, that sent the king to dreamy land, to play with the Queen, and to be the King in Queen's heart.
A DREAMY, LONGING KING!

Dreamy

Sometimes, I just feel like dreaming
Enjoying every breath
Enjoying everything that I see
with eyes closed
where the deepest beauty lies
when we learn to see it
the moment we open our eyes
we see many more beautiful things around
Dreams.....thanks for leading me
towards a deeply beautiful life!!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Gadget Talks Over Negrense Foods

Ginatan 
A dear friend from LA who I actually first met also through the blogging world ( isn't blogging great, we form friendships that we do truly treasure ) came to visit me here in San Diego. How did we spend our day? Well, over Negrense foods, and talking about mostly hiking, photography, photo books, and gadgets, such as: iPad, iPhone, Samsung Galaxy Note 2, Samsung Galaxy S4, Mac and Windows. We both use these mentioned gadgets and were comparing their performance. We both agreed that Mac is way too expensive we could not justify the price for the same speed as Windows. Since we both take photos in RAW, not in JPEG, we need fast processor computers. 

For the same specs, such as a 3 GHz i7 Processor, we would have to pay about $2000 more for a Mac. Because I could not justify the more than $2000 price difference, I stick with windows for my laptop. I believe I am careful enough in tuning up my laptop using  pc tuneup software  that is why my laptops usually die down not from virus attack, but because of physical abuse. My 2 year old laptop ( first generation i7 core ) broke because I accidentally dropped it during my last vacation in the Philippines. Thus, I just do not see the point of spending $2000 more for something that has the same features as Windows laptop. The only advantage we both were thinking is we could sync our iPad and iPhone. However, because I recently changed to Samsung Note 2 from iPhone 4s ( I did not upgrade to 5, instead chose Note 2), I told my friend that I have more reason now not to get a Mac since I am slowly getting away from apple now. I was asked why I dropped my iPhone for Note 2, and I simply replied, because of "burst shots" and higher photographic capabilities the Note 2 camera has over iPhone 5, and a faster processor. Imagine us talking about gadgets, blogger, wordpress, photo softwares, and anything more about technology gadgets that lasted almost a day? Thankfully, there were Negrense foods to fill us up. Here they are:
Danggit and Pusit ( Dried Fish and Dried Squid)
Ginataang Langka sa Monggo ( Sauteed Mungbeans with jackfruit, amaranth and coconut milk )
Chicken Adobo
Chorizo
Ahhhh, foods and chit chat with friend, some of the priceless simple joys in our simple lives! 


Can You See The Fish?


can you see the fish in this pic, it was swimming, but then it froze when it noticed me, and pretended as stiff as rock.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Hotel Scanning

hotel prices comparison at Trinidad and Tobago snipped from tt.hotelscan.com website

Travel planning has been part of my travel excitement for several years now. The central feature in our travels are National Parks. Why we love National Parks? Let me share what I had described before.

"National Parks…..they preserve nature’s beauty….they testify to God’s greatest artistry that can never be equaled. The greatest art piece is not man-made, but is living in extreme fragility in the great outdoors, our NATURAL MUSEUMS. " - Betchai

And let me share one of my favorite quotes from John Muir which very much explains why we love exploring our natural world.
"Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul. " - John Muir
from top to bottom clockwise: Glacier National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Grand Canyon National Park and Kenai Fjords National Park

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Anatomy of a Group Jump

Group Jump Picture, Tenaya Lake, Yosemite National Park
One of the fun things we do whenever we wanted to make fun memories in our travels and hikes, is to take jumping picture. Somehow, just the action of taking jumping picture alone already provides us a lot of fun. There is teamwork and group coordination too, as you could see obviously in the first picture above.

However, the picture above was just one of the many, and it does not really show the fun trials and more fun errors behind. :) Let us start with camera settings.

Setting: Shutter Speed Priority ( Tv mode for Canon users )
Shutter speed: 1/1250 ( because it is in shutter speed priority, the aperture is set by camera automatically as we perform the action )
ISO: 100
Shooting Mode: AI Servo, high speed continuous ( this will do burst shots capturing several frames per second, the speed is dependent on camera specs and also the lens )

Here was how it went (in 2 trials):

Trial 1:

Photographer ( KTL, my hubby): One of you will count 1, 2, 3. At 3, I will press shutter continuously as you all jump. Okay?
US ( 4 ): Okay. 
The four decided the front counts 1, 2, 3 loud enough.
Front: 1, 2, 3!
 Did everybody jump at the same time? Let us see! ( there were more frames, but I purposely did not upload similar pics to limit pictures in this post )

Chantal Royer: Foods and Adventure

If you are one of the many that considers food to be an important interest in your life and it involves more than simply eating, you will relate to the life of Chantal Royer. As a well-known and knowledgeable foodie, she is also an experienced traveler who has been throughout the world. Her travel experiences include visits to North America, South America, numerous countries in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. In each country, she has visited and experienced the finest restaurants, such as the Greek tavernas to be found in Melbourne. Of course, she has explored the United States, including the major cities from the east and west coasts and in the Midwest. Her quests for exceptional dining experiences have taken her to Detroit, Boston and many other of the primary metropolitan areas. She has a primary interest in restaurants that provide authoritative Italian and Greek selections. In each city visited, this discriminating gourmand finds unique offerings, such as an exceptional pizza on Harlem Avenue and exquisite Mediterranean dishes in an establishment on Halstead Street. Seeking the best of Italian cuisine was her goal in visiting renowned locations in New York City, including those located in the boroughs of Staten Island, Brooklyn and Queens.
Royer’s interests aren’t limited to sampling the food offerings during her travels. A priority is always to take time for hiking, meeting with locals, and visiting the main cultural centers and facilities. These interests have found her flying into the Canary Islands, climbing in the desert mountains of in North Africa, and soaking up the traditional offerings in the heart of Casablanca.

In this age of foodie celebrities, Royer has invested years in the process of acquiring knowledge of worldwide dining favorites and habits. This provides her with the insights and abilities to discern normal restaurant fare from that which is prepared with the hand of true masters. For those who value food as a near art form, what she shares resonates as the product of a lifetime of appreciation of the finer aspects of the culinary profession. As her trips expose her to an increasing number of the nation’s and world’s food delights, her followers are able to vicariously share in both the dining experiences and the ability to place them in the context of the locale and ambience of many exotic locations.

Backyard Blossoms

African Daisy
African daisy has blooms in brilliant yellow, orange, pearly white, shades of pink, purple and blue. Some have uniform color, but some have rings of contrasting colors around the center. At home, we use this in some parts of our side yard as ground cover.
Here is another flower from our little backyard.
Fuschia
Fuschias are very easy to grow, well, at least for me :) . They are drought tolerant plants, and in late fall, I cut a stem, plant some on the ground, and by spring, they are coming alive. During their first few months, I water them like once or twice a week, but after they have grown so well in maybe a year, I just let them grow naturally :) . Okay, I may water them like maybe once in two weeks during summer and fall. At home, we don't use water a lot, we actually use recycled water to water our plants. We collect our dishwashing water in a bucket, and use it to water our plants. Currently, our city is in mandatory water conservation program.
Another easy to take care plant are the roses.
I just picked this pink rose today from our backyard and combined it with African daisies, fallen limes and some leaves from the pine tree for some indoor flower arrangement.
As of now, these are the flowers currently blooming at home, I have taken some flowers that bloomed a few weeks back, but I still have to find them in my old folders. Sometimes, we do not really have to travel far to find gifts from nature, we can just look what is around us.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Why You Need a Yacht Manager

If you’re a yacht enthusiast, your own yacht will probably be your pride and joy. Spending all their time on the water and exposed to the elements can eventually take its toll on a boat, so it’s important that you are able to maintain it properly to keep it looking and performing its best, particularly if you are a racer. This is why it can be incredibly useful to get yourself a yacht manager if you don’t have the time to dedicate to looking after your yacht 24/7.

If you don’t live close to the coast, it is unrealistic to expect that you will be able to regularly check up on your yacht to make sure everything is still in working order. That is where the yacht manager comes in. They are able to keep an eye on your yacht for you, to perform any maintenance work which needs doing and keep it looking its best at the times when it’s inconvenient for you to do it yourself.
They are trained experts who know yachts inside out, and will know which problems commonly affect yachts of your type so that they can watch out for any known issues. If anything goes wrong, they will be on hand to fix it immediately and can inform you about what has happened so that you don’t return to it months later to find it in a state of total disrepair. The inspections from the yacht manager should keep you on top of any problems so that they can be fixed.

Furthermore, you will want to keep your boat looking its best, but it’s not always easy to do when you’re not there to monitor it. You can inform your yacht manager what you would like to be done to keep it looking its best, including cleaning and valeting. It won’t just look great sat in the marina, it will also look fantastic when it goes out to race or during a leisure sail.

The yacht management programme should also provide you with somewhere to store all of your yachting equipment and sails to prevent damage or theft, and your yacht is guaranteed to stay safe for added peace of mind. The advice you will receive from your yacht manager will be second to none, as they have years of expertise, so you can rest assured that you’re leaving your yacht in the safest of hands.

About the Guest Author:

Carrie Fishwick is a boating enthusiast who helps yacht owners without the time to spend on the upkeep of their boats

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Thank You!

It is not often that I express my appreciation and gratitude here to you, readers of this blog, for the inspiration and the push you gave me to keep this site going. Little did I know, several years ago, that what started as an outlet for me then to reminisce and take the joy in, again and again, of experiencing our wonderful world at the backroads, would later become a passion to share. With you, through your comments, through your inquiries, through the keywords you left in various search engines, slowly the posts evolved from a mere expression of jubilation to something with more details of each place, of each trail, so that you may enjoy the same way I did or more those nature wonders that had touched me so deeply.
I thank God each day for this gift of being able to share my simple joys here in The Joys of Simple Life.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

City Walk: Balboa Park to Bankers Hill

Banker's Hill is an uptown San Diego neighborhood bordered by downtown to the south, San Diego Bay to the west and by Balboa Park to the east. I usually do this walk when I am by myself since I am not confident hiking alone in wilderness. Balboa Park is actually one my favorite places in San Diego to experience a mix of nature (there are canyons and mesas that spans through the park), wonderful art and culture, and stunning Spanish Revival architecture.
 
A. BALBOA PARK TO BANKERS HILL
I usually start my walk at the Desert Garden along Park Avenue. The Desert Garden is home to hundreds of different cacti where some of them are over a hundred years old.
  img_2413.jpg
Before really starting my walk actually, I usually would enjoy first the busy life here at the Desert Garden,
and in the adjacent Rose Garden.

Feeling Stressed Out? How to Find a Way to Relax

If you feel like every day begins and ends with you feeling completely frazzled, it's time to make stress reduction a top priority. Not only can stress take a major toll on your quality of life, but it can also cause physical problems like headache, muscle tension, and an upset stomach. Since there's really nothing good to be said about stress, let's go over seven different strategies that can help you relax:
Cup of grean tea photo cup_of_green_tea_zpsec88832f.jpg
Drink Green Tea
Most people know that green tea has been linked to a wide range of health benefits. Another reason it's definitely worth keeping some green tea around is just going through the ritual of brewing it, pouring the hot tea into a cup and then enjoying it can help you relax.

Massage Your Hands
hands photo hands_zpsb6c6697e.jpg
You don't have to pay for a massage to reap the benefits of this practice. In fact, you don't even have to wait until a loved one is available to give you a massage. Instead, it's actually possible to give yourself one. The area where you'll want to massage is between your thumb and index finger. Once you grab that area with your other thumb and index finger, rub in a circular manner. After doing one hand for two to ten minutes, switch to the other. In addition to relaxing you, this type of massage can actually help get rid of headaches.

Hiking The Zion Narrows

ORDERVILLE CANYON FROM ZION NARROWS
The first time we hiked the Zion Narrows before ( year 2007), we loved it so much and had so much fun that we told ourselves we will hike it again sometime. Though we had been back to this nature wonder several times, but it was only this summer that we were able to do this hike again. As they always say, "love is sweeter the 2nd time around", so indeed, "HIKING THE NARROWS was sweeter the 2nd time around!" :)

Why was it sweeter? .....We learned our lessons from our first hike.

1. Hiking Zion Narrows is so unique since the trail is the river. It requires wading, walking and sometimes swimming in the river. During our first time hiking here, we were so inexperienced that we took our hiking shoes off and walked barefoot in the river. That was a huge mistake. Walking barefoot caused us too many falls from the slippery rocks on the river, bruises on our legs from the fall, and well, wet packs. :(
Rocks on Virgin River

Savor panoramic views of Hong Kong and more in a Causeway Bay serviced apartment

If you’re looking for a destination that is both hip and happening, then Causeway Bay is definitely a must-visit when you’re in Hong Kong. The locale’s popularity has gone global due to its limitless offerings on where to wine, dine or shop. But other than that, the district also boasts of having some of the best panoramic views in the city. And what better way to savor these beautiful sceneries than to stay in a serviced apartment in Causeway Bay.

What to do when in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

Other than the fact that Causeway Bay is one of Hong Kong’s major shopping destinations. The district is also known for some of its noteworthy attractions, such as the Noon Day Gun (naval canon) and Victoria Park. Victoria Park is actually a spot where you can gaze at the stunning lights that dance through the horizon during nightfall. It’s a spectacular sight that is truly worth seeing. That’s why panoramic views are quite breathtaking when seen from the finest serviced apartments Causeway Bay.

Experience both comfort and convenience in a Causeway Bay serviced apartment

Regardless if you’re a solo traveler, a businessman or an expat executive, there will always be plenty of things to do while in Causeway Bay. But Causeway Bay isn’t all about the glitz and glamour. It’s also known for its reputable serviced accommodations. And just like any hotel, apartments of this level also offer fully furnished and fully serviced rooms. The only difference is that these flats are usually offered at much lower rates.

V Causeway Bay is actually a great example of a serviced lodging. They have private roof garden apartments, which offers the loveliest panoramic views of the city. On top of that, the V serviced flat prides on bringing ‘luxury home living to the next level’.

Room types in V Causeway Bay may vary, but the set of amenities and facilities that are offered here are just some of the things that will make you feel at home throughout your stay. Regardless of the configuration of the room that you decide to choose, each one is sure to be furnished with a complete entertainment facility (i.e. cable-ready 42” Plasma TV with NOW channels, DVD player, DVD library, Wii with games, Wi-Fi).

Staying in a V Causeway Bay apartment doesn’t only provide a comfy sleeping chamber (complete with fresh linens, feathery soft pillows, premium-made bed/s) and an en suite bathroom (comes with seated rain shower stalls, bathtub, towel warmer, fog-free mirrors, toiletries). You’ll also get to use a fully equipped kitchen upon check-in, which already comes with a complimentary batch of fresh herbs, a lovely Le Creuset cookware, and a professional set of kitchenware.

A fully serviced apartment at your service

V Causeway Bay also offers the convenience of having your room cleaned whenever you request it. And just like any hotel, you can also request for an airport limousine pick-up (at an additional cost). Aside from that, all of the residents can also take advantage of the ‘V Living’ perks. It’s a special resident privilege rewards program that provides guests access and discounts to several establishments.


About the Guest Author:

The author likes writing about new holiday resorts.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Yosemite Without The Hikes

In some of my previous posts about Yosemite National Park, such as Hiking Vernal and Nevada Falls and Yosemite Valley Floor Loop Hike, one may get the impression that the beauty of Yosemite can only be enjoyed by those with strong legs and physically fit enough to hike. As much as I really encouraged everybody to enjoy our beautiful world at the trails where a few would get into, but it does not mean that our beautiful world cannot be enjoyed by those who may not be able to hike because of various reasons. Here are some pictures of the places that you can enjoy if you visit Yosemite National Park without the hikes, or with little very friendly walks. Friendly walks means the trail is well developed for wheelchairs, strollers and for little kids to jump around. :)

I will start from the East entrance of Yosemite moving to the Valley.

1st stop: Mono Lake South Tufa State Reserve
Mono Lake @ Dusk (shot by hubby )
Though Mono Lake is not part of Yosemite National Park, but this amazingly surreal place that looks like an Alien Kingdom of Towering Calcium Carbonate Towers ( or tufas) is only 13 miles from the East Entrance of Yosemite National Park. 
It's An Alien Kingdom @ Mono Lake
If you are visiting Yosemite, why miss this one? 
Mono Lake, Dawn

Best Places in the World to Go Hot Air Ballooning

There are few, if any, ways more exciting to discover the beautiful world of nature than through air – seeing the world from above can provide a brand new perspective on the surroundings that can completely change the way you experience it.

That’s why if you really want to discover an area, you must not only see it from the ground, but get up in the sky to discover its full beauty from above, and the best way to do that is with a hot air balloon ride.

After all, being on the ground you can only see what’s around you, unable to discover the true beauty of the region that only presents itself when seen all at once – rivers twisting on the ground like snakes, forests covering plains and providing intriguing patterns – all this melds into a breathtaking sight that can leave anyone speechless.

Here are some of the most amazing sights to go hot air ballooning in the world:

Cappadocia, Turkey
One of the most sought out hot air balloon trip sights in the world, this beautiful area of desert and limestone rock mountains, has a lot to offer even to the most experienced travelers.
Thanks to a very strange and unique landscape and distinctive weather conditions, this region, located in central Turkey has left few unimpressed – with a variety of cave churches and fairy chimneys scattered throughout the region.
Although you probably won’t have the skies to yourself – there are plenty of balloon tours taking place every day – the other balloons floating beside you can even add to the experience, as they become an interesting part of the landscape and even the culture of the region.

Queensland, Australia
With ideal climate conditions for hot air balloon rides, Queensland is the perfect place for anyone looking for a breathtaking experience from the skies.
The region is special because of its incredible variety of nature – there’s the amazing Daintree Rainforest, which is the biggest single rainforest in Australia and a great attraction on its own, which becomes even more impressive from the skies.
Then there is the Great Barrier Reef – an incredible maze of sea life, which can be seen up close or from afar, all from the comfort of a hot air balloon.
And finally you have the amazing Australian wildlife – all kinds of mammals, birds and fish, including the Australia’s world famous kangaroos, and when you’re flying over the sea, even whales, if you get lucky.
All this combines for a great experience that makes Queensland one of the premiere destinations for hot air ballooning in the world.

Maasai Mara, Kenya
If you think the only way to go on a safari with loud and shaky jeep, you should definitely check out the hot air balloon tours in Maasai Mara, Kenya.
Not only is this a much safer choice, but it provides a much more intimate experience of seeing the animals – quietly gliding through the air with a balloon can help you see much more animals and see them at their most natural state.
Consider taking this trip during the migration season from July to October – it’s when all the animals migrate, so you can not only see herds of animals flocking to their destination, but perhaps even a lion or a hippopotamus hunting their prey.
Although many people prefer to see the world by foot or by car, exploring the most amazing places from within, perhaps it’s not the only way to fully discover a place for what it truly is.
A hot air balloon ride can not only provide a very calming, but breathtaking experience, but it can also be a way to connect to nature on a different, much grander level.
After all, from the skies you can truly appreciate the beauty, when you can see the whole of the region with a single sight.

About the Guest Author
Hayley Woodward is a Melbourne based travel writer. When Halyley is not busy writing or researching her work, she enjoys travelling with cairns hot air balloon company, Hot Air.

Macro Shots

Deep Inside a Bromeliad Flower
I am taking a break from sharing some of our adventure trips and hiking activities to share some macro shots I took last Tuesday at Balboa Park. Macro photography is probably the area of photography I explore least, and I do not overdo since I find it very strenuous for my eyes. If I do too much macro photography, I get headache somehow, I guess, from too much focusing. Being farsighted, I am not used to seeing objects up close without using my eyeglasses. However, if I use my eyeglasses when shooting macro, somehow, my pictures seem to be not focused. I guess, because the presence of eyeglasses between my eyes and lens bring me unnecessary movements. But anyway, from time to time, I do pick up my macro lens and enjoy seeing objects up close, something that I probably would not be able to see with my own naked eye since I would be too afraid to get too close to insects or too close to the flower's pollen. Whereas, macro photography, allows me to take a much closer look at blooms and various critters from a safer distance.

Here are some more of the macro shots I took this Tuesday:
Butterfly Hugging the Milkweed Tree 
Milkweed Blossom
One of the Many Caterpillars Crawling @ the Milkweed Tree ( do you see the eye? )
A Smiling Caterpillar?
 Monarch Butterfly on Milkweed