Friday, July 31, 2015

Thankful Thursdate with Myself: Alone But Not Lonely

I love having a date with myself. :) I think I have been doing this since I was a kid. Though I love the company of my brothers, but I always would find a chance to spend time with myself even just outside the house, watching the leaves flutter with the wind, watching the passing clouds, or if it as night, watched the twinkling of the stars. Actually, since I was a child, my favorite praying place is my playing place, outside.

When I was in college, I started dating myself far from home. I would take time out to go to the nearest beach. I enjoyed my time alone, walking, eating, listening to the waves. It's during those times actually I problem solved complex problems I was working at school, or simply writing essays. 

From the nearby beach, I started going to the mountains by myself, as I love the sound in the woods and in the river. It's during those times I found I could come out with very good ideas for my thesis writing. Though I always need to go back to school for the experimentation part of my research, but when I need thorough examination and processing of data, I would prefer out from school, and to the mountains I go.

But I don't seek out a date with myself only when I need to process deep thoughts. I go out alone when I am happy, when I feel celebrating, when I am full of thanksgiving, when I feel sad, etc. My favorite date with myself is at the beach since somehow the powerful sound of the crashing waves sets forth a deep sense of peacefulness within me. 

Thus, I am okay alone, life is good! I am okay with friends, life is good! I am okay with family, life is good. I am okay with husband, life is good! Life is good, for God is good, all the time!

So yesterday was one of those many days of summer I go out on a date with myself. :)  Hubby is at work, while I am still in summer break. 

I started my date of course with a stop at Grill City in Mira Mesa, which is a Filipino eatery that serve grilled sea foods and meat, and the more common Filipino vegetable dish. 
from top left going clockwise: grilled milkfish or grilled bangus, mango slush with boba, laing or taro leaves cooked in coconut milk, and grilled squid

After a very heavy early lunch, I went to La Jolla Cove. First thing I did was to take a picture and texted hubby, "enjoying life!" :) Of course, I am a tease!
first picture I took to text hubby, @ the La Jolla Coast Walk

Monday, July 27, 2015

On Kids and Nature

Child and Wave
I recently saw Nature's Valley commercial about kids being out of touch now with nature, having a different childhood experience from their parents. That was sad to watch and listen to, but at the same time, I believe kids do what are being offered to them. If the adults around them only expose them to technology, then kids would be like those kids in the Nature Valley Commercial, describing 13 hours of their day into playing computer games or into social media/texting communication. Then, there are parents who bring their kids outside, let them explore, let them learn from their experience of their surroundings.
Father and Child Tidepooling, could you see the happiness expressed in the little girl's smile?
My childhood days was totally different from these days. Back then, it was so much easier for the kids to enjoy nature without the constant presence of our parents. Our playground was nature, our treasure hunt was finding wild vegetables to bring home such as amaranth, watercress, mushroom, and many more. When my nieces and nephew were growing, they already had a different childhood than us, there's technology, and then, there's nature. Did we choose one or the other? No, we combined both.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Play More, Spend Less or Nothing

from last week's play @ La Jolla Shores
I oftentimes get mistaken that just because I have time exploring the outdoors, I have a lot of time on my hands. :) For me, it's just all about priorities in striking a healthy balance between work and play. There's always something that we do that others don't do, and something we don't do that others do. For me, I set aside a time to do things I love doing such as relaxing and rejuvenating in the great outdoors. I probably belong to the very few who do not know what are the popular shows in TV or what are the current box-office hits because watching TV and movies are sacrificed in exchange of spending time with nature. With so many choices we have, we just have to choose what matters more to us.   

During the last day of school, some of my students asked me if what very special thing I would do for the summer break. I told them, "enjoy life in San Diego." A few responded, "sleep in, sleep in, watch TV, and Netflix." I said, "Nope, I would be very tired with that lifestyle of sleeping in, TV and Netflix. For me, enjoying life means Hiking, Hiking, and The Ocean." When I said that, a lot of my students gave me  two thumbs up, and said, "see you at the trail, Mrs. L", or "see you at the beach".

 So, what have I been up to this past week? Well, what else, but hiking and the ocean. :) Below are some of the pictures from last week's play.
Hubby's After Work Wednesdate

Fridate @ La Jolla Cove
Fridate's Finds ( at La Jolla Cove's tidepool )

Saturday and Sunday was rainy and wet for us. We badly need that gift of precipitation since San Diego and all of California is actually in severe drought this year. Very thankfully, we are seeing the promise of a wetter year this year. So, thankful about that.

Anyway, now that I am in summer break, I get to enjoy also one of the free things I love next to playing outdoors, that is blogging about the outdoors' priceless gift of relaxation, mental stimulation, spiritual healing and more. Each day I am out playing in the outdoors makes me more highly in love with God, life, and every simple gifts there are in life. Each time I am out I feel there is so much to be thankful for. Thus don't blame me if most of my posts here are about nature, for in nature I thrive, in nature I feel most at home. In nature, I feel like I am a kid, hungry to learn about everything that is around me. In nature, I am very grateful and thankful for all these priceless gifts given to us to nourish our hearts, our minds, our bodies and our spirits.

In nature,  I lose no money only weight and worries. So, what are you waiting for? Come discover that free spirited joy, of being out. Play more, spend less or nothing.
I may have traveled far to explore the other natural wonders, but my most favorite vacation is always at home

Let me end this post by sharing to you this quote,

“Life will always get busy, make time to do the things you love.”  ― Lailah Gifty AkitaBeautiful Quotes " 

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Making The Most of the Free Things in Life: My Free Tuesday at Balboa Park

picture taken from the aerial tram of San Diego Zoo at Balboa Park
I love life. I could count so many ways why I love life, but I will focus this post on enjoying some of the free things in life here in San Diego. Why free things? Well, I am not the one who takes pleasures in material things, but in happy and priceless experiences. 

All our hometowns offer so many happy places to experience if we open our eyes, heart and mind to them. Where I live, I could enjoy the miles of beaches, the challenge and fun of hiking up the mountains, the awe and wonder in surreal desert landscapes, the sights and sounds of nature and wildlife around, the city amenities, and much more. 
Me, Enjoying the Free Things in San Diego
I often share here my "hiking and the ocean" happiness, because seeking nature has been at the top of my priority to take care of my all around health and myself. But I also do enjoy making the most of the city amenities such as enjoying public parks, museums, free summer nights ( concerts, theater plays and/or outdoor giant screen films ) and more. 

In this post, I will share a routine I do here in San Diego every summer when it is a Tuesday!  It is called Balboa Park's Free Tuesday. 

Balboa Park is home to more than 15 museums, several gardens and hiking trail in the midst of canyons tucked in the middle of city. Every Tuesday, a certain group of museums are free for San Diego Residents. My favorite is the first Tuesday of the month because it is at this time where two of my favorite museums are free, the Natural History Museum (NAT) and the Science Museum. At other times of the year, I could not enjoy the free Tuesdays because of work. During summer, when I am on summer break, I make the most of the Free Tuesdays.

My excitement brought me to Balboa Park at 9:00 am. However, the museums don't open until 10:00 am. I decided to spend the first hour walking around the zoo. In my walk, I spotted this mom and baby koala below so I stopped for a bit to take some pictures of them.
Mom and Baby Koala Bears
I did not really take a lot of pictures at the zoo because I did not bring a zoom camera. From the Australian Outback Exhibit, I continued to Elephant Odyssey, after which it was almost 10:00. I was at the other end of the zoo and I figured if I would walk back, I may not beat the crowd at Natural History Museum. Instead of walking back, I took the San Diego Zoo Air Tram so that I could get to the Natural History Museum quickly. 
from the aerial tram of San Diego Zoo

From the Zoo to Natural History Museum, I passed by a group of kids in the Spanish Village Art Center doing clay art and they reminded me of my childhood. They were too busy making their clay mugs, etc that I did not ask them if I could take a picture of their clay work. I was almost outside of the Spanish Village Art Center when I remembered to take a picture. 
Spanish Village Art Center
The Village in the picture looked empty because it was still early, the kiosks were not opened yet and local artists have not started putting up their displays yet. It is here where local artists could put up their work not only for display but also to sell. Below is a picture of the vases from one of the stores in the village which is shot from the outside through the window since the store was still closed at that time. :)

The Natural History Museum is next to the Spanish Village, so I was happy of course to be exploring the new exhibits. :) 
@ the entrance of San Diego Natural History Museum

The following are the exhibits right now at the Natural History Museum: 
1. Maya, Hidden World Revealed, 
2. Coast to Cactus in Southern California, 
3. Fossil Mysteries, 
4. Birds of the World, 
5. Skulls, and 
6. Water, A California Story. The exhibits change once a while, so there is always reason for me to go back again. :) The video below is for one of the Exhibits, of the Hidden World of Maya Civilization, the video is owned by San Diego Natural History, not mine.
Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed @ San Diego Natural History Museum ( video by San Diego NAT )

Yesterday, aside from seeing the exhibits, I watched also the 3 films at the museum's 3D Theater:
1. Walking with the Dinoaurs ( in 3D),
2. Ocean Oasis, and
3. Tiny Giants ( in 3D).
My favorite among the 3 films is the Ocean Oasis. Though I've seen it before, but I just could not get enough of seeing the wonders in the ocean, of learning the ecological balance between the desert and the ocean oasis.

After I was done exploring the exhibits and watching the films at Natural History Museum, I planned to go to Science Museum. I wanted to watch IMAX films since the Imax films right now are about the Ocean and Blue Whales ( I love seeing the life in the sea ), but the very very long line stopped me from getting inside the Science Museum. Instead, I looked around for some more free happiness. :) Saw these happiness below. :)
Happiness from Seeing Smiling Faces in the Flowers :) Do you see the smiles too?

I was planning to stay late to watch the free concert at the Organ Pavillon, but decided to watch free concert some other nights, since there would still be a lot of free summer nights at the park, Aside from Free Tuesdays ( museums ), Free Summer Nights Concerts, there are also Free Theater Plays. I love watching theater play, it's usually expensive, but during the summer, Balboa Park's Old Globe Theater offers some free. Sadly, I was not able to book or reserve early enough to get seats for the play.

How about you? Do you enjoy the free things in life too?

Monday, July 06, 2015

Balboa Park

Lily and Koi Pond, Balboa Park
Balboa Park is one of my favorite places in San Diego to spend some leisurely time. Whenever I want a mix of nature and culture, off to Balboa Park I go. Let me share with you how my Balboa Park day usually goes.
I usually start my walk at the Rose Garden of Balboa Park. I love to see the various display of colors from the beautiful blooms of roses. 

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Foods, Sea and Sun

Enjoying some simple pleasures in life.... Foods, sea and sun. 

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Eat Smart. Play Hard. At San Diego Central Livrary

Went to the San Diego Central Library yesterday and happy to learn that our library does not only feed the minds, but also feeds the dreams with their free summer learning program in Arts and STEM ( Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and body ( free lunch for 18 and under ). Indeed, eat smart, play hard and dream big!

Seeing public places like the San Diego Central Library makes me a happy tax payer. :) Oh, the simple happiness in life.