Friday, October 14, 2016

Life Is Always Wonderful

What I love about taking a walk outside is to see we live in such a wonderful world 

3 Reasons Why Everyone Needs a Vacation this Fall

The emails and tasks are beginning to pile up and let’s be realistic, most people are converned over their job security and performance unlike ever before. At times we all wonder if we’re expendable and get scared into working longer and harder hours, hoping that we will be rewarded for our valiant effort.

Despite this fear of job security and having “too much to do” we put off going on vacation or having too much fun. However, we should be looking to spend our time more wisely or we will miss out on some important things in life. Obviously we do need to work and we can’t always just pick things up and take off for two weeks, but we need to experience vacation.

Friday, August 05, 2016

Alaska 2016

Some collage I made for a quick share of pictures during our 9 days vacation in Alaska last month.
Bears at Brooks Falls, Katmai National Park

some sights from our stay in Valdez, AK
Glaciers and Wildlife in Valdez, AK
Hiking at Lion's Head, Matanuska Valley
Root Glacier Hike, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, AK ( unguided )

Last 2011, on our first time to Alaska, we did the guided glacier hike on Matanuska Glacier. Our guide did very well in teaching us how to hike safely on ice, that we felt confident that we could do it on our own applying all the safety procedures she shared, and perhaps, be even more conservative. After our first guided hike last 2011, we decided to get some gears for icy hiking, which we also used for winter hiking in the mountains. Our very first unguided glacier hike was in Canada 2014. Then, on this trip, we did several glacier hikes on our own.

What I like most about unguided glacier hiking is that I'm free to go where I want to, I can spend more time for photography, and I'm free to look for features I wanted to see. It may take us more time to look for interesting features, but I believe it adds more to the fun of being able to explore on our own, SAFELY, of course. 

Find a Place to Stay When You Travel

Traveling can be a very expensive thing for many people to do. Therefore, there are people who like to do whatever they can to save money on their trips. This can be done in a wide variety of ways. There are quite a few sites that can help you to get cheap plane tickets. However, lodgings can also cost you a considerable amount when you travel. There are a number of ways you can reduce the amount of money you will spend on where you are going to stay. Here are some things to think about when you are making plans for where you will stay on your trip.

1. Stay at a hostel

A hostel is a popular place for people to stay who are on a very limited travel budget. Young people who are in college will frequently stay in hostels. You will need to carefully consider this option because the conditions in a hostel will not be satisfactory for everyone. It is common for people to have to share a bathroom with complete strangers. Also, security is a concern because many thefts occur in hostels. However, a hostel might be the right choice for you if there is somewhere that you really need to go and you have a very small amount of money.

2. Stay at a person's home

This is also becoming a popular choice for travelers who are on a budget. There are many websites like that connect people who want to rent their rooms with travelers. The prices that the owners charge are usually much less than you would pay to stay for the same number of nights at a regular hotel. This is an option that is worth looking into if you can find a person who has a suitable room for rent in a city that you want to visit. Always remember to ask if meals are included with the price of the room.

3. Book a hotel far in advance

Staying in a hostel or in a stranger's home may not be options that appeal to you. If this is the case, you should book your hotel room many months in advance. Hotels will usually give you a significant discount if you do this. However, the amount of the discount will vary depending on the hotel you choose. Therefore, you should call many hotels.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Surprised By a Grizzly Bear

When we were in Valdez, we usually started our day with a light breakfast, then, we would go to Solomon Gulch for some bird ( mostly bald eagles ) photography.
Bald Eagle, Valdez, Alaska
By 8:30 am, we would leave the area to have our heavier breakfast to fuel our major activities of the day, such as hiking and kayaking.
One of those mornings, we were surprised by a grizzly bear. We saw some kids running on the road following the bear as the bear crossed the road to go down to the water. We were at the other side of the stream. The sight of kids running followed by adults was scary since that is one of the biggest no-no when you see a bear, "DON'T RUN", or you'll scare/surprise the bear. That's when bears may attack humans, for offense is their defense.
However, the bear didn't mind the running kids and some adults at all. The bear just continued to go down to the water. 
Grizzly Bear, Valdez, Alaska
The bear was made very busy by flocking sea gulls blocking her way to the water. She would shoo the sea gulls to clear her way to the water to get salmon. She'd finish one salmon very quickly then go back to the water to get another one.

Why do the bears in Valdez and other coastal areas do not mind humans at all, unlike the bears in inland mountains? Because of so many salmons. In between us and the bear, was a stream overcrowded by salmons, where it seemed very easy for the bears and sea lions to get their food.

The sea gulls? They most of the time flock around sea lions and bears to feast on their left overs. Perhaps, another reason why bears do not mind humans at all at the other side of the shore is because the sea gulls are too much for them already to shoo away so they can enjoy their fish.

Exit Glacier, Kenai Fjords National Park

Exit Glacier is one of the 38 glaciers that flow out from Harding Icefield. The name Exit Glacier was derived from the first recorded crossing of the Harding Icefield in 1968 which exited in this glacier.If the hike to the end of trail of Harding Icefield is strenuous, the hike to Exit Glacier is easy to moderate. After hiking Harding Icefield, we took the much easier trail to Exit Glacier terminus.
Surface of Exit Glacier
The trail to Exit Glacier is only a 1 mile loop, though it has uphill/downhill slope, but not as steep nor as rocky as Harding Icefield trail making the walk a lot smoother and easier. In just a matter of minutes from the trailhead, you will be face to face with a glacier.
A Stream of Water Falling From the Melting of Glacier
Like many of the low altitude glaciers, Exit Glacier is steadily melting.You will hear the sound of the many waterfalls falling from the melting of ice when you come close to a glacier. The Exit Glacier has shrank 2 miles for the past 200 years.
Glacier Waterfalls 
If you are planning for a trip to Alaska, I really highly recommend putting Seward where Kenai Fjords National Park is in your list to visit. If you are physically fit and won't give up on physical and mental challenge, the hike to Harding Icefield is really out of this world and very mentally, emotionally and spiritually rewarding. However, if you think you cannot make it to Harding Icefield, the easy to moderate 1 mile loop hike to Exit Glacier is still very much worth it. 
Unlike the trail to Harding Icefield, the trail to Exit Glacier is almost free of rocks and snow during summer, and can be accessed even by some with disabilities. I am always happy to see this kind of trail since it allows and opens up our natural world to others who may not be able to take strenuous hikes because of physical reasons or because of having little babies in the family. 
One of the Many Tubes at Exit Glacier
The Exit Glacier shows many hollow tubes, and for me, these are the natural warning signs that we take extra pre-caution when we are in front or hiking in a glacier. The glacier is unsteady and parts of it can crumble anytime. Some may get tempted to have a picture inside the tube, but what if the ice above crash and you get buried? I have seen and heard a glacier crumbled, it is a phenomena that I will never forget. It is both inspiring and sad. Inspiring to see how nature carved the Earth and sad to observe how everything on Earth is temporary. 
In my next posts, I will show the other side of Harding Icefield.
Exit Glacier from Harding Icefield Trail
At the other side of this 4000 ft thick of ice and 700 square miles of icefield is the ocean. It is kind of hard to imagine that this vast mountain of ice sits right next to the sea, and everyday is changing.  

Top 5 Must See Sights in Auckland

Located in the North Island of New Zealand, Auckland attracts millions of visitors each year. The country's largest city has something for everyone, from amazing food to pristine beaches and breathtaking landscapes. Tourists can book wine tours, soak in the thermal hot pools, and enjoy up-close encounters with sharks and sea turtles. The War Memorial Museum, the iconic Sky Tower, and the Manukau Harbor are a must see. 

If you're planning to visit the "City of Sails," prepare your itinerary ahead of time. Search for car rental auckland online, book a hotel room at the seaside, and get ready for a memorable holiday. Here are top five sights you shouldn't miss on a trip to Auckland: 

St Patrick's Cathedral 

Built in 1843, St Patrick's Cathedral is registered as a historic place. Today, it is the Cathedral of the Catholic Bishop of Auckland. This majestic Gothic building is renowned for its architecture, featuring a historical display in the old confessional. Each Sunday, over 2000 come here to find their inner peace and attend Masses.

Mount Eden 

If you love nature and the outdoors, head over to Mount Eden. This volcano is the highest natural point in the region, offering scenic views of the city. Centuries ago, Mount Eden was a traditional fortified M?ori village. Visitors can explore its award-winning garden, see the housing sites and storage pits, and make their way to the top. Guided tours are available year round. 

The Skytower

At 328 meters, the Skytower is the most iconic building in Auckland and the tallest tower on the continent. It boasts a 360-degree revolving restaurant, three fascinating viewing platforms, and a lounge where guests can relax and enjoy fine drinks. There is also an observation deck, guided tours, and bungee jumping for adrenaline junkies. 

Auckland War Memorial Museum

Opened in 1929, the War Memorial Museum features a unique collection of artifacts that trace the history of New Zealand over the centuries. Visitors can admire a stunning Maori gateway dating back to the 12th century, a photographic collection of over one million images, a war canoe from the 18th century, and original Spitfire aeroplanes.

Mission Bay 

Auckland is world-famous for its pristine beaches, such as the beautiful Mission Bay. This gorgeous white-sand urban beach boasts a stylish promenade, cafes, and fine restaurants. Travelers can go jogging, rent bicycles, and indulge in water sports. If you simply want to relax, plan a family picnic or enjoy the views across the Waitemata Harbor.

Friday, July 01, 2016

Hoodoos Keep on Haunting Me

Bryce Canyon National Park Amphitheater

Utah rocks rock!!! The hoodoos around Utah will rock you with their spells. Hoodoos, which means to cast a spell, are pillars of rock left by erosion. The fantastic shapes of these rocks are accurately known to cast a spell on every visitor.They cast a spell on me, they kept on haunting me, as much as they haunt other visitors probably. They haunt me to come back, to look often at their pictures, to dream about them, and now, here I am, trying to undo that spell by writing about them. Let me share to you one of my favorite locations in Utah to experience magical hoodos, Bryce Canyon National Park. 

Bryce Canyon National Park is one of the 7 National Parks of the Southwest's Grand Circle. Its amazing beauty is the result of the destructive forces of water and ice carving away the weak limestone of the eastern edge of the Paunsaugunt Plateau. The result of this water, ice and gravity erosion brought about red rock spires and horshoe-shaped amphitheaters of hoodoos, which Bryce Canyon is known for.
Navajo Loop Trail, Bryce Canyon National Park

Where to Buy the Best Marine Products

Many people love spending time on the open water. Boating can be a great social activity and a fun way to enjoy some beautiful weather. However, people who own boats understand that a great deal of equipment is needed in order to do this activity on a regular basis. There are certainly many places where you can buy various marine products. However, it is important to keep in mind that not all of these places are the same. Here are the most important things you need to look for as you are searching for a store where you can buy all of the marine products you need. 

1. A large inventory

Ideally, you want to avoid going to many different stores to find all of the marine supplies you are looking for. You need to find a store that has an inventory that is large enough so it includes pretty much anything that you are going to need for your adventures on the water. 

2. Can they special order items for you?

There will eventually be a product you are looking for that the store does not have in stock. For example, you might be interested in a specific brand of boat dock building supplies. You are not willing to settle for a different brand. In this case, will the store be able to special order the exact type of supplies that you want? It is always nice to find a store that will be able to get the products that you are looking for if they happen to be out of stock. Not all stores get involved in special ordering products. Therefore, you should ask them in advance.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Finding The Stretch of Purple Sand at Pfeiffer Beach, Big Sur, CA

Dusk @ Pfeiffer Beach, Big Sur, CA
Big Sur is one of our favorite nature escapes in California. We had been to this place for a relaxing vacation for about three times now, however, our last vacation was our first time at Pfeiffer Beach. 
Purple Sand at Pfeiffer Beach
Though located at the heart of Big Sur, yet Pfeiffer Beach is not that easy to find. It is probably the favorite beach of the locals, but oftentimes missed by tourists, just like us before. Thankfully, before coming to Big Sur this 3rd time, I did some local search of Big Sur's interesting places to explore and hike. I found Pfeiffer Beach at the top of the list, described as " every photographers dream".

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Into The San Diego Wild :)

You may wonder why there is a smile :) symbol after the title. It is because it is not uncommon for me to get comments similar to the two below:

"I was in San Diego, but did not see those at all."
- I guess, it depends on which part of San Diego one focused their travel. Of course, if the focus was the "city", despite all the abundance of nature in and around San Diego, one may not be able to see them because they are not in downtown streets. 

"You always take vacation. I do not have much time to get away as much as you do."
-  One of my professors before told us, "San Diego is one of the most expensive places to live, you could get a place for 1/10th of the price and 10times the size somewhere else. However, if you enjoy a balance of great outdoors and the city, this is your city. You don't need to take a vacation, for everyday is like a vacation. Considering vacation expenses, the price you are paying for to live in San Diego is not that expensive after all."  :)

Oftentimes, we are being mistaken to have a lifestyle that always take vacation. To quote a friend while I toured her around San Diego, she said, "Goodness, Betchai, I did not know these are all just within San Diego and minutes from your home. I thought all the while, every weekend, you take a vacation. Haaayst! Please pray I can find a job, HERE!"

Anyway, let me share with you first a picture collage which somehow summarizes what is around San Diego.

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Bumpass Hell, Lassen Volcanic National Park

Bumpass Hell Basin, Lassen Volcanic National Park, California

Bumpass Hell contains the largest concentration of geothermal features in Lassen Volcanic National Park. The hike is 3 miles round trip to the start of the boardwalk with 300 ft change in elevation, but add another 0.5 mile if you plan to explore the whole Bumpass Hell basin. Usually, the trail opens July 1st, so I did not expect we could take this trail because we were there on the first and second day of summer, June 21st and June 22nd. However, at the time we were there, the trail just opened, we're lucky!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Random thoughts, Random Pics

my place of refuge, the Pacific Ocean @ La Jolla
Peregrine Falcon- the fastest living animal on Earth ( La Jolla)
this amazing bird, and the other wildlife around La Jolla makes the time go by so quickly.

Dog Days Of Luxury Boarding

Whether you're going out of town or you work during the day and can't be at home with your dog, a boarding facility is an option where your pet can play and mingle with other dogs. Your pet will be fed while at the facility, and there are often activities that are done with all of the animals in larger locations. Some facilities offer high-end amenities, such as plush beds, the best food and televisions in each kennel area.

When you get luxury dog boarding for your pet, it often includes play time outside, snacks during the day and a time for taking a nap. There is usually a video system so that you can check in on your dog during the day to see how he is being treated. The staff members know how to handle dogs of all sizes and most breeds. They will take the time to spend with your dog to ensure that he is cared for, teaching a few tricks in the process if time allows.

During play time, dogs can run around and socialize with others of their own size, or they can spend time with one of the people who work at the facility. This would involve being pampered, such as receiving a massage. The staff would also play fetch and offer splash time in a small pool if the weather is warm.

If there are dogs who require extra time outside for the bathroom, there are staff who can take them on an extra walk so that they feel like they are at home. Before bed in the evening, someone might read a story to the dogs. They would also tuck the dogs into bed, making sure they are as comfortable as possible. At some locations, the treats are homemade with delicious additions that could include bananas and peanut butter. Snacks are given in the middle of the day. Some of the larger dogs might get a small snack in the evening. Bathing and grooming services are usually offered at a luxury facility, but you can decide as to whether you want your dog to be washed or have the hair trimmed.

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Sea Otters

Watching sea otters is always one of our highlights whenever we take vacation in the Monterey area. I would always make it a point to spend some time at Moss Landing State Beach where you can watch them up close in their natural habitat. They are fun to watch for sure. Like the three above seem to have a play fight, while the one below seem to be cheering for them, or saying, "go ahead, play, I'll just be here sunbathing and that makes my day!" :)

Creating a Disaster Preparedness Plan for Your Home and Family

Millions of people around the world watched in horror as Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans and left residents homeless. Similar disasters struck in other areas, including the East and West Coast of the United States, Japan and Thailand. Even if you live in a relatively safe area of the country, you need to think about what you would do and how you would react if a natural disaster struck. Creating a preparedness plan helps you keep your family safe during a flood, hurricane, fire or another emergency situation.

Develop an Evacuation Plan

More fires breakout in the middle of the night than in the middle of the day. When you wake up to your home filling with smoke and flames licking your doorway, you may panic less when you know what to do next. An evacuation plan should cover each room in the house and tell everyone living there where to go and what to do. Consider placing emergency ladders in a convenient place in all rooms on the second floor. You should also identify a safe place for your whole family to meet such as in the driveway or in a neighbor's yard.

Have Survival Kits

Depending on the type of natural disaster, you may find yourself living in your home for several days or longer with no running water or electricity. Having one large survival kit or several smaller kits for each person in your family is a must. These kits should include bottled water, nonperishable food, medications, a first aid kit and clean clothing. You'll even find survival kits for pets that you can keep in your home. These kits often include food, water, dishes, first aid supplies, toys and even a new collar and leash.

Practice Your Plans

No matter how effective you think your disaster preparedness plan is, that plan means nothing unless your family remembers that information. Try practicing the plan at least once a month. Spring those tests on your spouse and kids at unexpected times of the day to keep them on their toes. The more times you rehearse and go over those steps, the more they'll retain that information. Keeping your family safe during a flood, fire or another disaster situation is much easier when you create an evacuation plan, go over that plan regularly and keep survival kits on hand.

Saturday, April 09, 2016

Colors of Spring

California hills, valleys and mountains are ablaze in colors right now. It seems I just can't have enough of the colors of spring. Here are some pictures of spring colors from recently.

 Whenever I see trail lined with flowers, my heart is filled with glee.
If only I can bring these wildflowers home. :)
Colors near and far.
Multi colored hills from a mix of wildflowers: California poppies, lupines, and purple phacelias.
A carpet of purple phacelia.

Moro Rock, Sequoia National Park, CA

Sierra Nevada Mountains on Top of Moro Rock
If you are visiting Sequoia National Park, home of the largest trees on Earth, one of the interesting places to experience is Moro Rock. 
The Great Western Divide From The Top of Moro Rock

Taking Care of Tablet Computers

Tablet computers have changed the way that people can communicate and access information. They are lightweight and very easy to carry around. They are perfect for students to carry from one class to another. They are also ideal for business professionals to carry from their office to a boardroom. Tablets can be quite expensive. This is why people who own them should do everything in their power to make sure that they do not get damaged. You do not want to be forced to pay for a pricey repair if you can avoid it. Here are a few simple ways you can take care of your tablet so it will keep functioning perfectly for many years to come.

1. Buy a protective case

Many people only use a floppy slip case to carry their tablet in. This will prevent dust from getting on the screen. Unfortunately, it will not protect it from much more than that. This is why you need to buy a hard case that is specifically designed to prevent your tablet from sustaining any damage. For example, there are protective cases for tablets available today that can effectively protect your tablet if you accidentally drop the case down a flight of stairs. There is padding inside these protective cases which is customized to fit your specific type of tablet. There is also a combination lock on these cases to prevent criminals from stealing your personal info from the tablet.

2. Charging station

A tablet that is not kept sufficiently charged will be of no use to you at all. Therefore, you would be wise to buy yourself a portable charging station. This will allow you to keep your tablet charged no matter where you happen to be. An iPad charging station is an excellent investment for people who constantly use their tablets throughout the day.

3. Touchscreen

Tablet touchscreens are more fragile than many people realize. You do not need to press down on them hard to get the tablet to respond to you. However, many people insist on tapping and pressing on the screen with a high level of pressure. This will eventually cause damage to the touchscreen that will result in it not acknowledging your commands. Children are usually the ones who are the most guilty of abusing their tablet touchscreen. Teach your children to lightly glide their fingers over the touchscreen. This will prevent any damage that needs to be repaired.

San Diego Whale Watching

San Diego Skyline
( the first scenery you will see as you leave San Diego Bay to the middle of the ocean )
It has been an annual event for us to explore the Pacific Ocean from San Diego via Hornblower Cruise or H&M Landing. Last Christmas Holidays, we took a three-hour whale watching cruise, the earliest we had so far of the season. We took advantage of the promo we saw that gave 50% discount to San Diego Zoological Society's members. From $35, we only paid $17.50 for a 3-hour whale watching cruise. Since the past four or five years that we had been whale watching every winter, we had never paid full price. Sometimes, we get discounted tickets from Gold Star. There were times we were able to save with a coupon from travelocity, which allowed us to save more than 50%. Aside from booking flights and hotels, travelocity also has connections in booking cruises and trains. Knowing that there are many deals we can find online, we never purchased tickets directly from the ticket booth but always purchased them online at much discounted prices.
Gray Whale
Whale watching in San Diego usually starts from December to April. Over 15,000 gray whales migrate thousands of miles from the chilly Alaskan seas to the warm breeding lagoons of Baja California, Mexico. Aside from gray whales, other whales we would sometimes see are humpback whales, blue whales, and in rare occasions, orcas.

So that I will not overload you with pictures, for a change, here is a slideshow I made of our 3-hr whale watching cruise sometime last Christmas holidays.

The dolphins are always an added bonus to the whale watching tour and it seems they are always the first ones you will see in the cruise. In fact, the whale watching cruises are guaranteed whale watching trips, if no whales or insignificant showmanship from whales are sighted, everyone in the cruise gets another free ticket for another whale watching cruise that will expire in a year. If whales are more solitary, and the boat could not get near them following federal law on whale watching, the dolphins on the hand always have a whale of a good time following the boat. They seem to rejoice always whenever there is a boat, and they love to ride the bow wave.
Dolphins Enjoying the Bow Wave
There are several companies that offer whale watching tours and excursions for up-close viewing of the whales. Because of these competition from various whale watching tour companies, coupons are not hard to find. We do not subscribe to any newspaper company because we can access newspaper online for free, therefore, we scout for coupons not on newspaper anymore but using sites that shares their coupon finds online. I oftentimes would go to Frugal Dad to check out coupons which are not limited to cruises only but to almost all other needs. We however are not really crazy about coupons, we only use it if we really have to use it. Otherwise, if there is no need, despite it is a steal, we hold off from spending unnecessary things and collect junk at home. But whale watching, is one of those priceless memories, that we use the coupon every year! For every year, is different, and special!
Sunset Back To Shore

Allowing Professionals to Help You Locate New Hydration Resources

Farmers and ranchers are always in need of water sources for their crops and livestock. Even if the city and state in which you live are not currently in a drought, you may still want to know if any underground sources of water exist on your property in case you need to drill for water in the future. Because most farmers and ranchers like you do not have the proper technology or equipment to scan the ground for water below the surface, you may find it useful to retain professional help like water locating services and other hydrology methods that can determine if your farm or ranch sits atop any underground water sources. You can then decide when and how to drill for this hydration resource.

Taking Advantage of New Technology

The company that can help you with this important task has the latest technology and equipment available to it. It does not rely on outdated methods still found in the industry. It instead offers you innovation that can quickly and reliably locate any sources of water on your property.

If you are still unsure about whether or not to make use of the company's services, you can read the customer testimonials found on the website. The testimonials let you know what other customers have thought about the services and also if they had their hydration needs met by the services that the company offers. These testimonials may convince you to pursue the quest to find new water on your property using the methods made available by the company.

The company also commits to helping customers understand the data that the equipment gives during the search for water. If you used another service, you may be left to read the data on your own. However, the company and its professionals help you understand what information the equipment provides so that you can make the best decision regarding your property and water sources.

Contacting the Company

If you are ready to find water or you have other questions, you may find it easier to pose those queries using the online contact form. The form allows someone from the company to reach you promptly. It is easy to fill out and lets you express your concerns or questions adequately.

You need new water sources for your farm or ranch. You can find them today with professional services.

Sunday, April 03, 2016

Grey Whales and California Condors sightings from Big Sur cliffs

What can I not love about Big Sur? It's no theme park, but a great natural museum showcasing God's supreme artistry in mingling wilderness with natural beauty.

I c
an't express enough the joy of seeing the natural beauty of mountains and ocean, sitting on top of the cliffs, watching whales passing down below, and the majestic California condor who are rescued from the brink of extinction hovering above the sky. Big Sur is one of those places that I would never get tired visiting, again, and again.

Three Simple Strategies That Can Help You Lose Weight And Keep It Off!

Although there are numerous life challenges that an individual can experience, being overweight is one of the most difficult. In addition to compromising self-esteem, carrying excess weight can make an individual susceptible to several unwanted diseases, including diabetes and depression. However, individuals who are serious about shedding excess pounds should know that there are numerous strategies they can deploy to optimize the process. Here are three of them: 

1. Implement A Sustainable Meal Plan.

One of the biggest mistakes people make when they decide to lose weight is going on a diet. As research studies have demonstrated, over 90% of diets fail. In other words, people who go on the diet may temporarily lose weight, but they eventually return to their previous eating pattern and gain the pounds back. And in some cases, the dieter may gain back more weight than she or he originally carried. As such, it's important to avoid the dieting pitfall and instead implement a sustainable meal plan. A sustainable meal plan is one that you can see yourself remaining on for the rest of your life, thus it shouldn't incorporate severe caloric restriction or the complete elimination of foods you love. You can obtain assistance with the development of your meal plan from a nutritionist. 

2. Hire A Personal Trainer.

While food consumption plays an integral role in the weight loss process, exercise is also an important component of the process. Yet in many cases, overweight individuals are not accustomed to attaining regular physical activity and need advice, instruction, and motivational encouragement to keep them going. As such, it's a good idea to hire a personal trainer. She or he can develop a sound, strategic exercise program that helps you realize your weight loss goals while simultaneously ensuring that you obtain other health benefits such as a faster metabolism and more muscle mass. 

3. Consider Surgery. 

One final strategy you should implement to optimize your weight loss process is surgery. Professional facilities such as Bay Surgical Weight Loss provide patients with several surgery options such as gastric sleeve. Also know that you can locate a Tampa vascular surgeon by doing a quick Internet search. When you start looking for the ideal service provider, make sure that the medical facility possesses all of the following attributes:

-industry experience (ten years or more) 
-a good Better Business Bureau rating (A or higher)
-fair prices
-positive feedback from former and existing clientele


If you're frustrated with your current weight and know that you're ready to lose excess pounds, now is the time to implement the behavioral changes necessary to realize the goal. You can utilize some or all of the aforementioned weight loss strategies to start shedding the extra pounds immediately!

Monday, March 28, 2016

The Valley of Fire Wave

The Fire Wave At Valley of Fire State Park, Overton, Nevada
The Valley of Fire State Park is about an hour away from Las Vegas and is Nevada's first State Park. I must admit that the first time I saw Valley of Fire, I was not very impressed. I guess, we were tired then from several days of exploring Arches National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park and Zion National Park, all of Utah. When we were in Zion, I saw a picture of a cave which was glowing like a charcoal, I wanted to see it, and I was overjoyed when I learned that it is in Nevada, which is really on our way back to San Diego. However, when we reached Valley of Fire, all those red rocks looked like some alien's dump-land to me. Plus, it was summer, when the temperature at the Valley of Fire was in the hundreds! We could hardly even get out of the car because the heat was so intense. Thus, we ended up viewing the park from our car, which at any rate did not give us a beautiful impression. Then, for several times we went to explore some parks in the Grand Circle, we always skip this park, thinking that it is but an alien's dump-land. But this impression did not last....
Wavelike Patterns @ The Fire Wave
A couple weeks ago, I was still not very sure whether I should spend my spring break outside of San Diego due to many assignments I had to finish. However, I felt like I badly needed a break. Thus I decided to spend some days away from San Diego, at Big Sur, one of my favorite hiking and nature escapes in California. Now, what an extreme it is you may think that from Big Sur, we ended up in Las Vegas. Big Sur is where the mountains are kissed by the clouds and the pounding waves of the sea, the redwood forest is lovely and the waterfalls next to the ocean is really a unique sight. Big Sur is a heaven of peacefulness and serenity and where the night lights would be the sparkling stars from the sky, whereas Las Vegas is totally a different world. Las Vegas at night is far from quiet, the sparkling stars are diluted by the city night lights. There may be mountains around Las Vegas, but no redwood forest and pounding waves from the sea. But then, Highway 1 at Big Sur was closed last week due to several landslides. Instead of sulking because we could not access Big Sur from the South, I then looked in another direction. From the ocean, I looked into the desert, with high hopes of seeing a desert bighorn sheep and desert tortoise since it is at spring that one will most likely see them. Well, we were not lucky to see the endangered desert tortoise and desert bighorn sheep :(, instead, we saw beautiful desert lizards and lots of squirrels and rabbits :)
Desert Lizard
But then, despite not seeing desert tortoise nor desert bighorn sheep in our exploration, we were still awed by the amazing geological features we saw in the desert.
Riding the Wavelines ( I just named this place, this is actually the trail or no trail we took to get to the Valley of Fire Wave)
Before I came to US, I had very little idea what a desert is like, all the images that were in my mind were that of the desert as the last place I wanted to be probably on Earth. A wasteland and a heat reservoir were the two popular descriptions I would always hear. However, coming to US exposed me to the different sceneries in a desert, and I learned that the desert is happily no wasteland, in fact, it is teeming with life, maybe, not just the kind of life most  of us see and experience. 
Beavertail Cactus Blooms, from the trail we took to Fire Wave, Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada
From afar, the desert may look barren, may look brown, but deep within, when you take a closer look at it, the desert is full of surprises and beauty. 
Evening Primrose as seen from the trail, Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada
What I have learned about the desert is that it is not a place of what is obvious, but a place of what is hidden. One must really get to their feet and keep going to capture a stunning memory. Just like the Valley of Fire Wave, this geological formation in Valley of Fire can not be seen from the park main roads. 
Can You Spot Me? This is one of the most colorful geological formations I have seen.
Valley of Fire Wave, Overton, Nevada
But that's where the joy is, when we move our feet and discover the simple pleasures of life. 
Tourists Celebrating the Joy of Finding This Place After A Hike

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

What to Look for in a Relaxing Motel

Whether you are traveling on business or for pleasure, your motel is going to play a big role in your comfort and relaxation. Many people enjoy staying at a location that has a history and charm, but the latest amenities can be important draws as well. You can find a motel Newport Oregon residents recommend. It is important to find a place to stay that offers all that you will need.

You want to make sure that you stay at a safe location. There are many ways to look for safety in a motel. In a single-story motel, your parking spot can be right near your hotel room. This can help to give you peace of mind since your car will be in sight of your room. You will be able to get out of it and go directly to your doorway quickly. If the outside of your room is well-lit, this can also give you extra security.

You can stay in a motel that has a luxurious interior. It can often be the small things that matter like full-sized and fully stocked kitchen that you can cook in instead of having to dine out. It can be nice to have a separate living room and dining room area so that you have plenty of places to relax. A quality mattress with soft sheets can be amazing, and a cozy throw on the sleeper sofa can be a nice addition as well. It can be pleasant to have special extras like locally roasted coffee, teapots with high-end teas, and premium organic personal products awaiting you in your room.

When you need to keep in touch with your family, friends, or job, Wi-Fi can be a great addition to your motel stay. You may also like having a flat screen television and an electronic fireplace in your room.

Dog-Friendly Rooms
When you are traveling with your pet, it is important to find a motel that allows you to bring your dog inside with you. Some hotels also offer other perks such as allowing your dog anywhere on their grounds. They may even provide shovels, bowls, and bags for your beloved pet. You want to stay at a place that will be happy to have your dog as a guest as well as you.

Friendly Staff Members
The friendliness of staff members can have a big impact on your stay. You want to make sure that you pick a a hotel that cares about its guests. If you have any questions at check-in, you want to stay at a place that can give you answers. Many motels have owners that want to get to know their guests and make them feel like they are part of their family.

When you want to stay in a premium motel, choose one that has the amenities that you need. You can find a safe and comfortable place to stay that offers Wi-Fi, full kitchens, and much more. By staying in a motel with a good atmosphere, you can be sure that your stay is going to be relaxing and rejuvenating no matter how many days you plan on being there.