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.

Saturday, March 05, 2016


It's been a while since I last posted here. Anyway, let me share my very simple joy today. Imagine my happiness when I saw lovely pink trees blooming all around. And the cherry blossoms in Japanese Garden at Balboa Park were just so lovely. My cell phone almost ran out of battery and memory from snapping photos. Here are some of them. 
Thanks to hubby for my pictures with the lovely pinks. :) Simple joy, but am overjoyed. Hope you don't mind I'm saturating this post with pink. :)