Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Please visit us at The Salitype Society: Tebowing to learn more about "tebowing" and the works of Tim Tebow. I closed this post for comments since the main post is in my group's blog, The Salitype Society. Would love for you to support us there. Thank you.

Saturday, February 25, 2012


Terns, La Jolla Shores Beach, San Diego, CA
California least tern is a subspecies of the least tern that breeds on Atlantic East Coast from Maine to Florida. The California least tern is a migratory bird that breeds primarily in the bays of the Pacific Ocean, and is federally listed as an endangered species. 
The number have gradually increased from 582 breeding pairs in 1974 with its protected status, but these migratory birds are still vulnerable to natural disasters or further disturbance by man. 
These small migratory birds once nested widely along the central and southern California coast and the Pacific coast of Mexico. Nesting today however is limited to colonies in San Francisco Bay, Sacramento river delta, and areas along the coast from San Luis Obispo county to San Diego County. The greatest concentration of breeding pairs nest in Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego Counties. 

CA least tern need to nest close to the shoreline areas where their prey is abundant. But these places make them more vulnerable to predation and human disturbance. American krestels, burrowing owls, feral cats, nonnative red foxes, crows and other predators take their toll. If their nesting ground is near developed areas, domestic cats, and human-tolerant native species such as racoons prey on them. 
CA least tern is a small seabird, measuring 10 inches in length and a 30 inch wingspan when fully grown. They have black-capped and black-tipped head. They have pale gray wings, white body, yellow bill and yellowish feet. They feed in shallow estuaries or lagoons where small fish are abundant, such as smelt, anchovies, silversides and other small nearshore prey.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

One Fine Day @ La Jolla Shores

All pictures above were taken last Saturday, February 18, 2012, by my hubby, who I believe, had a time of his life laughing, giggling, and was giddy like a little boy enjoying the gifts of nature. All the pictures were taken from our relaxing and fun walk at La Jolla Shores. If you want to know more about La Jolla Shores and is curious with how my photos compare, please visit my post  La Jolla Shores at The Salitype Society.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Grand Circle Adventure

Since I shared about our travel to the Grand Circle, I have been getting a lot of inquiries, not only from blog readers but also from friends and family, about travel planning and itinerary trips to the Grand Circle.
Antelope Canyon, Page, AZ ( part of the Grand Circle )
Indeed, the Grand Circle is one of the world's amazing destinations, with the highest concentration of National Parks in US for a given area. The Grand Circle is a region of mind blowing scenery, from the Grand Canyon National Park, to Arches National Park, and many more. 
 Grand Canyon National Park, AZ
It is very inspiring to see bold splashes of color, amazing geologic shapes and landscapes at every turn in the Grand Circle. I had written about our Grand Circle Itinerary previously where I always refer my friends whenever they ask for some help in itinerary planning and adventure activities in the Grand Circle. I also had been planning to make a comprehensive travel guide to this spectacular place for some treasured friends and family. However, between work, studies, and leisure, what I started putting together since last year was still up to this date a draft. 
 proposed cover for the comprehensive travel guide I am trying to put together
the first 2 pages, and my draft ends here :(
Though I got some gift certificates for high quality photo book and booklet printing where I do not have to worry much about the cost, but somehow, it is the work that I am putting into this project that lacks some pushing. I just can not find myself really spending a lot of time at home putting ideas together. In my mind, I know what to write, I know the locations, the wonderful places to hike, I know which pictures to put, but I just can not find myself saving some of my free time for this. I somehow find that my free time is just right for me to enjoy the great outdoors, and a little time sharing that joy online through this site and my other site, but not enough to spend some free time yet for the finalizing of this draft and be able to share the joy of the Grand Circle Adventure in prints. Thankfully, the gift certificates I have do not have expiry dates, so maybe, I will be able to share these prints to my great grand-nieces and great grand-nephews instead :( Thankfully, the printing company I have in mind have solid reputation and I know they would still be around that time to deliver high quality prints fast when I am finally done with the draft. Sometimes, I shake my head to have even thought of making it a series, when it is taking me so long to even finish one :(

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Starfish: Strength in Numbers

Photographing Starfish and Mussel Rock, La Jolla Shores, San Diego, CA
Starfish are scavengers and hunters that clean up the bottom of the ocean floor, eating some fish-killing algae. Most of the starfish usually cleave to each other and on the rocks.
Starfish, La Jolla Shores, San Diego, CA
Grouping together is one of the starfish defense mechanisms to protect themselves from the pounding waves as they can easily be washed off shore by the very strong waves. As the star fish cleave together, their strength multiplies exponentially that they will be able to hold on together defying the pounding waves that crash on them. The star fish exemplifies best the quote, "Together we stand, divided we fall."
Star fish on Mussel Rock, La Jolla Shores, San Diego, CA
Starfish feeds on clams, oysters and mussels. Since those starfish cleaves on mussels filled rock, they sure have an abundant supply of food. Starfish eat through their mouth which is the middle opening on their underside. Starfish don't eat shellfish with their shells on, but rather, they use their powerful suction cups on their legs to open the shell of their prey. When the shell is wide open and meat is exposed, star fish push their stomach out through their mouth and digest it. Star fish are scavengers and hunters that clean up the bottom of the ocean floor, eating some fish-killing algae. 

All pictures above were taken Saturday, February 18, 2012 at La Jolla Shores.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Nature At Its Best

Life is one huge coloring book. Each piece of stone, each strand of hair, each hanging leaf, and each ticking sound is precious. We are lucky to be walking on these grounds. To be witnessing the sky’s magnificent changing of hue each day is such a blessing that no amount of money could replace. 
If I’d be asked this very moment what I am praying for…I wouldn’t ask for wealth and fame but my answer would definitely be the chance to live a long healthy life. That is what I wish too for my family and friends all over the world. As we go through each day however with all its challenges and the myriad tasks that await us from the moment we open our eyes, at times we fail to eat well and on time. At times life becomes too busy that we couldn’t even have a moment to spend buying fresh fruits and vegetables and settle for whatever food in the refrigerator that is easiest to prepare.  Sleep time is often shortened because of too many things to be done even at night. I’ve been commending myself the past weeks for being able to shuffle my different roles as mother, daughter, wife, sister, granddaughter, aunt and friend etc with so much ease and energy. It is because I take my much needed vitamin supplement. Nature offers the best therapy there is and I am glad for having found a company, Nature's Best through another nature loving friend, that supplies fresh, great-tasting, effective vitamins, minerals and nutritional supplements. They offer health products from A-Z that are so easy to order on-line. Now I feel more confident about reaching the age of eighty and above.  
~still healthy and joyful at 80's~
That would mean an unlimited time to enjoy NATURE AT ITS BEST. For who wouldn't want to be smiling and staring at such colorful things all the days of one's healthy life?

The right amount of vitamins definitely would make anyone feel like a child and that would make all the difference.
~all photos and post by  Zen- kulasa ~

Friday, February 17, 2012

Santa Barbara: Not Just Another Beach Get Away

Anacapa Island, Channel Islands National Park, off Santa Barbara Coast, CA
Santa Barbara, CA is one of the quiet escapes in Southern California. It is a popular nature get-away for most Los Angelenos because it is only about 2 hours away from this very busy and crowded city. Though Santa Barbara is very close to Los Angeles, yet it feels a world apart. This not so small but quiet town is sometimes referred to as the American Riviera, what with her beautiful sparkling beaches, majestic mountains and colorful culture. 
Hiking @ Anacapa Island
Santa Barbara however, is more than just beach, sands and surf. World class Santa Barbara vacation homes, premier resorts, fine dining, historical places, culture, great night-life, hiking, surfing, and many more outdoor activities await every visitors. Though offering both indoor and outdoor vacation, Santa Barbara is a great place for those who enjoys being OUT! From the city of Santa Barbara, visitors are just minutes away from the wine country, with majestic wine vistas which probably you may have seen from the Amazing Race. Though Santa Barbara is a great place for surfers, boogie boarders, paddle surfers and kayakers, but this quaint charming town offers water, land and air outdoor recreation. 
Rollings Hills, Mountains and Clouds Above Pacific Ocean
Heading for the hills and mountains, visitors can be almost 2,5000 ft above sea level overlooking the Pacific Ocean. If visitors want to fly their dreams high up in the sky, with a few hours training, they can get a birds-eye view of the Pacific coastline along Santa Barbara coast paragliding their way to a vacation of a lifetime.    
Visitors can immerse themselves in the migration of the Monarch butterfly, or scan the Pacific ocean for whales, 
Pacific Gray Whale
or visit a world so different yet so close at Channel Islands National Park. 
Sea Gull on a Bed of Goldfield @ Channel Islands National Park, CA
Doesn't that sea gull seem to be calling you to enjoy Santa Barbara and its magical natural world nearby? If you do come visit, a short day trip from Santa Barbara is Big Sur, 
McWay Falls, Pfeiffer Burns State Park, Big Sur, CA
McWay Falls, one of the few waterfalls on Earth that is right next to the sea!
where the ocean,mountains and clouds kiss each other wonderfully!
Big Sur
If the call of fine dining, culture, amazing outdoor opportunities, wildlife, mountains, ocean do call you, Santa Barbara is just 2-hrs away from Los Angeles International Airport, or minutes away from Santa Barbara Airport. 
Elephant Seals on Point Piedras Blancas, San Simeon State Beach
you will hit this place before you reach Big Sur when you are driving from Santa Barbara 
 And when you are vacationing in beautiful, scenic and quiet city of Santa Barbara, don't forget to also take one of the world's top ten drives of a lifetime listed in National Geographic and Travel magazine, Big Sur, which is as close as you can get when you are in Santa Barbara. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Rain or Shine...Be My Valentine

Sunset Last Saturday ( 02/11/12) @ La Jolla
It has been a rainy week for us since weekend. I am not complaining, since I actually prayed for rain to come. It has really been a dry season for us, and we need the rain. I am excited to hear that our local mountains (Mt. Laguna and Palomar) are now covered with snow. The rain is still pouring hard today as I write this. But yesterday, during Valentine's day, the rain took a short break in the afternoon until sunset, to give us a beautiful Valentine date. But regardless, whether rain or shine....we both know we will have a beautiful Valentine at the beach. Let me share with you a poem by poet Donna Wallace, about having a beautiful Valentine, come rain or shine.   
Sunset, Valentine Day 2012 @ La Jolla (photo by ktl)

Rain or Shine...Be My Valentine
poem by Donna Wallace

Raindrops on our dresses, 
Sunshine on our face, 
No matter what the weather, 
The look of love won't be replaced. 

The silent sound as rain falls, 
The brilliance of the sun 
They only promise radiance,
 Caused by either one
 Let it rain, or let it shine, 
It won't matter none. 

You're such a lovely Valentine, 
In either rain, or sun 
Let it snow, let it hail, 
Earth blanketed with white.
 It won't prevent our day, 
Or deny the magic of our night. 

Sunset, Valentine Day 2012 @ La Jolla (photo by ktl)
Right after work yesterday, we went to La Jolla as we had planned for our Valentine day walk at the beach. Thankfully, the rain stopped for a while, allowing us to take some photos of the sunset. After the sun disappeared from the horizon, we still took some more time photographing the last hint of colors that interplay with the stormy clouds. This may not be the most beautiful sunset we have seen in San Diego, but we are still very thankful for the window of opportunity given to us by nature to spend a very relaxing walk, and time at the beach listening to the sound of the waves as they come on shore and hit the rocks.
Sunset, Valentine Day 2012 @ La Jolla
 There were several couples celebrating the Valentine at the beach too, some of them hiding at the cove provided by the rocks, some playing with the water. The sunset brought magical moment to everyone who were there, somehow, it always make people stop and just enjoy it disappears from the horizon leaving us with different colors of light.
Sunset, Valentine Day 2012 @ La Jolla
Thank you always for sharing our "Joys of Simple Life".

Sunday, February 12, 2012

A Valentine's Dream

In My Dreams.....
I was walking in the clouds
Fluttering with the wind
And then I saw YOU
With YOUR arms opened wide
I ran to get YOUR embrace
Happiness was overflowing
Tears ran down from my face
There were no words between us
But in the silence
I feel YOUR strength
Giving me Hope
To live the dream in my heart
And for tomorrow
To dream again!!


Happy Valentine's Weekend Everyone.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Simple Life

* re-posting my very first post in this blog- this was originally posted April 2009, in a few months, this blog will turn three years old :) 

I am here :) My new home. I hope I will like it here and will not be moving soon. I had been contemplating and had mentioned it to some friends about my plans of having a blog somewhere else other than Friendster where I get to have my own freedom. Freedom to write about what I wanted, and being able to be present with my feelings. Freedom to design my page the way I like it. For now, blogspot is my new home, and I hope some of my readers from my old blog will find me here, celebrating "The Joys of Simple Life".
For my opening post, let me share the lyrics of the song "The Simple Life" by Karl Kohlase. You can listen to it at http://www.k4communications.com/karl/downloads/simplelife.mp3
The Simple Life

Living life can be hard today, I have to say it so
But I have learned if I stop and pray
I get the grace to go.
              And I have found by slowing down
                 I have more time to live the simple life

The simple life. All free from strife.
So glad that I have found the simple life.                   
Living life in the passing lane, it’s near insane to me;
                      ‘Cause soon your life will be washed away
                      By the pouring rain to the sea.
                      But I have found by slowing down
                      I have more time to live the simple life            
The simple life. All free from strife.
                      So glad that I have found the simple life.       
The simple life is the way to go though the pace is slow for some,
                      But I’ll have peace in my heart to show
                      when the race of life is done.
                      For I have found by slowing down
                      I have more time to live the simple life
         The simple life. All free from strife.
                      So glad that I have found the simple life.  
Words and Music by Karl Kohlhase
                      © 2004 karl kohlhase

Lower Antelope Canyon

The awe inspiring Antelope Canyon is actually two separate canyons, the Upper Antelope Canyon and the Lower Antelope Canyon, both located in Page, Arizona.

The following were the factors we considered when we were making a choice as to which canyon we visit:
Upper Antelope Canyon- crowded, hard to take in the curves and contours of the canyon to ourselves. Needs reservation to tour this place.
Lower Antelope Canyon - uncrowded ( maybe twenty times less popular), does not need reservation to tour this place.

2. COST:
Upper Antelope Canyon - $35/person for a limited 50 minutes tour of Upper Antelope Canyon (1.5 hour includes pick-up and drop-off), $46 per person at primetime (11:30- very crowded). Price is $80/person for a photography tour which is for about 2 hours inside the canyon.
Lower Antelope Canyon - $26/person either with a tour or independent with photographers pass, for 2 hours inside the canyon. :)

Since we preferred a more silent and challenging walk, we decided to explore Lower Antelope Canyon instead, where we would have greater chance of savoring the interesting sweeps and the magical curves of the rocks all to ourselves. For lesser price, we can spend longer time at Lower Antelope.

Here is a little bit summary of our Lower Antelope experience:

On our way to Page from Grand Canyon, I called Ken's Tours of Lower Antelope Canyon telling them we are coming from Grand Canyon and we needed their address, and I was told, "we do not have an address ma'am, but you will find us 6 miles East of Page, you take 98 East." I was like, "huh? I hope we found you". Thankfully, our GPS helped us get to Lower Antelope Canyon parking without any problem, I simply entered "Lower Antelope Canyon".

Guide Showing Us the Entrance to Lower Antelope Canyon

We requested for an independent tour, so the guide only showed us to the trailhead. When he welcomed us to the entrance, I had to ask, "Is this it?" And he replied, "yes, this is where you will enter."

Entering Antelope Canyon
From above, Lower Antelope Canyon is just but a crack in the ground. The excitement and joy started to take over on the first sight of what is below the ground.

After the First Steel Rung Staircase Landing

Notice in the picture above, that after the first landing, there is another staircase.

More Staircase After the First Landing
Even with the installation of stairways, the walk at Lower Antelope Canyon poses more difficulty than the walk at Upper Antelope Canyon. The walk at Lower Antelope Canyon is longer, narrower, and there were few spots were there was hardly any footing.

Maneuvering Lower Antelope Canyon

Thankfully, these areas which hardly had any footing were not that long, therefore, they actually added more fun and adventure to the walk. But there are some parts of the trails too which were wide enough

Wider Passageway
and there are several canyon rooms also which gives us greater space to stop and to take in all the dancing motion of these swaying curves lit by the afternoon sun.

Wider Room at Lower Antelope Canyon

Lower Antelope Canyon we believe still goes a long way, but at the end of the trail, they decided not to install a staircase anymore, thus, it is only possible to explore that area with some rock climbing and toproping skills. At the end of the trail, the climb out requires taking several flights of stairs. However, the child in us decided to go back the same route we entered so that we can enjoy the canyon once again and entertain the child in us.

Me, Practising my Modeling Skills :) @ Lower Antelope Canyon

For the most part we were inside Lower Antelope Canyon, we felt like we had the canyon all to ourselves. There were other tourists of course, but the canyon is long enough for us to spread apart and have our small private spaces. Occasionally, we bumped into each other, or we had to stop because someone was taking a picture or was composing a picture, but for the most part, our time at the canyon was with our much desired isolation. Lovely.

For the length of time we stayed at Lower Antelope Canyon, I do not know how much more would it cost us at Upper Antelope Canyon, if it is even possible.

For more information on Antelope Canyon, please visit this site http://www.navajonationparks.org/htm/antelopecanyon.htm