Monday, March 05, 2012

One Beautiful Weekend Through My Cellphone's Lens


can you see the egrets and other birds behind these coreopsis?
A walk along San Diego River....FIRST Regional Robotics Competition....a walk on top of the bluffs right next to the Pacific Ocean.... and a warm weather! A beautiful weekend that almost passed away with only memories in my mind to reminisce. Thankfully, there was the ever reliable cellphone.

FIRST Robotics Competiton in San Diego Sports Arena
Saturday, our main agenda was to join the celebration of Math and Science in Regional FIRST Robotics Competition which was held in San Diego Sports Arena.
The FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition is an intense three-day competitive event that showcase robots developed and operated by dozens of high school teams from all over the world. Being involved with the problem solving, planning, and applying math and science makes students see that engineering, technology and invention are exciting and interesting. High school teams combine sheer brain power and ingenuity in solving an engineering design problem intensively and competitively  .
Because the FIRST Robotics was held in San Diego Sports Arena which is very close to Robb Memorial Field, first in our itinerary was a walk at Robb Field, which lies next to San Diego River that meets at the Pacific Ocean in Dog's Beach. Imagine my excitement running high on seeing some early bloomers in the trail. Happily I walked to the nearest bundle of wildflowers, my heart singing and thumping loudly for joy!
I took my camera out, kneeled on the ground to capture the joy, but the moment I pressed the shutter, I found out the camera's battery was drained! As if teasing me, several butterflies came in happily flying around me, joyfully landing on top of the blooms. "Sigh", I thought. I put my camera back inside my bag, and took my cell phone out. Thankfully, one of the butterflies stayed by my side and allowed me to snap a picture.

 Butterfly Enjoying Early CA Sea Lavender Bloom
Egrets, heron, marbled murellets, grabes, flew in and out, a lot were enjoying their food in the estuary. Happily I observed them, but it is in this situation where my cellphone's lens can't perform well. Thankfully, everything is local I didn't have to grind my teeth for being forgetful.
After the walk, we went to Sports Arena for the Robotics Competition. Then, we went for a late lunch/ early dinner in San Diego Hillcrest Area which is right next to Balboa Park. Hillcrest offers eclectic dining, entertainment and nightlife options. From Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese, Indian, Mid-Eastern, Mexican, Italian, American, and other cuisines, one will savor flavors from around the world. Restaurants in Hillcrest do not only vary in national origin but also in mood, from casual dining serving comfort foods, to elegant fine dining complete with five star service. I opted to have Japanese because the other times we were at Hillcrest, we tried Persian, Mid-Eastern, Mexican and Indian cuisines.
After our Japanese meal, we took a relaxing walk along Hillcrest's tree-lined streets, where some of the trees still show bright autumn colors,
Fall Colors in Winter with a Summer Like Weekend Warmth
while the nearby Balboa Park is filled with spring blooms! 
Spring Blooms @ Balboa Park
While taking a walk in the Hillcrest-Balboa Park area, we were debating whether to get coffee in one of the unique Coffee Shops, or get something that we do not get to enjoy often. We decided to stop by Vietnamese to get a purple taro (ube) tea drink to go!

Purple Taro (Ube) Tea with Lychee Jelly
Purple taro tea with lychee jelly is one of my favorite drinks. Sometimes, if I do not feel too full, I would request to add green tea boba in my drink. Since it was a beautiful warm day, we were able to enjoy the drink while walking along Hillcrest and Balboa Park area.
The next day, though already with a fully charged camera battery while taking a relaxing hike at Torrey Pines-Del Mar, but I purposely took the images below with my cellphone still to make a complete post where all images were taken by my cell phone.

Torrey Pines-Del Mar Tidepool Exposed @ Low Tide
Though Torrey Pines-Del Mar is our most frequented place in San Diego, but this was our first time to see tidepool exposed in this area. I did not know that Torrey Pines-Del Mar have interesting rocky shore alternating with sandy beaches. I thought before, this stretch of the Pacific Coast were purely sands. Thus, whenever we think of tide pooling, we usually would go South of Torrey Pines to La Jolla Shores, or further South at Cabrillo National Monument. 
Did I wish I was down the tidepool instead looking for starfish, anemone, and other tidepool creatures? Not really, because at the top of the bluffs, I loved looking for dolphins happily swimming in groups. Plus, I was treated with another pleasant surprise, which was the coming back of the purple fields. What a joy it was to see brown transformed to purple field of dreams! 
Purple Field Is Back! ( 2 weeks ago when we were here, it was still brown!)
And among these purple field of dreams, were butterflies happily fluttering around. 
I will share more pictures of butterflies, some critters I do not know the name, the purple field, and the low tide as captured by my camera in my next post.
Meanwhile, whenever I close my eyes, I daydream about dancing in the purple field with the happy butterflies.
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  1. Your cell phone and you, of course, did a fine job; very pretty.

  2. Purple is one of my favorite colors. I love your flower photos. When I'm out walking I always look at the flowers and never seem to see the beauty that so many capture with their cameras.

  3. Jaime Leon-RodriguezMarch 5, 2012 at 8:51 PM

    I always enjoy your pics, Elizabeth! Keep on doing it. I haven't tried the Taro drink yet. It looks delicious though.

  4. Great pictures with a simple cell phone. It is amazing how you were able to take a picture of the butterfly up close without it flying away.

  5. hi there Betchai! beautiful photos as always! love those pink petals and the purple Taro with jelly! hmmmmm nature indeed loves you as that butterfly stayed on for you to take a photo! love yah!

  6. whenever I come here.. I get motivation and rejuvenation. You have a fantastic vision.. May I come along for dance in that purple field where flowers are swaying in delight and butterflies fluttering in daylight?

  7. A cellphone captured a beautiful sea of flowers.

  8. JoJo went to a Robotic camp two summer ago, and he loved it! He would love to see this if we were there.

    Your cellphone did an amazing job with all of these beautiful photos, Betchai!

  9. The exposed tidepool - Nice picture!

  10. Wonderful! I especially love the tidepool, wildflowers and butterflies. :)

  11. High tech! Your CP takes nice photos. The butterflies are always elusive to me.

    Hope to come back to SD soon!

  12. P.S. Please consider taking a spare battery.

  13. I love seeing all the beautiful flowers. Everything here is brown and gray.

  14. whatever camera you use, pictures turn out great ! the taro tea looks so good !!!

  15. Oh, Betchai I so enjoy visiting you here. Spring has arrived where you are as is evident by the glorious photos you have taken and with a camera phone. Very detailed for a camera phone lens. Love seeing the world through your eyes and lens :)

  16. That robotics competition would be the most fun for me.

  17. Your cell phone takes some pretty amazing pictures too! I love the butterfly on the purple flowers.

  18. wow...what an eventful life you have!!! your pictures are fabulous! Everyone in our family would LOVE the robotics competition...I bet that is amazing!! I hope to have a future child competiting in that!!
    I am your newest follower..pls follow back if you can.

  19. awesome shots from your reliable camera Beth! you made me drool with your Japanese meal. and oh, the purple field! daydreaming and dancing with you!