Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, Monterey, CA (Part 1 of 3)

Where do you think this trail leads to? 
@Cypress Grove Trail, Point Lobos State Natural Reserve

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The 17-mile Drive, Pebble Beach, CA

The Lone Cypress Tree at 17-mile Drive
The 17-mile drive was one of the places we explored when we were in San Francisco during my younger brother's work assignment in the Bay Area last spring 2007. Because my younger brother only had one day to spare for exploring due to his hectic work schedule, we were at a toss then where to tour him around. I asked a friend who lives in San Francisco if she only has one day to wander from San Francisco, which she would prefer to tour friends or family: go North to Point Reyes National Seashore and Muir Woods National Monument, or go South to Big Sur. Not stopping at all to think, she said with such joyful tone, "BIG SUR!" Adding that it is her favorite place on Earth, more than Prague! Haha, of course, it is hard to compare the two, since Big Sur is more about nature, and Prague is a historical and cultural city. 
Me and My Younger Brother at Spanish Bay

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Coronado Beach: America's Best Beach 2012

Hotel Del Coronado Beach Resort
The Coronado Beach has long time been one of America's finest beaches, and this year (2012) has been ranked by Dr. Beach as America's Best Beach. Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman, otherwise known as "Dr. Beach", is a professor and director of coastal research at Florida International University. Each beach in the the top ten list has to meet different criteria, which ranges from water quality to sand softness to water temperature and water access. Coronado Beach scored in the 230s out of 250, losing points only in water temperature criteria, where the summer water temperature is in the frigid 60s. However, its water quality, safety ( great lifeguarding program), fantastic Mediterranean climate, and wide sand beaches ( hundreds of yards wide as you can see in the picture below) did make up for the points lost due to frigid waters.  - Source: msnbc

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Point Reyes National Seashore, CA

Point Reyes National Seashore
Point Reyes National Seashore is one of the beautiful nature escapes from San Francisco. We went here for a short day trip from San Francisco last spring 2007. Our day trip also included Muir Woods National Monument and Marin Headlands. Most of the pictures in my post about The Golden Gate Bridge is from Marin Headlands.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Golden Gate Bridge

Me at Golden Gate Bridge from Marin Headlands
Today starts my summer break. I no longer have to wake up early in the morning. I am so ready to hit the trails and the beach in a while. However, I promised my very good friend in London to answer his questions in installment. Before I leave the house to wander, I am writing first about photographing the Golden Gate Bridge, which was one of his many questions. Not that I am a photographer, you will probably see a lot of amazing pictures online from the photographers of this bridge. However, my quest for nature's inspirations and wonders oftentimes makes people think I am into serious photography. I frankly am a simple nature wanderer who loves to share the joy of nature in this site, and to hopefully contribute to the awareness that Mother Nature needs us to take care of her treasures on Earth. 
Yellow Mustard Invasive Non-native Wildflowers and the Golden Gate Bridge

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument

From One of the Informational Posters At the Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument Visitor Center

Nature heals....as it says in the poster above, about one 1,000 years ago, a volcanic eruption profoundly impacted life. It reshaped the surrounding landscape, and changed the lives of people, plants and animals. Today, you will see and experience the resilience of life, of how nature heals in this volcano.
Tree Growing From Lava Flow

Friday, June 08, 2012

Wupatki National Monument

 Wupatki National Monument, Flagstaff, AZ
This is a little bit over due post. I know I mentioned before to follow up my Desert Escape post with the places we explored last spring break. However, I always get lost sharing the places we explored because of also my joy sharing the happiness of exploring what is closer to home, San Diego.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Lessons From Our First Road Trip to The Fantastic Roadtrip-a-Matic

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of PA Tourism for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
We love road trips, despite our very first one was unplanned and I must say had lots of travel mistakes we could have avoided had we planned it well. Back then, I did not have much experience on travel planning. Despite the trip could have been better, nevertheless, it gave us realization to pursue this kind of road cruising, trail hiking, all to be one with the beauty of nature.  Our very first long road trip and maybe the longest was from Chicago to San Diego. We flew from Los Angeles to Chicago, spent 2 days and 3 nights there. The first day of our road trip was when we left Chicago driving southwest to San Diego.
Chicago, IL, Summer 2007

Summer Is Almost Here....Look Who Enjoys Bathing In The Sun

Casa Beach, La Jolla, San Diego
 Almost summer now. It seems like we are blessed with warmer water this time of the year! As early as first week of June, our water temperature ranges now from 64- 68F (17- 20C). Even though that is not really the recommended swimming temperature (70s to low 80s) to avoid sickness related to hypothermia, but the reality for this side of the coast is that the water seldom hits 70sF. Most of the summer time, the water stays only in the 60sF (below 20C). What people mostly do is dip in the water for 15-20 minutes (those who can stay that long), and then, warm up in the sand to avoid hypothermia. Or as what you will see with most surfers and snorkelers who stay in the water longer, wear wet suit to trap the heat for the body.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Fruits On the Go

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Quaker Oats for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.







So delicious...So nutritious and 

So luscious! who could resists them?

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Cheetah Run Safari at San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Amara Completing the 100 meters in 5.6 seconds
Cheetahs are the fastest land mammal. They can run up to 75 miles per hour (112- 120 km/h). There are not many places in the world to see up close the fastest land mammal run, thankfully, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park now offers this chance to park visitors without additional cost. It used to be for several years that the cheetah run safari could be experienced by park visitors who were willing enough to pay $100+ in addition to their admission fee for the event in a cheetah track. Thankfully, since July of last year, the Cheetah run Safari is now included with the park admission. There are three cheetahs trained to run off leash at the cheetah run safari. They are Amara, Johari and Shiley. All the pictures in this post is Amara, from her run last Saturday where she completed the 100 meters for 5.6 seconds.

Monday, June 04, 2012

White Pelicans At Salton Sea

Salton Sea with White Pelicans

We did not really have any plans to stop in this part of Salton Sea. However, on our way to Algodones Sand Dunes from Indian Wells where we watched live tennis (BNP Paribas Open) last March 2012, I saw dots of white contrasting the blue from our running car. I told hubby, "dear, a lot of birds dotting the sea, I am 100% sure,they are not sea gulls, because they look huge even if we are this far!" My hubby responded, " let me know if you want to pull over for them."

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Random Coastal Bird Photos

 California Brown Pelicans