Friday, May 31, 2013

Cell Phone Photography (3): How To Have A Fun and Inexpensive Staycation

Note: the pictures below look so pixelated. I noticed that the same pictures uploaded directly from my cell phone to Facebook have better quality than pictures uploaded directly from cell phone to Mobile Blogger. I hope Mobile Blogger will not continue reducing the resolution and quality of pictures if they want us to continue using their apps. So frustrated looking at the distorted resolution here, which is not the same if the pictures are viewed in laptop's wide screen through Photo Stream.

Cousin Doing a Resting Pose :)
What can be more fun than a staycation? :) A most fun- filled vacation does not always have to be far from home. Fun starts when family and loved ones get together. My cousin from Los Angeles joined me and hubby for a 3-day Memorial Weekend Staycation. There were no plans, no itineraries, because the most important thing for us was time spent together enjoying the activities we love to share. Here is how we spent our 3-day weekend adventure staycation in a very inexpensive way but having the most fun.

Day 1:

1. Hiking at Iron Mountain. 
@Iron Mountain Peak
I purposely chose a medium hike, 7 miles round trip, 1300 ft change in elevation. I chose this so that we would have more time and also energy to have fun rock scrambling and boulder hopping.
Cousin in a Stretching Pose
Cousin and I
My Resting Pose :)
Where is Iron Mountain? Please visit my post on my top 5 San Diego hike to learn more about Iron Mountain hike.
2. Vietnamese Lunch at Pho Ca Dao in Rancho Bernardo Road. It was all about shrimp for me. :)
Grilled Lemongrass Shrimp with rice and veggies
Shrimp Paste in Fried Tofu Skin
3. Relaxing and Chilling at home for our next activity. I and cousin met up common friend from Los Angeles who was also visiting her family in San Diego. Since our friend was at Fashion Valley, one of the upscale shopping malls in San Diego, for some shopping, we decided to meet up there. After Fashion Valley Mall, we went to have dinner at East Buffet in Miramar Road. I was craving for sea foods, and Asian sea food buffet is always the tastiest and cheapest way to go.
Oysters and Clams ( and there were more sea foods )
After dinner, we went to my ftiend's cousin's house for a dessert. We had Red Ribbon's Rocky Road Chocolate Cake. It was very yummy! Went home late, as hubby predicted. :) He understands however, that we three get together only once or twice a year, despite San Diego and LA are only 2 hours away from each other.

Day 2:

1. Hiking and Bird watching at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve- my most favorite San Diego hike. We were entertained and awed by juvenile peregrine falcons as they celebrate their first few days of flight. This time, cell phone camera could not capture easily the fastest animals on Earth. However, I already published a post on Juvenile Peregrine Falcons from the pictures I took with my camera in my previous post. 

2. Lunch at Gliderport Cafe and then, hike to the canyon and slot South of Gluderport afterwards. We had fun watching soaring paragliders and hangliders during our hike. 
@ the top of cliffs, South of Gliderport 

Going Down The Canyon
Down The Canyon to the Beach
Hubby Dancing, Getting Bored While Waiting For me Slowly Maneuvering Down the Canyon
in between the cliffs @ the canyon
The Way Down To the Beach
Finally Down
Looking Up Where We Came From, What Went Down Must Go Back Up

On reaching the beach, we looked up where we came from. Because this was a canyon hike, went down must go back up. Thinking of having maneuvered the slot and the rope was filling my heart with excitement and joy. It was definitely a fun hike.
3. After hiking at Torrey Pines, and then, Gliderport Canyon, as if we did not have enough exercise, we continued our walking at REI for some outdoor gear shopping. Actually, it was one of REI's big sales events, so we checked if we could get ice trekker at a discount, and of course, if we could get some of the items we had been waiting to go on sale.
4. After REI, we went home to rest and relax. Instead of dining out, I made our dinner. 
Grilled Tilapia in Ginger and Turmeric
Grilled Portabella Mushroom
Monggo and Veggies Soup
First Batch of My Dinner Plate
Dessert For 3 People :)
Day 3:
1. Hiking and boogie boarding for me and cousin, while juvenile peregrine falcon watching for hubby.
The Peregrine Falcon Watchers ( they have machine gun lenses, some of them are pros, the one at the right most is trying to learn from them for free, haha! )
Cousin and I were done hiking and boogie boarding about 1 pm, while hubby was still not done peregrine falcon watching. :) The peregrine falcons are really amazing creatures though, and it is not often we get to see the juvenile actively training for survival. It is a special moment in peregrine falcon's life before they will fly away to find their new home. While they are not strong yet, their parents train them to hunt and for survival. Those interactions do not come often. I will share more of the peregrine falcons from hubby's pictures in one of my next posts.

LIFE IS GOOD! All the time! And the best things in life are FREE, such as most of what we did! Hiking, rock scrambling, boogie boarding, bird watching, cooking, eating home cooked meals, spending time with family and capturing the memories with cell phone camera, are just some of the many ways to have a fun but inexpensive staycation. 
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  1. Great itinerary! I love the first post with the drooping body. Looks like it would feel so good on the lower back. LOL

  2. I love your hiking adventures, I'd be worried to rest on that rock though lol.

  3. You are the epitome of a life being lived well sis!!! Keep it up and I love seeing your adventures here. God bless you and your family for the more treks, hikes, nature-tripping and bird watching you all will enjoy for many, many years to come.

    Ria C

  4. Wow! Your adventures are really worth sharing! It looks scary the thing with the "resting post", but I think I would still love to try it if ever given the chance :)

  5. You are very adventurous Sis :-) I like all your pictures of the mountain. They are all all beautiful. I do not know if I can climb :-) I bet my husband will take get bored when he waits for me :-) Those foods are delish, perfect to eat after the tiring hike and climbing :-)

  6. I can see that you had an awesome time! and virtually I had so much fun too! the dancing photo of Khai beat all the photos here hahahaha....whew, the monggo and the mango slices make me drool! tomorrow I am gonna prepare monggo for lunch! looks like you have loss weight already Betchai! love love the smiles....wishing I could one sweet day enjoy the waves with you there! I tried registering for mobile blogger, unfortunately it is not yet available in the Phils :( I do hope too that the photos will have better resolution as you wished so you could continue enjoying posting through phone...have a fabulous weekend again and regards to Khai and fam :) love yah!

  7. If those yummy dishes are served right before my eyes, eh mapapa-stretching post nga ako. As always, nice photos of your hiking adventures.

  8. I so love the scenery. Anyway,beautiful shots still depend on the photographer's skill.

  9. your 3 days are filled with adventurous, doesn't great if you doesn't need to go far to enjoyed these're so blessed to have them around! love your cousin's resting pose, i will be bit scared myself! :) and ate, those foods, goodness, everything looks delicious. this is one of the best inexpensive staycation i've ever read. have a great week. :)

  10. That was an amazing 3-day trip. You truly had a great time with hubby and cousin.