Saturday, April 09, 2016

Colors of Spring

California hills, valleys and mountains are ablaze in colors right now. It seems I just can't have enough of the colors of spring. Here are some pictures of spring colors from recently.

 Whenever I see trail lined with flowers, my heart is filled with glee.
If only I can bring these wildflowers home. :)
Colors near and far.
Multi colored hills from a mix of wildflowers: California poppies, lupines, and purple phacelias.
A carpet of purple phacelia.

Moro Rock, Sequoia National Park, CA

Sierra Nevada Mountains on Top of Moro Rock
If you are visiting Sequoia National Park, home of the largest trees on Earth, one of the interesting places to experience is Moro Rock. 
The Great Western Divide From The Top of Moro Rock

San Diego Whale Watching

San Diego Skyline
( the first scenery you will see as you leave San Diego Bay to the middle of the ocean )
It has been an annual event for us to explore the Pacific Ocean from San Diego via Hornblower Cruise or H&M Landing. Last Christmas Holidays, we took a three-hour whale watching cruise, the earliest we had so far of the season. We took advantage of the promo we saw that gave 50% discount to San Diego Zoological Society's members. From $35, we only paid $17.50 for a 3-hour whale watching cruise. Since the past four or five years that we had been whale watching every winter, we had never paid full price. Sometimes, we get discounted tickets from Gold Star. There were times we were able to save with a coupon from travelocity, which allowed us to save more than 50%. Aside from booking flights and hotels, travelocity also has connections in booking cruises and trains. Knowing that there are many deals we can find online, we never purchased tickets directly from the ticket booth but always purchased them online at much discounted prices.
Gray Whale
Whale watching in San Diego usually starts from December to April. Over 15,000 gray whales migrate thousands of miles from the chilly Alaskan seas to the warm breeding lagoons of Baja California, Mexico. Aside from gray whales, other whales we would sometimes see are humpback whales, blue whales, and in rare occasions, orcas.

So that I will not overload you with pictures, for a change, here is a slideshow I made of our 3-hr whale watching cruise sometime last Christmas holidays.

The dolphins are always an added bonus to the whale watching tour and it seems they are always the first ones you will see in the cruise. In fact, the whale watching cruises are guaranteed whale watching trips, if no whales or insignificant showmanship from whales are sighted, everyone in the cruise gets another free ticket for another whale watching cruise that will expire in a year. If whales are more solitary, and the boat could not get near them following federal law on whale watching, the dolphins on the hand always have a whale of a good time following the boat. They seem to rejoice always whenever there is a boat, and they love to ride the bow wave.
Dolphins Enjoying the Bow Wave
There are several companies that offer whale watching tours and excursions for up-close viewing of the whales. Because of these competition from various whale watching tour companies, coupons are not hard to find. We do not subscribe to any newspaper company because we can access newspaper online for free, therefore, we scout for coupons not on newspaper anymore but using sites that shares their coupon finds online. I oftentimes would go to Frugal Dad to check out coupons which are not limited to cruises only but to almost all other needs. We however are not really crazy about coupons, we only use it if we really have to use it. Otherwise, if there is no need, despite it is a steal, we hold off from spending unnecessary things and collect junk at home. But whale watching, is one of those priceless memories, that we use the coupon every year! For every year, is different, and special!
Sunset Back To Shore

Sunday, April 03, 2016

Grey Whales and California Condors sightings from Big Sur cliffs

What can I not love about Big Sur? It's no theme park, but a great natural museum showcasing God's supreme artistry in mingling wilderness with natural beauty.

I c
an't express enough the joy of seeing the natural beauty of mountains and ocean, sitting on top of the cliffs, watching whales passing down below, and the majestic California condor who are rescued from the brink of extinction hovering above the sky. Big Sur is one of those places that I would never get tired visiting, again, and again.