Tag Archives: Travel

Anniversary Trip

Lynton and I celebrate our anniversary this week. We have been in Santa Barbara since Monday, August 16 and will stay until the 20th. Even though we’ve visited our granddaughters in Portland, Oregon several times during the last eighteen months, as far as vacation, this is the first vacation in almost two years.

Our original plan was to go to Banff, Canada, for our anniversary, but because of the pandemic, we had to change the plan. Santa Barbara is only a two-hour drive from home. The last time we came to Santa Barbara on a train probably was twenty years ago.

We decided to drive this time so that it would be more flexible to go to nearby places. Two days before the trip, I listed of the information of the places to visit. So far, we’re on schedule. We have walked around Santa Barbara downtown, visited the Old Mission, and the Botanical Garden. Today, we drove to Solvang which is forty-five minutes away. Tomorrow, we’ll visit the Natural History Museum and the butterfly garden.

After we return home on Friday, I’ll rest on Saturday. My next trip will go to Portland, Oregon from Sunday, August 22 to Saturday, September 4. I’ll help my daughter to take care of my granddaughters, but basically just take care of Nora. My daughter got a job and started working already. Knowing that I would take a trip for our anniversary, she asked me to go afterwards. She needs me to help until Nora goes to the daycare on September 7th, the day after Labor Day.

I have a couple of posts scheduled for the next two weeks. I’ll also post some news about Autumn and Nora, and try to pop in to check your blogs every so often.

The following photos are Downtown Santa Barbara and our first dinner there.

The drought affects all the plants in the Botanical Garden. The creek is as dry as the dessert.

Santa Barbara Harbor boat docks

Enjoy the rest of your summer!

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Up in the Air

I visited my daughter’s family in Portland, Oregon for six days and had a wonderful time with my granddaughters. I asked my daughter and her hubby to take a short getaway to celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary. Even though they didn’t go on an overnight trip, they took a day trip to a river for paddle boarding. Nora takes a nap every two hours. I got to spend time to watch The Little Mermaid with Autumn in the morning and did a project with her in the afternoon before their mommy and daddy returned.

Alaska Offering 30% Off Flights Through Valentine's Day Weekend | Travel +  Leisure

On June 22, I flew home and expected to arrive in the early evening.

“Do we have any doctors or nurses on board? We need medical assistance.” A flight attendant announced on the speaker. The passengers in front of my row turned their heads around and kept looking. Apparently, something happened.

A slim, tall, middle-aged gentleman from the first-class section walked past my row and said, “I’m a doctor.” He continued to walk toward the back of the plane.

A few minutes went by, and he didn’t return to his seat. My curiosity nudged me to have a glimpse of what caused the commotion. I got up from my aisle seat to go to the restroom in the back of the plane.

The doctor stood in the aisle three rows behind mine, slightly leaned forward, looking at the woman in the middle seat. Behind the mask, the woman’s face was as pale as a piece of white paper. A flight attendant approached from the back, carrying a gray cylinder of oxygen tank. At the foot of the doctor, there was a red briefcase size first aid kit.

I walked slowly toward the restroom. The concern, questions, worries, and prayer came simultaneously to my head.

What a bad timing for this woman to be sick.

What kind of illness does she have?

Can the doctor and the flight attendant have enough resources to help this woman?

What if she has a serious condition that requires emergency landing?

God, help this woman to hang in there for a couple of hours so that we could reach our destination without delay.

The doctor and the flight attendant were in the middle of the aisle to leave me not too much room to squeeze through back to my seat. I stopped and leaned against an empty aisle seat. The woman’s white mask was replaced with the yellow mask connected to the oxygen tank. With a violently trembling hand, the woman held the mask covering her nose and mouth but lifted it up from the mouth a little to answer the doctor’s question. The flight attendant was holding a chart, and the doctor took a quick look and said something to her. Another flight attendant gave something and a cup of water to the woman. They then stopped and waited to see how she responded. I thought it would be a good time for me to return to my seat.

Shortly after that, the voice came from the speaker again. “Thank you for your patience when we had a medical situation. We will serve the snacks and beverage shortly.”

When the snacks and beverage cart came by, the woman at the window seat in my row said to the flight attendant, “I’m a nurse. If you need any help to follow up on that lady, I can help.”

“Thank you. She was afraid of heights. She had a vertigo and vomiting. With the doctor’s help, we gave her some medicine, and she seemed to do better. Her son is with her, and she handled it very well.”

“It’s good to know she is doing better,” the lady at the window seat said.

“Yes, thank you.”

Thank you, God. She is okay.

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Lens Artists Challenge#117: A Photo Walk

 

This week for Lens Artists Challenge, Amy invited us to share our photo walk.

We went to Maui on multiple trips. Last year, something out of ordinary during our trip was hiking the Pipiwai Trail to Waimoku Falls. On the previous trips when driving on the Road to Hana, I could see some of the Seven Sacred Pools. Seeing people having fun playing in the pools delighted me but didn’t think of stopping by until this trip.

The Seven Sacred Pools is a beautiful but remote location featuring waterfalls, freshwater pools. And incredible green foliage. The actual name is the Ohe’o Gulch. The name “Ohe’o” means “something special” and it’s part of the Haleakala National Park. We paid the $15 admission to the park.

We took the Kuloa Point Trail, a 0.5-mile loop, and continued toward the Pipiwai. It’s a 2-mile hike (4 miles roundtrip) leading to the 400-foot-tall Waimoku Falls.

There are several key points of interest on this photo walk.

The Kuloa Point Trail was marked by jagged roots. For the most part, the Pipiwai Trail was a stone upward trail.

This was an enormous Banyan tree along the Pipiwai Trail. There was not enough space far enough to capture the entire tree.

There are more than seven pools. During the flooding, there are as many as 20 pools. This was a small one and we stopped by for a photo.

Several layers of falls and pools.

The last bridge before entering the Bamboo Forest.

The trail through the Bamboo Forest is a popular one, so it’s frequently maintained. The pathway is large, and looks like this photo throughout the way. it’s very easy to navigate. Many fallen bamboo good enough to use as walking sticks or canes. Someone gave me one on his return hike.

We reached the 400-foot Waimoku Falls. It was a rocky area with a barrier where we could go to take a closer look at the fall.

Lens Artists Challenge#117: A Photo Walk

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Lens-Artists Photo CHALLENGE #114: Negative Space

This week for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 114, Amy invited us to look at Negative Space in photography.

This is my first time explored negative space in photography. It made me interested to do a quick study about the subject. I only looked at three photography sites and the following is the basic idea.

Negative space is the area surrounding the main subject in a photograph. It allows us to create a dramatic image that attracts viewers to lead their eyes towards the smaller area of positive space.

Negative space should take up more of the image than the positive space. It has the effect of making us notice and inspect the main subject even more. It can be an unoccupied area.

This was three days before the full moon in July 2017
California fires: 3,154,107 Acres Burned, 7,718 Incidents, 20 Fatalities, 6,334 Structures as of Sept. 12, 2020
(Photo from my backyard Sept. 6, 2020 4:00 p.m.)

The contrast in size makes us more curious about the main subject. The smaller the subject in the positive space is, the more noticeable it will become.

A grasshopper the size of a grain of rice sitting on the African Lily in my garden.

The negative space does not have to be an empty space. Things surrounding the subject are peripheral. They almost blend into the background, but they should never be the main subjects.  They cause you to focus even more on the subject.

Rose bud in spring
I captured this yacht during a whale watching trip.
My husband turned around for a photo before he dived in the Great Barrier Reef.

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LENS-ARTISTS PHOTO CHALLENGE 114: NEGATIVE SPACE

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Lens Artists Photo Challenge #103 – Surprise

This week, Ann-Christine invited us to show some moments of surprises.

There were several surprises for me when we were at Munich, Germany. The tour group went out for a beer in the evening at the Staatliches Hofbräuhaus in München (Royal Brewery in Munich) owned by the Bavarian state government.

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We arrived before dark. Outside of the Hofbräuhaus (Beer Hall), there was a street pantomime artist. He changed the gestures and directions every few seconds, but after he made the change, he was as still and solid as a bronze statue. The woman was surprised when the “statue” moved.

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The tour guide reserved several tables for our group. Before we ordered a beer, I walked around. There were small lockers where regular customers stored their beer steins. It was a novelty to me.

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The Beer Hall was packed full. Servers were twirling fast in serving the beer. Each server could carry five or six 1-liter beer steins in each hand. Some of them even added one on top of the five or six in one hand before they grabbed another five or six in other hand. It fascinated me and I wanted to take photos of them carrying liters of beer, but they moved so fast that I couldn’t get any single clear photo. So, I borrowed one from Alamy here.

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At first, I thought the steins were plastic, but as we got our beer, I realized they were glass steins. How heavy were the steins before filling with the beer and how much the total weight of the glass beer steins plus liters of beer?

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It was amazing and surprising to me!

 

Lens Artists Photo Challenge #103 – Surprise

Lens-Artists Challenge #100 – The Long and Winding Road

Tina introduced a thoughtful theme this week in reflection of The Long and Winding Road we have traveled the last several months. It happened to be the theme she chose for the Lens-Artists Challenge this week. Please visit her to enjoy her photography and her thoughts.

The challenge this week reminds me of one of the multiple trips we took to Maui. We always rent a Jeep to drive around. My husband loves to go on the Road to Hana. The previously drives were enjoyable. He doesn’t mind driving through the narrow unpaved part of the Road with the cliff on one side. Somehow during this one trip, the drive turned out to be different.

We started out in a sunny afternoon right after lunch, enjoyed the ocean and the cliff scene.

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When the road turned narrower with thick trees, it started pouring rain. The rain was so heavy that the windshield wiper didn’t go fast enough to show a view of the road. The waterfalls looked as though the dam was broken. We knew that we had not yet passed the most twisting and winding point with single lane and no visibility of the oncoming cars. Drivers use honking, and caution driving to get through. Sometimes one car must find a tiny shoulder to stop and let the other car go by. We worried about the safety to go through that part of the road in the rain. I looked at the map and tried to estimate the distance behind us and how much further we would have to go. It looked like we were in the middle. Turning around was as hard as going forward. We knew that the hardest part of driving was coming up; there should be a town after that. My husband decided to keep going. I was sitting tight, praying for safety.

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Fortunately, we passed the “no visibility” point before dark. Then we drove in the dark until we got back to the condo. As soon as we saw the smoke from the sugar cane factory, we knew our condo was very near (the sugar cane factory photo was taken during the day).

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The drive was supposed to be six and a half hours. We didn’t get back to the condo at Kihei until almost nine hours later.

Maui

 

Lens-Artists Challenge #100 – The Long and Winding Road

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #96: Cropping the Shot

This week, Patti invited us to use cropping a shot to bring out the better quality of photography. I’m always interested in doing that, especially when I take photos in a hurry or have a limited choice of my position where I take the photos. The photos may extra elements not desirable to me.

I found several photos in which I applied the cropping. I’ll explain the reasons of doing so. You can let me know if you agree with them.

Before the crop

In this photo I took on the way to Road to Hana in Maui, Hawaii, I liked the cliff but it is in the center and I wanted the focal point to be a little off center to make the composition interesting.

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After the crop

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I took two steps:

  1. I cropped a little of the foreground and part of the slope on the left to change the composition.
  2. I increased the clarity to being out of the texture of the cliff and have more contrast between the land and the waves.

Before the crop

In the next photo I took in the Kowloon Park in Hong Kong, I included a group of flamingos. It was a smoggy day, and the air was not clear.

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After the crop

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I took three steps:

  1. I cropped of a scattered part of the flamingos on the left and the man on the bench.
  2. I increased the intensity of the color to being out a little more of the pink in the flamingos.
  3. I increased the clarity, even though there’s no way to add sunshine to the sky.

Before the crop

I took the last photo in Nara Deer Park in Kyoto, Japan. With the busy tourists taking photos of the deer, it was hard to get in front of the deer to get them to look at me. This deer turned to me, so I took the shot regardless of the busy surrounding.

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After the crop

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I took two steps:

  1. I cropped the immediate tourists who were taking photos.
  2. I increased the clarity to bring out the texture and the clarity of the deer’s eyes. Now I got the deer looking at me.

Tina suggested to crop less to include the tourists as part of the story. Here is the one with less cropping.

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Thank you for reading and please let me know what you think!

Next week, Sue of Mac’s Girl will be our special guest host for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #97 on Saturday, May 16th. Our regular schedule for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #98 on May 23rd will have Ann-Christine as our host.

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #96: Cropping the Shot

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #87 – Reflections

Welcome to my blog! I’m honored to be the guest host for this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #87 – Reflections.

“Reflection photography, also referred to as mirror photography, is when you use reflective surfaces to create an artistic echo of a scene. This type of photography can add an interesting spin to locations that are hot spots for photographers such as oceans, lakes, puddles, and even rain drops.” – befunky

I am fascinated by the reflection photographs in the lakes, the rivers, the building windows, the sunglasses, the mirrors, and the puddles. This week, you may find the photographs from your archives or take new photographs using reflective surfaces to create mirror images. Here are my examples:

 

“A lake is a landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature. It is Earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature.” – Henry David Thoreau

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The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, Los Angeles, CA

We live about twenty-five miles from The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in Los Angeles, California. This is our favorite spot for a day trip. The Chinese Garden was recently reconstructed and new features were added to the beauty.

 

“Like water which can clearly mirror the sky and the trees only so long as its surface is undisturbed, the mind can only reflect the true image of the Self when it is tranquil and wholly relaxed.” Indra Devi

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The Tagus River in Toledo, Spain

We went to Spain in the summer during a local holiday. It was hot but tourists had the roads by themselves because the local people headed to the beaches. While in Toledo, I caught this scene in the calm river.

 

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience which is bitterest.” – Confucius

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Whale Watching Cruise, Newport Landing, California

Our family was on a whale watching cruise from Newport Beach, California. We didn’t catch any sight of the whales but we saw some dolphins. The above shot was not really planned. I did it just for fun.

 

“Self-reflection entail asking yourself questions about your value, assessing your strength and failures, thinking about your perceptions and interactions with others, and imagining where you want to take your life in the future.” Robert L. Rosen

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Gym at La Habra, California

After the Yoga class several Saturdays ago, I stayed behind to take photos of the mirrors. This is the aerobic room with mirrors on four walls. The mirrors created infinite reflections. There was only one other member in the room, yet the mirrors reflected endless images of this person.

 

“Anybody who has gone through a life-changing experience will tell you there is a different understanding of what is real and what is important, and when you are going through different moments, you can reflect and go, ‘I have been through worse.’” – Delta Goodrem

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Kyoto, Japan

On this sunny day in Kyoto, Japan, our family took a train to Nara Park to see the deer. This photo was taken before we went down to the subway station.

 

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” – Søren Kierkegaard

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Fullerton, California

In southern California, we learned to appreciate rainstorms. The winter of 2018-2019, there was two and a half months of on and off rainstorms, in fact, it was on more often than off. It brought us a good amount of rain to lift the drought. So far, we only had 5 days of rain in the winter of 2019-2020. The cities may reinforce the water rationing this year.

 

 “A day is not always bright, and nights are not always dark. All that matters is what’s inside, because day and night are a reflection of you.” – Avantika

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Guilin, China

Seven people in our family took a trip to China. This photo was at a light show at Guilin, China.

 

For Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #86 this week, we invite you to be creative to find any reflective surfaces to show us your reflection photographs.

 

We appreciated Patti’s challenge last week to invite us looking at the subjects from different perspectives.

Have You Seen These Great Posts from Last Week?

John at John’s Space gave us different perspectives of white Aspen trees from the distance and closeup.

Ana atAnvica’s Gallery showed the interesting perspectives of Eiffel Tower both in the day and at night

Sue at The Nature of Things took us on a tour of the orchids from different perspectives at the Chicago Botanic Garden Annual Orchid Show.

If you’re new to the challenges, click here to learn how to join us.  Remember to link your post to the comment below and use the Lens-Artists tag to help us find your post in the WP Reader.

 

For the rest of March, please follow the usual weekly schedule:

I look forward to seeing your creative and artistic reflection photography. Thank you for your participation and support. Please have an enjoyable week ahead of you!

 

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #86: Change Your Perspective

This week, Patti invited us to find different perspectives of the subject by getting down, looking up, or taking photos of the subject from different angles.

I have chosen several subjects and showed my photos from various positions to get different perspectives.

 

Looking Behind

The following two photos are the waterfall flowing from top of this rocky formation. After I took the first photo from the front of the rock, I took a photo from behind the rock to get a different perspective.

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Looking Down

The following photos were in the same area of the Glacier in Anchorage, Alaska. The first photo was taken from the Glacier Cruise, seeing the Glacier from a horizontal view. The second one was taken from the helicopter looking below. The third one was zoomed in from the helicopter.

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Looking Around (In this case, the subject turned around and around)

You might have seen these photos. They are my favorite perspective photos of the same peacock as he pranced in place showing off his best sides!

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I’m honored to be the guest host for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #87 next week. Please join me for the challenge and have fun!

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #86: Change Your Perspective

 

Lens-Artists Challenge #85 – Treasure Hunt

This week Tina invited us on a Treasure Hunt! The challenge is to search for specific items – either from our archives or newly captured – from the list below.

  • Challenge Items: Sunrise and/or sunset, Something cold and/or hot, a bird, a dog, a funny sign, a bicycle, a seascape and/or mountain landscape, a rainbow, a church, a musical instrument, a boat, a plane, a waterfall
  • Extra Credit Items: An expressive portrait of one or more people, a very unusual place, knitting or sewing, a fish, an animal you don’t normally see, a bucket, a hammer, a street performer, a double rainbow, multiple challenge items in a single image. Her opening image, for example, includes a sunrise, a seascape and birds in a single shot.

I found several treasures from my archives:

1.Sunset at cruise

The first day of our cruise to Enchilada, Mexico, the weather was right at sunset. I captured this photo with drifting clouds and a seagull flying by.

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We took this helicopter ride to the top of the mountain with Glacier landing at  Anchorage, Alaska. Lynton flies helicopter and had an enjoyable conversation with the pilot.

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A mother-in-law-to-be and a friends were overcome with joy at this bridal shower for the bride-to-be. A treasure moment shared among family and friends.

4.Koala bear in Australia

At Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane Australia, we observed the koalas and had photos taken by holding one such as this.

Koi fish at huntingyon labrary

Koi fish are plentiful in the pond of the Chinese Garden at The Huntington Library, Art  Collections, and Botanical Gardens, Los Angeles.

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The goslings tried to cuddle under this Canada Goose at the Rhododendron Garden in Portland, Oregon.

 

 

 

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