Travel Highlight – Australia

My husband was born in Australia. When we started our travel journey, it was logical that Australia was our first choice. We like to fly nonstop as much as possible. It was a 17 hours’ flight from Los Angeles, the longest flight we have had.

Our first visit was to tour the Sydney Opera House. Besides the tour, we watched an opera available during our visit.

sydney-opera-house

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Bondi Beach

Climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge was quite an experience. We wore the special suit that wrapped around us with nothing loose outside the suit.  It had belts and hooks attaching to the steel railing leading to the top of the bridge. It is the tallest steel arch bridge in the world, measuring 134 meters (440 feet) from the top to water level. It was a climb of our life.

sydney-harbor-bridge

We visited his aunt and uncle who lived in New South Wales which is less than a two-hour drive from Sydney. They took us to Blue Mountain, and we went down to the visitor area that provided a spectacular view to the Jamison Valley below the Three Sisters.

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Other sites of the visit were the Koala Zoo and the Crocodile Farm.

koala-zoo

crocodile-farm

Before we went further north, we stopped by Port Douglas.

port-douglas

My husband always wanted to dive in the Great Barrier Reef. It was his highlight of the trip. I don’t dive but had a pleasant boat ride and a spectacular view of the ocean.

great-barrier-reef

breat-barrier-reef-diving

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge – Fountains

When we went to Spain to celebrate our 20th anniversary in August 2016, we had a treat of watching the water dance in this fountain in Barcelona. I included two photos in this post. The third photo was taken in Portland, Oregon last month, and the last photo is in Yorba Linda, California in front of the President Nixon Library.

Fountain 1

Fountain 2

Fountain 3

Fountain 4

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Please click the link to see more and participate: Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge – Fountains

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Columns and Vertical Line(s)

In August 2016, my husband and I traveled to Spain for our 20th Anniversary. We joined a tour to visit Madrid, Toledo, Seville, Cordoba, Granada, Valencia and Barcelona. I did several posts about our travel right after we came back. I love the architecture in Spain. For this post, I show several photos of columns and vertical lines.

Church of Santa María la Blanca Toledo 1
Church of Santa María la Blanca Toledo, Spain
Cathedral in Cordoba.Spain 1
Catherdral and former Great Mosque of Cordoba, Spain
Cordoba.Spain
Cordoba, Spain
opera house Madrid 1
Opera House, Madrid, Spain

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Columns and Vertical Line(s)

CWW Photo Challenge – Alaska Railroad

We took our vacation in Alaska from May 14 to 24, 2018. Our goal was to visit Denali National Park and Preserve to which we had missed from our previous trip. During my research, I found a tour that took us to Denali from Anchorage by Coach and returned by Alaska Railroad. It was a perfect arrangement for us. The train was more comfortable than the tour bus. Since it was the first week of the summer schedule, the train was not too busy during the first few stops. We only had one other couple in the same cart with us. Midway through the ride, the train stopped and waited for the northbound train. The crews from the two trains swapped, so the crew employees from northbound went to the southbound train, and vice versa. It was an interesting thing I’ve learned about changing shifts.

Alaska Railroad

Alaska Railroad 2

Alaska Railroad 3

Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge – Alaska Railroad

Weekly Photo Challenge: All-Time Favorites – Sunset

From Word Press – “Welcome to the final installment of the Weekly Photo Challenge. In wishing you a fond farewell, we wanted to share our all-time favorite photos with you. We welcome you to share your favorites with us. Happy photographic trails!” – Krista Stevens

I want to thank the Word Press staff for years of Daily Challenges. I have enjoyed participating in the challenges and love to do my best to present my posts. This is my second post to the final installment.

I love taking sunset photos for its dramatic colors with the combination of clouds, moist in the air, and reflections in the ocean. The fascination is the colors change so quickly within a matter of minutes. I have taken sunset photos during travels to many countries. Including in this post are photos from July 18, 2017 at La Habra, California; November 23, 2015 at Huntington Beach, California; October 11, 2014 at Maui, Hawaii; and January 10, 2011 at Key West, Florida.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: All-Time Favorites

Share Your World – May 21, 2018

I’m glad to participate in Cee’s Share this week. I like the great questions and here are my responses:

What household chore do you absolutely enjoy doing? (can be indoor or outdoor)

I do the chores as a necessity, not as an enjoyment. The house is always dusty. I dust the house because I can’t stand seeing a layer of dust on any surface. We have Santa Ana wind and it’s gusty, so perhaps it’s one reason that the dust finds its way to get into the house. Another thing is that when the gardeners mow the lawns, they use the blower to blow the grass after mowing. The immediate house is clean, but the dust just goes from one house to another.

I don’t like pulling the weed, but they grow faster than my plants and flowers. I pull weed because I don’t want my flowers to get crowded.

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Create a sentence with the words “neon green” and “train.”

If we take the train to Fairbank which is the northern terminus of the Alaska Railroad, we could see the neon northern lights – the Aurora.

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Other than your cell phone what can you always be found with?

I found myself with the laptop more often than my cell phone. I use the laptop to pay bills, have a spreadsheet to categorize the expenses, have folders and subfolders of photos, research, have folders of writing projects, and manage my small business.

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What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

We arrived at the hotel in Anchorage around 9:00 p.m. on May 18, 2018. After we checked into the hotel, Lynton went for a walk at the lakefront.

Lakefront

I was on the laptop checking emails. After an hour, I started to worry the whereabouts of my husband. I went to the lobby and the bar to see if he was relaxing there after 6 hours of 2 flights. There was no sign of him. I went back to the 4th floor of the hotel. I walked a zigzag hallway from rooms 4000 to 4045. When I got to room 4030 area, a housekeeper stopped me and said, “Are you in room 4045?”

“Yes,” I was puzzled by the question.

“Your son lost the key. I let him in. He is okay now.”

My husband doesn’t look like my son. What is she talking about? Whatever she referred to, I want to see whom she let into my room.

The room was quiet when I went in. Now I suspected that the housekeeper might have let someone else into the room. I checked the area of my bags, nothing was disturbed.

It was 10:30 p.m. when I looked at the clock. The sun would go down at 11:00 p.m. If my husband got lost, it would be harder to find his way back to the hotel after dark.

I prayed for his safe return to the hotel. Before I finished my thought, Lynton came in with his key. Oh, he has a key. Whoever claimed to have lost the key, he wasn’t my husband.

Lynton told me that he walked far away from the hotel, it was as far to turn around as to go around the lake. He chose to walk around the lake. Going around the lake turned out to be further than his estimation. As he walked further, it made him harder to turn around. He ended up going the complete circle of the lake. Even if he walked at my pace, the lake would be at least 6 miles.

I was so happy to see him!

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Cee’s Share Your World – May 21, 2018

 

Photo Challenge – Portage Glacier Cruise, Alaska

May 22, 2018, was our last day of sightseeing before leaving Alaska on the following day. We went on the Portage Glacier Cruise. We were fortunate to have a sunny day for the Denali National Park trip. We had a sunny day again for our glacier cruise. When we arrived at the site of the glacier, the boat stopped, and the captain gave us an orientation of the phenomena of the glacier. Toward the end of the cruise, we had photos taken with the safety ring labeled the company name as our souvenir.

ring 1

As a point of interest, here are the what and why of blue ice and iceberg.

Blue glacier

In the case of oceans or lakes, some of the light hitting the surface of the water is reflected back directly, but most of it penetrates the surface, interacting with its molecules. The water molecule can vibrate in different modes when the light hits it. The red, orange, yellow, and green wavelengths of light are absorbed, the remaining light is composed of the shorter wavelengths of blue and violet. This is the main reason why the ocean is blue.

Small amounts of regular ice appear to be white because of air bubbles are inside them and because small quantities of water appear to be colorless. In glaciers, the pressure causes the air bubbles to be squeezed out, increasing the density of the ice. As it absorbs the colors other than blue, a large piece of compressed ice, or a glacier, would appear blue.   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_ice_(glacial)

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Iceberg

As we look around the lake, we saw many pieces of the iceberg. Iceberg is a large floating mass of ice detached from a glacier or ice sheet. It floats until it’s carried out to sea. When we see “the tip of the iceberg,” we only see 10% of its mass. We saw one piece of blue iceberg, the mass below the surface must be a large body of ice.

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May is the beginning of summer in Alaska, the snow water gushes down countless twisting creeks. If we had gone back in two or three weeks, we would see the beautiful blooms.

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Frank’s Dutch Goes the Photo: Tuesday Photo Challenge – Ring

Weekly Photo Challenge: Twisted