Tag Archives: Vacation

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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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #127: Precious Moments

This week, as we are approaching the end of 2020, Amy invited us to share some of the precious moments we have had, before or during the pandemic.

I love travel. I know I won’t return to many places I had been and always treasure the experiences of being there and seeing those places. Yet if I must choose between travel and spend time with family and friends, I choose the latter. It is the relationship that makes the moments precious.

We are travelers on a cosmic journey, stardust, swirling and dancing in the eddies and whirlpools of infinity. Life is eternal. We have stopped for a moment to encounter each other, to meet, to love, to share. This is a precious moment. It is a little parenthesis in eternity.” – Paulo Coelho

Our family photo which was taken in 2006. One young girl on the left got married a few years ago and now has a baby daughter. The other one on the left just got married last month. The three little ones are in college. Lynton’s dad, second from the right, died 12 years ago.

Every moment of life is precious and can never happen again and therefore is a reason to appreciate, be grateful for and celebrate the fact that you are alive.” – Zelig Pliskin

Eight years ago, we took our family trip to China and stopped by Hong Kong to see my family. Seven of us were in the middle of this photo, with my siblings and their families on the left and right sides. Will’s mom (behind Will, in green) died three years after the trip. My sister, third from right, died last year when we were in Hong Kong for my nephew’s wedding.

But friendship is precious, not only in the shade, but in the sunshine of life, and thanks to a benevolent arrangement the greater part of life is sunshine.” – Thomas Jefferson

This is a group of my lovely lady friends celebrating Christmas in 2019. We missed each other tremendously.

“The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart.” — Elisabeth Foley

Many of my friends and I were in this chorale last year singing in the annual performance of Messiah. The past weekend would have been the usual schedule for the performance. It didn’t happen this year.

“A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.” – George Moore

This precious photo was taken with my daughter Mercy and granddaughter Autumn last year. We cancelled our trip this year because the Covid cases were worse than when it started.

Precious moments are small elements of time, we show and share love and kindness, with those we care about.” – Tom Baker

The family of four – from left, Autumn (3 years old), Mercy, Nora (8 months), and Will. Our hearts are together even when we’re apart. We’ll keep in touch with them and will see them very soon.

Thank you for reading!

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #127: Precious Moments

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Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #109: Under the Sun

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge theme from Amy for this week is “Under the Sun.” It’s about photo captures anywhere under the sun. I applied the theme to both indoor and outdoor.

Last year in June I babysat my granddaughter, Autumn, by myself while my daughter, Mercy, and her husband went to Iceland on vacation. Some friends said I was brave. Some said it would tire me, but I could handle it. The advice was, “When she sleeps, you sleep.”

Mercy made a spreadsheet of suggested daily schedule and activities, a list of her friends and phone numbers, the doctor and phone number. My mind was at ease without worrying of what to do to fill the days. They rented a car even though I wasn’t planning on driving.

They took a late afternoon flight to arrive early the next day to make the most of their trip.

“I missed Autumn already. Please send us a lot of pictures.” Before boarding, Mercy sent me a message.

“I will do that.” I returned her message.

When Autumn woke up in the morning, she looked for mommy and daddy. I said, “Mommy will be back. Daddy will be back.” She said, “Daddy went to work. Mommy went to work. Daddy will be back. Mommy will be back.”

We went to the park in the afternoon. There were kids playing with the water feature. I looked at the backpack, there was a change of clothes, no I let Autumn play with other kids.

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The next day before nap time, Autumn had a temperature of 101.2. After she woke up from the nap, the temperature went up to 103. I kept Mercy updated. Deep down, I regretted to let Autumn play with the water for too long on the previous day. I hoped her temperature wouldn’t prolong. Most of all, I didn’t want Mercy to cut their vacation short.

I called Mercy’s friends to pick up a few items from the store for me. They came after work. One of them was a nurse. She checked on Autumn and wrote some instruction for me. The other friend bought what I needed, plus some Popsicle.

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Autumn had a good night sleep. I put her on a soft diet, plus the Popsicle. We didn’t go to the park and just did some quiet activities around the house. By the afternoon, her temperature came back to normal. It was such a tremendous relief for me. My first-time babysitting Autumn full time was okay.  I’m glad Mercy didn’t have to cut their vacation short.

“It seems to be a 24-hour thing.” Mercy messaged me.

“I think so. I’m glad it was a 24-hour thing.” I returned the message.

The remaining days, we went to the park, the library, and walked around the neighborhood.

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Mercy and Will had a fabulous trip. We exchange messages and photos many times a day. They got home in the late evening on their return. Autumn was excited to see Mommy and Daddy when she woke up the next day.

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Iceland by Mercy Rossi

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Iceland by Mercy Rossi

 

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #109: Under the Sun

 

Thank you for reading. Wishing you a fabulous day under the sun.

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #67 – Candid

Ann-Christine has a fun theme for us this week for the Lens-Artists Challenge. We get to look at the candid photo.

Ann-Christine said, “Taking photos of people or animals when they have no idea that you’re doing it is called candid photography. One of the beautiful things with photography is being able to catch someone in the act. It adds natural life to your pictures.” 

 

1.You did what Took my donut photo

“You did what? You took that doughnut photo? Now everyone knows about it.”

“A good snapshot keeps a moment from running away.” ― Eudora Welty

 

2.Is that how I look when I don't pose

“I looked funny when I laughed, but thanks for the photo anyway.”

“The best thing about a picture is that it never changes, even when the people in it do.” Andy Warhol

 

3.Ahhh, I can go from here to there without touching the ground

“Ahhh, I wasn’t that scared of the crowd!”

“Photography is the story I fail to put into words.” – Destin Sparks

 

4.What do mom and grandma put in their purses

“Hmmm, let me see what Mommy and Grandma put in their purses.”

“You can look at a picture for a week and never think of it again. You can also look at a picture for a second and think of it all your life.” ― Joan Miró

 

5.You need help.Nope I'm the flower girl

“Do you need help?”  “Nooo, I’m the flower girl!”

“In photography there is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality.”
Alfred Stieglitz

 

6.Come on I got plenty of seeds for all of you

“Don’t worry! I have plenty for all of you.”

“Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever… It remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.” – Aaron Siskind

 

7.Be quiet, he's taking a nap.

“Shhhh……”

“Taking pictures is like tiptoeing into the kitchen late at night and stealing Oreo cookies.” Diane Arbus

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #67 – Candid

 

 

 

SoCS 2019.10.12 – Ground, Sand and Tide

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “ground.” Use it as a noun or a verb in any tense (i.e. grind). Have fun! Linda G. Hill

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My sock escaped the patio of our condo on the fifth floor during our slumber on the third day in Maui. I scanned the bushes around the pool area at the ground level and glanced the walkway leading to the beach. Nothing resembled my sock.

Hubby and I walked on the beach two mornings ago. I gazed the trees at the far end curve of the beach and measured the rhythm of my steps. We could walk all the way there before turning around. Talking to myself.

 

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Ouch! I bounced, retrieving my right foot from the sand. Something shocked the nerve of my bared foot. It was the spikes of the fallen twigs. Hubby suggested walking in the salty water hoping it would sooth the shooting sensation. It was not bleeding, saved by the reflex.

The next morning, I worried other unknown objects might surprise my feet. Some people walk on the beach with shoes but most of them do it with flip flops. I didn’t bring flip flops and preferred not to wet my shoes with saltwater. Wearing socks seemed to be a sound idea. After the walk, I washed off the sand and dirt of the socks inside and out and left them on the patio chair in our condo. It was not windy when we went to bed. Well, I forgot about fetching the socks and lost one overnight. It was the least of things I’ve lost during our travel.

 

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Makena Beach

On a pleasant note, we went to Makena Beach that day to rekindle our memory of the beach wedding twenty-three years ago. It is a small beach at the end of the State Park. The size of the beach looks like a private beach in someone’s backyard. There was no disturbance from other visitors during our wedding and photograph. It was still a quiet beach when we visited it on multiple occasions during the previous trips.

 

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We didn’t expect this trip to be different or a busy tour season in October. To our surprise, the beach was busy with at least a dozen people playing in a pool of water, sunbathing or reading in beach chairs.

 

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The water was turquoise blue contrasted with the black lava rocks. The tide rolled in, hitting and splashing on the rocks to several feet high. Hubby spotted several turtles swam against the waves trying to get back to the ocean. Without Polaroid sunglasses, I missed the privilege of the sights.

 

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The blue sky, the fluffy clouds, the turquoise water and the smooth sandy beach made a pleasant memory on this sunny day.

 

SoCS 2019.10.12 – Ground, Sand and Tide

 

 

 

 

Lens-Artists Challenge #65 – Pick a Place

The theme the week from Tina for Lens-Artists Challenge #65 is: Pick a Place

I knew exactly the right place for this post. I waited until today to do it because I’m traveling.

 

Maui was the place in which my hubby and I got married. We went back multiple times and stayed at Kihei where has less tourism. Maui is a small island. It took only three trips for us to go all the way around and go up and down. We went on the Road to Hana on one day, to west Maui on another day, and to the top of the 10,023 feet tall Haleakalā or the East Maui Volcano on a different day. We didn’t go to all those areas every time. One place we visited on every trip was Makena Beach where we got married. Hubby liked to get up early and walk on the beach by himself while I slept in. Then we walked together to watch the sunset.
We’ll be going back next week to stay for a week. We’ll go hiking in the Rainforest and the Seven Sacred Pools. We’ll also do some water activities like snorkeling and kayaking. It will be fun.

 

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Beach on the way to Road to Hana

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Beach and Cliff on the way to Road to Hana

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West Maui

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Haleakalā Volcano

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Makena Beach

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Makena Beach

7.Condo

Overlooking the beach from our condo

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Beach by the condo for morning exercise

9.Sunset by condo

We walked on this beach to watch the sunset

 

Lens-Artists Challenge #65 – Pick a Place

Travel Highlight – Amsterdam

When we joined the Europe tour, our first stop was London and the second stop was Amsterdam.

The tour guide told us that Amsterdam is below sea level. This capital city of Netherlands has a Canal Ring of one hundred kilometers (62 miles) with 1,500 bridges.  Amy at The World Is a Book has a post on “Life on the Water in Amsterdam.” She says there are about 2,500 houseboats in Amsterdam. Some boat owners have transformed their boats into Bed and Breakfast. You can read her post here. We took a boat ride to tour the Canal.

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The first thing impressed me was the number of bicycles. It was mind-boggling to find out there are 881,000 bicycles and one of the parking structures accommodates 7,000 bicycles. When we arrived at a location and the tour members got off the coach, I almost got hit by a bicycle because I didn’t realize that the riders have the right-of-way. I saw one lady with the business skirt suit carrying a backpack and paddling the bicycle with the tennis shoes. It must be a common practice to change shoes when people arrive at their offices.

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We visited the Anne Frank House. When I was teaching, my second-grade class read The Diary of Anne Frank. It was intriguing to find out more about the family’s hiding place. During World War II, Anne and her family hid from Nazi persecution in a hidden room at the rear of the 17th-century canal house. The room was hidden behind a movable bookcase. Anne Frank didn’t survive the war, but her wartime diary was published in 1947. The diary has been translated into 70 languages. We saw the original diary in the exhibit case on the ground floor.

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One night we walked around in the Red-Light District. This area has the red neon lighted windows that display barely dressed prostitutes advertising their services; it’s acceptable when it stays inside this designated area of the city.

As we walked on the street in the same area, I saw a shop that has a potted plant display in the window. I made a comment to my husband on the nice look of the plant. He told me it was marijuana. We went inside the shop and found different sizes of packaging that looked like snack items.

It was a great experience to visit the diamond factory and learn about the different grades of the diamond. The factory guide explained that the value of the diamond goes higher with the increased facets of the diamond. She also pointed out that when reflecting the colors of the diamond, the blue color is more expensive. After she said that, the ladies moved their rings under the light to check on the reflecting colors.

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Our other visits included a tour of the wooden thong factory, the cheese factory and the ceramic painting factory.

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The last day of the tour we had a free afternoon. My husband and I wanted to walk around but there was pouring rain. We then took the free trolley to the Van Gogh Museum. It was an educational visit to learn about how Van Gogh developed his style of painting.

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It was a great vacation in Amsterdam!

Cee’s Share Your World – September 18, 2017

Cee’s Share Your World – September 18, 2017, Questions and my responses.

  1. Complete this sentence: I want to learn more about …

I want to learn more about watercolor painting. When I did acrylic painting, I was told that acrylic painting is very forgiving. If I don’t like a certain part of the painting, I could paint over with white color and change it to what I prefer. Watercolor is different. There is a glaze technique when I can paint one layer, let it dry, and then put another layer of color on it. It always starts with the light color, and gradually put the darker colors on the previous colors. If I make a mistake and drop the dark color on any spot, I can use water to brush it off right away. I can’t use white paint to cover the dark color though. There are so many techniques to learn in watercolor.

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  1. On a vacation what you would require in any place that you sleep?

For me to have a good night sleep on any vacation, a comfortable bed is required, that is a given. I am a light sleeper. Quietness is a must because I don’t wear earplugs.  We always ask for a room with the window facing a quiet area. Another thing is equally important, that is the almost complete darkness of the room. Some hotels have thin curtains; the light of dawn would wake me up. I wear a mask to go to sleep in any place, but the light from the thin curtain could find a way to wake me up.

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  1. What is your greatest extravagance?

The greatest extravagance was getting a car I always wanted. When I graduated with my doctorate degree in the year 2000, I reward myself with such a car. I made a list of all the features I wanted. I used the Consumer Report of Cars and picked 5 makers, copied the features of those 5 cars on a spreadsheet to make a side by side comparison. After that, I picked the car with the most reasonable price and had all the features I wanted. I still have the same car after seventeen years. It is a great car. I think I’ll keep the car for a few more years.

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Cee’s Share Your World – September 18, 2017

Weekly Photo Challenge – Travel Photo Collage

In the year 1998, I was promoted to be a 12-month school district administrator from a 10-month teacher position. Administrators had 22 vacation days a year, plus 10 days of personal or sick leave.

During my time of working, we were able to acuminate vacation days as many as we wanted. Some administrators acuminated enough days to retired one year early and received pay for the last year as vacation time. Some would cash-in the vacation days. I used some of the days for travel and saved some. The district policy had changed later on. Administrators being hired after a certain year, the vacation days were accumulative up to two years. They either used them or lost them.

Well, after I graduated from my doctorate program in the year 2000, with more than six weeks vacation time a year, my husband and I have traveled to quite a few countries and states. I started to get the dates confused. I decided to make a collage for each travel, and hang them on the wall as a quick reminder of where we have been. It works well. Here are some examples.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Collage

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