Friday, September 6, 2013

Catalina: Casino

Trip Summary:

  • B, C and I drove down to San Pedro this time (as opposed to using the Queen Mary port again), arriving 5 minutes before our expected departure time. We were able to call in the tickets the morning of, but didn't get our preferred arrival and departure times. It didn't matter though; our timing ended up being perfect.
  • On the boat ride over to Catalina, we met X who was traveling by herself and who decided to join us for the next 9 hours.
  • After getting lost in the hills, we had a long, hot lunch at an okay Italian place right on the beach.
  • We didn't realize how time-sensitive everything on the island was, and found out that we had missed nearly all available tour times. After speaking with a Chambers of Commerce rep, we managed to find a cheaper tour of the interior of the island that included "free" champagne. Our 2.5-hour itinerary included passing by Escondido, the airport, an aviary, a stable, and scenic views.
  • When we got back to Avalon, we each had ice cream and headed toward one of the beaches pointed out by our tour guide. 
  • Since there were no more available tours of the Casino, we instead asked permission to enter and take pictures and rest.
  • Afterward, we resumed our trek to the beach and somehow stumbled upon a family of deer that were very friendly to humans and who (I think) expected us to feed them. 
  • Before heading to dinner, we explored the little shops/streets of Avalon.
  • B, C, X, and I took the last boat ride back to San Pedro thus ending our adventure.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Catalina: Petting a Donkey

Continuing with yesterday's theme, I'm posting another animal shot: a donkey that walked up to us. We didn't have any food (which I think it was expecting), but we were able to pet it anyway. There was a horse in the stall next door that we also petted, but that was a little more demanding of snacks and soon got bored with us. I have no idea if we were trespassing on someone's property or what, but it was a memorable experience nonetheless.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Catalina: Close Up of a Deer

Oh, boy! I'm definitely backlogged. I'll do my best to catch up now that summer is "officially" over. One of these posts will be a Catalina trip summary. For now, here's a cute deer that was curious as to what my lens was. What was funny was that I actually thought the deer was much further away than it actually was. It wasn't until all my friends started yelling at me to back up that I realized my camera should have a warning that "objects may be closer than they appear." haha. 

Friday, August 2, 2013

LA (Santa Paula): Hot Air Balloons!

I just realized I should probably start posting hot air balloon photos since that's what the festival centered around. lol. I shot this as the sun was beginning to set and I was playing around with my settings and testing how good the ISO was on my camera. I was pretty lazy that day and pretty much stayed parked where my picnic blanket was.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

LA (Santa Paula): Lemons

I saw a "lemon tree" constructed of real lemons hanging from chicken wire at the Citrus Class Hot Air Balloon Festival. I couldn't fit the whole tree in a shot, so I shot a close up.

Monday, July 29, 2013

LA (Santa Paula): Citrus Classic Hot Air Balloon Festival (Car Show)

I attended the Citrus Class Hot Air Balloon Festival over the weekend and was pleasantly surprised to see that a car show/contest was also taking place on the grounds. Here's a shot of one of my favorites. I'm a little swamped right now, so I'll post more of the festival throughout the week.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

LA: US Open of Surfing 2013 (Crowd Shots)

So, it's been a while folks, primarily because my camera has been out of commission for a while and I've been doing unexpected random trips these past few weeks. Consequently, I've had to take shots with my trusty Samsung Galaxy S4 when I attended the US Open of Surfing this year. I was too far to zoom in and take shots of the surfers themselves, so I hope you enjoy these location/crowd shots. :)

Friday, June 7, 2013

Hotel Stay Review: Conrad New York (in Lower Manhattan)

  • From what I understand, the "Conrad" brand of hotels are supposedly the premier line of Hilton hotels (at the front desk, there is, of course, the Hilton Honors priority check-in desk). I stayed at the New York location in downtown (Manhattan). The hotel is modern in design (love! love! love!) with an airy lobby. It is listed as a 5-star; however, my room felt more like a spacious (of course, we're talking NYC standards here) 4-4.5* suite. It amazes me that people pay ~$500/night for these rooms. I paid in the sub-$150 range. This was probably the nicest place I've stayed in NYC yet. Others have published they paid in the $125-range for slightly longer time periods, at approximately the same time as when I was there (which is completely believable to me). So, definitely shop around for prices. 
  • The shower is separated from the toilet/sink area (which I always appreciate). Both bathroom doors didn't appear to have locks and actually had a slight gap from the wall when closed. The shower heads were fantastic. I was thrilled that they had both the rainfall-style one above, and a modern, handheld one on the side. The shower room was enormous, but had a single, dim light. The lighting in the toilet area was significantly brighter. This is important because a guest sitting in the living room area can make out the shadow/silhouette of a person on the toilet when the Japanese-style sliding door is fully extended and the lights are on. The shower is simply too dark to have this issue. By the way, the shampoos, conditioners, lotions, etc were from Aromatherapy. 
  • The second sink in the wet bar was very convenient to have when we entertained. The hotel-packed fridge (complete with sensors, of course) didn't allow guests to put anything in there. The coffeemaker was a bit tricky and often resulted in wasting a coffee pod. Fortunately, the housekeeping staff was very generous with replenishing pods. The hotel provides a surprisingly nice variety of drinking glasses. :)
  • The two large flat screen TVs were as expected (one in the bedroom, the other in the living room). The couch was on the medium side (definitely not the huge monstrosities in, like, the Venetian or Palazzo suites in Las Vegas, if we're comparing 5*s). We comfortably sat 3-4 in the living room area while cranking up the A/C and drinking cool beverages while avoiding the scorching temperatures outside. Speaking of heat, the hotel did not appear to have a pool. :(
  • What you're perhaps really paying for is location. It is conveniently located next to the National 9/11 Memorial. The subway entrances/exits are approximately a 3-4 block walk away, though. Someone recommended that we get a taxi from the nearest subway point, since we were carrying a number of heavy suitcases. In the end, we just opted to get rides from our friend, and did not bother with the subway most of the time. What we really liked what how it shared a same wall as Shake Shack and movie theater. It is also across the street from a mall. Oh, and of course, there's a riverfront park nearby.
  • When I checked in, I requested a room with a view but they were already sold out. So, from our room, we could still barely see over the Hudson (and saw a Colgate Ferris wheel? on the Jersey side). Our wing of the hotel was not near the waterfront at all (another hotel stood in between). The bar at the top of the hotel (which B checked out) appeared to have distant views as well.
  • Something I really loved were the lights. You could control the lights using various touch panels throughout the suite AS WELL AS on the TV. That was coool. Unfortunately, the light in the living room area were on the dim side and only received a sliver of natural light coming from the hall and bedroom. Then again, the hallways are so dim that when I saw the housekeeping staff trying to read their schedules, they had to bend over to the nearest light bulbs. Sad, really. Someone give them a flashlight!
  • Other plusses included blackout curtains, an umbrella(!), a cheap branded bottle opener, and a "Do Not Disturb" button/indicator (LIGHT)!
  • Overall, if you can get this room for sub-$200 (which for NY is GREAT), I'd easily do it. Just don't expect a normal 5-star. 

Travel: NYC (Downtown) - Day 8

  • We checked out of our hotel. E and R picked B and I up and went directly to the super famous Katz's Delicatessen. We sat near the table where Harry and Sally had their orgasmic scene. I had a corned beef on rye sandwich along with matzo ball soup. B had a pastrami on rye sandwich. I believe E had kugel (which she reported wasn't that great). R also had corned beef on rye but with sauerkraut (which she promptly removed). A band was setting up and doing sound checks, so that was a bit weird. It was nice though to see the autographed pictures and classic signs. I always thought the restaurant had booths, though. :/
  • E then drove B and I toward the airport. We stopped at a cell phone lot (how many people know what that is?) to teach E how to use her camera. B ran around in circles as E explored photography concepts such as blurring and panning. 
  • We flew a direct AA flight back to LAX. We ordered way too much food on the plane (the gourmet popcorn is GOOD!). It was nice to have an empty seat next to me again (happened both ways!). :) 
  • Upon arriving we took a cab back home and were disgusted by how rude the cab driver was. His tip? $0.25. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Travel: NYC (Downtown) - Day 7

  • B and I figured that since we were in lower Manhattan, we'd just stay in the area. As we tried to get our bearings, we ran into our Improv teather! B and I then had breakfast at the Cosmopolitan Cafe in Tribeca where we each enjoyed rather generous portions of crepes. To walk it off, we wandered down to Wall Street, the Charging Bull sculpture, Bowling Green park, and Battery Park.
  • B was rather intrigued by the Alexander Hamilton US Custom House. It had gorgeous exhibits and architecture and, more importantly, water dispensers.
  • After buying more water and returning to our hotel, we decided to order from the uber popular Shake Shack (attached to the hotel). I actually ended up with a spicy, bacon cheeseburger of sorts (I hate spicy).
  • We then changed clothes to meet up with E and R at Danji for some (spicy) Korean. :( We grabbed desserts nearby afterward. 
  • R, B, and I then went to the Gershwin Theatre to watch Wicked. It's the best musical I've seen so far.
  • E met up with us at a bar after the show where we discussed combinatorics and trigonometry. Not wanting to lose E's fabulous parking spot (in the middle of the road?), we then ate at Kashkaval until closing. B saved the restaurant from burning down. 
  • To close the night, E dropped us off at our hotel.

Travel: NYC (Brooklyn) - Day 6

  • E was busy in the city in the morning, so B and I cleaned her place (took out the trash, did dishes, went grocery shopping for her). We even walked M at the local dog park! 
  • We met up for lunch in the city and, after going in circles searching for a place that wasn't jammed- packed, we finally agreed upon Wild Ginger Vegetarian Kitchen. I'm still not a fan of brown rice. :(
  • Since we were so close to Chinatown and Little Italy, we decided to walk (as opposed to taking the subway) to our hotel (to check in). We passed the courthouses, City Hall (both, actually), WTC, Occupy Wall Street, St. Paul's Chapel, and a zillion other places in the 90F+ degree heat.
  • Before we made it to our hotel (that 5-star hotel will have its own review in the next coming posts), we hit up a grocery store to buy water and snacks, as we had been melting during the fastest photowalk I've ever done in my life. After checking in, we cranked up the A/C before re-gaining our strength to return to E's apartment.
  • That evening, we met up with B's cousin and her friend at Boat Basin Cafe along the Hudson River nestled within Riverside park. It was not a very good restaurant and had amazingly poor service, but was in the most unique location (within a traffic turnaround). We even got to sit dead-center and watch the buses circle us from above.
  • That evening, R flew in at 11PM and she, E, and B2, joined B and I on the rooftop of JP's friend's (A's) place where we had an amazing view of the city. E drove us back to our hotel at 2am (TY again E!).  

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Travel: NYC (Brooklyn) - Day 5

  • B and I stopped at The Bagel Store where after being given "the tour," I got an egg, bacon, and cheese bagel with butter (instead of cream cheese). B had something jalapeno-y and a solid coffee drink. We decided to eat in the very small space. As with most places we'd visited at this point, they were cash only.
  • We took an hour long subway ride to the Brooklyn Museum and from there walked to the adjacent Prospect Park. B and I mostly stayed around the Boathouse area that had a pond, bridge, and man-made waterfall nearby. We watched ducks float by as a couple tried fishing near the waterfall (how odd!).
  • Afterward, E joined us for a late lunch (breakfast, really) at Tom's. Lots of pancakes, steak, eggs, egg cream, milkshakes, and toast went around. E brought along M who barked at everyone outside. lol. We attempted to do a return at IKEA, but B was running late to his work-meeting in the city. B later met with a former colleague at Momofuku Noodle Bar.
  • Without B and B2, E and I enjoyed "Frexican" (French + Mexican cuisine; a totally new concept to me) outdoors at Santos Anne. I had a mango margarita along with my shrimp risotto. E had duck tacos. Yum!
  • We stayed up waiting for B to return before all three of us passed out at E's place.

Travel: NYC (Brooklyn) - Day 4

  • It rained all day. E, B, B2, and I drove around trying to find a place to eat and finally settled on Brooklyn Label. I had a mimosa with "Green Eggs & Ham" (read: basil omelette and bacon!). Yum. It was such a large breakfast though that we each had food coma afterward and, since it was raining anyway, we decided to just skip a day of sight-seeing.
  • On the way back to E's place, we stopped by Beer Street where we picked up a delicious watermelon-flavored (wheat ale) brew. We enjoyed it the rest of the afternoon. Literally.
  • That evening, we returned to the city and had a lightning-fast dinner at Mooncake Foods Restaurant (we were running late!) before attending our Improv class. That was easily the most stressful thing I had done in a couple years. I guess I just wasn't meant to be an actress or comedian.
  • We then headed over toward Times Square where we also did a pit stop at the Hershey's store before heading back for some chicken soup and ginger ale at E's apartment.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Travel: NYC (Brooklyn) - Day 3

  • B and I got an early start since E was busy with other things. We each got unlimited passes to ride the subway and proceeded to Central Park. The "L" train was under construction that day and we had a little adventure riding around the bus system before eventually taking the subway. 
  • On the way, we grabbed coffee and pastries. B really wanted to hit up a halal food truck that had a line that wrapped around the corner. We also passed the "L O V E" sculpture in Midtown, which had tourists posing in front of it, as a homeless gentleman slept under the "V."
  • While B and I wandered around Central Park, we passed the ice skating rink, Belvedere Castle, the reservoir, and other iconic locales. To escape the heat, we ventured onto the Upper West Side and ate at Tukuaz
  • E then called us and we met up in Bushwick. Despite B2's insistence that the subway ride to Coney Island is part of the experience, E drove us there, seeing how the sun was setting in 1 hour. We stood in the long lines at Nathan's. B and E rode the famous wooden roller coaster ride, Cyclone, while I took pictures of the amusement park. B and E tried the funnel cake at Paul's Daughter.
  • After we got back, and after a quick side trip to DUMBO, B, E, and B2 went to see a comedy show at the Upright Citizen's Brigade theater.

Travel: NYC (Brooklyn) - Day 2

  • B and I woke up at 9am (local time) and met up with E and B2 at hipster-haven Harefield Road for brunch. Despite being sunny, it was incredibly windy that day. I had to borrow E's sweater which amazingly fit, considering she's so much tinier than I am.
  • Before making our way to Bedford Road and eventually to the East River, we made a pit stop at the 9th Annual Bicycle Fetish Day celebration. B2 apparently recognized one of he booth owners (surprise, surprise) and we stayed for a bit as B asked about a giant two-seater bicycle that someone was assembling on-site. He later rode on it and had a blast. 
  • At the East River, the police re-routed us, seeing as how strong winds had blown the roof off of one of the newer condominiums and threatened to hurt pedestrians below. So we wandered to the East River Ferry Dock to snap pictures of Manhattan and the Williamsburg Bridge.
  • On the way back to E's place, we stopped by Mast Brothers Chocolate to get free dark chocolate samples and then Saltie for gourmet sandwiches, drinks, and cookies. B2 returned to the bicycle competition.
  • After E left, B and I walked to Alligator Lounge to score free, small pizzas with our single orders of beer. We regrettably grabbed nasty Thai take-out from a place that shall not be named. We spent the remainder of the evening resting from the day's long walk by watching Netflix on E's enormous flat screen TV and having our ears blown out by her quirky sound set up. By the way, "The Other Woman" (with Natalie Portman) is horrid, to put it nicely.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Travel: NYC (Brooklyn) - Day 1

  • B and I took a taxi to LAX to board a direct American Airlines flight to JFK at noon. This was the first time I had to check in luggage for a trip to NYC simply because the weather report showed that there would be a 40-degree swing in temperatures throughout the week. I know one should pack in layers for that sort of thing; but between sunny/rainy/cold/heat-wave weather and casual/dressy attire, I simply could not squeeze everything into a carry-on and backpack. The upside is that American Airlines gives some sort of priority for passengers that do not board the plane with a roll-on carry-on. So, B and I squeezed in somewhere between Group 1 and 2's boarding call..
  • We arrived earlier than our scheduled time (8:40pm local time) and waited for E to tell us where we would meet on the subway system back to her place. Instead, we were pleasantly surprised when she drove up in her own car at the airport (with M, her dog, in the backseat)! E described M (a rescue, chow mix) as "skittish" and he was definitely afraid of us at first, but he had no problem resting his head on my luggage in the backseat as E and B navigated the route to get back to E's place.
  • We arrived at E's rather large apartment in East Williamsburg, dropped off our luggage, and went out for dinner at St. Anselm (one of E's favorite restaurants). We miraculously avoided the 3-hour(!) wait and were called back to return to the restaurant after briefly standing in the bar next door for less than 15 minutes. It was definitely pricey (B and I split a 34 oz. steak at $1.90/oz.) and we had plenty of drinks and sides to satiate us (E's boyfriend, B2, eventually joined us after he attended an EDM? concert earlier).  
  • From there, we split up. E and I went to a 24-hour laundromat to wash sheets/towels while we chatted, and B and B2 went to a tiny "movie" theater (that is actually a deli in the day) that played audience recommended movies. People also brought in their own alcoholic beverages. 
  • When we fnished up, E and B2 dropped us off at E's apartment and they left (with M!) to stay at B2's place. It was then that B and I realized we would have E's apartment all to ourselves the entire time we stayed there. E is just awesome like that.

Monday, May 13, 2013

LA (Downtown): 110 Freeway Redux

So... on my mission to re-photograph everything and everyone with my new camera I found myself passing through downtown. I had not yet shot from this particular bridge (I shot this from one bridge over). Even after I did a lens distortion correction in PS, it still looks off. Oh well. This heat is making me too sleepy to correct it. :P

Friday, May 10, 2013

LA: Santa Monica Beach

I was doing portraits around town last night. I was obviously at the beach when I snapped this test shot. Our shadows are even on the sand. hehe. I'm totally loving this camera. Whoever said equipment doesn't matter never held one of these babies. haha.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Baking Dishes / New Camera!!!

I finally received a new camera + lens (a Canon 6D with a 24-70mm f/2.8L ii lens). I'm so friggin excited to be shooting again. I definitely need to get accessories like a bigger, more secure camera bag and stuff but I can't believe I have a working camera again!!!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Travel: San Francisco - Berkeley

I'm reverting to my old trip summary format. I'm leaving out a lot of stuff, but this is the crux of it.

  • Day 1 (Friday): Since it was a last minute trip, B and I drove to SF from LA (airfare prices were in the $250/pp range already). Checked into the Hilton San Francisco (Union Square) and couldn't score a room with two queen sized beds (two conferences were going on that day). Instead got a modern room with two double beds :(. But the front desk staff offered to switch our rooms the next day :). Showered, got snacks from the Starbucks downstairs, and waited for C to arrive from dropping off his rental at SFO. We all finally met up at about 8pm (only 30 minutes late) and had dinner at the Claude lane restaurant area. We were supposed to go to Cafe Claude but the 2-hour wait forced us to settle on Claudine (which wasn't bad at all AND had no wait). After numerous tries at nearby crowded/popular/noisy bars, we finally settled on a horrible one (that shall not be named) seeing as how late it was. But we had a good time nonetheless and then crashed for the rest of the evening.
  • Day 2 (Saturday): We had a looong breakfast at another hotel near our own. We then drove up to UC Berkeley to tour the campus. After riding the elevator up Sather Tower, we discovered that a Holi celebration was going on and proceeded toward it. Because C was catching a flight later on that day and since I was afraid of getting color packets thrown at my camera, we decided to watch the festivities from atop and afar. It was great fun. We continued touring the science buildings of the campus (dinosaur fossils!) before walking down Telegraph Ave to a Japanese restaurant where we had a looong lunch. Finally we dropped off C at SFO. 
  • Continuing Day 2: H canceled on us. H was supposed to hang out with us that evening and spend the night at our hotel but was simply too exhausted to come out to SF. So, we called up another couple and had dinner with them at a Cajun place near City Hall (we were supposed to go to Suppenkuche but that had a two hour wait). After much discussion, we realized S had an amazing view of the city from his place on Twin Peaks AND that he had the game Apples to Apples. So that ended up being quite an enjoyable evening (upon returning to LA, I bought Cards Against Humanity + the 3 expansion sets). 
  • Day 3 (Sunday): After doing a little shopping, B and I met up with a former high school classmate of his (+ gf)  in Union Square. Packed up and drove down to C's hotel to pick up a bag he left behind. Made our usual pitstop to a Fresh and Easy and then drove back to LA that night.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Travel: Las Vegas - Grand Lux Cafe

I think it's mainly because we're too lazy to leave the casino the majority of the time, but we end up eating at the Grand Lux Cafe if we're staying at the Venetian or at Palazzo at least once a trip. This here is their gnocchi with asparagus and breaded chicken. It was actually rather bland. :/

Ok, for reals, this will be my last post this week. :( See you all next week!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Travel: Las Vegas - The Valley

Oh, boy! This week is turning out to be eventful. I think the best part of trips is planning them and then seeing which amazing possibilities happened. Very, very busy right now with some coordination and totally excited. This may be my last post this week.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Travel: Las Vegas - Red Rock Canyon

Just got back from spending a few days in Vegas. I returned to Red Rock Canyon and took a few shots which I'll be sharing this week. It was the first time I had gone during non-winter weather so there is no snow in my photos. :( I'll continue tomorrow seeing as how I'm still unpacking and resting from this weekend. :)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

One Year on Google+

It's kind of an off week for me in terms of weekly photo themes so I hope you enjoy the potpourri.

I just wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone that's been following my work this past year and particularly those of you that have been here since the beginning. It's great to be able to stay in nice rooms around the world, take photos of pretty places, and share them with an audience. You and I know it's more than just that, but I don't want to start getting sentimental here.

So looking forward to another amazing year. Hoping my photography gets better, as always. And I can't wait to see the places I'll go!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Lamb Chops

Last week, I have no idea what happened, but between Passover meals and cravings, I ended up having three different lamb dishes. I had lamb on a rack, as chops, and as a shank. The above pictures is when I made them as chops and only fried them on a pan. The ingredients were fairly simple: salt, pepper, garlic, olive oil, and rosemary. That's it. Sooo good! But I'm definitely lamb-ed out right now. Chicken is beginning to look good...

Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter 2013

My cousin threw an enormous birthday party for his sons (one of whom is my godson), as well as an Easter feast. There was of course the obligatory Easter egg hunt, bounce house, a huge spread(!!!!), and, of course, chocolate cake. Good party over all. :)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Travel: San Diego - Harbor View

Fortunately, the front desk clerk at the hotel I stayed at was incredibly helpful in informing me where the best views were in my surrounding area. Here are one of two shots from the "Top of the Hyatt." I'd never seen the back of the landmark Marriott before and was surprised to find a parking lot of yachts as well as a cute little park behind it. There was, of course, the Coronado bridge as well.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Travel: San Diego - Trolley Tracks

Another from my walk in Downtown San Diego. I probably should have made this a black and white, but I loved the burst of purple in the upper left so much. Oh well. Maybe another day.

This trolley station actually kept me up most of the night because of its proximity to the hotel that I was staying at -- and I was on the opposite end of the hotel! Had I needed it to get around, it would have been great. Instead, I had a car and paid the outrageous price of $26/day (I know, I know -- it's not SF or NYC... but still!). 

In other news, I'm looking for a good lamb recipe...

Monday, March 25, 2013

Travel: San Diego - Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade

Well -- this starts off my San Diego series this week. Since I grew up in San Diego, it's always tough for me to photograph something that I haven't already. But, as I was walking along the Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade, I noticed a series of small statues that spelled out the world "DREAM" in sign language (see above). I snapped a few of the letters individually because I loved the detail of the hands.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Travel: Philippines - Rotation

I felt like being very minimalistic and high-key today. Here are 5 planes in rotation all in one shot. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Travel: Philippines - Close Up

Another cool formation from the Breitling Jet Team! Moments like this I wish I had one of those mega, super duper long lenses on a tripod. The bottom of the jets actually have the word "Breitling" written on them.

I definitely could have done a better job processing, I think, but I'm in a rush. So TTFN. I'll return to close out this series tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Travel: Philippines - Upside Down

Another shot from the 18th Annual Philippine Hot Air Balloon Fiesta.

Ugh. I'm torn between going to New York City or Zurich and Rome again later this year. Can't decide, can't decide...

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Travel: Philippines - Near Miss

One of the things you don't see from this photograph is how absolutely hot it was watching this airshow. I stood in the comfort of a tent's shade, but had there not been a breeze as well, as amazing as the show was, I don't think I would've been able to take these photos.

On another note, my Vegas trip was rescheduled to the near future. Besides, I'm still unpacking from San Diego this past weekend. ;)

Monday, March 18, 2013

Travel: Philippines - Fighter Jets

This is another shot from the air show in Angeles City back in February 2013 -- but this time it's fighter jets! I was fortunate enough to watch the Breitling Jet Team perform their precise, synchronized stunts! I hope to share more of their photos this week. Right now its just a matter of getting over St. Patty's Day and figuring out if I'm going to Las Vegas tonight (for a spontaneous trip!).

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Travel: Philippines - Vanilla Sky

So this will be the last of my hot air balloon pictures for now. Next week will be fighter jets! hehe.

I think I played with the white balance on this one or it was the sunrise. I'm not sure.

I hope everyone has a fantastic St. Patty's Day this weekend. See you all next week!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Travel: Philippines - B&W Balloon

I just felt like playing around in Photoshop. This reminds me of a puzzle I assembled and now hangs in my parent's house. Now that I'm seeing this on white, I should have probably photoshopped out that cloud on the left. :(

On a totally unrelated note, I'm trying to get my travel schedule for the upcoming months sorted. So much is up in the air (ha ha -- pun not intended). If only North Korea weren't being so belligerent, maybe I'd feel more comfortable going to South Korea. Oh well. Here's to spinning a globe and seeing where my finger lands. Ah! Spain would be nice...

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Travel: Philippines - Hot Air

So I did get one of the flames firing up a balloon as it rose to the sky. Too bad the sun was already rising, it would have made for a cool night shot.

In other news, this whole daylight savings time thing seems to have gotten rid of my jet lag. I guess time change on top of time change equals the correct time. Yay! And just when I finished watching "House of Cards," too (which is amazing, btw). Now I don't know what to watch. :(

Monday, March 11, 2013

Travel: Philippines - Hot Air Balloons

As I promised yesterday, this is the beginning of my coverage of the Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta.

This was one of several dozen balloons that I watched get inflated in the wee hours of the morning near the Clark Air Force base in the Philippines. They had several non-traditional looking hot air balloons such as an upside down man, a space shuttle, and (here) a bunch of tulips. I loved how the balloons (and jets) came from all over the world. I wouldn't be surprised if this was from Holland or something. ;)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Travel: Philippines - Sunrise

Since I was waking up at 5am every morning while in the Philippines (oh the glories of jet lag in the opposite direction), I saw the sun rise everyday. It was awesome because in America I can hardly wake up before 10am on a normal day. On this particular morning, however, I woke up at 2am to leave at 3am to go to the Clark Freeport Zone to see the 18th annual Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta. The clouds gave this lovely purple glow at around 6am. The photos in the coming days will be from this air show. It was a blast!!!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Travel: Philippines - Blur

I shot this while on my way to my home in the Philippines. I just liked it for some reason.

I remember one night while I was in the Philippines during this last trip, we went clubbing in Manila and drove home at 4am. It was all a blur but so much fun. Lesson learned that night: wearing 4 inch heels makes me taller than a lot of guys. lol.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Travel: Philippines - Boat Station 1

Probably the last of my Boracay shots for now. It's been a long week. Just relaxing today. Beginning my weekend early. :)

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Travel: Philippines - Lounging About

Great thing about storms? They keep people off the beaches and beach furniture for my pictures. heh. I swear, Boracay, IS a poppin' place to be normally.

Anyway, it looks like I'm almost over jet lag; I'm only about 2 hours off now from my proper sleeping schedule. I discovered this Netflix show called "House of Cards" which I'm watching late at night as I wait for sleepiness to dawn on me (and that's probably why it's taking so long to get back on ). Definitely recommend the show so far. I hope it continues to be awesome through the end of the season. :)