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. :)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Travel: Philippines - Crowded Beach

A friend was under the impression that Boracay is a deserted beach, when in fact it's totally the opposite. Hopefully, this gives a sense of how crowded it was at 9am on a weekday when a storm had just passed!

On an unrelated note, I'm bogged down doing taxes this week, so I'll have to go for now. See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Travel: Philippines - Boat in Boracay

I wish we had had sunny skies instead of the stormy ones we got in Boracay (a storm actually did hit us while we were there). Although we were there during peak season, I was surprised all the boats were still out every day as well as the people on the beaches. I kind of liked the deserted beach feel (which appears in all the brochures and travel agency ads anyway). I can only imagine how packed the beach must be when the weather is fantastic.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Travel: Philippines - Window Seat

I figured since I took so many cloud pictures from the ground before I flew, that I'd take some while I was up there. ;)

I normally get the window seat on planes, but I think it's different when you're flying at 27,000 ft. It was amazing seeing the numerous fish farms and rice fields below as we flew from Clark to Kalibo. I also appreciated how there were so many islands in the Philippines. I remember glancing over at my entourage a few times and seeing how their faces were practically glued to their windows since it was their first time on a plane (for some). lol. I'm sure it's an experience they'll never forget. :D

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Travel: Philippines - Airplane to Boracay

For my trip to Boracay, my entourage and I chose Airphil Express which serviced Clark to Kalibo. It was the only flight available on very, very short notice that could accommodate all of us on the same flight (I was flying with people who had never flown before in their entire lives).

It was cool. We actually got to walk on the tarmac, and took our sweet time photographing every inch to the plane. I'd never seen rear boarding before too.

What was particularly nice was that after take off, all five of us separated from our single aisle seat assignment to separate window seats during the remainder of the 50 minute flight.

Great experience for my first-timers.:D

Travel: Philippines - Trash

As stunning as the Philippines may be (especially when going 80 km/h as seen here through a tinted window again ... hehe) it frustrates me how little pride the people there have with regard to preserving the beauty of their country. This is not to say that they are not proud to be Filipino (just ask any Filipino if they love their homeland and their overwhelming enthusiasm will surely dispel any doubts of national pride), but their actions (particularly to littering) frustrate me beyond belief.

Case and Point

As I was returning from the airport to my parents' province, I started gathering all the trash that had accumulated in the car after a pit stop to a local fast food joint. I notified everyone that "I have a garbage/basura bag" to which everyone responded with laughter. Someone finally explained "Remember: you're not in America anymore. You don't need a trash bag; just throw it all out the window."

And that's how we end up with photos like the one above. Nice river, trees, vegetation, etc. but littered with trash. :(

Note: I did not end up throwing our trash out the window. I waited until we got home and disposed of it there. Disposing of trash there meant of course putting it into a pile where it is later burned.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Travel: Philippines - Provincial Sky

Quick post for today before I head out: I shot this through a tinted window in a private car that picked me up from the airport in Manila on my way to the province 2 hours out. There's nothing particularly special about it other than it was the first shot I took when I landed. I always think the skies look better when you're out of the smog in the cities but I didn't really capture that essence here. Hopefully, I'll find something better when I'll flip through more pictures tomorrow.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Travel: The Philippines - Boracay 1

Well, I've just spent a little over two weeks in the Philippines again. This time I added a side trip to Boracay with 4 other people. We drove to Clark Airport, flew on a plane, rode in a private van, took a ferry, and lastly used a tricycle (kinda like a motorized pedicab) to get to this beach. And when we got there, it was cloudy and ugly. Thanks to the magic of Photoshop, I got the blue water blue and the white sand brown? Close enough. More pictures to follow this month.