Happiness Is…

Happiness is…

*Hiking in my FAV Bay Area locale – Marin Headlands/Mount Tam – with friends

*Anemones, anemones, and even MORE anemones lurking in the South Beach tide pools

*Purple and orange starfish hiding amongst the thousands upon thousands of crabs and millions upon million of mussels

*Puerto Rican dining at San Rafael’s finest, the VERY TASTY Sol Food

*Inspirational, educational and just downright HYSTERICAL conversations with friends

*Natural beauty… of which the Bay Area has more than its fair share

*Eleven and 1/4 miles of BEAUTIFUL Mount Tam trails – Coastal, Heather Cutoff, Owl, Redwood Creek,…

*South Beach and Slide Ranch – with its ECLECTIC assortment of animals including white Silkie chickens, Ancona ducks, bee hives, and lots of tide pools

*Spiritual retreat center – the PEACEFUL Zen Center Gardens – the perfect spot to catch hundreds of Monarch butterflies enjoying flower nectar while en route to Mexico
*Introducing older and newer FRIENDS from various facets of my life – and even meeting a few new faces

*Sunday afternoon and evening BLISS!

Why I LOVE the Bay Area…

Thanks Wayland, Kim, Emma, Andrei, Roxana, Hector, Carolina, Jesus, Jean, Yan, Vik, Manuel, Zach, Ann, Radu, Lara, Ron, Sajjad, and Catherine for helping make the day spectacular!! 😘

#iluv2xplore #BayArea #GoldenGateNationalRecreationArea #GGNRA #Mount Tam #MarinHeadlands #MuirBeach #MuirBeachOverlook #SlideRanch #SouthBeach #NCAL #California #dreamexplorediscover #hikingbackpacking #naturalbeauty #nature #whyILOVEtheBayArea

2015-Sept-27: One of many happy moments spending the day with friends wandering the countless Mount Tam trails

2015-Sept-27: One of many happy moments spending the day with friends wandering the countless Mount Tam trails

2015-Sept-27: One of many happy moments spending the day with friends wandering the countless Mount Tam trails

2015-Sept-27: One of many happy moments spending the day with friends wandering the countless Mount Tam trails

2015-Sept-27: One of many happy moments spending the day with friends wandering the countless Mount Tam trails

2015-Sept-27: One of many happy moments spending the day with friends wandering the countless Mount Tam trails

 

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Jesus Asked, Mother Nature Answered

Jesus (Nuñez) asked (cool weather, no sun), and Mother Nature answered… Our escape from the almost month long San Francisco heat wave to the Marin Headlands & Green Gulch Zen Center was filled with fog, cool weather, BEAUTIFUL coastal views, and hundreds upon hundreds of VIBRANT flowers. I couldn’t have asked for a better day… Or better peeps to spend it with 😋. Why I LOVE the Bay Area…

2015-Sep-12 Our escape to the SF coastline

2015-Sep-12 Our escape to the SF coastline

#whyiLOVEthebayarea #iluv2xplore #dreamexplorediscover #BayArea #GoldenGateNationalRecreationArea #GGNRA #MarinHeadlands

Oscar’s Kodak Moment

I was supposed to be learning how to take GREAT sunset and nighttime photos (at one of the premier locations to capture the San Francisco skyline – Treasure Island)… BUT, while waiting for the sun to set and while watching the fog rapidly roll in covering up the sun and most of the skyline, this little rascal, who I aptly named Oscar (after one of my FAV Sesame Street characters), captured my attention. He quickly scampered from some large rocks on the shore to the rubbish bins lining the parking lot. He was scavenging the trash cans for dinner and was NOT HAPPY that I was capturing his binge… I got to see his not-so-pearly whites and hear his not-so-pleasant growl… Not just once… Not just twice… but on three separate occasions 😁… Have no fear, Oscar, dumpster diving is SOOOO not my thing!! However, capturing moments is…😘😘 This must have been his “cheat” day as he opted for junk food (what looked to be fried chicken bones, French fries, and a plastic container of Ranch dressing) instead of the fresh fish, crabs, and whatever else is in the San Francisco Bay. I wonder if I should have tossed some Pepto Bismol, Tums, or some other antacid in the bin????

12-Jun-2015: “Oscar’s Kodak Moment,” Treasure Island, San Francisco, CA, US

 

#iluv2xplore #dreamexplorediscover #california #treasureisland #sanfrancisco #photography #sunset #travel #sanfranciscoskyline #oscar #sesamestreet #dumpsterdiving

To Lure… lo͝or… To Tempt… tem(p)t…

I really think the Sierras and Mother Nature were in cahoots this weekend… The Sierras teased me – MERCILESSLY – with their undeniable BEAUTY while Mother Nature tested my love of the Sierras by showcasing a wide range of elements – from sunny/partly cloudy to rain, sleet, snow, and hail. Yep… Almost marble sized… Thankfully, Mother Nature played nice most of Sunday, only tossing rain and hail at us a few times for ~5 minutes each time, and then immediately returning to relatively warm temperatures (for the mountain region) and sunny/partly cloudy skies. The Sierras did what they do best – lure you deeper into the wilderness with more and more SPECTACULAR scenery. And I am a sucker for a really good landscape – even sans DSLR camera as it decided to throw a silent tantrum after experiencing rain and snow the day before. We ended up hiking the entire 12.5 mile Rush Creek Trail loop from Silver Lake to Gem Lake, over Agnew Pass (~9,900 ft), and through Spooky Meadow. Sadly, my iPhone photos don’t do the Ansel Adams Wilderness justice 😥. My heart still skips a beat or two as I recall some of the MAGNIFICENT views…  

2015-May-24: Ansel Adams Wilderness, CA. 12.5 mile Rush Creek Trail loop from Silver Lake to Gem Lake, over Agnew Pass (~9,900 ft), and through Spooky Meadow.

Although I am deeply in LOVE with the Marin Headlands/Mount Tam, I must admit that my LOVE for the Sierras is growing… Yosemite, Inyo National Forest, and Ansel Adams Wilderness, I am greatly anticipating our next play date 😘.

2015-May-24: Ansel Adams Wilderness, CA. 12.5 mile Rush Creek Trail loop from Silver Lake to Gem Lake, over Agnew Pass (~9,900 ft), and through Spooky Meadow.


2015-May-24: Ansel Adams Wilderness, CA. 12.5 mile Rush Creek Trail loop from Silver Lake to Gem Lake, over Agnew Pass (~9,900 ft), and through Spooky Meadow.

 

Expect the Unexpected

Not quite the Memorial Weekend I expected… A little sun, a little clouds, a LOT of rain, a little sleet, and a little snow – AND a VERY wet camera 😩😖😥. Unfortunately, my DSLR decided to protest the afternoon outing and ultimately stopped working once we had completed our 7+ mile hike to Cathedral Lakes from Tuolumne Meadows. I can’t really blame it… It was partly cloudy and cool when our hike commenced, and within 1/2 hour it had begun to drizzle. I was quite proud that I had brought my newly purchased plastic camera cover to protect my baby. The next 1/2 hour produced snow flurries, which were followed by sleet. By the time we arrived at the Upper Cathedral Lake, the wind had picked up, it was snowing and sleeting rather hard, and it was very, VERY cold. Our planned leisurely picnic at the lake turned into a relatively quick scarf down of lunch in the snow and sleet 😬. I know that weather in the Sierra Mountains in May can still be quite unpredictable, but I really did not anticipate to experience a full range of the elements on a 3-4 hour hike in LATE May. And, this was the first time my relatively new camera had experienced rain, sleet, or snow, so unfortunately, I DO understand the tantrum.

12PM PST: Highways 385 and 120 (Tioga) from June Lake, CA to Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite National Park.

12PM PST: Highways 385 and 120 (Tioga) from June Lake, CA to Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite National Park.

I think Mother Nature is testing my love for the Sierras 😘…

2:30PM PST: Upper Cathedral Lake in Yosemite National Park.

2:30PM PST: Upper Cathedral Lake in Yosemite National Park.

Fingers crossed that the weather forecast of partly cloudy and 40% chance for 1 hour of rain holds true for today/tomorrow – unlike the past 2 days where 3 weather sites FAILED MISERABLY with their predictions… AND fingers doubly crossed that once my camera dries, it is fully functional. Canon, please do not fail me now!

5PM PST: Highway120 (Tioga) just past Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite National Park.

5PM PST: Highway120 (Tioga) just past Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite National Park.

 

I Heart Beautiful Sunsets

I had heard that Jamaica has pretty sunsets… Pretty is an understatement! This sunset was ASTONISHINGLY BEAUTIFUL!! The spectacular display of hues… the oranges, the yellows, the pinks… and the dark clouds from the mid-afternoon rain storm made for a rather REMARKABLE sunset. Even my almost 2 year-old nephew took notice – albeit for a short moment – which was quite surprising since the only thing that seems to grab his attention is 4-wheeled vehicles (especially trucks) and anytime I leave the room. (I must admit, it’s kind of cute to be followed EVERYWHERE – even when I return to my room to brush my teeth. Hopefully, this love for his Auntie will last 😘).

Thus far, Negril has lived up to its reputation of providing a family-friendly environment, a laid back lifestyle, extremely warm people, white sand beaches, and BEAUTIFUL sunsets. It’s everything we desired for our brief family get-a-way to celebrate my sister’s graduation from nursing school (with honors) and my nephew’s 2nd birthday (his last free plane ride). Montego Bay (aka Mo Bay), you may have the glitz and glam, but you do not have the INCREDIBLE sunsets from Seven Mile Beach 😜.

Thank you, Negril and Mother Nature!

#iluv2xplore #dreamexplorediscover #naturalbeauty #jamaica #negril #sunset #travel

sights... NATURAL Beauty… An ASTONISHINGLY BEAUTIFUL sunset at Seven Mile Beach, Negril, Jamaica

sights… NATURAL Beauty… An ASTONISHINGLY BEAUTIFUL sunset at Seven Mile Beach, Negril, Jamaica