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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Inyo County: The land of the Extremes, The Land of the Contrasts

Inyo County, one of my favorite places in California to spend time with nature. Those who find source of inspiration in this place take delight in the fact that this is the part of California that is less known and less visited. Not too many Americans, in fact, even Californians, know about this wonderland.
Black Sand from Volcanic Lava, Death Valley National Park, Inyo County, CA
For most Californians, usually, they are unmindful of the desert, and would prefer travelling West (to the oceans) than travelling East (to the desert). If ever they travel East, they go to Las Vegas :( , not for nature's beauty, but for Vegas fun. Maybe because when people think about desert, the picture they have in mind is that simply of an uninteresting barren land.
Mesquite Sand Dunes, Death Valley National Park, Inyo County, CA
( Earth does not always have to be green to be beautiful, there is hidden beauty in brown and black too, surreal it may be )
Unknowing to most, the desert has one of the greatest foliage on earth probably, and its glory is most evident during spring. When the dry barren land that no one would think any plant can survive will suddenly come out alive and bring a beautiful life of promise.
Desert Gold (oops, not in Inyo but in San Bernardino County)
Desert Purple and Gold (another ooops, not in Inyo but in San Diego County)
** have not traveled yet to Inyo during spring :( to witness Inyo's wonderful spring foliage :( **
Desert spring foliage is one of mother nature's greatest display on Earth, that not everybody get to see and experience, for not everybody knows life's beautiful twists and turns in the desert. Desert mountains are not devoid of green either. Rain may elude them a lot of the times, they may look brown from afar, but drive up to those desert mountains, and you will be surprised with what you see!
Desert's Fall Foliage @ Bishop, Inyo County
You'd ask, how can forest exist in desert? Then you'll see the low lying clouds and realize that plants are intelligent enough to draw water from those clouds, nature's way of surviving.
Fall @ Bishop Creek Canyon, Inyo County
But the wonders of Inyo County are not limited only to these seasonal changes. Those who have experienced Inyo County know that this land is a haven for those who seek peacefulness and nature’s beauty. Death Valley National Park for example, in Inyo County, is geologists’ natural disneyland.
Artist's Palette, Death Valley National Park
Inyo is the land of the extremes, the land of the contrasts.
Alabama Hills, Lone Pine
Alabama Hills, Lone Pine
(Popular Location for Old West, Himalayas And Sci-Fi Movies )
“Inyo” comes from an Indian word which means “resting place of the Great Spirit.”And we feel just like that everytime we spend time at Inyo County. Our spirits gladfully make wonderful rest in many of Inyo’s natural wonders.
Late Fall @ North Lake, Bishop Creek Canyon, Inyo County
Inyo County is a land of magnificent diversity and contrasting diverse geography. Its lowest point, Badwater at Death Valley National Park, is the lowest point in North America and in the Western Hemisphere.


One of the World's Largest Salt Pan @ Badwater, Death Valley National Park, Inyo County
( @ 282 ft below sea level, this is North America's and the Western Hemisphere's lowest point )
Interesting twist of nature, Inyo's highest peak, Mt. Whitney, is the highest point in contiguous US.
Mt. Whitney, the highest peak in contiguous US (does not include Alaska) at 14, 492 ft
One of nature’s delightful twists, the highest point in contiguous US and the lowest point in North America and in the Western Hemisphere are situated close to each other, in Inyo County. Aside from these two extremes, Inyo County also has the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, which grows the world’s oldest living tree, Methuselah, at 4777 years old. What does nature teach us here? That the oldest living thing on Earth is one that has survived the harsh tests of time and withered all unforgiving elements. In the surreal beauty of the nakedness of the desert, I get reminded that man's true beauty and character is not defined by narcissism, but the deep character that has formed within after responding to all tests in time.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Kapadokya, Turkey

Merhaba! greetings from Turkey! :)

Our 15 days holiday and travelling in Turkey is finished, yes only 15 days. Because when we went to the Consulate of Turkey in Hannover, they told us Filipinos like me only get 15 days of tourist visa to visit the country, it doesn't matter where you live it's the passport you are holding, and they say Philippines also give Turkey only 15 days to those from there to visit our country, whew! ok, that's politics. We wanted to stay longer like one to two weeks more.

We flew to Turkey on April 28, 2011 at Hannover, arrived at the Ataturk International Airport, Istanbul at 4:00 in the afternoon ( Turkish time ). We didn't waste time, after arriving at the airport, we took the Metro train to the big "Otogar" bus station in Istanbul. In Turkey it's so easy to travel by bus, there are many bus companies, and the fares are cheap and the busses are good. We bought our tickets to Göreme, Kapadokya. Took us 12 hours through the heavy traffic of Istanbul to the mountainous regions of central Turkey. Next morning, we arrived at Göreme center at 8:00 in the morning.

Göreme, Kapadokya ( Cappadocia ) - a small town but very beautiful because of it's "lunar" landscape. We found a cave/hotel not far from the center, it's cheap, clean, the people are friendly and the food is excellent! The weather was not too bad that day, bit cloudy also sunny and bit cool because Cappadocia is located at 1,300 meters high from above sea level. Although we are bit tired from a long journey, our excitement to explore the place made us forget about tiredness.

We first look around the town and then, went straight through the landscape and mountains. First we visit is the National Park, with huge and giant landscapes, I call " Asparagus" because it looks like it. Wandering in this park, it was an unforgettable experience for us. The beautiful wild flowers make the landscape even more beautiful. It's recommendable to visit the country in spring, when the temperature is not high. We walked and walked up and down, on paths in this unique place, fascinated by the rock formations. Took so many pictures, and when we felt that our bones, legs, back and feet are really aching we said, ok, enough! :) Went back to Göreme town and found a nice restaurant and had a lentil soup with lemon juice and chilli powder, and "Ekmek" ( traditional bread in Turkey) then later relax in our cave room and had anice dinner later in the evening. That was our first day in Cappadocia, exciting and tiring.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


I looked at him on that beautiful day...
I smiled as I watched him as he held them close...
At times I couldn't believe my very eyes...
I'd grin a little...
I'd laugh a lot...
and yes secretly I'd wipe a tear or two...
And I'd eventually wonder...

How would it feel like seeing him holding a tiny little baby in his arms...
There were times when I'd wonder if he/she'll have his cute little eyes...
His sweet little lips...
and cute squishy nose...

seeing me beaming with joy...he finally asked me, " what are you thinking?"
I simply answered with a happy tone and said, " nothing..."

and when he'd turn his back I simply mumbled the words...
" I'm praying hard for a tiny little angel who'll have your straight and tamed hair...
I'm praying for a tiny hand that will grasp your big fingers in the wee hours of the night...
I'm praying for a cute little man or woman in our lives who'll be your little girlfriend or my little boyfriend for life...
Yes dear...I'm praying hard that soon enough I could give you a reason to really smile...really laugh...really cry ( with happy tears) every single day..."sigh!?!

...AND YES...all these crazy thoughts crossed my mind because of ONE SPECIAL DAY...


Monday, May 23, 2011

the two famous leaning bell towers of the world

Pisa, Italy - "Torre pendente di Pisa" or the tower of Pisa is famous for it's magnificent architecture and unfortunately it was close since 1990 it is continualy leaning because of "shifting oil" so, no chance for us when are there way back May-June 2007. It was a wonderful experience to see this amazing tower.

Suurhusen,Emden - one of the main reason to come in this place is the bell tower of Suurhusen. It is now recognized as the most titled leaning tower in the world. Although it's not so famous and beautiful like the Pisa tower in Italy. Sorry about the constuctions site in the photos, please visit wikipedia for more details.

it's up to you guys which do you prefer? the Pisa or the tower in Suurhusen?

photos are taken in Pisa, Italy and Suurhusen, DE by: Maricar

Friday, May 20, 2011

Filling the kids' box of memories at the Summer Capital of the Philippines

The kids have been yearning to visit Baguio City again, a place barely two hour drive from our home. It is a city located at the Northern part of the country, some 1,500 meters above sea level. My two boys tremendously enjoyed the zigzag roads while viewing endless foggy mountain views. The kids, the hubby and I had a blast eating and enjoying the sight of flowers, the blue skies and conversing with the friendly native folks. It was so much fun riding the ponies, playing with dogs and riding the  boats even at night. ...Travel with us!

The kids though tired were smiling in their sleep as we drove home and i knew it in my heart that we have filled their box of memories to the brim...and i know you will agree with me when i say that nothing could ever beat that wondrous feeling because any place is a wonderful place when we travel with the ones closest to our hearts...
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