Showing posts from September, 2013

SF Bay Trail Series 2: Lands End

Where can you find a place where you can get a good workout, a place to relax and meditate, commune with Mother Nature, take beautiful photos, and have an unobstructed view of the most photographed bridge in the world?

A Place for Workout
We started our walk from the opposite end of the trail, by Sutro Heights, which was literally behind my brother’s backyard. There was a marker at the beginning of the trail: To Overlook 0.3 mi., To Eagle’s Point 1.4 mi., To USS SF 0.2 mi., To Mile Rock Beach 0.8 mi. Added together, the mileage totaled 2.7 and seemed to be a very easy walk, a little over five miles back and forth.  However, a few minutes after walking the packed dirt walkway, we took a detour to descend the stairway that led to the rocky beach. At the bottom of the first stairway, we cut into another stairway where I noticed the ancient cypress trees with the trunks bending into different directions, the roots forming into art shapes.

A Place to commune with Nature
I was …

SF Bay Trail Series 1: Walking the San Francisco Bay Bridge

Today was a beautiful day in the San Francisco Bay Area and perfect for walking the new addition to the Bay Trails: the bicycle/pedestrian path on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge new east span. The trail is paved (asphalt walkway) up until we get on the bridge where the path widens to a 15.5 foot-wide pedestrian and two-way bicycle path. The pedestrian side is a soft and flat surface while the cyclist side is of the road surface. The trail goes for 4.25 miles from our starting point at Shellmound Street in Emeryville to the top of the bridge.

I have scaled Mission Peak, hiked the Dipsea and walked across the Golden Gate Bridge, and even blogged about my walking experiences, but it was not until walking parts of the Bay Trail to train for the upcoming "Nike Women's Marathon" that I realized how lucky we are to live in this part of California. In an effort to encourage my neighbors and the visitors to experience and enjoy this side of California, I would like to run …

Photo Essay: The Exotic Tropicals

1.  The Sensuous Bromeliad - Aguas Calientes, Peru
I'm not quite sure whether this flower belongs to the pineapple or Heliconia plant. What's amazing about this picture is the rich nectar that gives it a very sensuous look.

2. The Mysterious Heliconias - The Peruvian Amazon
"Don't be misled by our appearance.  We are not flowers, but colorful leaves."

3. The Snaky Ginger Flower - Puntarenas, Costa Rica
I took this picture from a Costa Rican National Rainforest Reserve where flora and fauna co-exist. I walked through the park and saw many brightly colored tropical flowers - heliconias, ferns, cacti, gingers and bromeliads. After walking through the Serpentarium, everything seemed to take on the shape of a snake even this ginger flower.

4. The Epicurean Cactus - Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Different colors and layers in this flower; It begs the question "What am I? a flower, a seed or a fruit?"

5. Simply Orange - Masacrot Spring, Sorsogon, Philippines
This is …

Amazing Cultural Dances

Sad eventsmade me cancel my travel plans and volunteering at the Yosemite National Park thissummer, but gave me the opportunity to play back all that I had experienced from my trips earlier this year, and page reflectively through the photos and videos I took.In theprocess of thesereflections, I began to realizethat I took a bit of everyplace with me. It affirms the answer to the question that somehow I already knew.   One of my favorite travel writers, Freya Stark wrote, “Travel does what good novelists also do to the life of everyday, placing it like a picture in a frame or a gem in its setting, so that the intrinsic qualities are made more clear.Travel does this with the very stuff that everyday life is made of, giving to it the sharp contour and meaning of art.” 

I could write a novel about one of thedancers, thelittlegirl from Burma. She has a sadlifestory. Whiletheotherkidswereplaying, I saw her alone in thecorner with sadness in her eyes. Whensheheardthemusic from my I-Pad,…