Posts

Showing posts from May, 2013

Washington, DC: Memorial Day Images

Image
Memorial Day Parade
Memorial Day Parade
Lincoln Memorial
Vietnam War Memorial
Smithsonian Museum of American History
Smithsonian Museum of American History

Annapolis, Maryland

Image
I'm a proud aunt of a 2013 Naval Academy graduate and privileged to attend the Commencement ceremony here in Annapolis and to see and hear President Obama addressed the graduates.  My impression of a very rigid and 'military' place changed after seeing the beautiful buildings inside the campus and hearing President Obama's speech;
"Now, I know that some think of this as just a small engineering school on the Severn.  You’ve not only met its rigorous standards, you’ve helped this Academy earn a new distinction -- the number-one public liberal arts school in America." What a fitting occasion to spend the Memorial Day weekend here as well. Our hotel is inside the campus, so I get to visit the USNA museum, Bancroft Memorial Hall, a beautiful Chapel and the biggest dormitory. 

You don't have to be a student or relative of a student to visit the campus.  The academy offers walking tours. 



The old town center and the Chesapeake Bay Harbor are a few steps …

The Amazon, Part 5: Perspective on Perspective

Image
Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.” – The Book of Moses in GenesisDay 5 - The Mighty River
I embarked on this trip with no expectations of what ‘the Amazon’ would be like. Well, I did know that the Amazon was the largest river in the world if not the longest and the river flow from the Peruvian Andes to Brazil and to the Atlantic Ocean. It was not until hopping into that small boat for our first excursion and hearing Mark from San Diego say that he was living his life-long dream to cruise the Amazon River that gave me a heightened sense of expectation.

The Amazon River proved to be quite literally mighty. As our small expedition boat slipped along the confluence of the Ucayali and the Maranon Rivers – the head of the Amazon River, a magnificent double rainbow greeted us. The sky above changed its color from dark gray to light blue to azure blue with vagabond white clouds…

The Amazon, Part 4: The Luminescent Blue Macaws and Jefferson's Village

Image
DAY 4:  Gone Fishing
We were up early today for our fishing excursion and loaded up into the small boat with a plan on having our breakfast at the boat, picnic style.  Our small boat entered a river that narrowed to a marshy river.  

We passed what seemed to be the only house in the middle of nowhere.  A house made of palm-frond roof, built on stilts above the water, the water almost reaching the floor.  The house had no walls.  We could see everything inside --  a woman appeared to be cooking, and a man standing with two girls watching the passerby as if guarding their territory.  I thought I saw a cell tower, but according to Vics, it was actually a solar panel.

Not long after, the river narrowed, and we were peering into the dense foliage.  We saw many blackbirds flying overhead. Vics who was sitting at the back of the boat with the boat driver was eying the dense foliage with his binocular.    Vics called out in excited voice, "Oh look at that blackbirds guys!"  Suddenly…

The Amazon, Part 3: The Tree Killer Tree

Image
"There are 121 ecosystems in the world and 80 of those can be found in the Amazon, and it is in the Peruvian Amazon that you will find the green biome, more than two-thirds of the world's plant species,” said Vics, our naturalist-guide.  

Through our small boat excursions, we were able to see the most bio-diverse part of the Amazon, the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve, the largest wetlands in the world.  We went through its narrow rivers, tributaries and black waters and lakes to hike the “Amazon Jungle”.

Day-3: Jungle Trek
From the Turmalina, we hopped into a small boat.  The boat hardly moved, we just used it to get offshore.  We walked a tiny bridge and short pathway to get to the lake.  We then crossed the lake using a catamaran to get to the edge of the lake where we found the entrance to the trail.  Within minutes of leaving the larger river, we entered a narrow trail into the canopy of trees, killer vines, kapok and cedar trees.

As if the wet ground, mossy trees and f…

The Amazon, Part 2: Black Water & the Pink River Dolphins

Image

The Amazon, Part 1: The Riverboat and the Hoatzin Birds

Image