Monday, July 09, 2007

University of Toronto

Here's my random travel picture for the day. This was taken on a cold autumn day on the campus of the University of Toronto. Sorry, I don't know the name of the building. My cousin who was a grad student at the time, met me and she gave me a little tour of the campus. There was a small exhibit of Picasso ceramics in one of the galleries so we were fortunate enough to get to see it.

November 2004, Toronto, Canada

Friday, July 06, 2007

Matsumoto Castle

This castle sits in the middle of Matsumoto, a small city that lies in the shadows of the mountains of Nagano. Surrounded by a moat, the castle was also used as a defense against hostile invaders. I believe it was built sometime in the 1500s.

Here's the Wiki entry for Matsumoto Castle.

When entering the castle, we were given plastic bags in which to put our shoes since they were not allowed inside. Much of the interior flooring were made of wood so my guess is that we had to remove our shoes so we don't damage the floors.

August 5, 2004, Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture, Japan.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Celebrating the fourth

Since I don't see myself doing much overseas travel these next several months, I figure I'll be a tourist in my own town, sharing the sights and sounds of my adopted home here in So Cal.

The following is an excerpt from my other blog.

Ready for some fun times...Ivan, Flora, Eric, Eusebio, Rachael, Michelle, Chris, Kip, Stephanie. (Photo courtesy of Eusebio).

On the afternoon of July 4th, I went down to Eusebio's place in Dana Point for a little get together. What a host. He had a little spread on the table that would rival a Love Boat buffet. Met a few cool dudes and dudettes for the first time—Stephanie, Rachael, Michele, Flora, and Chris. Kip aka RJ and his wingman, Ivan were also there. Eusebio surprised Steph by busting out an ube birthday cake for her from Goldilocks (the pinoys' fave bake shop). Awwwh...

After filling our tummies with pancit, pasta, salmon, adobo and Kip's iced tea concoction, we walked down to the harbor to board Lola. We motored with several other boaters as we watched the sun setting over the horizon.

Viewing the fireworks shoot right over our heads as we're anchored just outside the harbor was an amazing experience. There was a little over a half hour delay because of tech problems, but once those pyro experts got it on, they got it on. The finale was awesome. Check it out. You can hear everyone screaming with excitement at the end.

What a fun day it was, and a great way to celebrate the fourth. Happy Birthday, America!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Hawaiian Ki’i

The Pu‘uhonua o H├Ánaunau National Historical Park

According to the National Park Service web site “this place provided refuge to Hawaiians who came here. Today, the park continues as a sanctuary for visitors seeking a peaceful place and as a safe haven for all of the native wildlife living here.”

A place of refuge or pu‘uhonua provides safe haven for fugitives for breaking certain laws in ancient Hawaiian culture. The only escape from punishment by death is by eluding their pursuers to the safe confines of a place of refuge. “Many ki'i (carved wooden images) surround the Hale o Keawe, housing the bones of the chiefs that infuse the area with their power or mana. If you reached this sacred place, you would be saved.”

This place was built around 1550 though certain wooden structures have to be replaced periodically because of the tropical environment.

June 2005, The Big Island of Hawai’i

Taking the high road to Whitney

On June 24, 2007, I made it to the top of the highest mountain in California and the contiguous U.S. It was a trip I've wanted to make for at least ten years now, but for one reason or another, have not been able to do until now.

Click here for a trip report.

Whitney Trail Head

Morning light cast on the mountain side

Mountain meadow and stream

View from the top

Summit Shelter—not safe in case of electrical storms

Late afternoon light on the way down

Beauty of the Sierra Nevadas