Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Backyard surprise

I got the surprise of my life when I saw this possum with her brood on her back presumably on their way to somewhere. I have no idea where they came from - didn't even know they were in the neighborhood LOL. Anyway, I got my camera and took this picture and wish them good travel and lots of luck.

I don't know much about possum. I don't bother them as long as they don't bother me and as far as I know, they don't. Live and let live. They were here first before housing development ran amock and robbed them of their natural habitat. I once saw a red coyote in the nearby regional park - I do not know how it got there but I know it is not going anywhere because the park is bounded on all sides by busy streets and beyond that are single family homes and commercial establishments. The reality of a fast shrinking world sucks and we are all in it. What a disconcerting thought.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Ensenada mini-cruise, February 2007

This was a short 4 day cruise (Long Beach, Catalina Island, Ensenada) that my two brothers and a sister-in-law took to convince them that cruising is very affordable. It turned out cheaper than spending a weekend in Las Vegas! Our costs per person was only $290, inclusive of tax and port charges. That's a hard price to beat for a decent 4 day vacation anywhere.

Our cruise ship in the process of loading up supplies and passengers. In the background is the skyline of Long Beach and to the left is the famous Queen Mary, an old ocean liner now permanently berth in LB. It has a hotel, several restaurants and watering holes, a theatre, a museum and shops galore for tourists and locals alike.

This is at Catalina Island. The speck out at sea is the cruise ship. The port is not deep enough so she had to drop anchor a mile or so from shore. Passengers wishing to go ashore have to be tendered.

Catalina Island located about 28 miles from the mainland.

An island resto and watering hole

Another view of the cruise ship anchored out at sea.

One of the ship's tenders approaching the mother ship with a load of returning passengers.

Mini-golf and jogging courses on the top deck

A shot of the stateroom passageway

Pool deck at noontime

The ship's casino is not operational when at port.

Captain's welcome party

Ensenada, Mexico

An Ensenada oyster and clam street vendor. The first time I visited Mexico I tried the raw Pismo clam (which was diced right in its shell, seasoned with lime and hot sauce and served with a smile) I got the "Montezuma's Revenge" also known as the run! There's no way I'm going to subject my stomach to the same ordeal. I'm a quick learner LOL.

Waiters entertaining the diners on their last night at sea.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Panama Canal cruise, April 2005

Ship's wake

One of the nightly entertainments at the cruise ship's main theatre

An amusing sign I saw at Cabo San Lucas (click on pic to enlarge)

A view of Acapulco from the ship's deck

Red colored taxis in Costa Rica

A nature's bridge at Aruba frequented by tourists. The natural bridge collapsed a year or so after I took this photo.

Our ship moving through one of the Panama Canal locks. Note the cargo ship moving in the opposite direction.

Pool deck view
A night celeb on board the ship

A mobile bar?

At Dunn's River Fall in Jamaica, tourists enthusiastically lined up to climb the fall under the guidance of a professional guide (in blue).

The guide asked the participants to form a chain by holding hands. The climb is not challenging at all, a desk-bound food addict can negotiate the course without slipping! It is all done in the spirit of fun.
Some of the tourists in stranded links wait for a guide to lead the way. What a way to generate revenue! I wonder what the locals are saying when they see tourists coming? "Here comes easy money!" LOL.

First time I ran into an artificially created pond with a partial cross-sectional view!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Scanned photos from an old Mexican trip

This is one of the many pyramids they have at Teotehuacan. Before I visited this place, I have no knowledge of the impressive pyramids they have in Mexico and other parts of the Americas. Does this tell you what a pathetic knowledge of history and geography I have?

I took this photo from the top of what was then the tallest building in Latin America (really nothing in comparison with Sears Tower in Chicago or the Empire State Building in New York) The reason why this building is etched in my memory, despite the years that had gone by, is because I was stuck in one of the elevators on my way to the observation deck. The elevator malfunctioned and stopped in between floors. It took a looong while before people realized what was happening and a lot longer before the building maintenance crew were able to pry the door open and pulled us out (there were a couple of preteens trapped with me who were crying and were starting to unnerved me). I read of a guy who was trapped in an elevator for days before they realized he was there and was mercifully extracted! What a way to go LOL.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Baltic Sea cruise, June 2004

Odd sign posted inside a bathroom in London

Oslo, Norway
How does one mow the "lawn" without falling off?

Tallinn, Estonia
They all wanted to take a picture of my beautiful body! Just kidding.