Friday, September 25, 2009

Tall ships festival, Dana Point, California

A couple of weeks ago, I went to see the happenings at the annual Tall Ships Festival at Dana Point....for the first time.....after they have been celebrating this festival for more than two a place 30 minutes drive from where I live!

I am no stranger to Dana Point because I fish there a lot, as I do, at other landings along Southern California coast, enjoy their picnic facilities, eat at their fine restos or just drive there to unwind. Why I never bothered before to spend a few hours there, at least once till now, during the yearly festival is probably a tribute to the many other attractions Southern California has to offer to its residents and visitors alike year-round.

I had a great time checking out the festival. I should have planned to stay longer so I can see the tall ships sail out into the sunset and simulate a sea battle between them. There's a fee if you want to be aboard these ships during this engagement and get a feel of the action; but just to be able to photograph these ships in full sail moving out to the open sea is worth the wait. That regrettably, I did not do, I left after a couple of hours but I will be back next year.

Tallships moored side by side and open to the public. Late in the day, they sail out and simulate cannon battles. They fire their cannons at each other but there is no ammo or balls or whatever they call their deadly projectiles - it is all sound and no damage anticipated except to the eardrums of those standing too close to the cannons LOL.

I bet the view is superb up there.

Three different modes of sea transport

Portrait of a pirate family LOL

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

We left Lake Louise after a late lunch and headed for Calgary where I reserved a hotel in the downtown area through Expedia's "call center" in Cebu! I was trying to book hotels in Calgary and Edmonton online but the 'net connection was very slow and erratic. In frustration, I decided to just go ahead and call Expedia's 800 number and to my surprise, I talked to a girl in Cebu who got me hotels in Calgary and Edmonton at the locations I preferred and within the price range that I was comfortable with. How the world has shrunk!

That piece of paper sticking on my windshield was my Banff National Park pass

Downtown Calgary

The Cebu based Pinay working for Expedia got us a hotel right in the downtown area and for $134, we had a bedroom, a living room, a well-equiped kitchen (like we needed one LOL) and a view I can't complain about. I once paid a premium price for a hotel in Europe with a window view of a wall grrrr....LOL

Calgary Tower in the background

View from Calgary Tower

It's a long way down if the glass breaks!

Note where the kid is standing LOL

I wonder what the kid was thinking?

After an overnight stay in Edmonton, we took our flight to LAX. Goodbye Alberta, see you again sometime!