Tuesday, November 25, 2014

during my visit to bali, i stayed at a hotel on the beach. i could see the ocean from my room, the swimming pools, and even the breakfast table. and naturally, the close proximity to the beach made for many days out in the sun and sand. in the mornings, i went out to explore the low tide. i was a bit reluctant to bring my camera around salt water, but after seeing so many interesting creatures, i just had to. my favorite sighting was an octopus, deep in the water!

there were hundreds of these skinny black starfish all over the beach-- in the ocean, on land, dried up on the sand. these tiny creatures freaked me out the most!

some days, i could walk out to pretty far to where the buoys sat on the sand. the sand on the beach had lots of shells and sharp rocks, but the sand in the ocean was pretty smooth.

there were all sorts of interesting vegetation, most of which were further out in the ocean.

and there was an abundance of crabs. i was amazed how fast these crabs moved in the water and on the sand. plus, they can camouflage in an instant!

my sister also found this red starfish with seven legs and it was bigger than my face! the day before, i had spotted a gigantic red starfish with yellow spots but didn't have my camera with me. so it was very cool to see another type of starfish besides the little black ones.

i definitely had the most fun in the mornings-- walking around boats, getting knee deep with schools of fish around me, and soaking up the fiery sun. sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat are a must! the wonderful thing about being so close to the equator is that the waters are warm and inviting.

and this creature was fascinating-- it reminded me of a really long caterpillar. a bit scary, but cool to watch.

there were so many times when i picked up large seashells only to find that they housed snails and hermit crabs. these are three snails, all with different sized shells.

the sun rises there around 5:45 am, so i went out early one morning to catch a glimpse of it. and it was worth it to see the sky painted with orange and purple hues. over and over again on this trip, i was reminded of God's creativity and beauty-- ohh the colors and sights He fills the world with! ♥

Sunday, November 23, 2014

the national orchid garden is absolutely stunning-- definitely one of the highlights of my time in singapore. there are thousands of species of orchids and hybrids in all shapes, colors, and scents (one even smelled like fruity pebbles). orchids are such beautiful flowers and this garden was full of them! it was nice to see so many orchids growing outside for a change. and even though it rained during my visit there, it was perfect. i had only about an hour to walk around and explore the garden, but i could have easily spent an entire day there. ♥

overall, i had the best time in singapore! one and a half days is not nearly enough time. i'll have to visit again one day and bring my dslr with me.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

this month started off over eight thousand miles from home. during my stay in thailand, i visited the floating market-- a beautifully vibrant place filled with the hustle and bustle of merchants and tourists. even though i went in the morning, the sun was already out in full force. i really don't know how the locals handle it day in and day out. for about 100 thai baht, i took a half hour boat ride down the stream and floated past all sorts of interesting shops. it's definitely a tourist trap, but worth visiting for the sights and sounds.

afterward, i enjoyed some fresh cold coconut ice cream!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

dia de los muertos is one of the most beautiful celebrations-- one of my favorites in terms of visual appeal. this week, grand park was clothed in bright, bold colors with altars scattered around. it was a beautiful day to walk around and enjoy the sights.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

tonight, i came home to a wonderful surprise-- the newest addition to my camera collection. and it couldn't have come at a more perfect time! now i'll have a few days to try out this beauty and the new lenses before i go out to see the world! ohh snap, so excited!!!

Friday, October 24, 2014

praise God for another day, another year to celebrate this beautiful life! i'm so thankful for all the love from friends and family-- the phone calls, texts, emails, cards, surprise packages, and food! it reminded me of how fortunate i am to have such wonderful, caring people in my life. ♥ tonight we celebrated at a restaurant i've wanted to try for some time, claud & co eatery.

this month's theme was new orleans and everything on the menu looked delicious!

pan seared barramundi; with grilled okra, and potato mash with crystal beurre blanc.

all the dishes tasted great. thanks so much for a lovely evening! ♥

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

bizarra capital doesn't look like much from the outside (i actually drove past it while looking for it), but it's pretty good.

the restaurant had a relaxed, casual atmosphere which i loved-- and friendly service too.

taco de asada; skirt steak, avocado salsa, cabbage. taco de pollo; grilled chicken breast, pico de gallo, green salsa.

chorizo quesadilla; aged housemade chorizo, oxacan cheese.

chimichanga; fried burritos filled with flank steak, beans, grilled onions, hot dipping broth.

pastel de tres leches. this is one of the best tres leches cakes i've ever had.

it was wonderful to celebrate another year with delicious mexican food and good company!