Tag Archive | Nature

The Lodge at Blue Lakes

For the past years, my husband and I have been driving by Clearlake Oaks everytime we camp at Fort Bragg. I’ve always wanted to stay in one of those cabins or motels by the lake. So, last weekend, we decided to go. We decided to book a room at The Lodge at Blue Lakes because of all the positive reviews that we read. Hmmm…this might become our weekend getaway. I was very excited and have this great expectations about the place. Here’s what I have to say about the place. I will be as fair as possible with my review.
The Lodge at Blue Lakes is located in the town of Upper Lake Ca. It is in a picturesque setting, on the banks of a small lake. There are a lot of boating opportunities, including paddleboats, kayaks and pontoons. A nice bonus is that paying guests get an hour a day of free boating.   It is isolated, so there is a lot of quiet. We were able to negotiate a much lower rate in January. You need to, a lot of the amenities are shut down in the winter. The tradeoff is that very few people are there at that time of the year so we have the place all to ourselves. In summer, you might enjoy this place a little more with so much outdoor activities to do.
The Lodge is a clean place, but just an average motel. You are paying for the views and the atmosphere. The rooms are small, although the bathrooms are large. A nice touch is that  a continental breakfast is brought to your door in the morning. Direct TV and HD flat screens, lots of channels. Don’t pay extra for the room jacuzzi, it only can hold one person. The motel can handle weddings, they have a hall, but I was not impressed enough with management to ever think about it.
Click here and see if the place suits you.

when mother nature strikes

It has been a sad couple of days. I just found out that my hometown, Cagayan de Oro in Philippines was badly devastated by Typhoon Sendong. I never realized the severity of the damage it caused until some friends shared several photos. To date, there are over 500 confirmed dead and the number is growing. I am thankful that my family and relatives are all safe although some of them were flooded and lost all of their belongings. Safety is most important among other things, that I am so thankful about; however, my heart goes out to the people who lost their love ones. When mother nature strikes there’s not much we can do. Below are some of the photos my friends shared.

This first photo below was taken in Iligan City, another neighboring city 1.5 hours away from Cagayan de Oro, also badly flooded.

One Hundred Seventeen people confirmed dead in Cagayan de Oro alone

countless blessings

November 24th, 2:00 PM, Collins Lake recreation area, Marysville, CA. It wasn’t a typical place to be on thanks giving day but, there I was in a cold rainy evening with family and friends in front of a campfire enjoying each others company, our little chat and our turkey dinner with a fusion of German and Filipino cuisine. Being in a calm, captivating place at that very moment with wonderful people was a lot to be grateful for.

What we focus on, we empower and enlarge. Good multiplies when focused upon. Negativity multiplies when focused upon. The choice is ours: Which do we want more of?


 If we can only draw our focus away from things that we didn’t have, to what we have, it is when we realize the countless blessings that we have to be thankful for. Sure, the economy affected everybody. I have never known so many people who lost their jobs and homes my entire life until today. It is sad and terrifying. I know, because I was once one of those people. As a self- proclaimed worrywart I worry about almost anything. I sometimes spend sleepless nights worrying about the possibilities of not being able to maintain the lifestyle that I have- which by the way, the same as most average Americans have- somebody who works hard to pay her bills and being able to maintain and run a typical average household.

This is how I cope…maintaining my optimism. Let me tell you, sometimes it’s not that easy to do. There are times when I get scared about what could happen to our country- the economy might get worse. It is when I start taking a look of the things I own, the family and friends around me, and where I’m at (literally). Then I think about the pictures I see and reports I read or hear about many others who basically have nothing, lost everything or people in a war zone who are suffering. I always come to a realization that I am luckier than the estimated 1.7 billion people who are living in poverty today. By that, I mean, people who luck the basic human needs such as shelter, water, food, and clothing. I think about those who are living in chaos their entire life yet they still manage to wear smile on their faces.

I still have a roof over my head, clothing, food on the table, my health, and most importantly I am surrounded with people I love. Life itself is a gift. Your perception about life changes how you live and appreciate the simple things around you. There are indeed a lot of things to be thankful for. You don’t need to look for them; they’re just around you needed to be seen and appreciated.

inspired by nature

Picked up my keys…drove up to the mountains

If I didn’t, I would have missed these….

Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under
trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky is by no means a waste of time.
                                                                              – J. Lubbuck

Donner Lake

How easy and simple it is to live enjoyably when the simple,
interminable blue of the sky,with its long wisps of white
clouds, become a pleasant thing to behold, a thing of
beauty that thrills you every time you care to look skyward.
                                                                                       -John Schindler

Along I-80 between Sacramento, CA and Reno, NV

There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains
of nature – the assurance that dawn comes after night,and
spring after the winter.
                                                                           – Rachel Carson
The Sense of Wonder

The landscape belongs to the person who looks at it.
                                                                       – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Delight in the beauty that surrounds you.

Stop every now and then.  Just stop and enjoy.  Take a deep
breath.  Relax and take in the abundance of life.

Discovering this idyllic place, we find ourselves filled with a
yearning to linger here, where time stands still and beauty

white sand and blue skies

I was going  through my old photos and found these pretty pictures of Panglao Island. I thought about posting them here just to show how beautiful this place is and to give you ideas about a great vacation destination. These photos were taken during my vacation in Philippines last summer.

Let me give a little background about Panglao Island. It is an island in the Philippines located in Central Visayas, part of Bohol Island, east of Cebu. A couple of the island’s popular tourist pursuits are diving and island hopping. It’s also popular because of its pristine beaches. To get there, you can either fly from Manila directly to Tagbilaran City or  from Manila to Cebu then take a 2 hours fast ferry ride from Cebu to Tagbilaran City. From Tagblaran City, it takes  about an hour taxi ride to Panglao Island. There are other interesting places to visit to around Bohol as well. If you have plenty of time I recommend visiting Hinagdanan Falls; Loboc River where you will find the smallest primate, Tarsier or take a tour around the river on a floating restaurant; and enjoy the natural beauty of Chocolate Hills.

I have been to Bohol a couple of times but this was my first time to visit Panglao Island. I made it a  “girls only relaxing vacation”. I took my mom, my niece, and my cousin with me. We had a blast!

The beach has powdery white sand and clear blue water.

We stayed at Dumaluan 2 Beach Resort. It was not a very fancy hotel but for about a hundred dollars suite/ night, it was not bad at all. If money is not an issue, there are a lot of lavish hotels around that ranges from $200- $300/night or more.

Outdoor complimentary breakfast in our hotel restaurant. Those benches and table were made from driftwoods.

Isn’t it mesmerizing?

Nothing like a cold Buko Halo(young coconut) with ice cream covered with chocolate syrup. It’s nice to bring summer to winter. Hey, it’s free to dream 🙂


What do you do to unwind? People do different things to relax their mind and body.  Some get a massage,  some take a warm bath, do yoga, read, nap, or just plainly do nothing. For me, getting in touch with nature and soaking in its serenity gives me a tranquil spirit.

Today, My husband and I drove up to Nevada City to revisit Independence Trail which is an hour and a half away from Sacramento. We loved our experience the first time we took a hike there so we decided to go back. It was a 4.5 miles hike but we only took a mile in and a mile back. We ended our walk at the zigzag flume. We sat there for about an hour and listened to the sound of the water from the South Yuba River and of the wind. 

Romper: Macy’s

Blazer: Ayala Center, Cebu (Philippines)

Legging: Flexees

Boots: Roxy via Macy’s

Shades: Juicy Couture

Mossbrae Falls

These pictures were taken a few months ago during our trip to Dunsmuir. We visited three different falls in the neighboring area but I am showing only pictures of Mossbrae  as it is my favorite of all.

Mossbrae Falls is located in Dunsmuir, California. It’s a 3 hour drive from Sacramento. This is one of the reasons why I love living in California.

We parked our car on the other side of the railroad tracks and walked along the tracks for about 30   minutes.  I was worried about the train coming.

And it did come. Thankfully, we were on this wide space when it passed by. It was amazing.

It was a rough walk on the train tracks but the view was worth it.

Enjoying the serenity.

Met this little creature on our way back.

 Other falls we visited during that trip was Hedge Creek Falls, also in Dunsmuir; Middle   McCloud Falls located in McCloud, CA