Christmas Ornaments, Fremont, California, USA

Hope everyone has a safe, fun and HAPPY NEW YEAR! Posting again Sunday I think. :)

Take care,

Joyeux Noel Christmas Ornament, Fremont, California, USA

Hope you all had a Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year!

Bear Under the Christmas Tree, Fremont, California, USA

As promised (to my cousins), it's the photo of the bear resting under the Christmas tree. Doesn't it make you want to nap, too? Great time at home with the family! :)

Blog Update: Be Back Soon!

Been out of town for the holidays - will post more when I'm back on Monday!

"Golden Zephyr" Ride, California Adventure, Anaheim, California, USA

Golden Zephyr ride at California Adventure!

Christmas Time at Disneyland, Anaheim, California, USA

Crowded as it was, Christmas time is a great time to be at Disneyland! We were greeted with surprisingly warm weather, but the sky high Christmas tree, castle covered in icicles and holiday parade made up for the lack of winter weather! This was at the parade - local cheerleaders did a routine to Christmas music before the Disney characters started coming out.

"Soarin' Over California" Ride, California Adventure, Anaheim, California, USA

Soarin' Over California is officially one of my favorite rides in the Disney Theme Parks! For those that haven't been on it, its a simulator attraction in California Adventure, that flies you through beautiful and familiar sceneries throughout California. Not only that, they add a dimension of smell so that you can become familiar with scents to some of the locations. Over crashing waves, through Downtown LA by night, above the majestic Golden Gate Bridge, down snow-covered mountains full of skiers, its an impressive array of California beauty. Felt so real! This was a photo inside while we were waiting in line.

"It's A Small World" Ride, Disneyland, Anaheim, California, USA

It was after 10pm and after a long day, we were preparing to leave Disneyland. Before we did, we decided on one last ride - It's a Small World. Sitting down for a slow-moving ride is always a nice treat after my feet were sore from the non-stop moving around throughout the day. Decorations from all around the world, holiday-themed, with children singing christmas carols was all intricately designed to promote peace around the world at a child's point of view. This was one of the displays towards the end of our ride.

King Triton's Carousel in Motion, Disney's California Adventure, Anaheim, California, USA

...And there it goes!

King Triton's Carousel, Disney's California Adventure, Anaheim, California, USA

'Twas a long day park hopping between Disneyland and California Adventure! Arriving not too long after they opened, and leaving shortly before they closed, we sure were exhausted. I had a lot of fun though! Of course, enjoyed taking photos of everything too. This is King Triton's Carousel in California Adventure - wonderful by night! This is the ride before it began. Will post a photo of the ride in motion shortly after!

The Train around the Christmas Tree, Long Beach, California, USA

First use of my new point & shoot - the Canon S90. It's made for someone that wants more manual features (SLR type controls) and I like it a lot so far! Of course, I'll still use my SLR but I just needed something more portable that I could bring around all the time (I feel uneasy when I don't have a camera on me). This is a photo of the Christmas tree at Tracy's house and the winter wonderland decorations surrounding it, complete with an old fashioned black train and people ice skating on the clear mirror surface.

Bamboo Forest, Arashiyama, Kyoto, Japan

Lovely lush green bamboo forest in the Arashiyama area of Kyoto.

Christmas Decorations outside Tokyo Tower, Tokyo, Japan

The trees were adorned with ornaments just outside the Tokyo Tower. Could see my reflection (although small) in this silver one...

Gingerbread House Street, Los Angeles, California, USA

When you are busy and engulfed in the working world, sometimes its nice to be able just feel like a kid again! Gingerbread house making (more like graham cracker house making) was so much fun! This is our street lined with 6 different colorful houses covered with snow-white frosting and a colorful array of candies. That second one on the right, well that was the winner. Congrats Myha and Lien! Fun times :)

Los Angeles Traffic, 110 Freeway, Los Angeles, California, USA

Since I've been back in LA for almost 2 weeks now, I thought I'd have a photo from LA today. The odd thing with LA traffic is that when you don't expect there to be traffic, there is. Obviously, you can see from this photo that going northbound on the 110 is stop and go traffic, while going southbound seems to be going fairly quickly. Definitely not an unusual occurence! This was taken from a bridge in downtown LA, crossing the 110 freeway.

1000 Cranes Project, Hiroshima Children's Peace Monument, Hiroshima, Japan

The time was 8:15 AM. The date was August 6, 1945. The first atomic bomb ever to be dropped on humankind was released, and a young girl, Sadako Sasaki was about one mile from ground zero. Amazingly, she went on to live a happy childhood until 10 years later, when she was diagnosed with leukemia, known to be a disease that came as a result of the radiation of the atomic bomb. From her hospital room, she began folding paper cranes because of a Japanese saying that says that if you fold 1000 cranes, your wish will come true. Her story is one of a young girl with hope and the courage to do what she could with her time left, and it truly is inspirational. To this day, these paper cranes are delivered from around the globe to the Children's Peace Monument in the Hiroshima Peace Park as symbols of peace and support for those that were affected by the atomic bomb.

My visit to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Musuem was moving - as stories from survivors were narrated over the photos, videos, and drawings of the tragic memories of that fateful day. Hiroshima Peace Park rightly takes after its name - a symbol and encouragement for peace around the world. The information center there had "NUKE FREE" pins.

Peace on earth, is it too much to ask for?

Takeshita Street, Harajuku, Tokyo, Japan

I thought this sign was pretty interesting. Good thing there are pictures, or else who knows what they were trying to warn against! This was taken on the Takeshita Dori (Street) in the Harajuku district. As we walked along this street, we passed by people viewing shops as something out of a museum display, as well as teenagers living out the Harajuku lifestyle. Very lively area!

Sunset over the Clouds, Vancouver, Canada

It sure was a blessing in disguise. My flight was delayed leaving Vancouver (layover from Japan), so by the time we left about an hour later, the sun was setting. I got to sit by the window seat and I saw the most amazing view outside shortly after we left Vancouver. A snow-capped mountain was hovering over the clouds and visible to me from the plane. Not only that, but the moon had come out as well. Loved it!

Murder at Mardi Gras, Murder Mystery Party, Los Angeles, California, USA

Invitations distributed, RSVPs rolled in, characters assigned, masks, beads and decorations bought, jazz playing subtly in the background... And there you have it, Murder at Mardi Gras - murder mystery party. After watching the Office, I was inspired for a good night of acting and mystery! We surprised Connie for her birthday with this party. As soon as we stepped in the door, we transformed into different people - Melissa DuPre, Cayenne Pepper, Connika Gothika, and others - on track to find out who killed the beloved (or so we thought) King of the Krewe of Midas - Pierre DuPre! I won't give away the ending, but it sure was a good time...I DO DECLARE!

Outside the Kinkaku-ji Palace (Golden Palace), Kyoto, Japan

I really think Japan is a photographer's paradise. There are so many things to take photos of! Walking to the magical Kinkaku-ji Temple (the Golden Temple), mostly surrounded by water, we passed by glistening autumn trees, with leaves carefully fallen atop the green grass. The sun was bright and it's rays shined through the spaces between the trees.

Shibuya Intersection Crossing by Night, Tokyo, Japan

This is the huge Shibuya intersection in its true form. Just as the green light to walk lights up, hundreds of people cross all throughout the intersection. It can go quickly from a scattered mass of people to an empty intersection, ready for the cars to enter it. You just have to see it in person. Saturday night in this area - that's where the people are at!