Friday, September 26, 2008

Kayaking at the Arboretum

This map is definitely not drawn to scale! But it will give you an idea where we paddled along. We went to the East going into Lake Washington and decided to explore the arboretum which is actually a park. But here, you it was not indicated the many boats that we encountered along the way. Before reaching that small passage we had to literally cross the lake and go to the other side because it is like driving we need to stay on the right. My muscles were stiff and my heart pounding. Even with the cool air I can feel the sweat beads on my forehead.

We encountered several boat while passing that small canal were we had difficulty balancing the kayak because of the wake. it was more like wake boarding while kayaking hehehe. Anyway, before reaching the arboretum, we paddled under the freeway! Could you imagine that all these happening while the afternoon traffic is speeding on the freeway. Eventually we had some rest when we arrived near the park. There were families with children spending time at bank of the lake. I wasn't able to take a lot of pictures because of course my hands holding the paddle and feet are busy stirring the rudder. We had to completely stop and reach for the dry bag and carefully take out the camera to take these shots! It was challenging to say the least.

But all is well and we got to enjoy and relax when we reach the arboretum.

On the way back we passed by UW (locally pronounced you-dub) buti na lang I watch Kyle xy kaya alam ko kung pano ito i-pronounce ng mga local. We passed by their zoological boat. It was late afternoon and almost 2 1/2 hours passed, the sun was glaring. I realized that I need to get a pair of good shades. The guys were waiting for us "the slowboat este kayak" in every major bend.

With aching arms we parked and returned the kayak and ready for a big dinner!

hindi biro na Kayak

Here we go! All geared up with life vest and our skirts, we headed to the dock. We got two double kayaks. What I was afraid of when paddling in a busy lake are the big boats that will pass you by and leave behind a huge wake, making it difficult to maintain your balance in the kayak. Not to mention the probability of turning over.

We were given an orientation on how to operate the Kayak and some safety guidelines. Out in the lake the bigger boats have the right of way. Suffice it to say that we are at the bottom of the totem pole. So if ever a boat comes passing by we need to think and paddle fast to be out of the way! At this point my heart was pounding just looking at how huge and busy the lake is. This is going to be one challenging afternoon.

This kayak has rudders which make it more complicated than the sit-on-top kayak that most resorts have here in the Philippines. Here is the link where you will know more about operating this kind of kayaks.

We are instructed how to properly board the kayak. You have to hold down the paddle on your back half of it on the dock and half of it on the kayak to maintain balance while you try to shoot yourself inside while holding onto the paddle. Wheeew! And that is just getting inside the kayak mind you. See the rim around our seats? That is where we will attach our kayak skirts.

Kayak skirts!

We had to wear this Kayak skirts. I've tried Kayaking before in Palawan at Dos Palmas, then in Coron, and also in the lagoons of El Nido. I know it is a bit tiring for the arms but I've always enjoyed all my Kayak expeditions. But all of them before was sit-on-top type of kayaks and we always have a back up boat just in case. But little did I expect that this was a more serious Kayaking expedition in the fresh waters of Lake Washington.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Lake Washington

Lake Washington is the second largest natural lake in the state of Washington.

When I was in Seattle I saw that almost everywhere we go there is water either a view of the ocean or a lake while driving. It would be really nice to have your own boat and explore these. Also observed that people here love the outdoors. They seem more relaxed than the big city.

Lake Washington is a ribbon lake, which are long, narrow and finger-like. Ribbon lakes were formed thousands of years ago during the ice age through glaciation: as the glacier bulldozed through a valley (glacial trough), it met bands of harder and softer rock. more info from Wikipedia

After having some ice cream early in the afternoon we decided to go Kayaking at Lake Washington. And of course we need to get back to M and L's apartment to put on sunblock and borrow some extra clothes.

Friday, September 19, 2008

a pictorial

while exploring one of the viewpoints in Seattle, we chanced upon a wedding pictorial. I love taking photos of interesting mundane things when people are trying to have that picture perfect shot. I love the children at play and all of the entourage all dolled up :)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Fremont Street Art

lunch at the Center of the Universe

Seattle's left bank renowned as its most artistically eccentric community, Fremont wavers whimsically somewhere in time between 50's or 60's and the 23rd century (excerpt from the Walking Guide in the photo). Fremont reminds me about Quezon City. The rocket is one of the many street art one can find while walking around Fremont. The rocket monument which marks the official Center of the Universe.

We went to have lunch with Mike and Le at Fremont's Blue Sushi. Its an authentic sushi bar complete with conveyor belt or kaiten. This was my very first time to eat in a kaiten Japanese restaurant. I realized much later into the meal that the price of the sushi is based on the color of the plate. You can just pick up from the conveyor belt or if you want something specific and cannot find it in the kaiten, you can order it directly from the crew. It was one of the best Japanese food I've tasted in a long time.

Blue Sushi 2066342575 at 3411 Fremont Ave.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

write down your dreams

This is the title of one of the chapters of Bo Sanchez book. Then followed by this quote:

"There are no limits to the mind except those that we acknowledge"
--Napoleon Hill

Ferry Boat to Bainbridge

Early the next day as in before 8am I think, I met up with Mayang and we set out for a full day's adventure. First on the list is to take the ferry to Bainbridge. It's an island just off the coast of Seattle. The salt water was an energizer. Plus I get a different perspective of the city.

The Fish Ladder

photo by Daisy Flores-Salgado (c)
photo by Daisy Flores-Salgado (c)

"At the Fish Ladder, a 21-step water "ladder" allows fish to swim upstream or downstream on a gradual incline, bypassing the locks. Adult salmon return from the sea from June to November, steelhead salmon return to spawn from January through April, and young salmon make their way out to sea in May and June. An underwater viewing gallery lets visitors watch the fish from underwater." Source from here.

I was surprised to see that there is a Fish Ladder under the Locks where you can actually observe the Salmon swim upstream through the underground window which looks like an aquarium but it is not. The locks allow the passage of the Salmon which is amazing.

Ballard Locks

We visited the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks locally known as Ballard locks. The locks were made to maintain the fresh water Lake Washington and Lake Union above sea level. Also to prevent the mixing of salt water of Puget Sound with the two lakes or prevent salt water intrusion and to move boats from the water level of the lakes to the water level of Puget sound.

My uncle who is usually on a hurry was eagerly waiting for the movement of boats and the whole ceremony of closing and opening the locks. I was wondering if he dreams of owning one of those yatch. Later we went to the fish ladder which I will share in the next post.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Requiem for Rex

Banahaw circa 1994. This photo taken at the summit of Mt. Banahaw was my first ever climb to a mountain. This climb literally and figuratively made an indelible mark in my life that made me take the path where I am today.

Rex C. Perez was one great great best friend that I ever had in my life. He is the one holding the flag in the photo. I could write a whole novel of the many adventures that we had. He was the one who taught me how to dance the swing! He helped transform this barrio lass from Laguna. Introduced to me to various genres of music. We hiked the summit of Mt. Halcon of Mindoro and Mt. Kanlaon of Negros. We rode the banana boat in Boracay, explored the Mag-aso falls in Bohol. We worked together at MFI for the urban poor and explored the communities of Payatas. We would jog and train and then binge at Tia Maria's with margarita and fajitas. We would eat Lapid's and say eat and die a happy man. He loved eating ice cream with beer. We explored the dunes of Ilocos Norte and can make a documentary from all the pictures of the old churches that we visited. He met all the loves of my life. Amats and I spent a week visiting him when he retired back to Iloilo. We explored Guimaras and Miag-ao. The last time I saw him was Oct 2007 a bit on the heavy side and last time I talked to him was June 2008 just after typhoon Frank flooded Iloilo. Over the phone I knew that he was at the hospital but his voice never hinted that it was his last weeks. I love his laugh. He passed away while I was in the US. Sad that I didn't get to see him. But I will always remember that laugh. We love you Rex.

on a tailwind

I found an old book of mine. Actually it was Amats who found it and asked "sa yo ba ito?" . One look and I remember this little treasure of a book that I own that I haven't opened in years. Its The Woman's Book of Soul" by Sue Patton Thoele. I guess I need to read it as it found its way to me again.

Last night and this morning I was indeed searching for some empowerment and encouraging words. I feel a bit wasted the past days. I wanted to recharge myself and I realized that I find comfort and happiness reading my old entries in this blog as well as reading my books of affirmations one of which is this book that I will share a verse with you. This morning I read a most timely message that I knew was meant for me to read today. I want to share this with you.

I quote:
Flying on a Tailwind

Abundance could be described as the knack of living in an attitude of gratitude. If we constantly run on fast forward, frantically trying to keep up with what should and must be done, without taking a break to restore ourselves and count our blessings, we'll soon run out of gas. Stopping for a rest, pausing to see the real wonder in our world, and making room for interludes of thankfulness helps give us the energy to keep going.

Gratitude is the tailwind that enables us to travel farther and faster.

Give yourself the priceless gift of extricating yourself from the whirlwind for a few minutes and write down all the things, just within sight, for which you feel grateful. expand your list to include people and circumstances out of sight. As a bonus, add to your list some intangibles--attitudes, experiences, philosophies, etc. Looking at your list, allow your heart to open in a flow of gratitude and appreciation.

Flying with a tailwind of gratitude helps us savor the effortless times and move more quickly through the turbulent times.

I am grateful for my life
I appreciate life both the chaff and the grain

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Pike Place Market

One of the nicest public markets that I've ever visited. Seattle's Pike Place Market . The fruits on offer are screaming at me to taste them. I love berries! It also tells you that it is summer time there when I visited last month. Like all markets, this one is full of vibrant colors and people. The are also lots of flowers and art works on offer that I will show you in the coming post.

A week or two ago, I was walking in Trinoma and passed by Seattle's Best Coffee Shop. Something caught my eye, the huge wall paper shows a very familiar sign and I remembered it was the part of the top photo above. :)

Simple Joys

While I was in Seattle, I was happy to get a taste of the food and music festival called Bite of Seattle. Here in this photo above, I got a freebie starbuko-frap-wat-hav-u hehehe because I cannot remember the flavor so I made that up. Simple joys indeed as I took my time sipping this cup. I just had one at the Needle.

All the while, I was hoping to go to Seattle's Best Coffee Shop somewhere in this city. I was asking my Tita if we can visit a shop. But to my surprise she said there is none. I can't imagine Seattle not having Seattle's Best Coffee. She did mention that they have them as concessionaire in the canteen but she never visit a shop. I kept my eyes peeled but lo and behold there was none. I did see several Starbucks cafe.

Anyway, thanks to them for the free drink! It gave me enough energy to walk all the way to Pike's Market coming up in the next post!

P.S. I didn't realize that Bill Gates live in this city until someone at the top of the Needle mentioned it.

Dream Journal

I just learned that Charice will be fulfilling one of her dreams in her dream journal. She will be having a duet with Celine Dion this weekend. I saw some clips of her Oprah guesting. I was indeed moved.

Amats and I were talking and I shared: "Yes, how can dreams come true? You have to have a dream first". I added that it is really good to have a dream journal when people see it they might just help you fulfill it.

Naiisip ko din si Bugoy (my favorite in the now ending season 2 of Pinoy Dream Academy) sabi ni Bugoy, hindi nya akalain matupad ang mga pangarap nya at dagdag pa nya mangangarap na rin lang lubuslubusin mo na libre naman. (When you dream, dream big, anyway, its free.)

kakatuwa lang!