A Night in Crystal Beach

The Greatest Free Ride in Texas.
Galveston-Bolivar Peninsula Ferry Ride.

Instead of staying in on Saturday, I wanted to go away from the hustle and bustle, somewhere where I can relax. The beach. So we planned on going to Crystal Beach in Bolivar Peninsula, TX, which is about a two-hour drive southeast from Houston. The weather app was showing a dreary weather so we decided to call if off; but then we changed our minds few hours later.

Bolivar Peninsula is a popular vacation place for people to hang out on the beach. It has lovely vacation rental houses. It is accessible via Hwy 124 on the east side, but we got on the ferry that runs from Galveston on the west side. When we arrived at the port, a lot of vehicles were on line waiting for loading.

“Galveston-Bolivar“Galveston-Bolivar Continue reading →

South Padre Island view from the Lighthouse

Today, only five historic lighthouses are left in the Texas coasts along the Gulf of Mexico. The others that have stood the test of time beaconing light from afar had been damaged or demolished. Of these five lights, only one is open to the public, for a very affordable fee – the Port Isabel Lighthouse. It was constructed in 1852 at 57 feet tall and had since undergone repairs, and recently, an overall renovation. It is located along Highway 100 which service South Padre Island.

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Flute music for relaxation

king fluteAndrea Bocelli said that it’s very important for him to try to relax when he’s travelling, and playing his flute helps him to unwind. I can relate 🙂 Growing up, my dad would play from time to time instrumental music for relaxation. I always liked listening to it, especially around ‘siesta’ time when there was no school. My first instrument was a King Flute, and it was made of bamboo in the Philippines. I bought the third one, a recorder, here in the US, online. I love both of them for the quality sound they produce. These are two of the three flutes I ever owned, one being ‘a.w.o.l’.

As these are at least 11 years old, I realized it is time for a new one, maybe a metal instrument this time. So I was looking up how much does a flute cost these days. I found a flute buying guide and I find it very helpful and informative. I learned to play flute by myself and somehow there are great new information that musician’s friend laid out. As for the flute cost, it starts at fairly decent amount such that it is affordable.

If music be the food of love, play on – William Shakespeare.

Meteor Crater in Arizona

Wordless Wednesday: The impact crater of a Meteor.
Tuesday Travels: The most well-preserved impact site in the world.
Our World Tuesday: Planetary Scar.

Experience the impact! 🙂 More than 2 million tons of TNT was said to be the force of the celestial object that made this remarkable planetary crater upon impact, a huge hole in the ground. Roadtripper showed a Meteor Crater attraction in Winslow, AZ, which was just within a few mile radius along my general route. So drove I to see the result of the impact of the meteorite from space hitting the earth! Others say it is just a hole, but a rare one that was formed by a 130’ wide meteor, it is 2.4 miles in circumference, nearly one mile across and more than 570 feet deep. It is huge, the tourists look so small compared to it. The whole crater won’t fit into a regular camera from any of the vantage points, you need a wide-angle lens, or in today, ones even phones with panoramic capabilities.

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Singapore Airlines Flight to Houston via Manchester

I am fixing to buy airline tickets for my parents who will be coming back to the USA from Philippines in few months. The plan is not finalized yet, so to just see what is going on out there with the ticket prices of different airlines, I was looking up for the possible flight they can get on.

I just realize that Singapore Airlines is now directing its flights from Singapore to Houston via Manchester! I think that is very cool! I have this sudden itch to go and fly 🙂 We used to fly via Moscow. Now the Moscow stopover is not shown on the available flights. The reason was because of the economy in Moscow. It is an oil City and the oil and gas industry today is pretty slow. But for sure there are other business strategies they are considering. So from that point, it makes sense to make the change. And besides, Singapore Airlines and United Airlines, which does not fly direct from Houston to Manchester, can make this a big advantage and code sharing with each other. Singapore Airlines has been restructuring or changing its flight network over these past couple of months. This new flight features the same three-cabin Boeing Airplanes, First Class and Business Class features as the old route. Continue reading →

Night time flying

Skywatch Friday: From the sky at dusk.

A photo of a stratocumulus cloud formation as seen from the sky at dusk, also showing the curvature of the earth. My pilot friend took me on a night flight between two airports south and southwest of Houston on his new airplane. He was planning to be a flight instructor. He said ‘flying is freedom’.

Once you have tasted the taste of sky, you will forever look up.
– Leonardo Da Vinci.

This was my second time flying beside the pilot 🙂 but first time flying at night when the air was cool and had not much energy in it. The airport runway lights were attractive too at night. My youngest brother is a student pilot and he showed me the difference between daytime and nighttime flying in terms of instruments and controls; it was very interesting. This was one of my unforgettable experiences. Continue reading →

Lowell Observatory Pluto Telescope

Wordless Wednesday: Where Pluto was discovered.
Tuesday Travels: Lowell Observatory, AZ.
Our World Tuesday: In one of “The World’s Most Important Places”.

My parents in front of the historical 13 inch Astrograph (a type of telescope employed exclusively to take pictures) used to discover Pluto in 1930 by Clyde Tombaugh. This was at Lowell Observatory, Mars Hill Campus, in Flagstaff, AZ, which was named as one of “The World’s Most Important Places” by Time Magazine in 2011 (pp 112). It was established in 1894. It was also here at Lowell Observatory that the rings around Uranus was discovered in 1977. Continue reading →

Santa’s Wonderland in Texas

Weekend Reflection: Closing the Year in Joyous Wonder :-).
Scenic Weekends: Peace on Earth!

The Biggest Christmas attraction in the state of Texas that sparkles with over 3 million LED lights, is located in College Station. Santa’s Wonderland sits on 69 acres boasting Santa’s Town, Texas Christmas Village, and the spectacular over a mile long winding trail of lights. And this Christmas season, it called us for a road trip from Houston.

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Desert View Watchtower Photos

Skywatch Friday: When it’s foggy in the Grand Canyon.

I can say it was still beautiful especially at the Desert View and Watchtower site even though much of the Grand Canyon view was covered by clouds and fog.

When I booked our flights, the weather forecast was not available yet for the week that my parents and I would be visiting the Grand Canyon. I was really hoping that my parents would get to see and enjoy the views. And they still did, for some part. We were grateful it was not pouring down the whole time. It was just generally kind of drizzly. We were not alone though, for there were a lot of people of different nationalities who were in the same situation with us – enjoying what we can see that the clouds did not cover.

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Merry Christmas!!!

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