Mequon Nature Preserve

When I was searching for places to check out using Google maps, I was honestly a bit wary about Mequon Nature Preserve because it was all brown in the satellite images. I mean, wth Google?! I was more interested in going to Kohl Park (long story short, after three attempts of finding it I never did), so I went to Mequon Nature Preserve anyway. And oh, how glad I was that I did, for three weekends in fact.

Situated along W County Line Rd., there are signs leading to Mequon Nature Preserve (thank God for that haha^^;)  and the entrance is easy to find. The land was repurposed to restore nature and attract wildlife and the trail is open to the public. It’s a great place to unwind, connect with people and reconnect with nature. Here are some of my favorite shots from my visits:

Advertisements

Journey to the Midwest: Out of an Exodus and Into a New Season

Hi there! I’ve finally found time to write.

The middle of the year has been a whirlwind for me. My grand vacation/futile job hunt finally came to an end, but that required me to haul myself out of our family’s nest and move to the other side of the country.  It was exciting, stressful, lonely and draining all at once. My last three nights in California were literally sleepless.

I almost backed out because I had no one to drive with me, but at the right timing, my dad offered to take me there and unprepared I was, off we went.

Here’s our journey in pictures.

 

The trip was very meaningful for me for a lot of reasons: it’s a dad-and me quality time; my dad got to travel and see the rest of the US which he always wanted; and before he went back home, he left me with quiet but sure confidence that I’ll be able to handle myself. It felt appropriate that he was the one who brought me here to the US, and he was the one who brought me to my new place.

Almost two months in, I’ve come to handle homesickness better and grow ever more  grateful by the day for this season God put me in.

A Quick Stroll around Yokohama

I flew to Japan twice in April of last year. My first trip was to keep my friends company on a weeklong trip around Tokyo, and the next one was me taking side trips near Tokyo plus a day in Hokkaido.

Yokohama was my first stop. I wanted to watch ONE OK ROCK play at Yokohama Stadium. I’ve always wanted to explore Yokohama, too, so for my third time in Tokyo I decided to finally head there. Sadly, I wasn’t able to buy a concert ticket so to spare myself further heartache I just avoided Yokohama stadium.

I loved Yokohama’s vibe; it’s cosmopolitan yet laidback and it’s artsy too. It’s a great trip to take when you’re in the Tokyo area since it’s just 1 – 2 hours away, depending on where in Tokyo you’re staying. Without further ado, here’s a bit of Yokohama in pictures:

WPC: Place in the World

DSC00586

Quitinday Hills is an upcoming attraction in Albay (or maybe it’s already popular). It boasts a magnificent view of the Mayon Volcano on a clear day, but the hills are a sight to behold on their own.

This stop is one of my favorite moments of last year. I still remember how it would drizzle for a few moments then the sun would shine again, and then drizzle again. I remember how clean the breeze was and how light and unburdened I felt. I remember how proud the locals were of their place and how kind the tricycle driver who brought me to the foot of the hills was.

There are so many beautiful places in the world, but this experience reminds me to come back to the Philippines and visit more.

 

Tokyo Spring Day 6

Day 6 of our weeklong stay in Tokyo was spent going around Tokyo Tower (although we didn’t go up), dropping by Odaiba, and then passing by Shibuya. The rest of the time was spent packing up and buying last-minute souvenirs since we would be flying home the following day. But anyway, here’s the day in pictures:

Tokyo Spring Day 5

After our Disney weekend was a trip to Shinjuku Gyoen and Asakusa. But first was a stop at Shinjuku Bus Terminal to inquire about tickets going to Oshino Hakkai.

We ought to have reserved beforehand because the schedule we wanted was no longer available. So no trip to see Mt. Fuji up close + a chance to see a world heritage site.

Anyway, we pushed on to Shinjuku Gyoen which was more or less nearby. My friends wanted to go back to the apartment and rest (because we averaged about 20,000 steps a day for the past four days haha^^; ) but when we finally got to the garden, it was just breathtaking and worth it:

From Shinjuku Gyoen, we headed on to Asakusa by cab. The ride took about half an hour long but the time went somewhat smoothly because it was a good way to go sightseeing still and I had occasional conversations with the driver. I think I used up my Japanese by the time we arrived at Asakusa but nevertheless the cab ride let us have a much-needed rest. Btw, most of the cab drivers in Tokyo are grandpas but this one was a Daniel Wu look-alike in his early 50s.

I’ve been to Asakusa before, but here are my spring edition photos:

My friends were able to buy souvenirs in Nakamise Doori and we enjoyed street food for dinner. Instead of ketchup, there’s lemon extract to pair with fried chicken.

Just two stops for day 5 but certainly satisfying.

Wild Flower

Wild FlowerIt’s my seventh month here in the US and I’m still yet to slip back into the corporate cogwheel. There have been days when I’d feel really down, but after a third time breaking down I decided to choose looking at the good things God has given me since I got here.

This pic is from my daily walks, something that has become a routine for me, a way to clear my head and reflect at times too, keep healthy in all aspects, and pause and appreciate my surroundings. I’ve always admired how beautiful prolific wild flowers can be. It also reminds me of Matthew 6:26 – 34, particularly v. 30: “Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?” (NKJV)

For the weekly photo challenge, Prolific