Sunday Stills: Favorite #Vacation Spot

Sunday Still banner vacation

To wrap up the month of May at Sunday Stills, let’s share our favorite vacation spots. As more of the world gets vaccinated against Covid-19, masks are coming off and the world is opening up! Hallelujah!

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.”

John Muir

This week, I am sharing my favorite vacation images from my archives. Now, some of you world travelers, like Sarah, will have to choose your favorites, (aren’t they all though?).

“Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind.”

Seneca

While you think of your favorite vacation spots, remember why we take vacations. In my retired world, every day seems like Saturday and I’ve been on a perpetual vacation for a few months. But think of a vacation in broader terms, like leisure and travel, and how they are all connected. My point (finally) is this: How do the concepts of leisure, vacation, and travel make you feel? Would you say that these words invoke healing when you experience their manifestation?

According to Marsha at Always Write, her newest WQWWW (Writer’s Quote Wednesday) is “healing” and I suggest this is what time off does for us in the form of a vacation, leisure time in a hobby or physical activity, or travel! This quote speaks volumes:

“In matters of healing the body or the mind, vacation is a true genius!”

Mehmet Murat Ildan

Join me as I share my galleries of trips down memory lane and hum along to the song titles. I apologize in advance for any earworms created. You will notice how many of my favorite vacation spots feature the colors blue and green, which ties in nicely to Tina’s Lens-Artists challenge this week!

I Left My Heart in … a US National Park

“Within National Parks is room–glorious room–room in which to find ourselves, in which to think and hope, to dream and plan, to rest and resolve.”

Enos Mills

My family spent a LOT of time visiting national parks, notably Yosemite and Sequoia, since they were in California. Last July, I spent a couple of hours in Sequoia with Marsha, when she lived 30 minutes away in Central California.

Down In Mexico

“Never underestimate the healing power of these three things – music, the ocean and the stars.”

Unknown

My windsurfing husband dragged me to Baja, Mexico three times to the La Paz area. In nearby La Ventana is incredible windsurfing and kite boarding. I took my turns windsurfing in the Sea of Cortez as well as some stand-up paddling. A great vacation spot!

California Dreamin’

“Nature itself is the best physician.”

Hippocrates

Because I lived in California most of my life, I spent the first 20 years in San Diego and the rest in Sacramento (Northern California). On two San Diego vacations, I met fellow blogger, Janis, for lunch twice, and one lunch there with Liesbet, who I met in Sacramento! Since 2009, my vacations consisted of summer weekends at the Sacramento River Delta, with occasional visits to Yosemite. It has been my goal to stand-up paddle on every significant body of water on vacations!

By the Time I Get to Phoenix

“Walk in nature and feel the healing power of the trees.“

Anthony William

Arizona was and still is a winter vacation choice. Not only did we meet fellow blogger, Ingrid and her husband in North Phoenix two years in a row, my brother and recently my stepdaughter now live in the Phoenix area. Winter roadtrip 2022 is in the works!

Blue Hawaii

“Leisure, some degree of it, is necessary to the health of every man’s spirit.”

Harriet Martineau

I’ve been lucky to travel to the Big Island of Hawaii in 2018 and 2019 with the goal to fix up and sell my husband’s house on the Hilo side. The house is dilapidated and needs work that we just cannot do at this time in our lives. This year we will make final arrangements for its sale. During these weeks, we did manage to do a bit of relaxing and exploring after taking care of the home. Hilo is not the tourist mecca like Kona is, but it serves as the county seat where most of the government infrastructure is housed. Hilo is also the wettest city in the US. In 2018 we visited Volcanoes National Park before the last eruption took place. In 2019, I got to visit the Hawaii Tropical Bioreserve and Gardens with fellow blogger, Graham. We had a blast taking tons of photos!

Viva Las Vegas

“Life’s short. Eat dessert first, work less and vacation MORE!!”

Lia Mishell

Las Vegas, Nevada is known for its casinos and nightlife. It’s also a great place for winter RV camping. In 2018, our winter roadtrip to the Southwest was cut short by unseasonable cold and snow, so we high-tailed it to Las Vegas as our last stop and enjoyed a pleasant week. Unable to visit Antelope Canyon that borders southern Utah and northern Arizona, we stumbled on the Valley of Fire State Park just an hour northeast of Las Vegas. I still got my slot canyon fix and plenty of hiking! In 2018, we met up with fellow blogger Maria, formerly of Sagittarius Viking, still on Instagram.

I sum up my vacation experience thus far with this meme I created when I was teaching leisure education and management at Sacramento State University. These surfboards were situated at a windsurf resort. I took the picture and added this thought to help make the point about taking time off of work or other obligations and enjoying leisure time!

Sorry, couldn’t make it…had a mandatory board meeting.

You Are My Home

“Come to the woods for here is rest.“

John Muir

One year ago almost to the day (May 2020), my husband and I stood together on our property for the first time.

Happy on our half acre

We’ve come a long way in one year, figuratively and literally! We are moved in and enjoying everything that goes along with building! All during a pandemic, no less.

New mfg home

Our vacation of choice in 2021 will be a “staycation” since we are new to our home and hoping people visit us as we continually move in. Will the unpacking and getting everything just right never end?

If camping in an RV counts as a vacation, then our 2-month stay in North Spokane RV Park was quite lovely despite winter/early spring-living while we waited for our home to be ready.

Like this Canada Goose family enjoying their home near a local lake, we expect to enjoy all the area has to offer. Submitted for Lisa’s Bird Weekly.

Canada Geese Family

We plan to take some local overnight and weekend trips to the German/Bavarian town of Leavenworth; the Columbia River Gorge near Mt Hood, Oregon—motivated by windsports; and Sandpoint, Idaho; and beyond.

I know several bloggers who live near these areas, so lets meet up when the time is right!

Sunday Stills Photo Challenge Reminders

  • Please create a new post for the theme or link a recent one.
  • Title your blog post a little differently than mine.
  • Don’t forget to create a pingback to this post so that other participants can read your post. I also recommend adding your post’s URL into the comments.
  • Entries for this theme can be posted all week.
  • Use hashtag #SundayStills for sharing on social media.

June Themes are on my Sunday Stills Photography Page

Sunday Stills is a wonderful community of bloggers and photographers who desire to connect with one another. Each week I share the links from the previous post so you can continue to meet and support each other. And with that…

Good Gray Matter in these Blogger’s Links

I am looking forward to seeing your favorite places where you vacation and relax! Speaking of relaxing, Sunday Stills is taking a break next Sunday as my family celebrates a long Memorial Day weekend. See you in June and have a great week!

SUPSIG

© 2021 Copyright—All rights reserved—secondwindleisure.com

Sunday Stills: The Rise and Set of the Sun

Sun sets on Hilo Bay fisherman

Sharp-eyed bloggers may remember this theme offered by the now-defunct WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge a few years ago. I thought it would fun to challenge ourselves again by sharing our images of sunsets and sunrises as we celebrate yesterday’s solstice.

Winter Sunrise over swimming pool

“There’s a sunrise and a sunset every single day, and they’re absolutely free. Don’t miss so many of them.”

Jo Walton

I scoured years of images from my Dropbox files to find a variety of sunrises and sunsets. Apparently, I capture many more sunsets than sunrises. This time of year, in Northern California, sunrise comes quite early, 5:40am! I rise at about 6:30am most days in the summer. Sunset on the solstice was 8:33pm, with last light at 9:05pm. Plenty of time to capture sunsets.

To help inspire you, I’ve chosen new and previous images of sunrises and sunsets.

Sunrises

“The secret to a good morning is to watch the sunrise with an open heart.”

Anthony T. Hincks

How about a foggy Malibu sunrise to start your day?

Malibu Sunrise

I shared a version of this sunrise from Spokane, WA in February. This was post-edited with the Painnt app.

Pixelated Sunrise

Sometimes a sunrise looks best with its light shone on the subject and reflected in the windows as depicted in this sunrise in Baja, Mexico.

Sunrise in Baja Mexico

This one shows the sunrise in the Mojave Desert near Victorville, California. We stayed with friends at their home on Silver Lake. The countless ducks enjoyed feeding on insects common with the sunrise.

Mojave Desert Sunrise

Sunsets

“Every sunset brings the promise of a new dawn.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

My sunset images have a theme…they show the setting sun over water. The first photo is the Painnt version of a sunset in the Sacramento River Delta.

Delta Sunset Painnted

Another delta image shows us enjoying a sunset paddling session near the end of summer. Notice there were no wind turbines in the nearby hills then.

SUP Sunset

In this view of San Diego’s harbor, the setting sun highlights the downtown high-rise windows and creates a gentle reflection on the calm waters of the bay’s surface.

San Diego Harbor Sunset

The final image is one of my favorites, from Hilo Bay on the Big Island of Hawaii. I called a similar image “The Lonely Fisherman.”

Sun sets on Hilo Bay fisherman

I used LightRoom to edit the lighting in this photo and added a sunflare in the post-editing process.

To sum up the idea of Rise/Set, I offer this quote by John Muir:

“This grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never all dried at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor is ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal sunset, eternal dawn and gloaming, on sea and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls.”

Did you know the WordPress Weekly Challenge Photo pages are still available to view? Here is the link to 2018’s Rise/Set.

Does a sunrise or sunset bring you a quiet moment? I’m pleased to link this post to the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, A Quiet Moment.

What is your favorite time of day? Does the sunrise kick start your day and provide you with inspiration? Or are you an evening person who chooses to linger over a sunset with an adult beverage? Saturday’s solstice meant you had to be up very early or stay up rather late to see the sunrise or the sunset. Did you see both?

If you enjoyed seeing sunrises and sunsets, you might like these previous post:

I can’t wait to see your favorite sunrises and sunsets!

Camera graphic

© 2020 Copyright-All rights reserved-secondwindleisure.com

Sunday Stills: Life in a #Waterworld

Color Planet

Memorial Day in the US is the traditional start to summer, which brings throngs of people to lakes, rivers and oceans.

Perhaps, but not in 2020…

…as the threats of exposure and illness from the coronavirus keep people home and away from their favorite leisure spaces.

Even as most US states have opened up for some recreational activities, social distancing and closed parking lots to beaches, trails and parks may still keep people away.

This week’s Sunday Stills photo challenge theme is waterworld. If you are one of the lucky ones who can enjoy being in or around the water, tell us about your favorite water world. Show us in recent photos. Can’t enjoy the water where you live? Share your favorite water photos from your archives.

Did you know…? “About 71 percent of the Earth’s surface is water-covered, and the oceans hold about 96.5 percent of all Earth’s water.”

Water Science School

Our seasonal windsurf campground in the Sacramento River Delta opened this weekend with rules for social distancing in place. Not hard to keep your distance while sailing or paddling…in light wind conditions…

Beginner windsurfers enjoy a light wind day for practice
Social Distancing

Or in 40 mph winds!

Trio of Sailors Windsurfing

After a busy day on the water, we can enjoy the sunset,

Molten Delta Sunset

…then wake to a new day.

Quiet Delta Morning

Some more of my favorite places to play in and around the water.

From Northern California’s Lake Tahoe, Lake Natoma and Yosemite National Park…

Boats in Tahoe Marina
Tahoe Keys Marina
Dock
The dock at Lake Natoma
Lake Tenaya, Yosemite National Park
Lake Tenaya, Yosemite National Park

…heading South to San Diego Harbor,

Shelter Island Marina San Diego
Shelter Island Marina San Diego

to Baja, Mexico in the Sea of Cortez…

Symbol-of-Fun
In the Sea of Cortez
Weightless water
La Ventana, Baja Mexico

…and Westward to the Hawaiian Islands…

SUPing the waves
Wave Paddling, Hilo Bay
Hilo Surfers
Hilo Surfers

We enjoy life and live in a Water World!

Please wear a life jacket. Or borrow one.

Kids Don't Float

For Sunday Stills this week, show us your own water world and what you love about it!

May is National Water Safety Month

May is National Water Safety Month. Please stay safe in and around the water.

Flag

Thank you to the servicemen and women who have sacrificed for our country.

The sunset photo is submitted for Jude’s Photo Challenge.

© 2020 Copyright-All rights reserved-secondwindleisure.com

Sunday Stills: Photographing #Near and #Far

Lighthouses from Afar

This week, our Sunday Stills photo challenge is to photograph something from afar, then get close to the object or scene and take a close-up or image from a reasonable distance to show more details. Reach into your archives or take some new photos for the challenge.

This week’s challenge was inspired by the following photographs of a small grove of ornamental cherry trees on a residential street in my neighborhood. They bloomed early in February and put on a “stop the car” show.

Small Tree Grove just in Bloom
Spring brings clouds of blossoms
From 2017

Once I got out and took the shot, I walked closer and noticed the blossoms were alive with bees!

Blossoms and Bee up close


I am glad I took these when I did, as the north winds have since blown away the delicate blooms.

This photo was taken at 20,000 feet on a flight from Sacramento to San Diego over Yosemite Valley. Not bad for a window shot and I took the liberty of marking the main peaks for you. What is astounding to me is to be able to see the high country of Tuolumne Meadows at the top portion of the image!

Yosemite Peaks from Afar

As close as I can get is this shot of Half Dome from Glacier Point in Yosemite Valley. My brother and my two daughters have taken the hike up Half Dome. It is strenuous and I admire those who can devote an entire day (12-15 hours) to the hike. This is close enough for me, thank you.

Half Dome View from Glacier Point
Half Dome View from Glacier Point

Valley floor view of Half Dome in Spring, shrouded with clouds.

Clouds Hide Half-Dome in early spring

Ten years ago, in February 2010, was my first trip to Baja Sur, Mexico to meet my not-yet husband on his windsurfing vacation in La Ventana. We toured the area south of there and came across these lighthouses. The shorter one was in the process of being replaced by the active, taller structure. With binoculars, you can see this peninsula from La Ventana and you can make out these structures (don’t have that shot to share with you).

Lighthouses from Afar

We were able to climb into the old lighthouse for the “near” shot you see of me!

Inside the Lighthouse

As host of Sunday Stills, I am always pleased whenever you share your photos each week. I am always excited to welcome new bloggers who join the challenges. Please welcome and visit our five new participants who joined in February!

I’m linking with this week’s Lens Artist Challenge Change Your Perspective!

Open Your Eyes, Too!, Unfold and Begin, Ramya Tantry, Jacqui Biggar–Author and Zebra’s Child.

Of course, I always take my own challenges literally, but you can be as creative as you wish! Have a great week!

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