Something Red: Don Juan Climbing Rose

I don’t typically go out and get the roses in time.  What usually happens is that my mother reminds me repeatedly, until one day I finally go out.  By then I find that all the petals had fallen off and they’ve turned into rose hips.  Which is okay enough, since you can make jam from rose hips.  And tea, if I recall correctly.  But anyway, this time I got to enjoy the multitudes of red, healthy roses, happily welcoming me into their side of the garden. *pats myself on the back*  And then I clipped ‘em.  *ouch* And pulled their petals off. *double ouch*  And then we made rose petal jam out of it. *drool* Of course.  At least they were once happy.

The Cream Rose

I haven’t taken pictures of roses in a while, firstly because our awesome mulberry tree was sucking up most of the nutrients and the roses bushes have been neglected.  The other reason is because I was stuck in the rut of taking pretty average shots, and then look back going why did I even take that picture?  I guess because I have a digital camera, and if I’m not wasting film it doesn’t matter how lame pictures I take, right?  By no means was this an inspiring shot, but hey, it was worth a try.  I processed it quite a bit using a LightRoom HDR preset called Wizels, and then tweaked that a bit to make it brighter and all that good stuff.  [The preset is downloadable here for anybody who uses LightRoom.]

This was just black and white and then softened to give a dreamy effect.  [The soft and dreamy preset is downloadable here.]

Japanese Garden in CSULB

When I was a kid, I’d often tag along as my father would drop my sister off at university.  One day he noticed there was a Japanese Garden, and decided to check it out.  I didn’t really remember much of it, I only remember the bridge and that it was pretty.  I do remember that we had finished pretty quickly, and going back there I realized how small it is.  Pretty surprising given how much open space there is around the garden.  What else is surprising is that there are no names near the plants, and I really hate not knowing the names.  They do realize the garden is within the university, and hence a little bit of free knowledge for the passerby would be nice, right? Second gripe is the lack of cherry blossom trees.  Maybe they’re tired of Japanese Gardens and cherry blossom trees being synonymous, but I’m not tired of it…yet.  Third gripe…ok, nah, there is no third gripe.  ;)

I did have a good time though.  The day was bright, the flowers were pretty, the koi were lively.  There was this cute little girl in a red kimono, and I really wanted to take her picture but felt way too nervous asking the parents if I could take a picture.  The memory is in my head at least. :)

This was a lucky shot in the parking lot. Lucky because the battery was depleted and I almost didn't get it.

 

Victoria Beach: Time to say bye-bye

Yup, we were in and out pretty quick.  Long enough to enjoy the beauty, quick enough to miss the waves start crashing with more force.

We made the mistake going home along the PCH. It was insanely busy, and this was the bit where you actually saw water while driving. Lol.

Victoria Beach: Searching For The Treasure

So we walked down the steep pathways and loads of stairs, and lo and behold the beach is in sight.  We get to the water, and look around.  Wait.  This is Victoria Beach, right?  So, um, where’s the tower?  Ok, oh well, some other time we’ll get it, for now let’s just enjoy the water.  Nah, instead my sister ever so persistently decides to trek through the rocky path, and then comes back to triumphantly tell me she found it.  So I nervously follow…  I just realized she had to make that trek twice just cuz she had to come back to get me.  Oops.  Sorry sis.

Victoria Beach: Gettin’ There

We decided to go down a different route from the PCH, and it ended up being a path that felt very un-Orange County, which was cool.

 

Well, well, a bit steep. Why did I wear my boots?

I'm a lil crazy daizy.

Go down the stairs, then there's a flat pathway that's slightly steep and slightly sandy. Oh yay? #SlightlyScaredForTheCamerasLife

Laguna Beach: Goin Home

 

We tried our best to rush out of there and make it home in time.  But we failed.  It doesn’t matter though.  All that matters is that I got some spectacular-ish sunset pictures.  Pretty amazing given that I was holding the heavy lens in a moving car.  Sometime I rock. :)

Laguna Beach: Beautiful Water

so should have went down there and drew a heart in the sand. oh well.

We were intending to go to Victoria Beach in Laguna Beach because it has it this old castle tower that is quite beautiful, and not very Californiaish.  I guess it does suit a name like Victoria Beach though.  We drove 2 miles further by mistake, and landed up in the regular Laguna Beach, which happened to make for a pleasant time anyway.  The sky was also very grey, but there was just a thin line of a golden hue from the sunset, which was quite amazing.  What really had me in awe was the color of the water, I never knew that Southern California had beaches with such a pure and clear blue-green color.  I always thought I’d have to go to Hawaii for that, and I assume Hawaii’s beaches are much better than this, but hey,  I’ll take what I can get and be super happy! :)