The Flower

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Somewhere in the ocean of contemplation, I have caught some words of wisdom.

Beauty is just like the sun. Its rays radiate throughout the vast space of the universe. Although some of the rays’ brightness do not reach the grounds, the rays remain golden. They are just obscured by dark clouds.

Meeting Life and Mother Nature

You beckoned my soul to a place unknown to me,

Led me on a road so rugged, narrow, and windy.

To the left and to the right I go,

I followed the directions that you show.

Endless road it seems to me,

Turning back is more than dreary.

I must go forward to find my destiny,

So I prayed to God to guide and lead me.

You hearkened to my soul and you read my mind.

You were always beside me and never left me behind.

 

I came upon a vast and spacious plain,

Decorated by nature with plants in brilliant verdure.

Sheltered me with lofty skies, gentle breezes, and fine weather.

My heart swelled with happiness, full of joy and laughter.

I thank the Lord our God, and our creator!

 

You commanded my spirit to soar higher to the mountain,

So I trudged up with courage, patience, and determination.

My heart was racing and the body in pain,

Tired and weary, as I set foot on top of the mountain.

Night fell, my eyes surrendered to slumber.

I slept through the night, under the skies of summer.

 

As I woke up on a new day,

You allured my eyes with nature’s beauty.

You directed my steps to the wilderness,

I continued to walk amidst the trees.

You called my name and I listened carefully,

I followed that gentle voice, that was not a folly!

I was not crazy, it was not a fantasy,

I faced Mother nature, with her stunningly perpetual beauty.

I sat beside her and immersed my whole being in her.

Never did I hear a word from her, but only silence enchanting as ever,

So eloquent,  that virtually no lips of humans could utter.

 

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Three Days of Summer in Lake Tahoe

To break away from unnecessary pressures of life and to escape from the scorching temperatures of summer in the Inland Empire, Southern California, we took a road trip to the north, and veered through the wooded roads towards Lake Tahoe.

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Lake Tahoe is one of the most visited places in the world anytime of the year, be it spring, winter, summer, or fall, as it is famously known for its gorgeous waterfalls, pristine lakes, fabulous beaches, majestic mountains, and ski resorts, to name a few. Lake Tahoe offers myriads of indoor or outdoor activities, both for the young and old. Water sports include parasailing, kayaking, windsurfing, jet skiing, and the like. For adventurers, there are many evergreen alpine trees shaded trails to hike and great mountain trails for biking as well. Indoors? there’s the beautiful Village center located next to the Marriott Heavenly Village where one can shop, or just hang out in one of the bars and coffee shops. There are big casinos, too, like Harrah’s, Hard Rock, and MontBleu for those who like to gamble.

Lake Tahoe lies between California and Nevada, tucked in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. It is the largest alpine lake and the second deepest lake in Northern America. Part of the lake’s appeal is its clear and cobalt blue color. Can you believe that the water in this gorgeous lake is about 99.7% the same as distilled water? It is amazing, too, that the lake does not freeze over in the summer.

We arrived at Lake Tahoe at around 5 p.m. and checked in at the Three Peaks Resort and Beach Club Tahoe Hotel where Bosco, our pet dog, was allowed. The 8 hour drive was quite tiring, but a light snack and a short nap for replenishment and reinvigoration sufficed to get us back on the road to see “one of the most photographed places on earth”, the EMERALD BAY. No wonder why tourists refer to it as paradise, it is because of the stunning view and picturesque scenery. From Vista Point, one can see the tiny Fannette island with an old castle/ tea house atop it. I could not get enough just by gazing at the deep blue and still waters of the lake surrounded by alpine forested peaks. What a breathtaking view! There should be more ways to get immersed into that beautiful creation of Mother Nature!

To catch the sunrise at the Emerald Bay, I took a second trip by myself early in the morning straight to the Inspiration Point to get the best view of the beautiful Emerald Bay. Unfortunately, clouds shrouded the skies and the surrounding mountains, thus resulted to dark photos that I took with my cellular phone. On the contrary, I was fortunate to have driven there that time of day, because there was no traffic and that allowed me to proceed driving to the Donner’s Pass. There were about 4 people including myself in the area. I found myself a good spot to sit and relax. Fleeting as it was, that moment was my best peaceful respite.

For a more thrilling experience, we ventured through the single, narrow lane roads of the Fallen Leaf lake. It was bumpy with some pot holes. I had to carry with me my driving skills, and of course courteousness to the other drivers you meet on the road. Nevertheless, we were rewarded a stunning and majestic, up close and personal view of the Quaint Lily lake, the Glen Alpine Lake, and the gushing waterfalls of Glen Alpine cascading down the boulders.

Like I have mentioned earlier, there must be a better way to experience the deep blue lake of Emerald Bay. Who would resist the call of the lake?

We embarked on the Bleu Wave yacht, that departs from the Zephyr Cove Resort for a Sunset Champagne Cruise. My kids started to get disappointed due to the weather. It started to rain and there was thunderstorms. I was hopeful, though, that the weather will cooperate. Sure enough, the rain stopped and the cruise began. I took some pictures while cruising the bay:

One of the highlights of Lake Tahoe is riding the Heavenly Gondola to the Heavenly Ski Resort. Just for fun and experience, my daughters, Katrina and Adrienne, and I went for it. I bet the place would be best to visit when there is snow.  As you see on the photos, the place is quite dry.

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To end this story, I would like to thank  my handsome son, Lance Paolo Cating for navigating for me to  drive to and from Lake Tahoe and Menifee, CA. To Adrienne and Katrina, thank you for understanding your mother throughout the days spent in that beautiful paradise. Our dog, Bosco, you were a great company to us.

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