Thursday, December 24, 2015

The Most Peaceful Time at the Mall

Nordstrom, Washington Square
This is the most peaceful time at the mall to do last minute shopping, really! I have been coming here on Christmas Eve morning in the last three years. I wanted to see what it looks like on the last minute rush, but I was disappointed, it turned out to be the most peaceful time to shop for the last minute buying spree. See for yourself....

Sunday, December 20, 2015

The Spirit of Christmas 2015

Bridgeport Village 2015

Merry Christmas for those who celebrate......

I am trying the mirror-less camera, this time no tripod, no big camera and no cable release that will attract the attention of the security guard. So, no security guard on my tail, it is priceless. The rain was on and off last night, luckily I was able to grab an umbrella and shield my camera. At times, it was windy, so we retreated in the center gazebo which has a heater in it. Enjoy the festivity and I think I am going to put this camera into hibernation until 2016.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Holiday Cookies Exchange 2015

Chocolate - Candy Cane Cookies
Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. This is our final gathering for the year 2015. This time is a bit different; we bake our cookies and our own home and bring them for “Holidays Cookies Exchange”. This time we had more time to chat and enjoy the ambience of the holiday seasons. We want to wish you a very Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year. I would also like to say that the camera needs to go for hibernation, see you in early spring 2016, but if I have interesting subject, I will wake up my camera.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

House in Autumn

Autumn in Beaverton
The wind is howling but no rain yet as of this morning, so I raked as much leaves as I can, but it seems it is like a losing battle with the wind that always constantly blowing my piles of leaves, nonetheless I got my green trash bin full of leaves this morning. I also clean the drainage on both sides of the street. When I almost done I notice my one of my neighbors house “calling” me to take pictures, so I did, the result is a beautiful fall color. I enjoy it, it says the season of leaves.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Autumn in the City Park

Portland City Park
I passed by this city park two days ago, but I did not have my small camera around my neck. So this morning, I brought the camera hoping that it is not raining and the sun is in hiding. I got my wish. I took a “short” break from work and walk a few blocks to retrace my previous route. Because of a warm October, most of the leaves are still on the trees with a few exceptions. The forecast for tomorrow is heavy rain, so I am glad that I captured these last leaves.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Double Exposure - a reflection through window displays

Woodburn Outlet Mall
A friend at work suggested “double exposure” as an experiment, so when we went to Woodburn Outlet Mall, I brought my small camera as to not attract the security guard and ask me a whole bunch of questions as to why I was shooting the window displays. There is just one problem! Woodburn Outlet Mall is an outdoor mall, thus all the display windows are double panes, so most reflection images are double, sometimes it gives a strange effects. You might be totally dislike or on the other hand intrigue about these images. It is just an experiment, next time I try to take indoor mall during the holidays.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Columbia Gorge in the rain

Storm as seen from the Vista House
On a blistery Sunday we brave ourselves to seek pictures of Columbia Gorge in the rainstorm, the lighting is almost perfect, sometimes it gets so dark so we have to compensate the exposure while trying to capture the essence of the rainy weather, most of the time we had a good break in between the storms, it is raining hard while we were driving, so be it. Here’s the result. It is November after all in the Northwest.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Al's Garden - display of Halloween and Christmas

Photo by Pokie
Our good friend suggested that we should go to Al’s Garden because it has a good display of the holiday theme as well as Halloween. After our morning walk at the Summerlake Park in Tigard, we drove west to Al’s Garden. It was a photographer’s paradise in my opinion. One theme of the holidays from left to right and not to mention the Halloween display since it was exactly one week before the wet Halloween. No trick or treat goblins that we could find that very night.

Summerlake Park - Tigard

My brand new retirement bench
This Summerlake Park is even closer than the Commonwealth Lake Park from our house, we have a tendency to ignore and not paying enough attention any park that is closer to our domicile, so one Saturday early morning we decided to take pictures of the lake, I believe the sunrise at that time was 7:39 AM but it is too bad that the sun was too shy to show its face, it was a cold morning undeniably but very tranquil. We made one round, the path is paved and it is indeed a nice park to do our morning walk.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Happy Halloween

The Lakeview Farms
The combination of a pumpkin patch and a miniature train intrigue me, it tickle my fancy. So, on an ominous Saturday morning, we headed six miles north and about nine miles west to see The Lakeview Farms. It was the first time for me to see a pumpkin patch, let alone you can ride a train and a sternwheeler for that matter. Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

To Montreal with VIA

Union Station - Toronto
From Toronto to Montreal, we took the Canada Rail or in short VIA. The ride is smooth and on time. But to get around the Union station is a bit of a mess, I had to familiarize with the place a few days before we actually board the train just to make sure. One good advice that I received was look for the train number and do not look for the destination. Even the concierge gave up on explaining the available map.

Casa Loma

Casa Loma, Toronto
We were disappointed with Casa Loma, to begin with the sun is in the opposite side of the Casa (house) and taking a picture of the whole house is almost impossible, but if you want to take silhouette, then it is perfect. Secondly, there is no washroom other than inside the Casa, Pokie needs to use the facility but she has to pay an admission fee? Give me a break. The ticket is Can $24.00.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Tang Ren Jie (Montreal Chinatown)

Tang Ren Jie - Montreal
This time, I tried to find my “long lost uncle” to no avail in Montreal-Chinatown, it turns out that his name is “Wai Ran Wei”, no wonder he is gone missing. This Chinatown is not as impressive like its counterpart in Toronto, but nonetheless it has two Chinatown Gates where in Toronto, it has none. Tang Ren Jie literally means “Tang People Road”, usually this term is used outside China. I hope you enjoy the tour with us, I will send you the summary links soon.

Croix du Mont-Royal

Croix du Mont-Royal
We are winding down on the tour of Montreal. We did not make it to the cross the first time we went to Mont-Royal. It is a good thing to have an extra day for the purpose of going to the places that we miss or to the places we like to re-visit such as the French bakery that Pokie loves so much. This time around, I was a bit smarter and get off on the second bus stop closer to the cemetery and walk to the Chalet then to the cross without the hiking the trail that we went the first time to the chalet.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

"We ate our souvenirs"

Famous Poutine of Montreal
“We ate our souvenirs”, that’s our motto these days when we travel, especially when travel light except when we drive the Wanderlust. In the past, I have a habit of buying a mug every time we make a stop. Now, we have so many mugs we do not know what to do with them. In this website, we found so many wonderful foods and drinks and I like to share these with you, I hope you are not hungry at this time, a few of Toronto’s and many of Montreal’s. Enjoy!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Parc Olympique de Montreal

Parc Olympique de Montreal
Parc Olympique de Montreal, the landmark site of 1976 summer Olympic games. One of the greatest athletes that came out of this event was Bruce Jenner, or is it Catherine Jenner now? I am confused; let’s leave it at that. From our hotel we just take the Green line, since it is hard to hear in French what is the next stop is, I just count the stops – 9. We arrived at Station Viau. The site also is housing the highest incline funicular. We did not take the ride, just enjoy the site and walk around.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Parc du Mont-Royal

Parc du Mont-Royal
I heard that if you have not visited Mont-Royal, you have never been to Montreal. So we make it a point that we visited this park. The official name is Parc du Mont-Royal. From our hotel we took two buses to get here. I was too anxious to get out, so we made it to the east observation. It took a bit of a hike to reach Chalet du Mont-Royal, I lost count how many times I say “Excuse moi” to get the direction. At the end we made it, but we were too tired to see the cross, but we made it on our last full day a few days later, that website is coming up.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Vieux Montreal

Rue Saint-Paul, Vieux Montreal
This is Vieux Montreal or old Montreal; it is just around the corner of Basilique Notre-Dame de Montreal. We walked east from the basilica, but we are kind of disappointed with the place, one of the biggest reason is we have been to Vieux Quebec two years ago, which is a lot nicer and better. Nonetheless, this spot is a tourist destination of a “must see spot”, so here it is the best that I can capture the scenery.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Montreal Metro - Rubber-tyred

Montreal Metro System
Getting around Montreal is not difficult at all; the key when taking the Metro (subway) is to know the final destination and the line color. When taking the bus, you need to have “Plan Des Reseaux” from STM (Montreal System Authority), it has every bus lines printed. When in doubt, just ask! My highlight, and I had been wanting to experience is the subway, because it is RUBBER-TYRED. Amazing, but I heard it costs more to operate, it has a higher acceleration and a shorter braking distance. This subway runs every five minutes, it seems forever compared with Toronto subway, which runs every two minutes.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Basilique Notre-Dame de Montreal

Basilique Notre-Dame de Montreal before the crowd
Welcome to Montreal. This basilica is one of our highlights of Montreal. When we know the operating hours, we decided to come when the doors open. So, before 8:00 AM, we were there at the entrance, we also enough time to take the outside fa├žade, with one eye on the watch; we also keep looking at the basilica door. Because of the popularity of this church, an admission fee is charged at Can $5.00 per person, a small price to pay to be able to enjoy the beauty of the interior. It is truly magnificent.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Toronto - Chinatown

Spadina Avenue, Chinatown, Toronto
This should be the last on the series of websites about Toronto. Welcome to Chinatown, the land of a long lost uncle. At this place Pokie finally found him, his name is “Yu Hai Ding”. Got it! Toronto Chinatown is on a huge Spadina Avenue. I am sorry if I took the streetcar photograph one too many, but I can’t help it since this is part of Chinatown scenery. Next week, I will start sending you Montreal, the sites that we visited,

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Commonwealth Lake Park

Commonwealth Lake Park
Sometimes we ignore places that are close by either by not knowing it or there will always time to visit soon mentality. This Commonwealth Lake Park falls into the first category. I never know it existed and it is only less than five miles from our house. When we got there this morning, the light rain has just stopped, giving me time to walk around the entire lake, which is just 0.8 mile long. Really, I was feeling like a kid in the candy store, snapping pictures left and right. I consider the lighting to be soft and perfect for such occasion. Come on, I will take you for a short walk.

Distillery District

Distillery District - I "Heart" You
Welcome to the Distillery District, this is an old brewery factory that turned into a hip place, sort of happening. It has many galleries and restaurants. We try to save our “feet” from walking too much, so we had been waiting and waiting for the bus that never came. Remember the Murphy Law says, as soon as we walked a block the bus came, so we boarded, but we had to get off in just one block due to street construction…we laughed so hard.

What do you know, just before we arrived at the district, the street corner was cordoned off due to the aftermath of a high speed chase, it took three police cars to stop this criminal. It was fresh news for that afternoon; the Toronto Star covers the incident. Read the story (I included the link), I took the picture from the opposite angle.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Yonge-Dundas Square, an urban jungle

SE corner of Yonge-Dundas Square
From the Farmers’ market, I will take you back to the “urban jungle” namely Yonge-Dundas Square. I believe this is an equivalent to the Times Square in New York City. Many “happenings” are in this square; it is also a “Hop-on-Hop-off” for some tourist buses. We then explore the “Urban Eatery”, here you can find from Falafel to sushi and in between. Pokie found a Mediterranean-eating-place that she likes a lot. From there we explore the underground shopping mall that stretches one long block from Dundas Satation to Queen Station – Eaton Centre. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

St. Jacobs Farmers' Market

It rained when we got there..
Back to Toronto, on our last day, my high school buddy and his wife took us to St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market. OMG. Not only you can find the freshest fruits and vegetables, this place is a photographer’s paradise when it comes to the natural colours (Canadian spelling) contrast. Of course the weather decided that it needed to send off some Oregonians, so it rained when we got there. We also found fresh apple fritter, the line is long but it moves fast. Yummy…

Monday, October 12, 2015

My morning walk

My retirement bench
It was a foggy and misty morning, the clock says it was almost 10:00 A.M., so I decided to take my morning walk. The leaves are turning, it is a good opportunity to snap some pictures of the beginning of the fall season. With the camera around my neck I snap pictures as I was walking toward Walgreens to get Pokie’s prescription. I did not take the usual route, instead I walk around the pond and climb stairs and walked through the library which I thought it was open, I was given a one-way out.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Montreal as I see it.

My first impression of Montreal
There are still a few websites about Toronto, but I want to share this “Montreal” with you first since some of them are funny and hilarious, you can call HELL from this particular phone booth, and one driver managed to park his/her car on the sidewalk, my first impression of Montreal and some of the beauty that I found around the city.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Greater Toronto Transportation

Islington Subway Station
“Greater Toronto Area” is a very large metropolitan; I am dealing with at least two transportation authorities namely Mississauga (miway) and Toronto (ttc). Our home base is in Mississauga, so to accomplish the transportation need, I have to get GTA Weekly Pass, good from Monday through Sunday. One week pass is now at Can $61.00, a decent price to pay considering you can go anywhere for one week. We really got a full use of the pass during the week.

Monday, October 5, 2015

St. Lawrence Market

Front Entrance
This is the second full day in Toronto; I made an itinerary to see St. Lawrence then Distillery district later on in the afternoon. We like to go early and be home before 6:00 PM, just before dinnertime. St. Lawrence Market reminds me like Pike Market in Seattle. This market is meat and cheese lover paradise; we found Greek bagel and Vegan spicy tofu to take home for dinner.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Centre Island - Toronto skyline

Toronto skyline by Pokie Lie
The plan is to see two things in Toronto each day, but visiting Centre Island requires more than half a day. So in the afternoon we just visited Chinatown for refreshing bubble teas and to buy meals to take home. We were very lucky that the weather is cooperating with us, no clouds, and just plain blue skies throughout the day, although it was a bit hazy toward the afternoon hours.

CN Tower

CN Tower or Tour CN in French
This is the first day we are on our own. We took a bus, subway and walk to the CN Tower or Tour CN in French. CN Tower is located just went of the Union station and on the way there I was able to do some “train watching”, I have never seen so many trains in one place in my life, it is a treat for me indeed. Enjoy, I hope you are not afraid of the height.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Niagara Falls - Canadian side

Niagara Falls - Canadian side
Hello there,

We have just come back from a fun filed, aching feet, of a two-week vacation from Toronto and Montreal, Canada. I took more than 1,500 images in those times with my new mirror-less camera that performed superbly in low light and bright light with contrasting shadows. My first installment is Niagara Falls from Canadian side of course, I hope you enjoy it and there will be more coming your way. Stay tune!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

In search of nectarines and peaches

On Sunday, we made our way to Hood River in search of nectarines and peaches. It was a bad day in term of air quality, the smokes from the wildfires from Oregon and maybe Washington converged and being pushed by easterly wind to the Willamette valley. Nonetheless, we made to the orchard and we also made a stop at the country store.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Sleep Apnea and CPAP machine

CPAP Machine

Finally, on August 11th of this year I went to have a sleep study at Portland Clinic –South. Check in is at 8:00 PM and check out is at 6:00 AM. Believe me, it is the most expensive “hotel” I check myself in. To my surprise my score is 47 – SEVERE sleep apnea. The good news is there is a treatment for that, enter the CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. Well, I look like a pilot from Star Wars. May the force be with me.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Beaverton Farmers Market

Image taken by Pokie using iPad Mini
Cloudy and cool is perfect to day to stroll along Beaverton Farmers Market this morning. The light is even and I can picture the explosion of colors of the fresh fruits and vegetables. We bought a cookie – Raisin Oatmeal and two pounds of small potatoes for dinner tonight. Come walk with me to the farmers market. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Gibsons Landing

Gibsons Harbor
This is the last place that we visited in term of visiting the Sunshine Coast, in the morning, we still have a cool breeze and it is very pleasant to visit the town including the harbor, of course the town of Gibsons landing is small enough to walk. But, the RV Resort is on an open field and it is right down hot.

Davis Bay

Davis Bay Pier
I think this is the best from all of the Sunshine Coast, we explored this bay in the morning before the heat arrives and we witnessed the forest fire that was raging last night close where we called home. Ashes were all over the Wanderlust in the wee hour of the morning.


Lund Harbor
We did not go out until 5:00 PM to see the one square block of town, it is the most northerly point in the Sunshine Coast, and you can’t go further than this. In fact, it is the home of Mile Marker “0” for Highway 101, which stretches all the way to the southern coast of Chili in South America. It has one restaurant, one bakery and one historic hotel.


Nanaimo waterfront
We only spent about three hours in downtown Nanaimo, if you guess due to the heat, then give yourself an A+. The sun was so intense and the high pressure was upon us like a pressure cooker. The fact that it is close to the waterfront, it does not help. We visited our favorite bakery – Nanaino Bakery and Confectionery.

Friday, July 10, 2015

RV Parks and Campgrounds

Jinglepot RV Park, Nanaimo
This is my second installment from our trip to the Sunshine Coast, Canada. This time I will show you the places we call “home” for the night or two. We had one cool day in Courtenay where Pokie opens her kitchen; otherwise we had to wait until late in the evening where the temperature is bearable. funny thing is we have to insert Loonie (Canadian dollar) for showers. At first one dollar is good for 5 minutes, then we move further north and one dollar goes for 4 minutes, then in Lund, one dollar can only give us 3 minutes. Only in Canada!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Sunshine Coast - BC Ferries

BC Ferry - Langdale to Horseshoe Bay
We were just come back from a shorter (than planned) tour to the Sunshine Coast, Canada. We made a loop from Tsawwassen ferry terminal. It took 4 ferry rides to come back to Vancouver BC. We wanted to escape the heat, but it just followed us with a vengeance, ninety degrees daily is the norm in this trip. We really did not fully utilize our time exploring the area, this was the worst travel when it comes to the heat, and we rather have a colder weather using the Wanderlust.

We only explored the area in the mornings and evenings when we think the weather is cooler, the rest of the time we were cocooning inside the motor home with the AC full blast. The images on this website is just purely for documentation purposes only, no creativity – blame it on the heat.

Nonetheless, this is our first installment to show you just the ferry ride; next I intend to make the website as to where we stay or the campgrounds we called home for a day or two.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Fleet Week - Rose Festival 2015

Canadian Coast Guard ships
I took a break from work and walk toward the Waterfront to see some ships that dock here every year. This is part of the Rose Festival and it is usually the first week of June. Most of the ships are Canadian Coast Guard, US Navy and US Coast Guard. It was mid morning and a long line has formed when I got there.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Festival of Flowers on a cloudy day

Festival of Flowers - retake
I was not fully satisfied with the images that I took when it was bright and sunny of the Festival of Flowers, so I re-shoot the images on a rainy and cloudy day, the result was vivid color of the flowers, a bit dark I might say, but it is certainly a lot better when it comes to color renditions. This time I use my own camera.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Peninsula Park

Peninsula Park - the first public rose garden
My former co-worker has been begging me for years to come here and take photographs. Well, I think I used too strong of a word, she has been asking me; I think it is a better-suited word. I have to say; I was dumb founded to see this rose garden exists here in north Portland, just 20 minutes where we live. This 16.27-acre park was originally purchased in 1908 for $60,000.00. It is the first public rose garden in Portland. Pokie is credited with all the close-up images in this website.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Festival of Flowers 2015

Pioneer Court House Square
Once again, my co-worker lent me his new toy (camera) to shoot the Festival of Flowers in Portland Living Room. Bright sunny day is not my forte when it comes of taking flowers, but I would not pass along to get my hands dirty on a full frame mirror-less camera. It is SONY A7. It feels like a regular camera except it is light. I am disappointed that the design of the flowers is getting worse by the year. But please enjoy it, the rate it is going there might not be any Festival of Flowers in the future.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Lewis Creek Park

Lewis Creek Trail
Pokie’s nephew took us here to this park to “walk” his son before an afternoon nap when we visited Seattle last weekend. I was having a “field” day photographing this park, I have never seen buttercup flowers blooming and filled the wetlands so beautifully. It was indeed a delightful afternoon, but best of all; his son took a long afternoon nap after the walk. I took many different compositions and I hope I do not bore you.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

The hunt for the Witch's house

Along MacLeay Trail
When I showed Pokie (some pictures I “google”) that I want to go and see the Witch’s house, she was scared and balked and not wanting to go, she was petrified because some people might use the house for other purposes other than just an attraction such as drinking and smoking some weeds, also the graffiti is destroying the beauty of this house.

I told Pokie, not a problem if you are scared, I will bring my “buddy” guard with us on the trail. The day is cloudy and a bit dark and that’s exactly what I wanted for soft photography. Come, I will take you to the Witch’s house.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Eastern Oregon (Revisited)

Sometimes, digging through my previous images will yield to some photographs that I overlooked when making the very first website. The joy of finding old photographs is compounded with the post-production techniques that I did not posses previously. In here I found many sunset images that I only process one for the original website.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Wetlands of Portland

Expo Center Wetlands
This is the second test of the new toy. This time the wetlands are the subject. It is close to Portland Expo Center. The Yellow Line of Portland light rail serves the location well. Thank goodness for the electronic viewfinder, otherwise it is really hard to see the preview image against the bright sky.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Painted Hills (Re-do post production)

Painted Hills
A few friends inspired me to “redo” the Painted Hills images in the post-production, so I experimented and I think I am more satisfied than what I did in 2010. I use “Hue” saturation, shadows and highlights and the “High Pass” Sharpening tool as well as Contrast adjustments. Here are the results.