Wouldn't you love to take your kids to Walt Disney World for Christmas? Well, it's mighty expensive, so we arrived the afternoon of New Year's Day when rates go waaaaaay down. All the holiday lights and decorations were still up, so I think we didn't miss out on much. Oh wait, we did miss out on the huge crowds that had been there a week earlier.
|Dazzling holiday lights on Cinderella's Castle reflected in the moat — Orlando, Florida 2008|
The upside to the economic downturn of 2009 is that hubby was forced to use up almost of all of the vacation he'd been rolling over year after year. My parents came to watch the kids, and hubby and I escaped to Puerto Rico. As we were hiking through El Yunque National Rainforest, I couldn't believe how lush the greenery was. Little did I know that two years later, I'd be living on the other side of the world on another jungle-covered island. One tip that I figured out in Puerto Rico and use in Malaysia is that Raincoat + Tropical Climate = Perspiration can't Evaporate.
|High up in El Yunque National Rainforest looking past the coast to the sea — Puerto Rico, 2009|
Our first trip that didn't focus on visiting relatives took us to British Columbia, Canada and the state of Washington. While I was initially apprehensive about taking three young kids hiking in Olympic National Park, it turned out great. I found a site that reviewed the handicap accessibility of various trails in the park and figured that a stroller could go wherever a wheelchair could. While the kids finished up their dinner at Kalaloch Lodge, I ducked outside to take photos of the glorious sunset. I love how the sun's egg yolk yellow glow refuses to let go and is reflected in the water.
|Bidding adieu to the sun at Kalaloch Lodge — Oympic National Park, Washington, 2007|
Two hours west of El Yunque Rainforest in Puerto Rico, you'll find Rio Camuy Caves, the largest cave system in the Western Hemisphere. We were there at the same time as a troop of Puerto Rican Cub Scouts. It turns out scouts in Puerto Rico are just as rambunctious as the ones in Texas. We donned hardhats and took the trolley down to the trail into the caves. At the end of the tour, the sun hit the entrance to Clara Cave just right, causing brilliant white light to stream into the darkness.
|Out of the darkness and into the light — Rio Camuy Caves, Puerto Rico 2009|
Red is a prevalent color in Chinese culture and symbolizes good fortune. At Penang's Goddess of Mercy temple, devotees come to seek her blessings and pray for good luck and prosperity. But they don't come empty handed. They stop by the little kiosks outside the temple to purchase offerings for the goddess. The air around the temple is heavy with the fragrence of the smoldering, pillar-like dragon joss sticks. Smaller red incense sticks are used, too.
|Offerings for sale outside the Goddess of Mercy Temple — Penang, 2012|
I hope you enjoyed these. My color-blind son gives them two giant thumbs up (unless thumbs up is considered offensive in your culture.) Flipping through all my photos has been a great walk down memory lane. If I had access to the pre-digital-era prints sitting in my Texas home, I'm sure the search for the perfect photo to represent each color would have taken much longer. Since it's the last day of the contest, I'll refrain from nominating anyone new.
Which color category is your favorite?
Night Falls on Penang Island
U.S. National Park Week: Part 1
This post is part of Friday Daydreamin' at R We There Yet Mom? Check it out for more travel inspiration.