Jungle book: Coatimundi

April 28, 2014

How cute are these animals? First time to see coatimundi's. We saw them as we were exiting the Arenal Hanging bridges. I didn't want to get too close but I heard that they like chocolates (just like me!).

Arenal Volcano

April 21, 2014

Happy Easter everyone!! I hope you all had a fantastic long weekend! I spent mine eating and spending with family and friends. I had a very fun brunch with my family yesterday followed by an easter egg hunt for my nephews.
Now back to Costa Rica. We stayed in La Fortuna, a short drive away from Arenal volcano. On our second day, we were trying to catch a glimpse of the volcano but the clouds hovered around it early in the morning.
We went on our tour of the hanging bridges and it was still cloudy. I was patient and waited. Always trying to catch a glimpse of the volcano.
This is the Arenal lake. A lot of boats tours were offered but we didn't end up going. There was a lot to do in this area but so little time. I wish we have stayed for 3 days instead of 2.
Slowly the clouds started to lift. This was around lunch time.
Here you go! The perfect shot of the volcano.

Art Gallery of Ontario

April 15, 2014

After living in Toronto for 17 years, I have forgotten to explore my own city. I have my own work-home routine that I barely explore other neighbourhoods. I usually blame the weather. When it's winter, I don't like to go out especially when it's freezing and walking around to explore is unheard of. I like to be cosy and I tend to go to my usual haunts.
But spring and summer time is the best time to explore my own city. Long walks around downtown to get inspirations, to try new restaurants, and to re-visit old haunting grounds. I used to frequent the AGO before the new renovation. I was an avid art history student and I always found art as therapy. It was my outlet when I was in high school when I was insecure and confused.
After highschool, I was lucky that my part-time job was walking distance to the museum. I would come here often even on my lunch hour just to browse around the gallery shop. I would buy myself postcards and dream about going to Paris. This where I used to daydream about becoming an artist (haha!).
Two weeks ago was a perfect spring Sunday. I wanted to see the Francis Bacon and Henry Moore exhibit so I took A with me to the gallery. I love the renovation that Frank Gehry did. It's so breathtaking. The AGO feels more open and fresh.
I love all the curves and the lines! and of course the light filtering through.
Henry Moore has a permanent collection inside the gallery. I have been admiring his work when I used to frequent the gallery. It's amazing to see the collection in a new light now that I am much older.
This staircase is the piece de resistance in this building. It's simply beautiful! 
I really loved this floor to ceiling window shutters
A little Rodin - The thinker
Wall to wall paintings. The very top with the four ladies painting reminds me of my sisters and I. Four Maria's.
One of my favourite paintings. The details in this painting is stunning. 
This man stood in front of that Picasso painting forever. I found it inspiring.
Hello Pablo! 
Expect to see more posts of my Toronto exploration. I can't wait to re-visit old spots and hopefully new places.

Arenal Hanging Bridges part II

April 12, 2014

Continuing on with our hike from the Arenal Hanging Bridges (Part I can be found here). Each bridge has a different variation of elevation. If you are afraid of heights then I do not advise to go on this hike. I got scared when more people would walk with us on the bridge. It would sway a lot more and I just prayed that it's sturdy enough for all of us.
To take my mind off thoughts of falling down, I concentrated on the view instead. We saw a lot of flora and fauna during our hike.
Cool looking red ants
Flowers everywhere!
Sturdy cables
The few times that I looked down..scary ;)
Long walk to the end and the bridge was swaying a lot. I couldn't walk fast enough to the end
Cool looking tree
The waterfall. This is actually quite small in comparison to the La Fortuna Falls which I will post soon
At times, the trail can be very narrow and rough
At the very top of the jungle while on the bridge
Can you spot the other bridge on this picture?
Spotted: a teeny tiny bird's nest
The clouds was slowly lifting off to showcase Arenal Volcano

Banana tree!
The hike was amazing! I truly recommend this tour. I would suggest wearing comfortable footwear preferably running shoes. No sandals or flip flops please. Bring water and snacks. Wear comfortable clothing and apply bug spray before you go. The view is absolutely magnificent! It's worth sweating it out for 2 hours.

Arenal Hanging Bridges Part I

April 7, 2014

Waking up early in the morning to start a full day of activity in Arenal. A and I wanted to go to Arenal Hanging Bridge first for the 2 hour hike. After enjoying a complimentary breakfast from our hotel, we set off to drive to Arenal. We enjoyed the scenic view on the road.
Early morning view from the lookout point. The volcano was covered with clouds early in the morning.
The entrance fee to the Hanging Bridge was $24 per person for a self guided tour. We usually like to explore on our own so we didn't hire a guide. If you really want to get an in-depth knowledge of all the wildlife and flora and fauna, then you should definitely hire a guide. The guides also has state of the art equipments for birdwatching.
Huge trees that greeted us at the entrance
I felt like we were on a Tarzan movie!
First hanging bridge encounter
I looked terrified. I was hanging on to the sides very tightly.
More of our jungle experience soon..

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