Through my Lens: The Essence of Fall Camping

The photographs below are from our recent (and last for the year) camping trip to Old Forge, NY. This quaint little town is a base camp for many Adirondack activities such as paddling, hiking, and scenic train rides. We love it because it’s only a 2 hour drive from our house. The crisp, damp air is always wonderfully refreshing. See you in the spring ADK!


St. Kitts Through My Lens

The tropical mountains of St. Kitts and Nevis are dramatic, lush and a brilliant emerald green. They remind me of the voluptuous mountains of Hawaii… or at least the photos I’ve seen of Hawaii.  Maybe next summer I’ll venture west to Hawaii to double check that comparison. Homes do not dot the steep mountains, but rather the towns are scattered at their feet. Large fluffy clouds hang in the sky, kissing the tops of the mountains and breaking up the vast blue Caribbean sky. If you are a lover of fruit, St. Kitts is your Eden. Avocados, mango, papaya, soursop, and breadfruit (Google these last two!) grow in abundance in people’s yards; additionally, you’ll also see plentiful almond trees and sugar cane. Men on street corners sell sugar cane sticks in a plastic bag for a small fee, and women market their colorful fruits from tables set up in the shaded alleys of “downtown” Basseterre. In case you were wondering, to enjoy sugar cane you must gnaw on it using your back molars. Then, suck on the sweet, sugarwater-like juices it releases. When the juice is completely released and swallowed, spit out the left over pulp. It’s like candy.

Overall, I witnessed poverty on the roads near Basseterre, yet received great welcome from the people of St. Kitts. As I watched my son play on the black-sand beach with some St. Kittitian children and as I sipped on a local Rum cocktail garnished with freshly grated nutmeg, I recalled why I love to travel.  It can best be summed up in this Mark Twain quote: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did so. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

Oh, and if you ever visit St. Kitts, don’t be surprised if you end up having a diapered monkey put on your shoulder…………..

Here is what St. Kitts looked like through my lens.

The Virgin Islands Through My Lens

The Virgin Islands are simply breathtaking. To me, they are one of the most picturesque places in the Caribbean. St. Thomas, St. John, Jost Van Dyke, and other surrounding islands look like mountain tops, peeking out of the turquoise waters of the Caribbean. Homes haphazardly cling to the steep cliffs and hills, often times looking like they are stacked on top of each other. Makes you wonder how tricky it must be to construct them. The water is clear, tropical fish are abundant, and you never know when a sea turtle may pop its head out of the water next to you. Without fail,  the “We should open a beach bar here” conversation takes place, as the beach bum, “shoes-optional” lifestyle always seems to attract me. The USVI and BVI are places I would not have a problem calling home.

Here’s what the Virgin Islands looked like through my lens last week.

Old San Juan through my lens

Old San Juan in Puerto Rico, or Viejo San Juan,  is characterized by its 16th and 17th century stone buildings and azure cobblestone streets;  its history is rich, as Ponce de Leon founded it and Christopher Columbus named it. In short, it is a mecca for history or architecture buffs.

I spent time in Old San Juan yesterday and the previous weekend walking the narrow streets, peering into courtyards and shop windows, marveling at the kaleidoscope of colors, and tasting local food and infamous cocktails from a handful of small cafes and restaurants. The Caribbean sun was fierce, the sky violently blue, and the humidity surged.  Gazing at the colorful kites on the emerald lawns of  the sea-front El Morro offered a diversion from the heat. I definitely needed more time in OSJ.

Here is what Old San Juan looked like through my lens.

Pre-Easter Pics

Here are some pics from recent days! Xander is really into Easter this year and thoroughly enjoyed dying his Easter eggs. Soon there after he dropped his basket on the floor and only 2 of the dozen eggs we made survived the fall. Ugh!! So this morning, after a Easter Egg Hunt at a neighbors house, we made 10 more eggs 🙂

dying some eggs

his 1st batch of eggs

Can u find Xander?

there he is!

hunting for eggs at the neighbor's house

I spy an egg

time to eat candy!

New Xander pics

When we were in Orlando last month, we found a couple free hours one afternoon so we met up with Emily Anderson for some photo moments. If you recall, she and I met up in 2009 at the Portofino Hotel. We had a great time catching up and hamming it up for the camera. She got some really great shots (no surprise since she’s so talented!). Check out her website at I brought along a big lollipop for Xander which he devoured!

View photos from the January 2010 photoshoot.

Photos of the Day

This morning I got out my early Christmas gift (my awesome Canon Rebel camera),  to snap some photos of Xander for this year’s Christmas Card. The sky was blue and the morning sun provided excellent light and shadow for photos of my little ham. Here are some of the rejects from this morning’s shoot, though how can it be possible for my little son to take a bad photo? Isn’t he cute?! The one I DID choose for the Xmas card is simply perfect and I love the quality the SLR camera provides… there’s 0 shutter delay, too, which is perfect for the active toddler! I’m handmaking my Christmas cards this year. Last year I handed over the job to Snapfish but I prefer tweeking and designing my own in Photoshop.  Coming to a mailbox near you in December!

Merry Christmas

I leave early Thursday morning for a Gone with the Wind, Mommy-weekend away. I’m traveling to Atlanta and Marietta, GA to celebrate 70 years of GWTW, the epic film that starred my favorite actress Vivien Leigh. In anticipation of the event, I’ve been interviewing cast mates and writers on my other blog, Oh, and I’ve been running contests, too, to generate buzz for this amazing event.  I adore attending these events because it allows me to feel not-so-dorkish. I mean, I’ll be surrounded by other fans of the book, film, and actors so I can comfortably speak freely about my passion. It’s gonna be an action-packed weekend! Read about the Itinerary HERE. Nick & his parents kindly provided me with an early Christmas gift that will accompany me to Georgia– a new camera!! I’m covering the weekend for the Philadelphia Bulletin so it’s always best to have a backup camera in tow. 🙂 It feels like Christmas!

Practicing with my early Christmas present

Sunset Front Row Seats

One of my favorite things about our current house is the view from the kitchen window. The back of our house faces west, and the kitchen window above the sink also faces this direction. Over the past 4 years I’ve seen (and photographed) many pretty sunsets. When the trees lose all their leaves, the view gets even better as then the view stretches for miles and miles and miles. Anyway, here’s the dramatic sunset from 4 nights ago.. it was a beautiful burnt orange (looks pink in the pics) and deep purple! Who knew dish washing could be so beautiful?! You know what could per-fect this gorgeous view– a new, beautiful sink faucet. Fellow blogger Centsational Girl is currently running a Kitchen/Bathroom faucet Contest and the winner receives a new PricePfister faucet for their home. Cross your fingers I win! I want the Ashfield one!

no photoshop help needed!

no photoshop help needed!

My 2009 Sunflower

It’s blooming! I wasn’t very successful with my sunflowers this year. The rabbits built a nest in my garden and ate my first round of sunflower seeds. I replanted in late May and then Xander targeted my seedlings. “Mommy, weeds!!” Ahh, but one sunflower did survive and boy, it’s a tall beauty! Xander calls it the “huge flower.” It reminds me of a beanstalk. I wonder if I can climb it and find a hen that lays golden eggs!