Posts Tagged ‘photography’

Uhhhgh I do not like the sound of this forecast: 100% chance of heavy rain/freezing rain during tomorrow’s a.m. commute.  Looks like I may be joining the rest of West Philly on the trolley. 

Snow, beautiful snow! Blah.

I know it’s only January but I’m ready for spring!!  I miss riding out into the “country” with Pat on the weekends.  Spending time exploring Fairmount Park and the Schuylkill drive… hurry up, spring!  I can’t wait to get back into biking shape soon.  But not in a wintry mix, no thanks.

Penn Museum windows

My parents gave us a telephoto lens for Christmas!  I took it on a visit to the Penn Museum which was fun but probably a bit overkill.  Next weekend Pat and I may take a city ride to get some more practice with it.

Chinese crystal ball

Sneaky out-the-window photo

I think reading about Tara and Tyler from “Going Slowly” is giving me spring fever, too.  Laying on a Cambodian beach all day, sipping coconut shakes and eating mango is right up my alley.  Last night I had a dream that we decided to spend extra time cycling Spain on our trip.  My dream-world Spain was warm, spicy and really, really sunny.  Who knows where our pedals will take us!

Hopefully there's no snow...


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Good thing I didn’t make a New Year’s resolution about writing in my blog regularly…  Ah well, life is too short to regret not posting to your online journal often enough.  Nay?

ghost tree

Check out some night photography Pat and I did the other day.  It did not turn out the way we expected, but it isn’t bad either.  We didn’t use a flash so the tripod Pat gave me for Christmas really came in handy. 

Christmas is OVER already!

This is from a walk through University of Penn’s campus.  They must run on steam for heat or electricity (or both) because they have these vents all over the place.  My college had them too but they were disguised as kiosks for hanging posters on.  I stood on this one for a few minutes, hoping Pat would get a cool picture, but then it got too sweaty and gross. 


Beam me up, Chem Lab!

My husband truly loves art

In other news, my parents, Pat and I ate at PYT in Northern Liberties today.  They have some crazy burgers there!  I selected one with a fried egg and hollandaise sauce on an English muffin, very odd but okay.  I think my dad’s was the best– burger topped with cheese steak, Wiz and onions on a soft pretzel bun.  NOM NOM NOM!

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Happy Belated Birthday to me!  It was a wonderful birthday weekend… my hubby and I had all kinds of fun out on the town– dinner, drinks, photography, more drinks, bike rides and then a few more drinks to round it out.

Birthday mocha

27 isn’t really that huge of a deal– no new privileges, no jokes (yet) about being over the hill, no fuss.  And yet it still feels like I’m standing on the cusp of something really, really big.  I remember turning 17 and thinking to myself, “all right, this is it!  One more year and I’m an adult!”  I was excited and scared and also a bit relieved that I had a full year to prepare for the rest of my life.  It was the same feeling then that I have now though, a feeling of that year being… different.  I made new friends, pursued new interests and got to know my true self a little better.  I hope that this year provides me with the same opportunities.  A coworker, who is very much into the significance of the zodiac, assured me that this year is going to be OUTSTANDING for me.  It probably helps that he is a Sagittarius, too and we are notoriously optimistic (to a fault, even).

So here I stand, in the midst of my twenty-somethings, eagerly awaiting my year to come.  I don’t know what it will bring, but I do know that I can make the most of whatever life throws my way.  This year I want to challenge myself to these goals:

  1. Remember that I am the captain of my own destiny (most of the time…)  Find and utilize resources that will help me move in the direction I want to go. 
  2. Along with #1, realize that no situation needs to be permanent.  Again, use this year as a time for research and self-reflection. 
  3. Be the best wife I can be to my husband, who supports me and loves me more than any rational man really should.  Continue to be good to him and to our relationship.
  4. Open myself up to the possibilities of unexpected twists and turns.  The anniversary of John Lennon’s death was the other day and I felt like I heard the same line from “Beautiful Boy” everywhere I went– Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.  Make sure I don’t get so focused on goals and plans that I forget to admire the life I have NOW.
  5. Have FUN!!!!

Hmm, that seems ambitious enough, don’t you think?  I hope that when I turn 37 I feel the same sense of wonder, excitement and urgency for my years to come that I do now.  To a new year, to a new age, to being 27!

My destiny requires a big propeller!

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Her Royal Highness

Home for Thanksgiving was great– time spent with our families and a much-needed recharge from life in the city.  If it wasn’t so freaking cold in Michigan in November I would have taken some more landscapes… I guess I better work on toughening up to the weather though.  We had a most delicious Thanksgiving meal with my grannnie and grandpa, two of the most interesting people I know.

Well, not as "interesting" as this guy...

My grandpa has a museum in his basement, a perfect example of a modern-day Wunderkammer— a cabinet of curiosities.  His basement is the first museum I ever visited and is still my favorite.  It is a collection of collections, though the bulk of it revolves around World War II (in which my grandpa proudly fought for home and country). 

I had to laugh when I asked my grannie if we could sneak down to take some pictures and her only response was “make sure you turn some lights on down there…”  I have had many guided tours of the basement (and so has Pat) so we showed ourselves around.  Bullets, marbles, Nazi stuff, canes, beer steins, photos, pins, rocks… the list goes on and on. 
My grandpa also has a HUGE collection of little figurines he cast and painted:

Love that mustache!

There is a story (or two…) for each of the items in his collection.  My grandpa’s museum reminds me about the importance of objects.  The “stuff” of our lives carries a narrative, builds memories and can mark our life travels (both physical and emotional).  Grouping these objects adds further meaning– a well-curated exhibit can open your mind to new ways of thinking, to make connections you’d never made before.  I love museums because they are like a big, 3-D, tactile storybook– one you can read a million times and still say at the end of it “huh, I didn’t notice that last time!”  That’s what my grandpa’s museum is to me 🙂


Some day I will tell you the story about the lake in my grandpa’s back field that mysteriously disappeared in the night.

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Forbidden Drive and dirty lens

“Delicious autumn!  My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.”
–   George Eliot

This was our first free weekend since what felt like forever.  We rode out of the city to Forbidden Drive on Friday.  Breakfast stop at the Manayunk Diner (oh so delicious).  I got a flat on the way home but somehow, mysteriously, my tube retained a lot of air so I was able to ride (slowly) all the way back– hurrah!  I need new tires though before winter comes, the “standard” my bike came with is pretty well-worn down.

Of course the camera came out for a spin, too:


Geese and Philly


Clark Park

I have so much free time now, I almost don’t know what to do with myself.  We did make a very sizeable dent in our massive laundry pile.  All that remains is towels and sheets– a victory in my eyes.  Patrick and I consumed much monkey bread in celebration.  I’m trying to focus on my writing, both here and at examiner.com Thanks to everyone who clicks on my various articles, it helps!  I’m also getting excited for the holidays. Looking forward to a much-needed trip home later this month and then a hectic month at work.

Our trip is becoming more and more real in my mind each day.  Today we took another look at the map (upon the guidance of my friend Emily, who is living in Europe) and are considering an alternative route, which gives us a potential departure of June, 2012.  19 months away??  Maybe! I’m glad winter is so boring here, it helps us save money 🙂

He's a model, on the cat walk, the cat walk

More soon!

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Hanauma Bay- waiting for The Bus to Waikiki

I have really been wanting to write about our Hawaii trip but working at the haunt sucks up all my energy and time.  I can’t post any more pictures on here or Facebook, new media rules don’t allow.  But I assure you we still look as gruesome as ever.  But on to one of my favorite places in Hawaii: Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve.

Caity and Paul (our friends getting married in HI) dropped us off at Hanauma Bay after a morning tide pool hike.  We were starving so we had snack bar food at the entrance to the park– not very good but there were nice places to sit if you had a picnic.  There was a really nice education center with friendly educators.  One guide gave us a tip on where the sea turtles could be spotted, we later saw one!

A sea turtle blends into the rocks

Hanuauma Bay was “rescued” in 1990 when the practice of allowing 10,00+ people a day onto the beach was stopped.  Now it focuses on conservation and marine education.  I really liked the education kiosk they had on the beach.  You could check out posters to name the fish you saw or talk to more expert guides.  I would love to manage that volunteer program– office on the beach? Yes please!

Clear blue water

We rented snorkels and fins and swam from one end of the bay to the other.  I felt like a gigantic fish as we skimmed above the reef.  We saw sea cucumbers, urchins and schools of the most colorful fish I’ve ever seen.  They seemed pretty unfazed by all the snorkelers and kept busy feeding on reef.  Worn out after a day in the sun we took a short walk to the far end of the beach and then headed toward The Bus which would take us back to Waikiki.  On the way out of the park we saw a crazy sight– a couple of chickens just roving around!


Of course I had to get nice and close for a photo-op, who doesn’t love a few wild chickens?  (Actually I just found this blog, apparently flightless birds aren’t as fun when you live on an island) 

bawk bawk!

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Diamond Head Crater

Our first “hike” in Hawaii was to the top of Diamond Head, a volcanic crater.  We set out from our lovely hotel on Waikiki beach toward the crater, following the coast road. 

Someone's back yard

The walk to the entrance was much longer than we expected.  But pedestrians get a discount so I guess it was worth it!  Pat and I thought these recycling “cages” looked like modern art:


The hike is .75 miles and paved the whole way.  There was one really steep set of stairs, good thing I use my “stairmaster” at work daily (4th floor office…)  A tunnel inside the crater and then a spiral staircase lead you to a great lookout point.

It was pretty dark in there

This picture makes me dizzy!

Waikiki beach-- our hotel was on the end closest to Diamond Head

Ahhh, fresh air, sunny skies and beautiful scenery!  A lot of our programs at work focus on Earth Science so I was excited to be standing on a volcano on top of another volcano.  Whenever I talk with visitors about plate tectonics I make sure to spend extra time on Hawaii’s formation– it’s going to be even worse now that I’ve been there!

Diamond Head is still home to a U.S. miliary base and the platform on top was once an artillery observation platform.  It offers a great view of the southern and eastern sides of the island though it was pretty crowded when we got up there.  We bypassed the man selling “authentic” certificates of achievement and hailed a cab back into Waikiki.

The same series of volcanic eruptions that formed Diamond Head also created Hanauma Bay, now a National Wildlife Preserve.

snorkel City!

More on that later!  The haunted house is getting crazy– but it three weeks it will all be over and I’ll feel like I just woke up from some really, really strange dream.

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