Just Do It
Last weekend was the annual Scott Kelby’s Worldwide Photowalk. While I had hoped to travel out of state for this year’s walk, I ended up staying close to home again. This year, I opted for the Ybor City/Tampa Ride the Trolley walk.
50 of us hit the rails for trips around Ybor City and downtown Tampa. It was my first time on the trolley and it was a lot of fun. During the day I met some really nice and talented people and talked all things photography. After the walk, we went to a local bar/eatery for more conversation (and air conditioning).
The image above is my entry for this year. The original shot was full body, but when I took it, I knew I’d crop it down to show the tattoos and skateboard. I also envisioned a black and white shot. Overall, I’m pretty happy with it and I really love all the shadows.
Happy Birthday, EPCOT
Wow, it’s been 30 years since Epcot opened! And what does the acronym EPCOT stand for, boys and girls? Experimental Prototype City of Tomorrow. (The original name, by the way, was EPCOT Center.)
I remember my first visit in high school, just after it opened. I still have that ticket around here, somewhere. My favorite part of EPCOT was and still is the England Pavilion. I can easily say I’ve been to Disney and all the sister parks in Florida more than 100 times. It never gets old for me.
Sadly, I’ll miss this year’s Food and Wine Festival at Epcot, but I hope to be able to renew our family passes soon.
The photo above was taken during the 2011 Scott Kelby Worldwide Photowalk. This year’s walk is October 13 and ‘ll be part of a group heading to Ybor City by trolley. The idea of the trolley sold me on the walk. Well, that and I’m still waiting for extra cash to renew those Disney passes!
Check out the Worldwide Photowalk website to see if there’s a group near you!
Everyone has to choose their own path. Sometimes it seems to go nowhere. On those nowhere paths, we hope for a fork in the road, which will lead to new journeys. When you get to the fork, do you go right or left? Or do you just stand there, immobilized, too unsure of which way to go? Do you yell for help, hoping someone hears and responds? Or will you forge your own, new path?
There is no map. Faith has to be your compass.
After the Rain
Rain is grace; rain is the sky descending to the earth; without rain, there would be no life.
~ John Updike
Today, I’m sharing my Photo-Heart Connection for August with Kat Eye Studio. Each month, we share a photo from our files that has a deeper connection to our hearts. Photos don’t have to be technically perfect or follow any photographic rules…they just have to connect to your heart.
This photo was taken on our recent, glorious vacation to the Smoky Mountains on the Tennessee side. The area is a favorite place for my husband and me, but we hadn’t been in years. In fact, we hadn’t traveled outside our state in 8 years…the exact age of our daughter. It was definitely time to go and to share this wonderful place with her.
While I was taking photos at a small creek, I looked up and found my husband and daughter in conversation. Their looks alternated between serious and silly. I couldn’t hear what they were talking about, but they looked happy and relaxed….exactly how you’re supposed to look on vacation!
Our daughter loved the Smokies! She loved being outside, seeing mountains (as she remarked on the way home, “You could throw a rock and never hit a mountain in Florida!”), eating breakfast every morning on a patio that overlooked Gatlinburg, exploring a real cave and seeing deer, bears and horses in Cades Cove. It’s now a place just as special to her as it is to us. We’ll be back, and it won’t take 8 years to do so!
Along the Roaring Fork Nature Drive
Recently, our family went on our first out-of-state vacation to Gatlinburg, TN. A week of waking up to mountain views, scenic drives, nature walks, train rides and relaxation. In some areas of the Smoky Mountains National Park there is no cell service (bonus!). No reason to check e-mail from the office or monitor social media! Taking time to unplug once in a while is highly recommended.
If you’re not into hiking, there are many scenic drives so you can connect with nature from a safe distance, in the air-conditioned comfort of your car. This photo was taken along Roaring Fork, just outside of Gatlinburg. The drive winds through narrow roads and offers great scenery and even a glimpse of wildlife. A few minutes after this photo was taken, we spotted a young Black Bear (we were in our car by then, thank goodness).
Someday, if we can retire, the Smoky Mountains area of NC and TN will be our home. Until then, we have our photos and memories.
I thought this was a nice companion to Elephant Hiney, and another photo from a recent trip to Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa.
The calendar might still show spring, but the weather definitely feels summer! Now that the kids are out of school, it definitely feels different.
I am going to make more of an effort to let go and have fun. I won’t care (as much) if the house isn’t as presentable as I’d like; I won’t worry (so much) about unplugging from work and loosening all those digital leashes (at least on weekends); and I won’t feel self-conscious about looking a little foolish out there being silly with my family.
It’s fun to have fun!
Good ‘ol Dr. Suess offers words to live by! Now, go out and have some fun!