photography

boatcation: on the boatgram edition

"Vivi? Do you like boatcations?" "Yes, I do very much. Thank you." #Boatcation #CarnivalSunshine
Vacation, you're both doin' it real, real well. #Boatcation
One of the main reasons we chose this ship was because of these beauties right here. Unfortunately, they have been out of commission since we boarded. :(
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My #Boatcation crew, two bottles of sunscreen down, 4 days to go.
Fuzzy headed Caribbean alarm clocks. Free tote bag with purchase. #Boatcation
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Between the ropes course and swimming all day she may come back stronger than Chuck Norris.
After seven days on a cruise ship, she learned how to sleep in. #Boatcation
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NO FUN TO BE HAD HERE. MOVE ALONG. #CarnivalSunshine
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These two.
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Most of our time was spent on the water slides, can you tell? One major bummer is the big slides weren’t working for the first four days (half) of our trip. Since school was back in session, there weren’t many kids on board so it didn’t seem to be a huge priority to get it fixed, but the families who were on board were pretty bummed. The ship we were on, Carnival Sunshine, was actually retrofitted and relaunched last year (originally built in 1995.) While we could tell it was an older ship (based on layout) everything on it felt fresh and updated. There were a lot of differences between it and the Breeze (Launched in 2012. Addie, my mom and I went on it last year) but the experience was just as enjoyable. The staff of the Sunshine seemed much more personable, perhaps because it is smaller so was easier to keep track of people? (Breeze passenger capacity: 3,690 – Sunshine: 2,642) I also have to say that the Red Frog Pub on both the Breeze and the Sunshine found some of the best acoustic performers I’ve ever heard on land or sea. Good job, guys.

And in case you’re all “Where’s Addie?” Addie made friends. SHE MADE FRIENDS. SHE RAN OFF WITH HER FRIENDS! My little introvert made friends! We barely saw her but we didn’t really care because she was HAVING FUN WITH HER NEW FRIENDS! (Total benefit to cruising with kids her age: she was able to sign herself in and out of Club Carnival so she could go to the activities she wanted to (she loved anything crafty as well as the scavenger hunts) then leave when things got too loud.) We had walkie-talkies (Vivi called them docky-dockies) so we could stay in contact.

Carnival’s partnership with Dr. Seuss throughout the ship was pretty adorable. The Green Eggs & Ham breakfast was $5 per person and there were actual green eggs on the menu. There was also a Dr. Seuss parade and storytime as well as Seuss themed activities in Camp Carnival. I hate to compare, but Carnival did an amazing job with its partnership while Royal Caribbean’s partnership with Dreamworks left a lot to be desired. (It was very unorganized, un-relateable to the much younger/much older crowd, and the costumes were terrifying.)

Do you have any questions about cruising? Specifically with little humans? I’m going to be doing another post about “What I Wish I Had Known” as well as “What Totally Worked” in regards to traveling on a boat with progeny.

Find out what we did and what we paid for entertainment/food in each port here. (Because knowing stuff like this will save you a ton on a cruise.)

Carnival generously provided us with our cruise fare. Any additional expenses, gratuities, and travel expenses were our responsibility. Opinions, as always, are my own.

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boatcation: off the boatgram edition

Partner in crime. (Crime = making sure Vivi doesn't drown, much.) #Boatcation
...and maybe a less terrifying portrait?
Things became a wee bit ominous in the land of turkey and cake. #Boatcation
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The girls happily helped me give Cody boobs and mermaid hair.
One year ago at this same beach Addie befriended a toddler because she missed her sister. Today they get to play together. :)
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Chubby, sandy hand clutching her treasure. Toddlers. *sigh* (She fell asleep on me within two minutes of leaving the beach.)
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The end. #Boatcation
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What we did on each stop:

Grand Turk: There was a beach and Margaritaville pool right off the pier, rather than taking a taxi to a more private beach we figured we’d go with what was there. The girls were able to witness a beer belly competition. So, that was fun to explain. (Free, aside from a little souvenir for my sister.)

Puerto Rico (Old San Juan): You can find all that here. ($10 admission to the fort, $3 for pastries and $6 for water. Lots of water.)

St. Thomas, USVI: We took a taxi to Magen’s Bay ($8 per person each way + $4 beach admittance for Cody and me.) This was our favorite day, Magen’s Bay was perfect for Vivi, the water was shallow with no waves, the sand was soft with no rocks and there was plenty of shade. There were also iguanas, to which Vivi declared “DINOSAURS! LET’S CATCH ‘EM!” We brought our own snorkel masks as well, because I’m pretty sure I got sick in November from a dirty rental snorkel. Lunch for the 4 of us at the beach was $24.

St. Maarten: We left the girls on the ship and headed out to Maho Beach to hopefully see this. Sadly, all we saw was traffic (one lane roads around the WHOLE island + a traffic accident = long time in a taxi.) I had the world’s most tasty frozen beverage and if you ever find yourself in St. Maarten (Dutch Side) ask for Delores to be your driver, she took us around the entire island on our own little personal tour. We then had a coconut smoothie that changed both of our lives forever and ever, amen. ($50 for round-trip ride, $18 for various drinks and snacks.)

Cody’s Sister’s Apartment: Free! Hooray for family in Orlando with a sparkling blue pool!

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boatcation: puerto ricogram edition

San Juan
San Juan PR
Old San Juan, Puerto Rico
San Juan
Old San Juan, Puerto Rico
Old San Juan, Puerto Rico
San Juan
Old San Juan, Puerto Rico
Old San Juan, Puerto Rico
San Juan PR
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San Juan
Old San Juan, Puerto Rico
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Way better than the forts we build at home. #FortEnvy
Old San Juan, Puerto Rico
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Old San Juan, Puerto Rico
It's not gas, just a fort.
Morro wall
Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

Nothing wraps up climbing a bazillion 300-year-old stairs like buying pastries from the back of a truck on a street corner.

Old San Juan? We dig you.

(Pictured: Old San Juan, Castillo San Felipe Del Morro and Santa Maria Magdelena de Pazzis Cemetery)

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meeting mr. cleveland

When we told Vivi we were going to Cleveland for the weekend she asked if he was nice and if he had toys at his house.

downtown
downtown 2
historical
baseball
garden vivi
garden addie
Cleveland, for the first time.
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garden 2
garden
Cleveland, for the first time.
jacks
Cleveland, for the first time.
Cleveland, for the first time.
Cleveland, for the first time. jack flaps
rock two
Cleveland, for the first time.
Cleveland, for the first time.
science
Cleveland, for the first time.

She’s still wondering who Mr. Cleveland is, and she was a little disappointed she never got to see his house — but all in all she was pretty pleased with him, his museums, his bowling alley, and his pancakes.

We all were.

******

Pictured Above: Western Reserve Historical Society, Cleveland Botanical Gardens, Jack Flaps, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Great Lakes Science Center. Special thanks to the Cleveland CVB for providing us with accommodations, meals, and attraction passes.

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state fairstagram.

Happiest.
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The things Addie does because Vivi asks... #igersindy
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UntitledTiny toy fair. #igersindy
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I love you, ride 'til my children drop day. (One day, all they can ride wristbands, it's become a tradition.) #igersindy
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Another 2 inches and Vivi will be ready to dominate the Midway the way she wants to.

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the state fair is really goat

Indiana State Fair 2014

Indiana State Fair 2014

Indiana State Fair 2014

Goats

Indiana State Fair 2014

Indiana State Fair 2014

Indiana State Fair 2014

carousel

midway

puddle

dork

It was hard to tell what was more entertaining: the goats, or Vivi yelling like a goat.

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my favorite summer job.

oneSOTP 2014twothreeSOTP 2014fourSOTP 2014fivesixeightnineSOTP 2014tenelevenSOTP 2014

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sexism and sports photography.

Tomorrow I will be shooting the Indy 500 again. Which means some dumb man is going to make some snide remark about little ‘ol me and my big black camera.

When I was in Vegas a few weeks ago working with Floyd Mayweather’s photographer I was holding his camera as we were waiting for an elevator — an older man looked down at the camera, then looked at me and said “That’s an awfully big lens” in a condescending tone. Something about girls and big camera equipment makes some men terribly uncomfortable. When I shot the Indy 500 last time I was in the elevator, weighed down with two enormous cameras and I was on a high — I had just been in the pits at the Indy 500 capturing some of the most exciting photos I had ever taken.

The old guy across from me with his stupid camera vest and borrowed AP equipment said “That’s some serious camera equipment there baby, you know how to handle it?”

I could have killed him.

I’ve been edged out by male photographers before, ones who believe I’m just some mom there with a fancy camera with lots of buttons my husband bought to keep me happy. In fact, the way some people feel about lawyers is the way I feel towards most AP photographers. Thankfully I have met some very kind ones — but it’s always those few loudmouthed stinkers that foul it up for everyone else.

I’m already going into tomorrow with a prickly towards the sexist attitude some men have towards female photographers, which is why I’m getting it out now.

I have to remind myself that my camera and I have a relationship most people will never have with an inanimate object. It is an extension of me, a detachable part of my body that captures what my heart feels, my brains sees and what my mouth can’t manage to say. Just because photography is an intensely emotional process for me, doesn’t mean the all of the technical knowledge and understanding isn’t there as well.

To all the women out there with big black camera bodies and an intimate knowledge of f/stops and metering — I salute you. May we stick together in the literal and figurative pits of being talented and creative ladies in a traditionally male dominated field.

my camera and me

 

 

 

 

 

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