A Guide on Taking Meaningful and Beautiful Travel Pictures
(Horse and Jaunting Buggy at Muckross House in Killarney National Park, Ireland)
Every once in awhile, I have the pleasure of guest blogging over at Grace Belle Blog. If you haven’t checked them out, you should. It is a super sweet blog all about travel, beauty, living authentically, and more. This post was featured last week on their blog but I have wanted to share this is all of you too!
Things have finally settled down since we have come back from our trip. We have found ourselves back into our routine and things are getting back to normal. Which means I have had time to edit our more “professional” photos (the ones taken with our serious camera, my Nikon D700). If you aren’t tired of our pictures I thought I would share a few more. If you ever get a chance to visit Greece, Italy or Turkey. Take it, you won’t regret it!
After two amazing, beautiful, grueling, feet wearing weeks, we are home. We traveled all over the Mediterranean by airplane, boat, taxi and our own feet. It was absolutely just what we needed, except my feet have never been so tired.
Andy and I went with my mom, dad and brother John. It was the first time we had been together as a whole since Christmas of last year. It was incredible.
We flew from DC to Istanbul (where we had a 6 hour layover, yikes… it was actually not bad) and then to Rome where we boarded onto our boat. After 7 nights at sea we spent another three days in Rome sightseeing and eating our way through the piazzas. I don’t think we have ever eaten so much bread, pasta, and prosciutto. My mouth is watering again just from thinking about it.
I thought I would share a couple of photos with you so you can see just how beautiful it is across the pond! If you ever get a chance to visit these countries, take it, you won’t regret it!
Aren’t my parents dear? I love this picture…
How did he do it? Of course we had to try the gelato!
The pictures above and below are of Mary’s house before she died. How beautiful.
We are headed to Rome next week and will spend about two weeks traveling around the Mediterranean and a few days in Rome itself. While most of our time will be spent on a big ole’ boat, we do have to get over there somehow. Hello International Flying.
I have a love/hate relationship with flying, especially international flying. Since I was a little girl, the airport was such a magical place full of excitement, adventure and lots of fun people watching. Plus it meant we were going someplace fun. But after more than a couple of delayed flights, sleeping in the airport, misplaced bags, and of course your seat being in the middle of the snorer on one side and the arm rest hog on the other, the magic sort of wears off. Add 7 hours of flight time, cramped leg space and just not being able to fall asleep during the night, international flights are by far my least favorite.
However, there are still some things I look forward to! Ginger Ale is my favorite thing to drink on an airplane, I don’t know why, it just tastes better 30,000 feet up in the air. International flights have free entertainment to help pass the time and on most planes you get your own TV. They serve somewhat decent meals that you don’t have to pay for. And most airlines, your bags are also free… and you usually get 2 each, which really translates into I get 3 and Andy gets 1.
It’s also important for me to have the essentials with me on these flights or any domestic flight. I thought I would share my flying arsenal for this trip in hopes that it helps you too! Hope to see you in the friendly skies…
1. Passport and Cute Passport Cover- It is so important to have this baby close to you while traveling internationally. They won’t let you in the country without it! This may seem like common sense, but you never know…. It also helps to have it dressed to impress. I just picked this Kate Spade cover up this weekend and I am so excited to use it!
2. Guide Book to where you are going- I love DK Eyewitness Travel Books. They are easy to read, have great tips and guides and most of them have pull out maps! They are incredible, we have several, and I love to underline in them and star places we want to go. They are also very helpful in telling you the prices of places including restaurants and shops and what guided tours to take. In the front pages, each book gives you run down of the country you are traveling to, including where to stay, how the locals are and tips for traveling.
3. A Camera – This is my Nikon D700. I take it most everywhere with me because I am a photography junkie and my sweet hubby is slowly learning how to shoot on manual (I better watch out, he is getting good!). If you don’t have a digital SLR, there are great point and shoot cameras out there, but you will be amazing our a digital SLR can capture the beauty of place. I like to travel with this in my carry on because you never know what you will see before you get your bags!
4. A Scarf- I always get cold on planes and some planes don’t hand out pillows anymore for hygiene reasons. A scarf comes in handy for when I am cold and also for when I need a pillow. I am loving this polka dot scarf here.
5. A Book- Reading helps me pass the time but also helps me get sleepy for those long flights. My book for this trip is going to be The Light Between Oceansabout and Australian Lighthouse Keeper and his wife who find a baby in a boat with a dead man… maybe it won’t help me fall asleep!
6. GUM – This is essential! Not just for bad breath, but I also get ear aches from the pressure from taking off and landing. Chewing gum really helps, even better if it is really tasty.
7. Crosswords- I love to do crosswords on planes. It keeps me distracted but it is also fun to do them with your traveling buddy. This Black and White Sunday Edition is one of my favorites!
8. iPad or Kindle- We currently own iPads and are so grateful we invested in them. We bought them because we travel so much. We watch movies, tv shows, play games, read and import pictures onto these bad boys. It cuts down on having to carry lots of books and we don’t need to take our laptops with us anymore. I currently own this Michael Kors case because there is an amazing kick stand that snaps back into place. It also zips up for protection.
9. Lotion, chap-stick and Excedrin Migraine Pills– Flying can really dry out your skin and lips with all that circulation air. I also don’t go anywhere without Excedrin because I am prone to migraines and there is nothing than flying with one! Just make sure they are under 4 oz.
10. Noise canceling earbuds– These are little miracles for your ears. I didn’t realize what I was missing till we had them. Block out any noise around you while you are trying to sleep, read, or listen to your movie. These ones from Skull Candy are amazing and you can control the volume on the cord.
Do you have any good carry on items we just can’t miss out on? Let us know!
We are taking a cruise. The really funny part about this whole trip is we booked our cruise the same week Carnival had broken down in the gulf of Mexico. I was literally listening to footage of the the poor people having to walk through the “rivers of sewage” while I clicked book it. So you must be wondering why in the world we would want to chance it? Well, I do have some pretty good reasons! While the thought of having to use a plastic bag as a toilet is more than discouraging, here are the reasons why we will be “all aboarding” a ship.
1. We NEED a vacation.We have had a crazy year. From moving, Andy living in two places for 5 months, me losing a job, Andy being swamped at work, and the fact that we would just like to get away form the normal.
2. We are going with my family. We don’t get to see family very much since we live on the other side of the country. Not only are my parents going to be there but my big brother will be coming as well. Andy hasn’t seen my brother in more than a year and we haven’t taken a “family” vacation (excluding trips for funerals) in years! Like since before we were married, and this time Andy will be with us, so it will be the whole family together. Here’s a little picture of said trip when we went to Puerta Vallarta. Check out Short Family circa 2007!
3. We have never been on a cruise.If this was the only reason we were taking this trip, we might have waited a while after the Carnival disaster. But we are super excited none the less. Andy is pretty excited for the chance to eat 24/7 and I am ready for some on the sea entertainment.
4. Lastly, we are going to ROME!It has always been my dream to go to Rome and more so with my family. This will also be our first international trip overseas as a family. We will be touring around the Mediterranean and then docking in Rome for a couple of days afterward to spend some more time with a close family friend.
I am posting our travel map to show you where we are exactly going because we would love to hear what things we need to see and do if you have taken this trip or have been to some of these ports. Any tips and advice are welcome. From what to eat in each place, what to see, and where to shop, things to not miss and things that just aren’t top priorities. Let us know!
Day 1- Leave Rome
Day 2 – Sicily, Italy
Day 3 – Cruisin’
Day 4 – Athens, Greece
Day 5 – Ephesus, Turkey
Day 6 – Chania, Crete, Greece
Day 7- Cruisin’
Day 8- Rome
Please leave your tips and comments for all to see!
Maybe not sweeter than, but definitely a sweet surprise for you eyes!
One of the most amazing things about DC in the spring are the Cherry Blossoms. I am talking about breathtakingly beautiful trees all around the Tidal Basin, which is the body of water the Jefferson, FDR and the new MLK Jr. Memorials are located. Thousands of people flock to DC to catch a glimpse of these blossoms because being a flowering tree, they can be here one day and gone the next.
Most locals really can’t stand Cherry Blossom season because of the constant traffic it brings in but all in all, you can not deny the absolute beauty of them. If you ever get a chance to, come see them. My in-laws came for the Cherry Blossom Festival, but I was able to sneak down there a little early with a good friend to walk among the blossoms and play tourist myself. I thought I would share some of my favorite pictures from my adventure.
And of course, the Lincoln Memorial at sunset because it was just so beautiful.
So you are coming to the Nation’s Capital for Spring! Yay! You are going to love it. Not just for the Cherry Blossoms but because it hasn’t reached the crazy death temperatures that summer can get to and the humidity hasn’t gotten to the point where you feel like you are swimming instead of walking.
In fact, Spring and Fall are the best times to visit DC. The weather is great, the Mall and the Museums are not too overcrowded yet an the city is colorful! Blooming colors in the spring and the leaves are gorgeous in the fall.
I have put together a packing guide to help you make the most of your Spring visit while being completely prepared for everything DC has to offer and not to mention being super stylish for the season.
Grab you suitcases and let’s get to packing.
First up, is the packing list guide. I designed this list because I ALWAYS forget something. Write down your travel info too and you will be set to go.
Onto your suitcase!
1. An Umbrella: The Spring can be warm and rainy. Don’t be surprised if you have rain in the morning but sun in the afternoon. This one is super cute and you can have it hook around your arm for easy carrying.
2. A Light Coat: Along with the rain in the morning, you might find some clouds blocking the sun. Make it a light coat because again chances are, you will have some sun in the afternoon.
3. Cute Tennis Shoes: You will be walking A LOT in DC. The Mall alone is a ton of walking and add in the museums, you will want comfortable shoes. Even better if they are this cute!
4. A Chic Cell Phone Case: Chances are, if you are addicted to Instagram like I am, you will have your phone out to snap that perfect picture. Make sure you case is dressed up as cute as you are!
5. A Light Sweater: Perfect for over a tee or a dress, just in case there is a little bit of wind. The museums are also known for being cooler and you can get chilled.
6. Light Colored Pants: Wear them rolled up or all the way down, the weather may not be warm enough for shorts but great for a light pair of pants. Loving this pair of polka dot pants from Target.
7. Chic Spring Dress: It is not unusual to see people sightseeing in a dress. They can be airy and great to tour around in. DC can be quite dressy and if you don’t have time to change for dinner, you are already dressed to impress.
8. Boat Shoes: You are one the East Coast in DC. Boat Shoes are a must, even if you aren’t going to go on a boat. They are just a staple of life. I love these Gold Sperrys.
9. Sunglasses: These are a must. A lot of what’s to see in DC is outside and it can get quite bright. Don’t let your eyes get burned.
10. A Small Shoulder Purse: A big, heavy purse can make your back hurt. Having a small to medium sized purse is great for sightseeing all day. This purse from Kate Spade is the perfect size and it has a special place for your iPad. Genius!
Now, what to pack in your purse!
1. Bandaids!: I can not stress these enough. Even us seasoned DC walkers still get blisters. I had a massive one after touring with my in-laws and always carry bandaids in my purse for this reason. These ones from OUCH, are so stinkin cute too!
2. A Camera: This one is kind of a no brainer but this is a picture of our point and shoot camera, we love it because you can take great panorama pictures. Great for those memorial pictures on the Mall.
3. A Re-Useable Shopping Bag: Most people don’t know that DC charges you a couple of cents every time you buy something and need a bag. Since you will be in and out of gift shops, this might be a great thing to have in your purse so you don’t have to purchase a bag every time you buy a souvenir.
4. A Mild Pain Reliever: Your feet, legs, arms and just about anything else will get tired from walking. Having a few mild pain relievers on hand is a good idea. Also helps with those mild headaches from reading all that history.
5. Sunscreen: Again, I can not stress this enough! Even with cloud cover and mild temperatures, you can get burned. Put on once in the morning and cover again mid day and you won’t have those pesky sunglass tan lines!
6. Small Card Wallet: With your smaller purse, it is also better to have just a small card wallet for your CC, ID and metro pass. Easy to get in and out and not as heavy as toting around your check book and change. I use my Coach one all the time. Easy and simple!
7. Hand Sanitizer: DC is crawling with thousands of people and the Metro is a dirty, dirty place. Having hand sanitizer available is a good idea, plus hopefully you won’t take home some body else’s germs.
8. Tissues: Use as napkins or have on hand for the Holocaust Museum. There are flowers all over the place in the spring, so if you have allergies, you might need these a lot.
9. Chapstick: Much like sunscreen, your lips might get burned. Make sure to keep applying as your touring. Use a tinted one for a chic look.
Can’t wait to see you here! It’s time for your spring fling here in DC!
We love guests. And it’s a good thing because we happen to live in one of the most toured places in the world. Washington, DC has become our home for the time being and it isn’t fair if we just don’t share it. Our calendars are beginning to fill rapidly as the warm season approaches and we actually just had Andy’s parents in for a quick visit to catch the Cherry Blossoms.
Andy and I have played our fair share of being a tourist and we actually quite enjoy it. We have been to the Mall more times than we can count and our feet have walked us to all the memorials, and with each guest we will gladly go again. The Mall is quite beautiful and each museum has an exhibit we love to go through over and over but we do have our favorite spots we like to take our guests. I call these the “not so typical tourist places” because unlike the memorials and the museums, these places can be out of the way or lesser known but still worth the time. If you come visit, you can bet we will take you to at least most if not all of these places. And yes, most of them do have food near by. In fact, some of our favorite places to eat are around these spots, but that is a whole other post!
So are you ready? Get your tennis shoes on because we are ready to tour!
Should we expect you soon? Maybe I should post a calendar of available dates at Le Casseday Suites… aka the Ikea pullout.