My First Sushi

Perhaps one of my proudest accomplishments during my travels was getting each of my nieces and nephews to open their minds (and mouths) and give sushi a try. I was able to video my nephews reactions to their first attempts at one of my addictions (yes, I also introduced them to my other addition – macaroons – but with greater success).

National Zoo with Steve

The next day – after returning Emily safely back to her parents following our trip to NYC – I was up early and in the car driving once again towards another mega-metropolis.

My friend Steve and I managed to squeeze in another day of shooting together, only this time we were at the National Zoo in Washington, DC. It’s been a pleasure shooting with you Steve. I hope we get the chance to do it again someday my friend.National Zoo w Steve -3National Zoo w Steve -7National Zoo w Steve -14National Zoo w Steve -17National Zoo w Steve -18National Zoo w Steve -19National Zoo w Steve -20National Zoo w Steve -24National Zoo w Steve -27National Zoo w Steve -28National Zoo w Steve -30National Zoo w Steve -31National Zoo w Steve -39National Zoo w Steve -41National Zoo w Steve -42National Zoo w Steve -43National Zoo w Steve -44National Zoo w Steve -45National Zoo w Steve -47National Zoo w Steve -48National Zoo w Steve -49National Zoo w Steve -53National Zoo w Steve -55National Zoo w Steve -57National Zoo w Steve -59National Zoo w Steve -62

No Sleep Till Brooklyn

Growing up in a small town has its perks. It also leaves a lot to be desired if you’re born with a strong desire to travel the world.

When my brother and sister started families of their own I knew in my heart that I someday wanted to have the chance to travel and adventure with them each individually. Seeing my oldest niece’s 12th birthday fast approaching I took advantage of my time on the east coast and planned a trip to NYC exclusively for her and I.

We left early one morning for the 6 hour drive from Somerset County, Pennsylvania to NYC. Since we are both the animal lovers of our family our first stop was the Bronx Zoo.
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Afterwards we traveled by car [during rush hour] to our AirBnB in Brooklyn. I only got lost twice before finally making it across the right bridge to get us over the East River. After a quick check-in we were back out the door for Emily’s first culinary adventure of the trip – and one that should not come as a surprise to anyone who knows me – sushi!
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We arrived back at our homestead around 8:30 and started readying ourselves for bed, but before we made it there Em informed me that she was plenty awake to take a late night trip to Times Square. After a quick check of the subway map we found ourselves on a train bound for Manhattan.
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It was nearing 2am when our heads hit the pillows and we both dreamed of lights that night. In the morning we found ourselves bound for Battery Park.

We took a boat to the Statue of Liberty.
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Then found my grandmother’s (Em’s great-grandmother’s)name on the Memorial Wall at Ellis Island.
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When we returned to shore Em had her first taste of Starbucks (have I ever mentioned it’s a really, REALLY small town we’re from),
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and faced the raging bull.
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On a previous trip to NYC the 9/11 Memorial was still under construction. Being from Somerset County, Pennsylvania – not far from where Flight 93 found its resting place in a  field – it was important to me that Emily and I visit this place and read the names along the memorial fountain.
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While we were there I watched this man weep over a name and captured this image. I choose to share this picture to remind us all that although it’s been nearly 17 years since these attacks, the horrors of that day and the memories of those lost are still very fresh wounds for some…
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Needing a mental break we walked to our next destination to clear our heads. Doh was a much needed treat to pull us back into a happier place before dinner with my friend Ty.NYC - 45NYC - 46NYC - 48

On Wednesday morning we packed our bags and set our sights back on Pennsylvania. Little did Emily know that her adventure did not end with our return home. While waiting for her family to get back we walked around the land enjoying all the animals, especially the baby ducks that had recently hatched. Em received an early birthday gift she’d been wanting for so long. Enjoy your time with Mo!
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**It should also be noted that while I did take my nephews on a special day trip with just them and myself, they have also requested I take them on ‘an awesome overnight trip like their sister’s trip when they’re old enough.’ Ben would like to drive an RV to Hawaii and Aron has set his sights on Hollywood. I better start saving (and figure out how to drive an RV to Hawaii)!

Gettysburg Gettaway

My momma had some days off she’d been planning to use on another trip that had been cancelled. Since I was available she asked if I would like to take a trip with her instead. Not a fan of long drives, but wanting to visit her cousins, she asked me to escort her a few hours east to some towns near Gettysburg, PA for the long weekend. We both got to spend time hanging out with family on Thursday.

Brian also had the weekend free so on FridayI dropped down to DC and picked him up after work. I had brought Kratos with me for the weekend so that he and Brian could see each other for the first time since he left for school. It was after midnight when we got back to my cousin’s house for the big reunion, so there isn’t a video to share (it’s hard to capture an all black dog after midnight. Especially one who’s practically vibrating from the excitement of seeing his papa)
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Saturday morning, after brunch with my mom at one of my favorite local shops, the three of us headed to Gettysburg for a self guided tour of the battlefield.
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Saturday night Brian & I took off for a little date night @ Hershey Stadium to see Imagine Dragons. It was an epic show. Grace VanderWaal was their opening act too!
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Before mom & I dropped Brian off on Sunday he had a little surprise in store for me too. Looks like it won’t take me [what feels like] 12 years to edit photos anymore!

Living Treasure’s Animal Park

There is a small animal park near my parents house I had visited once in high school. I distinctly remember it being tucked away in the middle of nowhere Pennsylvania as well as a place to get up close to some exotic animals. Both points still hold true today,  although some enclosures of the menagerie (like the lions and bears) seems far more depressing than I remember it being way back when.Living Treasures Animal Park - 1Living Treasures Animal Park - 5Living Treasures Animal Park - 6Living Treasures Animal Park - 7Living Treasures Animal Park - 8Living Treasures Animal Park - 9Living Treasures Animal Park - 10Living Treasures Animal Park - 11Living Treasures Animal Park - 12Living Treasures Animal Park - 13Living Treasures Animal Park - 14

Bowman the Beautiful

Dogs are to me as horses are to my old roommate Debbie. For as long as I’ve known her I’ve known her love of horses as well as her dream to once again own one someday. Since parting ways & moving to Florida, Debbie has made that dream come true for herself. I had the chance this past week to stop in and meet not only her wonderful fiancé, Phil, but her beautiful horse, Bowman. Cool Tower At DebbiesDebbie McDebberton - 6Debbie McDebberton - 26Debbie McDebberton - 35Debbie McDebberton - 50Debbie McDebberton - 51Debbie McDebberton - 52Debbie McDebberton - 53Debbie McDebberton - 54Debbie McDebberton - 55Debbie McDebberton - 75Debbie McDebberton - 76Debbie McDebberton - 77Debbie McDebberton - 81Debbie McDebberton - 82Debbie McDebberton - 88Debbie McDebberton - 89Debbie McDebberton - 93Debbie McDebberton - 94Debbie McDebberton - 95Debbie McDebberton - 96Debbie McDebberton - 100Debbie McDebberton - 122Debbie McDebberton - 123Debbie McDebberton - 124