I’ve been in love with the Petroglyphs since the first time I laid eyes on them. Every chance I get to show them to someone new I jump on it. My co-worker Chy & I have the same scheduled half day & since we’re both recent transplants to New Mexico we headed over to the park for an afternoon walkabout. I saw my first jackrabbit! (I may or may not have screamed. First in terror, then in delight.)
My mother-in-law has been telling me about the annual family camping trip since before Brian & I got married. Finding myself not working and back in the lower 48, I planned a trip out to Montana to spend the 4th of July with my husbands family. It was a blitz trip in the woods before packing up the u-Haul and relocating our household goods to our future home in New Mexico; that’s for another post…
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Then found my grandmother’s (Em’s great-grandmother’s)name on the Memorial Wall at Ellis Island.
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),
and faced the raging bull.
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.
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…
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.
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!
**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)!
I had the chance to head back to DC for a weekend with Brian, which also coincided with another trip to the National Zoo to spend some time with the pandas and other creatures there, which didn’t disappoint this time either. Hopefully I’ll be able to carve out some time for one or two more trips down here while I’m on the east coast.
Even the drive down doesn’t disappoint. I don’t know that I’ll ever tire of a good road trip.
Brian is a huge fan of scary movies (while I have cried during a sitting of the Blair Witch Project: 2) so we made a point to seek out the stairs from the classic scary picture The Exorcist.
Ferncliff Trail presides in Ohiopyle State Park near where I grew up in southwestern PA. My dad shocked me one morning by letting me in on the secret that he had never hiked the short two-mile loop so we set off for a quick morning hike along it’s dirt path. Kratos and I got to stretch our legs before another long car ride and Dad got to put another check mark on his bucket list.
Spending so much time in DC has its advantages:
I get to hang out with my super awesome husband whom I wasn’t expecting to see much of during this time.
I get to photograph lots of historic and beautiful places that I otherwise wouldn’t have had the chance to. AND I talked said super awesome husband into a quick walkthrough of the National Zoo just so I could a Panda Bear in real life for the first time. Thanks for that super awesome husband.
Needing an excuse to go to Pittsburgh I called a friend up and asked her to try out a new (to me) sushi restaurant in the ‘Burgh. I’ve been dying to finally try out the sushi burritos I’ve been seeing trending all over social media. Sushi Fuku in Oakland was every bit as delicious as I had dreamed and after eating my body weight in salmon, avocado, and soy sauce I hugged my friend goodbye and headed to the Pittsburgh Zoo with camera in hand. My FitBit and I agreed that a few hours trekking around the zoo before sitting in the car for the three hour drive back to Columbus was much needed.
When I was a kid my dad built a small bird garden just outside the big picture windows of our living room. On any given day he could sit at those windows for hours watching the birds flit about. It wasn’t until much more recently that I began to appreciate the garden for everything it brought within a few feet of those windows.
My brother & his family now live in the house we grew up in (his kids are the 6th generation in our family to grow up on that land). On my most recent visit back to my childhood home I too took some time to appreciate the beauty of the birds who were hanging around around that day.
I knew this day would come eventually. It’s been pretty much written into our story since before we even got to Alaska. Eve as the years ticked by here the inevitable goodbyes always seemed so far away.
The day after New Years the movers came and packed up our host. The took most of our belongings to port and shipped them back to the lower 48. Three days ago we packed up the Jeep, hugged our friends goodbye, and set our sights on a place far, far away.
We managed to knock out the trip in less than 72 hours – a feat I would not again recommend – but I also wouldn’t recommend driving in -35 degree temps either.
A few snaps from our last few days in the house and our travels through Canada.
I’m going to miss you Alaska… but damn it feels good to be home.