Archive of ‘Places’ category
Yesterday I had the pleasure of sneaking into Eva Creel Photography‘s fundraiser shoot for Mom2mom and taking some of the “action shots”. I have been taking a little vacation from shooting for others but what a joy it is to BE at a shoot, and not actually work it, but still get to take fun photos and enjoy sharing them with the photographer.
This was a particularly fun concept, we went to Kullman’s a local American Dinner (yes, in Germany HA!) and shot breastfeeding mommies drinking milkshakes! Does this sound familiar?
It probably SHOULD! Remember this fun project? Yup, look who’s sporting her awesome top! Love it!
You can get the #milkshakeboobs top HERE!
And how about some props for this photographer turned mom for doing some double duty on the shoot! I tell you, all the moms I know are some badass watch-me-do-it-with-a-kid-strapped-on kind of awesome.
After she was done, we couldn’t NOT take some fabulous shots of this hot photog/model… Eva can strike a pose on a DIME. WOO! She will put your selfie action to shame.
Thanks for the fun, Eva! Always good company
Here’s a link to the rest of the photos in case you need to see MORE!
Until next time readers!
P.S. Here’s that link one last time for the #milkshakeboobs breastfeeding T’s!!
P.P.S. Kullman’s has DELICIOUS pancakes, you should go.
A year ago today I was landing on the tiny island of Key West. I would be staying with my wonderful dear friend, Kelly, and Little Lue would be reunited with her friend Miss O. My little Wild Child would be seeing Key West for the first time. It was to be a good trip.
But I was so home sick for Key West when we visited that every moment was painful. I wanted to stay, and never leave. I took photos, but I didn’t even look them over when I came home. I couldn’t. It hurt too much. So the photos just kind of floated around in my computer… Every now and then I would pull them up and look through them…
I really miss Key West. It was where my first daughter was born. It was where I made some wonderful friends and created my first Mommy Tribe. It was where I learned photography and started this blog. Camera Latte used to be filled with photos of cute kids running around in the sand. It was my favorite sight, and I couldn’t get enough of it.
I now blog about pretty much anything running thought my head instead of focusing on family photos… but today, as the “Memories” on my FB Feed started to pop up, I couldn’t help but open up that file and run some of those memories thought my head. It was such a wonderfully fun vacation. So here they are… The photos that I had buried deep in my heart for safe keeping. I wish I had capture every second of the visit, but the camera was, in fact, not glued to my face. Here’s what I do have.
So what’s the first thing we do? Hit the park of course.
Walk down Duval St and get a snack.
Wave at our friends from Key West Pottery who had just moved into their new location.
The next morning we have breakfast at one of our favorite restaurants. I had a list of must go places, unfortunately we never made it in to a couple. Too much delicious food on that rock.
We then walked around and visited our old house… We didn’t go all the way in, but we waved.
Off to the butterfly museum!
And the Accuarioum
Lots of friendly birds there…
The beach of course.
Another day we took a ride on the Conch Train. It takes you on a tour of Key West so I took advantage to get photos of all my favorite spots.
Can you spot anything?
More park time.
We ate a ton of ice cream here…
Ahhh… I can almost feel the warmth…
Thanks for the memories, you fantastic island, you. Miss you terribly. Any will always have plans to return and visit with the wonderful friends we’ve made there.
It’s difficult to imagine for someone who’s lived on the “new” side of the world that the “old” side is pretty much littered with castles and Roman ruins. But that’s just the way it is in Europe, and these places make fantastic a bed and breakfast.
We stayed in Kasteel Sterkenburg in the countryside. It was only a train ride away from Utrecht, the start of the Tour de France this year. And let me just say, Utrecht was amazinggggg… but today, I’m going to share the castle, because it was just the most pampering experience of my life.
See that tower on the right? That was our bedroom… The third floor windows were where we stayed. The stairs weren’t that fun, but the gorgeous room totally made up for it.
All I could think about was what it must have been like to be living like royalty… in this very room… Did I mentioned I had been reading a lot of Historical Romance Novels lately? Yeah… I can see myself as Lady Westclift… bahahaha
I think we all liked it here.
Don’t even get me started on the bath tub. Just heavenly…
I seriously couldn’t get enough of this bedroom!Little Lue said it best and I quote “I want to stay here forever!” Me too child… me too…
Outside was fun too. Chickens, cows, fields…
The highest point in Germany!
On our last day in Garmisch I was really hoping to go to one of the viewing platforms on the mountains, and it was recommended we go to Zugspitze! It’s just the village over from Garmisch and OMG was it breathtaking.
You can ride one of dangling carts all the way up to the top of the mountain, but let me warn you, it is NOT for you if you have problems with heights. I have a slight fear of heights and let me tell you, I was kind of physically frozen in fear once the ride was getting closer to the top. Almost a 90 degree angle going up. Terrifying. View was amazing, just terrifying LOL!!!
Thankfully, there is also a train that goes up the mountain. You still have to take a short ride to the peak, but not nearly as visually dramatic. (We took this route on the way back) Slower, but I swear I’m never doing it the other way LOL!!! You can even take the train from Garmisch all the way up.
Anyhow, the view at the top is amazing! And to our surprise (but not to anyone else headed up there) there is an INCREDIBLE ski lodge up there right in at the top of the mountain (that’s where the train stops). We knew there was a ski and sledding area, from what we were told, but we had never seen anything like this. It was just a giant glacier at the top of the mountain, everything white wherever you looked, and ski trains going down them. There was even one dedicated solely to sledding! How cool is that?
We rented a couple of sleds and it was a lot of fun, but we just couldn’t get over the view. Just crazy amazing! I’m so glad we didn’t miss this spot.
This is the ski area below the peak.
So this past Christmas we decided to take a trip to Garmisch and it was AWESOME! I hope we get to go back next year because it was so much fun.
We had my husband’s brother with us as well as my parents. We all stayed in a cabin at Edelweiss Lodge and it was just perfect. It was a “deluxe” cabin with a kitchen, a small bedroom and an upstairs little loft. Brother in law, husband, Little Lue and myself stayed up in the loft area and my parents stayed in the bedroom. It was a pretty nice set up and I think we were all pretty comfortable. We even had our dogs with us!
The Lodge was in a separate base from the cabin, but still walking distance. It was really nice with a few food options. It even had an awesome indoor pool! Too bad we found it on the last day… Oh well… Next time! 😛
The Garmisch itself was a really cute village with plenty to see. The mountains could be seen from where ever you were and just looked sooo beautiful. The village was still somewhat decorated and at night all the lights were up… It was just beautiful everywhere. So wonderful and festive.
Husband and BIL went snowboarding on one day and we decided to all go together the next day just to sled and see some snow (sadly it did not snow while we were up there! Ugh… This winter is getting pretty boring without all the fluffy stuff!!) and it was SO much fun. And to my surprise it was SO incredibly kid friendly. There were so many little ones sledding on the slops and people just sitting and enjoying the day as if we were at a large wintery park. There were even a bunch of strollers all over the mountain! It was just really cool to see and reassuring to know that we could happily come back next year we our new addition bundled up.
We are definitely hoping to get to come back. Such a great trip for everyone.
Yes! Finally! We are HERE!!
Hours of driving, weeks of hotel hopping, horrible junk food, packing, unpacking, packing, last minute flat rate boxes filled with our overflow of stuff, doggy paper work back and forth, driving across 6 states, 7 hours at the air port with a mountain of bags and 2 giant pet kennels, and one 7 hour flight…..
WE. FREAKING. MADE ITTTTTTTTTT!!!! All 5 of us!!!
Surprisingly Bongo took it the worse, the big baby. Wouldn’t stop crying while we all waited at the airport.
Whooooooooo… So glad it’s done with!!!
First impressions of Germany?
It’s pretty cool here during the summer, but it can also be pretty hot!
Note, I’m scared of the winter now lol.
I have to get used to calling “towns” villages, but once you visit them they really do look like villages.
They actually do serve a lot of sausage (we’ve yet to eat at a German restaurant).
The houses are all gorgeous and cool looking.
A lot more woodsy that I pictured.
I want to learn German.
Learning German seems impossible to me. Words are too long. Not enough vowels.
Still want to learn German.
SO PET FRIENDLY. People take their dogs everywhere!
Yup… I think that covers all my first impressions… Here are a few photos from our exploring yesterday
So in the middle of all the moving craziness we decided to take a little leave in route and spend some time in Disney with the family. My parents, brother and his girl friend joined us, as well as my husband’s mother. It was just a nice opportunity to get together before we hopped over the ocean to our new home in Germany.
To make things a little fun for me, I decided to rent a lens I have been lusting after, the Nikkor 24-70mm 2.8. That thing was NO FUN lugging around Disney World LOL that thing is HEAVY! But it was great to be able to see what it could do and capture some great family shots while we were out there. And I LOVE the results Yay! For pretty family photos!!!
It was such a wonderful break from all the stress of moving. To just enjoy some family time and just have something fun to do all day. I wont lie, I was pretty eager to just get the vacation time over with and finish this hotel bouncing and get rid of all the moving jitters. But we really needed that family time. To just see each other and talk and be close. I know travel will be more difficult for everyone in the future, so it was nice to take advantage of that proximity one more time.
We had my husband’s going away work party at our favorite vegetarian restaurant, The Cafe. It was a nice time for him to see a lot of his coworkers and just get together for some good food. If this sounds surprising to you, many of them had never been to this awesome restaurant and were quite scared of the dreaded tofu LOL. Thankfully, The Cafe serves fish as well as shrimp if a plate without any meat was truly too offensive haha. The hubs had been telling the coworkers he was going to feed them ONE vegetarian meal before leaving, so I guess this was it!
The Cafe’s manager Sam was so incredibly helpful, as always, they have such great service there. They made sure we got some yummy entries that seemed popular with everyone and bid us farewell with a delicious carrot cake!
We might pay The Cafe just one more visit before we made our grand exit from Key West. This place shall be missed deeply…
As for the husband, he got some really lovely gifts from his office. They gave him a flag for his unit that had been flown over Puerto Rico in a nice in scripted shadow box, as well as a nice sighed-by-everyone plaque. I know he really liked those gifts and will happily hang them in our next home.
The going-away was last week. I am currently sitting in a hotel room enjoying being DONE with all the moving stress. Little Lue and I are cuddled up in bed watching The Tigger Movie as I update the blog and my new business website… I’m so so glad to be done with the house!! So as I get the chance write something up as well as edit my photos from the last few days I will have a few more “moving away” posts… Stay tuned for more “We’re moving to Germany!” ADVENTURES
So last week was our last class of the Music Together semester. This would be the last semester we would be participating as our move to Germany is fast (too fast) approaching. We had started going before Little Lue’s first birthday and it had quickly turned into our Tuesday ritual. On the few weeks that the class was not going on I felt utterly lost… Little Lue and I (and daddy and Nana on the occasional class) really enjoyed our time there. The teachers, Miss Sandra and Miss Molly, were awesome, the company (mostly our closest friends) was exceptional. And music class was often followed by coffee dates and park visits.
Ok… so I just teared up a little…
Seriously… I can’t believe we are leaving our amazing Key West family. Going to our last class was kind of the first real marker that our time here is almost over.
I tried to take a few photos… but evidently my heart wasn’t in it. As they are all blurry and gloomy looking. I don’t want to say good bye. Don’t let the lackluster photos deter you. Music Together is AWESOME and worth it. I enjoy the music, the singing, dancing, and all their fun props and instruments. Little Lue loves it and I got to really see her grow in it as she started to learn how to talk, sing, follow directions, and just everything. It has been really great… I wish we could stay and enjoy it a little longer…
Sorry for being such a downer today. On a more positive note, I’ve been really busy with the photography business! Lots of weddings to edit and a few fun events as well! Go check that out over on my Photography Services page. 😀 All the action over there has been cutting my personal blogging time a bit short. But I promise Camera Latte is here to stay and I can’t wait to share all of the adventures that await us in Europe!
Ok, so what started out what sounded like a totally dorky idea turned out to be so much fun!
My good friend Kelly has a lot of connections with the city’s Conch Train Tour so she suggested we go on a ride as a play date. I thought it would be a great idea since Little Lue loves rides and this train definitely looked like a ride! It just so happens that it “rides” around town hehe.
Turns out that the tour was 90 minutes long (split into a 50 minute portion and another 2 smaller portions, divided by short stops). I was a tad nervous that this would test Little Lue’s attention span, but it actually worked out great! It was 90 minutes of sitting *mostly* in the same place and just taking in the sights. And the information about the history and architecture of Key West was really cool too.
It was really nice and the girls LOVED it. Little Lue was excited all morning because I kept telling her we were going on the choo-choo and she couldn’t wait to get on the train once we got to the “station”.
Little Lue and Miss O got to check out the engine and even pulled on it’s bell! They got some cute little engineer paper hats, but the little stinkers wouldn’t keep them on.
Oh! And at the little gift shop we got a cute little train whistle. I also grabbed some popcorn to maximize toddler compliancy for the remainder of the ride.
It was great. I kept joking with Kelly that I’d pay to ride it again… me in one car with my Kindle, and the hubby and Little Lue in another… he he he
So the last few days I’ve been trying to focus on putting away the iPhone, the iPad, the Kindle Fire… All those glowing fun little screens we’ve all come to love and can’t seem to remember what life was like without them. It’s hard.
After trying to keep these things away from Little Lue as a baby, there was no way Little Lue the toddler was going to ignore them. If mommy was playing with her phone all day long, what do you think she wanted to do?
So the fights over who gets to play with the phone started. This turned into swapping my phone for “her” iPad which I filled with fun games. This worked out well for a while. She would play her puzzle games for a reasonable amount of time and then move on to the next activity on her own… It didn’t feel so dangerous. And so we got more and more comfortable letting Little Lue handle the glowing magical mirrors…but something changed.
Of course the joy had to end somewhere. Little Lue discovered that these gadgets had something else hidden inside them, something far more… well… fun… Little Lue found the YouTube app as well as the Netflix app. And what started off as a fun game time on these little computers was slowly turning into more time spent watching TV.
In this house there is no TV until the end of the day. And it’s not even cable, it’s movies. Come evening time, when mommy and daddy are feeling pretty spent, we put on a couple of Disney movies and call it a day. Not exactly proud of how much I look forward to 6:30 pm, but it feels like a reasonable arrangement.
So you can imagine how frustrating it is to realize that Little Lue’s already pretty extended amount of tube time (2-3 hours) was having another hour or more added from letting her play with the iPads/Kindle. It seemed fun and great at first. A portable entertainment center that could be used for a few minutes while mommy does dishes, or folds laundry, or plays on her own phone (guilty!). But then I hear that little voice in my head telling me WAKE UP! and get Little Lue off the mini tube, and the kid’s happy fantasy world comes to an end.
What follows is a concert of tears, screams, and begging for her favorite shows. “Broom, broom!!!” (Cars), “Honey!!!” (Whiney the Pooh), “Bumbo!!!” (well at least she got one of them). Her tears go on and on for what seems forever, but I image is more like 30 minutes. But if you’ve been in the same room as a screaming toddler, you know that 30 minutes is a LONG time. Long enough to completely drain up mommy’s patience and sanity. Long enough to induce a horrid migraine for the rest of the day. And long enough to completely sabotage whatever it is that needed to be done in those 30 minutes and drain a large portion of the motivation you had to get anything done around the house for that day.
You start to pray for naptime. Or helplessly hope that the husband is on his way home a bit early. You try giving options of activities that could be enticing enough to forget about crying. You offer up water play, or markers, or whatever it is that’s supper fun but you don’t do so often because it becomes way too mesy… And eventually Little Lue settles down enough to nurse and God bless boobs and their mystical powers to calm down a screaming baby.
And Little Lue is calm and starts to wonder around the house. And you exhale a sigh of relief for the worsts has passed.
And then my sweet innocent daughter comes over to me, grabs my hand, and quite calmly starts to pull me and say “Come on… Honey.”
Cue mommy tears.
So no more. No more. NO. MORE.
I’ve come to realize that as soon as I pull out my phone to check emails/facebook/blog stats (ha!) Little Lue is reaching for the phone as well and starts asking to watch one of her shows. As if what I’m watching isn’t cool enough. I’ve come to realize that any time Little Lue finds the iPad laying around the couch and starts playing with it, instead of trading it for a more appropriate toy I look away. I look away and relish in a few minutes of not having to entertain/watch her (but you already saw the results of that!).
BUT. NO. MORE.
I’ve put my iPhone in a shelf on the desk. The iPad is hiding on top of a dresser. Daddy’s Kindle Fire is charging out of sight. And I have promised myself to limit MY computer time to “desk” computer time. Simply put, if I don’t have time to sit at the computer desk with my back turned to the living room, I certainly have no business playing on my phone. Playing on my phone while sitting next to a pile of unfolded laundry is not multi-tasking. Playing on my phone while Little Lue builds with blocks is not watching her. Getting minute by minute status updates from friends on facebook is not really a social life and I need to stop pretending it is.
I know that if I put my magical glowing mirror away and do other activities Little Lue will join me. I know that it is really me who is aggravating the situation by constantly having my phone out as she watches me. And I know that, just like her, I have no real “need” to play on my phone as often as I do.
I’ve decided that if I must have a distraction during the day it will be limited to the reading Kindle (original non colorful/internet friendly version). If I have some moments to spare they can be spent reading books or a news paper. Seems more enriching than FB and Little Lue hardly has interest or understanding of what I look at a gray screen filled with letters for.
So… This blog is supposed to be about pictures, correct? LOL
Weekends and family outings are usually the most tech free in this home. We make an effort to not pull out our phones while out for dinner, or being at the park, or whatever else. Here are a few pictures I took Sunday while wondering about Mallory Square. We wanted to kill some time before returning home after dinner, so we just walked around looking at the ocean, the buildings, the people. Eventually I pulled out my camera, because lets face it, that’s what I do. Yesterday the hubby asked about the pictures and I was almost embarrassed to say that I had yet to give them a look! So here are a few for your enjoyment.
May my days be filled with more quality family time and less magical glowing screen time.
So another Tuesday another visit to my favorite park!
I snapped some pictures for my friend, Kelly, who had her mom visiting. But I’m just going to post some of Little Lue and Kelly’s daughter. <3 I usually take pictures of just Little Lue or just Miss O, but today I tried some of them together for keepsakes when… you know… I have to do that thing called… moving…
BUT LETS NOT TALK ABOUT THAT!!!!
While editing I tried something a little different. It sort of darkens the edges and give the images a bit more focus on the subject/s. I really like this. It makes the pictures a bit darker (which is definitely different for me since I love my bright pictures. But I like how this brings more depths and sort of lures you in. It was hard not using this technique on ALL the pictures hahaha.What do you think?
And of course I’m still not over the Black and White images. I’m really loving them too.
So yeah, a little kiddy cuteness for your enjoyment.
Thai Island is one of the first restaurants we went to when we first arrived to Key West three years ago. I must admit that I am a lover of all authentic Asian and Asian inspired dishes. This side of the world really knows where the flavor is at! haha And Thai Island did not disappoint.
I’ve enjoyed their sushi, their Pad Thai, their curries (although I mostly leave these to my husband), tempuras, and stir fries. It’s just good stuff. Thai Island also has wonderfully friendly service. Many of the servers know my daughter by name and are always happy to see us come in. I love that in Key West you never stay a stranger for long. With all the tourist coming and going, you can tell there is a big appreciation for locals.
We decided to forgo our usual table inside, it was so nice out we decided to go for the out door seating. They have a lovely view of the harbor.
We ordered our usual miso soup to start with… I decided to go with a vegetable Pad Thai and the husband went with a curry. Little Lue enjoyed some brown rice as well as her own miso. Although it seemed to be more fun to play “kitchen” with her soup than to actually eat it… because, you know, the day we actually order one for her she doesn’t show any interest in eating it, right?
We had a quicky visit form my in laws this week. We were supposed to spend a few days up in Orlando with them but things got complicated and we had to cancel the trip. But of course they couldn’t miss a chance at seeing Little Miss Lue while in state, so they drove down to Key West for one night to spend a little time with us.
It was hard pulling out the camera when we were busy enjoying our time together, but I still managed to grab a few images.
Our visit consisted mostly of indoor play, a visit to our favorite ice cream shop Flamingo Crossing (BEST ice cream EVER, will post about this place soon), and a delicious breakfast at Croissants de France.
It was kind of sad that it was such a short visit and we couldn’t join them in Orlando, specially since this was probably their last visit here to Key West… It’s hard to believe we will be moving this summer… Oh gosh, let’s not talk about that!
On to the pictures!! <3
Monday came around again and we headed over to the pottery shop once more. Little Lue still don’t really seem to get the concept of staying at a table LOL!!
She did enjoy playing with the little clay animals that Miss Kelly Lever made for her, although was quite concerned when the heads kept getting ripped off. I attempted to teach her how to smush them back on, but I guess mommy was better at it since she kept handing me the amputated limbs.
We also got to paint a lovely peace sign mug. And yes, I do mean we, because Little Lie painted about an inch of the cup before she decided she was done. Mommy decided to add a heart and embellish a bit more of the mug. I guess we can call that one a collaboration.
Oh well.. At least we didn’t have an accident! She was dry all morning! Good job, Little Lue! She’s been doing so great… Still no accident free days, but we’re getting closer and closer.
We hit this place probably once a week. It’s just that good. Eaton Street Seafood Market isn’t the first place you might think to head over on your lunch hour, but let me tell you, you’ve been missing out.
Fresh locally caught fish are on display on the counter, as well as shrimp, lobster, crabs, you name it. If it swims and it’s in season, they got it! And you know it’s the real stuff because you walk in that door and there’s no mistaking that fresh fish smell. Not the bad kind, but the kind that makes your mouth water if you are the seafood inclined.
So back to lunch. You walk up to the counter, check out the fish on display and point to whatever looks most appetizing. And just like that they grab that exact fillet you asked for, cook it to perfection, and shove it into your sandwich.
We keep coming back because each and every time (we always get a different kind of fish) we bite into that sandwich my husband and I always a agree “This is the best fish sandwich I’ve ever had!”. Little Lue particularly enjoys the “chips” that they serve with the food, “platanutres” (plantain chips)!
You really can’t beat fresh fish like that. Oh wait, and did I mention this is totally on the affordable side? Granted price depends on your choice fish. But when we’re talking about the “best fish sandwich I’ve ever had” made fresh right on the spot you might think spendy… Not really!
There isn’t much space to sit and eat. There’s a bar with a few stools inside, and some nice benches outside in the shade. A large planter in the middle that serves as an impromptu table. This is a great place to get your food to go, or just relax and enjoy a nice outdoor informal lunch.
Oh yeah! And try the smoked fish… It’s soooo good! It’s like the fish version of beef jerky. haha