Wednesday, April 20, 2016

6 Collections of Beautiful Florida Photos

This Friday I'm taking off. In a jet plane. For Florida.

The trip has been in the works for a few months, since our daughter and son-in-law decided to take over his Snowbird parents' condo once they vacated, and invited us along. Always ready for warm weather and plenty of sun I couldn't say no.

While my guy and I have travelled to various parts of the United States throughout our marriage, we have only been to sunny Florida once, 11 years ago to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary.  It was a whirlwind adventure, because I only had a week off work, that came at a good time since I was suffering a bit of burn out from my job.

The result of this however, was that for the first few days I was pretty much a dud, spending my days sleeping late, then reading by the pool before a nap in the sun. After supper was spent relaxing as well, and bedtime came strangely early for a vacation. It was only as our departure neared that I began to panic at the realization  I'd come this far and not really seen a thing.

The last day then was a mad dash around to take in as many sights as possible.  Much was overlooked, however. Eleven years later, I'm hoping to finally see a Florida gator.

And with two little ones travelling with me this time, one of them an animal lover, who when seeing her first live alligator declared it "Sooo beautiful.",  I have no doubt it will happen. I can't imagine there will be many opportunities for relaxing poolside, sipping drinks on the beach or reading a book in the sun. Little Missy tends to keep Grandma hopping at any time, so with new and exciting things to see, I anticipate being on the go from the time the plane lands.

In preparation of Florida's beauty then I scoped out some photos to prep me for my journey. Here are some wonderful collections I found:

iPHOTOS.com Florida Pictures

National Geographic's Florida Beach Photos

TripAdvisor Florida Photos

Planet Ware Florida Pictures

USA Today Travel Beautiful Florida

Clipart.com Florida Photos

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Helpful Tips for Taking Great Vacation Photos

In just a few days I'm leaving on a jet plane — heading south for a vacation with my daughter, son-in-law and their two beautiful babies.  Leaving hubby at home wasn't my choice — work got in the way — but I'm determined to make the most of a less-than-ideal situation and delight in the wonderful company I will be keeping.

It's been a blessing for my husband and I that we are invited on so many of these experiences by our older daughter and her guy. With only 20 years between her and me, we have a relationship that is much closer to friendship than that of parent and child.

However, I know there are bounds that can't be crossed, and she appreciates that the extra time I've spent on earth does count for something in the wisdom department. As a result, we respect each other,  we do like each other's company and partying together happens frequently.

When this particular invitation came along,  I was thrilled to have the chance to spend this much time with them, creating yet another cherished memory. It has taken me far outside my comfort zone — 10 days away from my guy and overcoming an intense aversion to flying.  Yet, I'm eager to let the adventure begin.

Since our son-in-law is driving in order to tow his boat,  we've opted to send our luggage with him. This meant that packing began some time ago as we had to get the bags to him in time for his earlier departure.

One of the first items on my list was my camera.  While memories can be created, the best way to hold them is by photographing the special moments along the way.  And with two little ones as photo subjects I suspect there will be plenty of opportunities to capture magic.

My mind has already envisioned some of the scenarios — splashing in the pool, shelling on the beach,  spotting a dolphin — that will give me the wide-eyed wonder and delighted faces for perfect pictures.

Not wanting to miss a chance to improve upon my photography skills, though, I have wondered if there might be some helpful tips of things to look for, or ways to make the most of the photo ops that do present themselves.  Vacation photos, after all,  aren't just about the places you visit and the people you visit them with. They should also capture a mood and atmosphere.

Here then are some links with helpful advice for taking great vacation photos:

10 Tips for Taking Your Best Ever Vacation Photos

Vacation Photo Tips

13 Tips for Taking the Perfect Family Vacation Photos

7 Secrets to Great Vacation Photography

Monday, April 18, 2016

5 Sunny Clipart Collections

It's funny how grateful and almost surprised we are when it actually happens. We know it's on its way. We know that the nasty won't last forever, we know good stuff is just around the corner.

Yet, when we wake to the first spring day that lifts us with blue sky and sunshine, that wraps us in summer warmth, we glow, smile and say thank you for this wonderful gift.

Such was the case this past weekend when after a dismal start to spring we enjoyed a Saturday and Sunday that surprised us with temperatures in the low 20s and azure skies that lightened the heart. From every house people moved outdoors, like soft petals unfolding from verdant leaves,  to take on tasks or simply laze on decks and patios.

My husband and I celebrated the wonderful weather as perfectly as possible — with long-time friends and a few ritualistic seasonal firsts under the belt.

Saturday, a social commitment took us to a picturesque town on the shores of Lake Erie, one of the best possible places to spend the first great day of the warm seasons.  After a social time at a beach front establishment, we found our way home in the evening, only to have my camp fire loving hubby disappointed to discover that he'd just missed the first one of the year at the neighbour's.

We made up for it the next day, however, when after an afternoon of running to get everything done, we had  our first wine-thirty Sunday at the neighbours. In total appreciation of the wonderful day we'd been given, we came to an unspoken agreement, skipping supper in return for an extended stay in the sun.

Spring sunshine chases away the heaviness of winter. It brightens the world and our spirits. We know it's coming every year, but when it finally arrives, we can't help but feel like we've been given a special gift.

So to celebrate that which feeds mind, body and soul here are some sunny clipart collections for a pretty spring day:

iCLIPART.com Sunshine Illustrations

Clipart.com Sunshine Illustrations

Acclaim Images Sunshine Clipart

ClipartGuide Sunshine Illustrations

ClickArt Online Sunshine Illustrations