Portland, Maine

Portland, Maine is a nice coastal place to visit.  I’ve always wanted to go to Maine and Portland was the closets to New York. Our hotel was the Hyatt and it was in Old Port. That’s where all the major places to visit are.  The Hyatt was nice.  Parking was either self which was $20 a night or valet which was $22 a night. The lot that they used was a block away.  We valeted because it was easier for us.  They had breakfast every morning which was nice. They had toast, English Muffins, cereal, eggs and so many other choices.  Our room had the view of the bay.  They also had a pool and fitness center. We used the pool. It was small up to 4 feet only.

The day that we arrived it was raining but we were able to get a few things done.  For lunch we went to Duck Fat which we had to wait 20 minutes because it is a popular spot.  When we sat down to eat, we had Beglian fries and pouting fries. They were very good. They were cooked twice in duck fat.  We all had sandwiches. Their menu is small because it’s a quick eats place. It still was a very nice place and the food was good.

When the rain stopped, we walked around the old port. We found some souvenir stores. I always enjoy looking for magnets and ornaments from places. The one place that I found all my souvenirs was in a place called The Blue Lobster.   We of course found a lot of ice cream places and had some ice cream before dinner.  Dinner was an adventure. We went to J’s Oysters and we were told  there was a 30 minute wait. We waited an hour to get seated. When we went inside there were empty tables. We were really upset about the service at J’s. I had a lobster pasta which was good.  The view was nice though.  See the photo below.

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The next day we visited Cape Elizabeth (see blog before this one).  We came back and then went to the Portland Science Center which had a special show in of Pirates. These were artifacts from a ship that was lost which was taken over by Sam Bellamy. It was really cool to learn about pirates life. I learned things that I didn’t know.  That was a nice experience.  We really enjoyed Portland, Maine. It’s a nice town to visit for a  few days.  Happy travels.

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Japanese Tea Garden

The Japanese Tea Garden is located in San Francisco in the Golden Gate State Park.   We went and it was packed. It had a lot of people.  There was a charge for the garden. It was $8 for adults. My son was free so I don’t know how much it was for children.

The Japanese Tea Garden was a small garden with a lot of flowers and Japanese designs.  I wish there was a map because we just walked around.  I felt lost and noticed that we kept walking around in a circle.  Overall, I really enjoyed the Japanese Tea Garden.  It was peaceful.   Below is a poem I wrote about the garden.

Garden 

Simple

Peaceful

Simple rivers.

Simple flowers.

Simple bushes.

Pier 39

Pier 39 is the place to be when in San Francisco.  Pier 39 has many stores  and restaurants.  Some stores are: souvenir, Pandora, Hard Rock Cafe store and so many others.  Some restaurants are: Bubba Gump, Hard Rock Cafe, Wipe out and many others.   You can also just pick up dessert.  They have a place where you can get a small bucket of mini donuts.  They are made fresh and delicious.   They also have a place where you can get crepes: sweet and savory crepes.  There is also a carousel for the children to ride.  The carousel is also a double carousel.  It was very cool to see.

Another place at Pier 39 is the Aquarium at the Bay.  They have many ocean animals to view. There were sharks, jellyfish, otters, different kinds of fish and many other ocean animals. It is a nice place to visit with children.  We went to the Aquarium and we used a city pass which included the aquarium.

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Another popular place is at Pier 39 is to see the sea lions.  There are lots of sea lions that come and visit the pier. They lay, play and talk to one another.  Many people come  to Pier 39 just to see the sea lions.  My son was very excited to see them and we went a few times to visit them.  At times, we saw them swimming in the bay.

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At Pier 39, you can catch a cruise around the bay.  We took the Blue and Gold Cruise.  It was an hour long cruise. We learned a lot about San Francisco from the cruise.  We went all the way to the Golden Gate Bridge.  We sailed under it and of course took a lot of photos.   We also went around to Alcatraz Island.  We were able to see both sides of the island.  It was a nice and wonderful cruise.

When visiting San Francisco make sure to wear  layers because it does get cold when there.  We went in April and it was cold.  We were wearing long sleeve and hoodies.

Muir Woods

Muir Woods in California is a site to see.  It is a national park with lots of amazing Redwoods.  As I was researching places to visit in California, I found the Muir Woods.  I knew about the Redwood trees but this was just one of the places in California that have Redwoods.

There is a fee to pay when you get in. It’s $10 for an adult. We went with my 1 year old son who is free.  We started our hike at the front of the Muir Woods sign. We came across so many Redwoods.  It was so amazing to see these giant trees that date to prehistoric times. My husband at first didn’t want to go but then was amazed and was taking lots of photos.  I was in awe of these beautiful trees.  These trees were both really tall and thick.  We took lots of photos.

I highly recommend Muir Woods in California. It is 30 minute drive from San Francisco.  It’s a great hike because it is on flat land.  There are some bumps but it is so worth it. I would love to go back to see them again when my son get older.  Below are some photos that I took.

Valentine’s Day Toddler Photoshoot

I love taking photographs but it’s very hard with a toddler.  My son moved around so much and will not sit still.  So taking photos is very hard. I always get him looking away and not paying attention.  I still went ahead and had my husband try to help with a Valentine’s Day Photoshoot. I did my best and got what I got.  It was fun and I actually got a few photos of my son looking.

I always try to use props.  This year since he’s a toddler I had limit what I gave him because he would either throw it or put it in his mouth.  I of course got him a eligible bachelor onesie from Carters.  The rest of the props that were used were:  rose petals, cut-out red hearts and a few fake roses.  I placed the rose petals all over the floor and that actually got him to go to the floor and sit. On the closet door, I taped red glitter hearts. He of course picked at them but it wasn’t as bad as I thought.  I handed him a few fake roses and then the snapping started.

Below is a photo of my Photoshoot. The best that I could do as a new time at home photo taker.  I hope this inspires you to create your own backgrounds and use props for photography. Happy snapping!

 

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Christmas 2016 Photoshoot

This year was a challenge with my one year old son to take photos. Last year my son was just one month old so it was easy to take photos.  This year I have a one year old and it was challenging.   He didn’t want to sit still and do what I wanted him to do.

I went outside and took photos that way.   My son has a police little tikes car so I used that.   I also purchased a small tree that lights up and a string of lights.  I also placed a Santa hat on him to help make the photo cuter. It was easier to take photos this way.  I wish that I had the woods to use for the photos but I didn’t ski used whatever I had. I had a great time taking his Christmas photos for this year. Hope these photos inspire you.

Holiday Train Show

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We took our son to the Holiday Train Show at the Botanical Gardens.  We had a great time.  My husband and I went to the Holiday Train show 5 years before. We really enjoyed it and couldn’t wait to take our son.  Last year, I wanted to take him but he was only a month old and he would not really pay attention to it.  This year was better.

The Holiday Train Show at the Botanical Gardens in New York City is very popular.  Many people make it a tradition to take their children to see it.  There are many trains that run through many tracks.  It’s amazing to see all the buildings that are build using natural things like bark, pinecones and so many other things found in nature.  When we got to the Botanical Gardens, the lot was full, so I was afraid that it was going to be very busy.  It was busy but we were able to walk through and see everything.  The train show is located at the Conservatory at the Botanical Gardens. There are timed tickets but that makes it easier to view it.

The change between the past 5 years was that there is a short video about the person who created the train show as well as how they put the whole thing together.   It’s amazing how many people it takes, how many trains there are, how many tracks there are and how they come up with the whole idea.

The buildings that are designed are all Manhattan buildings.  You have Rockfeller Center, Yankees Stadium, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and so many others.  It’s amazing just taking your time to view these buildings created.  I could not stop taking photographs of everything.  I really recommend everyone to visit the train show at least once in their life. I am lucky that I live in New York and I am able to visit it every year.  I can not wait to make it a family tradition and visit the Train show every year with our son.