#2017CanadianRoadtrip: Day Two spent Exploring Castles and Leaving the Country

On Day 2, we left Pop's Lake and drove through many more farms. We were heading towards the 1000 Islands. While we were ultimately headed to the Canadian side, we stopped just short of the 1000 bridge in Alexandria Bay, New York.

On our way to Alexandria Bay we drove through the historic Johnstown. Where we stopped and walked along the main street to see what the town is like, and found it to have some nice little shops eating places.

Johnstown, NY

Johnstown, NY

After we passed through Johnstown, we made to Alexandria Bay. Alexandria Bay is a nice town with shops and restaurants just before you reach the 1000 bridge. We got a coffee and walked the main street, and then hopped on a ferry to Boldt Castle. When we arrived at Boldt Castle we began with a short coffee & pastry picnic before going in to explore the castle's insides. The castle is so pretty with great views all around!

Check out all of my photos of the castle below.

Exploring Boldt Castle

Exploring Boldt Castle

Boldt Castle was built on Love Island by George Boldt for him and his family to live in. However, the family never made it in because George Boldt's wife passed away just before they would've moved in to the house.

After a nice sunset boat ride back to the mainland from Bold Castle we headed towards the 1000 islands bridge to cross over into Canada!

Crossing the 1000 Islands bridge at sunset

Crossing the 1000 Islands bridge at sunset

Going through customs at the USA/Canada border.

Going through customs at the USA/Canada border.

Entering Canada!

We crossed the border and made it to the campground before the office closed. Earlier in the day we found the Ivy Lea Campground right in the 1000 Islands where we decided to spend night two.

When we got there we pitched the tent in the dark and whipped some delicious spaghetti &tomato sauce for dinner (and I practiced my flashlight photography).

#2017CanadianRoadtrip: Day One in upstate New York.

We pack the car and head to the blue route on a sunny Tuesday morning. But first we stop at Wawa for a couple last minute things and Starbucks for out coffee, tea, and breakfast to start the start off the trip well fueled. The drive begins like a normal drive with all the usual sights. We on the westbound side flying passed the line of stopped cars going eastbound and trying to get to the office in time. Then somewhere along the northeast extension, probably a little past the Allentown exit I'm in less familiar territory and the road trip begins.

We're driving towards mountains, past some farms, and eventually we get to the Leigh Tunnel. At this point I know we must be closing in on the New York state line (maybe?).

After driving through endless farmland and seeing loads of cows and horses we see the sign was that says Cooperstown, NY!

Mobile photo - Entering Cooperstown

Mobile photo - Entering Cooperstown

We were on our way to the center of Cooperstown where the baseball hall of fame is and the little town when we saw a sign about the Ommegang Brewery. We decided to tackle the brewery first so we wouldn't be backtracking later in the day.

After finishing at the brewery we drove into the little town of Cooperstown and found a little hotdog place (Hey Getcha Diggity Dog) to eat. Very good food and well decorated with baseball memorabilia. Then we moved on to complete the main Cooperstown attraction, we went into the Baseball Hall of Fame museum!

Next stop is Pop's Lake Campground, located outside of Saratoga Springs. We were advised to spend night one at Pop's Lake because it according to Phish fans it is a very nice campground. And I can confirm right now that it is definately a nice campground to stay at, whether you're in town for a Phish show or just on a little camping trip!

...and above you see our breakfast at Pop's Lake on the morning of day 2.

BONUS! Mobile Photos (below)...

That is all for Day one in New York. Next up for Day two we make our way across the border to Canada, but first there's one more stop on the US side.

Day 2 coming soon!

Summer Concert Series: The Dead Milkmen in Clark Park

Summer is filled with spending days and nights listening to music in a parks. Just about every park that exists in the greater Philadelphia area hosts a weekly summer concert series; to give music geeks a place to go each day of the week.

Earlier in July, The Dead Milkmen headlined the 2017 Clark Park summer festival, playing for hardcore fans and Sunday park-goers alike. See the full photo recap below.

NEW! Food Photo Series - COMING SOON!

Food is my favorite. Whether it's making up recipes for a meal, trying out a new recipe I find online and figuring out to make it my own, or just scrolling through endless photos of delicious foods on Instagram and Foodgawker.

Photography is also my favorite; probably my first favorite because I can combine it with all my other favorite things. This is why I have decided to start a brand new Food Photo Series.

What does a Food Photo Series mean?

Well... Once a week throughout summer I will be making a dish for fun. Anything and everything is on the table, a fun dish for any snack time or meal of the day! As this gets underway I may increase from only once a week.

And depending on how things go during the summer, I may try to keep it going through every season.

When will I be starting?

This fun project in just a few short days on July 1st!

Where can I follow this exciting series?

There will be a separate blog set up just for this project, but don't worry about not being able to find it. It will be blasted all over Instagram and Facebook, and maybe even Twitter!

Stay tuned for more info and the very first post coming soon.

#WaybackWednesday: Henley Royal Regatta 3 years ago

With the prestigious rowing regatta in England beginning today, I thought I'd give a flashback to when I had the opportunity to go 3 years ago. I managed to get my ticket (for free) thanks to the rowing coach I had rowed with several times during my 3-weeks studying in London. When I left London to head the regatta I wasn't completely sure where I was going... but don't worry! Once I boarded the overground train all I had to do was follow the massive crowd wearing fancy regatta blazers!

Once I got to the town of Henley I once again only needed to follow the crowd to find the regatta enclosure. I picked up the ticket waiting for me at the box office(?) and made my way to check out what this brilliant and historic regatta is all about.

What is this regatta all about, you ask?

Racing. Tea Time. Picnics.

As I walked along the banks of the Thames, I witnessed tons of spectators dressed nicely sitting on the banks with picnic baskets. There were others setting up chairs and more fancy picnics including champagne. There were boats on the sidelines of the river holding spectators hoping to get a much closer view of the exciting races. I even saw two ladies enjoying their tea while floating in a canoe watching races.

Check out my favorite Henley Regatta photos below!

PHOTO RECAP: The Dad Vail Regatta before the Rain

The Dad Vail regatta is a huge rowing race and it's right here in the city of brotherly love! The regatta took place a couple weeks ago. Hundreds of teams were in Philadelphia from all over the country competing, many of them competing in the rain. I headed over the Schuylkill River Friday afternoon to see some good racing and take a pictures. I managed to catch a few of the Philadelphia University (PhilaU) races, but even if I hadn't I still always enjoy watching any rowing race! Unfortunately, Friday turned out to be the main day of this two-day event.

While rowers often find themselves out in all kinds of weather and it typically takes super bad weather in this area to cancel a regatta, this is exactly what happened on day two of the 2017 Dad Vail Regatta. The day before this year's regatta began the official race schedule got switched around a bit due to the weather forecast including high winds and lots of rain. This did not stop rowers from having a good time and competing as usual on day one of the regatta, and don't worry, they still managed to get all the grand finals for the varsity 8's and 4's finished Saturday morning. But it was the Saturday afternoon races, which because of the schedule change were mostly smaller boats (doubles and singles), that got end up being canceled. Hopefully this years rain out satisfies mother nature for a bit and the next couple years can go back to being beautiful weekends for the Dad Vail regatta.

Check out my photos of day one at the 2017 Dad Vail Regatta below!

Philadelphia University Rowing.

Everyone.

Baby Geese, just because!

Blossoming into Spring at the Philadelphia Flower Show, with a Bike Tour of Holland

Each year, Philadelphia brings in the new spring season with the annual flower show. This year, in March, the Philadelphia Convention Center was transformed into Holland (or at least a small sample of the country's best parts). Locals and tourists of all ages walked through a space filled with daffodils, bikes, and thousands of other colorful flowers. The first thing seen as excited attendees entered the show was a bridge covered in daffodils and bikes that could have been imported straight from the streets of Amsterdam!

This year's flower show definitely did a wonderful job of portraying the best of Holland through the different garden displays. As someone who has traveled to Amsterdam, I could spend my three hours at the show reminiscing about my trip abroad and I found myself visualizing myself walking through the streets of Amsterdam again. There was even one display in particular that while I can not tell you for sure what it was meant to be it reminded me of was the huge bicycle parking garages I remember seeing all over the city. This display was awesome, partially because of it reminding me of the bicycle parking garages in Amsterdam!

There were flowers and bikes hanging from the ceiling, there was a giant windmill in the center of the room, and most of the garden displays had various bicycle parts being used as part of the the garden, either functioning, as decoration, or both; this one of the things which I felt was the coolest part of the show.

The show was not only filled with bicycles and several giant windmills but the Anne Frank house was also represented at the show complete with the statue of her, which stand in front of the house.

The Camden Children's Garden exhibit was especially well done including a variety of things Holland is typically known for, while presenting everything in an organized and cute display.

That about covers it forthe highlights of this years Flower Show. This year was probably one of the best shows in recent years! For me personally, what made it so awesome was the accurate portrayal of the amount of bicycles in Holland, and how every part of the bike was used even if the designers did not want a full bike in their exhibit. They got really creative with the garden designs.

Check out the full photo gallery below!

Year End Reflection: A Photo Recap of My 2016 Highlights!

Throughout December everyone with a blog is posting their "year in review" posts. From the second that Thanksgiving is over it feels like that is all I see. Then, at the end of 2016, we also had many people talking about how terrible the year has been due to celebrity deaths and Donald Trump becoming President. I can't even tell you the amount of memes I have seen on Facebook illustrating a person being happy in the beginning of 2016 but then upset and angry at the end of 2016; it is all getting a bit ridiculous.

 While I think back to last January and I skim through each month, I realize that this as been an excellent year filled with music, food, dogs, working, and traveling. I have used my love for photography to enjoy life; filling the year with coffee, concerts, and traveling! I did not let myself be upset over things I had no control over. I stopped myself from getting frustrated over not hearing back from 95 percent of the millions of jobs I applied for and interviewed for.

I am still sorting out how to start a business in a market that has no doubt become saturated, but I am having fun figuring it out. I am lucky to have family and friends to support me while I figure out how to make money doing what love. If I look a back on all the jobs I have done in the last year and all the photos I've taken for jobs and for personal projects I would not change a thing! And hopefully I will only be building on this in the coming year.

If you force yourself to be positive and look on the bright side, you'll see that 2016 probably has not been so terrible for you. Some of the highlights of my personal year include: I played with more dogs and cats than I can list here and I traveled and explored new cities.

Hopefully, in 2017 I can continue enjoying life. I hope to travel more and keep my camera with me as much as possible so I can capture even more events of 2017, whether I am being paid or not!

2016... A Well Caffeinated Year - A Photo Recap of the Best Coffee and Tea I Drank During the Last 12 Months!

If there is one thing I like more than photography it is traveling, but sometimes I need help deciding which city to explore next or where to go in a new city. That is where the coffee shop thing comes in. While I was in college I began getting into the "coffee scene" of Philadelphia and took to finding new coffee shops around the city and suburbs to try out. (And somehow I have yet to go to every coffee shop). Then, at some point in in the last couple years I started using local coffee shops as a way to navigate new cities and explore all the different neighborhoods of a city.

Throughout 2016 I have visited over 30 local/independent coffee shops throughout eight different states, spread across the United States. I won't bore you by listing every single coffee shop but the eight states include: Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Delaware, Illinois, Washington, and Portland.

After drinking so many lattes and cups of coffee you would probably expect me to be able to tell which is best and which is the worst... and while I can tell how I rate each coffee shop I still do not have the technical knowledge to tell you technically which coffee is the best and worst. With that said though, I can usually tell within the first couple sips if it is a good latte based on the foam and creaminess. (HINT: the creamier the better)!

Some of the coffee shops I visited during 2016 that I would say are my favorites include: Gryphon Cafe, Stumptown Coffee Roasters, Good KarmaGhost Alley Espresso, Caffe Senso Unico, and Chicago Grind Cafe. Obviously, those are not the only good ones I have been to; this post would get way too long if listed every coffee shop though!

You can check out photos of many of my lattes, coffees, and a couple cups of tea below. I promise to do a better job of keeping a record of each coffee shop I visit in 2017 and take good pictures at each one.

Winter Adventure: A Weekend in Chicago

Every now and then I get anxious to travel and explore a city other than Philadelphia. When planning my next trip during this past fall I decided to check out Chicago for my first time. This seemed like a perfect destination too since I could visit a friend and I new nothing about the city except for Wrigley field, the bean, and they had good hotdogs! So, on the second Thursday of December I left with my backpack and small suitcase to take the mega bus to New York where I would then transfer to a different mega bus going to Chicago. With a three hour layover in New York City I had just enough time to see the Christmas sights that I always enjoy; including the Bryant Park Christmas market and Tree, Radio City Music Hall, the Macy's Christmas window displays, and the Rockefeller Christmas tree. Then just before 2:30PM I enjoyed a tasty Buffalo Chicken sandwich (on a baguette) and a perfect cup of tea from Pret, gathered my bus snacks (more food from Pret) and heading over the the mega bus pick up area.

*Fast forward 18 hours*

Mobile photo of my bus to Chicago, Illinois

NEXT STOP: CHICAGO

When I first stepped off of the bus in Chicago I bundled up, made sure I had all of my things, and headed took the 'L' train to my friends apartment. After I regrouped, cleaned up, and did about an hour or so of work I was ready to begin my exploring! I began by exploring the neighborhood I was in and found a coffee shop to begin at, Kitchen Sink. I then walked around the neighborhood a bit and saw some cute houses before finding a second coffee shop, The Chicago Grind. Since I really had not eaten much in the last 24 hours and my last cup of tea was back in New York at Pret I went in to try my second Chicago latte. It was very good. Once I was sufficiently warmed up I ventured outside and went over to Lake Michigan to walk along there a bit; it got a colder the more time I spent by the lake as the sun was setting. After looking at the sun setting next to the lake and petting a wheaten terrier who was out for a walk I went back to warm up and charge up before going downtown with my friend that night. Being downtown at night was cool (and not just temperature-wise either)! We went to millennium park to see the Chicago Christmas tree lit up and saw the bean sculpture; which had a neat reflection of the skyline at night. We walked through the Christmas market and drank hot cider to warm up and then took the bus back out of downtown to eat Indian food, at a place called Annapurna. It was very tasty and a good first meal in Chicago!

Day two in Chicago was my tourist day. I spent the day walking downtown with my friend beginning at the river walk. I wasn't quite as cold as the first night either because I bundled up better. We admired the buildings lining the river walk, especially the design of the Trump hotel (although we both wished it did not have "TRUMP" written so boldly on it). We walked from the river walk over to the Navy Pier which is a neat place to walk around with a great view of the city skyline! We walked back to the millennium park area to see the bean in the daylight and then warm up with a cup of coffee and tea at Intelligentsia Coffee. After we sat in the coffee shop for a bit and felt that we stored up enough heat to venture outside, we took the bus up to Lincoln Park Zoo. It was dark by now and snowing, but a perfect time to see all their Christmas Lights display. They had tons of different animals made out of holiday lights all of over the zoo and even one area where they made a little lights show having the lights change with the Christmas song playing. This was a full day of being a tourist so when we finished at the zoo we got the bus back to the apartment to eat and relax.

That brings us to day three, and I was exploring the city some more on my own today. Sometime overnight I remembered that I needed to see Wrigley Field and the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower). Therefore, after some brief research on Google Maps before heading up I decided to do Wrigley Field second and then spend the afternoon walking around surrounding area of the stadium. I only admired the Willis Tower from the outside as it is not free to go up to the observation deck. After getting a few photos i hopped the bus again and headed to Wrigley Field. I, once again, only admired the stadium from the outside as it is December and not baseball season. It was very neat being outside of Wrigley Field. Once I was finished admiring and squished a couple pennies in the store across the street I walked down N. Broadway hunting for a coffee shop. I eventually came across a little place called Dollop Coffee Co and it seemed like the perfect place for me to warm up and charge up. It was while I was sitting here that I decided where to get my real Chicago hot dog.

Once I was finished my latte and warmed up I hit up Murphy's Red Hots for my hotdog! It was very tasty. i then felt I had the fuel to continue my snowy walk around the Lake View East section. I stumbled upon a vintage store with loads of "Christmas sweaters" and then went into a cool comic book store where I bought myself a couple new Archie Comic books before checking out the Dry Hops Brewpub across the street. I tried a Pistachio Milk Stout at Dry Hops and it was actually really good! By this time it was getting close to dinner time so I went back across the street to look in a cool record store, before heading back to the apartment to eat and relax.

Monday was the day I flew back to Philadelphia but I managed to try out one last coffee shop, Bow Truss, before taking the 'L' to Midway airport. I have been calling this trip my table of contents tour of Chicago. When I got to Chicago I hardly knew anything about the city, I did not even know what the layout of the city was like. During my three full days there I was able to learn the layout, learn the public transportation, and find out more about what there is in the city! This way my next time in Chicago I will be able to go more in depth than the basic tourist spots and maybe even catch a jazz show or two.

Check out all of my photos below!

Sneak Peek: Day 3 in Chicago

On my third day in Chicago, I began with a bus ride to see the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower). I did not go inside the building but I took some snowy pictures of it from the outside. I then hopped the bus again to go check out Wrigley Field and walk around the surrounding area for the afternoon and evening. Check out a quick sneak peek of my photo recap below!

Sneak Peek: Day Two in Chicago

For my second day in Chicago, I hit up some key tourist attractions. We began by walking along the riverwalk trail then over to Navy Pier for a bit. From Navy Pier we walked back to Millenium Park before warming up in a coffee shop nearby the bean. After we were sufficiently warmed up and reenergized we took the bus to Lincoln Park Zoo to look at the pretty Christmas light show all over the zoo. Below is a quick sneak peek of my Day two in Chicago adventures, check it out. Enjoy!

Marcus King Band at WXPN

On the last Friday of September 2016, there was a big crowd at the midday show at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia. The reason? Marcus King Band was there performing for fans and WXPN supporters. Check out the photo recap below.

An Afternoon in New York

New York City is a huge city filled with skyscrapers and famous landmarks. However, if you look beyond the skyscrapers you can see what really makes this place a great city. Last week I spent one afternoon walking the streets of NYC. My whole bus ride from Philadelphia to New York I thought about what I would photograph and decided I would get there, start walking, and just see what catches my eye. So, I got off bus and starting walking down 26th st through Madison Square park, and past the flat iron building, east down 23rd street to 2nd ave to Houston street. (Don't spend too long trying to make sense of those directions...It doesn't make sense)

I still did not know exactly what I wanted to photograph, at this point, but I did know that I had to separate my photos from the typical "tourist pictures". I also wanted to take pictures that were connected in some way beyond just being things in NYC. At some point during my wandering through the lower east side I began noticing all the cafes and restaurants with people sitting outside, and that is when I came up with my idea to photograph various store fronts. While I only covered the lower east side and pieces of Chelsea (I think I have that right but I don't actually know the sections of NYC as well as other cities) I wanted to show what the city of New York looks like when you look beyond the landmarks and giant skyscrapers.

As the day went on I kept thinking of ways to develop this idea and turn it into a "photo project". Therefore, I am considering these photos as the entry way in to what will hopefully become a bigger project about everyday city life.

Enjoy the photos below!