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Tag: vacation

Offbeat Photo Moments from our London Vacation

If you’re expecting iconic London photography, there’s nothing more to see here. If you’re hoping for something a little different, well then… I might have something for you. Unique or throwaway? You decide!

My family and I have recently returned from a week’s vacation in London, and yes, I snapped more than a few pictures along the way. As part of my little photographic exercise, I also attempted something a little different…

In addition to finding iconic shots as well as any number of family selfies, I tried to also observe our London experience using a different eye. So, I took a few photos that represented the story of our trip from an alternate perspective… imagery that you might easily miss (as well as a few that were entirely impossible to ignore).

These offbeat moments were right in front of us. I just had to open my eyes a bit wider or turn my head in a different direction to spot them…

Sunrise at Heathrow Airport
When you’re walking off the jetway at 6am after your seven-hour flight, you’re probably not taking the time look out the window towards the airport. Well, you should… a sunrise is beautiful just about anywhere!

Kensington Gardens
As I experienced a little jet lag on our first morning, I stumbled through Kensington Gardens on a cloudy day. Then, suddenly this moment presented itself. My vacation had officially begun!

The Elphin Oak
I found this delightful sculpture filled with fairies, elves and animals at the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Playground.

British MuseumDon’t forget to look up! This skylight ceiling bathed visitors with blue-cast sunlight seemingly from an alternate reality.

The London EyeWhile everyone else was looking up and over London, this reverse view down was really cool.

Cutty Sark
For me, viewing the hull of this restored 19th century clipper ship from this angle was the true highlight.

Tower of London
Sure, everyone races to see the Crown Jewels. But the Tower of London tour also houses many other treasures, including the opportunity for my third grader to get close to chainmail armor.

Hungry Raven
My son spotted this peculiar moment as this hungry Tower of London guardian tried to figure out how to get inside an already-open Pringles can.

Tower Bridge
I got the complete view by looking up to look down.

Lock Hatters
My father visited this iconic hat store on St. James’s Street 60 years ago and recommended I stop by and ask if they remembered him. While I stopped short of asking the very proper salesman to check their records, I did FaceTime my dad while we were walking through Lock Hatters and facilitated a reunion of sorts.

The View on St. James’s Street
This view had a timeless feel. So I quickly pulled out my iPhone XS Max to capture the image.

Ceiling at King’s Cross Station
The grafting of this ceiling extension using such a modern design onto this old structure is both radical and brilliant.

Chilly Night by the Thames
A hot chocolate street vendor provided some additional heat to help this pop-up café also serve as a warming station.

Silent Disobedience
This doesn’t appear to be much of an accident…

The Tube
Riding the Underground was our total transportation solution. It felt more cushy than NYC’s subway cars, but the space was also a bit tighter and rounder. Mind your head!

Red Telephone Box
A phonebooth? Still? How quaint.

Sunset over London
Both a sunrise and a sunset during a London trip?! That’s definitely worth calling out. And a nice way to end our little photographic journey across the pond!

How to Hold onto Your Best Summer Memories

Don’t let those great summer memories go. Sure, you’ll remember them, but you’ve probably also got some digital documentation as well. That’s the key. Here’s what I did…

Summer’s over. Deal with it. But don’t move on… not yet. Now’s the time to review, organize and archive all of the great summer photos and videos you captured. Like me, you probably haven’t had the time to organize your summer memories, because you’ve been living them!

The best way to hold onto all of those great memories is to properly share them:

  • Email or text a few of the very best to your family and friends
  • Share them on your social media accounts
  • Print out a couple of photos for your desk at work
  • Add them to your digital Wi-Fi cloud photo frame in your living room
    (I use Nixplay frames)
  • Make a hard-copy photo album from your go-to online service
    (I use Blurb)
  • Add your favorite photo to the background of your smartphone screen
    So, when someone asks how your summer was… you have that perfect image at the tip of your fingertips. You then turn your phone around, and your summer recap story can begin!

And remember, nobody wants to hear about your summer adventures when the leaves start to fall. That time is now.

So, in the spirt of not only doing what I say, but also doing what I do…
Here’s my summer recap in five photos and five videos…

Watching the Summer Solstice Sunset from Griffith Observatory
Seeing the Space Shuttle Endeavor at the California Science Center

Experiencing July 4th Fireworks at Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk, CT

Riding the Port Jefferson Ferry
Port Jefferson Ferry

Fishing in Peconic, NY

Boogie Boarding at the Peconic Shore
Boogie Boarding at Peconic Shore

Picking Blueberries at Bhavana Blueberry Farm in Southold, NY

Picking Blueberries at Bhavana Farm

Spotting Humpback Whales off Cape Cod from the Hyannis Whale Watcher

Humpback Whales off Cape Cod

Swimming Underwater at Joshua’s Pond in Osterville, NY

Ziplining at The Adventure Park at the Discovery Museum in Bridgeport, CT
Ziplining at Discovery Adventure Park

Share Your Summer Memories Now!
…And how was your summer?

Don’t Forget These 5 Pieces of Tech on Your Vacation

If you’re staring at your suitcase, it’s probably time for your next vacation. Here are my packing tips to help maintain your tech Zen…

If your next vacation is coming up, you might be thinking about what to pack. Some would say that you should leave the shackles of your technology behind to truly liberate yourself. Only then can you truly recharge and ‘vacate’ from your day-to-day existence.

I say… “No way!”

Now’s the time to have some real fun with all of your home tech!
Here are my top five pieces of gear to bring along…

Portable Bluetooth Speaker
You can’t pack your entire home audio system, but you do have access to many of your tunes via your smartphone… So, taking a portable Bluetooth speaker that can pair with your smartphone will quickly enable you to generate your happy sound bubble wherever you are.

Apple TV
It’s super simple to pop your Apple TV in your bag and then activate it using the Wi-Fi of your vacation location.
(Don’t forget the remote… like I did last year.)

Who cares if your hotel room has ‘HBO?’ You’ve got instant access to all of the content that you’re used to at home. And now, you’ll have a little more time to enjoy it!

Some hotel rooms even have their own Apple TVs these days. All you have to do is log into your account.
(Just don’t forget to log out when you check out.)

HDMI iPhone Adapter
Your iPhone and iPad can actually do the same trick as your Apple TV as long as you bring along an Apple Lightning Digital AV Adapter to connect your mobile device to your hotel room TV via the HDMI cable.

Beach-Proof Camera
Water can certainly damage a typical camera, but the hidden danger at the beach is all of the sand blowing about. Even if one grain gets stuck in your retractable lens on your point-and-shoot camera, your lens mechanism could jam.

A smartphone isn’t going to have that problem, but you still want to be careful.
(Dropping it on a rock is a great way to crack the screen.)

A GoPro is made for the kind of punishment beach time can serve up.

A less expensive, waterproof ‘family’ camera like a Nikon COOLPIX W100 ($156.95 on Amazon) is another worry-free solution to taking your action pics at the beach…

Portable Power Stick
Even if you’re not ‘roughing it,’ you might find your smartphone or camera low on power by the afternoon. It’s always smart to carry along a little power stick to help your gear make it through the day.

I’m partial to Anker power sticks.

3 Bonus Ideas
If you have extra packing space and if your vacation activity planning allows, you should consider taking…

Time to Party!
If using your tech on vacation is a stressor, leave it behind. For everyone else in the vacation party, let’s power up and bathe in pixels and bytes by the shore!

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