Friday, December 31, 2010

a sense of calm

Tuesday, mom and I went to Morikami. The gardens exude calm and tranquility and I just couldn't rush myself to post the photos. This post is further reaffirming my belief that sometimes, words are just superfluous.
Morikami waterfall diptych
Morikami bridge flare
Morikami bridge
Morikami heron diptych
Morikami waterfall
reflection zoom
Morikami sculpture diptych
tranquil lake

On the way home, the sunset looked like someone had just painted the sky with watercolors.
painted sky sunset
painted sky sunset 2
painted sky sunset 3
painted sky sunset 4

May the new year be more peaceful and calm than the previous year.

Monday, December 27, 2010

exploration is in order

I am a huge fan of small-scale exploration when I am home. Part of it is that I enjoy walking the familiar streets of my neighborhood with a new perspective. It looks different every single time I wander, especially when it's the holidays. I decided to photograph some of the houses nearby on Christmas Eve, just to capture how magical the lights are.
Christmas Eve garage lights
Christmas Eve lights
Christmas Eve angel
Christmas Eve reindeer
Christmas Eve house
Christmas Eve inflatibles

I also like to explore places that are specific to home, such as museums and parks. Yesterday, mom and I went to the Museum of Discovery and Science to see the Clyde Butcher exhibit. I took a few photos in the Florida ecosystem exhibit and then just wandered around in awe.
MODS gravity clock
MODS sea turtle

My favorite shot from the museum, mostly because of the eye contact.
MODS gecko

MODS turtles
MODS gator

Tomorrow, I get to shoot the most precious baby in the family and then go to the Morikami Japanese Gardens with my mom. I am trying to get a little bit more adventure in before I become a pile of mush on New Year's Day.

Friday, December 24, 2010

a heart three sizes too small

I feel like such a Grinch because I just was not enjoying the holiday Orlando trip. I love my family (both by blood and soon to be by marriage), my camera, most of the rides, fireworks, Pizzeria Uno's... and I hate crowds, being dragged around, and chest pain. A Grinch, indeed. But I am going to make up for being so grinch-y by presenting all the photos in this long, festive, what-else-would-a-Jew-be-doing-on-Christmas? post. The hope is by the end, my heart will have grown three sizes and stopped hurting. That, or you will be so impressed by my photos that you'll forget how grinch-y I am.

The first day of the trip was rainy and gray/as the parents waited for tickets, the children did play.
singing in the rain
We frolicked and climbed, wandered and swung/and our parents wondered what would become/of my new camera while we were having all of this fun.
rope pull
Curious prints
The answer came quickly and it was a ball. I did not like the idea of things breaking at all!
ouch! my camera!
So Mr. Andy stepped in, as he is known to do/and brought in ET to lend a hand, too.
ET ball fight
Things calmed down for a while until Doug said/"look there, Brenda, there's Twister ahead." We sat in the back feeling smart as can be/although we felt a bit silly when it rained mostly on me.
I wandered down Main Street, camera in hand/wishing I could live in this celluloid land. I saw all the cameras that I wished to own/but this is the only way I could bring them home.
camera lust
self-portrait of a photographer
From there we had dinner to get off our feet/although the decor was distracting and I almost forgot to eat.
Mel's Drive In
Mel's Drive-In interior
We passed by the marquee for the show I want to see/but stopped by the globe for a moment or three.
monster makeup marquee
Universal ball
All the was left to do to end the first day/was to bid an elf good night and head on our way.
Universal in December

The second morning dawned as dreary as the first/and I began to believe our trip might be cursed.
Magic Kingdom ferry
Ok, I can't continue in rhyme anymore. It's driving me absolutely insane. The trip was overcast and icky and even Photoshop couldn't fake the sunshine I wish we'd had.
Magic Kingdom ferry 2
birdwatching from the ferry
But we did have one ray on sunshine: Cassie, Doug's baby sister. That girl is going to break a lot of hearts one day.
In true Brenda fashion, I had to seek out balloons and the tea cups before I fell into a sour mood. Balloons and tea cups make everything better.
balloons over Main Street
Mad Tea Party
Most of the photos I took that day were for myself, but I couldn't resist getting a few on Pirates of the Caribbean for the in-laws.
Pirates of the Caribbean
By the time we finished Pirates, I had been dragged back and forth across the park too many times. My chest hurt and I resented being dragged every which way so Doug and I wandered off before I strangled someone. (My heart isn't three sizes too small when I'm with him.) We rather enjoyed dancing along with the princesses on the stage.
dreams do come true
When we came back, the castle was shooting off fireworks during the daytime. I promised my mom I would photograph the castle with fireworks and I did.
castle fireworks
castle fireworks 2
As the castle lit up with its festive icicle lights, the staff herded everyone who didn't pay extra to stay after 7 for a special event out. I snapped off a few shots.
Christmas castle
icicle castle
Two hours later, after swearing that the Magic Kingdom is my idea of hell and that the holiday season is the worst thing that could happen to humanity, we arrived at Uno's and Dan made my grinch-y heart warmer with a gingerbread cookie in my caramel mudslide.
gingerbread drink
As Doug said, I shouldn't need to consume alcohol in order to ease my hatred of theme parks. We also believe it should not take almost two hours just to get out of a theme park.

I was determined to be less grinch-y the last day but alas, we were at Islands of Adventure and the lines were so long that any cheer I had evaporated. We almost got run over in the parking garage. It was a nice view but almost getting run over made my chest hurt so I couldn't appreciate it until I got home and saw this.
rooftop panarama
It was so crowded that this was my only view of Hogwarts.
Hogwarts across the lake
We made a brief stop in Marvel Superhero Island where I took a few shots and then proceeded on to Grinchmas in Seuss Landing.
Dr. Doom
Mom and I were joking that maybe Universal didn't understand the meaning of the Lorax. Obviously not, since they covered everything in (use once and throw away) tinsel!
Christmas Lorax
Christmas Lorax 2
By the time we got to Jurassic Park, my tiny heart was killing me. I laid on the floor and shot up, mostly because I was in so much pain I couldn't stand anymore. These are some of my favorite shots from the entire trip.
dinosaur stomp
dinosaurs overhead
Once I caught my breath and slowed my heart rate to a safe level, us kids explored Camp Jurassic.
Camp Jurassic cavern
peering out
echo cavern
We tried to get a drink in Toon Lagoon but they were trying to 'keep the numbers down' or some such nonsense so our party of 7 couldn't stay in the restaurant.
From there, we went back to the superheroes so I could ride the Hulk and brotherface could take Cassie on the Storm cups. Everyone was so tired and so over Islands of Adventure.
the Hulk
storm cups
storm swirl
Once Doug and his family left, mom waited in line for 80 minutes(!) to get into Harry Potter to get brotherface a Ravenclaw scarf and we waited in Seuss. Being in Grinchmas made me more grinch-y, so we visited the triceratops paddock and then got me out of the park as quickly as we could.
triceratops paddock
On the way out, I fell in love with the mailbox and the sunset. It wasn't enough to redeem the day but it was a decent note to end on.
rocket mail
sunset over Islands of Adventure

I'm sorry I'm such a sourpuss. My heart did not grow but it's okay. I love my family and my photos and that's all I need; I don't need to pretend to love an over-commercialized ploy to get us to leave all our money in the theme parks.