Saturday, August 27, 2011

Day 100!

Whoa! I got to my 100th post before the end of the summer! Goal completed. Sorta. Now if I could only get to the 365th post.

Calm before the storm...

The morning of Hurricane Irene I went to my backyard and it was the creepiest thing. Not a sound, not a single sound from an animal. There were no crickets, birds, or squirrels about and it was creepy. Since animals have better instincts than us and can tell when there is danger on the way, Hurricane Irene being it, it scared me a bit to know they were gone, taking cover. Luckily where I was, there wasn't much damage from the hurricane, especially in comparison to other parts of the east coast.

However Jersey did get hit hard, no doubt. Lots of beach erosion, fallen trees, crushed houses, cars, my mom's garden, and flooded streets and homes.

I didn't take this picture, I took it from NJ News 12's website. The wave might not look so big, but then compare it to the pier. Huge!

If anyone else experienced the hurricane, they also experienced that ridiculous madness it caused at grocery stores. I will admit, my family was a part of the madness. Stocking up on nonperishables, cases and cases of water, freezing bottles, making ice, buying way too many flashlights, with extra batteries of course and bringing in all the yard furniture, is what my family did to prepare for the storm. My precautions were much different. Backed up my computer, made sure my iPod was fully charge, stocked up on clif bars and showered the night before, just in case we lacked hot water, or just water. Neither of our precautions were exactly needed. lol. Which was good or course, because now we have an unlimited supply of batteries so we can continuously make shadow puppets with the flashlights. Plus we don't need to step into BJ's for at least two weeks with all the water we have! It's a win, win.

"And it's just what I need. To get me through the storm tonight. Whoa, I don't have to be afraid of the wind. And that's good to know. 'Cause I've heard it all before. But I'm walking on water now."

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Day 99!

Today is my birthday. And for my birthday I hadn't a clue what I wanted to do, so I went to one of my favorite places. Panther Lake! I love this place.
It's tradition as soon as I arrive, I must visit my gigantic rock. I climb up it, look down at the water, try to take pictures between the trees, fail, and then I climb down the other end to see my elbow tree.

Then, I go exploring. Now that I think of it, I didn't do as much exploring as I normally do. I actually did very little, missing a lot of places I go to, but being I had school the next day, I couldn't stay out too late anyways. Stupid 5:30 am train ruins everything. 

On the list of places to go...of course the crabapple trees. They smell horrific. They are constantly falling off the tree, where they then decompose in the grass. When around these trees you have to be careful, one time I got hit with a falling crabapple. It didn't hurt as much as it shocked me.

Getting a boat, of course, was the next order of business. 

I'm not sure if it's because of a bad experience I had on these boats, where my friend almost tipped us (purposely) or freshwater just bothers me, but I used to freak out halfway into the lake. ESPECIALLY when we would go through the thick lily pads. However now, and I am so proud of myself for this, I no longer get that extreme fear when I'm in the boat and we sorta hit a log, or we don't seem to be moving anymore, or when we get stuck in lily pads. Which happened twice.

This was the most amazing part of my birthday. I got to see new born baby turtles (hatchlings) on the "beach"! One was on his way to the water when I almost stepped on him, he blended in so well with the "sand". I call it a "beach" and "sand" because by Panther Lake's standards it is a beach and there is sand. But really it's just a lake, and the sand is really only dirt. lol.
He looks just like the Littlest Petshop toy turtle I had when I was a kid. You know, except not bright green and blue.

I haven't a clue how I did this with the background being curved and Dan not, but it looks way cool.

Did I mention...I love this place.

"Believe me when I say, "Today's not the greatest but my favorite in a way"."
I figure since it's my birthday I should use my favorite song.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Day 98!

 Jim Thorpe, PA!

I've been here once before and I find it to be one of the cutest places. There's not much to it, just a few streets of shops and cafes, a train and a visitor center.

However just a little outside the town there is the Lehigh Valley river with whitewater rafting and the Lehigh Gorge with hiking trails. Obviously considered a difficult hiking trail, not much of a path here.
As in Colorado, I was hoping to see some animals in the wilderness. Sadly I only caught a glimpse of a Dan in the bushes.

While there were no wild animals there was an awesome water fall.
This is the bottom of the huge waterfall at the top of the trail. It's supposed to be beautiful and about 75 feet high. Unfortunately I wasn't able to get to it. It would take a few hours to reach the waterfall and not as if I wasn't up for the challenge or didn't want to be outside that long, but really I wasn't prepared for the hike, lacking snacks, water and the proper shoes. Maybe next time.

The small one was pretty awesome itself.

Randomly growing on a fallen tree was this cute little red mushroom.

After taking a 100 photos of the waterfall we walked back down the trail and I swear we found a treasure chest! It was pretty deep in the ground though so there wasn't a chance of us pulling it out. 

Scenic train ride!
How cute is this?
I'll say it again, there's something about old trains that freak me out at the same time I find them intriguing. 
For most of the train ride you couldn't see much because there were trees in the way of the river.  I still attempted to take photos either way,  Dan instead decided to take a nap. Psh lol.

If you are ever to visit Jim Thorpe, you should definitly do so in the fall. They have so much more going on in the autumn months, and being in the mountains with all those trees with their leaves changing, the scene is stunning.

"I know I've seen this day before, and I'm sure, I'll probably see it again."

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The little bit of random...

I'm not sure why but I love this commercial. Like absolutely love it!

Anyone else agree?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The little bit of random...

Family photo time!
Some of these photos are mine and some of them are compliments of my sister.
This was taken about 15 minutes after we landed, we were taking a bus to pick up the rental car. You can tell how excited we were to be in Colorado. Honestly you could have put us anywhere and we would have been this ecstatic just to be out of Jersey for a bit.
Heather and my mom at the caves. Going to be honest, the caves weren't all the impressive. I've seen the ones in the Shenandoah Valley and those are amazing.
My brother always knows how to smile pretty for the camera.

Very deep in thought here.
This is a very typical scene for us. Confusion. We spend most of our vacations lost, even with a map.
We were the only people on this hiking trail not dressed like hikers, or using a walking stick. Obviously we are capable without.
Joe must have ruined at least 20 of mine and my sister's photos just walking through them purposely.

My mom is sorta famous...

we all needed

a photo with her.

Doesn't she look like she's going off on a quest?

 Sometimes my sister and I are just soo cool. In person this discord color theme killed your eyes.

We understood it.

We obviously don't abide by the rules of the huge broom and dustpan.

Don't really get the point because you couldn't see a thing once inside, but I just had to crouch under the dome to see inside aquarium.

Colorado chipmunks are so brave. This little guy ate straight from my mom's hand. Then jumped on her lap!

Not to tattle or anything, but I wasn't the only one that HAD to touch the ice cold melting snow water.

The couple behind us were the first people to perform at the Red Rocks amphitheater. We sang nearly as good as them.

We never stop and ask strangers to take photos of us as a whole family, so our vacation photos usually only have three of us at a time. I'm not sure if it's because we are from New York/ New Jersey and don't trust anyone handing back our camera, or because we are in the city a lot and can't stand when tourists ask us to take photos of them.

This was taken with a timer so we could get the whole family!
From left to right: Heather, Aunt Honey, Me, Mom, Joe, Uncle Frankie.

All in all I loved Colorado. It's so pretty and it seems that there is just so much to do, nature wise. However there are a lot of things they don't have that I am greatly used to in Jersey (like a beach and 24 hour diners!). So yes, I did miss Jersey somewhat, but I'll be honest as I waited for the plane at the airport I was trying hard not to cry. I really didn't want to go home just yet. I'm not sure if it was because I was upset vacation was over, I was leaving my aunt and uncle, or because I was heading back to the real world, and sometimes the real world simply sucks lol.

"When I lose all hope in Colorado."

Monday, August 8, 2011

Day 97!

Vacation day 7!
The last day of vacation as well as the saddest.
I can't explain how much I didn't want to go home yet.

So while I was in the house waiting for everyone to get ready so we could spend our last day in Colorado at Estes Park, I sat by the window using my zoom lens. As I attempted to take a shot of this flower, I noticed something move.

Now let me remind you, I was in the house, which was far across the street, and not directly across but there was a house and sidewalk and a little bit of a field between us. So I put my camera down to look and I completely thought I have finally seen a wild animal on vacation. A coyote! Quickly I zoom in with my camera and snap a shot. Without showing her my camera first, I called my mom over, as well as my sister and we are completely convinced in the woods we see a coyote! Yeah and then I zoomed in further at the animal on my camera to really looked at it...Not only is this animal fenced in to what seems to be someone's front yard, there is a collar around the animal's neck. So my coyote in all actuality was a German Shepherd lol. My mom denied it and was trying to convince me that it was a wild animal, but as I spied into this person's yard I could see the dog play fetch with a woman. Clearly he wasn't wild.
Still. Can't. Get. Over. The. Snow. On. The. Mountains!

Before heading to Estes Park, we stopped off at Lyons. A very cute town, but everything was closed since it was Monday. Psh.

There's something about old trains, they freak me out at the same time I find them intriguing. 

Are you sick of snowy mountain photos yet?

I took this photo on the way home from Estes Park, on I-25 N. This isn't the exact spot, but pretty close to it....So the entire vacation I had my camera with me, taking photos of everything possible. The one time I didn't, the one time I had it packed away so I could read directions to the airport was the one time I really really should have had it out. As we drove, I stared out at the fields, and out of no where a coyote walks out and is on the side of the road. A real coyote this time! Not someone's pet. I freaked out in excitement and couldn't get my camera out soon enough. It took me to the very last hour of vacation for me to finally see a real wild animal. It was pretty awesome.

"Can I just be here one more day, until my sunburn fades away? I'm taking pictures of everything to remind me of the place that's so perfect for me and I'm taking pictures of everything. So go ahead and take this place away from me."