Archive for April, 2008
So, I told Amy and Joe that I would post one or two images from their session last night on my blog, but I think I’m going to end up posting a bit more. I had a great time getting to know this fun couple and I think after looking at these images you might get a feel for them as well.
Let start here. Amy and Joe know how to make each other laugh so well.
See what I mean?
I admit that I may have put them up to this, but only after seeing how silly they could be.
Now the challenge—can I do a non-laughing picture?
And even serious as the sun was almost gone!!
Can’t wait for the wedding.
This was such a fun session. The parents were both delighted in this little gal–she knows just how to make them laugh and she pretty much ran the show while I was there. I loved the paintings in the house and just had to include a few in the portraits.
This turned out to be quite a fun series of pictures. I’m not sure who was more delighted, the dad at trying to squirt mom, or the daughter and getting squirted.
And, I love this image. I’m not much of a sales person, but it would look great big or in canvas.
And finally one of the whole fun family.
I’ll be making quite a few posts in the days to come. Today, one of my favorite pictures from the Puerto Rico rain forest called El Yunque. I just visited and it happened to be over a holiday weekend in PR. This day locals and tourists alike were hiking about in the rain forest with this spot being a favorite waterfall. I love all the different action going on—and since I was mostly taking landscape images I couldn’t resist some people shots!
Do you think this is how Agassi started out? This little guy has already had two tennis lessons and I’m sure many more are in the works for him. Tennis has played a big role in the lives of his parents and I was a bit surprised, but excited when they asked if we could do a few shots out on the tennis court. He actually slept better when on the racket.
He really only cried for a moment, but I thought it made a good image.
We did do a few traditional images. I wonder what I said here to get this reaction–it must have been pretty funny.
Aww, all that tennis wears an eleven day out.
Here is another one from yesterday’s session. Don’t we all wish we looked this cute while sleeping? This little girl’s mom also runs her own business. See www.straightfromthestork.com Her company sounds like a great place to visit for unique baby gifts. It is like a cheese of the month club–only for babies. Little care packages sent out over the year with unique gifts appropriate for the age and gender of the baby. And, I just love her business name–and it works perfect for the title of my post as well.
This is my mom. She has been putting together a few travel essay’s and I thought I would share one here. She also keeps a daily blog where she writes about the business of rescuing senior dogs. You can find her blog here: http://www.stlseniordogproject.typepad.com/
The South of France, the Cote d’Azur, the French Mediterranean: Whatever you call it, forget about the crowds and sunburns of summer. Here’s a little secret. You might have a better time there in the winter. Yes, winter. The off season. January.
Comes a moment when I wonder if a sensible walking stick is really what I need in the south of France. I’m sipping hot chocolate in an outdoor restaurant while to my right I watch people selecting flower bouquets and fresh fruit at the Saleya Market in Nice.
“So civilized. So civilized,” sighs my traveling companion, repeating a phrase she utters daily during our week on the French Mediterranean. We are enjoying a part of the world that teases sighs from the most blasé with its turquoise water, beaches, cities that seem to climb up the hillside on stepping stones, mountains in the distance, and the sky, the sky.
It’s late January. Winter. We’re fine in sweaters or light jackets. But some evenings we see women in full-length mink coats walking along the Mediterranean on Nice’s Promenade Des Anglais or through the streets of Cannes. I’m told the natives start shivering when the temperature drops into the 70s.
On this day we’re making plans. Will we explore Nice? Visit the Matisse and Chagall Museums? Amble along the Mediterranean sniffing the air? Buy flowers, chocolate and bakery goodies? Dine outdoors with street musicians serenading us? Should we take the train to Cannes or Monte Carlo? Admire the yachts? Or spend the day in the village of Eze? Or the artist’s paradise of St. Paul de Vence? Maybe a ride on Le Train des Pignes with a stop in a fairy tale village complete with a drawbridge entry?
Things to see before you die. So many of the places we plan to visit are on lists of things to see before you die. I laugh. “Is it a matter of checking them off until you reach the end and…..” And are they places you can go with a walking stick?
My ridiculous floral-staffed walking stick seemed so perfect for the villages and footpaths of England. My granddaughters had gleefully selected it for me, and I’d promised to take it on all future travels. But here in Nice I’m tempted to slide it under the table, hoping no one will notice. Here I seem surrounded by women in knee-high boots with neck scarves lifting in the breeze as they clack down the streets in fashions dominated by the color black. Yes, it’s true. But on the French, black looks stylish. On me it looks like I’ve just come from a funeral.
On the South of France I notice motorcycles, not walking sticks. If the English Countryside is footpaths, sheep in the foreground and everything charming and quaint, the South of France is art and image, flower and vegetable stands, bakeries on every corner, villages perched like caps on hilltops, spectacular views of the Mediterranean, exotic gardens, and meals to remember for the rest of your life.
But never fear little granddaughters, I decide to keep my walking stick with me, and I’m happy I do. I love it in Monte Carlo, where it helps me up up up to see the palace and back down down down to the train station. I love it in Eze where I climb about the Jardin Exotique and enjoy the same view once adored by Swedish Prince William who preferred Eze to the royal court. I love it in St. Paul de Vence as I ramble through the narrow cobbled streets and poke into galleries and gift shops, purchasing a Provencal tablecloth and handcrafted jewelry. I need it in the village of Entrevaux as I follow the steep zig zag path to the citadel 440 feet above the village and then trot back down to barely make in on the train back to Nice. I love it when it gets me a good seat on the bus after an English teenager on vacation notices my walking stick and me and says sweetly to her mates, “Let the lady through.” The waters part and I’m up on the bus ahead of the crowd, smiling and only a little embarrassed. My friend who is traveling sans walking stick receives no special treatment and barely crowds on the bus at the end. But she feels so very very youthful.
The South of France does have its share of walking paths. One in particular is the Friedrich Nietzsche path from Eze to Eze Sur la Mer. Somewhere on this path Nietzche found a spot under an Olive tree where he wrote the last part of “Thus Spoke Zarathustra.”
But some of my most memorable experiences in the South of France don’t even require feet, much less a walking stick. Only an appetite. In Eze we duck into The Troubadour, a superb restaurant inside medieval walls. We take our time. In France, we enjoy every bite, every sip of wine. We take our time. We sigh over every course.
Then in St. Paul de Vence, we really live for the day. We dine in the famous (and definitely on the list of things to see before you die) Colombe d’Or, known for its spectacular art collection acquired over the years from world-famous artists in lieu of payment. Tables and chairs are so arranged that everyone enjoys the paintings. Across the room from me is a Miro. A little to the right a Picasso. Turn to my left, there’s an Utrillo and beyond that a Matisse. Over my left shoulder, a Marie Calder; over my right, a Roux. I’m so taken with the desire to remember everything that I begin sketching on scraps of paper pulled from my pockets: the shutters at the leaded windows, the flowers on our table, the curve of the yellow vase, the room itself with its central flower display almost a story high, the waiters, the dignified couple in the corner table entertaining a beauty we guessed to be a granddaughter. A countess, perhaps? We end the meal with a complementary class of Eau de Vie and break into laughter.
I remember other meals. Pizza at a sidewalk restaurant in Nice. The young couple next to us makes room for their Yorkshire Terrier at the table. A guitarist plays in the street. Another day we enjoy dinner at our hotel, which holds an “opening” while we’re there to introduce the public to several newly decorated rooms. Our hotel, The Windsor, hires artists to decorate the rooms. At the “opening,” we weave through the crowd snatching canapés from trays and pretending to listen to an artist who seems to be blowing words into the air and rearranging them with her fingers. I don’t understand a word she’s saying, but those who do seem enchanted.
Let’s not forget the daily stops for pastries and chocolates. We are on vacation.
On Sunday morning, we attend a symphony concert in the Nice Opera House. Box seats rise for three stories. From ours we see families opposite us, like portraits framed with red curtains tied back with velvet ropes. Afterwards we follow the crowd back to the Saleya Flower Market with its rows of restaurants on either side.
We become philosophical. My friend talks about why we travel – the sea, the songs, the tastes, the sights, the experiences. “What is that saying,” she muses. “That which I have danced and drunk, you cannot take away from me.”
One night we visit the palatial Hotel Negresco in Nice for a glass of champagne. Looking at the cost of that one glass, I comment that the clothes I am wearing, all purchased at thrift shops, didn’t cost me as much as that one glass of champagne. My friend laughs and nearly spits out her swallow of champagne. Oh what I loss though would have been! I’ll be telling that story for years to come.
Would I do it again? Yes, even the champagne. But next time I’ll spend more time in Eze and St. Paul de Vence. I’ll buy more perfume. But I’ll go again in the off season. And I’ll take my silly walking stick.