the land that time forgot. for it's only just begun.
it was number one on my bucket list of places I want to see someday. for over 30 years. something about this far off otherworldly land beckoned me since I was a child, and so... without further ado, decided it high time I hightailed it over there. and that's just what I did for my 40th birthday.
Iceland was the most amazing journey I've ever taken in my life. the man and I spent two weeks driving the perimeter of the country. we quickly realized, two weeks is two months too short. for as small as this little island is, it's larger than life while driving on battered roads in questionable elements all whilst in a tiny Yaris yet to have its snow tires.
what an adventure!
the landscape is unforgettable and overwhelming. in the span of driving just four hours, it feels like you may be on three different planets due to the abrupt change in topography. all breathtaking. some bleak. others, downright terrifying. and all mindblowing.
we fell in love.
and wish we could've spent months there satisfying our curiosities. alas, we were/are grateful for our two weeks and wanted to share the highlights from the most brilliant place either of us have been to on this amazing planet, thus far.
I hope you enjoy and someday get a chance to visit this land like no other. and if you have any questions regarding, please don't hesitate to ask. I'm just an email away.
there's a ton more pics in the galleries and on my flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/quinfotos/sets/72157638560591943/. if you feel up to perusing, please do. and if there's anything on the flickr page you're interested in purchasing but don't see here, let me know and I'll be sure to make it available on this website.
This past weekend I headed to the annual Katsucon convention. What is Katsucon, you may ponder? Apparently it's all things Japanese anime. However there are no hard rules. People dress up in their favorite, or not so favorite, anime character that may or may not have anything at all to do with Japanese animations. I mean, I saw Spiderman there and am pretty sure, he's a U.S. phenomenon.
Regardless, if I were to describe the event in one word? Overwhelming.
So many costumes, so many characters. Had an extremely difficult time getting many pics due to the heavy amount of foot traffic, not to mention constant movement of the actual subjects I was trying to take pictures of. I mean, most of these kids are just that. Kids. So... they were constantly on the go or making some crazy action figure movement reenactment of the character they were playing.
The event itself couldn't have been held in a better venue, in my opinion. The Gaylord, although at the National Harbor (blah), is one of the most impressive hotels I've been to in a great while. Massive and extremely well lit due to the plethora of natural light filling the interior. I was thinking this would be a one-time adventure, but due to this very fact of the venue and the spectacular photo opportunities, I will def be heading back there next year, and much more prepared!
one of the toughest things us fellow animal lovers ever have to deal with in our lives is the fact our pets will someday grow old, and then, just like that, no longer be part of our lives.
there was always a furry little buddy in my home when i was growing up, and i'm not referring to my brother. this time.
as an adult, the tradition continues. couldn't imagine my life without a pet. cat or dog. although, it would be preferable to have one of each. and even knowing someday they won't be there anymore, the precious moments i am blessed enough to have with them up until that point is worth it. i know any pet owner out there agrees. it's why we continue to go out and rescue or adopt another little buddy again after the fact. because our lives are all that much more enriched with their presence. there's nothing else on the planet that can give you the same type of content as another being willing to give you nothing but 100% unconditional love, no matter what.
all that being said (typed), i had the great honor of having a most fun photoshoot with the man's family dog who just now happens to be in his late years. and all things considered, the old man still has a great deal of pep in his step. not to mention, he's a fabulous model, too.
in conclusion, he truly very much loves his tennis ball.
here's some of my faves from the shoot... enjoy and happy Fall~
i've lived in Northern VA, literally just mins from Washington DC (depending on traffic, anything from 20 mins to two hours on any given day), since the third grade. and in all of my years living in this extremely patriotic landmark have never managed to enjoy the light show from the Potomac river.
until this past Independence Day...
what an amazing time to be had. before, during and after. the amount of boats/people on/in the water is astounding. the view is captivating, what with the Lincoln memorial, Washington Monument, Key bridge and other famous landmarks. and the aftermath. there's nothing like hearing thousands of boats sounding their horns for a solid ten mins after the fireworks have concluded.
what a show.
America... FUCK YEAH!
here's just some of the fun captured on this magical day (pics will be uploaded over the next few weeks). happy berfmas, America!
a brilliant sky... giving us a break from the oppressive sun. it was well over 100 degrees that day.
these folks knew how to party. pretty sure everyone made out with everyone on this boat before the night was through.
lots of smiles and good times all around on the water.
as the evening wore on the amount of boats increased, steadily...
tons of boats choose to tie up together to party it up.
is it just me or does this guy look a lot like Philip Seymour Hoffman?
Washington Monument in the background on the right.
decided to take a vacation a little closer to home for once. as much as i love traveling abroad, money's tight this year. so gave it some thought as to what i really need/want right now in regards to some time away, and came up with some basic essentials...
affordable. tons of nature and hiking. little to no traffic. and a gorgeous landscape.
with that, my decision was relatively easy.
decided to head on down to good ol' Southwest Virginia. a six-hour drive from Northern Virginia, my current stomping grounds. and unbelievably, a part of the state i've never visited, which is sad since i've lived here for over 30 years.
ended up stayed in a charming little town named Abingdon, which sits pretty smack dab in the middle of some gorgeous National forests, a winery, tons of rolling hills/mountains, and with super friendly country folk to boot. an enormous amount of fun was had, including a lot of getting lost. all i had were my maps since GPS doesn't work well out in them tharr hills. however, between you and me, i prefer maps. something bout kicking it 'old school' makes me feel a little closer to nature, not to mention a little more intelligent since i get to use my ol' noodle instead of depending on technology, once more.
a few things i learned out in the country, while lost as all get out:
one. always have a full tank of gas. you never know when you'll be able to gas up next. and those mountain roads will eat up your tank on the quick, believe you me.
two. trust in your brethren. that's right. don't be afraid to ask the locals if you're completely discombobulated. the mass majority of them are extraordinarily friendly and will go out of their way to point you in the right direction. just be prepared to stick around for awhile. you're on country time now. and country folk take their time and like to talk. they ask questions. and they wanna know about you, too. it's a massive difference from what you may be used to if you're from around my parts. where nobody has the time to give you the time. and i gotta tell you, the country way is a hell of a lot more refreshing than our way, imo.
three. have a little faith. trust me, you'll get to wherever you need to go. just be prepared to get lost and enjoy it when it happens. you'll see some amazing sites you wouldn't have if you hadn't got lost in the first place. and before you know it, you'll be back on the right road happy as a clam you managed to take some pics of something you may have never witnessed if not for taking that wrong turn.
tons of pics to come in regards to this trip. from landscape to animals and anything inbetween...
hope you enjoy and thanks for taking the time to read my little blurb regarding. :)
taken at the animal safari close to Natural Bridge, VA.
on a hike at Mount Rogers, the highest peak in Virginia
taken at an amazingly unique shop in Abingdon named Star Museum. worth the price of getting in. the amount of celebrity memorabilia is nearly unfathomable. and the owner is as interesting as his collection!