This has been an absolutely insane year and we really needed to get out of Pittsburgh for a few days, change the scenery and do something fun. We usually take one big trip (usually abroad) every year; this year we picked Ireland by pretty much pointing blindly at the map of Europe. We were a bit concerned about traveling that far with two small children - Daniella is 3.5 years old and Sophia is only 11 months old. We weren't too worried about Daniella - she is a seasoned traveler. She's traveled to 4 countries outside of the US and has been on at least 20 flights. Sophia is a travel noob and we weren't sure how well she would handle the trip. We had a blast! The trip was incredible and we managed to see and do way more than we expected, even with two small kids in tow. Instead of rambling, let me present to you - Ireland: 6 days in 6 minutes.
If you prefer to see individual images, you can see photos from the entire trip on Flickr
Last weekend was the first in a long time when I did not have a photoshoot. Even though the weather was kind of miserable, my friend Chris and I decided to go for a quick bike ride on the Steel Valley Trail. In June of 2012 I rode the entire length of the Great Alleghenny Passage to Cumberland, MD - something that I would like to start doing at least once a year. Chris and I only had about half a day to ride and explore, so we set off at 8 am from the Waterfront. If you are interested in exploring, Steel Valley Trail provides ample opportunities. I used to do a lot of urban exploration before I got married and had children; this trip gave me an opportunity to explore once more. Along the trail we found several abandonned railroad depots, warehouses and factories. I was glad that I brought a camera. It felt nice to spend half a day just biking and shooting, not worried about meetings, editing, management or other obligations. I should start doing this more often...
This September we finally managed to go on vacation. Between my family, work at Pitt Medical School, photography business and grad school I haven`t been able to take a real vacation in a few years. Since Irina and I are expecting an addition to our family in December (another girl!), we figured that this might be our last opportunity (for a few years) to go on vacation. On a friend`s advice we chose an all-inclusive resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico at the Barcello Maya Resort. It was so nice to relax for a week and not have to worry about anything. I`d love to go back for a few more weeks:)
Last weekend was insane. Really insane. On Friday I loaded my wife, my daughter, my mother-in-law, my camera bag and approximately 200 pounds of luggage into my Nissan Versa and drove to New York City. It was supposed to be a busy weekend - I had a photoshoot scheduled for Sunday, meet with some friends, give my mother-and-law a tour of Manhattan and drop her off at JFK on Monday for her flight back to Belarus. To make the long story short, it rained cats and dogs the entire time. My photoshoot was cancelled. I spent the entire day schlepping around Manhattan in pouring rain. I was wet and miserable. Finally, toward the end of the day we met with a few friends who took us to the roof of their apartment building in Manhattan; even through the rain the view was absolutely breathtaking!
We got up at 6 AM and drove from Daytona Beach to Sawgrass Park in the Everglades. That was my favorite part of the entire trip. A woman chatting with a peacock at the park`s visitors center.
By day 3 I managed to successfully hurt my shoulder (I`ve no idea how or when or even where). Carrying a DSLR became somewhat of a chore, so most photographs at the Kennedy Space Center were taken with a Canon SD1000 point-and-shoot.
Ponce Inlet Lighthouse is a pretty neat place to visit. I`ve never been to a lighthouse before, and barring climbing over 200 steps to get to the top and realizing how pathetically out of shape I really am, it was an interesting experience. If you are ever in Daytona Beach area, I highly recommend visiting Ponce Inlet (www.ponceinlet.org).
I woke up at 7 in the morning to a spectacular sunrise
Initially my wife and I wanted to go on a road trip - drive from Pittsburgh to New York, Boston, Bar Harbor, Nova Scotia, etc. Basically, cover most of the northern East Coast. But, the weather in Pittsburgh has been really miserable for the past month or so, and we decided to skip the road trip and go somewhere warm. The flight from Pittsburgh to Daytona Beach exposed us to all the wonders that are today`s air travel. The flight from Pittsburgh to Atlanta was over an hour late and we missed a connecting flight to Daytona Beach. Then we had to stand in line for an hour to get on another flight and sit for another two hours at the airport waiting for the next flight to Daytona. However, when we arrived to the hotel, all the troubles were immediately forgotten. The hotel staff was incredibly nice and helpful, they upgraded us to a room with the view of the ocean and the best part is that I got to take my first nap in at least 6 months.