Heather & Jonathan Got Married!

These two kids have been together for about four years, now, and have FINALLY tied the knot! The ceremony took place in a spot of Sholom Park in Ocala that I have been oogling over for the past four years, inside a vine-covered gazebo. It was very intimate and just right for the two of them. The only thing more beautiful than the location, of course, the bride.

_dsf2274

I’ve been friends with Heather for what seems like forever. Basically, since I moved to Citrus County 11 years ago. She’s always been there for me, and I’ll always consider her one of my best friends. I knew that one day her and Jonathan would be married not too long after meeting him. They just seemed to fit together so well, and I’m ecstatic that they’re finally bound together.

_dsf2276

Jonathan is a great guy, and I know he works hard at everything he puts his mind to. You can tell that there’s a lot going on up there, thinking of other people and what will come next. I’ve never seen either of them as happy as they did today.

_dsf2326

On a technical note: I shot all these photos with my Fujifilm X-T2 and 27mm pancake lens. They’re all shots for me, photos that just help me remember the day for when I need a good, happy, cry or whatever. It was nice to see how it could perform not only in near-darkness, but also what I could get from a single spot.

_dsf2339

Also, some of them are of Mr Personality, himself, Seth “Big Pony” who shocked me when I saw him in a suit, which does fit the long hair fairly well.

_dsf2403

Anywho… once again: Congratulations Jonathan and Heather! I am so proud of you guys, and I know I keep saying it, I am so so so so happy for you both. I love you guys and can’t wait for what comes next.

_dsf2464 _dsf2480 _dsf2493 _dsf2519 _dsf2525 _dsf2538 _dsf2543 _dsf2599 _dsf2600 _dsf2601 _dsf2668 _dsf2804 _dsf2848 _dsf2910 _dsf2939 _dsf2949 _dsf2959 _dsf2964 _dsf2966 _dsf2990 _dsf2998

NC Trip Day Seven – The Last Day

Today was our last full day here in North Carolina. For our final adventure, we went to Grandfather Mountain. As we entered the park, we were warned that there might be some rain. Fortunately though, we didn’t encounter any rain. However, we did get a few dark clouds and just a bit of wind.

_dsf0795

First thing was first, we crossed the mile-high swinging bridge and climbed to the top of the mountain. With the high winds, crossing the bridge was a little more nerve wracking than usual what with the howling through the metal bits of the structure. Once we were up on top, we had 360 degree views of the area. It was absolutely stunning.

_dsf0797

After being properly chilled between the dropping temperature, the raising humidity, and the sustaining wind, we headed down to the museum and the animal habitat.

_dsf0800-hdr

Down at the habitat, we spent most of our time with the bears, because they were the ones that had the most personality, and of course they were very cute. We hung around long enough to hear about one of the first bears they had in the habitat, named Mildred. They say she didn’t know that she was a bear, and when they released her, she came back and just hung around.

_dsf0803-hdr

We moved on from the bears after a large crowd formed, and looked at the rest of the animals they had there. We didn’t, however, get to see the cougars, because they were in the process of renovating their habitat.

_dsf0806-hdr

After going through the museum, we decided it was time for lunch, so we ate the lunch that we had brought in a little picnic area, and then headed back towards Little Switzerland to have some ice cream.

_dsf0809-pano

Before ice cream, though, we stopped at one overlook that I absolutely needed to see before we left: the Chestoa View. It’s an overlook viewing the Linville Gorge, and it is absolutely staggering. The photos any person takes, no matter the skill, no matter the equipment, will never do it justice. However, every time I’ve stopped there I’ve tried. Every photographer will try, and I wasn’t the only one this time, even. I’m so happy to have seen it again.

_dsf0827-hdr

Once we returned back to the cabin, it all came to realization that this was our last day, and tomorrow will primarily be packing the car up and heading out. It’s unfortunate, but the real world needs us.

_dsf0846-hdr

I hope my daily documentation of our trip has been insightful or entertaining or inspiring or some other positive adjective. I’m hoping that this practice in writing will lock in the habit of doing something like this every day. I’ve always loved writing, and I’ve missed it, and I thank you for reading whatever kind¬†writing you can call this.

(more…)

NC Trip Day Six

Today we ventured into civilization. Well, as much as you can really call it that. Downtown Asheville still maintains a small town feel while also having the look of a big city, except still not a big city. It’s hard to describe, really.

_dsf0612

We started our day parking over at the chamber of commerce. Pro tip, if you’re okay with a short walk, the chamber is the best place to park for free. Then we headed to the Mellow Mushroom for some lunch.

_dsf0614

Mellow Mushroom is more of a franchise that is all over, there’s even one in Orlando, but it really fits in with the aesthetic of Asheville perfectly. So, there we got ourselves some pizza, which was delicious! I definitely recommend it if you’re ever near one and craving a slice. It’s even good as leftovers.

_dsf0616

After filling up on food, we then walked street to street, popping in various shops, galleries, and book stores. Of course, we didn’t buy anything, but it was fun to look.

_dsf0621

Looking through the galleries reminded me why I do what I do, and why I continue to try to be the best at it. It also reminded me that I should probably start selling prints of my photos. I love creating and I’ll keep doing it for the rest of my life.

_dsf0625

Tomorrow will be our last full day in North Carolina, so we are going to savor it as much as possible. What will we do? That’s still up for debate, but we’ll probably, begrudgingly, start the packing process.

(more…)

NC Trip – Day Three

Today, we made our way to the Biltmore Estate. They seemed pretty strict about photos and video, but fortunately, I was able to loophole my way into taking all the photos I wanted.

_dsf0278

After touring the mansion and the gardens, we went for dinner at a local BBQ place, which was alright, definitely no Southern Pig & Cattle. I always feel like I’m taking a risk when I’m trying a new food place.

_dsf0279

After we ate, it started pouring down rain. Since it was too much like home, we decided to head back to the cabin and take it easy for the rest of the day.

(more…)

NC Trip – Day Two

Today was a little more rough on our bodies than yesterday. First, not only did we take the walk up to the top of Mount Mitchell, but we also did the three mile hike to Mount Craig and back.

_dsf0171

By the time we reached Craig, we were definitely tired. Somehow, there was a man who was actually running the trail. Crazy! He was nice enough to take a photo of Sarah and I, and I took one of him in return. He said that he’s lived here for three years and had not ever been on the trail before.

_dsf0186

On our way back, another lone hiker asked if she could join us on the way back. We all talked about various things, especially mushrooms. Apparently, there’s a type of mushroom that actually lactates, crazy! Unfortunately, she couldn’t find an example on the trail to show us, but it definitely made for good conversation and helped make the hike back go by faster.

_dsf0189

By the time we got to the trailhead, we were starving, and got in the car and drove to the little restaurant in the park. There, we both went simple and had burgers, and watched as the clouds rolled over the mountains.

_dsf0192 _dsf0198 _dsf0201 _dsf0204 _dsf0213 _dsf0215 _dsf0216 _dsf0218 _dsf0222 _dsf0224 _dsf0225 _dsf0229 _dsf0232 _dsf0233 _dsf0240 _dsf0242 _dsf0249 _dsf0254-hdr _dsf0257-hdr _dsf0264 _dsf0270 _dsf0272 _dsf0274