The Virgin Islands offered a vacation both my wife (Melissa) and I were looking for. She likes relaxation on beautiful beaches, and I wanted adventures beyond the beach. She likes the water, and I like visiting national parks. The Virgin Islands, especially St. John and Virgin Islands National Park, fulfilled both of our desires and outdid our expectations.
I’m not a huge beach guy, both because my pale-skin is quickly burnt and my restless spirit gets easily bored after about an hour sitting in sand, but the beaches and water of the Virgin Islands were picturesque. Even I wanted to stay put and soak up the post-card worthy views of the white sandy beaches sliding under crystal clear waters moving from aqua to turquoise to teal. But thankfully, the calm beaches were complemented by awaiting adventures such as great spots for snorkeling, stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, hiking, and swimming, of course. A wide variety of animals were observable in the water (we saw green sea turtles, stingrays, a nursing shark, all kinds of fish) and on land (bright birds, large iguanas, deer, and small scattering geckos).
One year ago today my wife and I were in Paris celebrating our one-year anniversary in Europe. In an effort to remember the trip one year later and feel like I’m getting good use out of some of the pictures I wanted to blog on each city that we visited.
I’ll admit we only spent one day in Paris so our experience was limited. Our goal wasn’t to check off each museum and touristy attraction in our short time there but just walk the streets and take in the city and its unique culture. Paris is as magical as made to sound in every book and movie it’s mentioned. From the second your shoe soles hit the streets you realize you’re in a rare place. Paris makes you feel lucky for being there, not in a shady and dirty way like Vegas, but in a nostalgic and enchanting way. The food, the history, the sights, the people, the art, and the corporate excitement of so many people happy to be in one place.
Continue reading Paris: A Moveable Feast
I’ve had a few people ask about the recent trip my wife and I took to Europe so I thought I’d give a brief rundown of the itinerary. If you’re not interested, and you probably aren’t, feel free to just scan the pics. I’ll limit myself to a couple of pictures for each day, with just a highlight or two mentioned. The trip was a great experience and hopefully Melissa and I will cherish the memories for years. One of the things I liked about the trip was how it encompassed so many things you might want to see on a vacation. No need to decide between mountains, beaches, rolling hills, country sides, or metropolitan cities because Nice and Italy had them all. Not to mention it allowed for most things you’d want to do on a vacation all in one: seeing historical sites, paintings, architecture, nature hikes, museums, gardens, enjoying the best food and wine, UNESCO sites, world-renowned cities, and even boat rides on the sea. The daunting task for me here is how you scale down nearly a thousand pictures to just a handful, and how you summarize the countless memories and breathtaking sights in one blog post. I’ll skip the two full days of traveling on planes, since that largely consisted of being crammed and eating things I wouldn’t buy in a gas station.
If you hear the name Constantine and immediately you think of Keanu Reeves, please keep reading. As much as I like a good Keanu Reeves film this post will focus on the Roman Emperor Constantine. As Peter Leithart says in Defending Constantine, ““It is one of the epic lives in Western history, full of firsts and foundings.”
It’s been especially fun reading about Constantine in light of my recent trip to Rome. Constantine might have set up his capital in Constantinople but his footprint still strongly remains in Rome. Here’s a tiny bit about Constantine through the lens of my camera. I won’t be digging into the controversies, retelling his bio, or even listing many of the “first and foundings” attributed to him. Instead, I’ll simply recount some highlights of Constantine that fit with pictures I took while in Rome. Come on, I have to justify taking these pictures somehow so what better way than this?!