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Last chapter: Call me, Missus Hazebrouck…Europe 2017 volume 8

 (Elisa Sherman)Sigh, this is the final blog of #WEeurovacay

All good things must come to an end.

Upon our return from Venice, and before we headed back to Paris, Wade and I took a day trip via 2 trains – to the “family”(named) town: Hazebrouck…a little town in the north of France. Hazebrouck became Hasbrouck, perhaps as the family emigrated across the Atlantic. The town is…very French. This was the last new location we visited, before heading back to Paris.

En route, we missed our connecting train in Lille, France. Wade had to dust off his french, and vice versa the ticket agent his english…turned out, missing one train was not that big a deal. We eventually made it to Hazebrouck, however, it was a bit of a holiday, so much in the main square was not open. But, we found lunch in one of the little french restaurants before setting off on jaunt around town.

Pro tip, sausages in France seem to equal hotdogs, oscar meyer style. Interesting. And they like cheese, a lot of cheese. The lunch I ordered was a piece of bread and ham buried in a bowl of yellow cheese, with a hotdog and egg on top. It seemed like a croque madame gone wrong… I think I’ll stick with croissants when it comes to french fare…
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Food aside, I say au revoir #WEeurovacay…Hazebrouck, out.

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Venezia ~ Ciao Bella! Europe 2017 volume 7

 (ELISA SHERMAN)Venice, Venezia in Italian…The Floating City. To drive in Venice is to skipper a boat. Actually, a collection of islands and canals, you walk over water in every direction. This was my second time visiting, and I saw many of the same sights as I had previously. And they are just as spectacular, the gelato just as sweet. Much like Hawaii, where every direction is loved by the camera, Venice is candy for the eyes and the lens. Pasta & pizza to savor. From the golden tiled mosaics to the blown glass, from the lace to rainbow neighborhoods, from gondeliered canals to bridges of sighs…there is nowhere quite like Venice, the city that seems to be sinking inch by inch, but rises above: bellisima!

We attempted to be economical upon arrival awaiting, seemingly forever, a water bus. Splurging on a water taxi would have been well worth it. Alas, we made our way from airport to San Marco eventually. We had a lovely apartment reserved via Airbnb near Piazza San Marco, and it was awesome. It was associated with a hotel, so we had access to their services, wifi, and ability to make reservations for taxi when we had to leave in the wee hours.

Our Venice stop on #WEeurovacay consisted of roaming Piazza San Marco, a day trip to the islands of Murano, Burano and Torcello, and of course, a gondola ride. Mix in some pizza, pappardelle and a canoli or two…well, la dolce vita is realized. Photos abound.

First views in all direction of Piazza San Marco…
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A pigeon or two…
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San Marco itself…we could not shoot inside, but around, and from atop…
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Endless waterways…
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Grand Canal…
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…and Gondolas…
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…islands full of…glass, lace, rainbows, and ponderous statuary…
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…There really is just endless visions…
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…sigh, Ciao for now sweet Venezia, until I see you again…


Archives

Ghent ~ Castles and moats and chainmail, oh my! Europe 2017 volume 6

 (ELISA SHERMAN) On our way back to Brussels from Brugge, we stopped in Ghent, specically Gravensteen Castle, before heading into the town for dinner. Gravensteen is a castle from the middle ages, full of armour, and various…torture contraptions, and whatnot. Views abound. It is like stepping through time, as you climb through and around the castle grounds. Dark and dreary, yet also dreamy. You can almost see ghosts of knights past lurking through the dark dank stone halls. It’s hard to imagine a time when this was a lived in, working dwelling. What with tourists roaming about, through the halls, and down below and around it, feeding the ducks, and sitting on the grass aside the moat. Castles seem so “fairytale”, yet here we see, they are but history, as dark as it may have been…

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Archives

En Brugge , Europe 2017 volume 5

 (ELISA SHERMAN)Brugge, Bruges…Venice of the north… One of the coolest north Belgium towns. If you don’t mind dark comedies, the film En Brugge, will take you there…on  (ELISA SHERMAN)point scenery. If you are but a tourist, like, se moi, there is Photo Tour Brugge brought to you by Bruges’ best photographer, Andy McSweeney @andymcphoto. Andy was so great working with each of us at varying levels of skill and equipment, taking us to sights off the beaten path, and pointing out how to make unique compositions, etc. And he let me swap lenses with him as we were both shooting Fuji mirrorless this fine evening:)

We had headed up to Brugge from Brussels on the Saturday after returning from Berlin…walked around the main Place(plass) ourselves (Wade, his aunt, cousin and myself), and then met up with Andy for an evening private tour(scheduled in advance). From rapt statues, canals, reflections, architecture, odd signs, and windmills we got a taste of everything through sunset. What a great way to see Brugge! The next morning we walked around as the city awoke, and took our final clicks and then headed off to the next stop on #WEeurovacay…for now, let’s look back, En Brugge.

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Archives

Wolfsburg: Das Auto! Europe 2017 volume 4

 (ELISA SHERMAN)So our trek to Germany was born of desire to go see the birthplace of Wade’s 1967 Beetle…So we planned it as a day trip from our stay in Berlin on our #WEeurovacay. We planned poorly and didn’t get reservations to visit the factory, but after a brief stroll through the Autostadt. we realized the real place to see was the museum where all the old Volkswagens were… So we hopped in a taxi and went to this little building in town. Undertated from the outside, but all the goodies were inside. So we got to see all the new tech at Autostadt, and all the old cuteness at the museum – win win :) I have to admit, I prefer the classics, they have very expressive faces if you will. I am not as much a fan of the boxier styles of the 80’s etc… But it was fun to see everything over the years.

So I give you Wolfsburg, Volkswagen – ad infinitum…
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next up, En Brugge…

Archives

Ich bin ein Berliner! Europe 2017 volume 3

 (ELISA SHERMAN)Jelly doughnuts not included…lol, j/k, that’s not what that means. So Berlin…the third city we landed in. So much history. I am a child of the cold war, and almost nowhere is more symbolic than Berlin, where remnants of the Wall still stand. We actually stayed in what would have been East Berlin. Walking just down the street to what was Checkpoint Charlie, or taking an Uber further east to the Wall Museum, with the tour through the museum narrated by Mikhail Gorbachev, the history permeates the air. Berlin was actually my favorite city to visit…it was full of history, the people were so nice, the food good, and the price was right. Easily the best deal on #WEeurovacay, the beer and brats were much more afordable than the Parisian croque madames :)
Our favorite pub , Augustiner, was the one down the street by Gendarmenmarkt.

Cheers Berlin!
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Brandenburg Gate greets you…
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The cathedrals at Gendermenmarkt candy to the eyes…
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…and the Wall, so dark in it’s history, now stands in part as monument, in part as art making us think about the future and past…
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And never fear, Starbucks is here…and smarter coffee too…pick your kaffee :)
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And so much more interest to the eyes, as you stroll and wander through the city…I would love to go back and see more than our brief stay allowed for…


Archives

Sprout to be… Bruxelles! Europe 2017 volume 2

 (Elisa Sherman)Brussels, or as the French say – Bruxelles (it basically sounds the same but with an accent)…was our home base for our #WEeurovacay adventure – much love to Cathy for allowing us to visit. We whisked our way there Monday evening from Paris via high speed train – and apparently First class – I highly recommend. Brussels…is a brilliant city, a Grand Place(pronounced plass) with a Starbucks & a Hard Rock…did I mention, we’re American?! Anyways, we actually left the next day for Berlin, but technically it was our second stop, so volume 2 it is! When we did return from Germany, we got to hang out a bit, and again when we returned later from Venice. We rode the subway here, as we did in Paris…to navigate in from the Train station, and back to Grand Place. Drank beer(as I did in Berlin as well – Volume 3 or 4?! lol) thanks to some Monks come brewers…La Trappe ~ Trappist

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…and well, ate chocolate…because, Belgium…
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…missed Brussels Pride (we went to Brugge that weekend…it’s early there I guess?)…it would have been fun…but great to see an international city getting ready…
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And, of course…Grand Place…
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…and did I mention Starbucks?! yes…there was Cafe Americano…
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…and chocolate sculptures and chocolate elephants…
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…and well, it’s Europe…so really cool architecture, courtyards, fountains & churches…
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Brussels was really cool, even if we only got to visit a small part…the people were all wonderful, and everything was so fun, just to walk down the street…until we see you again…to Bruxelles with love, xoxo…


Archives

Paris, a room with a view…Europe 2017 volume 1

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Ah, Paris! City of Love…served as bookends for our 2017 European adventure: #WEeurovacay.

We flew roundtrip to Paris, hitting the classics the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Latin Quarter, and Arc de Triomphe.

We partook all – croissants & a cafe au lait, to croque madame (or monsieur if you prefer). Not to mention eight Euro Coca Cola’s – yes, Paris may be the city of love – at a premium price. Well, noone will ever mistake it for a bargain city, that is for sure. Nonetheless, it is spectacular. I will have to make it back sometime, and expand beyond the classics.

Anywho, we started at the Le Derby Alma Hotel where we had this lovely room with a view of Le Tour Eiffel (aka The Eiffel Tower). After our long flight we walked around the neighborhood before we could check in…later followed by a nice nap.

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After our nap it was time to take a ride…to the top, Le Tour! We had 5pm reservations – and it was a gorgeous day. Views were far and wide. From the modern city skyline, to the pander for future Olympiad, to the River Siene.

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…Later in the evening, we continued to enjoy the view from the ground… (Elisa Sherman)

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The next evening, we took the high speed train to Brussels. Before that, we squeezed in Notre Dame, and a stroll through the Latin Quarter…

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…Fast forward through the rest of #WEeurovacay, and we are back in Paris, this time just off the Champs-Élysées by the Arc de Triomphe…so much we have soaked in thus far (in blogs to come)…but Paris, is the perfect end to a perfect trip…innovation, fashion, culture, croissants…and really big traffic circles…

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Au revoir Paris…le sigh…


Archives

Happy Earth day, Power to Science and finally, Beautiful Tulips!

 (ELISA SHERMAN)Greetings earthlings! Yesterday was Earth Day – so we went out in it. Many marched for Science – and I am so thankful. Science has allowed me to heal, and I am forever grateful to everyone who practices it everyday, everyone who discovers and all who push to the next frontier. Good science means good Earth. Yesterday, I finally felt well enough to go out amongst the tulips sprouting up from the damp earth, shooting some new electronics.

Today was the first day, clicking the new shutter of the Fuji X-T20 out in the world (& instantly instagramming!) – beyond our cat Thelma(lol). I wasn’t able to trounce through all the fields yet, but we did make it to the 2 main gardens up in the Skagit Valley – Roozengaarde and Tulip Town. I have 2 lenses so far – the kit 16-50mm and the Lensbaby Trio 28, the latter capturing most of the images(all the blurry and swirly backgrounds).

The Fuji is a huge change for me equipment wise – it’s mirrorless and a crop 1.6x sensor. I really wanted to shrink my kit size, and was looking at the mirrorless. They are all advanced now, and some great photographers are using them. I had focused the full frame Sony’s at first, but between the size, cost, and current tech, I just couldn’t pull the trigger. For mirrorless, one of the best was the Fuji line – but it was crop. So I researched, and found, that the performance, image quality, and body/lens styles all fit what I was looking for, so I took the leap. I am awaiting a fish eye to add to the kit for my travels to Europe next month. I imagine I will eventually replace the kit lens with a 16-55 2.8, and ultimately add a fast prime like the 50 2.0, and a longer fast zoom like the 50-140 2.8. Oh, and I still have access to the big 5d2 as it stays in the family;)

So anywho, let’s get to it – Tulips! For looks back – 2008, 2011, 2013.

Earth Day 2017 was a bit overcast and damp at intervals, however, the Tulips shown through!


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Full slideshow ~




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Lava, Luau, Loco Moco & Love…Big Island Hawaii 2016

 (Elisa Sherman)So, where to start…

I decided last spring that I wanted to spend my next birthday in Hawaii…because, well, sun, beaches, sunsets and paradise;) It’s good for the soul, and glorious for the camera sensor.

It really is peaceful excitement when you first set foot in paradise, and this trip proved why in many ways.

Let’s get the big excitement out the way first, #engagement…it was perfect and photographic all at once. We were walking around the Japanese garden in Hilo. I was like, why aren’t you taking more pictures…?! LOL.

Then he gave me a gorgeous book of all the pictures and fun we have had together over the last 2+ years, a birthday present I thought…and wrapped it up with a perfect proposal. There is much more backstory to the what led up to that, but for now, we’ll just say it was a perfection in paradise.

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In photographs, the vacation bookends the perfect engagement setting with bountiful beautiful gazing sights. Just don’t forget the mosquito repellant!(serious Dengue Fever has the island in a current state of Emergency)…

From lazing on the beach, glowing crater, sea arch, and this apparent island specialty – Loco Moco, it just got better and better.


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Oh, and there was a luau, a sunset or two, a sunrise with steam rising, palm trees and waves…and even the southern most point in the whole U.S. of A…not necessesarily in any of that order…


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And maybe, some turtles, Banyan trees and oh yeah, that one Japanese garden…

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So much gorgeousness…it’s endless ~ enjoy the slideshow – xoxo…