So I Went on a Cruise…

It was my first time ever. I left the kids and the husband at home, and went on a cruise with my girlfriends. And it was AWESOME.

WARNING: I am going to post a bunch of images. We had a balcony off of the back of the boat, so there will be A LOT of back-of-the-boat sky pics. I mean, of course there are a bunch of those, right? Don’t worry, our boat made several stops, so there will be more than just sky. But still, lots of sky. (Sorry, not sorry.)

Our trip was a 7-day, Western Caribbean on the Carnival Splendor, out of Miami, Florida. We had 4 ports; 3 of which we stopped at (more on that later.) My girlfriends and I flew from Cincinnati, down to Miami on Saturday, February 20th. Our ship embarked at 4:00pm the following day.

February 21, 2016 Embarkation: Port of Miamia (1)

*We spammed the heck out of social media, so if you want to see more of the “selfie” shots, you’ll want to go to my Instagram. From here on out, it’s my DSLR that will be doing the shooting.

After boarding the ship and grabbing our FunShip drinks, we set off from Miami, en route to Cozumel.a (2)a (3)

February 22, 2016 Day 1: Fun Day at Seab

February 23, 2016 Port of Call: Cozumel, Mexico

We spent a beautiful day in Cozumel. Our excursion was the All-Inclusive Isla Pasion by Twister Boat. <- So fun!!!! And Passion Island was GORGEOUS! Apparently, the location is so beautiful that it is where the Corona ads are shot.c (1)c (2)

February 24, 2016 Port of Call: Belize City, Belize

This port was the location that “chose” the cruise itinerary (at least for me.) It was uncomfortable, hot and humid, but was still an amazing place to see. Because of a barrier reef surrounding the shores, we were transported by tender from ship to shore. It wasn’t as bad as I imagined it might be, but it was a lengthier ride and the boat was rather cramped.

Our excursion for the day was the Altun Ha Mayan Site and River Wallace. The river tour was awesome. We saw all kinds of critters, including: manatee, bats, iguanas (they are eaten like chicken in Belize,) crocodiles, howler monkeys, etc.

We were lead by our tour guide, Maude, along with the boat captain and river spotter.d (1)d (2)

At the end of our river trip, we stopped off at the Black Orchid Resort for lunch, which consisted of the national food, rice and beans, as well as some jerk chicken and fried plantains.d (3)

The Altun Ha Mayan site was incredible to see, but it was incredibly warm; especially after climbing to the top of the sun temple. Our Chukka tour guides (Maude and Marvin) told us of the site’s history and walked us up and down those steep stones.d (3a)d (4)d (5)

February 25, 2016 Port of Call: Mahogany Bay, Honduras

Today was the day I dieted for. (No joke.) We had planned our Canopy and Gumbalimba Park excursion, which featured zip-lining and spider monkeys, to include a GoPro and all necessary accessories to capture all of the fun. And then we got rained out of port. No docking possible.e

February 26, 2016 Port of Call: Grand Cayman Island

Today we were going to play with stingrays! Our excursion was the Deluxe Stingray City Sandbar. And then it rained again. And all water-involved activities were canceled.

Unfortunately, this stop was more of a let down for me, than being completely rained out of port the previous day. I’d heard so many beautiful things about this location. My experience was on a “chillier” day, with choppy water, decent island food, and the usual port shopping.e1 (1)e1 (2)e1 (3)

February 27, 2016 Fun Day at Sea

And now, as we cruised passed Cuba, the sun came out and the rain stayed away for our final full day aboard the Carnival Splendor.f

February 28, 2016 Debarkation: Port of Miami

We docked in port around 7am on Sunday morning. It was a balmy 61 degrees when the sun came up.g

Debarkation wasn’t terrible. A little sad to say “Good-bye,” but that’s to be expected, right?

After exiting the boat, we hopped into our Uber and traveled to Surfside, Miami Beach. We were fortunate to have a wonderful Airbnb host, which happily stored our belongings prior to check-in so that we were able to explore the community of Surfside and experience one heck of a beautiful beach. (Watch out for those Man-O-Wars though.)h

That night, the three of us ate, drank, and experienced some of what South Beach had to offer.

February 29, 2016 Home

The next morning, the 3 of us boarded a teeny tiny plane and journeyed back to Cincinnati. I was hugging my toddler by 2pm.

Conclusion

I loved it! I had a blast! And I cannot wait to do it again!

I know Carnival Cruise Lines has made headlines in previous years; fortunately, we had no direct issues aboard the Splendor and have nothing but praise for the staff.

Special shout-outs to:

  • Jose, Daniel, Juan and several additional members of the waitstaff in the Black Pearl Dining Room. Our dining experiences were highlighted by the staff and their wonderful personalities, singing voices, and stellar dance moves. 😉
  • Fadil, the man that cleaned up after 3 messy women and still greeted us with a smile whenever/wherever we found him on the ship.
  • Hery, the king of selfies, and the friendly bartender that had the amazing super power of remembering our names and our drinks.

staff.jpg

By the way, I drank a lot of fruity drinks while on board. For those that wish to join me in a fruity toast, you can get the drink recipes here.

Here’s to future cruises!

-Lindsey

To view/purchase images from my trip, please visit: www.eclecticallyforyou.com/prints/caribbean

 

 

 

A Collaboration for an Extra Special Crown

2 years ago, while covering the Asian Food Fest in Cincinnati, I met Jill Jaiswal. Jill is a henna artist with Jaiswal Design, and like myself, she enjoys donating her talents throughout the community.

On several occasions, Jill and I discussed joining forces to reach out to cancer patients within our communities.  Inspired by similar organizations, we’d hoped to provide portrait sessions to patients that would capture beauty during a not so beautiful moment in their lives.  Alongside the picture taking, Jill would provide a therapeutic henna session, featuring henna designs and applications at the individual’s discretion.

This is Ira.  (Ira happens to be friends with Jill.)
ira
Ira was diagnosed with stage 2B breast cancer on February 26th, 2014.

And Ira agreed to be the face of our “Henna for Heroines” project!

So, on a sunny Sunday in May, a bunch of people met in historic downtown Milford, at The Picture Party Place studio.  Alongside myself, Jill, and Ira, we were joined by photographer and owner of The Picture Party Place, Caroline; make-up artist, Kendall; videographer and founder of Charity Media Cincinnati, Mike; and Gillian, Ira’s teenage daughter.  Everyone gathered to volunteer up their time, and donate their talents to bring our very first “Henna for Heroines” portrait session together.  The day was simply awesome.

makeup

girls

henna

And so here she is!

Crown

www.eclecticallyforyou.com/henna

So now we are putting this collaboration out there to hopefully bring more people in.  And at the very least, to inspire…

hira

To nominate a survivor for a “Henna for Heroines” session, please click here.

If you are planning to walk at this year’s Race for the Cure on September 14th, please make sure to stop by my booth, say “Hi!” to my grandma, and maybe get a bit of henna art from Jill.  And make sure to watch for Ira and her posse, as she takes part in her first Komen walk.  *If you haven’t registered yet, make sure to use coupon code: Eclectically2014 to save $10.

 

“Thank You!”
-to Jill for your amazing artistry and wonderful nature.
-to Caroline for opening up your studio and keeping my pregnant butt company (ice cream and all.)
-to Mike for documenting the day and talking lenses with me.
-to Kendall for making a beautiful woman feel even more beautiful.
-to Ira for sharing her story and her beauty.

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Happy Birthday, Baby!

So, if you follow my blog, you will recall a blessingway that I attended a few weeks back.  Guess what…?   Kelly gave birth to her fourth child last Thursday, July 11th at 12:01pm EST.

And, guess what else?  I got to be there with Kelly and her family.  With my camera.

I received my first “heads up” call from Kelly at around 3:30am.  By 7am, I was on my way way to her house.

Oh! I guess I should mention that this is an in home, 100% natural birth.                               First arrivalBy 9am, Kelly moved into the birthing pool.smile from the poolSIDE NOTE: I really have to give it up to that family!  Kelly and Seth’s 3 daughters were present for the entire event and could not be more excited to meet their newest sibling (the sex was an unknown surprise as well.)  The girls were extremely patient, understanding, supportive, and very interested in what was going on.  They entertained themselves with books, games, family and Mommy, of course. killing timeAnd then there’s Dad.  Seth was everywhere that he needed to be at any moment. He was a hand holder, water warmer, fan retriever, daughter hugger, etc, etc, etc… He’s a freakin’ magician. poolAnd don’t even get me started on Mom.  Let’s see… smiles in between contractions, patience and tolerance at levels I have never before met myself, and simply powerful.  Amazingly powerful.powerAnd so at 12:01pm EST, on July 11th, with the assistance of her midwife, husband, sister and daughters, Kelly gave birth to a healthy baby… it's a boyBOY!!!!!!!!!!!!  Yeppers, it’s a boy.  That little boy is soooo getting dressed up like a princess.familyAnd I cried.  Bawled like a baby.  Like, seriously harder than anyone else in that room.snipsethfirst mealgirlsAnd guess what else?  I get to photograph this little, teeny tiny man again this weekend for his “official” newborn shots.  Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Oh.  And please stay tuned.  Last week was a little busy.  I still have the Komen: Pink Ribbon Classic AND Natalie’s 7th Annual Fly Thru the Park events to post!

 

ROYGBIV #3: Silver

This is my Rainbow Project. Conceptualized November 2010. First session photographed January 2011.

Silver: Metal
Model: ThuyMetal 1Metal 2Metal 3Metal 4 Photographed: May 22, 2011

You can see all 10 images are available on my Facebook page.

Please stay tuned…

ROYGBIV #4: White

This is my Rainbow Project. Conceptualized November 2010. First session photographed January 2011.

White: Snow Bunny
Model: KellySnow Bunny 2 Snow Bunny 1 Snow Bunny 3 Snow Bunny 4Photographed: January 28, 2011

You can see all 10 images are available on my Facebook page.

Please stay tuned…

ROYGBIV #2: Grey

This is my Rainbow Project.  Conceptualized November 2010.  First session photographed January 2011.

Grey: Gloomy Glamour
Model: TiaraGloomy Glamour 1Gloomy Glamour 2Gloomy Glamour 3Gloomy Glamour 4Photographed: October 11, 2011

You can see all 10 images are available on my Facebook page.

Please stay tuned…

ROYGBIV #1: Black

Okay.  I have been withholding these images for almost 2 years.  Even though I am not 100% complete, I have decided to start rolling these out.  In order.

This is my Rainbow Project.  Conceptualized November 2010.  First session photographed January 2011.

Black: Gothic
Model: AmberGothic BlackGothic BlackGothic Black Gothic BlackPhotographed: March 20, 2011

You can see all 10 images are available on my Facebook page.

Please stay tuned…

Photo Pro Expo 2013

Greetings!

First and foremost, my apologies for being such a silent blogger for so long.  I have taken on a few new responsibilities and also apparently channeled my inner “bear” and attempted hibernation mode for a while.  I am *fingers crossed* going to post at least once/week from here on out.  That’s the goal!

So, now to begin my blog backlog….

The second weekend of February was the annual PhotoPro Expo in Covington, KY.  This was my second year attending the 4-day event.  The speakers were awesome, the socializing was awesome, and the trade show was once again, awesome.

During the trade show, Westcott Lighting hosts (and lights) the Fantasy Model Shoot-Out.  This year there was one-less studio set-up and more people with camera in hand, so it was overwhelmingly crowded at times.  However, one of my favorite models returned this year, so I tolerated the crowd for a period of time.  Model Shoot-Out CrowdImage taken by Lisa Hezlep
Sometimes, it’s nice being short. 😉  Check out the images that I was able to grab of these pretty-costumed people:

Day 1 of the Westcott Fantasy Model Shoot-OutDay 1paparazzi shotDay 2 of the Westcott Fantasy Model Shoot-OutDay 2

I have yet to submit my images into the contest (and as I type, I realize that I probably missed the deadline,) but if you would like to see other photographers’ submissions, please follow this link to the Flickr page!

So, that’s what I’ve got for now.  I have some really fun posts coming up, including images from a project that I have been working on for 2 years.  Please stay tuned!

Independence Day

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Nothing wordy…. I just wanted to wish everyone a Safe and Happy Independence Day!And please use precautions when lighting your explosives!❤ Lindsey, Eclectically for You Photography And for any present, past and future clients make sure to email me your … Continue reading

For the Dads.

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This gallery contains 3 photos.

I wished all of the Mommies a Happy Mother’s Day in May, so of course I wasn’t about to neglect all of the Daddies out there! First, Happy Father’s Day to my husband, father to our 4 year old son:Happy … Continue reading