Growing up, I loved playing Where in Europe is Carmen Sandiego? That elusive Carmen Sandiego would always end up in far away lands, frequently found in the Soviet Bloc, eluding Interpol. I loved finding her. Later on, with the Bourne movie series, my love for Eastern Europe was rekindled. Prague remains one of the most beautiful cities I’ve visited and I dreamed of seeing Budapest. Well boys and girls, dreams come true. After the Amalfi Coast, we made it to Budapest. A city that Deya repeatedly called “grand.” A fitting adjective for this historic place. The Hungarian Parliament Building is not only larger than the US Capitol Building but more than 88 pounds of gold were used in its construction. Hotel Rum was HQ during our stay and we highly recommend it, especially due to the breathtaking rooftop breakfast. Be sure to not miss the street art and ruin bar tour, it’s awesome. The Szechenyi and Gellert thermal baths are unique and you’ve got to photograph the city from Gellert Hill at night. Find my top thirteen photos below plus the gallery.
Thirteen Photos from the Amalfi Coast, Italy
Deya has been dreaming of going to the Amalfi Coast for years and years. After Portugal, we decided that staying in Positano at La Fenice, recommended by my sister, would be a good idea to relax. In the Bible, it says that creation groans for the restoration of this world. When I looked around in Positano and the absolute rugged beauty of mountains meeting the Tyrrhenian Sea, I find my imagination is too small to comprehend what the infinite beauty of heaven must be. Positano is the jewel of the Amalfi Coast. When you head there, visit Amalfi for the day, but stay in Positano. It’s a polished version of the famous city. Below, enjoy thirteen photos from the Amalfi Coast and the gallery from our visit.
Thirteen Photos from Lisbon and Porto, Portugal
Deya and I knew we had to go to Portugal in the summer of 2018 but we were undecided exactly where other than Lisbon and Porto. Both of these cities offer a rich and cultural history that span centuries. The food, people and scenes in Portugal cannot be beat. Below, find my favorite thirteen photos from Lisbon and Porto. I hope you’ll add these spots to your places to travel. When you go to Lisbon, be sure to head across the river to eat at Ponto Final. Take a jacket, the wind is cold! If you want to see the rooftop from Santa Justa Lift, skip the line and take the stairs behind the lift. It’s free and fast. Try a ginjinha drink, it’s a Lisbon classic. Be sure to eat at O Asiático, it’s fantastic. Visit Porto Cruz in Porto and have some tapas with their spicy porto cocktail. The teleferico is touristy, but so what? It’s a beautiful way to see the river and the city. Here are the thirteen photos from the trip and the gallery below.
Thirteen Photos from Mexico City
Mexico City was one of those places I never thought about, like say, Iowa. Sure, I knew it existed but nothing about the city ever called to me. Deya and my SIL, Viole, told me that we needed to go. They promised me it was the New York City of Mexico. In recent years, the city has undergone a rebrand from DF to CDMX. Though it sounds like an illicit synthetic drug, CDMX was a vibrant and fantastic city. It’s a quick two hour direct flight from San Antonio and I encourage anyone that’s considering going to Vegas for a long weekend to head to Mexico City instead. One of our Uber drivers put it best when he said that there is a budget for every wallet in CDMX. The food, culture and people were a joy and I was so thankful to have visited. Below, enjoy thirteen photos from CDMX with a bonus of the entire album.
Thirteen Photos from New York City
Ah, New York City, the center of the universe. It had been a few years since I’d visited the city, but when my dad sprung the opportunity to visit the New York Auto Show with him for a few days, I couldn’t pass it up. We stayed in the absolutely enormous Marriott Times Square and bounced around town. These photos were taken with the mind-boggling Sony A7RIII. Enjoy my thirteen photos from NYC.
Thirteen Photos from Paris, Versailles and Rheims, France
Deya’s lifelong dream was to visit Paris, France. She dreamed about it, pinned photos on Pinterest and simply could not wait to go. Thankfully, we had the opportunity to not only visit Paris but we also toured Versailles and Rheims, where proper champagne is made. It was a delight to see Deya light up in having a dream fulfilled. If you’re traveling soon, I highly recommend the Headout app. It’s available in a handful of major cities and it let’s you book tours at a discount with many featuring a “skip the line” option. If you’ve never signed up before, here’s my referral link for $10 off your first booking. We used the app to skip the line into the Paris catacombs, which was especially timely as it started to rain and hail. Below are my favorite thirteen photos from those three cities in France, with a focus on my favorite model.
Enjoy the entire set:
Thirteen Photos from Kutna Hora and Sedlec, Czechia
When you visit Prague, plan a day trip to Kutna Hora and Sedlec to see some beautiful cathedrals and the UNESCO recognized Sedlec Ossuary or Bone Church. We stopped first in Sedlec and visited the Church of the Assumption of Our Lady and Saint John the Baptist, then the Sedlec Ossuary. Since it’s over a mile from Sedlec to Kutna Hoar, we grabbed a beer at a pub while waiting for an Uber to shuttle us. Sedlec Ossuary is simply stunning. The craftsmanship of the art pieces made of bones is like nothing we had ever seen. Don’t miss the family crest of the House of Schwarzenberg, with the raven picking out the eye of a Turk. Oddly, it’s not as macabre as it appears in photos. Check out the My Czech Republic site on traveling to the villages and buy your tickets directly from the train line. Below are my favorite thirteen photos from Sedlec and Kutna Hora.
Enjoy the entire set:
Thirteen Photos from Prague, Czechia
In October 2009 I made my first trip to gorgeous Prague, CZ. I had no idea the impact this trip would have on my life. During the visit, I saw cathedrals, Old Town Square, spires and buildings of the like that I’d never experienced. It was breathtaking and I was angry. My photography was abysmal. Utter frustration. When I returned home I was determined to suck less at photography. For Christmas that year I received my first camera with manual functions-a Canon Powershot S90. I knew that anything larger than that pocket-sized camera would be left at home. The S90 looked like a plain point and shoot camera, but it was groundbreaking at the time. A fast f/2.0 lens, an oversized sensor, full manual controls in a pint size prevented me from excuses. Watching YouTube videos, reading online and practicing, I started to suck less. I memorized the technical aspects of photography when it came to aperture, shutter speed and ISO. Knowing these basics allows anyone to use nearly any camera. In 2012 I made a crazy request to Olympus to send me a camera and lenses, which they did after a humorous call. Then in 2013, I was invited into a group of wonderful photography influencers, much more skilled than me, to participate as a Samsung Imagelogger. An incredible gift! I met photographers and new friends from all over the world and we shot photos in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, and Marbella, Spain. I still can’t believe it. The Imagelogger program has since been disbanded after Samsung left the camera market, but I’m still shooting with the gear. Speeding forward to 2017, lovely Deya and I planned a two week trip to Europe that had special meaning for both of us. I needed to go back to Prague for unfinished business – photograph this beautiful place with her and she needed to get to Paris, a lifelong dream. I hope you enjoy my thirteen photos from Prague, Czechia.
Enjoy the entire set:
Thirteen Photos from Washington DC
Photos from Washington DC captured with the Samsung NX500 and the 16-50mm S Lens by Nan Palmero
Ultimate Ears 900s Noise-Isolating Earphones Unboxing
The new @UltimateEars 900s Noise-Isolating Earphones come beautifully packaged, it’s Apple-esque. The 900s come with a quad armature (four speakers per ear) that have been tuned to have more bass than their predecessors, the UE900. It would be unfair to consider these bass heavy at all, the sound gets rounded out beautifully. Further, the highs will make your ears bleed if you turn up the jams too loud. Ultimate Ears includes a huge assortment of ear gels and @ComplyFoam tips to ensure these fit your ears. Not only are they included, but check out the photo below, they are sized! Ultimate Ears also includes extras in case one of your ears has a larger opening than the other. You can also choose one of two different cables. The blue cable includes remote controls to allow you to turn the volume up and down, play/pause your music and a microphone is included on the back to catch a quick call between tracks. The black cable is a standard cable without remote feature or a mic, in case you’re a purist in listening to music. Drop me a line in the comments if you have questions.
If you’re looking to upgrade your headphones from your bundled Apple EarPods, check out Ultimate Ears line. Already have the perfect earphones? Grab a pack of Comply Foam Tips to maximize the noise isolation.
Photos captured with the @SamsungCameraUS NX30 and the delicious 85mm lens.