A Tiny Peek Into a Fotoplicity Vacation by Jennifer Evans

The ice from the mouth-watering sangria glistens in the orange glow of the sun as the comforting scent of leftover homemade bread wafts in from the open kitchen doors behind me.  I take in the sound of the bubbling fish pond below which mixes in unison with my husband's relaxed breathing next to me and the sounds of the children playing somewhere in the dusk.  Together we watch as the sun sets behind the mountain and enjoy the peacefulness of the moment..sangria Each August my husband and I pack up the kids and we head off on a much needed summer vacation.  While many love to sightsee and travel to distant exciting or exotic locations for their getaways - ours is a whole lot simpler.  My husband and both work a lot (my husband way more than me).  So for us - summer vacation is our time to slow things down, relax and just enjoy being together.  That usually translates int0 renting a nice home with a pool somewhere in the mountains of Pennsylvania or New York or New Jersey.


This year we opted for a spot that borders all three states.  Our getaway home is located at the end of a dirt road surrounded by nothing but nature.  It's quiet here - well, except for the rooster who lets us know that morning has arrived!  We spend our days sleeping late, relaxing and playing poolside, cooking up amazing meals that consist of farmstand finds and fresh eggs from the hen house on the property.  We take day trips to state parks, local attractions, take in sunsets and sunrises and just exist and enjoy one another's company.  We have no schedule - as a matter of fact, we don't even look at the clock.  It's very freeing.

While we do have to sneak in a bit of work, working from a table with a mountain view is much more relaxed than an office.  And this year my daughter did spend a sick day on the couch - but that's ok - when you don't have set plans, a little glitch like this isn't an issue.

If you've never experienced an uneventful vacation where life slows down - I highly recommend it.  It really does wonders for the mind, body and soul.  The only thing we hate is having to leave...

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And of course, I have to take some beautiful photos of my girls when I have access to a gorgeous location like this! girl looking to the skywalkingWM

Sunrise on the Hudson River by Jennifer Evans

“Just like the days, no two sunrises are ever the same.”~Jonothan P. Lamas

This weekend I attended a family wedding in a small town that sits near the Hudson River in Westchester New York.  The drive there is always pleasant as I usually choose to take the Bear Mountain Bridge, a bridge which offers one of the most scenic and personal views of the Hudson (in my opinion anyway).  The twisty, turny ride down on the Bear Mountain Parkway offers some of the most spectacular views.  I highly recommend a day trip if you have the time.  As I checked into my hotel, an otherwise simple Holiday Inn Express, I couldn't help but notice  small park across the street.  The park sat right on the edge of the Hudson River.  I made mental note to take a moment the following morning to check it out when I had time (as I had to rush off to the wedding).

The following morning I woke to the dim light of daybreak.  Since my room had a window overlooking the park I took a peek out of the window only to see the early morning mist completely covering and rising off the river like a pot of boiling water.  I glanced at the clock and realized I had a mere 10 minutes before official sunrise.  I quickly got dressed, put some fresh memory cards into my camera and headed across the street.  There were already a few cars in the parking lot, most likely runners as those are typically the people at parks at this hour.hudson-river-fogwm

As I walked along the path, the view in front of me was awe-inspiring.  Not only was the mist a stunning sight, but as I turned a corner I saw the most beautiful pier jutting out into the river.  I looked around and wondered how there could be nobody else there to take in this amazing sight.  I stood silent, not even taking a photograph, I just wanted to soak it all in.  After a few minutes I did see two elderly gentleman walking at a somewhat brisk pace heading my way.  I started taking photographs and eventually they passed me with gentle smiles and a bright "Good Morning".  The one thing I love about sunrises is the people.   Whether out to exercise, work or walk their dog, for some reason these folks are often very happy, pleasant people.  I never get as many genuine smiles and greetings any other time of day as I do at dawn!  pierwm

I watched the men walk past me and onto the pier and I slowly followed.  By the time I reached the pier the sun had begun its assent into the sky.  The light was coming over the horizon brightening the water and mist in front of me.  I walked, slowly taking photos of the river and surroundings.  When I reached the end of the pier I noticed that above the mist, between the crevice of the mountain valley, way off in the distance I could see the tip of the Bear Mountain Bridge peeking out.  Breathtaking, really.Bear Mountain Bridge Fof

The pier itself was somewhat worn.  The pier, named "Fleischmann Pier", was named such in 2003 after the Fleishchmann company which was one of the city's most important businesses in the 1900s.  You can read more about the history HERE.  It's quite interesting.fleishman

The very end of the pier was blocked off, as I assume it probably wasn't safe any longer.  I stayed at the end of the pier for quite some time just watching the water pass and the mist & sun rise.

ragonpierAs I walked back there was a new person on to the pier.  He stopped at a rope and began pulling.  I crabber I assumed.

crabberwmI continued my walk and as I neared him I was greeted once again with a warm, "Good Morning!".  This time I stopped to chat as I was interested in what he was doing.  He told me that he was indeed crabbing, but as he pulled his second empty trap out of the water, told me that it was the end of the season and he really wasn't expecting much.  We chatted a few more minutes and I wished him luck as I continued back to the park. fisherman

I stopped a bit up the path and turned to snap a few pictures of him casting his trap.  I don't know what it is about fisherman, early mornings and photos but I can't resist the story telling images the mix produces. fisherman at sunriseNestled in the river inlet was a marina.  I suppose these sailboats will soon be removed from the water as winter approaches.


As I neared the park entrance, the sun had completely come up over the horizon and lit the park in a warm morning glow. parkwm

I found this egret (at least I think it's an egret) basking in the warm rays.bird

Even as the sun rose higher in the sky, that mist was still coming off the water making for a perfect picture.  park2

I truly love when I find unexpected gems like this.  What a gorgeous morning!