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Tuesday Tell-Tales.

(Puerto Real, Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico & Florida)

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Missing ^^these two furballs^^ like crazy! We’ve all been together pretty much 24/7 for the past 5 months and now we’ve been apart for a solid week. I know, one week…whoopty doo. But whatev, I miss them. And they better freaking miss me too. ;)) 

PS – that’s an oldie photo, but I love it so much so I used it again. 

And luckily, so far we haven’t had any sneaky storms pop up in the tropics while I’ve been away. I hate talking about what is or isn’t brewing out in the tropics because I tend to think it jinxes us, but seriously let’s hope things continue as quietly as they have been. My fingers are certainly crossed.

I’ve been having a blast in Florida making the rounds to see all my family. I just got to my parents’ house yesterday and my mom has an awesome large-scale paper map of the Caribbean sprawled out on their dining room table where she circles everywhere we’ve been on our journey so far. How cute is that?!? Now I’m thinking Jer and I might need our own little paper map to document our journey…hmmm.

Side note, I must be more acclimated to the warmer tropical temps on the boat than I thought because I’ve needed layers upon layers of blankets at every house I’ve slept at so far on this trip. It’s funny how you adjust so quickly to a warmer/non-air conditioned environment. I seriously needed 4 blankets at my one sister’s house. Just saying. :))

And have I mentioned how awesome it’s been to be able to actually wear my shiny new engagement ring while I’m here? It’s still so super sparkly and new since it’s basically been tucked away in a safe spot on the boat. I’ve been too chicken to wear it much at all while sailing or near massive bodies of water (minus one or two little outings) so it sure it nice to finally have a chance to bust out that ring and show my family! The consensus is that Jereme definitely did a stellar job picking out my ring all on his own. And I would have to agree!!!

After I leave my folks, I’ll be headed down to Naples in the next day or two where I have quite the lineup of photo sessions to tackle when I get there! I am so so so excited to get behind the camera lens for my awesome clients and see all their beautiful families!

Oh and I still have a few must-hit spots on my list while I’m here, but I’m hoping I’ll have plenty of time to squeeze a few of those in while down in Naples. Trader Joe’s and I have a big date planned for later this week. ;))

And that’s it. Hope everyone’s having a great week. Happy Tuesday!

>>Thanks for visiting LAHOWIND sailing blog! We’d love for you to get to know us and follow our story as we attempt to navigate a whole new world of sailing, as we cruise the Caribbean.

dinghy party of 3.

(Puerto Real, Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico)

So, I’m still in the U.S. making the rounds on my tour-de-Florida circuit, but I’m trying my very best to keep the blog posts coming while I’m away. Jereme + Oliver, on the other hand, are holding down the fort back in Puerto Rico and enjoying some quality boys time together with a little fishing, paddle boarding, and boat projects in constant rotation!

A few days before I jetted home to Florida, Jereme had just spruced up our good ole dink by rehabbing the wood transom, so we thought we might as well take her out for a spin around the neighborhood while she was looking so shiny and new!

We hadn’t really seen much of the bay area in Puerto Real (since being happily docked at Marina Pescaderia), so we figured we better start exploring while we have the chance!!!

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It’s been a few weeks since we’ve even had to use the dinghy (which is very abnormal for us since we are usually anchored out about 99% of the time), but that didn’t stop us from launching it like pros in record speed and cranking our outboard engine on the very first pull! Don’tcha just love when both puzzle pieces fall into place so smoothly?! ;))

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The three of us (Oliver counts of course) hopped in the dinghy and motored around the bay that afternoon. Puerto Real is a pretty decent sized area with lots of mangrove-y nooks, a few old half-sunken ships, and even a great beach on the southwest tip of the town (with what looks like some pretty decent snorkeling right off the beach!).

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And can we please talk about how excited ^^Oliver^^ got when he realized we were launching the dinghy!!! Like the most excited I’ve seen that little poodle pants in over a few weeks. Just look at ^^that^^ smile. He must love dinghy excursions as much as we do. :))

We spent the afternoon toting around the bay and checking out anything and everything interesting…including this very photo-riffic coconut tree that was jetting out oh-so-perfectly over the water. It was just low enough for one of us to jump up on from the dinghy and I sure as hell wasn’t going to let that photo op pass by without taking full advantage!

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Jereme and Oliver watched as I somehow (and very ungracefully) managed to weasel myself up onto the tree at the lowest spot over the water and then pivoted my tush a ways up the tree trunk for that once-in-a-lifetime photo!

And I’ll say, Jereme came through with his photog skills on this one big time, capturing such a great image for us! Go J!

Okay, but let’s be honest here.

Coconut trees are neither comfortable nor easy to stay seated on.

They appear so glamorous and relaxing, but I promise you, they are the total opposite — very tough on the tush and super duper wobbly. I’m actually quite proud of myself for not falling off in the process. I think my fear of breaking a leg in the super shallow water beneath the tree kept my balance meter in check while stationed up on the coconut tree.

After our fun little photo op, we continued on in the dinghy exploring other parts of the bay area.

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^^Oliver still sporting his new short ‘do and loving every second of this afternoon dinghy ride.^^

I can’t get enough of the beaches here in Puerto Rico. There’s just something about the super tall coconut trees lining the shore that make them so “Caribbean” feeling. I love it!

And the mangrove nooks and crannies around Puerto Real are great paddle boarding spots to hit up, along with one pretty awesome mangrove-enclosed lagoon that is the perfect hurricane hole (but might be a tiny bit too shallow for our sailboat — let’s hope we don’t have to test out that theory)!

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After a long hot afternoon buzzing around on the dinghy, we headed back to our comfortable slip at Marina Pescaderia with future plans to snorkel, paddle board a few spots, and more!

>>Thanks for visiting LAHOWIND sailing blog! We’d love for you to get to know us and follow our story as we attempt to navigate a whole new world of sailing, as we cruise the Caribbean.

Photo Friday! Finding Inspiration.

Hi hi. It’s Photo Friday around here! And it’s all about inspiration today!

If you haven’t already noticed, photographing life, love, and anything in between is pretty much everything to me. And documenting our experiences on this sailing journey is truly something I L-O-V-E doing.

My goal along the way has always been and continues to be to try and capture the feeling of the moment, and the beauty and essence around us, wherever that may be. And although I like to think of myself as a creative person, that creativity has to get fed from somewhere, doesn’t it?

Like most folks, I find inspiration all around me. But at the end of the day I have a few go-to favorites. Here are the top 5 ways I tend to dig up that much-needed inspiration…

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1. I adore Pinterest. I’ve mentioned it before, but my obvious go-to finding inspiration place is on Pinterest! I have lots of different boards (some strictly dedicated to random inspiration) where I pin all kinds of crap that I love. It’s really a great resource. I find oodles upon oodles of inspo over there. For everything. Not just photos, although I do have a crap-ton of “boards” dedicated to photography related inspiration.

I never want to literally copy anything that I pin (except maybe a recipe), but I do find that just referring back to my boards really gives me that extra boost of creativity when I need it most. Aside from all my photography related boards, I have boards for lots of other, regular, everyday stuff…from fashion, to food, home decorating, design, you name it! I even have a sailing + cruising board!

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2. I follow other cool blogs. This is a no-brainer for me. And oftentimes, those blogs are totally unrelated to anything I have going on in my life. My very very very favorite blogs are NOT even remotely sailing or photography related. They’re foodies, or fashion bloggers, or just cool hip mamas, like this blogging mom with an everyday life that appears so extraordinary.

However, it’s so freaking easy to get caught up in the comparison trap with other blogs. I have learned to let go of this over the years but I am nowhere near immune to it. I just try to look at is as an opportunity to grow rather than feel like crap about myself. I am not going to list all of my fav and most-inspiring blogs here because I don’t want to skew anyone out of finding their own. But you’ll know you’ve got a winner when you are anxiously awaiting their next blog post!

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^^screenshot from www.lovetaza.com^^

3. I take photos for ME. Not anyone else. Doesn’t exactly sound like inspiration I suppose, but to me, it IS because I’m only taking photos of people, places, or things that I love. In other words, I’m not trying to please anyone with my work here on the blog. It’s only anything and everything I want to photograph.

Although we have this fun blog where we publicize our lives for anyone to take a peek, in reality, all of the photos and content we post are here because we love what we are doing. And want to document it for ourselves. I cannot tell you how many times I think about what it’ll be like to look back through this digital scrapbook twenty years from now and have such a special part of our lives documented. With TONS of photos that tell the whole story! It’s not always easy to take photos…you know, like when you’ve been sailing for 60 hours straight, haven’t had a shower, are super tired, and just waiting to get to land…but it is oh SO worth it in the end. And if you are going to do it, do it for yourself, not anyone else.

4. I try to find beauty where others may not see it. This is a big one for me. I get a great deal of pleasure from photographing people, places, or things that others may tend to walk right by at first glance. And there in lies the inspiration. Hello, remember the streets of Luperon? Those probably won’t be winning any beauty contests anytime soon, but if you look a little closer, you might find some gorgeous light filtering in over a mountainside or through a coconut tree, or see the sparkle in the eyes of children playing barefoot on a street. There really is beauty everywhere you look. I honestly still love looking back at our photos from the Dominican Republic, where there really was SO much beauty, energy, and inspiration all around us.

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5. I follow some pretty awesome photogs. With any profession or hobby, there will always be someone better (or worse) than you. And hell, I truly believe you can always learn a thing or two from them and definitely find inspiration through their work! And if you get real lucky, they may even divulge a few of their special secrets!

Although I love quite a few talented photogs out there these days, here are three of my all-time favorites that always serve as a great source of photo inspiration for me…Wildflowers PhotographyPink Sky Photography, and Concept Photography. <<They are all freaking awesome photographers and I highly recommend checking them out!

Okay, ^^those^^ are just some of my favorite sources of inspo. Where do you find your inspiration???

Happy Friday!

*I’ve started a regular “PHOTO FRIDAY” series on the blog. You can find all of my photography series posts here.

>>Thanks for visiting LAHOWIND sailing blog! We’d love for you to get to know us and follow our story as we attempt to navigate a whole new world of sailing, as we cruise the Caribbean.

AlyseAugust 15, 2014 - 1:56 pm

This series that you’re doing is fantastic. I’m so happy that I stumbled onto your blog this summer. I’ve been a photographer for several years now, and recently I’ve been so discouraged but this is bringing it back for me. I think I’ve been trying to find my “niche” in this hobby/profession and I tend to lean towards nature and less portrait work. People scare me a little bit. ;) It’s very easy to get caught up in comparison land, but it’s nice to see it’s not just me who does this and to see where someone else gets their inspiration. Thanks for these wonderful posts. :)

LAHOWINDAugust 16, 2014 - 1:09 am

Thanks so much Alyse! I am thrilled you are enjoying the blog and photo series! Don’t stress the niche thing. I tend to bounce around and switch my “favorite” all the time. If there are any topics you want to hear about, def let me know! -Kim :)

Going the extra (golden) mile.

(Joyuda Beach, Puerto Rico)

What do you do when you’re living on a sailboat and find yourself with your own transportation for a week? You take real showers, maybe even blow dry your hair, put on semi decent clothes, and head out on the road to pack in lots of sight-seeing fun, of course!

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And Joyuda Beach was just one of the great coastal towns we visited one night that week!

Just north of Boquerón and south of Mayagüez, Joyuda is a dining destination – famous for its string of seafood restaurants and known islandwide as the Milla de Oro or “Golden Mile.” It might be a bit generous to call these places ‘gourmet,’ but the seafood is very fresh, and more than a dozen family-owned restaurants line the 2-mile seaside stretch of Route 102.

Somehow we managed to dine at not one, not two, but three spots along “Golden Mile.” Okay, we only did an appetizer and drinks at the first two. And then surprisingly squeezed in an entree at the third spot. And boy were we full after! But hey, when in Rome, right?

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We started the evening at Vista Bahia and grabbed a seat right over the water looking down at the insanely large tarpon who are just waiting for a handout from restaurant goers. After ordering two cold Medallas and some tasty empanadas, we were ready to sit back and enjoy the gorgeous view as the sun set over the water. Both the lobster and chicken empanadas  we had were golden, crispy, and super delicious!

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But knowing that we wanted to try more than just one spot along the stretch of restaurants, we left Vista Bahia and made our way to El Bohio, which came highly recommended from some of the folks we spoke to at the marina.

With a very low-hanging awning and dark walls, the view from El Bohio wasn’t nearly as great as Vista Bahia, but we went ahead and ordered a round of pina coladas and another appetizer. The appy of fish balls, cheese balls, and corn sticks was pretty great; however, the pina coladas left a little to be desired. Our drinks came to the table half melted. Such a bummer and never a good sign. We drank what we could and decided to move on to our third and final spot for the evening, Mao’s Seafood.

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Rated the seventh top restaurant in Cabo Rojo on Tripadvisor, Mao’s turned out to be the real deal family-friendly restaurant, with lots of local families dining here. Jereme and I settled into a table inside the restaurant (since it was dark at this point) and scoped out the large menu of nearly any seafood/sauce entree combo you could dream up. But leave it to us to not even order seafood. Lol. I ordered a steak and Jer a garlic chicken dish. Figures. Both were delicious, although by that point we were so full we only ate about half of our meals (oliver got lucky that night with my steak leftovers). I’m pretty sure our favorite of the night was the warm bread they served here. Man was it good!

After seriously stuffing our faces for a few hours along Joyuda Beach we were too full to do anything else, so we hopped back in our little Mitsubishi rental and headed home to Puerto Real.

>>Thanks for visiting LAHOWIND sailing blog! We’d love for you to get to know us and follow our story as we attempt to navigate a whole new world of sailing, as we cruise the Caribbean.

BillAugust 16, 2014 - 12:34 pm

You don’t often come across a sailing blog where anyone has spent time in PR, so it’s interesting to read about. You’re pictures are wonderful as well!

Tuesday Tell-Tales.

Hiiiiiiiiiii.

Guess what day it is??? Yup, Tuesday! But not just any old Tuesday, it’s Tuesday the 12th. And that means today I am leaving on a jet plane. A Jetblue plane that is. Headed to Florida!!!!! For a week or two to visit family!

Can you tell I’m a little excited? ;))

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I am so insanely psyched it is not even funny. And although I’m totally trying to play it super cool, in my head I am secretly freaking out and very strategically outlining every place I must visit while home. Scary, but true. You know, there’s the very important nail salon, Trader Joe’s, Pei Wei, Chipotle, Target. The list goes on and on. I’ll probably need to make a quick pit stop at Anthropologie and maybe even Lululemon too. Why not, right? And am I remembering correctly that August is the month Starbuck’s brings back the pumpkin spice latte??????? If that is true (and I really hope it is), I might seriously overdose on Starbuck’s while in Florida.

I’m not joking.

Yeah yeah, I know we’ve only been gone less than five months, but five months is a long time on a boat.

Oh and I’m also equally psyched about actually seeing my family and friends, and staying at my parents’ and sisters’  homes, all of which are equipped with glorious fridge ice makers, regular flush toilets, real beds, and private showers. Life’s little luxuries. ;))

Poor (but not really) Jereme will be staying in Puerto Rico and keeping Oliver company while I do the tour-o-Florida and make a visit to both of my sisters (I’ve been dying to see all of my cutie nieces and nephews) and then my parents, and finally head to Naples for a few photo sessions while I’m home. I’m basically making a big huge loop around the state since all of my family is located strategically around the coast. But don’t worry about Jer…I’ll be back before he even has time to miss me, and besides, he’s got a little fun of his own in store later this month!

On another note, have I mentioned that my iPhone totally crapped out the other day as we were gearing up for Tropical Storm Bertha? Perfect timing. Not! Just what you want, no working cell phone when a storm is headed your way and you have to leave the dock to go hunker down out in the open water. So instead of having no cell phone aboard, Jereme and I booked it to AT&T at the Mayaguez Mall in Puerto Rico to get me a replacement the night before the storm was to hit. And since I’m not due for a new phone until December, that replacement ended up being a cheapy Nokia phone. This girl is sure as hell not paying $750 for a new iPhone. Not even in sneaky installments (like AT&T tries to get you to do).

And speaking of my new Nokia phone, can someone please explain to me why the VSCO app is not available on it? I’m dying over here. Is there anything comparable for quick editing of phone pics for instagram on a Windows based phone?

That’s it for me this Tuesday. See ya on the flip side!

In F-L-O-R-I-D-A!!!!!!!!!!

>>Thanks for visiting LAHOWIND sailing blog! We’d love for you to get to know us and follow our story as we attempt to navigate a whole new world of sailing, as we cruise the Caribbean.

BreezyAugust 13, 2014 - 2:51 pm

Try the Aviary app. It’s no VSCO but should get you by. You’ll probably want to buy a filter pack, because the default ones aren’t great. I had to use an android phone during a similar iphone fiasco – such a bummer!

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