Ottawa Winter Engagement Session: Jordanna + Kevin

Ottawa Winter Engagement Session Stephanie Beach Photography 05It was day not unlike the day I am writing this post…super sunny with bright blue skies and just a hint of snow left. Jordy + Kevin’s engagement session will be the last one to be called a winter session, until much later this year, and it was definitely a great one to end with!

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Seattle, Washington

When looking for Alaskan cruises I quickly learned that there are really three ports you can leave from (that aren’t already in Alaska): Vancouver, Seattle and San Fransisco. Because we were going to be stopping in British Columbia on during the cruise (Victoria, not Vancouver) I was going for either Seattle or San Fransisco from the initial planning stages. Eventually we landed on Seattle for a few reasons, that don’t really matter (primarily price and the overall length of the cruise). I then added two days onto our trip to spend some time in Seattle and get to see the highlights of the city.

When we finally got to our hotel in Seattle, it was only 2pm but we had been traveling for the past 14 hours and had lost three hours along the way so we really didn’t do anything but take a walk and get some dinner the first night, though we did end up watching an episode of Frasier before we left the hotel to get dinner. So we really only ended up spending one day in Seattle – but we did our best to make it a good one!

We started the day by going to the Museum of Flight, because when you are married to an Aerospace Engineer and travel to a city with that much flight history, you don’t really have a choice. It was a really great museum and is located beside the Boeing factory itself which was also neat to see. There were tons of great planes (of course) including the Airforce One that JFK flew in, a 747 and Concord.

Seattle Museum of Flight
The Air Force one model that JFK flew around in was surprisingly small. We were able to walk through it, although they had all of the seats blocked off and everything else had plexiglass surrounding it, despite all of those protection factors, it was super neat to walk around and see where the Presidents once sat.
Seattle Museum of Flight Air Force One
I re-learned that my husband is very strong and can hold up an entire Boeing 747!
Seattle Museum of Flight Boeing 747
The sky was threatening rain all morning, which lead to some amazingly dramatic skies!
Seattle Museum of Flight
Dave didn’t really fit into the test pilot cockpit, but he squeezed in there anyway!
Seattle Museum of Flight Seattle Museum of Flight
And apparently I have a hard time not paying attention to things pertaining to my day job…
Airborne Pollutants

After that we headed back into the city centre and tried to go to Pike Place Market. That however turned out to be more than I could handle in terms of crowds. I am not a fan of crowds at the best of times, but I was still pretty jet-lagged at this point and hungry to boot. We ended up getting some Starbucks from the First Starbucks store and then walking around for a little (saw some great trees painted bright blue!)  while longer then getting on the Monorail to get to our next destination.

Seattle Pike Place MarketSeattle First Starbucks
Seattle Blue TreesSeattle Monorail

We got tickets for the Space Needle and walked around the top a few times. We ended up staring at the Cruise ships for quite some time chatting about how big they were. We saw a seaplane and helicopter from the top as well which was neat too.

Seattle Space NeedleSeattle Skyline and Seaplane Helicopter Seattle Skyline

We ended our day by walking around the Gardens surrounding the Space Needle and then eating dinner at Zeek’s. The pizza was so freaking good – seriously some of the best I have ever had. Delicious!

Seattle Space NeedleSeattle Flowers Seattle Flowers Seattle Flowers

Seattle was different than I initially expected, but still a great city and I would definitely go back – especially if I could get on one of the cruise boats again!!

Travel Series: Flying Worries

As I previously mentioned, I love traveling. That being said, taking my gear through airport security and then onto the plane worries me. I don’t use film, so the scanners they use in the security screening don’t destroy gear, but I still get a little worried when they are in there. I remember the first time I put my gear through, I literally watched it the entire time while crossing my fingers. Then when I put my gear in the overhead compartment, I spend most of the flight worrying about it tossing around up there.
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So how do I resolve this you might ask? When it comes to security, there isn’t anything I can do. The technology used doesn’t damage dSLRs so there really isn’t anything there to worry about – my fears are mostly artifact fears leftover from the good ol’ film days. When it comes to the overhead compartment, I always keep my camera and lenses in proper camera bags with lots of padding and make sure to have them packed with little to no empty spaces so they don’t really have anywhere to go around the bags.
Checked bags is a whole other beast. To date, I haven’t had to check anything other than tripods or other less fragile equipment. I have also never had any bags get lost in transit (whether or not they had photography equipment in them). When purchasing gear bags I try to keep size in mind and keep an eye out for ones that are a suitable size to act as a carry-on.
All of this being said, I tend to be a worrier, so perhaps I need not worry about all of this so much. Either way, I have been lucky to date and I haven’t had anything get damaged while traveling and hopefully I never will.