Monthly Archives: January 2014

Handstand of 2013! The winner is…

I absolutely loved watching the votes roll in, thank you! Plain and simple, here are the winners starting with the runners up and working to #1!

The honorable mentions start with an open green area in Cusco, Peru. This area made up just a small part of the exciting journey we spent exploring the streets and unique markets. To this day, it’s still one of my favorite cities in the world!

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The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most internationally recognizable structures in San Fransisco, California . Definitely handstand worthy!

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After Machu Picchu hit the top of the polls for best photo of 2012, I thought it would be refreshing to introduce another wonder of the world. Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England was a classic set up for a proper handstand photo.

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The sunset over looking The Thimble Islands was a surprise treat while visiting my longtime friends on the east coast of the United States. The colors were not touched up in this photo… All natural beauty!

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The Cologne Cathedral is the largest gothic church in Germany which made it a bit of challenge to get me and the very tip of the building in the same shot. Well done Hayden!

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Santa Catalina is a beach town on the west coast of Panama where I was volunteering as a staff member of CabaƱas Time Out resort. What an office view!

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Then there’s my precious family in good ol’ Oklahoma. These are my five siblings that are always eager to help out with the handstand shot. This year we chose to do it in front of our snow woman before she melted away.

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In third place, we have the Mahogany Cathedral that welcomes you to the north coast of my favorite island. Barbados holds a special place in my heart and I highly suggest a visit if you’re ever in need of a well rounded beach holiday.

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With a close second place, it’s not a surprise that the temples of Angkor Wat in Cambodia caught your attention. From the peaceful monks walking around to the thousands of stairs and doorways, this scene was easy to get lost in… both physically and emotionally.

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With a solid win in first place, I share with you the colorful handstand photo from Chiang Mai, Thailand. These lights almost define this magical place and the vibrancy that naturally exists throughout the city. Well done Asia.

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Categories: Polls, Travel talk, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

2013 Handstand of the year! The nominees are…

Thank you so much for the suggestions on this round of handstand of the year! After reading all of your input and reminiscing on the priceless moments that went into capturing these actions shots, I’m honored to present you with the official nominees for 2013. So please take a hard look (or just a quick glance) and vote for your favorite(s) by clicking on the poll at the bottom of the page. Winners will be announced on February 1st! 


 Santa Catalina, Panama

 

Cusco, Peru 


Thimble Islands in Connecticut, USA


Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England


Temple in Angkor Wat, Cambodia

 

 


 San Francisco California, USA


Cathedral in Cologne, Germany


Chaing Mai, Thailand

 

 Mahogany Cathedral at Cherry Tree Hill, Barbados

 

 Family support in Agra Oklahoma, USA

VOTE HERE!

 

 

 

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Please help nominate for handstand of 2013!

Last year I was thrilled to see the votes roll in for handstand of 2012. Between the stories that come with each shot to the actual snapping of the photo, every handstand has a significant place in my memory and its always neat to see which ones stand out to you! Here were the honorable mentions from last year:

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The runner up was a classic shot from the lost city of Machu Picchu, Peru. I still get joyfully emotional when I look at this photo as it was such a special moment in time (the whole journey, not necessarily the handstand itself).

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To think a photo topped the one above still boggles my my mind, however the winner of 2012 came from Georgia, USA! This is extending over the edge of Stone Mountain outside of Atlanta. I will admit it is a pretty sweet picture.

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So the time has come again in which I’d love your help to narrow it down for the current nominees! If you go to the top of this page or click here, you’ll find the column of handstands to choose from. You can simply comment in the space below, or email me directly at herhappytrails@yahoo.com

Thank you for all of your votes! Cheers to a new year, the open road and much love all around!

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Part three of 2013

Part One and Part 2 did so well, I thought I’d bring an additional light-hearted post to wrap up what was yet another amazing year on the road. Lets just jump right into it!

Anything with a wheel honorable mentions:

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The runner up is a quirky little mobile that you should not be surprised that I found in Amsterdam. I’ve always loved the Dutch!

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And the winner is… a row of taxi’s that made for an excellent photo in Hoi An, Vietnam. I really enjoy the overall feeling of this picture, from the narrow angle to the smirk on the drivers face. It simply makes me smile.

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Creative carriages (or anything with wheels carrying cargo) honorable mentions:

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The runner up ranked high on my list due to the productive idea and the fresh goods that comes with it. My favorite food delivered from the farm right to my hands? Sign me up Santa Catalina, Panama!

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And the winner is… these guys! I like this photo because of the busy energy and the variety of actions that are happening. From cell phone use (he must get great service up there) to a few jumping on and off, this moving vehicle was a quality shot!

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Culture me this honorable mentions:

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After debating on the list and staring at these photos for way too long, it dawned on me that this is my list and I can do whatever I want (what a relief!). With that said, here are several “runners up” because this world is magical and I didn’t want to pick a winner. So there.

A gorgeous walk along the the river to a local market, all in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

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The sky scraping cathedral in Cologne, Germany… What a climb!

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The unexplainable rocks of Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England.

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The amazing lost city known as Machu Picchu in Peru will forever rank high in my most memorable journeys. It’s not an easy tour or quick museum visit, the entire trip start to finish makes it what it is.

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Best of 2013 – Part 2

Continuing on from the last post, “Top photos of 2013”, I now introduce to you the best of 2103 in the following categories…

We love animals honorable mentions:

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The runner up is a family of monkeys that have made my buddy’s home in Barbados a permanent stop for their daily banana. Can you imagine how much fruit this growing family goes through! Thanks for sharing your love Mikie!

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…and the winner is my new friend (that we never named) who so gently followed me in Angkor Wat, Cambodia. Maybe he saw me put the left over greens in my bag, either way, it brought a smile!

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Lovable little ones honorable mentions:

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The runner up comes from Japan, obviously not for the quality of the photo but the overall image. These little tykes stumbled by our house twice a week and left me giggling every time!

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…and the winner is this mother and daughter from the Lake Titicaca. Yes, these villagers actually live on the floating islands that sit outside of Puno, Peru.

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Tasty treats (excluding fruit, as that’s a different food group in my world) honorable mentions:

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The runner up comes from El Salvador and had no impact on my taste buds. Why is so high up on the list? My enthusiastic mom tasted this and spent the rest of our trip searching for another one. It turned out that it was a specialty from a specific cafe near our hostel. On the last day of our journey, she bought half dozen and carried them on the flight with her as if it was a box of fragile jewels.

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…and the winner is a red bean ice-cream that I found in Japan that surprised me with its sweet taste and unique consistency. Yes, those are real beans you see!

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You really ate that? Honorable mentions:

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The runner up is a dish from El Salvador that typically includes cabbage, salsa, and sardines. I loved the textures and salsa spices, however the fish were a bit to salty for me. Either way, I thought this photo captured it all!

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…and the winner is the ever so popular bites from our bus ride to Siem Reap.

FAQ- Did I really eat them? First bumpy worm, yes (never to be done again). Tarantula? I bit off the leg, chewed for way too long and then spit it out. The grasshopper/locust was a similar nibble and spit due to the rancid flavor. None of the creatures below “tasted like chicken”… Not even close.

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Categories: Edibles!, Travel talk, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Top photos of 2013 – Part One

Time to reflect on the past year of traveling and give you my top picks for photos that I’ve placed in randomly themed categories.
After spending entirely too much time (that I thoroughly enjoyed) narrowing down from 18,000 pictures, here are the first 4 categories from 2013.

For Best facial expression, the honorable mentions are:

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The runner up is an entertaining shot from the base city of Aguascalientes, Peru. I don’t think we could ever capture this quality picture with all of its magnificent imperfections again. Well done Friends!

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…and the winner is my dear mother in response to the spider and mosquito filled room that we were staying in while volunteering in El Salvador. My personal favorite part of her reaction is the five finger spread. Thanks for being a trooper mom!

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Happy face honorable mentions:

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… and the winner is sweet Carina! She’s my German friend that I met years ago at Oktoberfest and recently got to reunite with in Costa Rica. This picture was taken directly after seeing her first monkey in real life (he’s the dark ball of animal in the background). We had been intently looking for days, so to capture this very moment was priceless. Her sincere excitement still remains a fond memory in my journey!

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Tastiest treat in a bowl honorable mentions:

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The runner up is a duo that I accidentally fell upon in Cambodia. Curious of the flavors, I ended up trying both and returning frequently to enjoy!

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…and the winner is the one and only sweet egg soup that Bree and I devoured every night until our departure.

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The Action photo honorable mentions are:

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The runner up is my energetic partner in island crime, Ryan from Barbados! Just give him anything to jump off of and he’s airborne within minutes. With his colorful style to match the vibrant water, this makes for a great action image!

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…and the winner is the unforgettable power shot taken at the top of Machu Picchu!

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I’ll close this post with my favorite photo of 2014 so far. Happy New Year!

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