Hi friends! It’s time for another Ask Away Friday, where another blogger and I interview each other about all sorts of things we’re curious about. A theme this week happens to be love and travel, two of the most pleasant topics I can think of.
This week I swapped with the lovely, positive Rea over at Blissful Snapshots. Rea lives in the Philippines with her husband and son and blogs about life, being a working mom, finding joy and nurturing positivity. Like me, Rea recently did a total blog rehaul and I love the story behind her name change.
Here are my answers to Rea’s questions. Don’t forget to head over to Blissful Snapshots to see what questions I asked her!
1. Happy Valentine’s Day! If you are to prepare a full-course meal for you and your husband this Valentine’s, what’s on your menu for dinner? I know you’re vegetarian so that’s gonna be interesting! Well, the interesting part is that it’s SUPER rare for me to cook at all– so I imagine Andy cooking one of his favorite meals like cheese and potato pie, baked beans, and a salad with kale and sunflower shoots. Or, one of my favorite meals: pasta tossed with garlic, spinach, white kidney beans (or garbanzos), and romano cheese. Bonus points for fresh basil and oregano!
2. I recently started my own “weekly snapshots series.” Show us a favorite snapshot that you took this week or most recently and tell us a little story about it. Okay, this one makes me laugh. Our dog, Juno, loves playing in the snow and with all the snowstorms lately we’ve got some pretty epic snowbanks. It’s hilarious how she will dig into the snow with her snout if she smells something intriguing, and sometimes…she ends up headfirst , legs sticking out, as if she’s diving into the water:
3. You and your husband are great photographers! Are there any differences between your photography techniques? What aspects do you usually focus more on? How about him? Andy’s photography has a heavy focus on abandoned buildings: houses, hospitals, mental institutions, schools, etc. He also has gorgeous shots of cars, ice boats, and trains. Mine are more everyday sorts of shots, with lots of food in there. We both like reflections (shadows/puddles/etc).
We have very different techniques- my photos go straight from camera to screen, no editing. Andy’s are usually done using a technique called HDR (High Dynamic Range), wherein three shots are taken in quick succession, all at different exposures. In post production, the three images are blended into one, resulting in photos with greater detail and sense of texture; they often resemble paintings.
4. I definitely love traveling! Give us your top 3 travel must-haves except your camera. Ooh, fun! Let’s see…
- A pen and notebook. I do have a smartphone and know I can jot things down in there, but I’m more of a pen-and-paper kind of girl. In my travel notebook, I write addresses and phone numbers and any reservations I have, plus the names of people I meet and any random observations.
- A compass, because if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that knowing which direction I’m walking is a very good thing!
- Ear plugs, so I can sleep when I need to sleep and not worry about street noise outside the window, or people partying down the hall, or babies crying during a six hour flight.
5. You’ve already traveled a lot and I’ve read from your recent post that you did your research about Seattle. Were there any instances before when you just took the plunge and traveled somewhere a little far and unfamiliar without research at all? How did it go? Yes, when I traveled to Central America for three months. I finished up my seasonal job at Omega and wasn’t sure what I was going to do for the winter, but I somehow knew that something was going to work out. And in the last few days before leaving when the season was over, an opportunity to travel as a mother’s helper presented itself. I knew I couldn’t turn it down- my airfare was paid for, I was escaping the Northeast’s cold winter by going to a tropical climate, and I was certainly eager to add some more countries to my repertoire!
6. When (and where) was the most memorable trip you’ve had with your husband? What made it memorable? Oh boy. We both agree that the most memorable trip we’ve taken was our 3 1/2 months driving all through the southeastern United States in a camper van. It was crazy and stressful at times but also a big ambitious adventure. We fought a lot towards the end, I was super depressed half the time, and sometimes we couldn’t find great places to park for the night. But I also saw parts of the country I never had before: we drove as far south as Key Largo and as far west as ten-ish miles into Texas before turning back into Louisiana. Our most memorable moments were in state and national parks and visiting friends and family along the way.
7. Let’s say you’re traveling with your husband to a place you really love and you’re allowed to bring one person who’s not a family member (all expenses paid), who will you bring and why? Ah, this is a tough one! I don’t know! This isn’t travel per se, but next week we have something super fun planned: we’re going back to Mohonk Mountain House for the day, and we’ve never been there in the winter before. We’re going to eat breakfast in the formal dining room, explore places like the library and billiards room, and get some beautiful shots of the lake and Shawangunk Ridge when we go for a hike.
8. Show us a picture of a time in your life that’s over but you wish it wasn’t. Hmm. There are times I’ve loved, but I can’t say I wish something wasn’t over, because I’m happy to be where I am! So I’ll share a photo from a memorable day date in Woodstock four years ago:
9. What is your most favorite photo taken by your husband during a trip? Why do you love it? (There must be a lot so choose at least one favorite.) Okay, there are precisely one billion photos to choose from, so I’ll go randomly to our honeymoon trip to Maine in November 2011. It was a pretty laid-back trip, which this picture conveys pretty well. I love being by the coast, and I loved that we had pretty good weather.
I’ll also throw in this one at Pemaquid Point Lighthouse that clearly depicts us as Mr. and Mrs. Dork:
10. Christy in numbers
Number of countries you’ve visited alone: 8 (9 if you count traveling to Denmark and meeting my cousin there)
Number of countries you’ve visited with your husband: Unfortunately, the U.S. is the only country Andy and I have explored together. Hoping that will change next year!
Number of US states you’ve traveled to: I’m probably at about…46? I know I’ve never been to Alaska, Missouri, or Kansas, and there’s probably one more I can’t think of. States like Minnesota, North Dakota, Washington and Idaho I passed through while riding the train out to Oregon, so they almost don’t count.
Number of blog posts you’ve published since you started: 189!
Number of books on your TO-READ list this year (so far): Let’s just say many! I’ve only read about four books so far this year and would like that number to be much higher!
Thanks for the thought-provoking questions, Rea!
Have a good weekend everyone and if you’re going through the Ice Age like we are here in New York now, I hope you stay warm I’ll see you back here on Sunday for a new travel retrospective!