Go See Do Photography

A Lot of Travel, A Little Bit of History, and a Whole Bunch of Photos

Category: Travel (Page 1 of 20)

Point Pelee National Park

While visiting Canada a few weeks back, we decided to make the trip to Point Pelee National Park. Point Pelee is the southern most point on mainland Canada, not to be confused with the American Southernmost Point, in Florida. It was a chilly, windy day and the waves on Lake Erie were so big it was easy to forget you weren’t looking at the ocean. As the name implies, Point Pelee juts out into Lake Erie like a peninsula with water rushing towards it from both sides. It was unlike anything I had ever seen before (below). Despite the frigid temperatures and unrelenting wind, it was easy to imagine how popular this place is in the summer. The beach would be perfect for relaxing by the water and listening to the surf under the warm sun.

Point jutting out into Lake Erie

At 5 square miles, Point Pelee is smaller than the smallest American Park (Hot Springs National Park is 8.6 square miles), but is still full of things to do. From beachgoing, as I mentioned above to kayaking and hiking, Point Pelee has something to do in every season. The park also offers a unique camping experience called oTENik, which is kind of like a yurt or small cabin that houses groups up to six. I would like to return in the summer and stay in one of these tent-like structures. I don’t believe that traditional camping is offered within the park, although I’m sure you could find a place nearby.

Even though it is a small park and it was so cold, I enjoyed exploring Point Pelee National Park and hope to return in the future. For more information about the park, visit Parks Canada.  I am very glad that we took a weekend to discover nearby Canada. It was closer than many places in Michigan and the international hassle was not nearly what I expected it to be. I really do think, weekend and even day trips to Canada will become more of an occurrence for us now.

Thanks for stopping by! To read about some of our previous trips, click here. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

Wordless Wednesday: Portland Head Light

Weekend in Canada

The view out the window at our AirBNB in Essex.

A few weeks ago we took a getaway for a weekend in Essex, Canada. Only half an hour from Detroit, Essex is on the shore of Lake Erie and is known as Ontario’s wine country. We rented an AirBNB right on the water. Even though it was too cold to spend time on the beach, it was nice to sit in front of the fireplace and hear the waves crashing out the window. It was a very relaxing winter weekend.

We chose Essex because of the location. It was closer than most of our favorite places on the water in Michigan. Houses in Essex were much cheaper than equivilant homes on Lake Michigan. Factor in the exchange rate that the American dollar currently gets you about $1.25 Canadian, a weekend in Canada can be a really good deal!

Windsor Sculpture Park makes for an interesting view of the Detroit skyline.

Of course, going into Canada, you have to worry about border crossings. We crossed the border so late we were the only car in line and it couldn’t have even taken 5 minutes. Coming home on Sunday was a little busier, but it was pretty quick too, maybe ten minutes. If you time it right, crossing the border isn’t too bad.

Probably the hardest thing about taking a weekend in a foreign country is having to worry about customs. Normally, when you’re on vacation its not a big deal to bring leftovers home, but crossing the border makes that tricky. We had to buy the smallest quantities of food to cook so we didn’t waste too much and tried not to have leftovers from restaurants because there are stringent rules about what you can and cannot bring across the border. I don’t know how strict they are about enforcing those rules, but I didn’t really want to find out. To find out more information about what can be brought back from Canada, visit Customs and Border Control.

Detroit Skyline from Windsor

This was the first time I had been to Canada since I was an adult. Even though it is only an hour away, the border crossing was something that intimidated me. Now that I have done it, it really wasn’t a big deal. We will probably go to Canada more frequently now that we’ve done it and realized how easy it is.

Thanks for stopping by! To read about some of our previous trips, click here. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

Camping Sleeping Bear: D. H. Day

I have always heard people talking about the D. H. Day campground at Sleeping Bear Dunes, but it has always been first come first served. I have heard stories of people lining up for hours just waiting for someone to leave. So, when I heard that National Park Service announced that they were going to begin accepting reservations for this popular campground, I began checking weekly to see if the website was up. After several months of delays, the website was up and I was able to secure a campsite for a weekend in August.

D.H. Day is the rustic campground at Sleeping Bear Dunes. There is no electricity and there are outhouses instead of bathrooms (just as camping should be, in my opinion). Because of when I booked, all of the loops were full, except the generator loop, meaning campers are allowed to use generators in camp during the day. Since we don’t spend a lot of time at our campsite during the day, this wasn’t a problem for us, but I did notice this seemed to be the loop with the bigger rigs.

Our site at D.H. Day

After camping at D. H. Day, I totally understand the hype. It is a gorgeous campground, right in the heart of Sleeping Bear Dunes. The sites are good sized and have a separated from each other. The campground also has a beautiful beach (top). My only complaint is that our site was very close to the outhouse (left) and it did not appear that way on the map, or I wouldn’t have booked it. If you are a camper, I highly recommend D.H. Day campground as a home base for exploring Sleeping Bear and all the Leelanau Peninsula has to offer! If you are thinking about camping at D.H. Day, I highly recommend booking in advance at recreation.gov because sites do fill up fast!

Thanks for stopping by! To read about some of our previous trips, click here. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

National Museum of the United States Air Force

Astronaut at the National Air Force Museum

This summer, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, we took a trip to Ohio to visit the Armstrong Air and Space Museum and The National Air Force Museum. The Air Force Museum is located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio. The museum is absolutely huge and after starting our day in Wapakoneta and driving over an hour additional to Dayton, it didn’t leave us with much time to explore. At first, we didn’t realize how big the museum is and spent too much time in the Civil War to World War II exhibit. Yes, the museum has artifacts dating back to the Civil War! Before this visit, I had no idea air travel played a role in the 19th century (below)!

Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to explore the exhibits dedicated to the Korean War, Southeast Asia, or the Cold War as we made a mad dash to check out the space exhibit. We were there to celebrated the moon landing, after all. The space exhibit reminded me of visiting the Kennedy Space Center and exploring the missile garden. If you are looking to go in-depth in the space program, The Air Force Museum is not the place to do it. They do have a cool flying astronaut (top), but it is much more set up to tell the story of the Air Force, not NASA. If you are looking for that, definitely check out Armstrong Air & Space or head down to Florida and the Kennedy Space Center.

Early army pilots flying a blimp

I will have to plan another trip back to this area to see the parts that we missed! I really wish I could’ve explored the Presidental Air Craft and the uniform exhibits! I’m not in any way a military fanatic, but it was interesting to look into a very specific part of our history. We will probably pair a return visit with visit to the nearby Wright Brothers National Museum. If you are in the Dayton area, The National Museum of the United States Air Force is a huge museum and not to be missed! The museum is free to visit, although since you are entering an Air Force base, you do have to go through security.

Thanks for stopping by! To read about some of our previous trips, click here. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

Mainley Acadia Recap

Wow! The trip was at the end of June and its the middle of October and I have finally finished my recap. As you can tell, it was a very busy trip that covered a lot of Mt. Desert Island. We were able to do all of the things that we weren’t able to do on our short visit last year. We hiked South Bubble Mountain and explored the carriage roads. Chris did several other solo hikes that I still need to get him to write about for you.

We watched the sunset over Cadillac Mountain from the water and explored waterfalls I didn’t even know were in the park. We saw several lighthouses and explored the Schoodic side of the park. We visited both the winery and brewery on the Island and spent time exploring Bar Harbor. We stayed in both Southwest and Northeast Harbor and spent time in both towns.

The Terrace Grill in Bar Harbor

We also got to do some shopping and enjoyed a lot of good meals. We picked up some fresh Maine lobster and cooked it at home, which Chris did not enjoy killing. Our first meal in Maine was at a place called The Liberal Cup in Hallowell, Maine. We enjoyed the views at Jordan Pond House and The Terrace Grill in Bar Harbor. We found a breakfast place we enjoyed within walking distance of our house in Southwest Harbor called Sips. We dined for a cause at the Common Good Cafe. Our final Maine meal was at a local hangout in Portland called Becky’s. In all of these places, TripAdvisor helped up find delicious, memorable meals that would otherwise fly under the radar!

After a week in Maine, have I seen it all? Absolutely not. I think I got my Mount Desert Island fix, though and I now I want to spend more time in Portland and I want to go back to Hallowell. I would like to see Castine, as well. Bar Harbor is the biggest tourist area in Maine and I would like to see places where most people don’t go. So, I will definitely have to return to Maine!

Thanks for stopping by! To read more about this trip, visit the Mainely Acadia Trip Report page. To read about some of our previous trips, click here. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

Wordless Wednesday:

Mainely Acadia: Portland Head Lighthouse

After our carriage tour, we began heading south for our final night of the trip in Manchester, New Hampshire. Just like on our trip last year, we broke up the drive by stopping at a few of Maine’s notable lighthouses.

One place we stopped to stretch our legs was the Penobscot Narrows Bridge and Observatory (left). The Penobscrot Narrows Bridge is a unique structure and there are only a handful of other bridges like it in the country. One of the most notable features of the bridge is the observatory housed with in that was the first of its kind.  At 450 feet tall, the observatory offers views of Penobscot Bay, the river, and the nearby Fort Knox History Site (no, not that Ft. Knox). Due to the amount of road we had to cover that day, we were unable to go up into the observatory, but it is definitely on my list for my next Maine trip!

Of course, we also stopped at the famous Portland Head Light (top). Portland Head Light is probably one of the most iconic structures in Maine and is recognizable by people who have never stepped foot in the state. If you are going to be in the Portland area, you have to stop by! My only regret is that we were unable to stay for sunset. Recently, I have seen some gorgeous pictures here at sunset and when the sea is rough! My shot of Portland Head is probably one of my favorites from this trip!

After leaving the lighthouse, we left Maine and made it to our hotel room near the Manchester airport where we had an early morning flight back to Michigan the next day. I can’t believe this trip report is done! Be sure to check back next week for my final thoughts on my Mainely Acadia trip!

Thanks for stopping by! To find out more about this trip, visit the Mainely Acadia Trip Report page. To read about some of our previous trips, click here. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

Wordless Wednesday: Cobblestone Bridge

Mainely Acadia: Carriage Tour

While planning this trip, the number one thing we wanted to do was a carriage tour of the carriage roads. On our first day in Acadia (Sunday), while we were driving the Park Loop Road, we made a stop at Wildwood Stables to book a carriage tour. The first available tour they had was the following Saturday. We were planning on driving back to New Hampshire that day, but we were able to squeeze in a morning carriage tour before heading south. All week, we called checking for cancellations, but we weren’t able to get in any earlier than Saturday morning.

We chose the Mr. Rockefeller’s bridge tour, a two-hour tour that highlights the picturesque bridges that were planned by John D. Rockefeller Jr. One of the highlights of the tour is Cobblestone (above). Built in 1917, Cobblestone is the oldest bridge on the Carriage Roads and the only one built entirely out of cobblestones. The tour takes a short break so you can get out and explore the bridge. I wish I had more time to photograph here!

Jordan Pond Gatelodge

The tour was a great way to see the carriage roads and it was much less strenuous than biking. The price ($40 for adults for the 2-hour tours and $24 for the hour-long tours) is reasonable and totally worth it, in my opinion. The biggest downside is how quick tours book up. I wanted to wait until we knew what the weather was going to be like before booking and by doing so, all the tours early in the week were booked up. We were very lucky we stayed so long or we probably wouldn’t have gotten in. The moral of the story, if a tour of the carriage roads is on your must-do list for Acadia, book it as soon as possible to have your choice of tours and hope the weather cooperates.

Thanks for stopping by! To read more about this trip, visit the Mainely Acadia Trip Report page. To read about some of our previous trips, click here. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

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