Photo Friday: Kitty in the Kava Bowl

Posted by Ted on May 18, 2012 in Photography, Travel

What some may not realize is that Fiji is not an island, but an archipelago of over 300 islands. We chose the third largest, Taveuni, so that we might dive the Great White Wall.

Of the two places we stayed at, the first was by far the best. Coconut Grove was easy, beautiful, and made us feel at home. The toasted coconut bread in the morning certainly didn’t hurt.

Some nights, guests would join a couple of musicians around the kava bowl, taking turns drinking brown sludge out of a hollowed out coconut. The sludge tasted about how it looked, and it was supposed to give you a warm buzz. Mostly, it made me feel tired. The custom was to ask for ‘low tide’ for half a cup, or ‘high tide’ for a full cup.

During the day, however, the kava bowl served a different purpose.

(Related photos of Fiji can be found here.)

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Photo Friday: Paletas in Tulum

Posted by Ted on Mar 23, 2012 in Food & Drinks, Photography, Travel

My wife and I recently went to Tulum, Mexico for our babymoon vacation. We stayed at a lovely little guesthouse, el Mestizo, at the end of the beach road near the entrance to the Sian Ka’an biosphere. Our 2nd-story cabana overlooked an azure sea, with the sounds of crashing waves a constant comfort. Barefoot, we would walk down the beach for breakfast or lunch.

We swam in 6 cenotes (4 cavern, 1 open, 1 semi-open), saw 2 ruins (Tulum, Ek’ Balam), and snorkeled with sea turtles.

However, the best thing may have been this shop selling all manner of tasty frozen fruit pops, called paletas.

Paletas in Tulum

Paletas in Tulum

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Photo Friday: Sleepy Baby Monkey

Posted by Ted on Feb 17, 2012 in Outdoors, Photography

Continuing the thread of family from the last installment, this week brings you a pair of Capuchin monkeys, taken at Manuel Antonio National Park, in Costa Rica. These were the first monkeys we’d seen in real life, and while quite photogenic, they were actually quite territorial and vicious up close, with foul rotten teeth.

However, what stood out most in memory was seeing something so familiar, that of a baby clinging contentedly to its parent .. 15 feet up a tree.

(Related photos of Monkeys in Costa Rica can be found here.)

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Photo Friday: A New Beginning

Posted by Ted on Jan 6, 2012 in Burning Man, Photography

2012 is all about new beginnings and our craziest adventure yet; parenthood.

If you follow my work, you know that I love sunsets. Who doesn’t? But what I find even more special are sunrises. Not being a morning person, I see a lot fewer of the sun emerging out of night than I do of night overtaking the day.

The photo below was taken at 5:30 on a June morning in 2006, on the Atlantic shore of Rockport, Maine, boats gently pitching with light waves.

Maine Morning

I had been in Rockport taking an intensive week-long photography course at the Maine Workshops. That inspiring week was a turning point in my photography career. It was that week that I went from a default of ‘auto’ to ‘manual’, and I started to see shapes and colors and macro photography in new ways. One of many transformative experiences in my life.

Quite a few of those experiences have happened at or because of Burning Man. It is a place of strange and wonderful beauty, and which gives one innumerable chances to explore their personal boundaries. Many years, the only sunrises I see are at Burning Man. Below is a photo of my playa-covered Doc Martens, taken a few months later than the Maine picture, as my Lily and I are lounging in a cupcake out by the trash fence.

Playa Sunrise

(Related photos of Rockport, Maine can be found here.)

(Related photos of Burning Man 2006 can be found here.)

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Photo Friday: The Ostrich and the Zebra

Posted by Ted on Dec 9, 2011 in Food & Drinks, Photography, Travel

This week’s entries come to you from the village of Colnbrook, just outside of Heathrow Airport. I find myself in this unlikely place due to a last minute trip to kick off a new job that I started on Monday as a developer advocate for the newly launched Travelport Developer Network. Feeling trapped by the manicured comfort of my hotel, I needed to get out. Knowing that a trip to Central London wasn’t feasible, I settled for exploring the nearby town, stopping in at The Ostrich, which just happens to be England’s 3rd oldest pub.

As I savoured my Guinness, I read a pamphlet which detailed the history of the inn, dating back to the year 1106. Before there were trains, there were stage-coaches, which gave rise to an industry of coaching inns. The Ostrich was a popular stop for travelers from London on their way to see the king at Windsor Castle, where they might swap horses and change out of their riding clothes and into more formal wear.

Of particular notoriety was a 17th century proprietor named Jarman. He and his wife built an elaborate trap door in the room above the kitchen and would drop unsuspecting lone riders with large purses into a boiling cauldron in the middle of the night.

Business travel is rarely glamorous. When one isn’t working, it can be all too easy to relax into the comfort of expense-paid 4 star hotel luxury. However, one just has to walk out the door and be open to finding a little adventure.

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