I wear green one time a year.
That time is today.
Yep, I got a new green dress. So now I have more than one, how exciting. Another update that you may notice is I have replenished my Mardi Gras bead collection so that I could add a gold strand to my look. I actually really like this dress. The only green I wear is emerald green (love me some jewel tones) and I love the fit and flare. It is a bit short for how flared it is (read: I can’t bend down without flashing my safety shorts to the world) but the flare is what makes it fun!
I still think that the article I shared last year by the Irish American who does not celebrate St. Patrick’s Day is worth a read. I only celebrate by dusting off my green clothing and sometimes watching the classic Disney Channel Original Movie (DCOM), The Luck of the Irish.
Also, I’m sharing this gorgeous video narrated by Liam Neeson for Discover Ireland for a quick look at Emerald Isle. (And also so you can listen to Liam Neeson’s silky smooth voice.)
How are you celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, if you celebrate at all? This blog post is essentially the extent of my celebrations!
I was so surprised to be selected because I really only applied as a “couldn’t hurt!” type of deal, trying to go for opportunities and really get myself into the DC community. I only recently opened my own Instagram account to the public and, spoiler alert, the content isn’t really great. I know that I’m not a cool photographer on #igdc but hey, a girl can dream! So imagine my shock when I got the email confirming my attendance! At first I thought “Maybe not enough people applied so everyone who applied got in!” But I saw some people lamenting not being chosen — some of whom had way more followers than me and way better content. Who knows what made them pick me but I’m glad they did!
Even though it was ridiculously crazy cold. Remember polar vortex season from last year?
I’ll admit, I was pretty intimidated when I showed up. A lot of these Instagrammers were very familiar with the DC Instameet scene. Several brought their DSLRs. A handful had multiple cameras with them. One even had a vintage twin-reflex camera with him!
Along schleps me, in my panda hat and my Android phone. (Creative types always seem to have iPhones, so I was definitely in the minority here…) In answer to the most DC question you can hear (“So what do you do?”), people’s responses were wildly impressive: working for Facebook or Instagram itself, social media at NatGeo… and then there’s Starr and her panda hat.
I got some good shots though, and I’ll be sharing ones that I didn’t get to put up on my Instagram account because you are all very special to be putting up with my posts.
The Butterfly Pavilion is easily one of my favorite parts of this museum. It’s warm and humid to keep the butterflies and moths comfortable, and they flutter by freely. People are generally really respectful of the butterflies, and I like that we as a species acknowledge the delicate majesty of these little creatures.
We were given time to roam about the museum freely, but it was nice to have the whole group gathered in the Butterfly Pavilion. It paved the way for us to see what Instagrammers are really like to get the perfect photo.
If I didn’t make it clear earlier, I was incredibly intimidated by everyone else in attendance. I have a “lifestyle” blog and Instagram account, just little tidbits from my life that I feel like sharing. I’ve never been a very visual or artistic person, so seeing these folks roll up with their DSLRs and their #igdc status (the founders of @igdc were at this Instameet, by the way) made me really nervous. I was also nervous that they’d be just so ah-tistic that they wouldn’t be terribly friendly. While some folks were quieter than others, there were plenty of extroverts and everyone was generally really nice! Phew!
Here are a few photos from the #NMNHphoto Instameet from my fellow IGDCers (check the caption for their accounts):
Starting to get overwhelmed by the photos so I’ll leave you all to discover the rest yourselves. I’m sure more will continue to be uploaded as folks edit their beautiful photos. (I felt like I was obligated to upload as I went along, it was pretty stressful. I wanted to read all the signs!)
I had a really great time and am looking forward to getting more involved with the DC Instagram community and beefing up my photography skills!
Have you ever been to an Instameet? If so, how was it? If not, where would you like to attend one?
Have you ever been to the National Museum of Natural History? What are your favorite exhibits?
This year’s family vacation was another Norwegian Cruise Line trip to Alaska that ended in Vancouver, Canada. I have never been to the Pacific Northwest before, so I was really excited about it although not totally sure what to expect. There was one thing that was familiar to me, and that was coming back home to a cruise ship most nights of the vacation.
We started our trip in Anchorage, took a cab to Whittier where we boarded our ship.
From there, we went to Icy Strait Point (Hoonah), Skagway, Juneau, and Ketchikan before disembarking in Vancouver, Canada. Let’s get talking about where I spent a lot of my time during this trip:
If you remember, I had an amazing time my first time cruising ever, and NCL had a lot to do with that. This year, we were on the Norwegian Sun, which is a slightly smaller ship than the Norwegian Star. I basically knew what to expect as the ship was designed similarly to the Star.
The food was, of course, great.
We rarely ate at the buffet, because my parents liked the portion control that comes with the meal service and also not having to carry our plates around and struggle to find a table. (“We’re on vacation, it’s okay to like being served, right?”) The food was good and by the end, I found out you could order more than one of each course from other tables where people were taking full advantage. Needless to say, my brother is teasing me for ordering multiple desserts to this day.
One of my favorite things about our cruise this time around was the camaraderie on the ship. Whereas on the last cruise, everyone was generally friendly but doing their own thing, I made friends on this cruise. I [secretly snuck out to avoid having my family there] went to karaoke every night but the first and there was a nice little crowd of regulars there. Not only did we have regular singers, a few of whom were in the Karaoke Superstar Contest on the last day with me (shout-out to Garrett, Janice, and Coby!), but we also had regulars in the audience who were so nice and fun (shout-out to Carol, Jane, and Rodney for supporting me through the finals!). I’ll write another post about my passion for karaoke, but when you sing in front of a group, you do need to sing FOR your audience, not just at them. On cruises, I usually sing a lot of classic tunes from before the 80s because there are a lot of retirees onboard, ya know? Country songs also tend to be pretty popular. There was also a big sing-along in the atrium which I enjoyed a lot. Sing-alongs are just always a good time and are part of what makes karaoke amazing.
We also did a murder mystery lunch with a family from Miami. It was one of the few times my brother and I got to interact with other people our age and I had a lot of fun. Everyone played up their characters pretty well and we all had a lot of fun. The food was meh but the murder fun was great 😀
(Also there was an “adult game show” that I can’t talk about because it was just so crazy, but I bonded with my teammates on our no-AARP team and it was a lot of fun. It wasn’t naughty but just very strange and difficult to explain.)
The cruise staff was, as always is the case with NCL, fantastic and awesome and so friendly. Seriously, I spent so much time around them that I picked up a bit of an Australian accent by the end of the cruise.
Basically, the Pacific Northwest is full of gorgeous, breathtaking views everywhere you go. I felt like I was in a postcard, or on a water bottle label. Mountains, oceans, forests, bald eagles… just wow.
Sitting in a hot tub and looking around at snow-capped mountains covered with verdant green trees against a stunningly blue sky was just… it was a beautiful moment. It truly was.
I don’t know how I will go back to vacationing without cruising, you guys. I really do love it so much.