Photo of the Week 04: Photogenic Food in Ft. Lauderdale

Lobster Mac & Cheese at Sweet Nectar in Ft. Lauderdale, FL

I think I’ve finally figured out the secret for the perfect Instagram flat lay: just go to a restaurant that’s already done all the work for you. Case in point: the beautiful setup above at Sweet Nectar in Ft. Lauderdale, a cute open air restaurant serving up tapas on Las Olas Blvd in the heart of everything.

When I heard that my best friend Candace was going to be in Ft. Lauderdale¬†for a week, I immediately made plans to go visit for a weekend. Since she lives in Pennsylvania, we make a point to see each other anytime we’re within 4 hours of each other.

This trip was special for two reasons: 1) I’ve never driven further south than Jupiter and was ready for an adventure, and 2) Candace and I have always talked about doing some type of girls weekend but never got around to it. This was the perfect opportunity to spend some good quality time together. Continue reading “Photo of the Week 04: Photogenic Food in Ft. Lauderdale”

Photo of the Week 03: Orchids Galore and the Art of Patience

I’ve been talking a lot lately about my grandparents – they spent the winter in Florida this year and I am so thankful for all the time we got to spend together. My grandma, being grandma, found an orchid show in town in no time flat. I’ve definitely inherited her love for orchids, along with my own love of photographing them, so I traveled to Marie Selby Botanical Gardens with my mom to see the show for myself shortly after.

The show was wonderful as evidenced by this week’s photo, and the gardens themselves are immaculately kept. The entire waterfront property on the Sarasota Bay was donated by Marie Selby herself, who wanted to share her gardens with the general public.

When my grandma left to head back home, she left a piece of her here with me: not one, not two, but three of the orchid plants she’d purchased to make her and my grandpa’s vacation rentals feel more like home, along with a beautiful orchid my grandpa gave me for Valentine’s Day. I didn’t expect them to bloom again, but in the past few weeks new growths have been popping up on all four. Continue reading “Photo of the Week 03: Orchids Galore and the Art of Patience”

Photo of the Week 02: Anna Maria City Pier

Walking out on a pier is one of those completely mindless activities I do every time I’m at the beach. In a way, it’s almost automatic. (So is getting ice cream, while unfortunately not as healthy.) Oh look! A pier – I’m going to go walk to the end, turn around and come back…

My first visit to the city pier was on a cloudier, windier day, thus the water was churned up and not it’s usual shade of clear turquoise blue. The pier was teeming with locals fishing near the city pier restaurant, with opportunistic pelicans and gulls waiting in the water below. Being alone and a little insecure, I didn’t realize I could have walked around the restaurant for a better view of the bay and Sunshine Skyway Bridge.

With my grandparents staying in a beach cottage on Pine Ave for a few weeks at the beginning of the month, I had my chance to visit again and this time was greeted by clear, calm water.

I began snapping photos and suddenly, my camera shut off. Yep, the professional photographer let her camera battery die. Continue reading “Photo of the Week 02: Anna Maria City Pier”

Photo of the Week 01: Colorful Cocktails in Jupiter

One of many little known talents my mom and I possess: the ability to locate a nearby tiki bar no matter where we travel together. What can I say? It’s a (tasty) gift.

My mom and I found ourselves in Jupiter, FL a few weeks ago after a completely random morning decision to go on a day trip without any real plan for what to do once we got there. It was the kind of day that made me feel as if I’d traveled to a faraway place even though I was only a few hours from home. We made a spontaneous decision to visit based on a pretty Instagram photo I saw of a tree lined street in Hobe Sound, because that’s a totally normal and sound method for selecting a destination in my book.

We spent the morning wandering Hobe Sound Beach, which is so radically different from the calm waters and white sandy beaches I’ve become accustomed to on the Gulf coast, kind of broke into Blowing Rocks Preserve after hours (#rebels), sipped on milkshakes (made as chocolatey as possible), and watched a fantastic sunset over the Indian River. Continue reading “Photo of the Week 01: Colorful Cocktails in Jupiter”

Photo Essay: Chasing Florida Beach Sunsets

“There is a sunrise and a sunset every day and you can choose to be there for it. You can put yourself in the way of beauty.”
– from the film “Wild”

There’s one thing I try not to miss whenever I’m at the beach: the sunset. Beach days are, for me, usually just that — days. I wake up early, make the trip, and reluctantly leave at the day’s end. But I can always justify staying an extra 20 minutes for that feeling of peace and calm I get watching the sun dip down below the horizon.

A sunset sail on Anna Maria Island, FL
Anna Maria Island sunset sail
Beach sunsets on Anna Maria Island and Siesta Key, FL
Anna Maria Island and Siesta Key, FL

Sunsets (and occasionally sunrises, although I much prefer sleeping in) are one of my favorite things about visiting the beach. Like having an ice cream cone, watching the sunset at the end of the day is one of those things that, if missed, makes a beach trip feel somehow incomplete. Continue reading “Photo Essay: Chasing Florida Beach Sunsets”